Gosh Bruce, really juicy post!

As usual, I'm just going to jump in and see where the river takes the narrative.

I think you said that you had abandoned hope. Good! If you are living in "hope", the subtext is the stream of "now is not good enough". For myself, I feel that I am far from "I am", or even "I can do" - in my day to day path, I aspire to be attentive, and feel that everything can flow out of that.

But connections and glue are wonderful. My late wife and I did not have many friends in Atlanta, but now in Santa Fe, my partner has many, many friends, so my circle is much wider. Fun in good times and supportive when events are challenging.

A theme you seemingly returned to again and again was "attention" - yep, yep, yep.

I am reminded of the martial arts master who never explained anything about a technique, the attentive student was supposed to learn everything by attention. There is most definitely similar styles by many spiritual teachers. I think Reshad said that close attention must be maintained to learn the path, and this is highlighted in several Idries Shah sufi stories.

So, really paying attention to what is in front of us brings a number of benefits.

One is not so lost in the thought stream so much. Yeah, there are thoughts, but guess what? 99/99% of the thoughts are "I like this, I dion't like that". And that leads to another attention, one of the "stream". (Man oh man, I so desperately want to say 'Second Attention' essh!). And I know darn sure that certain events have happened only because I was paying attention.

So yeah, in the 70s and 80s I read and reread all of the Carlos books, they just made so much sense as a path, where for me at that time, I really wasn't a fan of Buddhism then. And in the early 00s, I found the "Sustained Action" online forum and saw the dedication these folks had, and how over time they realized that Carlos was scamming everyone. But his malfunction was oh so typical. Just like many sexual abusers, he was charming to everyone. His dark side was reserved for former fucks. The pain he imparted was known to the community of course.

Carlos did appear to have one siddhi. As the Sustained Action people noted several times, Carlos could enter the dreams of many of the group, time and time again. But of course, that is a minor power for real masters.

Funny that you mention Reshad - I just saw the Youtube German talk he gave, and the feeling I got was of a desperate man, desperate to be "the knower" and intent of showing that others were not.

So on we all go........

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