We spend much of our time building our material houses.
What then of our spiritual house? Which gives the greater
protection from the storms and tempests of the mind?
Kitchen Table Philosopher JOSEPH RAFFA looks ahead to a time of transformation.
A new day is slowly dawning for humankind. The day of the humanist, of the materialist, of the intellectual dominance of the human expression is on the way out. The day of a spiritually awakened humankind is on the way in.
As it takes over, every social aspect will be transformed. Relationships, science, medicine, politics, day to day living – every social strata will be affected.
The old attitudes will be bulldozed aside by the influx of a new understanding. Resistance to change will melt away before the awesome power of the new spirit that will be abroad in humankind.
Look out selfishness, envy, greed, everything negative and disruptive in human nature. Love, like you’ve never known before, is coming. God’s love – Universal love – open wide the channels tightly closed for centuries and let it through.
Step out of the darkness, humankind, into the light of a brand new living that glows with the Sunshine of Love.
Step aside, hard-headed intellect. You’ve had your way. The suffering has been too much. Intolerable, the separation from all that is warm, gentle and considerate.
A new spirit is urging to show what it can do. There’s enthusiasm inside, a youthful outlook, all the desirable qualities that have been dammed back – wanting to surge outwards.
Who wants to dance the new steps of love, in tune with a universal melody? Come then and join the universal rhythm. Blend with its timeless beat, then dance out and express the joy that arises.
Cast aside the pain of living, the intellectual struggles and striving of the vagabond that travels the highways and byways of time looking for a home.
Humankind, too long you’ve been lost in time. Come on home. Love is waiting to enfold you – to smooth away all the heartaches caused by separation.
Castaway that you are, leave the vale of time. Join the Sunshine of Love, just for a moment. See how it opens your eyes.
You’ve heard the saying “Home is where the heart is.” Go then, to the Silent Heart of humankind and there you will find love waiting to greet you. You will never be the same again.
Kitchen Table Philosopher Joseph Raffa asks if corruption is endemic to human nature…
Corruption has been exposed over the years in sport, politics, science, in fact in most areas where people come together to compete, to achieve, in a bid for power or to accumulate wealth.
Is corruption then, in some form, endemic in the human race? Why are people in prominent positions prepared to risk all for the dubious returns that corruption offers?
Regardless of good intentions, protective legislation, watch dog committees, nothing seems to halt the movement of corruption, sometime, somewhere. Always it looms as an offering of worthwhile value. Those who are initially confronted with a choice yield for one reason or another, then they are caught in a web of devious deception from which it is difficult to extricate oneself.
Are we helpless then to halt the tide of its movement? No. Humans have always been endowed with an inner capacity, a universal nature, the discovery of which releases a deeper perception of the extent and depth of corruption in the human expression.
In many it may not be the spectacular kind that holds the media attention or brings forth investigative committees, but to individuals learning to live corruption free lives it is of profound importance to understand and eradicate every aspect of corruption that bids to settle in the mind. Not only the forms of corruption that are easily recognised as such but also the lesser ones which society may even accept as being worthwhile behaviour.
Kitchen Table Philosopher Joseph Raffa asks if you will listen to the whispers of the heart or stay anchored in mind misery.
Ever got to a stage in life where you feel jaded, drained of energy, without any enjoyment to lighten up your life? Then face it friend, you are on a treadmill where the daily grind has taken over. And who or what is responsible? You are. You’ve allowed the mind to take over with its demands and desires, its over-riding ideas to do this and that, its drive for more and more – security, comfort, nicknacks, gadgets. Oh, there is no end to the demands of the mind.
So, we listen to the mind, going where it tells us, doing what it demands. We ignore how we feel deep down, ignore the need for rest and relaxation, to be lighthearted. There comes a time where we get to the end of the line, when we’ve had enough, when we are so saturated with the mind and its persistent endeavours to completely control the course of our life that we want to throw it all away and feel fresh and brand new again.
Some opt for an outer change, a holiday, change jobs or homes, rearrange routines to try to unload some of the burden. You may have tried some or all of this. But take a look at what is going on. It’s the same old tired troublemaker in charge, in control, trying to jazz up a life that has gone stale. The wear and tear mind, fed up with the results of what it has created, is off in a different direction in the search for a pick me up, for a return to the fun it had long ago when life was young and new and a great adventure.
Outer change serves for a while. We feel somewhat rested and interest is renewed. Then that same old bugbear takes over again, the wear and tear mind, the know-all mind, the source and cause of all our troubles is back to lead us down the same weary pathway. And why? Because it doesn’t know any better. Concern drives the mind. Self protection drives the mind. It’s always busy looking after all the demands of the self. There is no peace, no joy and little rest while little mind is in charge. Mind is the ruthless overseer, cracking the whip of pressure, driving the body onwards, subduing any feelings to be otherwise than on the go, go, go.
Until from within, the cry goes out, “Enough of this.” Tears that act as a temporary release may flow, then a tug of war may follow. The inner insists on a change of direction but old man mind, knowing nothing else urges onwards in the usual way and clings to everything it is familiar with in spite of the pain. There must come a time when we tire of mind, of the thinking, the doing, the acting, all the busy stuff the mind does in defence of and to expand the self. This is an indication that the heart is beginning to stir, that it wants to be listened to. The heart speaks not in the language of thoughts and words but with feelings, with longings for an expansive life uncluttered by the rubbish left by the mind.
Will we listen then, to the whispers of the heart or, will we stay anchored in the mind and the misery it creates? In life we need both mind as the doer, the action side and the heart as the source of renewal. From the heart comes gentle, caring living, the appreciation of the wonder, the beauty of life, of all the magic moments that unfold from day to day. It’s not that the mind means to mess things up. It’s just lost its way. Like a child lost in the wonderland of time, it runs here, there, everywhere, eager to have everything, to taste what it can – quickly. The heart acts as a counterbalance to all this driving action. It’s like a rider who pulls on the reins to check the erratic breakaway gallop of a horse.
The trouble is, the mind has been in control for so long. It gets itself into trouble then when it has had enough it wants to get itself out. Fair enough. But the mind is the troublemaker. Wherever it applies itself, sooner or later it comes to a situation where it is confronted with the results of its own actions. When it acts from a deep understanding of its own behaviour, all is well. Understanding then, is the key to right living. This follows from listening, from paying attention to the ways of the mind, to the flow of thinking and feeling, to everything thrown up by the mind.
Not from constant thinking about it, reading and memorising which keeps the mind endlessly preoccupied. The listening that yields understanding cannot be described. It happens when there is natural interest. That is what is so beautiful about it. Mind with its thinking, its pressure and pushing for results doesn’t bring it about. It’s a response from within, when the heart stirs to give a helping hand to a mind caught up in turmoil, torment and confusion.
When the mind has truly had enough, when it sees that it cannot continue along the same channels that lead nowhere special, it yields and comes to a complete standstill. Not even a thought interferes – then in that moment the heart has a chance to act and help the mind understand. Should this happen, you’ll know what it is to feel new again, to be young and carefree, lighthearted – all the qualities we long for that somehow we have denied in our intensive efforts to look after the self according to self disposition.
Joseph’s spiritual writing is now available from Amazon.com and other online retailers.
Life reveals its true meaning when thought ceases, says Kitchen Table Philosopher Joseph Raffa
The soft plinging of music fills the ears, curiously beautiful, strangely absorbing the attention, lulling the dreamy mind into a state of well-being. The mood deepens, filling the entire being with its softness. The mind is still. All is well. No drifting movement disturbs the silence of being. The observer has temporarily vanished, absorbed in a happy state of listening. A nameless extent takes over. The mind has entwined lovingly and completely with its own movement, transforming in the process its offspring, the thought, illuminating it with its own light.
All is silence till the swift movement of thought breaks the spell, ending the silence. Of its own accord it raises wings and spreads across the background drawing attention to itself, bringing into existence the world of the known with its time and troubles. Thought weaves its pattern of change with lightning like rapidity – too swift to be followed by a sluggish mind. Elusive and difficult to pin down – gathering strength with its ability to deceive the observer. Compelling, this determination by thought to exist, to be the focus of attention, to continue.
Such then is the offspring of silence. Such is the mystery of silence – that thought must cease to separate itself in appearance before it can join the immensity of the silence. And only then, when thought glides swiftly to an end does life reveal its true meaning, its beauty and its immeasurable depth of love. So be it.
Joseph’s collected spiritual writing is now available in a series of books from Amazon.com and other online retailers.
The key to higher understanding lies within each of us.
The Spirit Calls is an invitation to venture inwards to discover our true spiritual nature.
For those who care to listen to the still voice of the spirit, a new way of living awaits.
Kitchen Table Philosopher Joseph Raffa says there can only be harmony of movement when wind and wave are in unison.
We are the wind that stirs the wave into being. If we like the wave, the way of it, what it does – all is well. There is no problem.
But if it displeases us, why then, we turn away, or rearrange, discipline or try to change till in our eyes we approve of what we see.
Strange is it not, that the wind that stirs the wave loses touch and lets the wave run free to do what it will, then disapproves of its own creation.
We produce many wavelets of moods, actions, thoughts and feelings that displease us.
Are we then so helpless – we, the wind that stirs the waves into being that we have to cry help to deal with our own waves?
Why does the wave become such a problem when it laps on the shores of time, flowing where it will? Has the wind lost control?
Such agitation transmitted from wind to wave. Surely the wave is the outcome of the variable force of the wind.
Work on the wave if you will; ignore the wind and the part it plays. Instability will continue to surface.
The wind too must come to order. Only when wind and wave are in unison is there harmony of movement.
Then the wave sparkles in the sunshine, reflecting the light that shines from within.
And the wind? Well, it’s happy with the outcome.
Joseph’s collected spiritual writing is now available in a series of books from Amazon.com and other online retailers.
Kitchen table philosopher JOSEPH RAFFA contemplates the ways of the mind.
Life has its demands. These cannot be ignored. The body has its needs. These must be met. In living the human expression many pathways beckon. People do their best to travel those that seemingly offer the best returns. The mind is the determinant, the decider of where to go and what to do.
If the mind is happy, at ease with what is done, all is well and life moves smoothly. But if uncertainty, resistance and compulsion settle in then the results are not very pleasant at all.
Not many live from moment to moment with a happy heart. Contradiction and choice are the bugbears that unsettle our movement through life, particularly when inner and outer security control the choices we make. The mind urges for self protection. The self is a complex mix of arising desires and demands. So many influences and attitudes have lodged in the mind. The past clouds its judgement.
The expression of choice is influenced by the past, by thinking, which is an attempt to lock the unknown of what to do for the best into a present frame of reference that is agreeable to the mind. The constant exercise of choice, to do what pleases, what is agreeable or profitable, is what makes living so difficult. Life refuses to be put 100 percent into a personal framework of this kind.
There are always challenges arising that we shy away from and, if face them we must, there is anxiety at the outcome. So, we venture through life with confidence at times, like timid mice at others. This cannot change while the self with its complex background is at the helm of human affairs. The insistence for the demands of the self to be met in every way leads to conflict. To have them denied by others also leads to conflict.
Life has become a push/pull affair, a constant attempt to satisfy and please the self. There is a persistence in this that is powerful. It can be held back for a time by discipline, channelled into organised courses for mutual benefit, welded into states, nations or movements to serve greater self interests, but unless every vestige is dug out of the human expression by a faultless understanding, trouble will follow in almost every human endeavour that the mind sets into motion.
The pressures within the self are like a ball held deep under the water. Relax the hold and it rushes to the surface and goes on its merry way creating mischief wherever it travels. Mind you,it has a high opinion of its own value. And it tenaciously clings to everything it has inwardly accumulated – agreeable memories, so many influences that have been absorbed in its journey through life. These shape its progress and its choices. Accustomed to being how it is, the self is very difficult to deal with. Being in control of its life, certainly having little understanding of its inner content, of what motivates its actions, it is not in a position to objectively investigate and evaluate its own behaviour. Nor can it easily clarify its relationship to others, to the outer world, to the society it lives in.
This does not matter if it is not interested in an exploration of the self. But it sometimes happens that the self sets to and decides to undertake an inner journey through its own nature. Itwants to understand what is going on beyond its surface extent, beyond the reasons, beyond the beliefs it holds. And, if it is stubbornly inclined in this direction it begins a learning that continues for as long as it functions in time in the way it knows. This journey, if it comes to fruition, takes it step by step from the outer it knows, from what it appears to be, through unknown levels that it was not aware of until it lodges without form, substance or illusion, in the heart of the strange Universal nature that is the essence of all things.
In this, it abides with the Eternal. The little self has come to rest in something vaster and grander. Now, a new rhythm controls its movement through life. Choice is exercised in little things, but in living the things that matter choice doesn’t come into it at all.
And the way of it is locked in the hearts and minds of those who travel this way – who make it to the Silent Strangeness. They are the happy, go lightly people who know what it is to sing thesong of the real and dance in time to heavenly music. What happens in time merely ruffles the surface. Their inner serenity remains undisturbed.
The little self that began the journey has come to the end of the line. And the end of the line is home.
- Joseph’s collected spiritual writing is now available as The Kitchen Table Philosopher series. It is available in print and digital formats from Amazon.com and other online retailers.
by Joseph Raffa
Weaving its way through history is an inspirational thread of human endeavour. A story of humans who have reached out for the spiritual stars and touched the Divine. They have returned, afire and astir to urge their fellow humans to do likewise and come back to the land of the spiritually alive.
They have not always been greeted with open arms. They have been scorned, ridiculed, tortured, even murdered. Yet, they have not yielded in their missions. Such was the support, the strength, the love and understanding that came their way. They were truly people of steel – spiritual steel. Resilient and bright, like polished metal cast from a special mould – a universal One.
Corrosion and corruption are not part of their expression. Not a trace of the self marrs the inner serenity of what they are. They are beyond all that. They are the happy people, stirred by a great love for mankind. Not for them the ways of a mind estranged from its source. They live in the heart, the Silent Heart of mankind – the Universal Heart, true home of all that lives and breathes, of everything that is.
Should they pass your door, either in human form or in the writings they have left, pause from your busy work or play schedule, listen deeply to what they have to offer and in the silence that follows, join them in a holy communion. You will be surprised at what opens out, at what you have within you. Yet, you knew it not. Not only surprised, but joyful too, oh so joyful. How your spirit will lift and dance. Like a child who delights in the world about, so you will take off, young and full of bounce.
The old will be brushed aside – dissolved. The ways of thought, encrusted attitudes, the scales of time – out of the old skin you will step, resplendent in shining Being. You will glow with the Sunshine of Love and marvel at the magic of it. The methods, the ways, the preparations, the rituals and traditions of the mind do not come into it. Mind is out. Heart is in. The Sunshine of Love is beyond explanations. It IS. You hear. It IS. Just BE and you will discover for yourselves. Do not ask why, what or wherefore. That is the mind wanting to come into it, wanting to get into the act.
Little mind with its thoughts, body, face, appearance, parading as the self in time, the knower, the troublemaker of time. It wants to continue. If you listen with this mind, you will stay anchored in mind, in time. The Sunshine will pass you by. Rather listen with your whole being, not with the ears of time. This kind of listening cannot be practised, imagined or thought. It just happens when there is deep interest and you are deeply absorbed – just deeply absorbed.
Everything you appear to be, every known aspect, fades. It is a delightful moment of discovery. Of what? Do not ask. Mind cannot know. All that matters is, that it happens. Then you’ll see what it’s all about. Your song will join the universal song. The refrain will go out and out, without end. You will be one of the happy people without a care. Your heart will be full and overflowing. What you have, you will give out for others to share with you.
For love is uncontainable and reaches out to embrace all. That is the way of it. It cannot be otherwise. Such is its nature – to share with – to bless all until all are happy.
Love’s blessings on you.
To read more of Joseph’s spiritual writing, visit his Amazon author page. https://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Raffa/
Joseph Raffa, the Kitchen Table Philosopher, contemplates the routines of everyday life.
Our lives are a ritual of prearranged patterns. Every morning it begins anew. We rise, wash and go through our routines. Blinds are raised, windows are opened to let in fresh air. We dress according to taste – light and colourful for the summer, warm clothing for the winter.
Every season has its chores but overall, some things do not change. Breakfast, dinner, tea, washing up and shopping. Reading the daily paper if that is your preference.
Monday to Friday has its own tempo. Work for many, except for the unemployed, the retired – whose time is their own – and the children. Some are cradled in their mothers’ arms or pushed about in prams and strollers. Those old enough head for school on foot, bike, bus or car.
The seasons dictate their own patterns in dress, food, entertainment and behaviour. Sometimes the ritual is broken by sickness, accident, or an unexpected change. But, whatever it is that disrupts the orderly flow of our lives, once it’s over, we return to the patterns we are comfortable with, if we can.
Being human, we love the complex patterns of our lives. And we like guidelines to direct our travel. We have our web of relationships – our home, which is the centre of our living and our refuge – family connections and a host of gadgets to make life comfortable.And that’s the way it goes, a mixture of happy and sad, until death drags us away.
Rituals then, don’t mean a thing any more.
by Joseph Raffa
Living a spiritual life does not have to mean retreating from the everyday world to a place of solitude to devote every waking hour to quiet contemplation of the mystery of existence.
Anyone can begin the search for a higher meaning to life while immersed in the many activities of daily living.
Shift attention from the outer world and venture inwards to seek the source of what we are rather than what we believe ourselves to be, for true spirituality comes about from self-understanding.
Transformation takes place when we discover our true nature and all it takes is an eager heart to start on a journey of self-discovery that will change your life from the inside out.
The Kindle edition is available here.
Joseph Raffa, the Kitchen Table Philosopher, contemplates the difficulty of spiritual learning
What is disturbing about some of the New Age publications is that they are overflowing with bright, confident ads suggesting how easy a spiritual awakening is. Even the articles tend to glow likewise but these rarely deal with the ugly, the disturbing, the self-acquisitive features and mediocrity of the mind.
With the intention of improving the quality of their lives many build their homes close to nature, or surround themselves with green-filled gardens. New approaches are tried to awaken the latent spirituality but until the human expression is anchored in spiritual stillness, it will not draw on what it needs to keep the darkness of the mind at bay.
The journey to our spiritual heartland is the most difficult of all. It is not always smooth sailing, all sweetness and light, joy and sunshine. The mind throws up too many obstacles for that, is too prone to create difficulties through its self-centred obstinacy. Often, the journey turns out to be a travel through much that is disturbing, dark and certainly self-centred, taking the self through all the shades of darkness the mind is capable of.
For sure, the light breaks through strongly at times and irradiates the mind with its own brand of sunshine. If this didn’t happen we would never see our way clear at any time. But the self is persistent in its return. It has so much capacity to disrupt, to re-establish itself in its own right and this is not quickly diminished regardless of expectations or intentions.
Spiritual learning is a long, slow hike through difficult country, through rough mental and emotional stretches with wonderful splashes of sunshine in between. In no way do we dodge the ugly, distressing side of human nature. If we do not face and understand the disturbing features we reflect, they will always surface and hinder the free-flowing expression of our spiritual nature.
Be prepared then, those who would travel the spiritual path. The way is lined with pitfalls, with rough travel over difficult terrain. Inevitably, because we are creatures of the Sunshine, the brightness will come through and triumph over the dark overtones cast by the mind in its individual journey through life. Just do not expect to escape scot free, without a severe mauling from time to time. A mauling thrown up by the mind’s persistence to dominate its own movement in its own way in defiance of the higher spiritual directive, which decrees otherwise.
If you are interested in reading more of Joseph’s spiritual writing, visit his Amazon author page: https://amzn.to/2Abk9w6