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    The only moment that exists is the present, the eternal NOW. The past is but the illusion of memory and the future is a projection of the mind. Time is part of the Big LIE, the joke being played on us by the ones who are controlling the program that we think is reality; the Matrix, if you will, but don't get it confused with the movie. Perhaps that's why I am enjoying the The Pellucidar Series so much—in a land where the sun shines perpetually at high noon, time doesn't exist.
    Years ago, about thirty-five or so, when I began this terrible-wonderful journey into enlightenment, I inhaled every book I could find to lead me on my way. Of course then, my goals were different—I had no idea what enlightenment was, and now thankfully, I have progressed to such a degree that I have even less of an idea what it is. Therefore, I just keep moving forward wherever each day leads me. Looking back (remember, the past is just the illusion of memory), I don't even recognize myself. Good, then. I must at least be on the right track.
    As I have said numerous times, I am not Buddhist, although I find much of Buddhism intriguing. If I was going to move toward Buddhism, it would be the Tibetan branch, though, rather than Zen. I think of Buddhism more of a philosophy than a religion, so it is possible for people to adhere to a religion, yet still embrace many Buddhist ideas.
    In any case, after reading volumes of books over decades, I reached the point of redundancy, and knew I had outgrown most of what I read, and had branched out onto my own path, so I went years without reading any spiritual books. Of course, I still read (very selectively) articles online that seem to call out. I happened to run across this book in one of my boxes, published in 2001, and which I first read in 2002. It was not a favorite then, nor is it now, but having read it once more, I have been able to learn from it at a totally different level, which must be inevitable. Even reading it and finding that nothing applies would mean I am at a different level. However, I did find that which applies, perhaps even more than I did years ago, so I will share those bits of wisdom.
    First of all, while The Zen Commandments is a catchy title, the subtitle is Ten Suggestions for a Life of Inner Freedom. Religious dogma is another of the BIG LIES which far too many people buy into. Enlightenment is the act of seeking, and seeking implies that one must constantly be open to the unexpected. It's another reason why the future can't exist—because every choice we make in the moment leads us into the next moment, which is the present. Our bodies change each nanosecond. Cells die, new ones are created, and each breath we take brings brand new oxygen into our lungs. Every force in the universe is in constant fluctuation—nothing is static.
    Rather than go through each chapter and comment on each suggestion, I will just list them, then make some general comments. Remember, books such as these speak to the individual according to how they're wired and where they are, spiritually, so there's no right or wrong way to interpret them. The important part is learning.

1) Rest in Openness
2) Act with Kindness
3) Notice the Moment
4) Recognize Teachers
5) Keep it Simple
6) Be Devoted
7) No Appointment, No Disappointment
8) Bless Everyone
9) Disconnect the Dots
10) Be a Mensch and Enjoy the Joke

    Fourteen years ago, when this was written, we were at a much different place, globally, as far as our perception of spiritual theories. The whole idea of us living in "The Matrix" where we are being mind controlled, plus the evils of chemtrails, and numerous other atrocities now going on were really not in the forefront as they are now. There was a much more innocent, positive, and loving attitude toward spiritual enlightenment, rather than the warrior attitude we are experiencing now, although, that was certainly present, just not as prevalent. I think many of us, who had done so much hard work on ourselves were beginning to wonder why things kept getting worse. Now, of course, we know why things are getting worse, and that definitely adds a different twist to these suggestions.
    Notice the Moment is a big one for me, and it is probably the one I've concentrated on the most since I read this book. It occurred to me that the only way the Controllers can manipulate our minds is by projecting the future into them, and we unknowingly act them out. I know they do this to us when we sleep. So it is my theory that if we stay in the present, they will have more and more difficulty messing with our minds.
    No Appointment, No Disappointment actually is also about projecting into the future. If we are constantly living in a projection, we miss those little portals that come along that allow us to step onto a different path. That's the reason I am not into astrology or tarot cards or any of those other future-telling devices. We have long held the attitude that there is such a thing as fate, but perhaps there isn't—perhaps we just get on the road and drive straight. We have to learn to see those hidden cross-roads, and we need them now more than ever to move in a different direction from where we are being led. When you wake up in the morning, you are not the same person you were when you went to bed, nor is anything else the same. Meditate on that one, because it has the power to shift us out of this global mess we are in. Create from moment to moment, not for tomorrow but for NOW.
    And that also goes for Disconnect the Dots. We need to do that constantly; we need to shift our patterns, moment to moment. Mr. Sluyter says: "The imaginary lines with which we connect the dots are the bars of our imaginary prison." I absolutely agree. Remember, nothing actually exists in the physical world. Everything is just tiny particles flying around what is mostly empty space. As we become more aware of that fact, we can become more fluid, less rigid, and on the road to freedom.
    Sluyter says "Mensch" really has no translation from the Yiddish. Wikipedia defines it as "a person of integrity and honor." H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche says: Be fully attentive to what you are doing, without ever taking subject, object, or action as having any true existence."
    Whether you agree with this philosophy or not, there is certainly food for thought here, and many opportunities for expansion of perceptions, so I would recommend this book to anyone on the path to enlightenment and freedom.


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