The Relevance of Kabir

INTERPRETING ANEW THE RADICAL 15th CENTURY PHILOSOPHER-POET

Tag: the relevance of kabir (page 1 of 2)

Todd Vickers to visit India in February – March 2017 | Meet the Author

Join us for for talks discussing The Relevance of Kabir with the Author Todd Vickers. The talks focus on meditation and questioning our beliefs. Keep an eye on this page for upcoming details on upcoming talks. To find out more  about the author, read his latest piece called Americans Need Indian Genius. Check out the Vivriti Blog for a taste of the this author on diverse subjects and view the short videos at the YouTube channel.

Todd Vickers publishing at Vivriti.org

“Who do you know who does not place a boundary around his love? We are afraid others will use us and that our desire for love makes us foolish. In deference to this fear, we try to be smart and use others in the name of love for our own ends. We become what we fear and keep things hidden from our mates, especially the secrets that…”  Read more at Vivriti.org

Todd’s content at Vivriti.Org

 

Todd Talk’s – March 2016 Talk at Lamakaan, India

Hello Friends,

I haven’t posted for a while but I’ve been busy. Thanks to the Vivriti Foundation, a seed that sprouted in the mind of my friend Chandra  Kotaru, I’ve been giving talks on The Relevance of Kabir and created 20 short topical videos in India. The foundation itself exists to share the self inquiry that I’ve written about since 1998 by sponsoring talks and creating content.

Check out Vivriti.org and let me know what you think.

Lamakaan after the talk

The new book cover

New Front Cover

Drowning in a house of eye shadow

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Disco_Ball3.jpgKabir honers the person who goes into the house of eye-shadow, if they can also leave. If we cannot get out, we will drown. We all go in but we don’t all come out. Quieting the mind (meditation) is a way out.

“[Kabir’s]… advice is to move both in and out of the illusions we create. Our thoughts offer more temptations than the most ornate bordello. If we fear to go into the mind, then we become ineffective to others and ourselves. We must remember that the fire that warms the hearth on a cold night can burn down the house and even the neighborhood.”

Excerpt: The Relevance of Kabir

The mind is a marvelous tool shed. Do not let it become a prison. The mind exists to serve life, not the other way around. 

“…Kabir says: “listen to me, brother!

The nest of fear is broken.

Not for a moment have you come face

To face with the world:

You are weaving your bondage of

falsehood, your words are full of

deception:

With a load of desires which you hold

on your head, how can you be

light?

Kabir says: “keep within you truth,

detachment, and love.”

 

Thanks to Wikimedia Commons for the image

Feelings From Fictions

Frogs“When our dream is love, we feel passions like sexual desire. When our dreams become nightmares, the fear engulfs us. We may forget the same mind that dreams at night is active while awake in a different way. While awake, our consciousness includes the sensations of the world and the affective power of our mind to induce feelings just as in dreams. We can experience the same intensity of emotion anytime as we do while dreaming, but, when awake, we would be wise to discern between publicly observable facts, and the interpretations, distortions and falsehoods that can be found only in our minds. Such clarity is less common than we might think.

We jump like frogs flicking their tongues at flies [or worms] on a… video; the poor creatures mistake the screen… for their dinner. We spend much time struggling with reflections in our minds. These cerebral enchantments lay hidden in our habits of thinking.”

Book Excerpt – The Relevance of Kabir

Todd is in India now. Stay tuned for a calendar of talks on the book tour

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Book CoverRegularly a $6.99

Download NOW for FREE  before the January 2016 talks in India. Please leave honest reviews at your favourite book sites .

 

Excerpt from The Relevance of Kabir

“Belief, right or wrong, affects our behaviours.

For example, my father returned late from work after being gone for several days. It was hot despite being quite late. My mother slept why my father disrobed and prepared for bed. He thought to open the sliding glass door opposite the bed to let in some air. As he slid the door open, he heard the faintest noise, in spite of the fact that he was hard of hearing. Being familiar with the sound of a hammer being pulled back on a 357 magnum, he said, “Honey, it’s me.” Then, my mother, who had been silent until this point, and had almost shot her husband, commenced to give him a piece of her mind in a rant that he did not contest. Take my word for it, my father was as close to dying as one can be and still live. You see, my mom mistook him for an intruder, and a naked one at that. All she saw was the silhouette of a naked man. What we believe matters a lot, especially when it is wrong.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have access to facts that controvert flawed beliefs. Still, when events threaten our viewpoints, we may excuse contrary facts as an exception to the rule and the beliefs stand as strong as before. The more serious the disillusionment, the more difficult it becomes to explain away contradictions. When events of our lives surpass our capacities to rationalize, then our confidence will shatter, particularly regarding beliefs about ourselves. Kabir’s poems take the place of disillusioning events to quicken our understanding about life. When we let go of prejudices, we gain access to alternative ways of responding.”

There is nothing but water at the

holy bathing places; and I know

that they are useless, for I have

bathed in them.

The images [gods] are all lifeless, they cannot

speak; I know, for I have cried

aloud to them.

The Purana and the Koran are mere

words; lifting up the curtain, I

have seen.

Kabîr gives utterance to the words of

experience; and he knows very

well that all other things are un-true.

Kabir,

Translated by Rabindranath Tagore

Kabir Scrutinizes Religion

ToddThere is nothing but water at the holy bathing places; and I know that they are useless, for I have  bathed in them.

The images [gods] are all lifeless, they cannot speak; I know, for I have cried aloud to them.

The Purana and the Koran are mere words; lifting up the curtain, I have seen.

Kabîr gives utterance to the words of experience; and he knows very well that all other things are un- true.

“Many people would call the above verse intolerant, but Kabir neither persecuted nor limits anyone’s choices. Do not confuse criticism with oppression. To challenge a belief by demonstrating a reason to think it false shows concern for others. Controversy is a difficult matter when one is in an extreme minority. Kabir expended the effort to help others in spite of the fact that the exertion did not raise him financially. His prose invites observation in judging beliefs. We can misunderstand facts, but, if we wish to challenge our ideas beyond verbal scrutiny, then experience will show us what is untrue through trial and error.

We have a sacred tool called experimentation and this long dead poet dares us to test our ideas. Furthermore, Kabir spoke this statement approximately three centuries before David Hume insisted experience was a formidable challenge to beliefs. Hume had the advantage of education; he learned the best scientific and logical methods of his time. Similar learning was not available to a poor weaver in 15th century India. Kabir grasped the argument he used intuitively. To cultivate such reason, almost completely alone, and against the popular ideas of his day tells us a lot about the integrity and capacity of this poet.”

Book CoverExcerpt: The Relevance of Kabir Available as FREE download (for now!)

Poem Translation, Rabindranath Tagore, [Public Domain]

A chapter In the book, Scrutinizing Religion,  I devoted solely  to the poems of Kabir that fault religion. Some people only meet a ‘whitewashed’ Kabir. After his death, the religions he criticised appropriated his words. I felt surprise when the largest supporter of this book, Chandra Kotaru, learned of Kabir as a school boy but did NOT know of the more daring poems.  If we only hear of Kabir as a ‘saint,’ then to meet his criticism of saints is a shock. This is one reason I took four translations and collated sceptical examples in one chapter. If we dilute our wisest benefactors from the past, we rob living generations of the inheritance these brave souls left as treasure for us all! Kabir is not the only poet to suffer this fate.  Greeting cards and calendars quote the beloved Rumi  but his poems involving sex seem curiously and often absent. To castrate the most intelligent is a vulgar crime that usually goes unpunished. The wonderful book Delicious Laughter by Coleman Barks is one of the books that corrects the lie of omission often done to Jelaluddin Rumi.


Listen to The Relevance of Kabir as audio with Google TTS

First download your copy of The Relevance of Kabir on your Android phone. 

Go to the Google Play store and grab this app 

Voice read 1
On the bottom click the arrow and expand the voice control menu.

Voice Read 5
Then click the change voice or language button in the top middle of the menu and configure your text to speach (TTS) settings to Google. 

Voice Read 3
Brows the files on your phone and find The Relevance of Kabir. 

Voice Read 4
Select the PDF and push play. You can adjust the speed to your liking on the voice control menu. 

Enjoy!

Rob Moore interviews Todd on Polyamory, plugs The Relevance of Kabir

RobMoorePicEarly in the 40 Minute interview on open sexuality Rob Moore of r0b1.com asked Todd about the new book project The Relevance of Kabir.

 

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