the consciousness concerto (the poem)

light descends
its quantum slope to solid matter;
particles and waves go frozen
to the space of time;

no rhyme, no reason,
just a quark of fate
in that

an atom turns to granite

and then ascends
in some organic movement
back towards light.

the vegetation, dna,
an animated circus of emotion.

this is the symphony of consciousness
we’ve just begun to hear;
it’s humming in our ears,
we are the humming in our ears.

our own descent
into the knot of physical
and psychic co-identity
beginning to untie itself
begins its own ascent:
not this, not this, not this!

like sunlight latent
in the grain of angel oak,
we burn!

the flame shall see it’s not the kindling;
the flame shall know that it’s the fire.

the world is burning
on the altar of our eyes;
awareness is the fuel
and self-awareness is the fire.

this life is but a speck of ash
arising in the smoke of mind;

not this, not this, not this!

i am the fire before
there was this flame i am;
i am the light before
this nuclear explosion
called self-consciousness
exploded in
i am—

not this, not this, not this;
no, yes, i am…that.

unimaginable and void,
nothing without the nothing,
no word, no form, no sound,
not even no, but knowing,
yes, no space, no time,
no substance—
the w/hole;

holy, holy, holy,
that is all.



space is my canvas and time is my brush.

consciousness is not only always fully expanded already, it creates its own expanse.

consciousness is whatever it wants to be but whatever it wants to be isn't it. tag, you're it!

holier than that.


when i understand, it is the universe that understands.

as real estate is all about location, reality is all about negation: negate, negate, negate.

complete negation equals full stop, and there you are.

there is no original sin, just that original thought: i am.

the doorway to no way is one way.


free son rivers!

someone on twitter wished this on me today: “may you fill many books with this, but sell none.” i found such a mixture of charm and curse to be quite startling.

it appears my words aren’t appreciated by this one, which is understandable; they often aren’t appreciated here hours after they’ve been written. but there appears to be an undercurrent of distaste at my having a couple of books for sale on this website.

so i wish to be utterly transparent here, both to others and myself, but ultimately, one. every son rivers book for sale here is for the enjoyment of the book form itself. all the words are free in another form elsewhere. furthermore, i assure you, the profit from any book here is minimal.

really, the fact that there are any book forms here has more to do with my two and a half years of unemployment and the resultant free time than anything else. there are no illusions that any of this can be profitable, nor should there be. even if the sun sets on my ability to stay afloat, i would never (and could never) use this work as a boat on which to float. but it is fun!

yet maybe i have not been as explicit about this as i should have been. so here are the projects i’ve undertaken and their various manifestations.

this has been my latest joy. i have been reading ‘I Am That” and tweeting selected portions, chapter by chapter at:
I also have been compiling the tweets at:
Lately, I’ve begun to post the tweets, 2 a day, at:
There is no book form, although I’ve been toying with the idea of creating a free pdf version when complete, which it will be on Monday.

Tao Te Tweet
this was a project from my @sonrivers 2009 timeline, that I have been recycling at:
and have collected in blog form at:
I’ve also created a Facebook page at:
where I’ve been posting one a week.
It is also available in book form at:
for $7.99, of which $1.13 is my share. The download was $4.00, of which, $2.01 was my share, but I’ve rethought that because of this incident, and have made the download free.

Much of this is a collection of tweets from @sonrivers circa 2009, which are available in blog form at:
They are also available in an edited book form at:
for $9.95, of which $0.81 is my share. The download was $5.00, of which, $3.21 was my share (outrageous, i know), but again, I’ve rethought that because of this incident, and have made the download free.

The Blog of Henry David Thoreau
Back in 2004/2005, I read the Journals of Henry David Thoreau on a daily basis, all the entries for that particular day through the years Thoreau had written, and posted a selection (under my non-nom-de-plume of Greg Perry) which resonated with me at:
I then created a book from which sells at Amazon:
and Lulu:
Because it sells at Amazon ($18.95!!!), the profit structure is a bit different than the ones above.
When sold at Amazon, the profit is $1.39, but when sold at Lulu, the profit is $6.57.
Because of that ridiculous price, I had created a second edition as a smaller paperback which sells only at Lulu:
for $6.99, of which $1.24 is my share.
There is another epub version available at:
which sells for $2.99, of which, $1.20 is my share.

Son Rivers Dawning
This is a hodgepodge of early writings, again as Greg Perry, and also available at Amazon:
and Lulu:
Sells at Amazon for $19.95 (needless to say, it never sold a copy there), of which my share is $1.60; and the share at Lulu is $10.98. The download is available for $9.00, and I’m keeping that one there. These are Greg’s writings; not mine. ;-)

An Other Road Into the Heartland
This is a collection of haibun written after a trip to Japan. A work of love.
Available for $15.95 at Amazon:
and Lulu:
Amazon revenue $2.82 and Lulu $6.79. Download at $9.00 ($7.20). Again, these are Greg’s writings, so they remain as is.

But most of the last two are available somewhere at my first blog:
although all but one post has been removed from Heartland, because the book went through several revisions, and the blog posts no longer represent the heart of the book.

That’s it, I think. Many books have been filled; only a few have been sold. So that curse really does not have much work to do.

In the name of love,
Son Rivers

seeing thinking as thinking is seeing

you see it that way because you think you see it that way.

you think you see it that way because thinking thinks there's a you thinking that you see it that way.

thinking thinks there's a you thinking that you see it that way because thinking thinks there's a you thinking that you see it that way.


the necessary threshold is through consciousness

Nisargadatta from 'Seeds of Consciousness'

August 18, 1979

Questioner: Why is the understanding so fleeting, changing?

Maharaj: It depends on the body sense. All people will
receive the knowledge from here, but the behavior of each
will be different from that of the others.

Q: Myself, I am holding on to the same consciousness,
and the understanding which is reflected in that consciousness
is changing completely from day to day.

M: Oh yes. This knowledge, "I Am," in the field of
mind-inclination, mind-understanding, will not remain the
same. It is changing every moment. It will never stabilize
itself on one understanding.

Q: So there is no such thing as final understanding?

M: The beginning and the end of this understanding is
the knowledge "I Am." The beginning of concepts started
with the primary concept "I Am." Having wandered
through all the concepts and rejected them, you have to get
rid of this last or the first concept.

Q: That rejection-does it come by the disappearing of
the last concept, just by giving it attention?

M: See this flame of the cigarette lighter? It has appeared,
it has disappeared; it's just like that. Has it got any
concept, this flame? What is without concept is the most
perfect, the most proper. The witnessing has to be done
when you try to concentrate on an objective. Suppose you
want to concentrate on a Rama, a Krishna, or a Christ, then
there is a question of concentrating or watching. This is only
the knowledge "I Am."

Q: The problem is, the more attention I give to consciousness,
the larger the concept which appears in the mind.

M: How do you focus attention on consciousness? Consciousness
itself has to focus.

Q: That is what I meant.

M: Understand consciousness and come to the conclusion
that consciousness is not yourself.

Q: I can't. I cannot!

M: Give it up! Whatever demands you make, I am not
going to fulfill. I am not going to meet your demands. I am
not going to give you whatever you want. I am just going to
tell you, to emphasize what you are. You want to convert or
transform yourself into something: "I want to become this,"
"I am going to do that." I am going to tell you what is the
root of you, the innermost core, what you are. I am not a
sculptor, you see, I don't make images for you, so that you
become that image.

Q: Where does this need of consciousness to see itself as
everything come from?

M: You know that you are, and you love to be, hence the
necessity. Although you have been saying that you understood,
there is some hitch somewhere, isn't there?

Q: One card. I am holding back one card.

M: Throw it out! Where is the loss? Give up the game.
You listen to my talks or don't listen. You come here or
don't come here. I know what you are, what you were prior
to your "I Amness." Before your parents met, I know you. I
know your knowingness after your parents met, how it got
transformed to various stages, how it developed in different
images, I know all that. Suppose a person is a hundred
twenty-five years old; since childhood he has grown into various
stages, learned a lot worldly things. Now whatever he has
learned or gained, everything has gone, and he is lying on a
bed, and what remains now? Only that child-consciousness,
that child-ignorance, remains. And that also will go. Will it
go to heaven or hell? No; the ignorance has sprung up and
the ignorance will disappear.

Q: The question then is, if that ignorance can disappear
only through that process of time or can it be stopped now?

M: Even in between. It is sustained by food and water. If
this is not supplied it will go, disappear.

Q: But it has gone in the case of Maharaj and there is a
supply of food and water there. So what I am asking is, is
that process inevitable, or can it just end now?

M: You have to meditate. It won't be available free. The
necessary threshold is through consciousness only. You have
to imbibe and be consciousness. In the process of being in
the consciousness, you come out of it, and there you see; and
meditation is the only remedy.

Q: The more you get into consciousness, the more impossible
it seems to transcend it.

M: Give it a fair trial. Be in beingness. Try to be in
beingness. You won't get it here and now. Step number one
is: Be yourself, be in your beingness only. Although, to start
with, I am the Immanent Spirit "I Am," you have to be in
that beingness without the body sense. You feel that you are
the body now, but when you abide in that beingness you will
know then how you are without the body. But don't forget,
at the same time, that body and vital breath are very necessary.
Once you understand these three entities correctly
[body, vital breath and the message "I Am"], then you are
apart. The knower of these three entities will not be caught
by the parents.

Q: When Maharaj was immersed in his beingness, what
exactly did he understand that made him transcend

M: You know TV? Meditate and you will know as tangibly
as you see TV. You will see then: I am not the TV
screen, the observer of TV is not in the set. In the process of
meditation, more knowledge will be awakened, will be realized
by you, and, in the same process, you will understand
that whatever you have understood you are not.

Q: That's why I was saying before that the more consciousness
was conscious of itself, the larger the concept, the

M: Yes, it will happen, a living cosmos, a million universes
are in your consciousness.

Q: What about the knower?

M: The knower and whatever is known, both will go.
Nothing will remain stable, permanent. This triangle, father,
mother, and you, how did it happen? Inquire about that,
meditate on that.

Q: Isn't it the same thing, father, mother, and I; just a
flow of that consciousness?

M: Don't talk, try to understand. Just talking about eating
will not fill your stomach, you have to actually eat. You
will not get eternal peace with knowledge derived out of
words, only by Self-knowledge, Self-realization.


time creates all sides (twitterverse)

time, time, time creates all sides, yes it does.

and i create time: voila!

particle itself is wave and wave is particle.

thoughtlessness is a state of too much thought.

without the thought of who i am, there is no me to be.

i am the am reflecting in i am.

thought is contagious when you think you're thought.

bliss is because it isn't.

la la la la la la la la la means whatever you want it to mean.

accept no name.

no name, no form, no meaning.

this buzzing booming confusion is that.

just stop the perpetual internal infernal thinking machine.

you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows; it blows for thee, by thee, and in thee.

scientific materialism is the opium laced with amphetamine of the people.

no mountain, no powder, no skis.

snowflakes are spontaneously appearing.

all roads lead to silence, even the one that goes through rome.

all ways, or paths if you will, whether convoluted or not, teach only one thing: how to be quiet and let reality have its way with you.

when your way is reality’s way, which it is anyways, for you’re not the ‘you’ you think you are, but reality itself, there’s harmony & bliss.

if not, then suffer.

nobody has something to say.

whatever you think isn’t.

as consciousness is a reflection of the absolute, one's action is a reflection of one's understanding truth.

in the name of love.

you're nobody's fool.

my path is this; quietly i wait for that.

none of this is my idea.

not a word of it is true.

all the world's the past, and all the men and women merely more mind.

repeating the mantra "goo goo g'joob" shall help you realize that you're not really a walrus.

i thought i had a thought just then.

how many atmans can dance on the head of a pin?

consciousness is like a universe of tinnitis ringing in the the ears of that silent absolute.


Books Am I?

I've recently updated an Amazon Listmania with descriptions so thought I'd post them here:

An Awakening Canon
(course, there are no canons. there are no testaments. there are no teachings. but this is my canon towards a testament of teachings)

1. I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta by Maharaj Nisargadatta

Classic. Pure Satcitananda. This Is That. trans. by Maurice Frydman (David Godman, editor of Ramana Maharshi, Papaji, etc, once asked Nisargadatta: 'In all the years that you have been teaching how many people have truly understood and experienced your teachings?' He [Nisargadatta] was quiet for a moment, and then he said, 'One. Maurice Frydman.') Thus it's filled with wisdom on every page.

2. Pointers from Nisargadatta Maharaj by Ramesh S. Balsekar

A great work by Ramesh Balsekar that looks at Nisargadatta's teachings in detail, using a mixture of lengthy quotes from the sage, descriptions of the satsangs, and some explanations. N's last days. Balsekar's own writings tend to the overly cerebral, but this one is tempered by his devotion to the Maharaj.

3. Be as You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi by Sri Ramana Maharshi

This is the now-classic rendering of words from the timeless silence of the great sage Ramana Maharshi. Just looking at his photo will teach you more than most books.

4. Maharshis Gospel: The Teachings Of Sri Raman Maharshi by Compilation

David Godman believes the second part of this was edited by Frydman (see comments above). I see why; as in I Am That, there are fearless questions meeting the fearless.

5. Maha Yoga by K. Lakshmana Sarma

A great look at Ramana Maharshi seen through the lens of Upanishadic wisdom.

6. The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment by Adyashanti

Adyashanti's look at the questions that awakening itself asks. I love Adya. His voice itself is a teaching.

7. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle has said he wants his teachings to be the confluence of the streams of Ramana Maharshi and Krishnamurti. He led me to both. And Nisargadatta as well! An important popular contemporary teacher.

8. The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing: The Second Ancestor of Zen in the West by Ted Biringer

This is the one book on zen that I get. Or it gets me. Or rather get gets get.

9. Silence Of The Heart by Robert Adams

Great Los Angeles version of Ramana Maharshi.

10. The Book of Secrets: 112 Keys to the Mystery Within by Osho

So many Osho books, where does one begin. I list this one only to get something tantric in the mix. But most of them revolve around some classic text, teaching, or teacher. He's a coyote, of course, and wise, of course.

11. The First and Last Freedom by J. Krishnamurti

This may be his best. It illustrates why pyschological thought is inherently divisional, and therefore love is the only wise response.

12. Standing as Awareness by Greg Goode

Some direct pointing to your self. And since I can't get a copy of Atma Darsan by Sri Atmananda unless I'm willing to pay an obscenely perverted price. But this little book of wisdom stands on its own.

13. What's Wrong with Right Now? by Sailor Bob Adamson

I like Bob.

14. Spiritual Warfare by Jed McKenna

This is his third book, and maybe not the best overall, but I like the take on manifestation. It's more like a novel and so not really pure teaching. But good stuff! Oh, and nobody knows who Jed really is.

15. The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind--A New Perspective on Christ and His Message by Cynthia Bourgeault

Bourgeault may currently be the most important teacher in returning Christ Consciousness to the teachings of Jesus. Her work is outstanding, and comes directly from the heart. This book, in particular, is astounding.

16. The Voice of Knowledge: A Practical Guide to Inner Peace by Miguel Ruiz

I include this here because it was so important to my own development. And much of it still stands up to inquiry. If some teachings are kindergarten and some, graduate level, then this may be nursery school. But most never get out of daycare! It is a beautiful book and a great beginning point.

17. The Principal Upanishads: The Essential Philosophical Foundation of Hinduism (Sacred Wisdom) by Alan Jacobs

The fount.

18. The Bhagavad Gita (The divine conversations) by Alan Jacobs

The river.

19. Tao Te Ching by David Hinton

The Tao.

20. Song of Myself (Shambhala Centaur Editions) by Walt Whitman

The first American hymn to the Self.

fyi: covers and links can be found on the right sidebar (and, by the way, Amazon doesn't always get the author's name correct, so I corrected them here. i think.)

isha invocation transcreation


that is the w/hole.

this is the w/hole.

from w/hole, the w/hole is manifest:

the w/hole is gathered from the w/hole…

and the w/hole remains.

om shanti shanti shanti.


new england isha

blue is the sky. snow is the sky.

from sky, the sky has come to earth.

the sky has fallen from the sky.

and sky remains.


soul ray me

incipient piano play upon the soul ray me.

if I = x and x ≠ x, then I = suffering.

investigate meditate 'i am' and wait.

just enough is happening right now.

you were in my dream the other night but i wasn't in it with you.

if it isn't raining or snowing, is it spacing?

that was now.

does the tree rise to meet the sun or does the sun pull the tree towards itself?

knowing every no knows the only yes.


democratic kind apocalypse

i am, therefore i am not i am

even evil is an expression of love

you will never know, no matter how much you know

really, paradox isn't paradoxical

your self is a figment of your self

the less said, the more truth

vodka carousel and alabaster tambourine arundel a rooster awakening goodbye

democratic kind apocalypse and eucalyptic laxative tuxedo laredo rodeo oh shanana olana

upanishad elation ashes always walmart masturbation shimmer mirroring inactive liverpool penumbra

an apple palimony maple salivates forever avignon and on and off surrender love me tender dental talcum power hour in our river very

believe the lovely lotus lies and live beneath the neverland of what the fuck was that supposed to mean oh never mind