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Nonduality Salon (/ \)

Nonduality for the People

Part One

Each part in this series consists of emails posted to the NDS list during October, 2000, mostly by Germans discussing national identity, national experience, national wound.

I recognize and personally know the rage and emotional charge elicited by the word 'Hitler'. These articles are about facing that pain on a personal and national level; by moving into these articles, these letters, the reader will have to face his or her own pain, rage, and separation. --Jerry Katz, editor

I welcome the feelings, I welcome the pain. Until I cannot see god in each pair of eyes, until I cannot feel god in the persecutor and in the victim I want to feel the pain of separation. Until I cannot cry with whatever is done to others and feel the compassion and until I still want to run away I want to feel the pain of separation.


by Ellie Seidel
with others

Entering the Salon

I have just subscribed now because I want to be part of the game. How beautiful a game in non duality letting all standpoints be. And then I suddenly read that people are thrown out because they are mentioning certain names. Does non duality stop when the name Hitler is mentioned. Is there suddenly duality again?

You have mentioned that a German has unsubscribed probably because of this. I do not think so. We Germans have carried this wound, This guilt. This has brought us to the work in consciousness as also Pou has mentioned in his letter. I was with Osho Rajneesh and Germans and Jews were the biggest population there.

I am interested to see how this will develop. How will the game go on when suddenly limitations are displayed. Are still the old wounds which will come up in the non duality?

It is interesting you wanted to through out Pou because he mentioned Hitler. Now you got more mails about it and mine. I always see that I create what I resist most.

Clinging to ... past experiences creates a picture which is then projected outside and prevents the realisation inside.

The Nonduality Salon is the first Online email Community I have participated in. However I have been exchanging emails with some friends and this is how I heard about it. The topics have been among other things nonduality and how to bring awareness in everyday life independent of any particular teacher.

When I started the journey a long time ago it helped me to see in Osho Rajneesh the enlightened one and that love, awareness, beauty are possible. If I were to continue to do this today that would be a limitation in the sense that I would identify enlightenment with one person and this is a hindrance to fully realise the love and light in myself. It is my belief that the clinging to memories of the past and past experiences creates a picture which is then projected outside and prevents the realisation inside. This picture of the past I called Osho Rajneesh projection in my letter.

I have met teachers and friends from different spiritual directions and this has helped me not to get stuck with one picture and not to take a picture for the real thing. I am grateful to meet more friends in the Nonduality Salon and to get more different view points.

Only I can do the cleaning process and it does not help to say there is 'no I'

Even though I am not a Satsang teacher and only on the very first steps to be a realised being, the glimpses of non-duality and the seeing that there is 'no I' has enabled me to feel my patterns in daily life where I get identified. Before there was just denial. It is like in a house when the light is coming then you can start the clean up. It is my belief that only I can do the cleaning process and it does not help to say there is no I.

I get some understanding of what perhaps the Tibetans mean when they say the Gods can stay there for hundreds of life times, in order to become a Buddha they have to come to the human realm again.


Thank you also for your reply. I agree with you fully that the realisation that there is 'no I' is where one enters the path. Not many Satsang teachers here in Germany would agree with it. When I look to the east to traditions like Zen or Tibetans they did not speak about enlightenment very often. The focus was on the work, on the Sadhana. For me it feels sometimes like an enlightened kindergarten in the west. And like you also others are pointing to the way. It is my believe that we have to find a western way, we cannot copy the east to realise how you call it complete awakening, with full integrity.

I am living on in German...and I can be on fire

Dear Betty,

Thank you for this words you have written:

I also know that I am still pretty cut off and that there is plenty more to be felt. Spiritual life seems to demand that denied aspects of myself, such as my racism, my coldness and lack of love, come up to be fully felt, blessed and integrated. It is hard work! Thank you and love from Betty Barlow
For me it is the same work. There is so much to be felt. I am living on in German you would say 'Sparflamme'; and I can be on fire. This is the work to become the fire, to allow god in.

And I see with each feeling not felt I push him away, with each concept how something has to be I deny him.

Yes and this work needs to be done here in the daily life in Germany. Twenty years ago I was running away to India, to look for god there, I was going away from myself.

It brought me back to here and now. And also when the understanding is there that there is no I, my heart is still calling out for god. Till it is not one with the beloved and can praise him all the time, till all this pattern and this shame is standing in the way to full realising him, there is no contentment in the heart.

Yes it touched me what Pou has written about the Jew praising God, thank you Pou for this. I love the poems of Rumi. I want to praise god the way it is meant through me.

Much love Betty, lets do the work

I am meeting Hitler again

Dear Elly,

By reading your e-mail it was shot in my mind: When I become myself, the evil is unleashed, thousands of people will die. The worst will happen. I have that even when I want to sing.

So I better become anything but myself.

I always thought that this was based on my personal childhood. But it seems bigger than that.


Dear Hans,

Your mail got me. Yes there is the fear.

On the personal side my parents, teachers did the best so there was no chance to be myself.

On the collective side I am meeting Hitler again. Hitler was himself. This was his power. The worst has happened.

It is my belief that on the way to realisation something like Zen was in the east is needed. I am not speaking from my own
experiences but what I read and what I heard it is leading through intense times and guidance is needed.



Why not simply laugh about it, take myself not so serious

Mark (Otter) you wrote:

Humor can be used like anything else for non-helpful means, but if you have a practiced sense of humor, you can see the irony in this and that is funny too. (this is my theory, but I am still testing it.) We are mean to each other to try to ease our pain, but our pain arises from being mean to each other. We are mean to each other to defend ourselves, and that defense is the very source of our need for defense. gotta laugh (or cry) (or both)

Dear Mark,

Thank you for your words, for your humour. I love it. I believe that I am not simply here just to realize that there is no I. We are here together. We can share. I want to play with you all.

Yes and then there are the defences I meet on the way. Yes and then my German way sometimes reacts to this and wants the defences down. I start working to bring them down, in the sense of fighting them and this makes them stronger. It is avoiding the feeling of them. Why not simply laugh about it, take myself not so serious.

Mark can you help my German disease of seriousness???? How to start with humour!!!

The shame of being a German is still in me

Dear Leela,

My parents were in the big crowd who just did not say anything and did pretend that they did not know anything about KZ when it had happended. As a child I asked and did not get any answer. As a young adult I challenged them went to the protest generation!!! You should have known!!!

This shame, this avoiding of feelings brought me to the search. And the search brought me finally back to myself. In not feeling my own pain I am projecting it outside, in being blind that I am my own jailer I am putting this on Hitler.

In Germany there is more Satsang than anywhere else in the world. The bad part is still projected onto us, the Germans, we cannot project it out any more. The opposite is true: wherever something happens like this it reminds us of our shame!!!

Leela, when I have yesterday thanked you for mentioning the courage of your father, it was because the shame of being a German is still in me. I know there had been many who had had this courage. When I was confronted in my youth with the full truth (before it was hidden from the adults because of shame) I have read endlessly stories of these courageous people. It was the only way I could stand this pain!!!

Dear Royal,

When I believe that something is negative then I also experience it in this way. When I try to avoid something it brings it nearer. I think I cannot escape it. I can only work with what I believe and then beliefs can change. Perhaps this work is also the sharing here about Hitler, shame of the Germans.



Thank you for illuminating this for me. It is, I admit, a struggle for me to see the negative aspects (or what I see as negative) of life as a manifestation of God. Though I 'know' that all IS. I seek further unfolding in this area.

Love, Royal

Why are only the Germans talking about their collective shame?

Elly asked:

I am wondering whether the Americans do not have a collective shame. Is there no shame for what was done in Vietnam. Why are only the Germans talking about their collective shame????

Michael Read responded:

The sins of our fathers/mothers are not our sins. Their deeds are not our deeds. Yet we are affected most deeply by those sins and deeds.

To offer a personal perspective on this, I offer my own life. Raised by an abusive Mother and an absent (non-support paying) Father life was extremely frightening and at times hideous for my siblings and I.

When I became a father (two beautiful and now grown daughters) I vowed to break the chain of abuse and neglect. This I did with determination a supportive wife and therapy.

Last year my sister, brothers and I were there when Mother died. During that time we had many close and heartfelt talks about the way we were treated as children. My siblings asked why we had to live like that with a mother like that. (No, you don't get the details - just take my word for it - it was very bad.)

When I opened my heart and looked inside for the answer the others were asking, this came out. "We would not be the strange, beautiful and wonderful people we are today if we had any other person for our Mother."

My dear German Sisters and Brothers, you would not be the strange, beautiful and wonderful people you are today had you been born in another land. (You would have been some other kind of strange, beautiful and wonderful people!) :-)))

I love you without question, without end. Now, I offer this. Love your parents and grandparents. They were/are only playing out the roles given by God. They are the catalyst for your being.

And for cryin out loud! Drop all that shame as soon as possible! It's quite as unbecoming as a booger on your finger! heeheehee

On another topic - USA's shame for Vietnam. When our fighting forces came home from WW's I and II they were treated like heroes. When our people came back from SE Asia they were totally ignored.

We had not only lost the war, we had murdered women and children in the process. All because we feared communism! While it is/was legal to be a member of the communist party, this country felt it had the 'moral imperative' to stop communism in other countries.

We also have the burden of 400 years of slavery. This has caused such a deep wound on the American psyche that it is only now beginning to heal.

All over the world (and on other planets as well) this is the eternal script. To grow from barbarism to awaken to the infinite beauty of the universe.

I for one am so happy that the Universe never tires of the play.

Hi Michael,

Thank you for speaking also of the shame of the Americans. We can meet each other when you speak of the shame when the Americans realised what had happened in Vietnam or the old shame regarding the native Americans.

To the end of your letter where you speak from awakening as growth from barbarism to infinite beauty of the universe I want to add something.

When I see the polar bears dying When I see the Japanese fisher slaughtering dolphins When I see more and more rainforests destroyed in South America

I feel sadness, anger. I suffer and I do not want to change this with any non dual concept, I want to feel deeper.

It might very well be that in near future there will not be any earth in duality any more where the non duality can be played on. We got may warnings, also Osho Rajneesh has spoken about it

My believe is that I can change something!!! But for this I have to work with my concepts and believes which have created the world like it is.



Andrew Macnab wrote:

I see plenty of wilful ignorance, complacency, denial about the shameful things our various governments get up to in the name of "the people" right here and now. I really don't think that the human race learned much from the events in Germany.



Dear Andrew,

Thank your for your answer. I agree with what you wrote: I cannot imagining myself into feeling or think myself into it.

For me it is more an allowing. And it is a learning process to feel again. On the one hand it is natural we are all born with it, on the other hand we are conditioned not to feel. Here in Germany little boys are trained not to cry, that this is childish.

So what is happening is that there is numbness instead of feeling. And for me it is work to come out of this old conditioning.

For me it is natural to feel shame when somebody calls me a typical German because of the past also when I was not part of it. What are you feeling when you are in the parts of your towns where only poor black people are living a life which cannot be called worth living. I once drove in there accidentally when I was living in Boston and I was feeling fear because my friends had warned me. I do not know what you feel but I think there must be feelings when you see these parts of your so-called rich country.

Without feelings there is even a very dry enlightenment. When
I hear some of the western young lions asking "Who has these problems? Who is suffering?" I do not smell the flavour, I feel something is missing.

I love the Sufis, I love the poems of Rumi. I love these songs, singing of the Beloved. And my heart wants to join in these songs. And there are lions who sing just now!!!!!!




Melody wrote:

Hi Elly,

Maybe it was because here in the States we have the right of free speech. Here one is allowed to disagree with the policies of the government.

Likely, there is not a collective shame about the atrocities of Vietnam, in my estimation, because it was the collective who spoke out against it so forcefully that the government was forced to put an end to it.

(Unfortunately, that same 'collective' then treated shamefully those who fought 'as patriots'.)

Every time our government makes its presence known in other parts of the world, there is much communication and debate at
home concerning the appropriateness and the effectiveness of our actions. It's only a guess....but maybe that's why we don't seem to collectively carry shame about our political life.

In our personal lives, that's quite a different story. Privately, individually, we are substantially shame was beautifully and painfully depicted by the 'drama' played upon the world stage by our own President Clinton these past few years.

Elly again:

Yes it is good for me to hear when you speak about the shame what you are feeling when you see what the American government is doing. I feel fear!!! The American nation is now the most powerful nation in the whole word. It has the power to destroy the world. And your president is starting wars because his personal reputation is lost!!!!

This planet is so beautiful, it has giving birth to consciousness, it is vulnerable too and it can be destroyed very easily.

And I am also thinking during we are talking that other human beings like us are being tortured, suffer, how many wars are just now. Many do not have any chance to speak of non duality. How rare this chance is of free speech. There are countries where you get killed when you talk about what we are speaking. I want to say this here. I just think of Buddha who did not want to enter into heaven till all other sentient human beings can also enter. This is for me the real enlightenment when you enter back fully into the world and feel with all sentient human beings.

Love to you


It is my believe that everything has to be felt and taken back into myself. Otherwise I create a new birth with exactly what I am resisting against

It is my belief that as long as I am recreating these limitations in me on what level ever the war will never stop. This planet we live on has no boundaries they are in us. And they are brought into light when wounds are touched.

Sometimes life is also to speak about this and not only to use sweet words. To feel the limitations and sometimes to share what is happening is for me the way I can expand.

I have not said in my letter that it is important to feel strong or proud. What I have said is that there is avoidance of certain feelings because of the shame what this is bringing up. It is like when in the rainbow a colour would not be there. It would not be a rainbow.

The same is with our lost culture. Of course I do not mean Bach. I mean the poets whose books got burned. I mean the philosophers whose words got misused like Nietzsche and I mean the old Celtic roots and even the old Indian-Arian symbol which never can be used again.

Perhaps it is needed to be a German to feel this. I am asking myself why you are only commenting and trying to find loopholes in the argumentation. Is there some resistance to feel with the Germans (the German identity played in the play of duality and we can only play in duality and speak and argue nonduality). Perhaps you have been a German in your last life
and you are hiding now in an identity which is playing save and intelligent. It is my believe that everything has to be felt and taken back into myself. Otherwise I create a new birth with exactly what I am resisting against.

There was no way any more to make any nation wrong

I am also one of the Germans who prayed for the end of the war in Vietnam, who suffered with this.

When I was a child I have got a picture of the Americans as the bad guys. The mother of my mother and her sister were killed running out of a train with other people out of fear of bombs but then the planes came back and went deep seeing there were only old people, children (I have never spoken about it till now). When I was a child I did not know what the Germans have done. I found out later. And I can remember the pain of the girl when she did find out, reading everything she could get about this time. The pain was so strong. I went against my parents, why have they not done anything to prevent this. I was fighting against war, this shall never happen again.

There was no way any more to make any nation wrong. (And like what you wrote from being in Germany, I was living two years in America and I liked it very much, enjoyed the playfulness, found friends there). Is it not the human who is doing these things in the name of any idea and then like the Vietnam Vets are left with their human experiences alone when the idea is not suitable any more? Is it not that we always want to come out of the human realm, the duality, because sometimes it is so painful and we just cannot?

The Denied Holocaust in North America: a missed blessing?

Jivano writes:

My eyes are blue (plus grey plus green sometimes), my hair was blond. My father was a member of Hitler's party, an active believer, a volunteer and officer in the army. He was killed in action without having seen me face to face.

Under Hitler about 6 million people were killed in the concentration camps, I've heard. Their golden teeth have been broken out, their property was stolen long before their rest in the gas chambers. Their corpses were put into big common graves. The war was lost anyway.

This shame is present in German history and presented to the public discussion for 55 years by now. The Germans as a group take it and carry it - and even try to compensate for the wounds and pains which was created by them collectively. The property has been given back where possible. The German law now allows anbody who is persecuted for his politcal or religious standpoint to immigrate into the country. We are having classes in our grammar schools which consist solely of non-German speaking children.

Under the grandfathers of the population of the USA about 17 million red Indians were killed, I've heard. Their main food-animal was killed in such large amounts, that the shooters had to cool their barrels with water. Only the fur of the bisons was taken, the corpses were left lying there - stinking square miles. After fighting the Indians it was not uncommon to take their scalps as a trophy and leave their corpses where they died. It was a war over the land and the white men won it.

This shame is still present in the History and common subconscious of the North American. They still think, the land is theirs. A public world-wide discussion has never happened, the property has not been given back to humanity. The USA has the strongest immigration laws of any big western nation (and put a famous spiritual teacher and his surrendered disciples into prison, because they just wanted to live there and stretched the laws a little for that). No wonder that the USA has such an high rate of murder and rape and such a low detection rate. They put everything into the subconscious and that's boiling and bubbling.

I presented the theme in this way, not to wash the Germans clean, but to give our American super-heroes something to wake up to their own common reality.

I have asked about the shame in Americans. Only two have responded and stated that there is. You do not think there is anything in your country you can be ashamed of? You are not feeling shame for the wars your country started in the last 30 years? And you see immediately the Germans at war???

Dear Jivano,

I totally agree with your letter. I really do not understand why the Americans do not see any personal connection to their past and I want to ask you all? Is it not that we live from what our forefathers did science, art, technique and of course also wars, crimes. We are living with the positive results form inventions like electricity and the whole North America is living as a result that the land was taken from the Indians.

For me it is time to look into history and to atone. I have read prophesies from the red Indians that it will come back onto us what was done to their people, to the land.

Is it not time that we openly speak about this? Speaking about what has happened is giving the dignity back to those who were ashamed, killed, their land were taken. And is it not so that actually we are giving it back to ourselves.

In Germany what has happened was so strong that there was no way to deny it. And this is a blessing. It has us brought us on the way.



Celebrating the Strong Mind

Pou writes:

Dear Elly

Respect to the brothers in the hood!

Elly, it's always fascinating reading your written perspective and in your sharing of your Germanic essence and the expression of that feeling.

Another viewpoint,

I spend most of my time hanging out in the most Jewish hood in the UK and its fascinating, it's very very rich, there are no street people, everything is in order and by God, it's going to stay that way. Anyone who even remotely looks like they are about to step out of line and there is a squad car immediately on the scene. Why? Because money buys protection. Well, at least in this hood anyhow. Go to a black hood and the law enforcement will turn up when and if there is time...

And Elly, I'll go on with this viewpoint - all the streets in this beautifully manicured neighborhood aline with cars that are made in your fair country. As I walk these fair streets, car after car is either a BMW 7 series, the biggest latest Mercedes, all the Audi range, the total range of BMW's, Porsche in abundance with a scattering of the latest Jaguar's and Rollers. There's a suburb in Munich called Schwabing that no doubt you are familiar with and what blew me out there as an auslander, is that it looked like the Porsche demonstration showroom. Everyone there drives a Porsche.

You see Elly, here in the UK it's rare that people talk about the war. When people talk about Germany, they mean football... and to the English there is no greater accomplishment than to beat the Germans. No-one else gives such a satisfaction of success than to beat the Germans. There is a secret love of the Germans here. For the English here to their psyche the Germans offer the greatest challenge. The rest of Europe to the English simply is a problem.

The Queen of England is from a long line of German aristocracy. Tony Blair speaks French. Prince Philip speaks German

It's amazing Elly, NATO has a new fighter plane called the Euro fighter. It can fly in any weather, any time or day, and can hit any target. And who built it? You guessed it. Your mob!

Love Pou

Dear Pou,
Thank you for your answer. Yes we Germans forgot that Einstein was a German, yes he was also a Jew, that a lot of Germans came to America during the last war and were the technical minds behind.

There is still much identification with the shame for the past so this does not get expressed. Why not celebrate this strong mind of the Germans?

The spiritual identity tried to kill this mind and we Germans were very good in this. But why not celebrate it and decorate it especially also the fabric made in Germany.

Love Elly

I want to feel the pain of separation: the presence of anti-Semitism and neo-naziism in Germany and Austria

Dear Pou,

I feel helpless, I feel shame, I feel anger.

I am actually Austrian, born in Austria, where also Hitler was born and where there is now a right wing party in the government.

I had a protected childhood where no torturer came in and mistreated me or my parents and exactly the people who were
my parents, teachers were associated with the people who did
this what you described. It is painful.

The wounds are still bleeding.

To see from the viewpoint of these people the Austrian government is causing pain for me. After the war everybody said never, never again. And now it is only a political discussion whether this Haider has really said something or meant what he said.

Nobody wants to know. The own comfortable life has become the priority.

For me it looks like that after the war forgetting was most important, forgetting what was. And so the victims with the bleeding stayed alone. There was no atonement (beside the material one) for what has happened.

And so it comes back again and again. And I cannot escape to there is no I.

I do not want that this happens again in Germany!!!! I feel anger that the Austrian government, the new Anti-Semitism in Germany is so quickly put under the carpet here, that we do not see in TV what you are seeing in UK in TV here.

It is good to speak about this here.



Pou wrote:

Dear Hans

I do appreciate your sincere sharing here. Sometimes we all need a warning shot between the eyes. I've just been sitting my little house though I don't have a dog to beat and I do go off to my little job in the mornings but back to sitting in my little house. Actually it's a one room bedsit; you know the ones that have been rented out for the last 30 years and they never change the couch or the mattress. But anyway, I was watching on my old TV tonight a programme called "Kinder Reisen" (Children Travel). There was a programme about young German Jewish children who escaped the Nazis 60 years ago and were brought to the UK.

They were interviewing these adult children of the Nazis era today. Of course many of them remembered their experiences of having young SS men come into their parents homes and put rifle butts into their parents heads and smash all their teeth out and smash their eardrums, abuse them in such horific manner, it is beyond belief.

You know Hans, after listening to these people speak who are in their 60's, 70's, 80's today who became doctors, lawyers, professors, members of British Parliament. After hearing them speak about the way they were treated by the Nazis I got a deeper understanding why so many people today stiill totally and utterly hate Germans. You know Hans, it's not going to go
away. These people on the television show were crying their eyes out on this programme saying they wake up at night and relive the terror of watching their parents being smashed to pieces by men wearing swastikas on their arms by the Barbaric
treatment - the insane insanity of people who were once considered to be the most academic cultured refined people on planet earth - the German people.

Hans, tonight I had a paradigm shift. I got it for the first time why so many people hate you. And what makes it worse Hans, is that I hear this weekend in a central court in Munich the far right wing neo-nazi party which is a legitimate party in German democratic democracy is having a public meeting. Can you believe this Hans? A neo-nazi leaglised public rally.

Hans, this is not a good look. It does not look good to the rest of Europe when the Austrians today have a neo-nazi far right wing anti-semetic anti-auslander supportive parliament in power.

You know, Hans, in Bavaria, in the Bavarian parliament, there are many politicans who support the Austrian Stance. Hans, I have many Jewish friends who do not at all appreciate how the
Germans at large have become acceptable to the idea that it's okay to speak of anti-semitism again in Germany.

Hans, I have no idea how old you are but my father when he was 18 went to Italy with his National Force to kill Germans. He came home completely fucked up mentally, along with thousands of other men that survived physically, but mentally are so severely dmaanged that today like these German Jewish
children who were ripped from their parents never have really
survived. Physically yes, but psychologically the wounds are still bleeding.

There is a lot of talk on NDS about the fact there is no 'i' - how do you feel about this?


Ellie responds:

Yesterday after reading what Pou has written about what he had seen in the UK TV there were a lot of feelings.

There was identification, the shame of being German, there was blaming why nothing changed.


I often feel dumb when I am reading what you all write, this is painful.

But in this feeling suddenly I can speak again and again.

I welcome the feelings, I welcome the pain. Until I cannot see god in each pair of eyes, until I cannot feel god in the persecutor and in the victim I want to feel the pain of separation. Until I cannot cry with whatever is done to others and feel the compassion and until I still want to run away I want to feel the pain of separation.

I do not want to stay on a plateau called there is no I. I was with a master who has warned that there are many beautiful islands which are so inviting to get stuck in.

I want to fully feel, to cry with those who have been hurt, to feel with what I see on the TV. I want to become fully human and not to escape!!!!

What are you feeling Americans when you read what Pou has written about the possible next US president. And please do not say, you have left this box where this is happening and go back to your non duality chit chat.

I could not believe reading a response to Hans asking whether he has eyes. Hans had written about this chit chat. Sorry Judy when should you offer your service in Germany I will not come. I am not interested in happy days. I am interested to live fully, alive. The days might be happy, sad, joyous, angry, blissful.

I also could not believe past responses to my shame that you do not have any nationality or are multinational or that you have free speech and so everything is taken care of.

I feel fear when I see who can be the next president of the most powerful nation in the world. And for me this is an issue to talk here. When it is not here where else can we speak about it?????