|What Am I? Galen Sharp
THE NONDUAL DAILY NUGGET
July 8, 2000:
William Segal on National Public Radio
July 9, 2000: Parents, by Marcia Paul and Gill Eardley
July 10, 2000: Sages and Methods, by Anonymous and Harsha
July 11, 2000: Wisdom Competitions, by Terry Murphy and Jerry Katz
July 20, 2000: Diamond Hill Monastery Retreat
July 21, 2000: Death, by Christian Duranczyk, Jan Barendrecht and Dan Berkow
July 22, 2000: Paying for it: my take on the issue, by Gene Poole
July 23, 2000: A Wink and a Nod, by Michael Read
July 24, 2000: Smell the Perfume of Happiness: Satsang with Francis Lucille, by
Onno Van't Klooster, translation by Mira
July 25, 2000: Breaking the Speed of Light, by Sandeep Chatterjee
July 26, 2000: Ecofeminism and Nonduality, by Charlene Spretnak
July 27, 2000: Reincarnation, by Gene Poole
July 28, 2000: On Gurus, Teachers, and Awakening, by Dan Heller and Others
July 31, 2000: An Awakening Recalled, by Andrew Macnab
August 1, 2000: Collecting Stories, by Dan Berkow and Andrew Macnab
Fifty years ago in Japan there were still some places where one could go and hear, usually a woman, a flute player whose sounds went right to your gut, they really touched you. (the sound of the flute)
William Segal on National Public Radio
Jim Metzner reports on the life and career of William Segal, who has become the subject of two short films by Ken Burns. Segal crossed paths with some of the most influential people of our era, from Henry Luce to the Dalai Lama. After years of success in the field of publishing, he abandoned his quest for material wealth and began a study of Eastern philosophical traditions. Now in his nineties, Segal focuses on writing and painting in New York City. (8:00)
note: don't mind the slightly goofy interviewer; his final statement is very good and he is bringing the interview to people with varied backgrounds and interests.
Thanks to Alan Kuntz for recommending this.
The time expanse of life seems all as one whole. I travel from childhood to old age in a seamless way.
by Marcia Paul and Gill Eardley
My father has been
dead now almost two months. It is really different to
have my parents dead. Both of them. I never really
grieved for my mom as I had my dad and all his needs. Now
they are both gone. It is strange to walk the planet
knowing neither one of them is here.
They were so much a part of my life. I never moved away from them. I never really left home in a way. Now they are gone and it is a much different world without them. There is a big hole in my heart and yet in a way they are not gone. I don't feel as if I will never see them again cause I have them right here. But I miss their immediate
It gives me a much broader outlook on life. I see life in a much bigger way. The time expanse of life seems all as one whole. I travel from childhood to old age in a seamless way. It is all one whole.
I feel very honored to have been present at each of their deaths. It wasn't smooth. I mean John (my husband) and I were not even sure my dad was dead. It was one of those life situations where nothing prepares you for it. But we managed. We did the right thing. We made him look good. We got the kids up and we each said good-bye.
Gill Eardley contributes:
Rainer Maria Rilke on the death of his father:
*Within my deepest hope*
As for myself, what has died for me has died, so to speak, into my own heart: when I looked for him, the person who vanished has collected himself strangely and so surprisingly in me, and it was so moving to feel he was now only there that my enthusiasm for serving his new existence, for deepening and glorifying it, took the upper hand almost at the very moment when pain would otherwise have invaded and devastated the whole landscape of my spirit. When I remember how I - often with the utmost difficulty in understanding and accepting each other - loved my father! Often, in childhood, my mind became confused and my heart grew numb at the mere thought that someday he might no longer be; my existence seemed to me so wholly conditioned through him (my existence, which from the start was pointed in such a different direction!) that his departure was to my innermost self synonymous with my own destruction.. . , but so deeply is death rooted in the essence of love that (if only we are cognizant of death without letting ourselves be misled by the uglinesses and suspicions that have been attached to it) it nowhere contradicts love: where, after all, can it drive out someone whom we have carried unsayably in our heart except into this very heart, where would the "idea" of this loved being exist, and his unceasing influence (: for how could that cease which even while he lived with us was more and more independent of his tangible presence).., where would this always secret influence be more secure than in us?! Where can we come closer to it, where more purely celebrate it, when obey it better, than when it appears combined with our own voices, as if our heart had learned a new language, a new song, a new strength!
(To Countess Margot Sizzo-Noris-Crouy, January 6, 1923)
Gill's website: www.allspirit.co.uk
If one ever has to choose between a guru (spiritual teacher) and the truth, one should always choose what one feels deeply as the truth
Sages and Methods
by Anonymous and Harsha
I subscribe to the methods given by Ramana and
Nisargadatta. However, because they discovered them and
had bestowed upon them the Grace which would allow them
to teach the methods to the world, and to teach them
simply by their presence, doesn't mean they hold an
exclusive primary knowledge of those methods, leaving
others to hold a secondary knowledge.
Very many can go back to childhood and recall a time when they asked a question similar to 'Who am I?'. That too is a Grace bestowed upon an individual. It may not lead to a flowering on the order of Ramana, or a facility with words on the order of Nisargadatta, but it can be valued, contemplated, meditated upon, and one can in time determine that it is a teaching or method on the order of what Sages teach.
It doesn't automatically mean that a person who discovers the inquiry independently is as spiritually developed, as smart, wise, charismatic, intelligent, insightful, useful, powerful, beautiful, graceful, impactful as a Sage.
It only means they independently discovered the key to the Self. That independent discovery is going to be as powerful than anything a Sage says or is, because it is a direct teaching. It's direct knowledge. It is the Sage.
I have experienced that is was Rajneesh (Osho) and Adi Da (Da Free John) who cleared the garbage away so that I could seriously re-visit my childhood experiences in which inquiry was discovered and mantras were given. Those men were the garbage men. Ramana and Nisargadatta were already at my heart. They were what I already was. Rajneesh and Adi Da showed me that. In current days, as a more refined 'garbage' constantly imposes itself, I have found that the people on the lists have replaced Rajneesh and Adi Da. Gene Poole has made a great effort, publicly and privately, in that regard.
Harsha: I remember (Anonymous) writing sometime ago that when he was young he thought something like, "no matter what the sages say, I am still me or still will be me ......." Dan has said something to the effect that, "Hold no head above your own." Profound understanding, it seems to me.
Once when I was 13 or so and sitting in the verandah quietly, I had a clear sense of the past. Then a strong stream of thoughts arose again and again and I thought it was my obligation to state clearly that if one ever has to choose between a guru (spiritual teacher) and the truth, one should always choose what one feels deeply as the truth, regardless of who the teacher is. I remember the arising of those thoughts spontaneously and with an amazing force to indicate clearly that a genuine teacher is not separate from the truth and can therefore can impart such a teaching. So when Dan says, "Hold no head above your own", it makes perfect sense.
"let him who is the wisest among you take away these cows."
by Terry Murphy and Jerry Katz
'wisdom competitions' are well known in spiritual
literature. Two very notable examples are from the
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and Shankara's famous debate
with Mandan Misra.
In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, it is said (I quote):
"Janaka, King of Videha, on a certain occasion, performed a sacrifice and in connection therewith distributed costly gifts. Among those who attendeded the ceremony were the wise men of Kuru and of Panchala. King Janaka observed them and wanted to find out which was the wisest. "Now it happened that the king kept a thousand cows enclosed in a pen, and between the horns of every one of them were fastened ten gold coins. "'Venerable brahmins' said King Janaka, 'let him who is the wisest among you take away these cows.' "The Brahmins dared not stir, save Yagnavalkya alone. "'My leaned son,' said Yagnavalkya to his disciple, 'drive home my cows.' "'Hurrah!' cried the lad, and made for them. "The rest of the Brahmins were enraged. 'How dare he call himself the wisest!' they shouted. At last, Aswala, priest to King Janaka, accosted Yagnavalkya, saying: "'Yagnavalkya, are you quite sure you are the wisest among us?' "'I bow down,' replied Yagnavalkya, 'to the wisest. But I want those cows!' "Then Aswala began to question
From there the Upanishad proceeds to detail the great question-and-answer session between the sages of Janaka's court and Yagnavalkya. Eventually the sages had no more questions, and Yagnavalkya's disciple drove home his cows.
In Shankara's famous work, "The Crest-Jewel of Discrimination," the first chapter speaks of Shankara's life. I quote:
"Shankara began his teaching among the scholars of the country, converting the teachers first, and then their pupils. One of them was the famous philosopher Mandan Misra. Mandan Misra held that the life of the householder was far superior to that of the monk, and his opinion was respected and widely shared throughout India. Shankara determined to argue with him, and journeyed to his home. When he arrived, he found the doors locked. Misra was holding a religious ceremony and did not wish to be disturbed. Shankara, with the mischievous spirit of a boy in his teens, climbed a nearby tree and jumped down from it into the courtyard. Misra noticed him among the crowd. He disapproved of monks - especially when they were so youthful - and asked sarcastically: 'Whence comes this shaven head?' 'You have eyes to see, Sir,' Shankara answered saucily: 'The shaven head comes up from the neck.' Misra lost his temper, but Shankara continued to tease him, and at length the two of them agreed to hold a debate on the relative merits of the monk's and householder's lives. It was understood that Shankara, if he lost, should become a householder, and that Misra, if he lost, should become a monk. The debate lasted for several days. Bharati, the learned wife of Misra, acted as umpire. Finally, Shankara was able to convince Misra of the superiority of the monastic life, and Misra became his disciple. It was he who later annotated Shankara's commentaries on the Brahma Sutra."
The Buddha, in the "Majjhima Nikaya," argued with various itinerant monks; one gets the impression that good-natured (or not so good-natured) contests between various holy men were one of the major entertainments of the day. And certainly the Zen Masters were well-known for their dharma contests.
Jerry: An alternative view of the interaction between Sages is seen where Da Free John declares that he'd transcended Muktananda's realization; from The Knee of Listening:
"Throughout their meeting, (Da Free John/Adi Da) conducted himself lovingly and with devotional humility. Even so, their discourse confirmed that (Adi Da's) Realization transcended that of His Guru, and that He could not develop His own Work in the context of the Swami's Yogic tradition. Therefore, with the end of that interview (Adi Da) formally ceased to relate to Swami Muktananda as a Devotee, although he always thereafter expressed his love and gratitude for the help he had received from the Swami."
In this type of relationship I see no competition, no winner or loser, and no claim of wisdom.
Also I like what Andrew Cohen is doing, having conversations with other sages. I don't sense any competition between himself and other sages.
I can't envision two nondual sages in a competition. It makes me think of the story from the Desert Fathers:
"There were two elders living together in a cell and they had never had so much as one quarrel with one another. One therefore said to the other: Come on, let us have at least one quarrel, like other men. The other said: I don't know how to start a quarrel. The first said: I will take this brick and place it here between us. Then I will say: It is mine. After that you will say: It is mine. This is what leads to a dispute and a fight. So then they placed the brick between them, one said: It is mine, and the other replied to the first: I do believe that it is mine. The first one said again: It is not yours, it is mine. So the other one answered: Well then, if it is yours, take it! Thus they did not manage afterall to get into a quarrel."
Now if there were 30 elders on an email list instead of two in a cell, it might be a different story, a prolonged thread, but the overall spirit would be the same: "if it is yours, take it!", although some threads get very heated and don't end so graciously, and these may be called out-and-out competitions like they had in the old days!
This was a remarkable retreat. A total and effortless celebration of Love and Self. It was very much an in-person extension of the activities of NDS and HarshaSatsangh.
Diamond Hill Monastery Retreat Confessions
I have just returned from four days in another world. I have returned from Nowhere.. a landscape of the Living Heart.
A veil opened and we entered... for a span of space within and without time... a trueness.
A trueness buoyed by open gracious heart.
The trueness appeared as facets.
Apparent facets of diversity.
Diversity needed to be heard and known.
Compassion and joy were the food.
Diversity was seen through as emptiness.
Diversity was seen through as All.
I traveled with an understanding that an aspect of what is being
revealed is how to be with others in essential awareness beyond the
objectification of the personal.
Locus of awareness kept flickering.
In and out of personal and impersonal love.
Knowing Itself through form and formlessness.
Greg for your solidness and authentic, exuberant presence. For the Awareness meditation; for your gesture of purchasing a sound system and bringing us, chants, nondual music and especially the Afro-Cuban music. Our joy was matched.. chanting, and you drumming to our salsa dancing in the Zendo before Buddha, Quan Ying and the fireflies. I thank you also for planting the expanding seed of space in our hearts and minds.
Gloria, gracious host, for your soulful radiant eyes, open heart, stunning generosity with having handmade mugs for each of us... and for being my eternal sister.
David, for the alive dialogue entered seamlessly as we transitioned from the core we've already touched in other mediums. For grounding the awareness of our different rhythms. For your depth and intelligence and for entering the music with me.
Nora, for touching my mother heart, for your vulnerability and for the gift of the tee-shirts with OH's three questions on the back. As we took Michael to the airport, people kept reading Jerry's back and smiling.
Harsha, for teaching us how to correctly pronounce your name (folks, its articulated as "Hirsha" or "Hursha"); for the twinkle in your eyes; for the openness with which you receive everyone, and mostly for finding this Shambhala where the veil could open and envelope us.
OH.. what can we say! We thank you for simply Being There; for your vision (inner and outer), for your fine magic, for leading dirvish whirl, and for the song you gave us. I also thank you for being my graceful dance partner after your dance hiatus of 22 years!
Victor, for the earnestness of your inquiry, devotional heart and your exuberant playfulness.
Biff (Gloria's husband) for supporting and sustaining this gathering, for your elegance and your story.
Mark, for your vulnerability, humor, poetry, music, eyes, jelly roll hug and for introducing us to ..
Mary, for reminding me of my roots, for being a mirror as we danced, and for teaching us all that there are no strangers anywhere.
Michael, for being larger than life while being totally empty, and for being a playmate through various rhythms for days.
Petros, for adding the fullness of your human journey to the clarity of your posts; for your humble heart and kind eyes.
Andrew, for your living eyes which see so deeply and radiate Self and for awakening the crystal pattern wave movement within me.
Jerry, for the openness of your being and your capacitance to listen to the collective whole with discerning, kind and humorous heart; for midwifing this entire adventure... and mostly for where I find you as echo.
Dolores, for nourishing the seeds of Jerry's vision.
And I thank all of you who were not there in person, yet whose presence was ever in our hearts and words.
Yes, Dave, it was a full moon eclipsed time and we thought of you as we looked up, knowing you also saw this same moon.
Bruce and Judi.. there was no phone anywhere near the Center.. but we called you, nonetheless. Mark even dedicated a song to you, Judi.
For the long wooden table in the kitchen, which rarely was unattended. For the beauty of the Monastery overlooking trees and lawns and a pond. For the amazing bell rung each day at 7pm evoking a deep resonance to entrain upon.
For the balance of the ordinary kitchen with the aesthetics of the Zendo meditation hall.
For the various types of frogs calling to each other.
For the fireflies.
For the path with steps leading nowhere.
For the way our Hearts became One.
For the Silence.
Tonight I read Gene's words.. spoken, perhaps, in a different context, yet they speak to something known this weekend.
Perhaps it is useful to point out, that as a person reaches out 'experimentally' in order to touch things, thus to 'see what happens', that the feedback they receive (what seems to happen upon touching something), is itself what eventually defines the boundaries or 'parameters' of what is assumed to be self. That is to say, that there are areas in which touch (of any kind) produces discernable effects, and there are (apparently) areas in which touch produces no discernable effect.
There were oodles of moments of touch, in myriad of ways. There were
occasions for each of us to recognize these 'parameters' of assumed
self. Again and again.. these assumed boundaries were dropped to no
discernible effect other than unspeakable aliveness.
May this seed of aliveness grow everywhere as we do nothing and love
with tremendous gratitude,
Read: Just back to the cottage from the retreat.
Having no qualities to call my own, this is offered from
the Avadhut Gita:
Why do you weep, O mind? Why do you cry?
Take the attitude: "I am the Self!"
O dear one, go beyond the many;
Drink the supreme nectar of Unity!
You are the Self.
Rejoice or be quiet.
You are the Self.
Peace - Michael
David Hodges: Alas, no Sitecam, no broadband to show you the love, smiles, laughter, dancing, whirling, poetry, and fellowship of that gathering. I am back home with many wonderful memories and a joyful heart. This is indeed a vibrant community. It feels like the dawn of time and we have all awakened in some post-historical Eden free to create the world as we see fit. From the virtuality of cyberspace to the actuality of Diamond Hill Monastery was not a big leap at all, indeed, it was a homecoming. It was wonderful to discover Harsha's loving ability to bring the best out of people in conversation, Christiana's dancing grace, OH's surprising embodiment of clarity (she is anything but an Old Hag!), Nora's abiding presence, Andrew's warmth and light, Victor's laughter and his propensity to break out into song, Jerry's ability to sit with his elbows on a wooden kitchen table for 14 hours at a stretch, Michael's compassion, Mark and Mary's joyfulness and love for eachother and for us, Gloria's gift for keeping such a individualistic bunch on some kind of path, Biff's oneness with the group, Greg's teaching clarity and the way he beat time to Afro-Cuban salsa using an upended meditation stool, and Petros's articulate interiority. Plus we had some good cigars, lots of rain, and some terrific bullfrogs calling from the pond down below.
Greg Goode: As
seen from here.
This was a remarkable retreat. A total and effortless celebration of Love and Self. It was very much an in-person extension of the activities of NDS and HarshaSatsangh. There were endless stories and conversations at the 12-person kitchen table. Plus, we had book exchanges, and few activities in the beautiful Korean zendo which was a Kwan Yin Hall (Kwan Yin, the Bodhisattva of compassion). It was right in our building! We had meditations which were seated, walking, talking, and whirling meditations - all celebratory. There was salsa dancing, sitting on the lakefront, walks in the woods, and an outing to eat pizza.
We want to do it again. One of my friends, Michael Rosker here in NYC, is not a lister, but wants to come along next time. After hearing about it, he declared that in 15 years of spiritual activities, he'd never heard of a group outing with so much grounded love and clarity. Petros might come down NYC-way to hang with us one of these days, as Petros and Michael know many of the same people across the
The only lister I had met face-to-face before this gathering was Christiana. So everyone was brand new, even Christiana! Here are some capsule description/impressions as seen from here, of the wonderful and beautiful people at Diamond Hill. I THINK I got everyone. Please remind me and forgive me if I forgot anyone. The monk who made our meals while we were jabbering at the table seemed to smile and perk up his ears at the conversations.
Andrew - A wry, witty, intelligent sense of humor that is always kind. With an unerringly accurate ability to sum up any conversation in fewer than 10 words! Might be a breatharian, I don't remember seeing him eat anything, even though he came for pizza with us...
Biff (Glora's husband) - So far, not a post-er to NDS/Harsha. Razor-sharp intellect, combined with tender curiosity and an open heart. With salt+pepper hair and beard, like a wise scientist or a dignified ship's captain.
Christiana - Living, serving compassion combined with psychic and intuitive and artistic abilities, always there for any/everyone at every moment. Dances beautifully to salsa, and likes spicy curly fries.
David - Sweet, tender and selfless, with radiant angelic energy emanating from his physical form and kindly face. I wanted to talk to him some more but he had to go home before Sunday. Posted great driving directions, saving us from major traffic jams on the drive through Connecticutt.
Gloria - Divine-mother energy, honest and courageous. The actual backbone of the retreat. Gave us form and direction, or we'd have sat at the kitchen table aimlessly yakking for 18 hours a day. Brought her sweet husband Biff. She has a touch of a Southern accent, a beautiful way of drawing out words, especially as heard with NYC ears!
Harsha (pronounced "HERsha") Our fearless HarshaSatsangh leader. - Always joyfully celebrating everyone's uniqueness and special-ness. Impossible to feel bad in his presence. Likes fruit and tea for breakfast. Much better looking than Deepak Chopra.
Jerry - Our fearless NDS leader. The guy who, the closer you look, just isn't there. Always giving everything to everyone else, like the compliments we give him, and love and other stuff. Well, everything except those whipped-cream-filled chocolate Devil Dogs he likes for
Mark - A loving, beating, giving poetic Heart, temporarily taking the form of a human being. Introduced the Jelly Roll not food, but a unique and wonderful way of saying "I love you" with a lot of feeling and a Zen twist at the end. I'd never seen it before!
Mary (Mark's wife) - So far, not a post-er to NDS/Harsha. The most beautiful brown doe eyes, very much at home with 14 people she'd never met. I wanted to talk to her more!
Michael - With a face like Jack Nicholson and a great, rock-solid, psychic strength, he continuously celebrates everyone's existence as awareness Itself. If someone has a belief that they are a this-thing or a that-thing, or if they have a concept that they are somehow not really OK, then just hang with Michael for a few seconds... Likes
pizza with hot Italian pepper.
Nora - Vast depths of multi-cultural awareness, a bibliophile, with a prodigious memory, and a great navigator with a map. Always had water and fruit for everyone. Has beautiful children that we all fell in love with from the photos. Loves Prince Edward Island.
o.h./Indra - Neither old, nor a hag! Beautiful and radiant with a touch of Southern accent. Because she said she really has no name that fits, and because of her effortless way of reflecting what others feel/think/say, I would like to call her Indra, after the jewels in Indra's Net.
Petros - Tender-hearted, open curiosity, with an encyclopedic acquaintance with satsang in the Western world - I wouldn't be surprised if he someday wrote a book on that phenomenon. I'd buy it! Brought Dunkin Doughnuts for everyone, and holy water from Ammachi. Hope he comes to NYC some day.
Victor - Been involved with Tibetan Buddhism in the U.S. since the 1950's. Falstaffian bearing, looks like Swami Satchitananda, especially with the robe we made for him out of a colorful bedsheet. Has the enthusiasm and wonder of an energetic schoolboy.
After I returned from Diamond Hill on Sunday, I got a message that my father had passed away on Saturday night. Actually, right about the time of the salsa dancing. He had been very ill, often painfully, for 2 years. A few months ago, I went to see him in Seattle for what I knew would be the last time. It was a nice meeting, clear, un-encumbered, loving, spacious.
Greg, sweet heart,
May your father be free from suffering
May your father be clear
May your father be happy
May all beings interpenetrate your father as He wills.
Hodges: At lunch today I went to sit on a bench
by the harbor. I live in New Haven, which is home to the
newly built replica of the Amistad, the slave ship on
which Cinque and his fellow slaves revolted against their
cruel masters. The Amistad came to New Haven where the
former slaves were tried and set free.
So this completely new replica of the Amistad now sits proudly at the wharf in New Haven, and hordes of people are visiting it. It is a genuine fake. It is a real, sea-worthy ship, but only a replica, a copy of that which it represents. Yet people don't care, genuine fakes are mostly what our whole lives are about these days, from Disney World, to tv, to movies, to virtual experiences of all kinds. Even when we do things like fall in love it is often a copy of the real thing, we construct it according to patterns we have learned about from others.
So, anyway, my visual field was full of activity - sky, clouds, harbor, water, ships, people. My auditory field was full of traffic noise and the breeze, and my skin also registered the breeze, as well as the heat of the sunlight. I was trying to get into the pure Witness state and the thought occurred to me that consciousness consists of that of which consciousness is aware, and then I thought, no, that isn't right, consciousness persists as we go to sleep (I have remained aware while entering sleep), and, according to reports from people like Ken Wilber, persists into deep dreamless sleep. And, after death. So consciousness is. It shines whether or not there is something in its field. I remember that light that appeared in my awareness over a year ago and that is still here, and I think it is the pure light of consciousness.
Within this view, the so-called "witness" seems somewhat vague and shadowy and unreal. It seems like less of a feature of the verifiable awareness field than it did last year.
The idea that Greg gave me via his subtle-body meditation, of the illusion of locality, is very helpful. The idea that consciousness is local is an illusion. The idea that what I was seeing today at the harbor was of a particular time and place is an illusion. It is an illusion brought on by our habitual perceptual methodology of triangulating objects in time and space for convenience. But in "Reality" this isn't true, and thus, non-localized Reality provides a convenient way to surf from time/space locus to time/space locus
We are bound by what we know. Our knowledge makes everything we perceive a genuine fake.
So knowledge creates another perceptual blinder, a way to structure that which is inherently limitless.
Meanwhile, back to consciousness. If I stay focused on the shining independent consciousness, no matter whether it seems to arise in my head or chest or on some minor planet of the Sirius sector, something happens. The Ramana I-I feeling starts to arise. Energetic stirrings are felt in the right-hand heart center.
It is an interesting thing to note that I still don't know why attention is so different than consciousness. For this only works when I work the attention muscle to stay in radiant consciousness. When that muscle relaxes, which it is wont to do, attention wanders all over the place and I "go to sleep" for a while. Why is that?
I think there are energy fields, or M-fields (Rupert Sheldrake's morphogenic fields) that do that. Attention normally runs along M-lines that have been created through millenia of human existence. Only by applying a vector-energy can we break free. Note that the vector energy required is really not that much. The chains that bind us are weak and easily broken. So the path to self-realization consists of establishing new M-lines sufficiently strong enough to break the attraction of the old ones. So it isn't a matter of "spirituality" or anything like that, it is a matter of establishing vectors that set attention in a new heading. That's what meditation
So I left my bench by the Harbor, itself a genuine fake, and head back to work, feeling good, celebrating.
Greg-Ji! Your powers of observation are quite remarkable.
You have captured the essential love and fellowship of
the retreat perfectly and you exemplified that love with
your presence among us.
I wanted to wait to write until everyone got home from the retreat. Jerry and Andrew had driven the longest distance and so got home after everyone else last night.
To be with you all was indeed a cause of celebration and the weekend was pure and never ending delight that expands into infinity.
We were bathed in Andrew's gentle eyes and smile, Biff's heart felt fellowship, silence, and sharing, and Christiana's deep sensitivity and compassion.
We were enveloped in David's purity and radiance, Gloria's caring and sharing and her beautiful heart of a mother for all of us, and Greg's kindness and wisdom and taking the time to teach us.
We were gifted with Jerry's companionship and support, good humor, quiet eyes, and his courage and honesty and commitment to us all (Jerry came to the retreat having had an operation a few weeks before).
Mark's radiant and spontaneous smile energized us and Mary's instant and total comfort with Mark's friends (us!) delighted us.
Michael's overwhelming beauty and presence captivated us, Nora's deep sharing from the heart and her embracing us as her own moved us.
Amrita's (OH) quiet smile and joyful and peaceful company filled us with joy. Petros's sharing about his travels on the path enriched us with the beauty of his story.
Victor's laughter made us laugh and his tears made us cry. Victor penetrated our hearts.
If I recall correctly, Michael, of overwhelming beauty and joy said, "I came with no expectations and they have been fulfilled (or surpassed)!"
Perhaps that sums it up for all of us. We came with no expectations. Love and fellowship brought us together, sometimes from long distances. We found it easy to hug and embrace each other as brothers and sisters. We found it easy to tell our stories.
It was the purest experience of joy. Thank you.
With love and gratitude for all your gifts. Thank you.
One could say we return to the Void, but that raises the question of "who left the Void", when and how could such leaving take place?
by Christiana Duranczyk, Jan Barendrecht and Dan Berkow
night I asked if you'd help me see how human death is
perceived from this understanding, spoken of here, as
nondual. I suppose that asking to explore what death
means from a nondual perspective, appears as a bit of an
JAN: It sure is, as there can't be life without death and vice-versa. All human bodies, even planet earth itself, could be called a collection of stardust - the remains of stars that died long ago.
CHRISTIANA: So, I'm entering an inquiry here, with the awareness that this is tricky territory in terms of arriving at agreement of perspectives, as well as it being fundamentally a mute question, from the perspective that self is a bounded construct, which as David so clearly articulated, does not appear when the vector (nagual) shifts.
JAN: Inquiry is useful in matters like "what dies" as well. As factual nonduality could be called the absence of the sense of "I and you" (the "I" thought no longer arises), one might wonder what "remains": one's feelings (each feeling could be be called a collection of hardwired thoughts or "system" conditioned interpretations).
CHRISTIANA: As I more and more find spans of space without objects, I recognize the proximity of this collapse of *thingness* of self. When I underwent the profound shock of sitting with my mother's dead body, it was quite evident that no one was there. What is not as evident for me is the understanding that no one is here when our bodies are alive. If no one is here, then no one dies. Does this negate concepts of karma or dimentional lifetimes?
JAN: Although anyone (intimately) familiar with k. could acknowledge the observability of other "planes" of existence and could extend karma to those planes as well, it could be(come) one's experience as well that all these other "planes" of existence will be "absorbed" in the same way as they came into appearance. Ultimately all things will be(come) absorbed again and without things there can't be karma. Another "hint" is that the Buddha made a distinction between sentient creatures and non-sentient ones (nirvana without substratum); no karma without sentience.
CHRISTIANA: So, while most traditions have some teachings about the transition of soul beyond the body, I don't know what an Advaitan understanding of this is. Is death merely a return of form to the Void? Is there any essential soulness of being which remains within Consciousness?
JAN: The most simple perspective of becoming "enmeshed" in worldly life is that of unconditional love (UL): because UL could also be called tolerance itself, it accepts conditioning after conditioning, and after each conditioning it loses some of its self-aware radiance, until it has completely forgotten its pristine nature and conditioning (read life, fully determined by thoughts and feelings), seemingly reigns supreme :))
CHRISTIANA: I sense these are naive questions, yet they move in me to ask them.
JAN: The loss of a loved one is unavoidable and the question "who/what dies?" is a justified one. Sentient life can't exist without thoughts and feelings; factual nonduality or the "removal" of the "I" thought, which gives host to a myriad of other thoughts and feelings, is but the tip of the iceberg. The death of the sense of "I" is the death of but one feeling and yet it is the "highlight" and "goal" of all religions and systems of meditation :)
BTW, don't interpret the above as to judge all thoughts and feelings as "negative" or "to be avoided". That would equal the avoidance of life itself and create a conflict as by being alive, one has accepted it already, and unconditionally :))
DAN BERKOW: Christiana, These strike me as useful questions to address, not "naive" in the sense of irrelevant or superficial. Your questions move me to look with you at what happens when we formulate theory. I share what has proved useful for me - if it's not useful for you, disregard ;-)
It is not that theory is bad or wrong, it definitely has its uses. It's just that there is always a limitation involved when we formulate theory. Being aware of how this limitation is involved in theorizing, we then use theory with awareness (which is useful in day to day situations that involve thought, memory, language, communication).
In the example you provide, we might involve ourselves in formulating at theory "there is no one here," and then try to see what this means in terms of dying. This theory might have some utility, but it might also serve as a limitation, particularly if we take this theory about reality to be "true".
Taking our theory to be "truth", we then naturally want to continue it and build upon it, perhaps by seeing what the "true concept" that "there is no one here while the body is alive," means in terms of karma and multidimensional lifetimes.
Next, we elaborate our theory by seeing death might mean return to the Void.
All of this is fine, except that there is limiation involved to whatever extent there is identification with the theory-maintaining and theory-building process itself. There is also limitation if we take our speculation about reality as a means to understand what reality *is*.
It seems potentially useful here to assess the extent of our identification with thought, even in the process of pondering presumably useful constructs. Perhaps there is a possibility here, not just to investigate theory, but in this present moment, to dis-identify from thought constructs as believed-in mediators for reality-experience. If we do this, thought opens to its own "emptiness", which as seen here, is a very useful awareness.
"what is" has never, will never, be fit into a theory, nor will a theory ever substitute for immediate awareness *as* "what is" (beyond the word/construct "immediate awareness").
If seen clearly, one will find that words, although they have a structured way for being presented coherently or noncoherently, actually *refer to nothing*. The self or "me", believed-to-be using thought to understand reality, disappears the instant there is disidentification with thought, seeing the essential illusion involved in thought, memory, and the perception linked with thought and memory.
My "self" or "me" can be seen as an imaginary reference point for the continuation of the thought process as a developing structure over time. No investment in continuation no self to affirm or negate. If there is an agenda of continuation, an investment in continuity of thought, of the self-process, it doesn't matter whether you are affirming that there is no self, affirming that there is a self, or negating a self. The energy being "attached" to the continuation of that thought process is thus useful to notice, regardless of the presumed "insight" expressed in the content of the thought process.
The reality "out there" to which the theory/thought process is to be applied (be it death, life, a building, a tree) turns out not to be "out there" - as "out there" turns out to be a thought construction. I can realize this and still use thought, still use theory, but I realize that the question of death isn't so much something to which the theory will be applied, as it is involved in questioning that very process (attempt to continue moment to moment) itself. It is in questioning that "tendency to want to continue" inherent in the thought-process itself that I notice the Reality that *is* as discontinuity (as seen from thought's perspective - in and of itself, it is neither continuing nor discontinuous).
The important thing, as seen here, is not the theory that "no one is here while the body is living", but the actual inquiry into "who am I that believe myself to be formulating a theory about whether or not someone is here while the body is living?".
If there is mental activity involved in "carrying forward" the construct of "no one being here while the body is alive" ... the very mental activity is the attempt to maintain a sense of continuity for "me" - it doesn't matter that this sense of continuity occurs through maintaining a theory that "no one is here".
This is similar to the theory that "All is One" which, if brought forward as a believed-to-be-true construct, becomes continuity for the mental activity of "bringing forward" a construct that is applied to experiencing.
The reality of "nothing to bring" and "no one to bring it" is the reality of dying as living. It isn't a theoretical proposition. The Void is exactly "this", not something to be encountered at a future piont in time, not a subject for speculation. One could say we return to the Void, but that raises the question of "who left the Void", when and how could such leaving take place?
The "body" is actually a construct, a theory, and the death of the body is the loss of the basis for continuing that construct built around experiences such as "feeling," "breathing," and "eating". Certainly the "body" resists its demise, and "we" attach to that resistance, and attach to others' bodies in the process. Yet, all of this activity is conceptual, not Reality.
The fact that we address these constructs in day to day life and perception tends to hide from us the fact that they are, indeed, constructs, and not Reality (which *is* beyond the constructs "life" and "death," "is" and "is not").
Paying for it: my take on the issue
by Gene Poole,logo by David Hodges
Try it this way:
'God' issues us a 'blank check'. We can fill in the amount and cash it.
Experience fills in the amount, and it is called 'identity', or what some refer to as 'ego'. I prefer the term 'identity'.
We try to 'cash' our check to 'get' the rewards for having 'learned by experience'; in other words, we assume that our experiences are like 'money in the bank', which we can spend for forwarding of our mission of becoming whole and complete. This takes various versions, such as 'healing', 'enlightenment', 'realization', etc.
We assume that there is something to learn, which has 'redeeming' or 'transformative' value; we fill in our check to that amount, and then try to capitalize upon it or 'cash' it.
Now, there is an unseen trick in this, however. 'God' gives us the blank check, but also slyly provides everything for free, AKA 'Grace'. What we have, then, is a situation in which a person has access to all the 'money' (experience => identity-structure) they want, but in reality, money is never needed, because nothing really costs anything. It is all freely available at 'Grace-Mart' (which is wherever you
Seeing this seeming paradox, a person is free to erase the asking amount on the check, to return it to the blank condition, and live by Grace alone.
We have here another tie-in to Freud's second-stage ('anal') retention-related period of development, which is known to be centered in 'control' of self and other. Persons 'fixated' or stuck in this phase, are renowned 'control-freaks', who use their own conditioned (retained) self as the metric or standard by which all others are to be compared and judged. It is no surprise, then, that the retentive tendency works on the basis of equating money with identity-pieces, accumulated and retained (saved) for 'making a better life'.
An 'identity-crisis' is similar to unexpected bankruptcy; a person sees themself to be without the essential underpinnings of existence, money/identity. This is a crisis only because of the unexamined assumption that money/identity is actually needed. In this case, a person will often feel hopeless, having 'lost' the precious check and the amount of experience it represents, all the while unconscious of the free abundance all around. It is the expectation that something is 'attainable' (income), and that it can be used to 'get' a benefit, which makes the building of an acceptable personality, the equivalent of the 'Pearl of Great Price'. Perhaps you have read that classical story.
So, the blank check, the availability of experience, the assumption that something can be gained, the careful or haphazard construction of an identity-structure, the fanatical retention of this precious article, and the expectation that all of that can lead to better place, to the removal of suffering, is all occurring in an environment which features FREE goodies, as much as are needed.
It seems to me that it takes a while to see that bankruptcy of identity is actually an opportunity to go on 'welfare'; to become a 'worthless welfare bum', living for free, with no worries of having to hoard experience (AKA 'learning'), identity Being freely provided by Self.
Realize your MasterCard! Zero interest, prepaid, accepted Universally! *
When I told her that her ordinary conciousness was the Self, she appeared a bit startled!
A wink and a nod
by Michael Read
Since returning to
Portland after the retreat I have been having such a
wonderful time. Every moment is fraught with the
delightful sense of being. Just being.
These 'events' have occurred. ------- At dinner with a friend: I asked her if she wanted to know the 'secret' of 'enlightenment'. Of course she said yes! I told her that her ordinary conciousness is the true Self. Well, she just started to glow! Then I told her that this understanding removes worry about 'going' to heaven or to hell. She then began to worry about her ill and aged father. She said that something survives, surely something goes on. Then I told her that her father's conciousness is the Self too! She started glowing again! :-)
The next day on the phone with another friend: I asked her the same question. She of course said yes. When I told her that her counciousness was the Self, she just said, "Oh, I already knew that!" HAHAHAH :-)))))
The other day at work taking a break outside with two co-workers, both young men (18 and 20) we were talking about 'religion'. One said he has been studying all kinds of religions from Christianity to Moslem to Buddhism and it just seems that the thing to do is be a good person. The other said his viewpoint is Christian based. As far as he can tell God is just the energy that is everywhere. He then said a very non-dual thing. "God created all of this because he wanted a soap opera." I gave him a big 'thumb's up' and said. "Works for me!" What a delight those two youngsters are!
Last night, at the invitaion of a friend, I went to watch belly dancers. What a treat! All of the dancers exhibited such beauty, grace and joy! The best dancer danced last. Wow! She was so immersed in the dance that we were all caught up in her expression of grace and beauty!
While we were waiting for the dancing to begin (and hopefully for Carol's husband to arrive) I told her about the retreat. She and I had been co-followers of guru maharaji (back in the days). I asked her if she remembered how blissful we used to get back then. Yeah. Well being at the retreat was like that - only a thousand times better! Nobody brought any baggage - just themselves! My friend loved it!
After the dancing, my friend, her husband and I went for a walk down by the riverfront. The night was warm and comfy and lovely. I turned to my friend and asked her if whe wanted to know the secret. Of course, she said yes. (who can resist knowing a secret?). When I told her that her ordinary conciousness was the Self, she appeared a bit startled! "But, you mean?" Yup! Her husband said, "Everybody is." He just stated it so matter of factly! Lovely!
So, dear friends on this list and everywhere, Live - Laugh - Love and be happy. Your very conciousness is the true Self! But, of course You already know that!
HAHAHAH and HOHOHO!
Peace - Your very own Mind is the Mind of Buddha -
Peace - Your very own Heart is the Heart of Christ -
Peace - Your very own Body is the Body of God - Michael
I am not into the take-away-the-fear-business, I am into the who-am-I-business. Anxiety disappears as a result of enlightenment, and is not an objective in itself
Smell the Perfume of Happiness: Satsang with Francis Lucille
by Onno van't Klooster
Translation by This is a portion of an article that appeared in Het Haarlems Dagblad, 21 July 2000. Thanks to Mira Baartmans for translating and submitting this material. --Jerry Katz
The French spiritual teacher Francis Lucille preaches an age old message. Everything is universal consciousness. The separation between mine and thine, here and there, this and that, you and I is only an illusion. Because everything is one. This is the truth, according to him. "When you acquire this insight, you first smell the perfume of happiness. Subsequently you see life as beautiful and magical", is what he says.
Last week, Lucille was in the Netherlands to explain the essence of the 'everything is one' principle (non-dualism). Not everyone was able to grasp this. A middle aged woman comments: "But I am seated here, and you are over there". Lucille maintains a long silence, thinks, and finally says: "The idea of yourself as a person with a body is mistaken. A body/mind is only a receiver, like a mirror. You see people and objects reflected in the mirror, but the mirror itself is neutral. Thus thoughts that you have are not yours. They are everywhere and can be received by your body/mind. According to Lucille you cannot say that these are 'your' thoughts, spoken by an 'I'. "This doesn't exist", he teaches "hence the idea of an I which is seated over here and you over there is mistaken. Your body/mind is seated over there, and mine over here, but not our consciousness, because consciousness is universal, not personal. Could you say that consciousness is being 'seated'?"
The people attending Lucille's 'satsang', the Hindu word for gathering, laugh about the idea of a seated consciousness. Nevertheless various questions follow, perhaps formulated differently, but they all boil down to the same thing. Francis Lucille is a former scientist (physics) and diplomat. He is reluctant to say anything about himself, because, as he says in consistency with his message: "My personality doesn't matter".
His satsangs, like last Wednesday in the Amsterdam Iyengar Yogacenter, attract about twenty to fifty visitors, who pay 15 guilders ($ 7) entrance fee to listen to Lucille, who advertises himself as 'advaita-teacher'. Inspite Lucille's efforts to integrate familiar Western religion and points of view in his explanations, the public fails to understand entirely what purpose advaita or non-dualism serves.
A man asks what he is supposed to do to reach 'enlightenment' and become a 'self-realised' person like Lucille. The Frenchman thinks again. Lucille takes his time, and the silence is deafening. Finally he replies that enlightenment is not something that you have to do in order to reach it. " ...since there is no you. Self realisation in that sense doesn't exist, because there is no self. It is the experience - which is more than just the insight that all is one - that leads up to enlightenment."
According to Lucille, duality is an illusion, and "consciousness is not personal, but impersonal, universal and eternal. The human ego is only an observed object, not the all perceiving awareness." The questioner nods but looks lost. He is about to ask another question, but changes his mind. When Lucille tries to clarify his argument by taking 'loss of fear' as an example, the public starts to loosen up. Now almost all questions are about how people can lose their fears. Lucille says: "I am not into the take-away-the-fear-business, I am into the who-am-I-business. Anxiety disappears as a result of enlightenment, and is not an objective in itself." Judging from the enormous amount of follow-up questions on the anxiety-problem topic, the public doesn't just take this explanation for granted. After a few more attempts to clarify the same point, Lucille suddenly folds his hands, takes a small bow and says: "Thank you". The satsang has ended. Tomorrow he will give a seven day retreat in a more serious attempt to really clarify the concept of non-dualism and enlightenment to his students. "When you see that dualism is a lie, you smell the perfume of happiness, and subsequently see the whole of life as beautiful and magical".
What is making the scientists aghast is that "if light can travel forward in time, it could carry information".
Breaking the Speed of Light
by Sandeep Chatterjee
from Lotus-and-Sunflower list
I do not know
whether anybody noticed a mind boggling (actually a mind
annihilating) development in the field of Particle
The speed of Light thought to be THE constant for Life, has
On the breaking of the "ultimate" barrier, the speed of light currently sanctified at 186,000 miles per sec, I was in Europe last month when the London Sunday Times carried a report on an experiment carried out at the NEC Research Institute in Princeton, USA where "light pulco" has been accelerated to 300 times their normal velocity of 186,00 miles per sec.
The details of the findings I am told had been submitted to the International Scientific journals "Nature" and "Science" for verification and validation before open publication.
This validation and verification took place in the last few days. The experiment has been validated and reported by the Science magazines and journals, including BBC, Wasihgton Post and otehr leading newspapers.
The implications of this finding, as I said are not mind- boggling but mind-annihilation.The Human Genome project is nothing in comparison. For the experiment showed that light pulse existed in two places at once. In effect, it is "leaping forward in time" (Sunday times) What is making the scientists aghast is that "if light can travel forward in time, it could carry information".
This (carriage of information) is being hotly argued against by the rest of the scientific community, but that to me is like a Scientific DNS(Dark Night of the Soul, where all your life long dearly cherished beliefs are getting exposed for what they are. Obviously you are pissed off, in agony)
The breaching of the speed of Light, would breach one of the basic principles in Physics-Law of causality which is based on the premise that cause must come before effect. It would also shatter Einstein's theory of Relativity." (Sunday Times)
However for me, the Princeton experiment is completely aligned to the premise or concept that mystics have indicated for the last 5,000 years, that everything that has happened, is happening, is to happen, have all already happened. And thus has anything ever happened?
Is there anything like a cause, an effect or are both "existing" together simultaneously? Is the totality of the Picture already IS?
If yes, the concept of karma goes out of the window, the concept of effort which really is a process of becoming (from an un-enlightened state, you meditate or whatever your favorite poison, towards enlightenment), all that is OUT.
Dobeee Dobee Doooo
Spiritually, ecofeminists are drawn to practices and orientations that nurture experiences of nonduality and loving reverence for the sacred whole that is the cosmos.
Ecofeminism and Nonduality
by Charlene Spretnak
From Charlene Spretnak, "Critical and Constructive Contributions of Ecofeminism," Pp. 181- 189 in Peter Tucker and Evelyn Grim (Eds.), Worldviews and Ecology, Philadelphia: Bucknell Press, 1993.
Ecofeminism is a
global phenomenon that is bringing attention to the
linked domination of women and nature in order that both
aspects can be adequately understood. Ecofeminists seek
to transform the social and political orders that promote
human oppression embedded in ecocidal practices. The work
consists of resistance, creativity, and hope.
In addition to the philosophical and political aspects, ecofeminism contains a spiritual dimension. The ecofeminist alternative to the Western patriarchal worldview of fragmentation, alienation, agonistic dualisms, and exploitative dynamics is a radical reconceptualization that honors holistic integration: interrelatedness, transformation, embodiment, caring, and love. Such an orientation is simpatico with the teachings of several Eastern and indigenous spiritual traditions on nonduality and the relative nature of seemingly sharp divisions and
separations. To refer to the ultimate mystery of creativity in the cosmos--its self-organizing, self-regulating dynamics-- spiritual traditions draw on metaphor and symbol. Those may be female, male, or nonanthropomorphic, such as the Taoist perception of The Way. Ecofeminists are situated in all the major religious traditions, and most see good reason for women to use female imagery in references to "the divine," or ultimate mystery in the cosmos. Particularly, in patriarchal societies, the choice of female metaphors is a healthy antidote to the cultural denigration of women. Those ecofeminists drawn to Goddess spirituality appreciate the nature-based sense of the
sacred as immanent in the earth, our bodies, and the entire cosmic community--rather than being located in some distant father-god far removed from "entanglement" with matter. The transcendent nature of creativity in the cosmos, or the divine, lies not above us but in the infinite complexity of the sacred whole that continues to unfold. Goddess spirituality is not the sole tradition that contains these understandings, and even religions that are somewhat hostile to them are being persistently challenged by their own ecofeminist members.
In summary, ecofeminism is a movement that focuses attention on the historical linkage between denigration of nature and the female. It seeks to shed light on why Eurocentric societies, as well as those in their global sphere of influence, are now enmeshed in environmental crises and economic systems that require continuing the ecocide and the dynamics of exploitation. Ecofeminism continues the progression within traditional feminism from attention to sexism to attention to all systems of human oppression (such as racism, classism, ageism, and
heterosexism) to recognition that "naturism" (the exploitation of nature) is also a result of the logic of domination. (19) Ecofeminism challenges environmental philosophy to abandon postures upholding supposedly gender-free abstract individualism and "rights" fixations and to realize that human relationships (between self and the rest of the world) are constitutive, not peripheral. Hence care for relationships and contextual embeddedness provides grounds for ethical behavior and moral theory. Politically, ecofeminists work in a broad range of efforts to halt destructive policies and practices and to create alternatives rooted in community-based legitimacy that honors the self-determination of women as well as men and that locates the well-being of human societies within the well-being of the entire earth community. Spiritually, ecofeminists are drawn to practices and orientations that nurture experiences of nonduality and loving reverence for the sacred whole that is the cosmos.
Living space is nothing, awareness is nothing, and nothing incarnates as identity; thus, nothing is what reincarnates, but the allergy to nothing makes something from nothing, and also language to classify it.
by Gene Poole
How does one reincarnate in timelessness? For that matter, how does one incarnate in timelessness?
Conventional identity, that old pattern, is what stands in place of what is always already 'here'.
It is conventional for conventional identity to ask about identity other than conventional identity.
In that old pattern of convention, identity classifies information according to broad classes or categories. The broadest of these classes is 'time'. Naturally, conventional identity shelves gathered data (memory) in bins labeled 'past, present' and future'. I say 'naturally' because it seems quite natural to 'have a past' and to 'have a future', so much so that people are fond of saying "there is only 'now'".
For conventional identity, 'now' is a difference which arises only in comparison to past and future. For the timeless, there is no 'now'; for the timeless, the information which is labeled by conventional identity categorically as 'past, present, and future', still exists as information, but is labeled differently.
'Simultaneous' is also a time-based contrast, but comes close to timelessness, closer to timelessness than a model of reality which is a linear progression of interdependent events, labeled as past, present, and future. Inevitable simultaneity, or better, unstoppable simultaneity, certain simultaneity, or a description of events as all the same event, is even better.
All events are the same event, thus there are no separate events; with no separate events, there is no difference; thus, 'nothing ever happens'. Consider conventional ideas about reincarnation in light of simultaneity. In this model, there is not a linear progression of lives, but instead, a present and permanent current bloom of all of what is. In this model, all lives occur simultaneously. The question is then, why do we insist on having one life at a time? If there is doubt that we insist on having one life at a time, look at the current state of assumption concerning identity; many individual synthetic identities long to merge, but are incompatible, kept separate by the divide of language.
The answer to this question is this; conventional identity is 'mine', and I am separate from all other lives. I am self and not other. I am me and you are you; I know things and do things which you do not know and do not do. I am a unique individual; I was born and I will die, and in the meantime, all of you others are a royal pain in the ass. I am dependent upon you to give me monetary rewards for accomplishing tasks which I would rather not do, but do for the money. I depend upon you to validate my 'humanness', to have empathy for me, to respect me, and to communicate with me. These are all expectations of conventional identity, and woven into these expectations is the classification of time as past, present, and future. Perhaps it could be said, that it is human awareness of time, and the ability to classify time, and to classify information according to time, which has convinced us that we have a sort of mastery of ourselves, and by extension, of the universe in which we live. Is one willing to give all of this up, simply to know timelessness?
Conventional identity is very allergic to timelessness; in fact, a prolonged exposure to timelessness will inevitably produce the effect of 'anaphylaxis', to a fatal degree, leaving nothing of conventional identity, but the (non time-based) classified information of 'what is'; with the expiration of the librarian, the books remain. Timeless is not mortal, being outside of time, being undeceived by convention, and not entertaining expectation of time or its products. It is all here right now, not to be found later, and not to be missed; it is also nowhere, because now, only what is happening is happening, a constant mutation, and the danger is to track the changes on the basis of time, rather than intention.
One may use the phrase 'sentient Being' to refer to timeless awareness, aware of beginningless (not even a word!) and endless, non-time based perception, as being that which is the stage upon which what is, is happening, a continual blooming of one thing, and it is awareness itself which is the organic substrate in which all of this blooms, and it is the bloom. How dare we focus on one petal, when there is this incredible flower to consider and to appreciate?
Awareness speaks simply as what is, yet, conventional identity invents and uses language to go 'what is' one better, lying continually about time, and suffering the torments of self-castration, as it uses language to delineate, limit, and then falsely 'explain' what is happening, all the while having to speak very loudly in order to drown out the incredible, total-bandwidth expression of what is, as the shout, whisper, and silence of awareness itself. Awareness naturally organizes its products as its own expression, yet conventional identity defines the apparent universe as partly alive and partly nonliving and partly dead, all according to time. Ideas about reincarnation emanate from the assumption of time, and from nowhere else. Those ideas are nothing but the naturally secreted glue which holds the barnacle to the rock against the violence of the pounding tides; it is the nature of the barnacle to do this, to cope with predictable events, to insure survival.
Of course, free-swimming fish do not suffer from the needs of the barnacle; they have entirely different mechanisms for coping, and survive glueless, riding the tides, moving with the currents. This is how timeless Being considers human dilemma of time-bound consciousness; conventional identity secures to 'stationary objects' and needs more than anything, to have at least one 'real thing' by which to 'know the reality of all other things'. For many humans, this 'one real thing' is called 'God'; God is considered to be the one reality, all other being transient or even illusory. Upon this rock of certainty is thus built language, which like a superb net, ensconces not only the fish upon which it is cast, but also the unwitting fisherman who casts it. Caught in his own net, he is limited by its confines; yes, he has fish to eat, but he is in the position of the barnacle, stuck in the 'present' and able only to fantasize other times and spaces. Like a dunce facing the corner, he delimits his reality with force when deemed necessary, scourging all non-barnacle genes from the pool, and keeping pure the language-bound, time-bound vision.
Speaking of God, if we understand God, we know that God neither exists nor non-exists; as the model of timeless awareness, as the One True Self, God is the foundation upon which all barnacles are glued, and is the tides which batter them, and the fish which eat them, and the ocean in which the fish swim, netted by the self-netting fishermen, those deaf and blind tool-users, who habitually cut themselves into bait which attracts calamity, trolling as they do for the 'big catch' of understanding, trapped of course in their own sacred limiting-words. The Urth is flat; stay with the conventional identity, for over the edge, is the void, inhabited by unimaginable monsters, which of course are purely imaginary.
Conventional identity is incarnate, and certainly reincarnates; of this there is no doubt. It takes great pains, quite literally, to replicate itself, and to enshrine itself in temples defined as timeless. Like the pyramids of Egypt, conventional identity is a shrine to itself, fooling itself that it is immortal, thus inventing myths of immortality which star various versions of conventional identity. So far, the discussion has been around the topic of 'realization', and has ignored for the most part, the possibility that space itself is aware and intelligent; and yes, immortal; for when is there no space, though invisible it may be? Awareness is this space of immortality, giving birth to all objects, and also being their grave.
Identity incarnates in this awareness, and like the ocean-born fish, is unaware of the natural amniotic fluid which is awareness. Stalked by self-generated calamity, humans invent ideas of 'Karma', which are expressed in the same language which, like the sharp bait-knife, divides one into many, and this knife is carried with pride, always at the ready, the perfectly imperfect tool. Based upon the assumption that there is one verifiable thing, all other things, imagined or imagined not to be imagined, are thus cut from the same formless jelly, and set upon the table as suitable food for growth. Until humans see the jelly that they are, they are unable to simply assimilate nothing; nothing is another allergen, the void of everything, which is itself an invalidation of conventional identity; nothing is unimaginable.
Living space is nothing, awareness is nothing, and nothing incarnates as identity; thus, nothing is what reincarnates, but the allergy to nothing makes something from nothing, and also language to classify it. Like the body expresses boils in allergy, so identity is the expression of something in nothing. Clinging to the rock of 'reality', adhering against death, silly superstition supercedes superb Self, describing what is vast in terms scaled to a ruler of confusion, and the most confused measure is that of time, the vast net of misunderstanding cast upon what is assumed to be seen.
Clinging to the beautiful blossoms of spring, afraid to go into that long night of summer, lest a petal should fall, humans preserve unto embalming, the compilation of memories which obscure the clear view of space. These objects, infused with life only in the imagination of the
puppet-master, dance to the script of a shared dream, playing dolls under the direct gaze of God. Chief among the games of this worldly script, is the routine of 'seeking God or true knowledge of God'; socially-reinforced ignorance of God validates this seeking, but each seeker feels the gaze upon Hir back; otherwise, this game would expire of sheer boredom.
No puppet has ever become enlightened; enlightenment is the awakening of the puppet-master. People define 'you' as this non-enlightened puppet, agitating to educate you, to enlighten you, to make you better, to make you the best of all puppets, just like your parents agitated to make you 'good'. No puppet can be 'good' or 'bad' except in the bizarre consensus dream-world of the doll-game. It is identification with and as the puppet which is the anesthesia of the puppet-master; how to get sober, as long as the game is to continue until 'everyone gets it right'? Certain drunks may assume that the cure for drunkenness is alcohol; similarly, certain people may assume that the cure for identification as being a puppet, is to work to perfect the doll-play. Slogging about in the dream, picking up clues to how the dream can be ended and reality finally begun, fleeing the annoying bell of the alarm-clock of suffering, all the while picking up and reattaching fallen body-parts, the puppet moves only as the master dictates. But the master, drunk upon game-bound success, hurls the doll ever more skillfully into perfecting the game, slyly positioning for the hinted rewards.
Doll contests are no match for this missive from awareness; flashing diamond sharp cutter effortlessly cuts strings, thus breaking feedback loop between master and puppet. At this moment, master is suddenly sober, but as addict, must patch those severed threads which lead to created identity, thus to continue chosen trance-state. Focusing right on through threatened breakup of familiar reality-patterns, holding firm while sensorium wavers, reapplying the familiar to the unknown, master reinitializes puppet, throwing away timeless and conventionally meaningless impressions, to continue on to mastery of puppet-hood. A
doll judged by other dolls, shutting out the true voices which would give the lie to the entire game, attached to world-dream success, master continues on, stoned out of Hir mind by the fantastic events of the imaginary, always declining credit for that authorship.
It seems that the disciples of some teachers could populate a small planet with all from their ranks who have understood their true buddha nature
On Gurus, Teachers, and Awakening
by Daniel Heller, with others
Does the list on this site, of teachers or people you can
contact, purport to offer names of those who are fully
"liberated/awakened/realized" or whatever other
term you prefer? I have long been under the impression
that receiving the full understanding was somewhat rare,
perhaps extremely rare. Now, surfing some sites such as
NDS and realization.org, I'm wondering if I've
misunderstood. It seems that the disciples of some
teachers could populate a small planet with all from
their ranks who have understood their true buddha nature.
Perhaps I really am the dullard I'd always suspected, not
being "enlightened" and all yet, and I'm one of
the few who hasn't been let in on a colossal joke.
Greg Goode: There are a couple of things to keep in mind...
-- there are many different definitions of enlightenment, some definitions are restrictive and exclusive, some are inclusive, some definitions make sense, some make no sense; some definitions are intentionally used only as expedient means or teaching devices only, and aren't meant to be taken as true.
-- one can't ignore the personal and political aspects of this stuff. E.g., in some cases there might be plain old selfish personal motives for perpetrating a notion of enlightenment that includes just me and a tiny handful of others!
-- choose a definition, any definition. One must *still* be careful: not all those who have famous celebrity status fit the characteristics. And not all those who fit the characteristics have famous celebrity status.
Dan Heller: Does the list on this site, of teachers or people you can contact, purport to offer names of those who are fully "liberated/awakened/realized" or whatever other term you prefer?
Jan Barendrecht: It depends on one's definition of the above terms. For instance, one can be "liberated" from the idea of "I and you" but yet have to cope with the sense of "I and you", and one can be "liberated" from the very sense of "I and you". And there isn't (yet?) a test to prove the absence of the sense of "I and you".
Dan Heller: I have long been under the impression that receiving the full understanding was somewhat rare, perhaps extremely rare. Now, surfing some sites such as NDS and realization.org, I'm wondering if I've misunderstood.
Jan Barendrecht: No, you haven't misunderstood: comprehension of nondualism is simple, whereas disciplines working with the body and the mind (several yogas) can be very complicated.
Dan Heller: It seems that the disciples of some teachers could populate a small planet with all from their ranks who have understood their true buddha nature. Perhaps I really am the dullard I'd always suspected, not being "enlightened" and all yet, and I'm one of the few who hasn't been let in on a colossal joke.
Jan Barendrecht: Regarding understanding "only" of "buddha nature", its usefulness can be compared to the understanding of gravity when falling from the Empire State Building without a parachute :)
Gravity works whether people understand it nor not and likewise, with "enlightenment": confessing one isn't enlightened has the same informational value as confessing one is enlightened. But just for the record, the term "enlightenment" is often used to denote recognition of "who one is". If one puts a mirror inside the cage of a pigeon, it won't have the recognition "I". For a monkey, that changes, it does recognize "I". For a humanoid, there is the option to recognize "my" body in the mirror and subsequently to recognize that "I" am not the body but... which recognition is called "enlightenment". As might be guessed, that recognition has (for good reasons) to be considered a "start".
Larry Biddinger: A confessor is someone who opens himself for inspection. A realizer is someone who finds there's no one there.
Matthew Files and Dan Heller
Matthew Files: well daniel, this list and others have lots of names of teachers. Their "status" is purely subjective. I particularly like "Sarlos hum-drum-guru -ratings", because he rates everyone so low. Though there are a select few i think he should bump up a few notches. Everyone has their own opinion of who is at what level. Personally, i look around at the scene today and i couldn't imagine having to find a "real one" out of that mess. I consider my self fortunate that i never had to do that search and just sort of stumbled into my guru quite by accident not even knowing i was looking for one, some 23 years ago. To many he is a fraud, charlatan, liar, a fool, or totally deluded. To me is the One with no second. So like i said, it's totally subjective. Happy hunting!
Dan Heller: I have long been under the impression that receiving the full understanding was somewhat rare, perhaps extremely rare. Now, surfing some sites such as NDS and realization.org, I'm wondering if I've misunderstood.
Matthew Files: I think you understand just fine.i think i'm in the minority on this one around these parts but i agree with you. The way people talk you would think that the whole of humanity is just waking up left and right. What a crock! Wouldn't it be so nice and easy if there was a way of testing for enlightenment. Like a ph test or something. So that with anyone who claimed enlightenment, we could just test them and if they failed or passed then that proved it for sure. Oh, we already do have that in each of our own little minds, with our own special criteria. Ah but is it accurate? hmmmmm good question.
Great stuff, Daniel.
Glad to have you here.
Don't wait to be "let in"
on the Joke.
You *are* the Joke
(sorry, just some nondual
humor, nothing "personal"
You're just pretending
That which is
never someplace else.
Trying to get enlightened
is like painting rice white.
After all, where have you ever been
that you are not?
The reason that it is extremely
rare to encounter anyone
who has the supreme understanding
is that, by Its very nature,
there can be no person who "has" it.
If anything, It "has" all of "us".
There are a lot of people pretending
to talk about It.
Don't be fooled, no one has ever
figured out a way to talk about It.
Noticing this, you are free to go
where you go, learn how you learn,
be aware as you are aware.
Trying to stop Opening is like
trying to stop the sun from
shining. Just notice
Reality is, and delusion
Where will you go that you are not,
and when ever has That which is being
learned been other than
the nature of the Learner?
(i.e., "BEING" beyond existence and nonexistence).
There is no next moment in which
to learn anything.
So why postpone it?
(It doesn't depend on anything
that is said about it.)
Jerry Katz: It's really one term: realizer/confessor. It is one who has known or who knows nondual nature. It could be a taste that occurs from time to time or a stable knowing in the one moment. And it is one who speaks intimately about his or her knowing.
This from Michael Read is a good example of a confession, as I use the word:
"I hold no beliefs. Have you lived this lifetime? I used to think that I had a life until Grace burned me up. Now I am enveloped in life. I did not know who I was until Grace consumed me. There is not really a creature called Michael Read. Only an abiding Presence."
The statement of a realizer might be illustrated by the following written by Jan Barendrecht:
"Ending the succession of the transformations of the thinking principle is the same as ending all identifications - that is why achieving siddhis (creating more identifications) is said to cause bondage. But for some, especially followers, the spontaneous siddhis will give a sense of certainty."
The confessor is a realizer; the realizer may or may not lean toward being a confessor.
The realizer/confessor is one, although the confessor tends to speak in the first person, but not always. Yet the 'I' the confessor uses, as I see it, refers not to the speaker, but to all individuals or to no individual; it refers to consciousness perhaps.
When I started this website, I found I very much enjoyed the utterances of realizers/confessors and thought they were as valuable as what was uttered by the recognized giants of spirituality, whoever they are. Why? Because the knowing of the Self or I Am is the same.
You don't have to be Tiger Woods to play golf, to understand what it means to win and lose, or to speak articulately about the game. You don't have to have a great long-lived love or many loves to speak of love. A momentary glimpse, a passing in the night, can be the inspiration for heart-shaking poetry. The same with realization of nonduality. The people who speak of that realization I've called realizers/confessors.
Now, whether realizers/confessors on these lists are 'fully' enlightened, is a subject I don't even recognize. The question doesn't arise for me. For others it arises. I have no need to know.
If a person has a need to know to what degree another is 'enlightened' then that's that person's nature and so be it.
Having said that, I do a certain amount of judgment. I judge whether a voice is genuine and whether realization is nondual. Who am I to do that? I have no right to do that. Not enough people are embraced as realizers/confessors and recognized on my list. However, I think the point has been made that there are many, many realizers/confessors. Some day the list will be expanded.
In one hand I had an empty quart pop bottle I was going to return to pay for my popsicle with the deposit. In the other hand I had a stone I was going to throw into the water
An Awakening Recalled
by Andrew Macnab
The summer I was 8 or 9 years old my father was summer replacement pastor at the Anglican church at a place in northern Ontario called Whitefish Falls on Manitoulin Island. It is the perfect summer of my life. I became best friends with an Ojibwe boy named Sam, he was the youngest of about 15 kids, we ran wild in the woods, swam, played at hunting with bows one of his brothers made us, he showed me different berries and plants, my first experience of the extraordinary astringency of chokecherries. That summer I suddenly became unable to tell left from right, suddenly I didn't know the difference between a printed 'd' and 'b' or which way the tail went on an 'L'. To this day I use a trick I invented to tell left from right, which is to look at my hands, then physically, now just mentally, I know the difference between them. One hot afternoon I was walking through dappled shade along the path by the river heading for the store to buy a popsicle. I recall the smell of dust, the resinous smell of spruce trees in the heat. In one hand I had an empty quart pop bottle I was going to return to pay for my popsicle with the deposit. In the other hand I had a stone I was going to throw into the water. I threw the bottle not the stone. I stood there in shock and despair, watching the bottle on its side slowly fill, then bob upright then up and down once, twice, losing bubbles each time, then it was gone. A last bubble rose and I stood transfixed, the whole scene merged into a solid golden sunlight brightness, the background summer sounds of grasshoppers water birds distant outboard motor disappeared there was stillness, silence, time ceased, I dissolved. To this day I am still that boy, I still stand on that riverbank dissolved in the glowing silence.
Uncollected, this stone is wide as the universe; I don't keep it or give it away
by Dan Berkow and Andrew Macnab
Ah, stories to collect.
are a lot of stories
to be collected here.
And it's just the same
story: death and rebirth.
Many masks, one story.
The story of One Moment,
The story that is its
own ending as Beginning.
After you've collected it,
let your story collection die ...
After you've collected
the story of your body,
let it die...
And be reborn ;-)
I collect round stones. For a long time whenever I would find a rounder stone than the one in my collection I would discard the previous round stone and replace it with the new one. Thus the ongoing collection always only consisted of one stone. Then one day I found a stone which was exactly as round as the one already in my collection. Then there were two. It happened again and there were three. Now I keep them all, or give them away.
Noticing this stone.
Looking at it, as
it looks at itself.
Uncollected, this stone
is wide as the universe;
I don't keep it or give
it away; it's always
shapes and colors.