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Highlights #1001

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Webmaster's note: Technically this is the 1000th post. However there was duplicate post at #998 that was overlooked. So the 1000th Highlight became the 1001st. Does anyone really care? It's a great edition. Enjoy!

First, to toss a few bouquets, as the odometer turns over....

Thanks to their consistent dedication, most of these daily highlights were done by a handful of people. In June of 1999, they were started by Melody and Jerry, Andrew joined soon joined them (and continued until recently!), and Gloria began with the year 2000. Other editors have included Bruce, Lynn, Beth, Christiana, Mark, OH, and Manchine.

Thanks to all those who write to the Nonduality Salon, for without you there would be nothing to offer!! And also to the many other lists that have sprung up since NDS began.

In recognition of his making these archives into a searchable resource, this milestone issue is dedicated to Jerry Katz. There is no way to thank him for his constant presence.

First Issue, First Post

From: Melody
Date: Thu Jun 3, 1999 11:36 am
Subject: Digest #1

From the NondualitySalon June 2, 1999:


Envision the set of all existing things.
Outside that set by definition nothing exists.
Atma is not anything in that set.
Atma is not the set as a whole.
Atma is the quality of existence which defines the set.
In other words,
Atma does not exist,
"Atma" is "existence".




Greetings Everyone-first post, from the Lankavatara Sutra
Then said Mahamati to the Blessed One: Why is it that the ignorant are given up to discrimination and the wise are not?

The Blessed One replied: It is because the ignorant cling to names, signs and ideas; as their minds move along these channels they feed on multiplicities and objects and fall into the notion of an ego-soul and what belongs to it; they make discriminations of good and bad among appearances and cling to the agreeable. As they thus cling there is a reversion to ignorance, and karmas born of greed, anger and folly, is accumulated. As the accumulation of karma goes on they become imprisoned in a cocoon of discrimination and are thenceforth unable to free themselves from the round of birth and death.

Because of folly they do not understand that all things are like maya, like the reflection of the moon in water, that there is no self- substance to be imagined as an ego-soul and its belongings, and that all their definitive ideas rise from their false discriminations of what exists only as it is seen of the mind itself. They do not realize that things have nothing to do with qualified and qualifying, not with the course of birth, abiding and destruction, and instead they assert that they are born of a creator, of time, of atoms, of some celestial spirit. It is because the ignorant are given up to
discrimination that they move along with the stream of appearances, but it is not so with the wise.

Let me also add that in answer to Mahamatis question concerning what clear understandings the earnest disciple should have if he is to succeed in the discipline leading to self realization the Blessed Lord Buddha part....

"First- he must have a clear understanding that all things are only manifestations of the mind itself;....

...As to the first; he must recognise and be fully convinced that this triple world is nothing but a complex manifestation of one's mental activities; that it is devoid of selfness and its belongings; and there are no strivings, no comings, no goings. He must recognise and accept the fact that this triple world is manifested and imagined as real only under the influence of habit-energy that has been accumulated since the beginningless past by reason of of memory, false-imagination, false-reasoning, and attachments to the multiplicities of objects and reactions in close relationship and in conformity to ideas of body-property-and abode. "

ow the second understanding the Buddha said we must fulfill for self- realization is that we must -discard the notion of birth, abiding and disappearance.

Of this Lord Buddha explains," As to the second; he must
recognise and be convinced that all things are to be regarded as
forms seen in a vision and a dream, empty of substance, un-born
and without self- nature; that all things exist only by reason of
a complicated network of causation which owes its rise to
discrimination and attachment and which eventuates in the rise of
the mind-system and its belongings and evolvements. "


HEIDI Impertinent Questions

Everything that seems to be the mind of Man, his ordinary
consciousness, deals in form rather than energy. Energy flows
through every human continually, and what seems to be the human drama
can be defined as the form that the energy takes.

What effect does the life in the sea, have on the sea?
What effect does the sea, have on the life in the sea?

What effect does the life on the land, have on the land?
What effect does the land, have on the life on the land?

What effect does the sea have on the land?
What effect does the land have on the sea?

What effect does the sky have on the planet?
What effect does the planet have on the sky?

What effect does "I" have on that which is deemed to be "not-I"?
What effect does "not-I" have on "I"?


It is possible to reroute some of the energy that is part of
the circulatory system of Life flowing through Man, to bypass its
usual destination, to keep it from taking form, as "you".

That is the reality behind all of the strange dreams throughout
history regarding enlightenment and being awake. Energy must be
diverted to bypass the ordinary wiring of the nervous system
(lest it "becomes you" - as in, "what you eat, becomes you"), and there
is no simple, direct way to do it. It is the attempt to grow little
stray molecules here and there that can run through all of the
circuitry and not end up in a form.

Assembled from parts of milk-cartons downloaded from the Internet in

----------------High Dee, 9/99


i went to a talk the other night
given by the head of Shambhala Spiritual centers
they publish Shambhala Sun
Chogyam Trungpa and all that
so anyway
it was a very good talk
i enjoyed it
the speaker made a big point
of going on how people value and seek
the impermanent in our culture.
namely entertainment, the media, money, etc.
you know what i'm saying

so my friend buys a copy of Shambhala Sun
and gives me the copy
great articles and all
but the ads drove me crazy
they're designed no differently than any other commodity
offered by our culture to a public seeking the temporary pleasure
of the impermanent.
Brightly colored ads they make you feel
you must
go to this retreat center
or own this prayer accessory
'cultivate compassion'
as a full page blue ad for Naropa implores.

the whole thing makes a person feel
like there's a need to do something to get
that's it's not good enough to live one's ordinary life

that evocation seems most un-Buddhist-like

i guess they're figuring the steak will turn out more appealing than the

so they probably know what they're doing.

but that's another probem.
do i want my spiritual community to know what it's doing


JERRY KATZ Conscious Quantum Worldview

Shrikantha Shastry <[email protected]> writes:

"In this link, singularity identified as the
essential consciousness brings about a drastic
change in our view of the universe."

The author of the article is seeking comments. Please send comments to
Shastry as well as to NDS.



JEROEN Deconstructing human rights

Dear Eric, Jan I hope the following citations clarify what I mean
by normative ethics.

"..The whole point of a normative ethic is to organise a
determined set of good and bad actions, experiences and
phenomena. In this way people are encouraged to treat themselves
as abstractions instead of particular human beings; they look
upon themselves as having to

conform to certain abstract rules. As an abstraction of the
respectful universalist or cultural relativist, they do not allow
themselves or at least feel embarrassed to experience or express
one of the 'bad' categories (experiences, roles, norms). In this
way, people are constantly regarding themselves 'as something
that ought not to be, so that one is always in the process of
morally expurgating oneself'. Fundamental to this construction of

abstractions is that for example when one cannot (and may not)
express his negative feelings (anger, hatred,..), this energy is
merely displaced onto other objects/subjects; it is turned
inwards and can grow until it is anger towards everything or
everyone. This brings us to the paradoxical observation that
while a normative ethic is there to stimulate moral behaviour, it
is in fact one of the root causes of its own definition of
immoral behaviour.

Sartwell adds succinctly: ".What is most real to the moralizer is
sin.", and emphasises that: ".To take on a role, to live a life
in one's roles, or to try to live as, or up to, a 'role model',
is to turn away from one's own life. Each such role infests and
falsifies you slowly from the top to the bottom, until you no
longer even know what you want, what you fear, what you hate,
what you love. Each role tries to turn you from what you are into
what you 'ought to be'

according to the role's demands. And to tell you what you ought
to be - that entails that you ought not to be, as you are.".
Thus, all sorts of roles, rules and norms are in fact a rejection
of one's own existence (viz. the particular situation).

Normative ethics are thus all the roles, norms, structures which
turn us into something we ought to be.. viz. a moral subject..

"..Consequently, to be ethical is to exist without taking up a
'role'; 'the point is to prefer being to seeming'. To be ethical
in this sense is to act from the awareness of the situation; to
live in the awareness that each situation is real and to allow
the truth of that situation to be acknowledged. Sartwell defines
this as 'ethics of authenticity'; a willingness and faith in
one's own being in the situation without taking up a role, adding
that: ".We are all 'ethical' merely by existing.". In fact, as
'we are all already real' in each particular situation, "The
point is to live in an

acknowledgement, enactment, and celebration of the fact."
Therefore; "The task of living in truth is a matter of keeping
faith with oneself as a real, situated, particular being. The
'ethics' of authenticity emerges out of a willingness to hold on
to oneself (thus not to 'roles', ed.), to allow oneself to be."

In that way, you are right eric, that non-normative ethics also
carries a certain norm.. its norm is that we 'constantly'
ackowledge our own situation as being real and nondual.. in other
words, to let your whole being get situated, instead of applying
a set of prearranged, societally acceptable rules, norms.. to
realise the present situation as real/nondual, instead of trying
to make it 'better', 'more real/nondual'.. thus non-normative
ethics are and flow from the 'perception' (realisation) of each
situation as a 'nondual reflection'.. thus, non- normative ethics
is letting yourself being situated by the situation because you
'know' that applying rules, norms, orders is exactly a negation
of our nondual existence.. non-normative ethics flows from the
realisation that no order needs to be established.. that no
difference (duality) should be made between you and me.. that we
are both 'one with all' and 'all with one'.. that each situation
is already real, nondual.. and need not be approved.. that each
situation is a perfect representation of the nondual reality..
that it only needs to be acknowledged by opening up our whole
being to the whole situation.. the fact that you are standing
there listening, walking, looking, thinking, talking, enjoying is
pure ethics, non-normative ethics.. it has no goal, it is exactly
the opposite.. it is letting yourself being situated without any
goal and opening yourself to the present moment.. because you
know the nondual 'order', the oneness, the oceanness, is always
already there (in other words, the 'goal' was never away) .. the
only thing is to open up to this nonduality, to let this 'order'
move and express itself through you.. to be this nondual order..

why is the difference between normative and non-normative ethics
now so important? "...Fundamental is that two crucial 'modes' of
our world, peace and love, are contradictory to normative ethics
and exactly a result of non-normative ethic: ".Abstractions are
precisely what it is impossible to love; love is always precisely
what holds dear the particularity of the beloved. Love is an
opening of the self to the particularity of the beloved, so that
love is not an abstraction away from ugliness but an allowance of
ugliness to be. Particular people are the hardest thing to love;
on the other hand, they're the only people that can be loved.To
love is to allow the beloved to be outside of one's control, or
rather, to acknowledge that the beloved is outside one's
control.We speak of loving people 'just as they are'.Peace flows
from letting oneself go, as does humor, for example, which often
occurs in an allowance of oneself and the world to be.".

In other words, by applying rules, norms (normative ethics) to
particular situations/beings, we negate/destroy the (nondual)
oneness/oceanness which all these situations/beings are always
representing.. applying normative ethics is exactly negating the
oneness, 'pebbleness', nonduality of existence.. consequently, it
is only through opening up our whole being to the situation that
we can feel the oneness, oceanness, the buddhahood expressing
through our bodies.. through opening to the situation we
acknowledge, 'express' and become the oneness of nondual

in that way, non-normative ethics is living through constantly
opening up to the one nondual oceanness.. all is one.. love,

We are the birds of the same nest,
We may wear different skins,
We may speak different languages,
We may believe in different religions,
We may belong to different cultures,
Yet we share the same home - our earth.

Born on the same planet
Covered by the same skies
Gazing at the same stars
Breathing the same air
We must learn to happily progress together
Or miserably perish together,
For man can live individually,
But can survive only collectively
Atharva Veda


BOBBY GRAHAM Deconstructing human rights

Dear Eric Jan and Jeroen:

The only insight into the matter I can think of relates to being an
artist. Any heirarchial structure (where one thing is considered
more important than another) can be considered relative to the
viewpoint of the observer or it can be considered a truth
irrespective of the observer.

This is what was so difficult about what Jeroen did. He (or She, I
did not catch the gender here) seemed, at least to me, to present a
case for human rights as beyond the relativist viewpoint without
creating an objective world we all should recognize or shut up about.

It is hard to see something go down that you know is wrong and have
no philosophic basis for that view (the ethical relativists argue it
is their right to do as their culture dictates). Just as it makes me
feel odd when people in the art world say there is no such thing as
intrinsic quality or beauty in art. The 'Beauty is in the eyes of
the beholder' thing. I believe this saying applies to the idea that
if you love someone they are beautiful. But when you abstract the
action and take away the object of the love the statement does not
stand on its own.

This puts me in a pickle. I see things I believe have intrinsic
beauty but I don't admit to an objective world.

It is a can of worms. People have opinions they defend. To me,
beauty has an intrinsic quality regardless of viewer, but I can't
defend this view philosophically the way Jeroen did with human

When I paint I start with a blank canvas and make it better. If I
did not think there was something better than a white canvas I would
not paint. Once I start and it looks pretty good I am faced with the
problem of making it better at the risk of making it worse. I take
something and make it better. Is that intrinsic quality or relative

The functional aspect of nature would describe 'better' in nature,
but in ethics and art the line is blurred.

Keats- "Truth is beauty, beauty truth."

Bobby G.



from [email protected]

Out of the Mouths of a Thousand Birds

Listen -
Listen more carefully to what is around you
Right now.

In my world
There are the bells from the clanks
Of the morning milk drums,

And a wagon wheel outside my window
Just hit a bump

Which turned into an ecstatic chorus
Of the Beloved's Name.

There is the Prayer Call
Rising up like the sun
Out of the mouths of a thousand birds.

There is an astonishing vastness
Of movement and Life

Emanating sound and light
From my folded hands

And my even quieter simple being and heart.

My dear,
Is it true that your mind
Is sometimes like a battering

Running all through the city,
Shouting so madly inside and out

About the ten thousand things
That do not matter?

Hafiz, too,
For many years beat his head in youth

And thought himself at a great distance,
Far from an armistice
With God.

But that is why this scarred old pilgrim
Has now become such a sweet rare vintage
Who weeps and sings for you.

O listen -
Listen more carefully
To what is inside of you right now.

In my world
All that remains is the wondrous call to
Dance and prayer

Rising up like a thousand suns
Out of the mouth of a
Single bird.

("The Subject Tonight is Love" -- versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky; original presentation by
David Williamson)

JOHN METZGER More Impertinent Questions

I think leaves are green from the chlorophyll, and tortoises think about running faster than rabbits.
I don't know the rest. John JOHN METZGER More Impertinent Questions

excerpt, Crazy Wisdom, Wes Nisker:
One word less.
One. Wordless.
In the silence that follows, our crazy wisdom characters begin to
disperse. The Taoist master wanders off toward some misty mountains, while
the Jester heads back to the city to look for work. The clowns have decided
to join the circus. The Zen masters sit down to meditate, agreeing that the
here and now is as good as any space-time. The scientists pack up their
notes; they have decided to become socially responsible by studying the
greenhouse effect. A few philosophers want to go back to school to learn a
trade. Meanwhile, Coyote is heard in the nearby bushes, taking part in some
boisterous and energetic activity. He no doubt will be able to take care of
himself. As the dust settles, we come across a poem by Pablo Neruda, titled
"Flies Enter a Closed Mouth," a perfect epitaph for our questions and

Why, with these red fires, are the rubies ready to burst into flame?

Why is the heart of the topaz
yellow with honeycombs?

Why is it the rose's vagary
to change the color of its dreams?

Why did the emerald freeze
like a drowned submarine?

And why does the sky pale
in the starlight of June?

Where does the lizard buy
fresh paint for its tail?

Where is the subterranean fire
that revives the carnations?

Where does the salt get
that look of transparency?

Where did the coal sleep
before it woke to its darkness?

And where, where does the tiger buy
the stripes of its mourning, its markings of gold?

When did the honeysuckle first
sense its own perfume?

When did the pine take account
of its fragrant conclusion?

When did the lemons learn
the same creed as the sun?

When did smoke learn how to fly?

When do the roots talk with each other?

How do stars get their water?
Why is the scorpion venomous
and the elephant benign?

What are the tortoise's thoughts?
To which point do the shadows withdraw?
What is the song of the rain's repetitions?
Where do birds go to die?
And why are leaves green?

What we know comes to so little,
what we presume is so much,
what we learn, so laborious,
we can only ask questions and die.
Better save all our pride
for the city of the dead
and the day of the carrion:
there, when the wind shifts
through the hollows of your skull
it will show you all manner of
enigmatical things, whispering truths in the
void where your ears used to be.

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