Jerry Katz
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Highlights #1005

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The Ghost of Laughter

while eating yogurt
with a plastic knife
reading the eccentric
shenanigans of Charles Bukowski
I think
of something to write

what a fool
I can really be
messing around
with the thing
that got me into trouble
in the first place

a hasty intellect
breathing the dead air
of somewhere else
as if capable
of escaping the ghost
of its own presence

- Tykal
(from the Yearnings list.)



"the seeker by seeking guarantees that there will
never be 'finding'"

Yes, it is a conclusion when there is someone

Like the physicists who describe the Stillness of
Change with a particular commentary and then they
make the 'Theory of Everything' the Holy Grail of

This process negates itself because, as you say,
'the potential to verify/express that is movement
itself'- in other words they are 'whirling' about
attempting to resolve an issue that they created by
commenting at all. Or the seeker by seeking
guarantees that there will never be 'finding' -
there will be 'whirling' (I like that translation
for 'vrttis' - Thanks)

Seeing this self-evident fact is the ending of the
entity who is concluding. That is Stillness and
Change is the nature of things.

In order to see change I have to be changelessness
- this is True but if 'I' am concluding it, then it
is self-negating.

When 'I' am not involved there is Stillness. When
'I' am not concluding, theorizing or commenting in
any way - Stillness is Movement.



"...instead of fainting, suddenly there was this
"awake" thing - and as if it had been so always."

Hi Dan,

To be in love with Love is unparalleled - it's
independent of the "visuals". The more screwed up a
relationship, the better! That is what the Sufi
tales regarding 'scorned love' are pointing at. If
the "physical thing" is a brooklet, the "real
thing" is a storage lake, once full, never to be
empty again. The one-time discovery is to be the
lake... It doesn't have to end the brooklet, but
the brooklet certainly will lose its former
relevance, or become a non-issue.


Thanks Jan, interesting perspective, and worth
investigating. Do you have an experience that

I had an ongoing 8 months experience of what i
wrote - venting speculative theory would "bite
back" so to say. What i didn't tell is that the
condition called "wasted heart" is painful as
everything, formerly bringing pleasure, no longer
does. And what formerly was painful, no longer
evokes a response strong enough for action... How
to arrive at the insight that pleasure and pain are
two sides of the same coin doesn't matter - in my
case it was having failed in an anti-military
action that brought the insight. It was enough to
take leave of life literally but the secret service
thought otherwise. I was taken out of coma (and an
NDE) and had to face the fact, to have lost the
interest in life, out of reach of the supreme peace
of the NDE, plus the knowledge, one can only take
leave of life once... This situation, having lost
all interest, performing duties only, lasted 4
months - it changed radically when feeling to faint
and falling in a compartment of a revolving door,
when instead of fainting, suddenly there was this
"awake" thing - and as if it had been so always.
Erring on the side of caution, doctors prescribed 1
week rest and i reflected incessantly on what had
happened. As a result, i became aware of what in
the post (above) is called 'brooklet & storage lake'.
That phase took 8 months to complete...




"The US for all its claims of freedom allows its
public media to be censored, and it refuses to
publicly acknowledge the mess it makes and the real
reason why the Muslim world has been burning its
flag since 1953!"

"How can a small number of world citizens
who seem aware, yet who themselves have a hard
enough time finding mutual balance, affect a
machinery of memes gone mad?" --CD

Hi gang, long time no see :-)

I've just watched a documentary here in OZ called
'Letter to America' which gave the Arab view of how
they see America and basically this is what they
say, and the pictures were very disturbing.

The Muslim world is under American occupation. It
has become either a collection of US military
bases, countries who are targets of military
aggressions or compliant markets for the sale of
utterly useless and cripplingly expensive US

American interference has caused the death of
hundreds of thousands in Hiroshima/Nagasaki,
180,000 in El Salvador, 70,000 in Iran, 1,200,000
in Iraq, 800,000 in Indonesia and the list goes on
and on, yet Americans remain ignorant of the
enormity of the crimes of their politicians and
their foreign policies.

The Americans did not go to Kuwait as heavenly
saviours to liberate it! to defend Kuwait because
Sadam was a fascist, but to colonise the Arab
world, to manipulate Arab political decisions, to
establish military bases so that they could control
the sources of oil, and to further protect Israel.
These were its real aims.

The US for all its claims of freedom allows its
public media to be censored, and it refuses to
publicly acknowledge the mess it makes and the real
reason why the Muslim world has been burning its
flag since 1953!

This war against terrorism has an underlying
motive. To change the current power balance in the
region as a whole, in order to give the US,
military bases in central Asia, and to have its
army occupy that region as it did in the Gulf. All
under the convenient banner of "War Against

Since Sept 11 Arabs are now engaged in a process of
self examination, seeking to understand the roots
of the extremism that flourishes in the area, and
are concluding that poverty is more a product of
political repression and social injustices, than
lack of resources.

This is a war being fought as wars have always
been, between 'the haves and the have nots' and
under the pretext of religion. It is really being
fought for political reasons and economic
objectives as wars always have been. It is not
really a show down between Islam and Christianity,
but pretending it is may have dire consequences for
us all.

America has contributed to the extremism in the
east by financing islamist groups to fight its
dirty wars by proxy, most obviously in Afghanistan.
These groups once created are politically motivated
and use religion as an expedient cover. Many Muslim
countries deal with these radicals by deporting
them to Afghanistan, thereby compounding the
problem. Many Arab governments were sending people
to Afghanistan, for example if people from the
south of Egypt tried to settle in Cairo they would
be told to go back, as the city could not
accommodate them, or they would be sent to

The Arab world wonders why the US predominantly
gives support to undemocratic regimes, regimes that
suppress political freedoms. If that support was
lifted the people can then change themselves, but
it better suits American interests to support
compliant undemocratic regimes rather than risk the
emergence of independent governments that might
oppose US domination of the sources of wealth.
America is obsessed with regional security, its in
it's interests to keep cheap oil flowing from the
Gulf to the US to maintain its own economy.

Arab nation are realising they are probably the
least democratic governments in the world and what
they do not need is more totalitarian, oppressive
governments. Its not healthy for them to be
pressured by America. Extremism does not help the
poor in any part of the world. They are beginning
to realise they must seek political pluralism, if
they are to be a part of this changing world. They
realise a giant step has to be taken if life is to
change in the Arab world. US oppression does not
help matters.

Iran has had a particularly bitter relationship
with the US since 1953 when their favourite
president Dr. Mossadigh - a reformer and democrat
who wanted real independence for his country - was
over thrown by the US in 1953. To achieve this
independence he had nationalised the oil company
which, up until then, had been providing the US
with cheap oil. But nationalisation was an
unthinkable act of independence and the US
immediately toppled Dr.Mossadigh, an act that
sparked hostility against the west and years of
upheaval in Iran, and which put in his place a
compliant and repressive Shah. This was when the
first American flag was burnt. Before then they had
been very open to the US.

Yet after Sept 11, 5,000 Iranians gathered in a
candlelit vigil for the victims of the attacks as
an expression of their human sympathy chanting over
and over "condolences America" and which lasted for
2 weeks! yet the west saw little footage or reports
of it. Such is census of the 'free world'.

In Nov the American Embassy in Iran re-opened with
a new name, it is now called 'The Museum of
Arrogance'. It is the same building where the 52
hostages were held in the 1979 revolt for
independence and where once again the US had
interfered and once again a repressive government
was put in place sending Iran back into the middle

The exhibits remind Iran how America behaves in the
world. Iranians know to their cost, how lacking in
principles US foreign policy can be. Each room in
the museum is a testament to a different American
mis-adventure which has cost some country somewhere
very dearly. What is clear is that the relationship
between America and the rest of the world needs to
change. It needs to be based on respect. No such
respect is evident from the sad record of America's
recent political history, as illustrated rather
crudely in the length and breadth of those rooms.

Whenever Iran voices its view about foreign
relations, the first notion that the Iranian
leaders use - and its actually written in their
constitution - is the notion of dignity. They say
they will have relations with countries that
respect their dignity. The notion of dignity has
been missing in Iran/US relations. Iran is trying
to achieve independence, but as long as the US
keeps undermining their attempts, Iranians are
going to be hostile. Like other Muslim countries
they have had to fight hard to defend their
integrity in their dealings with America.

America needs to acknowledge the truth, that other
countries will only stop resenting it when they are
free from its intolerable interferance and

What mystifies the Arab world most is America's
lack of awareness about its real behaviour and they
despair, that if not even a tragedy like Sept 11can
wake them up, what will? One man who had lost
*everything* as a 10 year old child - and it had
affected his whole life - was asked "if you could
say something to America what would you say?" and
his exact words were (and the kindness was still
there!) "America we feel your pain, isn't it about
time you felt ours?"



Hello, Skye, dear old friend..

how nice to see your name here, albeit with such a
sober message.

Thank you for taking the time to return to share
this perspective. I sense you have done so as
education, and from deep concern. There is, no
doubt, much truth in what you've shared. As segue
with Gene's post today about the distortion of
identity, there is a ripening need for all citizens
on this planet in these times to dare to ask bold
questions beyond all rhetorical positions.

What are the questions which beg asking? Who am I?
Who are we? Why are we alive now? Who is being
served? Who might we be were we all to taste true
freedom? How can a small number of world citizens
who seem aware, yet who themselves have a hard
enough time finding mutual balance, affect a
machinery of memes gone mad?

Americans? Yes.. a culture largely lost in blind
sentience and sentimentality. Sobriety, not a
marketable commodity, is marginalized. We act where
we can in what shows up before us. Alive in this
paradoxical dance of doer-no doer; living- being
lived. Response-ability appearing to lie on the
pinhead of keen awareness, moxie and heart freedom.

Pondering all this with you.. and mostly, grateful
to feel your presence again. And *that*, gratitude
for shared fellowship in all This, is probably the
only true response I can offer.

I hope life is showing up gently for you over there
in the land of Oz.

much love,




"The politics of the interpersonal, dictate exactly
how we are allowed to set our boundaries. To usurp
this power for oneself, is to state (ultimately)
divorce from convention." --GP

JAN: The infinite regression is obvious when the
seeming duality observer-observed no longer exists
but instead, observing is seen a process.
Consciousness is no way forbids infinite regression
as in mathematics it's quite ordinary and it's
called "bug" when it causes a computer program to
hang. Not to mention that the behavior of
mind-bodies, "hung" in such mental loops, becomes
self-evident once these loops have disappeared. The
mind as a processing machine is infinite looping
itself. With the disappearance of the loops called
conditioning (like the entire societal
normativeness and the potential for feelings like
shame, fear, guilt, embarrassment), the processing
speed of the mind increases a lot which is easily
evidenced.The analogy of a computer running MS
Windows (conditioning) or Linux (utilitarian
necessities only).. BTW, the word "vritti" for a
good reason gets translated with "whirl".

GENE: Thanks for one of the clearest statements of
this sort that I have ever read.

JAN: My pleasure! In my turn, i am grateful to
Purohit Swami who translated the Patanjali Sutras
and added a commentary.. Not scholarly but based on
what his master taught... Without that booklet, i
would have rejected Raja Yoga from other sources...

GENE: I could 'add' that for so many people, the
boundaries of perception (sic) are formed by the
extent of the loops; that such loops represent the
'edge of the flat Earth', beyond which point it is
'impossible' to travel.

JAN: How true - and when the edge of the earth is
reached, the issue suddenly is said to be beyond
discussion. In such cases, putting an end to
relations isn't a choice... Strange as that may
seem, the "edge of the flat earth syndrome" can be
observed in "spiritual" ppl as well...

GENE: Seeing this, we can imply that such loops are
formed by convention/conditioning, and that because
the loops are formed, they can also be unformed or

JAN: Of course - these loops are infinite suffering
and the Buddha was one, showing they can be
dissolved... He knew and warned for the "spiritual"
loops as well - the like for samadhis for instance.

GENE: Speaking for myself, for the majority of my
life, I lived in terror of what 'lay beyond' the
limits of my perception; I would allow that
something was there, but that no person was
actually able to directly experience it. I allowed
that there could be no observation of it (what was
'beyond') and that the only allowable versions had
to be named as 'theories'.

JAN: I didn't forget a thread that went on the
issue of abuse - you were one of many having been
hit hard... Trauma is one of the most difficult
loops to dissolve. It sets what i call an
event-horizon - that comes with a fear of 'beyond'.

GENE: I see now, that my 'allowances' appeared to
be of the highest forms of 'rational thought'; I
was congratulated by 'great thinkers' for having
this (now seen as irrational) 'position'.

JAN: Yes, that's how it goes: all negative
experiences are rationalized away - and it can go
as far as to embrace views that are quite
irrational, that then get defended... A kind of
"social acceptance strategy", one is unconscious
of, as "social animals", without transformation,
won't survive isolation.

GENE: Strange, that 'rationality' can so totally
flip over; and that what was 'unknown and
unknowable' has become 'reality', while the former
refuge of 'rationality' is now seen as

JAN: That too i know well - it reminds of a vicar i
talked out of religious belief, mainly because the
deep rooted anger over hypocritical behavior by the
"zealous believers". A day later, the vicar, in
total despair, called my parents and asked what to
do as his belief had diminished to an extent,
preventing him to function as a vicar... His
despair was such that temporarily felt compassion -
as a sixteen year atheist teenager, until then, the
consequences of actions had been ignored..

GENE: The politics of the interpersonal, dictate
exactly how we are allowed to set our boundaries.
To usurp this power for oneself, is to state
(ultimately) divorce from convention.

JAN: Yes, and the consequences can be strange...
When after the spontaneous sadhana, summarized as a
frenzy of love, light and laughter, i came to my
senses again, it was impossible to communicate with
former friends - as if an invisible barrier had
been created. I had lost all former opinions...

GENE: And how to 'explain' the why of this divorce?
One must instead, resort to an 'excuse' which is
read as valid by the minions of normalcy, to be
allowed to simply live.

JAN: Sad isn't it - i can put forward arguments
that in order to transform the mind, a kind of mild
psychosis is unavoidable and postponing =
postponing this transformation... When the Sufi
madmen roamed the earth, that seeming madness was
accepted but these days it means funny farm and
medication... Not a surprise, the reverence of
Purohit Swami for his master, having been
safeguarded during that phase of upheaval... That
was where 'masters & ashrams' once were for, not
the talks, travels and media..


Contributed by Jan Sultan

"Awareness is reached by turning attention back to

For a few moments we will breathe in a special way.
Through this breathing we initiate you into the
practice of non-dual meditation. With each
inhalation, we breathe into the third eye and stay
there as long as possible. And with each
exhalation, we relax into Being fully. When you
keep your breath in the third eye, there is a
particular energy experience and you will recognise
it. Feel that the one who recognises this energy
experience is you, and it is located in the third
eye, in the middle of the brain. You are yourself
this energy. That is the essence of attention.

... Silence ...

That is enough. Still keep energy in the head but
in a relaxed way. Now repeat a thought like the
mantra: 'I Am.' Very slowly, in a very focused and
contemplative way, 'I Am,' with full awareness. The
moment you finish saying 'I Am,' before you say the
next 'I Am,' feel what remains. This that remains
is I Am, which is not a thought but your own
presence behind the thought. So after saying 'I
Am,' stop for a while. Feel your own presence, that
which remains and again say 'I Am.' The one who is
aware of the mantra 'I Am' is awareness. The one
who remains when you are not saying anymore 'I Am',
is awareness itself. Simply recognise this fact
that the pure light of awareness is beyond

... Silence ...

Letting go of the mantra, keep your presence in the
head area, in a relaxed way with a gentle focus.
And from that place you let go into Being,
breathing into the belly, deeply relaxing into
non-doing. Awareness is reached by turning
attention back to itself. There is certain
self-referral in the mind where the centre is
recognised. It is a very strong energy experience
in the third eye, the essence of intelligence, the
centre of consciousness. Awareness can be
recognised directly by turning attention back or
can be slowly developed by paying attention, for
example to the breath. When you breathe into your
belly, when you remember, when you focus, Awareness
grows indirectly. Being is reached through
non-doing. When you are not doing, energy drops
into Being. But you co-operate for a certain subtle
surrender to happen. You allow yourself to drop,
and with the help of breath, which deepens your
energy in the Hara, the experience of Being is
reached deeper and deeper. It becomes more and more
expansive, until the point that you simply rest
fully in the unconditional Samadhi of Being. Gently
breathing and relaxing… remaining in the centre.
This awareness has to be like a laser inside you,
penetrating your whole body. Just Being, even
though you are not doing anything, you are. What is
it? That which is called Being. ------------ If you
do not understand anything mentioned above, please
read the following:


from Meditation Society of America Yahoo Club

Dear M-,

We have a nice article about the OM meditation
technique on our web site that also deals with
mantras in general. The URL is:
Personally, I love OM, but I find it hard to talk
about. OM is infinite and eternal, and all our
worldly words are so limited that I can't find a
way to describe my experiences adequately. I do
encourage you to continue chanting OM. There will
come a moment when you have become so at one with
this divine vibration, that you will join with the
millions of others who are OMing with you at any
given time. And that first hand experience of
sharing the transcendant unity of consciousness
will define "mantras" in a way that words can never
fully capture. OM OM OM

Peace and blessings,




"I experienced the space where I expected to see a
me, and I noticed at that moment a leaf rolling
over in the wind..."

Hi Jan,

I think I am going to relate my story to you
because you seem friendly and bouyant in your
asking (and against my tendency to want to avoid
focusing on it too much for the obvious "nondual"

Hmmmmm? Maybe not the long version.

Now I can't even vouch for chronological accuracy
because the recall mechanism seems to be just
painting the most logical picture, but here goes:

The first 17 years of my life had nothing I would
describe as spiritual except at 10 I tried praying
a bit and tended to put Jesus in a category of
admired superhero characters like the Fantastic
Four, Batman, Flash, etc. Ok, so lets say nothing
happened. A more dysfunctional than average family
helped launch me at college, school work, dating
and four years of exploring religion, occult
schools, scientology, etc. The last year I was
mostly into eastern spirituality, meditated a bit,
did some psychotropic (sp?) drugs (which was the
first real flirtation with significantly altered
perspectives and a permanent eye opener).

About 4 years after graduating i am continuing to
study mostly Buddhist practices, doing vipassana
type meditation, etc., mostly having some moderate
experiences of thoughts stopping for brief periods,
feeling relaxed, etc. Then a most significant
experience occurred while contemplating (inquiring)
into the concept of no-self. As best as I can
recall I was sitting at a desk with my feet up on
the desk, looking out the window at the rainy sky,
and I read a passage a buddhist text about there
being no soul, no individual self. And I just
looked "inward" thinking, though it seemed absurd,
"maybe there really is no 'me' here?". And, it's
hard to describe, but I experienced the space where
I expected to see a me, and I noticed at that
moment a leaf rolling over in the wind like in slow
motion, I could feel life inside of me, I was as
big as life, bigger, and it was all me, and it was
all ALIVE, radiant with LIFE. And then this body
went outside (it felt like my body was just "this
body" inside of me as everything)this huge space,
and it danced and skipped around in the rain for a
hours, and the whole experience was bathed in
Delight, top to bottom, front to back.

Thats the first half, anyway. Hows that? Now this
body/mind has to get back to a report.

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