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The Highlights 

Friday, May 17, 2002 Issue #1075

Edited by Gloria Lee 

Highlights Home Page: 

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 This issue features the Amigos website, from which the above picture is taken. The Amigos webzine is a collaborative effort of several Dutch writers, with now 3 issues. It may be found at:  The first issue presented a movie, The Sea That Thinks, a film by Gert de Graaff , that will soon be available in DVD.  Excerpts below are from the article on it by Belle Bruins, please see website for complete interview. 

13 years to find that he is a projector lamp?

Yes, a projector lamp, a blank movie screen, a television - the availability for images to arise, and at the same time seeking the one that perceives and identifies with all those occurring images.

In fact too mad for words.

Really? Gert writes: 'And if I, as the maker of the film, can make it clear that many things we think we see do not seem to be so, maybe that will give an entrance to that other line in my movie: maybe many things that we think we are, are not correct either. Depending on our point of view. What am I? What do I think I am?

I will read you some lines from his website:
'Empty plain, mirror, the light in the projector; those are only symbols of the unspeakable. Because of the screen, we can project images; because of the projector light we can see images; because of that emptiness and silence in my head, thoughts and images can arise in me. And everything dissolves again; into nothing, and nothing makes any difference.'

Nice words.

Yes, at first he thinks he can find the answer in spirituality. Just like me, and many others. But when one really dives into that, one reads things like: there's no method. So he makes a note: forget everything. 

Fragments from an interview made by André de Laat on 12 September 2000 with Gert de Graaff.

What is the film about?

After he recited a poem, Rutger Kopland was once asked: What is that poem really all about? His response was to read the poem again. So yes, I think 'what's it all about' is always the wrong question. A question like that results from all those Hollywood movies in which film is often only a spoon used to feed the story to the viewer. But in the best case, film was chosen as the medium because there was no other way to communicate the message. Don't tell them, show them! If it could be done with words, it would be a lot cheaper and simpler to put it down on paper and publish it. 'The sea that thinks' has something to say in images. Don't read this; go and watch it, the film is primarily an experience! Words do not communicate experiences; the word 'dog' doesn't bite.


It isn't all that difficult to see that my 'I' is a thought too, I think (!). But that is fairly unknown territory for most of us. That is why I allow you to EXPERIENCE how you look and think. Then you actually undergo it. You can experience where you start identifying with yourself, where you start believing in illusions. We believe so hard in something that is not there! Strange, isn't it? But you have to experience it, not read about it on this website. No one can explain what salt tastes like, you just have to taste it yourself.~~~~

As far as I know there have been no serious attempts to make this material accessible to a mass audience. The only films that looked at this subject were either intended to confirm lay prejudices or were only made for and by the 'initiated'. I have a healthy dislike of both kinds of films. I am not dogmatic. In my film I primarily show that all that spiritual knowledge - in which I lost myself intensively for many years - eventually leads to little or nothing. It could result in an even larger ego, an 'I', an ego that thinks it is 'on the right track'; it is 'better' than others, etc. But if you study those theories, it turns out that there is no 'right track'. 'There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way' . There are at most all kinds of misunderstanding about the ways we can take to become 'happy'. I wanted to make a film that can really be of (some) use to you, also the day after.


'The sea that thinks' is a surprising film about itself. A film brimming with twists and turns and new angles. It focuses on Bart, a scriptwriter who is writing the script for this film. In the film, Bart himself plays the scriptwriter writing the script of 'the sea that thinks'. He types what he does and does what he types.

In his film, he finds the answer to the urgent question: how do we become happy? He uses stunning examples to show us that our world is only to be found in our consciousness. What is real and what is illusion? Do we believe in our dream world while we dream? Do we believe in the reality of film while we see it? And why? His combination of pictures and text has a hypnotic effect on the viewer. It provides an exciting, dislocating and humorous adventure.

Then it becomes apparent that the film is not about this tormented scriptwriter at all. In a game filled with optical illusions and continually changing points of view, the surprised viewers gradually find out they are looking at themselves: how do I observe? What do I assume to be true? What do I think I see? What do I think I am? The viewer turns out to bear a striking similarity to the sea that thinks it's a Tree.

From "A Hot Potato" by Philip Renard

Padmasambhava, who was one of the masters that introduced in the 8th century with Dzogchen the most essential element into Tibetan Buddhism, had no doubts whatsoever about this subject. In a text (in which the expression 'view' - ltaba in Tibetan - refers to seeing from the recognition of one's true nature) he says:

'Do not lose the view in the conduct;
If you lose the view in the conduct, you will never have the chance to be liberated.
Do not lose the conduct in the view;
If you lose the conduct in the view, you stray into black diffusion.'

He shows us the two poles of error. The first pole is the unending polishing of the person, the attitudes or conduct, leading to the fact that the 'view' of one's true nature stays hidden behind the horizon. The second pole - which the great 20th century Dzogchen teacher Tulku Urgyen calls even worse than the first pole - points to the fact that, because the view shows that good and bad do not exist, one thinks that in his conduct there is no good and bad either. That is the reason why Tulku Urgyen emphasizes that view and conduct should be clearly distinguished. The way one behaves should be in harmony with ordinary human 'worldly' values and distinctions.
Padmasambhava also said: "Though the view should be as vast as the sky, keep your conduct as fine as barley flour." In other words, even someone like Padmasambhava, who is considered in Tibet a 'second Buddha', with his complete realisation of nonduality, kept emphasizing that every inch of our behavior is worth our attention. And until today that is being taught in this form of Tibetan Buddhism. (Maybe it is good to mention here that the Tibetan Buddhism we talk about - Dzogchen - is totally based upon immediate recognition. So nobody will get the impression that the attention for earthly things stands for an unending preparatory period as is the case in so many other schools of Buddhism). 


"more mumbo jumbo" 

M: isn't it though...FUNNY that is? <grin> "i already got one"  is a line from Mony Python and the Search for the Holy

EJS: um where should I walk to now that I am laughing?

M: take a vacation, go to work, hang out in bars, sit in temples, do good
do nothing, explore caves, climb mountains, trek deserts, hike through
jungles, go to the cities, go to the wildernesses, the choices are infinite,
the beauty never ending.

oh yeah, some mumbo jumbo...

everybody and everything already is one with the universe.
you are the god you seek - you just enjoy pretending otherwise.
not talking to you who you think you are - talking to you who has tricked
you into thinking you are something else - woohoo!

Load up the Concept Cannons!

bang? that's it? bang? a flag pops out and bang?

live laugh love and be happy - michael 

 ALTON on Million Paths  Meeting Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Do you know what I mean by peace?" he asked.  "When you put a donut
in boiling water, a lot of bubbles will come out until all of the

moisture in the donut is gone.  It also makes a lot of noise, doesn't
it?  Finally, all is silent and the donut is ready.  The silent
condition of mind which comes about through a life of meditation is
called peace.  Meditation is like boiling the oil.  It will make
everything in the mind come out.  Only then will peace be achieved."
This was a very graphic and precise explanation of spiritual life if
I had ever heard one!" (Note: The website index includes other
accounts of meetings with Nisargadatta by: Ramesh, Jack Kornfield,
David Godman, "Sailor" Bob Adamson, and others.)


HUR on Nisargadatta list  

I have just uploaded 5 new Nisargadatta Maharaj photos. These
pictures are courtesy of a friend in Bombay, connected to Shri
Sadguru Sidharameshwara Adhyatma Kendra.


TYKAL on Yearning list from Rilke's sequence The Windows


It's because I saw you
leaning out the ultimate
window that I knew
and drank my whole abyss.

Showing me your arms
stretched toward night,
you made what was in
me that escaped you escape
me, since, and run…

Was your one gesture
proof of a goodbye so grand
that it turned me into wind
and dropped me in the river?


She was in a window mood that day:
to live seemed no more than to stare.
From a dizzy non-existence she could see
a world coming to her completing heart.

She seemed to be profusely watering
a garden of tender images with her glance;
is it liberty or slavery
not to change the pose of indolence?

Far from what's living and spinning, her heart
was a number struck by sudden brilliance
like a Balance or Lyre;
an almost-name from ancient absences.  Rainer Maria Rilke 

*imageJohn White Alexander
about 1911
49 x 36 1/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum


 JERRY KATZ on NDS Flame Warriors:


  whatever repeats
ultimately becomes bore
a chill nothing beats
reminds of the parrot mind?
chatterbox of the worst kind!
it can't solve one thing all it does is ding ding ding

Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: