Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:


Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day

HIGHLIGHTS #1294 - Friday, December 20, 2002 - Edited by Gloria Lee

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is
the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion
is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in
awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." - Albert Einstein

photo by Al Larus

GILL EARDLEY  Allspirit   *The Magi*

Now as at all times I can see in the mind's eye,
In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones
Appear and disappear in the blue depth of the sky
With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,
And all their helms of silver hovering side by side,
And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more,
Being by Calvary's turbulence unsatisfied,
The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.

~W B Yeats

Botticelli's "Adoration of the Magi"    

TRISHA  Daily Dharma  
Spiritual Materialism & Disappointment - Chogyam Trungpa

As long as we follow a spiritual approach promising salvation, miracles,
liberation, then we are bound by the "golden chain of spirituality." Such a
chain might be beautiful to wear, with its inlaid jewels and intricate
carvings, but nevertheless, it imprisons us. People think they can wear the
golden chain for decoration without being imprisoned by it, but they are
deceiving themselves. As long as one's approach to spirituality is based
upon enriching ego, then it is spiritual materialism, a suicidal process
rather than a creative one.

All the promises we have heard are pure seduction. We expect the teachings
to solve all our problems; we expect to be provided with magical means to
deal with our depressions, our aggressions, our sexual hangups. But to our
surprise we begin to realize that this is not going to happen. It is very
disappointing to realize that we must work on ourselves and our suffering
rather than depend upon a savior or the magical power of yogic techniques.
It is disappointing to realize that we have to give up our expectations
rather than build on the basis of our preconceptions.

We must allow ourselves to be disappointed, which means the surrendering of
me-ness, my achievement. We would like to watch ourselves attain
enlightenment, watch our disciples celebrating, worshipping, throwing
flowers at us, with miracles and earthquakes occurring and gods and angels
singing and so forth. This never happens. The attainment of enlightenment
from ego's point of view is extreme death, the death of self, the death of
me and mine, the death of the watcher. It is the ultimate and final
disappointment. Treading the spiritual path is painful. It is a constant
unmasking, peeling off of layer after layer of masks. It involves insult
after insult.

Such a series of disappointments inspires us to give up ambition. We fall
down and down and down, until we touch the ground, until we relate with the
basic sanity of earth. We become the lowest of the low, the smallest of the
small, a grain of sand, perfectly simple, no expectations. When we are
grounded, there is no room for dreaming or frivolous impulse, so our
practice at last becomes workable. We begin to learn how to make a proper
cup of tea, how to walk straight without tripping. Our whole approach to
life becomes more simple and direct, and any teachings we might hear or
books we might read become workable. They become confirmations,
encouragements to work as a grain of sand, as we are, without expectations,
without dreams.

We have heard so many promises, have listened to so many alluring
descriptions of exotic places of all kinds, have seen so many dreams, but
from the point of view of a grain of sand, we could not care less. We are
just a speck of dust in the midst of the universe. At the same time our
situation is very spacious, very beautiful and workable. In fact, it is
very inviting, inspiring. If you are a grain of sand, the rest of the
universe, all the space, all the room is yours, because you obstruct
nothing, overcrowd nothing, possess nothing. There is tremendous openness.
You are the emperor of the universe because you are a grain of sand. The
world is very simple and at the same time very dignified and open, because
your inspiration is based upon disappointment, which is without the
ambition of the ego.


Poem No. 0 - regression analysis - a Zen version of Hafiz "Poem No. 1"

0, Nobody!
Can you fill an empty glass with nothing?
It seems an easy task until you think about it.
It is something not easily proven finished.

I see that you're blushing at your pride,
and can smell that your brow is damp from worry.

I'll pour nothing from a Klein bottle
until nothing is left inside or outside.
I'd rather do that than witness
the illogical acrobatics of fools.

We are in exceptionally dangerous territory now.
God only knows how to shed some light on this.

Everyone probably thinks I'm insane.
It's likely that the proof is right here.

If you wish to remain free of a straightjacket,
keep these thoughts to yourself!

This leaves me feeling very frightened and small,
but potent.



Sound of Silence  

I have done some web searches since you sent those posts on the
vibrational sound I have attempted to get more information on.
Mahatma Gandhi referred to it as "spanda", and a web search on that
term led to even more information. It has to do with a couple of
schools of nondualistic yoga. An example here:

I include a link that has a group of quotes from various sources in
regard to the sound of silence.    

Sound of Limitless Light

"The Kabballah teaches that God used certain sounds or vibrations to create the Universe and that these vibrations underlie all existence. The modern science of super string theory adopts a strikingly similar viewpoint when it teaches that fundamentally the Universe is pure vibration."

The Sounds and Wisdom of the Kabballah
Sacred Mystery

"The knower of the mystery of sound knows the mystery of the whole universe. Whoever has followed the strains of this sound has forgotten all earthly distinctions and differences, and has reached that goal of truth in which all the Blessed Ones of God unite."

Hazrat Inayat Khan

Scientists have only recently learned that the particles of an oxygen atom vibrate in a major key and the blades of grass "sing". Europe's foremost jazz producer takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America, exploring the musical traditions of diverse cultures and reaffirming what the ancients have always known ... the world is sound, rhythm, and vibration."

"The World is Sound" By Joachim-Ernst Berendt
"At the heart of each of us, whatever our imperfections, there exists a silent pulse of perfect rhythm, a complex of wave forms and resonances, which is absolutely individual and unique, and yet which connects us to everything in the universe. The act of getting in touch with this pulse can transform our personal experience and in some way alter the world around us. "

"The Silent Pulse" by Leonard George


Resounding Praise

"All the vibratory centers along the earth's axis from pole to pole resounded his call; the whole earth trembled; the universe quivered in tune. Thus he made the whole world an instrument of sound, and sound an instrument for carrying messages, resounding praise to the Creator of all."

HOPI Following the Path of Peace


Ducks Along the NDS Watchtower

Some quote and try to wield their revered ones like squeekie
plastic toy hammers - and use them as an excuse for the bland
bone dryness of their own stifled voices, torn minds and frozen

Some see their revered ones as so much holier than the poor
slobs and sickos and riff raff who could not possibly be worthy
enough by virtuelessness of their caste or creed or sex to
understand the wizdom reserved for only the most superior of
advanced masters of the destinies of the killers of Love.

And we quote and quote and quote and read from the quotes
and memorize them by rote and read them without the deep eye
of the heart that sees behind and behind and behind the
apparent and the eye that listens for the mysterious movements
of the Ocean currents and tides.

Then there are hammers made of lightning and thunder and the
names of all the ones who sing must be heard with reverence.



I once thought that truth was eternal

"I'm still trying to find exactly the perfect words that would explain to all of us how perfect we already are."  

--Lucy Grealy

"And then, that evening in that cafe, I experienced a moment of the freedom I'd been practicing for behind my Halloween mask all those years ago.  But whereas as a child I expected my liberation to come as a result of gaining something, a new face, it came to me now as the result of shedding something, of shedding my image.  I once thought that truth was eternal, that when you understood something it was with you forever.  I know now that this isn't so, that most truths are inherently unretainable, that we have to work hard all our lives to remember the most basic things.  Society is no help; it tells us again and again that we can most be ourselves by looking like someone else, leaving our own faces behind to turn into ghosts that will inevitably resent and haunt us.  It is no mistake that in movies and literature the dead sometimes know they are dead only after they can no longer see themselves in the mirror; and as I sat there feeling the warmth of the cup against my palm, this small observation seemed like a great revelation to me.  I wanted to tell the man I was with about it, but he was involved in his own topic and I did not want to interrupt him, so instead I looked with curiosity toward the window behind him, to see if I could, now, recognize myself."  

--from the essay "Mirrorings" by Lucy Grealy, poet and author of "Autobiography of a Face" and "As Seen on TV: Provocations", dead at 39.  

full text:


MARK HOVILLA  Direct Approach  

We think we need to "do" something to break through.  But I think we have it backwards.  We are already "doing" something, and that is the problem.  We're on a mission to get somewhere, anywhere.  Anywhere but here, that is.   Looking at ourselves is not effort.  That is when the effort stops.  There is a moment of clarity.  Then what happens?  We try to "maintain" it or "deepen" it.  We think this moment came about as a result of our effort, and that further effort is needed to "keep it going."   But what happens when, instead, we see this clarity as the default state, the natural state, not a product of effort, but the simple truth which simply is, always?  Then, any lack of clarity is seen for what it is:  A willful, effortful retreat from the truth.     If it feels like effort, like we are trying to "get" somewhere, "attain" something, take note.  That dog don't hunt.

top of page

Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: