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HIGHLIGHTS #1310 Sunday, January 5, 2003 Edited by Gloria Lee

by Leonardo DaVinci

Mace Mealer


Observing one place flowers
       at a headstone,
       may lead to a speculation
       of profound loss,
       unknown circumstances,
       or undying love.
       However, speculations
       do not necessarily
       produce an accurate
       affect of reality.
       And one is left,
       quite simply,
       with an observation,
       which, as a component
       of awareness
       may prove ultimately
       more valuable
       than speculation
       in the apprehension
       of reality.

Harsha Satsangh

The Direct vs. Gradual Approach

The dichotomy suggesting that there are two approaches to the Truth (gradual
versus direct) is illusionary. 

  Vedas declare with authority, "I Am That." Sri Ramana has said that the Truth of the
Self Is Simple and is within everyone's grasp. However, the spiritual effort needed
in terms of meditation and inquiry to make the mind subtle and to refine the
intellect cannot be dismissed as trivial. If some people feel that they do not need
such efforts and can grasp the Truth immediately by hearing someone restate or
paraphrase what the ancient sages have said, that is wonderful indeed. 

The state of the Self is natural. Sages called it the Sahaj state. It means easy and
natural. So, you have to see what is easy and natural for you and what comes
natural to you. What practice and path are natural differ according to the needs of
people. You need not seek or follow some "advaita expert or master" as such a
person may simply be a novice. It is not difficult to sound like an advaita master. So
do not focus on whether a path is direct or gradual and be in a rush towards
enlightenment. It is all silly talk. 

Wedded to either the "direct" approach or the "gradual" approach, one misses the
obvious. Both the "direct" and "gradual" depend on each other for meaning and
have no basis in the Reality of the Self. The Self Always Is. It is not seen by
"another" Directly. Neither is it approached by "another" gradually. Self Reveals It
Self Alone to It Self.

You Are the Self.  

Love to all

Viorica Weissman
Million Paths

Bhagavan- That is where you fail.

Q: I am an inmate of the ashram. Nevertheless,     
it does occasionally happen that something
disturbs for a while, why do such interruptions
come? Does it mean that I have ceased to have
Bhagavan s grace at that time?

A: You crazy fellow! The trouble or want of peace comes only     
because of Grace. You people are glad and grateful to God
when things you regard as good come to you. That is right,
but you should be equally grateful when things you regard
as bad come to you. That is where you fail.

Million Paths

Bhagavan: ...People began to pester me

I never knew of these philosophical conundrums and controversies and problems
until I came to Tiruvannamalai and people began to pester me. Up till then I have
never concerned myself with them. I never knew any system of philosophy. All
these systems have evolved out of the one simple fact of realization. Therefore,
seek realization, practice vichara, and do not worry about philosophies and systems
and problems. 

Vichara: Enquiry This snip from Conscious Immortality    

Manuel Hernandez
A Net of Jewels

A Net of Jewels
Ramesh S. Balsekar

The source of Consciousness is Consciousness.  Consciousness is all there

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The universe goes on its merry, mystical, magical way until you start
observing it and you, by observing it, create problems.  The working of the
universe has no problems.

Amrita Osborne
Daily Dharma  

"I have stilled my restless mind and
my heart is radiant,
for in Thatness I have seen
beyond Thatness,
in company I have seen
the Comrade Himself,
Living in bondage, I have set myself free,
I have broken away from
the clutch of all narrowness,
I have attained the unattainable, and
my heart is colored with the color of love." 


From the book, "The Mystic Path," compiled by Amrita Nadi, published by
Brevard Community College.

Blessings to all.  May peace and peace and peace be everywhere.

Anthony DeMello
Arriving at Silence

A great German philosopher and theologian wrote a whole book specifically
on the silence of St. Thomas.  He simply went silent.  Wouldn't talk.  In
the prologue of his Summa Theologica, which was the summary of all his
theology, he says, "About God, we cannot say what He is but rather what He
is not.  And so we cannot speak about how He is but rather how He is
not."  And in his famous commentary on Boethius' De Sancta Trinitate he
says there are three ways of knowing God: (1) in the creation, (2) in God's
actions through history, and (3) in the highest form of the knowledge of
God -- to know God tamquam ignotum (to know God as the unknown).  The
highest form of talking about the Trinity is to know that one does not
know.  Now, this is not an Oriental Zen master speaking.  This is a
canonized saint of the Roman Catholic Church, the prince of theologians for
centuries.  To know God as unknown.  In another place St. Thomas even says:
as unknowable.  Reality, God, divinity, truth, love are unknowable; that
means they cannot be comprehended by the thinking mind.  That would set at
rest so many questions people have because we're always living under the
illusion that we know.  We don't.  We cannot know.

What is scripture, then?  It's a hint, a clue, not a description.  The
fanaticism of one sincere believer who thinks he knows causes more evil
than the united efforts of two hundred rogues.  It's terrifying to see what
sincere believers will do because they think they know.  Wouldn't it be
wonderful if we had a world where everybody said, "We don't know"?  One big
barrier dropped.  Wouldn't that be marvelous?

John Metzger

Trip out, man, but my favorite is still "The Mystic Nature of Life: Good, evil and donuts"    

Matthew Files

from "One Taste" by Ken Wiber  

student: I was discussing an integral view with some other  students and they said
that because I was making judgements I was  showing real lack of compassion. I
didn't think so.  

kw: Yes, there is probably more confusion about this issue than  any other in
spiritual circles. Basically most of the trouble comes  from confusing compassion
with idiot compassion, which are the terms  Trungpa Rinpoche used for this crucial
distinction. We in this  country-and especially in new-age circles- have a type of
tepid  egalitarianism and political correctness that says no view is really  any better
than another, and therefore all views are to be cherished  equally, as a sign of rich
diversity. If we don't make any  judgemennts about better or worse, then we are
showing real compassion So we have judgemental versus compassion and that is
the common  understanding. But, you see, that stance is a massive
self-contradiction. On the  one hand, it says that all views are equally part of a rich 
diversity, and thus no view is better than another. On the other  hand, it strongly
claims that this view itself is *better* than the  alternatives. So this "compassion"
states that no view is better than  another, *except its own view*, which is superior
in a world where  nothing is superior at all. It is a ranking that denies ranking and a 
judgement thtat all judgements are bad. That hypocrisy has nothing to do with real
compassion; in fact,  that is idiot compassion. Idiot compassion thinks it is being
kind,  but it's really being very cruel. If you have an alcoholic friend and  you
know that one more drink might kill him, and yet he begs you for  a drink, does
real compassion say that you should give it to him?  After all, to be kind you should
give him waht he wants, right? Who  are you to impose your views on him , right?
Giving him the drink  would therefore show compassion yes? No, Absolurtrly not.
Real compassion includes wisdom and so it makes judgements of care  and
concern: it says some things are good and some things are bad and  I will choose to
act only on those things that are informed by wisdom  and care.  Zen calls this the
difference between "grandmother zen" and "real  zen" In order to awaken from the
dream of samsara, the ego itself  must be really kicked around, often severely.
Otherwise you will  simply continue to play your favorite games. Grandmother zen
doesn't  challenge you. In order to be "kind" grandmother zen will let you  sleep a
little late if you want, and stop meditating early if you  don't like how it is going,
and allow you to wallow in you. What most  people mean by "compassion" is:
please be kind to my ego. Now maybe you and I aren't accomplished masters, and
so maybe we  don't always know what is real compassion and what is not. But we 
must start to try to learn to exercise real compassion instead of  idiot compassion.
We need to learn to make qualitative distinctions.  These are hierarchical
judgements that involve the ranking of  values.If you don't like hierarchy, well
fine, that is your  hierarchy: you hierarchically value nonhierarchies more than you 
value hierarchies. Just be honest enough to to correctly label what  you are really
doing. If you don't like value rankings and want to  avoid them, fine, that is your
value ranking-you rank nonranking as  better than ranking-and that itself is a
ranking, your ranking. At  least be honest about this. The fact is, ranking is
unavoidable in  values, so at least do it consciously,honestly, and above board, and 
stop this hypocritical stance that you are being nonjudgemental which  is itself a
colossal judgement  

student: But isn't choicless awareness without judgements?  

k.w.: Choicless awareness accepts absolutely everything that  arises, including both
judging and not judging. You see,  nonjudgemental, is itself a choice between two
opposites-judging  versus not judging-which is why "nonjudgemental is not at all
the  same as choicless awareness. Choiceless awareness is the absolute  mirror that
effortlessly reflects whatever arises- it does not try to  choose not-judging versus
judging. Choiceless awareness really refers to what the bBuddhists call  Absolute
Bodhichitta, or Emptiness; whereas making judgements is  refered to as Relative
Bodhichitta or compassion. This means ral  compassion, not idiot compassion and
real compassion uses wisdom to  make judgements. So in neither case, absolute or
relative,  is "nonjudgemental" a wise stance. In the absolute, we rest in  Emptiness,
which doesn't care if we make judgements or not since both  arise equally in pure
Emptiness. In the relative, we make judgements  based on wisdom and
compassion, and that means judgements based on  qualitative distinctions, value
rankings, and depth.  

The Conscpiracy of Mediocrity

I hope everyone here at least reads it. It is a long one, this is just an
excerpt. If you don't think it applies to you,'re wrong LOL!!
The Conspiracy of Mediocrity

Ken Wilber: Let me just say that in a student who's got a really bad
case of boomeritis which is to say, pretty much any cultural creative
out there, all fifty million strong the internal stance is, "I'm
holding on to my position and nobody can tell me what to do. My
state, just as it is, has the same worth as any other." And that
stance effectively aborts any real transformation.
And so, for example, most of the people involved with what I call
Boomeritis Buddhism even deny the importance of satori or
Enlightenment or Awakening. Because that's saying some states are
higher than others and we shouldn't be judgmental. But guess what?
Some states are higher. And so the entire raison d'etre of Buddhism
gets tossed out the door because it offends the pluralistic ego.

Andrew Cohen: So the whole point is that with boomeritis, real
radical transformation is against the rules.

KW: Yes. Well, it has to be.

AC: To dare to even speak about radical transformation, let alone
call other people to a higher level, is against the unstated rules.
And of course, one's definitely going to be put in one's place for
doing something like that. But unless the possibility of genuine
transformation is actually declared, unless one is willing to
demonstrate it publicly and to call other people to the same, no one
is even going to know that it's possible. And then unknowingly,
everybody's going to be participating in the conspiracy of

Jerry Katz

Thanks, Matthew. What you send in these two posts is from the current issue
of What Is Enlightenment. Like all issues, it's very interesting. I enjoyed
it. The next issue will about something else altogether, like just another
post to just another email list.

Whatever structure is set up is in the path of the tide. Andrew Cohen and
Ken Wilber, a hundred years from now, and the rest of boomers will be long
washed away. Only the photos will survive. Does the above have the ring of
eternity? Does it sound locked in time? Is there a sense that these guys
open a void? Is there an attempt to do some convincing? Is the back door to
the theater open? Are we forced to pick a flick?

just some questions,

What is it about this stuff that is appealing? It almost sounds like certain
people bother Wilber and that he's set up this fantastic intellectual system
in order to isolate them and show them how wrong they are.

He says, "We in this country-and especially in new-age circles- have a type
of tepid  egalitarianism and political correctness that says no view is
really any better than another, and therefore all views are to be cherished
equally." Really? Cherished? In my life I've never encountered any of this.
Where are these people? I'll write a book so they can cherish it. Anyone
within the sound of my voice cherishing all views equally? Anyone beyond the
sound of my voice?

It sounds like something really bothers Wilber, et. al., and they're dead
set on doing something about it.

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against it. Here, I'll make Ken happy.
Ken, I cherish your views.



Lobster wrote: Real Teachers  find those worthy of transmission and do so 
INDEPENDENT of any need to engage in spirituality.  This is because they are
transferring qualities - not information.

****What i've written below describes a scene from the film  Forrest Gump. While
i dont see it necessarily as a spoiler for the movie, if  you havent seen it, and would
rather not know anything  about the movie, you may not want to read this.   

For some reason, the above statement of Lobsters made me think of  a scene in the
movie "Forrest Gump",  where, right after Forrest's love, Jenny, takes off, he
seems to  go into shock. And then......he just  starts running. For no other reason
than because  he feels like it. He ran from one U.S. coast to the other  and back
again, for over three years.   

He slept when tired, ate when hungry, voided when necessary, and answered
questions with whatever came into his mind first.   

Being the unusual activity that it is, Forrest drew the attention  of reporters and
media, who assumed he was running for some  reason, that his running held some
meaning.  They asked him, "For what cause are you running?  Hunger, peace,
women's rights?" He told them, "No. I'm running  because i feel like it."   

A young man, almost too timid to say something, came up alongside  him and said,
"Oh my god, i cant believe its really you! You, who  have all the answers and have
it all figured out! I will follow you  anywhere!!"   

And so, an army of followers began to follow  and run with Forrest, and a Guru
was born.  But Forrest had never said anything. He didnt  even wonder why these
people were following him. He was  focused only on running.   

One day, Forrest just stopped running. The crowd behind him  stopped and said,
"Shhh...i think he's going to say something.   

All Forrest Gump said was  "I'm tired and i don't want to run anymore.  I want to
go home."   

Maybe he wasn't a Real Teacher, because he  didnt know what he was doing, but
it sure did  seem like he was transmitting something.   

The narrative voice-over (Forrest's voice) said,  "Mama always said you have to
put the past behind you  in order to move on. I think all that running was my way 
of doing that." 

(fan of Forrest Gump and Lieutenant Day-in)

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
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