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Ghost Orchid Triptych, photographed by Clyde Butcher.   "The majority of the Ghost Orchids are found in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve and in Big Cypress Preserve. They are so rare that most of them have been been located by GPS so that the Preserve can keep track of their health. There are approximately 150 or so plants left, with only 10% or less blooming. The orchid is pollinated by the large Sphinx Moth. Unfortunately, the moth is disappearing, leaving the Ghost Orchid with an uncertain future." Read more here:  

The Ghost Orchid is a subject of the book The Orchid Thief, which was the subject of the movie Adaptation.  

The Orchid Thief:


Issue # 1448 - Editor: Jerry - Monday, June 2, 2003  


Welcome New Editors! Joyce, Mark Otter and Eric Paroissien are the new and brilliant editors of the Highlights, joining Gloria, Christiana, and Jerry. Michael and John are now editors emeritus, bestowing their wisdom upon us as needed. We thank them for their long and outstanding service, which helped shape the Highlights into a unique creative form.  

Revised Highlights Edition: Joyce's first editorial effort was excellent although the images didn't come through. Please revisit her first issue, #1444, with the images intact!  

Addresses: Occasionally we post these useful addresses:  

Home on NDS: "
Home on Yahoo:
Highlights/NDS Search:
Letters to the editors:[email protected]  

J. P.

The Greek-Armenian Job  

On Monday mornings, it has been my custom to relax, sip some
Darjeeling tea, and lay face down in the gravel by the side of the
highway and stare at the endless rushing stream of rubber
wheels endlessly turning, turning, turning -  coming from who
knows where and going to unknown destinations, like New
Jersey or Halifax or someplace.

It was on one such Monday morning that it suddenly dawned on
me after a Michelin tire dislodged from a Kia SUV and ran over
my spine.

"Heck, there are lots of people from India - who - by virtue of
being Indian, knowing some Sanskrit words, having read some
metaphysics and being able to play a decent version of
Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven' on a harmonium - can make a
really good living as purveyors of enlightenment byproducts to
eager, highly impressionable Westerners!

"Heck, my brown skin may not exactly be quite as brown as the
ones in the Tamil Nadu edition of GQ, but it looks exotic enough!"

"Heck, I'm Greek-Armenian, just like the exotic, though thoroughly
dead Gurdjieff. And I shave my head too!"

"Heck, what the heck am I doing lying face down in the gravel by
the side of a highway?!"

I finished my tea and rode my unicycle straight to the richest,
most old-monied neighborhood in Toronto, actually in the whole
of Canada - or as it is still called in that hood - the Colony.

Rosedale. Yeah. Rosedale!

That's where I met Lady Gertrude Ascot Smythe Longfellow. She
was out walking her tufted Pekinese named Patchouli. Well she
didn't actually walk the dog. She had her Filipina servant Carmen
do it for her.

I'm talking aristocratic. When you have a coat of arms tattooed on
your dog's tongue, it's aristocratic. Her grandfather was some
big governor in India during the Raj. She was delighted to tell me
all about his tiger hunts, his many surprisingly clean, well
mannered local servants, and his amusing penchant for playing
polo on drunken elephants. Or playing with the surprisingly clean
elephants while he was drunk. I can't recall.

Lady Gertrude had been disappointed by the many Indian
purveyors of enlightenment that she met. She said she adored
each of them, but for no more than six months - at most. She
wanted to experience something - well - more exotic and
substantial. I am tempted to insert a reference to my manhood
right about now but I won't go there. That would be wrong.

She was however, very impressed. Very. That is - by my ability to
speak for hours on end not only about Esoterica, but about her
spiritually advanced ability to understand whatever the heck it
was I was saying.

She insisted that I take up residence in her country estate and
begin teaching my approach to enlightenment - that I referred to
as the "Sweat".

Her circle of friends were all interested in the arcane mysteries
of ancient, sweaty wisdom and they all wanted to have what no
money could purchase - the only thing they lacked -
enlightenment.  And hopefully, some immortality on the side, but
without the hassles and costs associated with postmortem
cryogenic treatments or mummification.

The "Sweat" was what mattered most to her now. She wanted to
know all about the Sweat from me - a living Greek-Armenian
master of the Sweat. Her friends wanted to know about the

Jeez, I had to come up with something fast. I was in over my
head now. I was getting real sweaty hearing how badly she
wanted the "Sweat" and how she took my perspiration as clear
indication of my endless access to the oceanic mysteries of the
Sweat. I knew I had to keep hydrated somehow.

I longed for my Monday tea time on the gravel by the side of the
highway - watching the wheels go round and round.  

Lady Gertrude had a really nice country estate. Thirty-six rooms. A
grand ballroom. Three libraries containing the collected writings of
the greatest metaphysical minds throughout history, including the
very rare swimsuit edition of 'Anatolian Sheep Gone Wild" magazine.

The aristocratic participants arrived for the program. They gave the
correct pre-determined secret password to the guard at the gate while
they followed my instructions to hop 36 times on their left foot,
place their right thumb into their left nostril and smile nervously.

The password was: "Perspirato".

To them, I was JP, the living Greek-Armenian master of the Great
Sweat. They came to discover the way to enlightenment at the hands of
an exotic mage who had journey the world and had been initiated into
secret brotherhoods of extremely exotic mages like "The Spinning
Vikings of Malta" and "The Athenian Hairclub Of Horus For Men".

To me, I travelled once to Toledo.

Toledo, Ohio - not Toledo, Spain. On a high school geography class
trip to visit the town's shut down foundries and mills; to view their
massive, rusty machinery that once noisily mass-produced lots of neat

I was once initiated into a treehouse club in Grade 5. To get
admitted, I had to kiss Susie McCoy ninety-nine times - on the lips!
Yechh! But after the 63rd kiss, I discovered it was not so bad after
all and I also discovered the connection between kisses and woodies.

I watched from the window of the master bedroom as the patrician
participants arrived and began entering their pre-assigned adobe huts
located near the stables.

I was missing my quiet Monday morning tea time of lying face down at
the side of the highway and wondered what exactly I was doing,
sweating giant beads of garlic-scented anxiety over what to do next.

Expectations were highly stretched. Just like the faces of the
participants after their third facial cosmetic surgery.

My ability to meet expectations was low. As was my level of
hydration, blood pressure, sugar and seratonin levels and sex drive.

Could I drink enough Evian water in time to put on a program good
enough to satisfy the participants' thirst for the Sweat? Did I take
into consideration the urgent realities of my bladder control

To be continued... 

From Life in Hell
by Matt Groening

Jeff speaking to Akbar,              

"All my life I've had a troubled heart.             

I've been tormented by the pervasiveness of suffering in the world.            

I've been perturbed by life's inevitable losses.            

I've been thoroughly freaked out by my own aging and impending death.            

How I've longed for some relief from the pain I feel.            

I've immersed myself in philosophy, but sadly, that has been ultimately unsatisfying.            

I've engaged in deep meditation, but the insights I've gained have only been partially consoling.            

I've studied the great spiritual teachers of the world, but still I need more.            

I've sought awareness in psychoanalysis, but after several years on the couch, I feel only a little closer to the truth.             I've even sought liberation in carnal desire, but alas--those moments of rapture have been all too fleeting.            

But today, after all these years of searching....something amazing happened.            

I was out taking a walk when suddenly a small shiny pebble caught my eye.            

As I gazed into the smooth texture of this tiny pebble that I held in the palm of my hand, everything became clear, and I was cosmically united with the universe.            

For the first time in my long spiritual journey, I feel peace.  

Contributed to NDS by Mary Bianco  

Eric Paroissien

i can't sleep in houses anymore
i can't wear shoes or shirt
i need to see myself spread all over this rugged surface
(of any volume of air i take a portion)
over these plains and rocket to scintillating lights
what will contain me now,
that pain and rocks have lost their density?


'Presence' is Ray Morose's 623 page tome on experiencing consciousness from a place free of limitations.  
from the website:  

"This book has been written not to provide easy answers, but
the processes for you to confirm your own conclusions. It will
not provide additional building blocks for you to build,
repair or maintain the walls of conceptual constructs or
belief systems; but demonstrate processes for you to uncover
your own tools to dismantle those walls, if you choose to do
so. As your own dismantling work begins, sometimes one stone
at a time, each stone removal allows light to penetrate into
that darkened corridor to illuminate what is within. This
illumination will also light up what those walls were
constructed to protect, as what you will see and know is
yourself exposed in all your nakedness. This can be
confronting and simultaneously exhilarating. Everyone has his
or her own unique potential and capacity, similar to an alarm
clock that rings a wake up call when the potential is ripe.
How loud it rings is your capacity."  

I just started reading the book and it is a meticulous walk. The first third of the book develops the existential terminology. The middle third makes the terminology usable toward evaluating experience. The last third presents an overall picture of consciousness that is recognizable or that is becoming recognizable, like a Polaroid developing in your hand.  

The main thing is that Presence doesn't give more constructs to live with or by. It provides processes to remove obstacles so that the nature of reality becomes known.  


Mary Bianco

The movie Talk To Her  

I just watched Talk To Her. Has anyone else
seen it? --Marcia

Hi Marcia, I saw the movie when it first opened. It was recommended by  Armand diMele from WBAI. For me, the movie was most profound and beautifully passionate. I still want to purchase the sound track. I've worked in healthcare for many years and have come to understand the importance of communication with a coma patient.  But, as you know, the movie was much more than just about that. This is the best synopsis I could find:

Talk To Her is a story about the friendship between two men, about loneliness and the long convalescence of the wounds provoked by passion. It is also a film about incommunication between couples, and about communication. About cinema as a subject of conversation. About how monologues before a silent person can be an effective form of dialogue. About silence as "eloquence of the body", about film as an ideal vehicle in relationships between people, about how a film told in words can bring time to a standstill and install itself in the lives of the person telling it and the person listening.
Talk To Her is a film about the joy of narration and about words as a weapon against solitude, disease, death and madness. It is also a film about madness, about a type of madness so close to tenderness and common sense that it does not diverge from normality.  

"You cannot escape life, no matter how you try. As long as you live,
whether in a town or a cave, you have to face it and live it. Real
life "is" the present moment - not the memories of the past which is
dead and gone, nor the dreams of the future which is not yet born.
One who lives in the present moment, lives the real life, and is the
happiest."   ~Walpola Rahula

From the book, "What the Buddha Taught," Grove Press. 

Kevin Anderson  

Divinity in Disguise is more than a collection of meditations and quotations. It is also a moving personal account of coming to terms with loss and learning how suffering, brokenness, and death can ultimately deepen spirituality and give birth to true joy.
From the back cover...


The “nested meditations” in this first-of-a-kind collection challenge the searching spirit to reflect deeply on the sacred nature of ordinary experience.


I honor you.

I honor you,
my soul.

I honor you,
my soul
companion, as you are.

I honor you,
my soul
companion, as you are
Divinity in disguise.



An oak is the dream every acorn has.

An oak is the dream. Every acorn has
to let go and fall.

An oak is the dream. Every acorn has
to let go, and fall
is the time.

An oak is the dream. Every acorn has
to let go and fall.
Is the time
close for you?

Vivekacadamuni  of Sri Sankaracharya. 
Om. Salutations to the Supreme Self. 
The Supreme Self,
different from the Prakriti and its modifications,
of the essence of Pure Knowledge, and Absolute,
directly manifests this entire gross and subtle universe,
in the waking and other states,
as the substratum of the persistent sense of egoism,
and manifests Itself as the Witness of the buddhi,
the determinative faculty.

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: