Jerry Katz
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Highlights #15

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What would happen if I learned to speak in statements? Would I then be
able to know?

If I began defining kates, would I be giving up anything?

Why do we draw lines between what is known and what is not? What happens
when the lines get crossed? Can there be a turning back?

If I'm careful to dot my 'i's , will I see more clearly?

Where do answers come from?

Do the answers always change or is it that the questions do?

No matter where I follow them,
I'm still here.

Or am I?



From: Tomas Diaz de Villegas <[email protected]>

reflection on the illusion of being outside of energy

It's interesting how the thinking/knowledge function makes it seems that
there is a "you" who is looking out at everything- even when that
"everything" has been accepted to be, fundamentaly, just unknowable energy

there is the idea (which interprits memories and sensations and forms
perceptions) that a seperation exists

"I" over and above or outside of energy and the "object" isolated from the
background and/or backdrop of energy


me, "the witness" or "observer", seperate from the energy which is the

but here's the kicker!

that very thinking function which establishes this division is itself a
product and form of energy!

the interpritor is energy, the world is energy, the thought, sensation,
feeling is energy, reaction is energy

each and every thought is energy

each and every image is energy

each and every disowned emotion, feeling, reaction, object is energy

energy looks upon itself

energy reacts to itself

energy moves itself

energy experiences itself

energy includes and is beyond experience



a conversation
between Glo and Jan....

> I read a true story re:Skinner. He and his students once trained some
> chickens to dance by using food rewards to demonstrate the principles of
> behaviorism, and after the experiment was over, someone took the dancing
> chickens out to entertain the public. Then there was an uproar and charges
> of "cruelty" over requiring these chickens to continue dancing,
> so they were
> quietly retired. Yet how many people live their whole lives as "dancing
> chickens"??

Probably everyone, until moksha is attained. There is even more to it: a
behavior that is assisting greatly is pleasing those, higher in hierarchy
(eventually including God). This behavior is absent in chickens but present
in young children and for instance, dogs.

> Whatever it is (grace?)..that enables us to become more aware of that
> conditioned self "dancing" (however illusory it may ultimately be), that
> process of stepping in the right direction certainly seems to give a nice
> illusion of more choice and freedom..even to the point Jan mentions of
> seeing that "self" dissolve. So I think we are at least "predestined" to
> experience life as a "choiced" process... we ARE here, after
> all... and how
> can one avoid choosing and making decisions? It may be that resisitance is
> futile ultimately, but at what point does one realize this and
> surrender to
> how it really is??

One doesn't see the self dissolve. Although called a meme, it could be
conditionally hard-wired and on attaining moksha the fuse is blown. The
accompanying effects of the attainment are rather suggestive of that. The
difference between having to make a choice and having no choice can be
attributed to intuition or when the majority of tendencies has vanished,
processing speed.

> Doesn't our "karmic fate" also rest on some underlying notion of
> our having
> created it by past choices that were made? Just to throw in
> another religion
> and a few more monkey wrenches. If its all good and all God why
> does it seem
> so otherwise messed up?? How do you explain that to the uninitiated?

There isn't a good explanation if it is seen seriously; life is a game and
that "explains" why the mess, however bad it may seem to be, will have a
"happy end". This is a hard nut to crack for someone suffering badly.

Jan continues:
Social security is one of the examples where some acknowledge the precedence
of fate over free will. When it comes to drugs, the dangers are known and
yet there are users. Instead of free will, I would say the desire for
enjoyment or the fear of pain is what propels into action but it seems a
choice for someone who isn't ready taking the risk, required to be taken for
the enjoyment or to avoid suffering.
[] My point is
> just that
> even the dancing chickens (the people ones) would describe themselves as
> choosing to dance. I'm not sure its so helpful to the "uninitated" to
> explain oneself or to ask them to eliminate concepts and change beliefs.
> Sometimes we merely create more barriers by highlighting our
> "differences"... Perhaps our moving one step closer to them??

The chickens would associate dancing with food. Liking the food, they will
learn to like dancing. Animals can learn anything by associating a certain
performance with getting food. Actually, dogs are domesticated to the extent
that they will continue to perform when the reward is changed from food to
verbal approval. Habit mind only requires memory and a reward. For playful
animals like dogs the habit turns out to be reward itself. Habit mind plays
an important role in many sadhanas (replaceing bad habits by good ones) and
practices like pranayama and japa.

Jan and Glo's conversation

> Jan:
> A repost on memes (from an article by Susan
Blackmore in New Scientist):
> ------------
> ----------------
> "Hold out your arm in front of you. Whenever you feel like it, of your
own free will, flex your wrist. Repeat this a few times, making sure you do
as consciously as
you can. You'll probably experience some kind of decision
process, in which you hold back from doing anything and then decide to act.

Now ask yourself, what began the process that led to the action? Was it you?

Neuroscientist Benjamin Libet of the university of California in San
Francisco asked volunteers to do
exactly that. A clock allowed the subjects to note
exactly when they decided to act, and by fitting
electrodes to their wrists, Libet could time the
start of the action.More electrodes on their
scalps recorded a particular brain wave pattern called
the readiness potential, which occurs just before any complex action and is
associated with the brain planning its next move. Libet's controversial
finding was
that the decision act came after the readiness potential.

It looks like there is no conscious "self" jumping into the synapses and
starting things off. This and other research has led me to believe that
the idea of
"self" is an illusion.

> Uh... there may be a lag time between when the preceeding subconscious
decision is made and when the person becomes consciously aware a decision is
made. There are like tons of subconscious information always being
processed in the background, simply because it works faster than our
conscious, verbalized self can become aware. Perhaps this readiness
potential being
measured is just that subconscious process happening?? So how "personal to
self" is the subconscious mind?? I mean it does record "our personal
experiences" of life and it does not surprise me in the least that a
would precede every conscious thought and act and
decision. So what?

What does that prove? I think along with simple
imitations of others or what is acquired from genes and memes (in
potential, if not actualized), there is
the self_aware_of -itself..a "self-consciousness" which sorts thru all this
input (both sub-and consciously) and attempts to make sense of all the
data, a chooser who may be more or less "free to choose." That a part of
is subconscious or not "just me" but shared with does that make
it any less a "me" to be experienced?? Why not be both (personal AND
transpersonal)?? I know.. I cannot find this "only me" self, either..I mean
its ok not to have attributes or be like set in stone. I guess the "me
sense" just is consciousness being conscious. So why do you say that
is a no-self?

If there would be a self, making the decision to act, it would make sense
if the acknowledgment of the decision would at least be simultaneous with
the readiness potential. I don't know what the test persons had to say to
acknowledge decision but if any verbalism will do, the response time can be
very short. In my case, the experiment would be impossible as any task is
immediately absorbed by the mind and from then is executed as a kind of
habit without any sense of decision. The subconscious mind only records
everything until attainment of moksha. From then, it records just factual
information, not the emotion(s) accompanying the act of recording. The
conclusion that can be drawn is, self is a feeling that results from
continuing identification and this is the reason for the delay. It isn't
without reason the path to liberation could be called the road from personal
to impersonal as a quote from Purohit Swami shows:

[...] "The yogi is attached to his personal God, prides himself in being
his devotee, his son, dedicates his life to him, sings his glory, enjoys
his sense of duality, refuses to merge himself into his God, refuses to become
God. God initiates him into this last stage, when the yogi says: 'I am
spirit, the personal Self is the impersonal Self', leaves all for God,
lives there for ever" [...].

This too indicates transition to the absence of a "me". No doubt the
experiments will be repeated with improved brain scanners sensitive and
fast enough to detect the cerebral activity of decision. It won't be found...



From the HarshaSatsangh list.....

Jan wrote:

The Self doesn't have a location, whether inside or outside of the body.
But there are some references to
the spiritual heart (to the right of the chakra
on the axis) by Upanishads and Ramana . The third eye is connected with
individuality and your question served as
a reminder. When duality is no more (no "me"), there still is a sense of
individuality and this is referred to as +I+. However, in the course of
events this "rest" individuality is transformed into what could be
approximated as "radiant space" and it coincides with
the absence of the third eye from what I call "observable
pranic map". Anyway, this "radiant space" is devoid of
any sense of individuality. No search was done for scriptural verification
of this.

Gloria Joy Greco:
I don't know that anyone writes about the energy that is left in this.
It is really quite interesting, I can't find words to describe this
experience. Radiant space is an interesting description but it doesn't
quite go far enough. It is an ever present void, usually one things of
void as being empty, it is empty of the human condition... but rather then
empty it is intensely unified, full and never changing, the words "original
state" comes to mind. It is a transcendental permanency which does not active silence which has no boundaries.


Harsha offered a quote from Purohit Swami:

"Worldly power is intoxicating; spiritual power is more intoxicating; but
when the yogi refuses to be drawn into it, his mind refuses to love and
hate, accepts what comes without effort, as the result of past karma. There
is no new desire, no new fuel to feed the fire, the last embers are fast
dying out, reduced to cold ashes, the last impressions on the mind die out,
and the mind finds its rest in Self, dissolves itself in Self, loses its
identity, loses its personality, becomes Self itself."

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