Jerry Katz
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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #156

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"I came to feed on Thee, but Thou hast fed on me; now I am
peaceful, O Arunachala."

- Marital Garland of Letters, v. 28 Sri Ramana Maharshi



from Ramana Maharshi:

"question: Does my realisation help others?

Ramana Maharshi: Yes, certainly... Realisation of the Self
is the greatest help that can be rendered to humanity.
Therefore the saints are said to be helpful, though they
remain in forests...

question: Would it not be better if he mixed with others?

Ramana: There are no others to mix with."


Could beauty be an action, a verb?


Only when it 'moves' you.

Have you ever watched a child 'read' its first words from a
book?... A hockey team win a championship against a
stronger team with an overtime goal?... A big 'grouchy'
looking man share an unexpected word of kindness?... An act
of final desparation to save a life at the risk of one's
own?... A light that suddenly appears in eyes full of
despair as if, suddenly, something is known, something that
sources in a love greater than can be imagined?

Or, not knowing what to say and yet finding the perfect
words to say I love you.


Beauty is the sight of the universe with perceptiveness no
longer limited to the constraints of bodily location.



Any"one" who has meditated (especially "beginners") will
describe how the most trivial things attempt to rush in to
fill the vacuum when the mind is first made empty. How the
most ludicrous distractions appear and flicker upon the
surface of the mind, sometimes becoming obsessive. Suddenly,
the body will seem hungry and a vision of food will appear.
Questions like "Are the bills paid" or "is the alarm set in
case I fall asleep while meditating?" will seem as important
and distracting as a diagnosis of terminal cancer. Almost
anything can appear to appease the vacuum that "nature

It seems the mind must "get used to" being empty, and learn
to tolerate that state, as it is not at all the natural
state of the mind. The mind is ignorant, and chatters
ceaselessly; that is its nature. This nature takes some
"temporal space" as well as "mental space" to overcome. Not
to say that "effort" is involved; simply patience.



There are many ways to Rome goes the saying. Frankly, I
didn't attempt to empty the mind in any way; it would have
been equal to emptying the sea with a teaspoon :) The
majority of thoughts and feelings are revolving around "I,
me and mine". Without any effort, the bulk of mental noise
disappears when "I" disappears. Being sensitive can be a
nuisance but as every thing has two sides, it becomes an
advantage in detecting links with "I". Instead of watching
without interfering with thoughts, it was finding out the
reason for (triggering) negative thoughts and feelings.
These could be divided in two categories, the first being
"stupid me" and the second being "concluding without
thinking". The first category relates to everything that
"hurts" because one has a fixed opinion, cannot base it on
facts and the irritation arises as the friction cannot be
resolved. The solution was the insight that there is no
such thing as fixed opinion, a "right" and a "wrong". The
second category relates to drawing conclusions based on
perception, like an official who seems to act like a
grouch. If one considers the fact that no one would chose
for being a grouch, there has to be a (sad) reason for it so
instead of arousing antipathy, the behavior arouses
compassion. Needless to say, my practice resulted in the
collapse of "how the world was seen". One might say I was
addicted to thinking but instead of curbing the habit, it
was programmed for self-destruct (because without a "me" no
thoughts about "others" will arise either). In this case,
an empty mind is just a secondary effect. Perhaps the
lesson is there are neither virtues nor vices, just assets
and when used properly, they reveal the "map to Rome" :)

______________________________________________________________________ ________________________


This nonduality that has right words and wrong words,
correct ways to view things and incorrect ways to view
things -- what a feeble thing it must be. I'd rather have
the nonduality that exploded the entire universe at once.
In fact, I'd rather not have nonduality at all!


==GENE POOLE== I see it, our initial immersion in 'world-dream'
values has given us the questionable 'gift' of assuming that
hunger, longing, and heartbreak are pathological states. In
the 'world-dream', these experiences are (mis) understood to
be signals that 'something is wrong' and that immediate
'fixing' is called for.

In our 'world-dream' experiences, there are indeed
'emergent' relative degrees of hunger, longing, and
heartbreak. We are universally compelled by 'traditional
values' to do something about these conditions, and to
always see that if we can control conditions, we can thus
always experience satisfactory states of Being.

Our various cultures notoriously lack the understanding
which nonduality studies or realization imply; to wit, that
our 'original condition' is one of hunger, longing, and

Those who have deeply studied the guidance of certain
'masters' have been informed (of the concept and stated to
be reality) that we "should rediscover, find, or recognize
our original condition". My personal experience with this
seems to represent that of many others; I could not grasp
that I could accept a continual hunger, longing, and
heartbreak as my 'original condition'. For so many years, I
sought relief from these 'states', blaming, manipulating,
controlling, and generally attempting to 'fix' what my
world-dream conditioning had firmly convinced me were

It is easy to confuse the assults of everyday life, and the
resultant feelings of fear, contraction, etc, with the
reality of our 'original condition'. I indeed advocate
'fixing' conditions which we may have created or have become
enrolled in, which unnecessarily stress us and our fellows.
For example, I will attempt to rectify a neighborhood crisis
which results from the presence of a 'crack house', or a
pack of free-running vicious dogs. But I have discovered
that the feelings of hunger, longing, and heartbreak just
will not go away, no matter how skilled my 'fixing'
behaviour may be.

I say, that it is hunger which sustains life, and is thus a
necessity. If someone told me that there was a special
meal, which if eaten would forever banish the desire to eat,
I would not eat it. Hunger is symptomatic of wholeness and
of the ability to maintain wholeness. Hunger sustains our

If someone offered a 'special relationship' which would
forever end longing, I would avoid it. It is longing which
keeps the heart open to possibility, and it is openess to
possibility which sustains our growth.
Growth is a reality, and I can see no end to it; I would say
that it must continue.

If someone offered me a 'universal key to knowledge and
understanding', which would somehow 'turn off' my enquiry, I
would examine it for validity.
These offerings are continually hawked in the 'spiritual
marketplace' and are advertised as the 'final solution' to
human suffering. I have never found one that has a shred of
validity, and I doubt that such a 'remedy' will ever exist.

As you know, 'belief' is the cornerstone of world-dream
'answers', and belief itself is a shifting foundation upon
which to stand. It is balance which is attained through
growth, which allows us to 'try on' the various approaches
(as Petros is doing) and to then continue on in our
hunger-sustained journey of life and growth.

Finally, if someone offered to me, a 'love which would end
all love', I would certainly turn the other way. Heartbreak
is seen in the world-dream, as the product of 'unrequitted
love'; spurned by a fickle lover, heartbreak overflows and
overwhelmes. The human drama of hunting for fulfillment in
the shadowy jungles of world-dream conditional states, will
probably go on as long as we turn away from our natural and
original condition.

I offer, that we in our original condition, are gifted with
hunger, longing, and heartbreak; these gifts are our keys to
growing into what we ourselves long for. We become what we
seek. That is why it is important for anyone who is
seeking, to seek 'Self', for ultimately, 'there is only
Self', known by whatever name. 'Who am I' is one safe way
to post a target, a goal, to insure unerring direction
straight to 'who I am', which is nothing but 'Self'.

"Who Am I" = "Who I Am"

Hunger will never be turned off; those who starve, come to
despise hunger.
Hunger has a bad name, as does longing and heartbreak and
feelings of separation from 'G-d'. In my reality, it is
these disreputable and unending feelings, which sustain my
life, and have in fact led me to embrace my original
condition, in spite of world-dream values to the contrary.

I say that wholeness includes hunger (which sustains life),
longing (which keeps us open to possibility) and heartbreak
(which is our natural vulerability, and our gateway to
empathy and thus sharing). The existence of these factors
in 'the life of the real', are aspects of wholeness. In the
world-dream, they are exclusively factors to be 'remedied'.
There is no remedy.

Skye, (and make no mistake, I do enjoy your presence!) my
'ladder' references go like this:

In reality, there is no 'ladder', but I point to it, because
we are frequently whacked over the head with the 'top rung',
wielded by someone (anyone) who assumes that they have
'attained' the top rung of this nonexistent ladder. Talking
about the ladder openly, makes it go away, leading to the
fall of those who are scrambling competitively up to the top
rung. The 'right' to wield the 'Bludgeon of truth and
righteousness' is the 'reward' desired by those step upon
others in order to elevate themselves; this scenario is a
central theme in our world-dream story.


MELODY (responding to Gene)

As I pause just a moment and reflect on what you (Gene) have
offered thus far, it seems that you have effectively
described the 'human experience'.

It seems to me, perfectly natural for one who lives in a
material world to first seek to satisfy 'hunger' with
resources available in materiality. It does not take long
(afterall, what is time?) for one who is satiated in
material offerings to recognize that the hunger still
exists, that it is a hunger for that which is not material.

And how many men and women seek to satisfy their longing for
intimacy within a relationship, and still find that even
with the companionship of a loving, intimate mate, that
longing still is?

For some that longing, that hunger, is quieted with a loving
mate, and with an abundance of material 'fuel'. And yet, in
others, like me, the times I was the wealthiest, the times I
was married to someone who adored me, was the hungriest,
lonliest time of my life.

This seems to me to point to the presence of Grace.

Although, paradoxically, when I was feeling so hungry and so
lonely, I would (incorrectly) assume the *absence* of Grace,
in retrospect, I see it as a time overflowing in Grace.


I am beginning to see that there is an opportunity for one
to *embrace* suffering, rather than try to remedy it. The
first time I experienced the beauty of suffering was when I
felt my heart breaking after having lived with it 'frozen'
for so many years.

Even as I was sobbing in grief, I was saying to myself, "I
can *FEEL* this, I'm *ALIVE*!!! It was such a halleleuyah
moment mixed with suffering. My first taste of
bitter-sweet, and I can say there is nothing in the world
like it!

To now taste the bitter-sweet, without resistance, without
judgment or condemnation, is for me to taste heaven on

Yes, and that's the beauty of the dance....the wonder of
it. As long as it is 'out of our reach', as long as someone
says 'no' to our desire, that desire or 'hunger' becomes our
god....and we curse it for enslaving us.

How many days did I curse God for putting such a hunger in
my heart, that I could not be satisfied with materiality and
human companionship.



This comes from Arjuna Nick Ardagh's new book, excerpts of
which are available via the link:

Papaji has been my sweetheart.
He is the one who blew the whistle On the whole game.
But then he had the grace And the compassion To let me see
him as a human being.
I lived for a period in his house; I had breakfast with him
in the morning, I went to see him in Satsang, Then we'd go
back and have lunch.
I realized this guy had every emotion That I didn't accept
in myself.
Every thought, Every kind of prejudice That I thought was so
terrible In myself, He demonstrated to me.
But what I noticed about him was The tendency to make it
wrong Never arose in him.
If anger came in him, Whoosh!
It would come, Pass through, And disappear without a trace.

This ended up being the greatest teaching.

It makes me think of this line from Kerouac's On The Road:

"It was remarkable how Dean could go mad and then suddenly
continue with his soul -- which I think is wrapped up in a
fast car, a coast to reach, and a woman at the end of the
road -- calmly and sanely as though nothing had happened."

Visit the Kerouac nonduality page at


Dear Lists,

The musical selection of the month on The Core has been
updated for November, 1999. To access the page directly,
please use this address:

This month's song is a compilation I made from a certain
source. It's 6 minutes long and (IMO) interesting, peaceful
yet somehow disturbing music (if anyone recognizes where it
came from, drop me an Email :-). RealPlayer (RealAudio
format) is required to listen.

Next month will be more uplifting, joyful music to
commemorate the Christmas season.

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