Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:

Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day

#1573 - Thursday, October 2, 2003 - Editor: Michael



A special edition where the question is asked:    What's Up with God?   #1574 -, October 2, 2003 - Editor:  michael

    A book I haven't read but, I like the review:     George Aichele and Tina Pippin (eds). Violence, Utopia, and the Kingdom of God: Fantasy and Ideology in the Bible. New York: Routledge, 1998. Pp. xiv + 157. No Price Listed.    

  "And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne,
in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of a throne was a likeness
with the appearance of a man high above it. Also from the
appearance of his waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color
of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it;
and from the appearance of his waist and downward I saw,
as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around.
Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day,
so was the appearance of the brightness all around it.
This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of God
(Ezekial 1:26-28)   "Oooooooooooh, shiny!" Homer Simpson   "The LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains
and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind;
and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake;
and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire;
and after the fire a still small voice
(1 Kings 19:11-12)   "You don't have to make such a fuss about it." Marge Simpson  


Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi
Miracles and Visions

By David Godman

Meditation sometimes brings about spectacular side effects; visions of gods may appear and occasionally supernatural powers such as clairvoyance and telepathy are developed. Both of these effects can be deliberately produced. Concentration on a mental image will sometimes result in visions, particularly if the concentration is done with devotion or if there is a strong desire for the visions to appear. Psychic powers (Siddhis) may also be attained by special yogic exercises. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the classic text on Yoga, lists several exercises which accelerate the development of eight Siddhis ranging from invisibility to walking on water.

Sri Ramana Maharshi discouraged his devotees from deliberately pursuing either visions or Siddhis by pointing out that they were products of the mind, which might impede rather than facilitate Self-realisation. If visions came spontaneously he would sometimes admit that they were a sign of progress but he would usually add that they were only temporary experiences in the mind and that they were ‘below the plane of Self-realisation’.

If Siddhis appeared spontaneously he would outline the dangers of becoming attached to them, and explain that such powers were more likely to inflate the ego than eliminate it, and emphasize that the desire for Siddhis and the desire for Self-realisation were mutually exclusive.

The Self is the most intimate and eternal being whereas the Siddhis are foreign. Siddhis are acquired by effort whereas the Self is not. The powers are sought by the mind, which must be kept alert whereas the Self is realised when the mind is destroyed. The powers only manifest when there is the ego. The Self is beyond the ego and is realised only after the ego is eliminated.

Questioner: I once before told Sri Bhagavan (Ramana Maharshi) how I had a vision of Siva about the time of my conversion to Hinduism. A similar experience recurred to me at Courtallam. These visions are momentary but they are blissful.
I want to know how they might be made permanent and continuous. Without Siva there is no life in what I see around me. I am so happy to think of Him. Please tell me how His vision may be everlasting to me.

Sri Ramana Maharshi: You speak of a vision of Siva. Vision is always of an object. That implies the existence of a subject. The value of the vision is the same as that of the seer. That is to say, the nature of the vision is on the same plane as that of the seer. Appearance implies disappearance also. Whatever appears must also disappear. A vision can never be eternal. But Siva is eternal.

The rest of the text can be found at:    

My Heretical Wiccan Beliefs By Merlyn   An excerpt:   As a rational person, I believe in imaginary gods as personifications of my subconscious psychological forces. Any visions of gods/goddesses I encounter in my meditative or ritual practices I consider to be projections of my subconscious mind on the external environment. Individually, and sometimes collectively, we humans have hallucinations that some call religious visions.

  Deep in the Land of Ultimate Projection Carlos Amantea

--- The Journal of Padre Serra
May 20, 1769

An excerpt:

We --- all of us seers who journey to the south (and there have been far too many of us) --- should not be frightening the innocents, those who lack the romantic lunacy of the Don Quixotes of Baja. We must protect them from the dreams that have stormed us on our journeys: visions of gods, visions of salvation, visions of tall, kind, trusting Indians (stark, staring naked). Visions of passion, visions of wide, white, open beaches, sweet, turquoise waters pouring out of a bone-dry and dusty earth, and --- not the least --- visions of huge, wet, dark, towering, ever-so-quiet, redwoods. Apparitions out of the Land of Ultimate Projection. A genuine product of the Indian soil and thoroughly acquainted with the spiritual traditions of India, Sri Ramakrishna was ignorant of the modern way of thinking. But Narendra was the symbol of the modern spirit. Inquisitive, alert, and intellectually honest, he possessed an open mind and demanded rational proof before accepting any conclusion as valid. As a loyal member of the Brahmo Samaj he was critical of image worship and the rituals of the Hindu religion. He did not feel the need of a guru, a human intermediary between God and man. He was even sceptical about the existence of such a person, who was said to be free from human limitations and to whom an aspirant was expected to surrender himself completely and offer worship as to God. Ramakrishna's visions of gods and goddesses he openly ridiculed, and called them hallucinations. Other thoughts on human origins:

I have never read what I'm about to mention, but... "Faces in the Clouds"
- Religion is basically about anthromorphism, which is deeply essential to
the evolved reality of human consciousness.  (Person behind this: Stewart
Elliott Guthrie). 

It seems (to me) that a powerful theory of cognition is required in order
to put humans in their proper evolutionary context.  The bicameral mind
hypothesis can be extended.  Consider the evolutionary advantages of being
able to communicate utilizing a sign language of hallucinations.  One may
then proceed to assert that not only were forms of concensus hallucination
important in early communication, but that even after the increased
privatization of consciousness, our language relies on a common language
of *internal* 'hallucination'.  There you have it: Jung's collective
unconscious, the shamanic dreamtime, the psychedelic experience, a theory
of divinity which fits inside your neural system, and in the complex
arrangment of interacting neural systems on Earth.  Oh, and the
underpinnings of a theory of language...

It seems to me that there are great mysteries in human beings and the
universe which when uncovered will return us to a state of awe (at least
temporarily, I would hope!). The interest in the origin of "the gods" is
one which leads to questions about what we are, not necessarily to sets of
ideas which are used to trivially and immaturely "fight religion" as a few
advocates of memetics (too many (IMO)) are prone to do.



The book 'Awakening To The Dream' is about Self-realization and written from the non-dual perspective. Many of you who found this site are familiar with these words, but for those of you who are not, here is a short description:

Non-duality is a general term that covers several  -mostly eastern-  schools of thought, which point to the single source before and beyond all temporal experiences and apparent diversity. While reading texts from non-dual systems such as Zen, Advaita, Taoism, or Dzogchen, you will find the affirmation that Self-realization has no promise other than to release you from your belief in a separate self or ego. That's it. The dropping away of the illusion simply reveals this as it is, often summed up in the phrase "Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water."


http:/ / (link inactive) "Man gives every reason for his conduct save one, every excuse for his crimes save one, every plea for his safety save one; and that one is his cowardice," said George Bernard Shaw. Paths of Glory tells the tale of three French soldiers who were accused of cowardice in the face of the enemy during WWI. Written by Humphrey Cobb, this splendid war story was made into a movie in 1956. The story begins with the ambition of an army commander who tried to seek fame and glory in the war at the expense of other soldiers. Even though it was quite impossible to take over an important anthill, which held the key for further attacks, the army commander insisted on it. The attack was met with failure and the army commander was quick to blame cowards for the defeat. Orders were soon sent out for the arrest of four men. Langlois, who was chosen for trial out of pure chance, showed signs of a psychological battle with war. Early in the story, he wrote a letter to his wife. In that letter, He tried to sound optimistic by giving his wife the impression that he will never be killed. However, his hatred towards war, after seeing how worthless it was, did not fail to show when he told her that he hoped their child would be a girl. Even though the true purpose of him saying that was not disclosed, it was easy for the reader to understand his desire to protect his child from the same horrors he was going through. In another incident, Langlois expressed his disappointment with life when he talked favorably about death. "Personally, I'd rather like to. It's the only absolute thing in life. It has a mystery and perfection all its own. I have a strong curiosity about it. So strong at times that I've thought quite seriously of suicide." Langlois felt hopeless with life because of the psychological strain of war.

The flight from the churches gathers pace; a generation of young people has arisen who have never been in a church or chapel because their parents, the young middle-aged, have already left. They have left not because they don’t care or are bad parents, not because nothing ever happens in churches, not because they are opposed to the churches or their beliefs, but they leave because they do not see the churches as being relevant to them. Either the churches do not answer their questions or we are answering questions they do not ask. That is what being irrelevant means. Even worse, when they bother to look, they see an institution which often claims the same status, respect and authority that it had 30 years ago, a conservative institution that does not acknowledge the change that has occurred in the life-style of society around it, that society, in fact, that church members are part of. The change in the life-style of society, and the change in our status as a church in society, are intimately related. The great change in society’s life-style, and in ours also as church members, let us remember, is that we have all discovered that there are seven days in a week and 24 hours in a day. With that discovery came the realisation that life could be organized differently, that all this time was available to be used - shopping any hour of the day or night, banking as it suits us, contacting a call-centre at our convenience, sending an e-mail when we wish to rather than phone when the time is suitable for the person at the other end; the clock doesn’t matter - tv all night, flexitime in the office. And so too with the days - shopping, watching games, leisure activities when it is convenient. Society wishes to utilize Sunday as it does every other day, as it suits them. The way we govern clock and calendar has changed the life-style of society and of many of our fellow-members.

All this is a sign of a deeper change. It goes by many different names but it can be summed up in the phrase ‘you tell me your truth and I’ll tell you mine’. Why can I not live as it suits me, why can I not decide things for myself, if I can make my personal arrangements, why can I not formulate my personal ideas too, who says that things are to be like this or like that? This has been the culmination of a very long process, the end product of the discovery of the individual. One could almost say that we are witnessing the secularization of the Protestant Reformation with its emphasis on personal responsibility. Be that as it may, the factors that have given rise to the life-style have been the source of much anguish in the church in that we have been compelled to examine anew our status in contemporary society where reference to Sunday as ‘the Lord’s day’ is meaningless but where Sunday as ‘a day for the family’ is fully understood. ‘I and my family own this day as every other’. The church grieves that children and young people suffer unfair pressure in having to choose between rugby practice and Sunday school, cross country running and Sunday school, choir and orchestra practice and Sunday school; and of course we protest, appeal, negotiate, discuss. But the basic question which we have to face is whether we have any right to expect to be treated differently from any other group. Do we hold a privileged position? Is our status in society that of some years ago? We know the answer. What is to be done?


oh the power of belief: www. -- link inactive


BOB ABERNETHY: The candidates' use of religion has been controversial throughout the campaign. In the last of our special election reports, Kim Lawton asked several leading political experts to evaluate the role of religion and religious rhetoric this election season.

Bush: I know faith can lead the way.

Gore: I believe with all my heart that our nation has been blessed by God.

Cheney: And to treat them, as Christ taught us, in the way we would wish to be treated ourselves.

Lieberman: We Americans have got to have faith.

Gore: The center of my life is faith and family.

Bush: I searched my heart and recommitted my life to Jesus Christ.

KIM LAWTON: Over and over again this campaign season, the candidates have been tapping into a higher power. But despite the seemingly large amounts of God-talk, some political experts say they have been disappointed at the way religion has entered the electoral discourse.

Yale law professor Stephen Carter teaches and writes about religion. He told the Faith and Politics Institute he believes the talk has been largely superficial.


The Christian Faith has often been intolerant and produced feelings of superiority in groups of people. We believe this should not have happened and that, on the contrary, the Christian Faith should expose feelings of superiority and set us free from them.


AND NOW! Link no longer working.  Akiyoshi's illusion pages

Akiyoshi Kitaoka, Department of Psychology, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan

Since May 10, 2002; Updated September 8, 2003

Caution: This page contains some works of "anomalous motion illusion", which might make sensitive observers dizzy or sick. Should you feel dizzy, you had better leave this page immediately. titID/879  ArmorMan / CrossComix Link{this link is broken - but ain't this pic great!?}        "A spiritual spin on this week’s box office hits " -ABC World News Tonight
"A web site devoted to spirituality in movies" -The Wall Street Journal
"Examines movies' spiritual content" -The Christian Science Monitor
"The popularity of Hollywood Jesus has been a pleasant surprise" -Christianity Today
  Everyone welcome!
Hindus, Jews, Christians, Wiccans, Muslims, New Agers, Atheists, Agnostics, Gay, Straight. Come in. Enjoy. Post your views!

  PSYCHIC (Ch'i, Ki, or PSI) Energy

Defined from an occult perspective in the Donning International Psychic Dictionary by June G. Bletzer, Ph.D.

"An intelligent, powerful, invisible force… capable of being controlled and directed by the human mind; 1. Capable of being channeled out through the brain, palms, and eyes; 2. Can be transmitted through space into other living organisms and through matter; 3. Occurs when willed or occurs spontaneously; 4. Invisible energy living in all organisms and matter, connected throughout all the universes; psychic energy is an aspect of electricity…6. Controlled and employed under certain conditions that mankind does not fully understand… tunes into the etheric world vibrational frequencies reaching from cosmic consciousness…. 9. Transmits knowledge to the mind, and manipulates matter…. 10. Frequently comes from an intelligent, powerful energy field known as highly evolved soul-minds in invisible bodies… 12. A primordial form of intelligence pervading the universe and affecting its course."


  another book i haven't read:   The Gospel According to The Simpsons: The Spiritual Life of the World's Most Animated Family
Mark I. Pinsky, Tony Campolo (Foreword)   but, again, i liked the review

Fast Luck is a popular hoodoo formula for anointing oil, soap, sachet powders, bath crystals, and floor wash. It was sold through the catalogues of companies like the Standard O and B Supply Company as early as the 1940s and it is still manufactured by comapnies such as Sonny Boy Products of Birmingham, Alabama and my own Lucky Mojo Curio Co.. A Double Fast Luck Soap is made by the E. Davis Company of New Jersey and Suerte Rapida (Spanish for Fast Luck) is a pale green sachet powder imported from Mexico.

Comic belief
American Splendor reflects well on its subject
BY PETER KEOUGH   To judge from the success of reality TV, people crave the real thing. Whether they can recognize it anymore is another matter. American Splendor, adapted by documentary filmmakers Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman from Harvey Pekar’s autobiographical comic book, feels like the real thing; it’s banal, repetitive, pointless, squalid, ennobling, and far from pure and simple. That the hero himself has at least four incarnations in the film — seven if you include the three Harvey Pekars in the Cleveland phone book, more if you include different cartoon artists’ versions of him (Pekar writes his comics and then storyboards them with stick figures for illustrators who can draw) — suggests that even the most quotidian reality can be pretty elusive.    

The Happy God  



Is the one and only God of the Universe a ‘Happy God’ or a vengeful God, or a God to fear?

“FEAR GOD” commands the Bible!!! Nonsense, I say!!! What is there to fear about a God who has brought us bird songs, dancing leaves, stupendous sunsets, joyous choruses of happy frogs, smiles and laughter?

I suppose that if one is evil, then it would be appropriate to fear God, for God is certainly an awesome power to contend with if one is destroying or defiling Creation. In my opinion, God is happy, benign, amused by the beauties of Creation, and all loving of those who respect Her/Him.

When I look at the dancing leaves on the swaying branches of God’s marvelous trees it makes me happy. And guess what? God created happiness, laughter, smiles, tears of joy, singing, dancing, and love. Therefore it is impossible to believe that God is not a HAPPY GOD, unless and until His/Her human children, through greed and ignorance defy God by despoiling Creation, abusing God’s human and animal children, or acting in a perniciously evil and hypocritical fashion.

It is our duty to maintain God’s happiness by our actions. We must love one another, respect and defend all creatures great and small, be happy with ourselves while at the same time laughing at ourselves and each other for our human silliness, frailties and imperfections.



  The secret and mysterious inner workings of the fabulous non-dual doughnut. And for the non-dualist on the road:  

    "The dice of God are always loaded." Ralph Waldo Emerson  

Millions have prayed, sacrificed, repented, flogged their backs, pilgrimaged, even killed themselves -- all because of the particularly nasty scenario of doom and destruction laid down in the Bible book `The Apocalypse'. However, most modern Bible experts agree that St. John never meant the end of the world to be taken too literally.   Choose to worship Yoda as your new God

To:  Citizens of Earth

On Friday the 17th of May I witnessed an act of God. In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Yoda the little green alien everyone knows and loves performed an unbelievable feat and showed off his massively 1337 lightsaber skillz on the evil Count Dooku. The way Yoda fought was far beyond anything that any mear mortal could possibly comprehend let alone perform. He was a tiny hurricane of unstoppable whirling death. It was at that moment that I realize that Yoda was more than a mortal, above a mortal, beyond a mortal.

He was a God. The God. Realizing as such he deserves to be worshipped accordingly.

Construction on the Church of the Blessed Heart of Yoda has already begun but now is the time to pledge your support... or incur his whirling wrath.

The choice is yours.


The Undersigned

    Archived issues of the NDHighlights are available online:    


Actual Proof that I am God.

A Scientific Look at Fundamentalist Deification

Bet you never thought God was this good-looking!

      Hi, my name is Jeremiah Thornton, and I've just recently found out that I am, in fact, the Supreme Creator of the Entire Planet Earth and Everything on it.  Now, I know this may be a bit surprising, considering your backwards theological training and the pervasive "Feel-Good" ethics of modern Pop Culture, but bear with me for a moment, and I'm sure you, too, will come to realize that I am, in fact, the All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Seeing Creator of Everything in the Universe, including you and your little dog Fifi (the last of which I regret - I didn't get the ears quite right, and it's too small and yapping.  In retrospect, I should have made it a cat.)

more at:

So, now we have some small inkling as to "what's up with God"

I hope He, She or It has a real good sense of humor....


top of page