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

#1901 - Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - Editor: Jerry  

Featured is Part 8 of the review/summary of The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy, edited by John J. Prendergast, Peter Fenner, and Sheila Krystal. Information about this book is available at  

Next are selections from The Other Syntax list, which is about the teachings of Carlos Casteneda.  

Also included is another installment of In Nonduality Salon, featuring the posts from the Nonduality Salon list before the Highlights was born.      

The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy  

Chapter 8  

A Psychology of No-thingness: Seeing Through the Projected Self  

by Dan Berkow  

This is a richly referenced paper. A single sentence can find attribution to two sources. For example: "Pleasure is neither sought nor rejected." (Loy, 1999; Norbu and Clemente, 1999). The citation of references confers academic solidity and suggests those with whom the author finds resonation.  

The chapter opens starkly, with reference to the "human being," as the paper's foundational statement is given. Later the more familiar terms "person" and "client" appear, and finally Marsha, Mark, Paul, Joan, which are pseudonyms for the case examples. The terminology is appropriate to the points being made.

This chapter will be presented as earlier ones have been, with a listing of the main points (often in the form of quotations) within each chapter section.  

A Psychology of No-thingness  

-- "A psychology of no-thingness studies the human being as that which is not-a-thing, not an object of perception." "That which is neither subject nor object is the actual and present nature of the human being."  

-- A psychology of no-thingness provides the framework to understand that psychological problems are the mistaking of a self-conceptualization for true being. The result is that one has become an image projected within a world of image projectors. Images are in relationship, therefore relationship is not known and psychological problems arise.  

-- A psychology of no-thingness implies that a person's well-being requires the breaking or relinquishing of the constructed self-image and "the imagined sense of relationship of one object with another."  

-- A psychology of no-thingness is aligned with Zen Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta. This represents a shift in psychology: "Psychology will move toward release of suffering as its orientation rather than continuing its current directions of viewing indivinduals as carrying disorders, carrying strengths, and wanting to solidify an adjusted and efficient self through positive self-esteem."  

-- A psychology of no-thingness refreshes the relationship between the human and non-human environments. "Relationship is now a field of being." The environment is not a separate entity to be manipulated to satisfy needs.  

-- A psychology of no-thingness establishes the nonconditional being of client and therapist as the basis for an opening to the revelation of authentic being.  

-- A psychology of no-thingness is respectful and loving. It involves the understanding and resolution of anxieties arising in the client. "The client is invited into a process of respectful inquiry and loving challenge."  

-- A psychology of no-thingness engages a therapy of relinquishment of attachments and illusions and is not a promotion of positive self-images.  

The Unreality of Split Being  

-- "Awareness becomes seemingly split from itself when it conceptualizes a position in here looking out there and remembers experiences in terms of my pain that I was unable to avoid and my pleasure that I tried to keep."  

-- "The psychological split is healed when pain is neither retained nor defended against psychologically."  

-- "A psychology of no-thingness involves being as is, without imposing views or expectations to change or stay the same. It involves neither fixing anything or witholding assistance. ... This present moment is the freedom that clients erroneously perceive themselves as lacking."  

-- "It is this a priori nature of being that is healing for human beings, and this healing merely is the presentation of what is the case, without the introduction of unreal splits."  

Contact, Timing, and Pacing in Therapy  

-- "The full challenge of therapy involves release of the sense of self that depended on identification with constructed personal history and the resulting projections. Enhanced self-integration may be a temporary aspect of personal process, leading to sufficient trust in the process of being to relinquish the self at center."  

--"Therapeutic process proceeds according to the timing and pacing of the individual who construes a therapy-seeking self"  

Brief Case Examples  

-- During the therapy of each case example there were moments of similar tone characterized by "presentness of awareness." During those times attentional energy was undistracted by thoughts and feelings directed toward the assessment, anticipation and control of undesired and future events. This left a "perceived quietness" and a feeling of involvement.  

Nature of Projection  

-- "The entity placed in the body is a projection designed as the carrier of projections. It inhabits the body-construct as a mind-entity that can know and do. It brings with it constructions of threats that would attack or negate its knowing and doing. The goal of projection is to protect an imagined entity taken as self by forming protections to ensure imagined continuity.  

-- "The therapy of no-thingness can have no aim that involves a new state for a separable being called the client. ... Such a therapy is nothing other than the opening that is the present as is, which is an opening to and of potential, and the discovery that one's being is this ever-new potentiality as actuality. Problems drop here simply because there is no place for an assumption of a problem-carrying entity."  

Releasing the Apparent Split in Being    

-- There is an internal and external aspect to splitting awareness.  

-- "Internally, projection is associated with the maintained self-image and its associated introjects, that is with rules and expectations assumed to maintain security."

-- "Outwardly, projection is associated with concern about the reactions of others to one's self. Thus, a desire to be seen as strong, impressive, and in control masks hidden feelings of self-doubt, weakness, and being out of control."  

--  The moment of healing does not arise out of a new strategy, is not created through manipulation, nor does it manifest through education or urgent warnings, advice, or appeals. It is the moment of the dropping or falling away of strategies, manipulations, information and insistences; the moment that simply being present is revealed as always what is.  

Relationship and Therapy  

-- Relationship may be understood thusly: "rather than two separated individuals attempting to join together to do therapy, we have a whole situation spontaneously arising. This relationship isn't fused, nor is it split into divided subjects and objects. The therapist's being is present not only with the client, but as the client."  

-- Therapist and client are distinct while being nonseparate. That is, sensation, feeling and boundaries are not denied.  

-- There is neither the coming in nor the going out of the healing energy of being, though it may be cognized and identified as evolving and developing.  

-- "When there is clarity of and as this energy, there is spontaneously the release of perceived needs for security requiring self-division as survival."  

-- "What is key to change is not new constructs for thought, but release of the thought constructs that determined reactions, feelings, and requirements for a separated self-sense."  

--"Therapy therefore facilitates exploration, gives feedback, and promotes inquiry. The effects of self-imposed friction are addressed honestly and without either minimizing or exaggerating. The psychosomatic and relational repercussions of self-protection are clarified with self-examination. The dropping of the projection of a separated self is the choiceless awareness of moment-to-moment being."  

Dissolving Self-referencing, Splitting, and Suffering  

--Therapy addresses "the split that occurs when the introjective/projective mechanism defines a universe in terms of what is good for me in here and what should be kept away from me, out there. The splitting between self and environment is mirrored by an internal split between what is desired and feared. The relatedness that is always now, without divisions of a past, present, and future, or of an internal and an external."    

~ ~ ~  

The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy, edited by John J. Prendergast, Peter Fenner, and Sheila Krystal.   Information about this book is available at      

Selections from The Other Syntax list  

Commentary from CC: The Coldness of Infinity  

THE POWER OF SILENCE is an intellectual review of the thoughts of
the shamans of ancient Mexico. In their most abstract guise. As I
worked alone on the book, I was contaminated by the mood of those
men, by their desire to know more in a quasi-rational way. Florinda
explained that in the end, those shamans had become extremely cold
and detached. Nothing warm existed for them anymore. They were set
in their quest; their coldness as men was an effort to match the
coldness of infinity. They had succeeded in changing their human
eyes to match the cold eyes of the unknown.  

Commentary on The Power of Silence
(Inner Silence)
Carlos Castaneda
~ ~ ~    

When nothing is for sure we remain alert, perennially on our toes.
It is more exciting not to know which bush the rabbit is hiding
behind than to behave as though we knew everything.  

Carlos Castaneda
Quotations from Journey to Ixtlan

~ ~ ~  

Commentary from CC: My Life is a Merciless Quest
I sensed this in myself, and tried desperately to turn the tide.
I haven't succeeded yet. My thoughts have become more and more like
the thoughts of those men at the end of their quest. It is not that
I don't laugh. Quite the contrary, my life is an endless joy. But
at the same time, it is an endless, merciless quest. Infinity will
swallow me, and I want to be prepared for it.  

Commentary on The Power of Silence
(Inner Silence)
Carlos Castaneda

~ ~ ~  

...freedom cannot be an investment. Freedom is an adventure with no
end, in which we risk our lives and much more for a few moments of
something beyond words, beyond thoughts or feelings.  

The Art of Dreaming
Carlos Castaneda

~ ~ ~  

Commentary from CC: I'm Cold; DJ and Cohorts Warm
I don't want infinity to dissolve me into nothing because I hold
human desires, warm affection, attachments, no matter how vague.
More than anything else in this world, I want to be like those men.
I never knew them. The only shamans I knew were don Juan and his
cohorts, and what they expressed was the furthest thing from the
coldness that I intuit in those unknown men.  

Commentary on The Power of Silence
(Inner Silence)
Carlos Castaneda

~ ~ ~  

"Once you decide to come to Mexico you should have put all your
petty fears away," he said very sternly. "Your decision to come
should have vanquished them. You came because you wanted to come.
That's the warrior's way. I have told you time and time again, the
most effective way to live is as a warrior. Worry and think before
you make any decision, but once you make it, be on your way free from
worries or thoughts; there will be a million other decisions still
awaiting you. That's the warrior's way."  

"I believe I do that, don Juan, at least some of the time. It's
very hard to keep on reminding myself, though."  

A warrior thinks of his death when things become unclear."  

"That's even harder, don Juan. For most people death is very vague
and remote. We never think of it."   "

Why not?"  

"Why should we?"  

"Very simple," he said. "Because the idea of death is the only
thing that tempers our spirit"  

The Preliminaries of "Seeing"
A Separate Reality

In Nonduality Salon
The Highlights of posts from early Nonduality Salon  

The following posts are from November and December of 1998  

Solitude is in the mind of man. One man may be in the thick of the world
and yet maintain perfect serenity of mind. Such a person is always in
solitude. Another may live in the forest but still be unable to control
his mind. He cannot be said to be in solitude. Solitude is an attitude
of the mind. A man attached to the things of life cannot get solitude,
wherever he may be, whereas a detached man is always in solitude.

A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your
mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does
self-awareness affect changes in he mind. In the light of calm and
steady self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without
any effort on your part. ---Nisargadatta  

The nature of the Self is absolute, immutable, taintless. It is not
distant, nor is it subject to attainment (being ever attained). This is
Truth. ---Ashtavakra Gita

    ~ ~ ~    

Excerpt from interview with Carolyn Mary Kleefeld  


DJB: How do you experience and describe the stages of the creative process?  

CAROLYN: To begin with, creative expression requires an overflow of energy. It requires
me to be a canvas or open page. I offer myself as the film for being photographed by the
sublime. It is always out of a random spontaneity. That is why I have paints in different
areas outside as well as in my living room. I carry a pen and paper on my hikes. I draw
some of my best work while in a car. As to the length of time of the stages, it varies
from very quickly to a few months, or longer. Sometimes there is a fermentation or
incubation; other times, the flame seems to be ignited in the darkest night.  

DJB: How do you see consciousness evolving in the next century?  

CAROLYN: Progress is painfully slow. We are still existing on a biological survival
level. Nature will use us as its tools to continue its galactic body. For us to survive,
we will have to refine ourselves as one with this endless expanding universe. Notice that
the word "universe" means united verses. When in harmony, life is a symphony of united
verses; when discordant, there is cacophony.    

~ ~ ~  

Anthony de Mello, SJ  

The Master's expansive mood emboldened his disciples to say, "Tell us what
you got from Enlightenment. Did you become divine?"  


"Did you become a saint?"  


"Then what did you become?"  


~ ~ ~    

Jesus, from The Gospel of Thomas
His disciples said to him, "When will
the kingdom come?"   "It will not come by watching for it.
It will not be said, 'Look, here!' or
'Look, there!' Rather, the Father's
kingdom is spread out upon the earth,
and people don't see it."

~ ~ ~    


Some recent threads have inspired these muses:  

When 'Divine'... manifests in Human form,
to behave... as a 'human'... is the norm'.  

'We' live 'our lives'... in duality...
because... this is a 'dual' world... in which we be.  

But... when 'we' become *aware* of 'our' reality,
(a tiny shift in perspective... is all this be)
*there is no longer such thing as... 'you' or 'me'.*  

Whether 'we' *consider* this a blessing... or a curse,
makes not one bit of difference... to the 'Universe'.  


There is only One thinker of thought...
with six billion facets through which it is wrought.  

Whether 'Divine'... uses the alias Krishnamurti or Little Bo Peep,
'tis still the same 'Mind' expessing... awake... or asleep.  

We are all... but scribes of the One thinker,
much as our fingers... are but 'our' mind's tinker.  


Gene Poole, your use of words is truely 'Divine',
they inspire contemplation... and are sublime.
This in not written to stroke an ego,
but merely to thank... a 'nondual' amigo.  


top of page