Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #194

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The rhythm of the Advent season moves
on.. third week, I light a rose
colored candle.. along with the two
previous mauve colored ones. These
are one version of traditional Advent
colors. I've always wondered about
the insertion of rose pink amidst the
three other mauve ones. Perhaps, a
reminder to introduce lightness.

This week I hold awareness on the
Animal kingdom.. grateful for those
creatures who support, sustain,
instruct, delight and amaze us. I also
ponder my own animal nature, and the presence of the past alive in the
brain and morphogenetic fields of this body?

What is my animal nature? What is wild, instinctive and insatiable? What
is crafty and defensive? What ensures survival? What is organic,

And then I ask.. which animal tendencies in me need to kneel or bow down
in silence, in respite, in reverence.. before the manger of Heart...
the advent of self awareness

... holding this cup of reverence and inquiry, I then ask to be emptied
of all ideas and all ideals.

One thing I especially liked - he (Merrell-Wolff) said something to the
effect of "recognize the essential voidness of everything that seems
real, and recognize the essential reality of everything that seems
void." This has actually been occurring here recently. Lately, the
solidity of "the world" is in question. "Solid objects" seem dreamlike
and petty, lacking reality and meaning and usefulness, insubstantial and
ghost-like. So much we do is from habit; the same sights seen day after
day, the same meaningless repetitions; the same food eaten again and
again, the same clothes worn, the same patterns of activity. All of it
seems so unreal and robotic, empty of worth.

At the same time, the inner world of Being is growing in solidity and
reality. Love is beginning to seem more solid and real here than the
kitchen counter. Turning all the lights off in the house and walking
around in the dark, things seem clearer and more substantial, more real,
than when the lights are turned on. I am looking forward to going to
bed and turning the lights off so I can let the world-dream go and
return to reality. My first thought upon retiring for the night is to
negate time; whatever activity I was involved in immediately before
retiring might have happened a hundred million years ago. I find that
this silences the mind almost immediately and brings reality into focus.

To some, all this must seem like madness.


John M.:


In the stillest hour of the night, as I lay half asleep, my seven selves
sat together and thus conversed in whispers:
First Self : Here, in this madman, I have dwelt all these years, with
naught to do but renew his pain by day and recreate his sorrow by night.
I can bear my fate no longer, and now I rebel.
Second Self : Yours is a better lot than mine, brother, for it is
given me to be this madman's joyous self. I laugh his laughter and sing
his happy hours, and with thrice winged feet I dance his brighter
thoughts. It is I that would rebel against my weary existence.
Third Self : And what of me, the love-ridden self, the flaming brand
of wild passion and fantastic desires? It is I the love-sick self who
would rebel against this madman.
Fourth Self : I, amongst you all, am the most miserable, for nought
was given me but odious hatred and destructive loathing. It is I, the
tempest-like self, the one born in the black caves of Hell, who would
protest against this madman.
Fifth Self : Nay, it is I, the thinking self, the fanciful self, the
self of hunger and thirst, the one doomed to wander without rest in
search of unknown things and things not yet created ; it is I, not you,
who would rebel.
Sixth Self : And I, the working self, the pitiful labourer, who, with
patient hands, and longing eyes, fashion the days into images and give
the formless elements new and eternal forms---it is I, the solitary one,
who would rebel against this restless madman.
Seventh Self : How strange that you all would rebel against this man,
because each and every one of you has a preordained fate to fulfill. Ah!
could I but be like one of you, a self with a determined lot! But I have
none, I am the do-nothing self, the one who sits in the dumb, empty
nowhere and nowhen, while you are busy re-creating life. Is it you or I,
neighbours, who should rebel?
When the seventh self thus spake the other six selves looked with
pity upon him but said nothing more ; and as the night grew deeper one
after the other went to sleep enfolded with a new and happy submission.
But the seventh self remained watching and gazing at nothingness,
which is behind all things.

Khalil Gibran

Dear List,

Has everyone visited Swami Beyondananda's website yet? If you're
"solemn" like I am, it's a great place to gain some FUNdamentalist
doctrine :-)

With love,


Glo wrote: Ah well, it's a mistake to take a poetic metaphor I will have to beat you over the head <g> with how I did
not exactly say "all of us are lost children." What I said was like this
poem is dedicated to..or is a tribute to.. To say this poem is FOR "all
the lost children who are us" is a very different thought... is sorta
more like singing "we are the world, we are the children" or "red and
yellow, black or white..Jesus loves the little children of the world."
They are all "our children" and we are not separate. To no longer say,
"Thank God, that's not me." but rather, "There but for the grace of God,
go I."

My heart breaks for all these children, those lost and hurting literally
and for the metaphorical inner child who still lives on in so many, lost
because rejected and silenced. Then someone like Melody or gen or Kristi
has the courage to lend their voice to speak from that vulnerability, to
risk being shamed yet again. Can I turn a deaf ear and say not me, I am
not like them, I am above this or better or more ___ something different
or whatever? Or do I recognize in them that it is "My voice so long
blown away."

So the poem is about really hearing when "the lost one" calls to you..
and then responding with compassion. Now OH, that is something I notice
you always doing, so if you want to take that part literally, feel free!
Besides, I still treasure a memory of someone tenderly brushing each
separate curl of my hair as I would fall asleep, so I love that image.
Thanks for asking,

God, what a beautiful post.

I spend a lot of time with kids, between my balloon business and driving
a school bus. Every day I see these lost and hungry kids. They're
everywhere. And, as you say, Glo, they're still calling the shots for
most people, even when they're old and gray.

This morning this little girl comes up to me...this girl who I had never
heard speak ( who weighs easily double what her classmates might weigh)
and says, "Bradon called me names." I looked her in the eyes and saw
all of this little one's sorrow..... and I loved her with my eyes as if
my fingers were combing her curls.

In Neo Sabbatian Judaism, they call such eye gazing "Raising up the Holy
Sparks". I remember the first time someone brushed my forehead in such
a loving gesture. It was an act of Grace, and stirred a light inside me
that had been buried for a long, long time.

And it took that act of Grace for my soul to begin to stir and begin to
reach upwards, hungry for another taste of Unconditional Love.

I love you, Glo,



Ah, Glo dearest, consider three more bumps on already pretty bumpy head!

Do you still have curls?
i see a bony, wrinkled hand still parting them before you fall asleep...
before all the children fall asleep....

What oh was expressing, (albeit not too well) was her own surprise at no
longer seeing any lost child within....i know it is hard to believe for
some, dearest, but when that happens, there is no longer any difference
between lost or found child....all differences have melted...and from
that differenceless place, compassion arses spontaneously. This
compassion is no longer for a certain group of beings, this compassion
just is. It has become one's being.

But, when a sense of personal sticks up its bony finger (still happens)
and hails "see me, here," thoughts arise of I and them, and being one
with them,...and so forth. Otherwise, there is no one there to be one one. Thus, paradoxically, many, including dearest children,
are relieved of their suffering. Much more than by any consideration of
an individual's, or a group of individuals', suffering.

This in no way means ignoring an individual's cry, when that cry is
personally heard, but eventually the hearing is expanded to include all
the cries of all sentient beings. The knowledge of this spurs on old
gypsy's feeble efforts to reach the other shore more quickly, so this
bodhisattva vow can be accomplished.

old hag's question to you was a sincere one, from her feeble brain who
often misunderstands words written in e-mails, and you answered it most
sincerely, with generosity and loving-kindness - thank you dearest for
taking the time. i do understand. and am grateful you are tending the
needs of suffering children - it is most likely your Season to do so -
how fortunate for any who are touched by your sweet gentleness and
sincere caring - how fortunate.

Thanks for answering,


Love yourself, exactly as you are, and you are forever changed.
Love everything you can from wherever you find yourself.
Think of someone you love a lot and love yourself that much.
When you forget how to love yourself, love yourself for forgetting.
Jump from logic into the safety net of love.
Open your love big enough to fit all your feelings.

Say "I love myself for that too."
Love others exactly as they are and they are free to change.

From Kathryn and Gaye Hendricks, authors of Conscious Living

I think the connection with NonDuality is this: the ego plans and
schemes to erect bulwarks against the things it fears, but, in the end,
Reality rushes onward like a mighty river, leaving in its wake a parade
of foolish and unintended consequences to ego's plans and prepartions.


i am thinking of all the effort i have expended-- trying to escape the
world and flesh's pain and sorrow. all of the searching, grasping . .
..watching triumph melt into puddles and then evaporate into new

all my trials, Lord, soon
be over
-- bob dylan
this here was a song about it!

Love, i'm out of time
search restless for your eyes
out touch out of mind
damn the treatment regimen
defining what to say
the atmosphere is chilling clear
the universe gives way

out of time, and out of space
between love's bloody battle
and life's inert disgrace
hide the fear obscure the face
obsession has its way
drink to truth, but harmonize
the things we just can't say.
here's our paper airplane--let's try
let's fly away.

love, it would be so fine
to long again into your eyes
look back, it's me
and i'm alright
take life and word and sleeplelss day
take livid dyin' night
engulfed by our addictions
to things just out of sight.

out of time &tc

drink to your confusion
high enough, another day
drink to your confusion
high enough another day
here's our paper airplane
let's try-- let's fly away.

love, struck numb like ice
the look the last word in your eyes
chilling pain becomes the night
behind the stone cold fences
children walk the cold
surrounding stark conviction of
things we just can't hope to know

out of time and out of space. . ..etc

here's our paper airplane
here's our paper airplane
here's our paper airplane
let's try . ....

let's fly away.

words and music
gen berlin

Someone mentioned Dr. Ramamurti Mishra as being his/her guru on the
Advaitin list. I was reminded of the time back in the 1970s when I
walked into the East-West Book store in Manhattan and saw Dr. Mishra
looking through some new age books including those of Rajneesh. I said
"Hello Dr. Mishra" with a big smile. Back then I was reading every book
of discourses by Rajneesh (later known as OSHO) that came along. I
thought, Dr. Mishra would be quite critical of Rajneesh as were most
orthodox Hindus and Jains (Rajneesh was born a Jain and had been a
professor of Philosophy and lived in Bombay).

During the conversation, Dr. Mishra spontaneously started singing very
high praises of Rajneesh and I started laughing. "Are you joking with me
Dr. Mishra?" I asked. "No! No!" He insisted and went on and on about
Rajneesh." I could not help laughing. Dr. Mishra was a good friend of my
teacher and they did several retreats jointly, if my memory serves. Dr.
Mishra's book on pranayama was quite interesting and contained some
highly advanced techniques. He was a great advocate for concentrating on
Anahata sounds (inner sound heard in the ear) to attain Samadhi. Dr.
Mishra eventually became Brahamanda Swami. He had a stroke later on I
believe, but could still sing devotional songs.

I spoke to my teacher about Dr. Mishra, Rajneesh, Swami Muktanananda,
Swami Rama, Amrit Desai, Swami Chidananda, and all the "famous" gurus of
the day. He knew most of them personally and had done conferences and
retreats with them. If he wanted to encourage me to listen to someone or
read them, he would say, "Yes, he is a good man." My teacher visited
Ramana Maharshi as a teenager and spoke to me about him. I cannot really
pinpoint my connection with Ramana Maharshi in time. It is like I had
always known Him.

My teacher has kindness and warmth but let me know in his own way not to
be much impressed with gurus. He had known them (swamis and all) as
ordinary people with all the weaknesses and strength human beings have.
"Be independent and do not rely on any guru", he would say. "What if
the guru goes crazy and nuts, what will you do," he would ask? Then I
would laugh and laugh.


Fine-tuning: An overview

Hello everyone,

How does this fit?

Questions as to 'what is real' are all based on the assumption that
something is real; and that what is real, is the standard by which the
reality of everything else is to be known.

I offer, that what is real, are the criteria by which we judge. I say
that only these criteria are real; they form the mirror which reflects
all of what is judged.

We can offer only a vague metaphor, in answer to the question, "If there
are criteria, where do they dwell?" I offer that if we dismiss the
possibility of any 'where', that we have not yet dismissed the
importance of the criteria which do indeed, form the basis of all

What I say, is that 'we', in this sense 'I', are 'merely' a 'body of
criteria'. 'We' then move to make judgements of the criteria of
'others'. What appears is 'just' criteria comparing itself to other

What is missing, is the presence of the actual person, the one who holds
criteria and uses it as the standard for judgement. It is this actual
person, who is bargaining, negotiating, manipulating, coercing, using
criteria as leverage. Following this, it is seen that the use of
criteria, is not to decide what is real, but instead to invalidate other

If one identifies with criteria, one then also becomes vulnerable to
invalidation, upon the invalidation of that held criteria. Thus, the
battle for the supremacy of criteria; the 'winner' of this battle,
succeeds only by means of invalidation of others, who have been misled
(traditionally) into identifying with criteria. Again, what is missing,
is the actual person. Somehow, persons have been (mis)led to _equate
themselves_ with the holding of certain approved criteria.

If we lead with person, and allow criteria to take a distant second
place, we will meet as persons. If we hold criteria out in front, each
who does so, will find uncomfortable reflection in the mirror of other.
Masks of impeccability are no substitute for personal integrity.

To filter persons on the basis of our perception of that person's held
criteria, is to indulge in a continual orgy of invalidation. It is this
behaviour which will give us, as individuals, no peace; indeed, to
assume that a person is good or bad, based upon perception of that
persons held criteria, is nothing more than the traditional human
seeking of ranking in the pecking-order of any given group. This group
is no different.

That we treat 'high subjects'... what is sacred, holy, etc, may impose a
gloss of importance upon the subjects being debated, but this should not
put persons in second place. I am unaware of any criteria which if held,
actually invalidates the person who is holding it.

I suggest that 'we all' take a moment to review the essential purpose of
our mutual explorations, friends. If such is not 'to help us become
better persons', than what is it for? Is there actually a criteria which
allows the over-riding of compassion, for the sake of setting someone

In summary: To allow the death of criteria, do not exercise criteria.
When criteria die, the person who is holding, is finally empty-handed.

Constant exercising of criteria, keep the hands full, disallowing the
emptiness which is our eventual realization.

My offering,

==Gene Poole==

Dear Gene,

Hopefully, the rare breaking of your silence underscores the importance
your message. May I add my amen.

I just happen to have written a poem about this. It was inspired by
somewhere that one purpose of spiritual training is to learn how to
recognize what are non-issues in order to know when to avoid them.

Warrior Spirit

If you should see a "spiritual warrior"
with a weapon in hand,
it is very prudent
to step quietly away.

A spiritual warrior
has no weapons
in his hands.
Empty hands.

A spiritual warrior
has no weapons
in his mind.
Empty mind.

A spiritual warrior
has no weapons
in his heart.
Empty heart.

A spiritual warrior
has this empty space
that invites you
to enter freedom.

~~~Gloria Lee


> I've been sitting with the experience you described in "hearing"
> yourself spoken about in the chat room. Says much about those speaking.
> I haven't had this particular experience - but I can imagine it didn't
> feel too comfortable. Were you persuaded by these opinions that were
> expressed?

Hi Lynne,

That's a very good word you used, Lynne - "persuaded". Because
that's what opinions seek to do, isn't it?

But no, I wasn't persuaded.... not this time. :-)

I was definitely surprised though. Then I felt hurt for a few minutes.

But gratefully, I have recently come to know very clearly that any
conclusions that *I* may come to ....about other people.... are utterly
worthless, other than revealing my own unconscious material.

So it was very easy to shift...and recognize the worthlessness of
that dialogue, as well.

But it did give me an opportunity to once again become aware of my very
human tendency towards narcissism.

I began considering how very easy it is to be surrounded by people who
love and admire me......people who appreciate what I have to share. But
that is just narcissim, isn't it? Falling in love with *being* loved?

The test of Love, seems to me, is to be able to (using Gene's phrase)
'abide nonabiding people'.

Jesus said it another way, "If you love those who love you, what credit
is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them."

This exchange gave me the opportunity to remember that though there is
this desire to be loved by all, it's really good to have tested now
and again, my own capacity to love......*especially* by those who
don't necessarily love me back, or who have no appreciation for what I

I'm glad you haven't given up on us, Lynne. I would imagine that as
people come to hear your voice, and recognize it, your expience of being
ignored will lessen.

And won't you appreciate the day when you no longer care, or even
notice, whether or not anyone has appreciated your offerings? I know I
look foward to that day, myself.

Until then, may we all be bathed by each others light... until we can no
longer tell one light from another.


More from Adi Da....

You want me to talk about your trying to work your life out. Life does
not work out! IT CANNOT WORK OUT! That is not the Way of the Heart! The
Way of the Heart is about ego-transcendence, transcendence of the very
thing that seeks to make it all work out! You are wanting me to address
you in this act that you are making to have everything be hunky-dory.
and are trying to make work out perfectly. You are only looking at
yourself! Thaty's all you are ever looking at! And you want it to work
out, "narcissus". You are looking at all this and you are calling it
the world - but it is 'you'!

All you ever talk about, think about, or perceive is you. It is a
private, "self possessed" illusion. It is a result of your own knot of
separateness, and it registers in this poor little slug of a body-mind
you identity with as all kinds of illusions, hallucinations, thought,
presumptions, ideas, perceptions. The whole lot, the whole ball of wax
is all the result of our own separate position, your own point of view,
self contraction, manufacturing illusions on the base of That Which is
Reality. But you have no idea what that Reality is. No notion. You
are not associated with Reality, you are 'dis'sociated from Reality.
That is the whole point! Well, that being the case, "that' is what you
have to deal with! But you want to persist in your adoration of the
"pond", your experience, your search, and so forth, and you are asking
me how to make it work out. I do not have anything to do with the
"making-it-work-out" business. I am here to wake you up.


> shamelessly,
> Melody

Dancing Freely

Dancing shamelessly upon the ridge
wind blowing thru my hair,
my skirt flowing with the breeze,
I open my arms to the heavens

and cry, "Thanks be to God, I'm free!"

No satchels
of secret whispers to protect.
No fears of acts made public,
I dance with careless abandon tonight

and cry, "Thanks be to God, I'm free!"

Yes, I invite you
to see me completely you see,
in all my delicious and
contemptible wonder!

Know me, reveal me,
dis-clothes me if you will -
and I will continue....
to dance freely with the wind.


some spread their laundry before them..
to remember the person through soil
to remember the teaching once born
to surrender the dross in the fire.

some wear their laundry behind them..
concealed in a knapsack forgotten
folded cloth only heard as an echo
seen through a blinding reflection.

I am bearer of huge sacks of laundry..
some I keep for the texture of fabric
some is woven as rags now in tatters
some is boiled and fulled for the journey
most released in the air with a prayer.

Kristie Shelloner wrote:
> Dear Melody:
> I am so sorry these things were said about you.....and that you had to hear
> them. I think that anyone who has been through the things you have been
> through and has harvested from them wisdom and kindness and patience and the
> drive to dig deeper and see more is an ultimate maturity. I think sometimes
> the list is very threatened when someone exposes their process or their
> though the mere existence of turbulence is a threat to
> serenity.......


Hi Kristi,

Then let the list be threatened. If it can't hear and bear
people's pain this community won't grow. In fact the
community has been through turbulence and met human
challenges. However, there may be individuals whose serenity
is so threatened.

>I have rarely felt welcome the sense of being
> loved or understood or that there was even much desire on anyone's part to
> love or understand me.......

I'm sorry you don't feel that. Because you come across as so
strong, perhaps people have let you be and you haven't felt
love. I feel love for people here, and I feel love for you.

>but I keep coming back.....because I think my
> process does offer insight to those who want to hear it and aren't afraid of
> it.....behind my struggle and my "suffering" I am a strong and very wise
> person......I know that even if it remains a secret to others......

You come across as being strong, Kristi. Your wisdom is no
secret. You and Gen have changed the course of this list, or
opened an entire new corridor through it, by explicating the
marginalization problem. I hesitate to mention all the names
who have become involved in the discussion, but powerful
stories have been told. Probably everyone has contributed to
the topic. A rare thing.

When you were gone, you were missed. You may not feel you
are understood -- and that feeling might not be uncommon --
but if love is a deep knowing of commonality, a long taking
of pleasure of the bond of common knowing, then know that
you are loved.

> Your posts have offered me courage and hope, the hope of faith that all
> things work for good and that there is rhyme and reason to the paths we walk
> and the experiences we endure and celebrate.
> Love, Kristi

Your letter, Kristi, is to Melody, and I admit to not really
understanding what women here have been through or are going
through. I hear of experiences I have never known. I don't
know what it's like to be a woman. Let this be a place that
can be shaken to the ground with people's pain and let it be
re-built with understanding.


Dear Jerry:

I wrote some of those words hesitantly, not wanting to cast
recrimination at anyone and still wanting to share the truth of my
experience as it occurs to this personality at this time and place. I
think, truly, feeling loved is as much a function of feeling loving and
loveable as it has anything to do with the quality of acceptance or
emotion that is directed at this way my feelings of being
loved or understood here have nothing to do with anyone except myself
....on the other hand, I think it is true that communities of people
engage in marginalizing behaviors and identifications - some
self-inflicted, some other inflicted; where to draw the line? that is
the question that all seeking answers at some point in some way.....

I come to this list, generally, in the spirit of hearing and listening
.....although I did not start out that way.....I came in great turmoil,
which recurs in smaller and smaller measure like a bouncing ball losing
momentum until it sits at last in the place which was made for it, still
and in a state of equilibrium......I shared my turmoil initially hoping
to have it touched and soothed and guided.....I found some of that here
..I also felt attacked, belittled, ridiculed and held in virtual
contempt by some....that is to be expected in any community of human
beings.....turmoil shocks and suffering ripples throughout a shared
consciousness, which in some measure has been established here.....

There is nothing that causes more distress than another's suffering when
we don't know what to say or how to make it better....some respond by
reaching out or empathizing, some respond by abiding with it....some
respond by attacking that which stimulates their own fear of suffering is all the same response in different form....the recognition
that suffering is a state to be moved through and not held onto.......

In my lifetime I have survived many traumatic events with equanimity,
grace and joy, events that might have evoked extreme suffering in
another person....I think it is no "mistake" that eventually I
found/created/was victimized by events that I could not surrender or let
go of so readily/easily/naturally.....through this I encountered the
terror of letting go of everything....which I am moving through
slowly....for me it was only my children that could have triggered the
requirement of letting go and required me to make no distinction in
value about letting go as opposed to letting go of specifics....I have
let go of almost everything else quite readily. This world is really
only a symbol of things much more profound and simple......grace comes
in many ways.......I found my depths of darkness in my way.....others
have found theirs in their way.....I thank you for your post.

Much love, Kristi

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