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#2128 - Friday, April 29, 2005 - Editor: michael  

When the Buddha was walking along the road to Benares following his post-Enlightenment pause he was approached by a wandering ascetic. According to the custom of the time the ascetic greeted him and asked who his teacher was or what doctrine he followed. The Buddha told the wanderling that he was "the Victor and Conqueror of the World, superior to gods and men, an All-Enlightened One beholden to no teacher." The wandering ascetic could see no hint of anything of the Buddha's nature and wandered off as wanderlings are oft to do, mumbling under his breath something like, "If it were only so!"  


The 10 warning signs for Pretendus Enlighteneux  

Do you suffer from fake enlightenment? A delusional complex some call 'being touched by divine light', 'knowing God' or 'being in harmony with my crown chakra?' If you do, you aren't alone. Most pretty, young, clueless actor types in large Metropolitan cities will contract this disease. And most end up getting poked by their chauvinistic yoga teachers who, interestingly, seem to suffer from a similar disease. The most dangerous effects of long term fake enlightenment are (in no particular order) an eventual boring commune life, lifelong lameness, Veganism, children, obsessive church-going and/or therapy.

Here are 10 warning signs YOU should look out for:

1.You are mentally ill: A chemical imbalance in the brain does not constitute enlightenment. (Although you hear voices and think about strange things.)

2. You do lots and lots of Eastern based exercise: Yoga, Tai Chi, etc. (If God had meant for your nose to get that close to your just make me sick.)

3. You are easily hypnotized: You are getting sleepy.

4. When a person speaks to you, your eyes glaze over and only become animated again when it is your turn to talk.

5. You "get it": Sure, sure. There's no other self-help book reading, vegetarian, Tiva wearing, long hair who's been doing Kundalini for a month that 'gets it' quite like you, is there?

6. You have lost all sense of humor.

7. People giggle behind your back and have given you the nickname 'Squeaky Fromm.'

8. You are physically attractive: Pretty people can never truly be enlightened. Jesus sez the meek shall inherit the earth - and by meek He meant 'the ugly' or 'the homely' - a proven fact, given that historians now know Jesus was hardly better looking than any old poodle's flaky gray ass.

9. The books you read fall into any/all of these categories: health, self-help and theology. OR You only read pamphlets.

10. Its o.k. to do hurtful things to others because, "everything I do and everything that happens to me is my Divine destiny." (See Justified Selfishness below and Mental Illness above)


What role does absurdity play?

“While hunting in Africa, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How an elephant got into my pajamas I'll never know.”
ONE OF THE MOST well-known koans is “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” While a penetration of its meaning is a serious affair, reading about the teaching techniques of Zen masters often glides past something that is manifest and important: This koan, like most, is funny.

In a wonderful chapter [No. 18: “Satori, The Koan, and Monastic Polishing”] of her online book, "Seventh World of Chan Buddhism" at the ZBOHY website, Chuan Yuan Shakya tells the story of a monk named Doe Ming who is given the one-hand-clapping koan. With much pride he focuses on the koan, but the increasingly clever answers he conceives horrify his beloved master, who eventually strikes him. Weeks pass. Stressed and humiliated, Doe Ming takes refuge in menial tasks. He is forgotten and gains contentment. Then, a sound triggers Enlightenment. He goes to his master and says "Eat shit and die, you old fake!" He bursts out laughing. The master and the head monk join in merrily.

While the supposed “point” of the one-hand-clapping koan is not that it is funny, the absurd quality of opening the puzzlebox of this koan is intrinsic to its message.

Douglas notes, “A few years ago a possible answer came to me for the response to ‘What is the sound of one hand clapping?’ Answer: Half the sound of two hands clapping...Is that a koan?” Douglas adds that given the anecdote mentioned above, a Zen master would probably have struck him for such an answer.

Jeff says that he has spent more time studying the teachings of the T’ang Dynasty Ch’an mastesr than any other group. “And those ol' rascals have definitely infected me with their appreciation of the spontaneous, the absurd, and the silly as tools for breaking down the fossilized conceptual barriers that stand between us and innate enlightenment. ... The Ch'an masters are just a bunch of impossibly ridiculous buffoons.”

He goes on to say:

“Imagine how crazy it is to meditate facing a wall for nine years until your legs fall off, and then to refuse your disciple until he cuts off his arm and hands it to you! If that's not farce, I don't know what is. And then there's old Bird Nest up in his tree, telling the high official that a three-year-old can understand the transcendent Dharma, but even a seventy-year-old can't seem to practice it. The shock effect, the ultimate tool for satori in the Ch'an/Zen sect, is extremely close to the startle one receives at the punchline of a joke. Both offer the listener unexpected alternate possible ways of perceiving the world and his/her relation to it. Dharma could be defined as that which shakes up our old views and offers realignment with a healthier way of seeing things--the same definition also applies to humor, of course.”

In very simple terms, says Dinty: “What the Buddha said is never to take anything too seriously. Even Zen disciplines are mocked by many of the masters. So, yes, I think an appreciation of the absurd can be a good thing.”


"Dorothy, your boyfriend, Mulla Nasrudin, seems very bashful," said Mama to her daughter.

"Bashful!" echoed the daughter, "bashful is no name for it."

"Why don't you encourage him a little more? Some men have to be taught how to do their courting. He's a good catch."

"Encourage him!" said the daughter, "he cannot take the most palpable hint. Why, only last night when I sat all alone on the sofa, he perched up in a chair as far away as he could get. I asked him if he didn't think it strange that a man's arm and a woman's waist seemed always to be the same length, and what do you think he did?"

"Why, just what any sensible man would have done -- tried it."




There was a barber that thought that he should share his faith with his customers more than he had been doing lately. So the next morning when the sun came up and the barber got up out of bed he said, "Today I am going to witness to the first man that walks through my door."

Soon after he opened his shop the first man came in and said, "I want a shave!" The barber said, "Sure, just sit in the seat and I'll be with you in a moment." The barber went in the back and prayed a quick desperate prayer saying, "God, the first customer came in and I'm going to witness to him. So give me the wisdom to know just the right thing to say to him. Amen."

Then quickly the barber came out with his razor knife in one hand and a Bible in the other while saying "Good morning sir. I have a question for you... Are you ready to die?"


Noah:"Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"

Joseph, son of Jacob: "Dreams"

Adam and Eve:"Strangers in Paradise"

Lazarus: "The Second Time Around"

Esther: "I Feel Pretty"

Job: "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues"

Moses:"The Wanderer"

Jezebel: "The Lady is a Tramp"

Samson: "Hair"

Judas: "(You're The) Devil In Disguise"

Salome: "I Could Have Danced All Night"

Daniel: "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"

Joshua: "Good Vibrations"

Peter: "I'm Sorry"

Esau: "Born to be Wild"

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: "Great Balls of Fire!"

The Three Kings: "When You Wish Upon a Star"

Jonah: "Got a Whale of a Tale"

Elijah: "Up, Up, and Away"

Nebuchadnezzar: "Crazy"

Paul: "I Get Around"

John the Baptist: "A Place For My Head"

The Diciples: "I Will Follow Him"

Jesus: "If I Had A Hammer"

God: "Who wrote the Book of Love?"


What did the integrated circuit say when it was enlightened? IC.   


Enlightenment is a deep understanding

Enlightenment is not an attainment to be proud of. You just know that you are very lucky to have found freedom, you know that you could have missed it. Truth is never an achievement, it has always been there, it is just that now your eyes are open to it. Enlightenment is a deep understanding, it is not an ego thing at all. Understanding is possible thanks to our intelligent nature, it is not my or your accomplishment. What have you attained? It's more like you've given away that which was never yours!

To be enlightened means that you know truth. It means that you know your true identity, which is not an identity as such, because truth is universal, not personal. The joke of enlightenment is that you are not an enlightened person. There is enlightenment when, as a person, you are gone... There is realization, but not a realized person. Why? Because the whole idea of 'I, a separate person' has disappeared. Of course, you live your life as an individual, as an undivided being, but now you understand your absolute nature. You know that you are absolute consciousness, not a separate being, not separate consciousness.

Enlightenment means that truth has become so close and familiar that it is now your residency. And whatever happens in your life, you will not leave your wall-free home.


from the archives:

Michael Lovell:

a quote from Nisargatatta Maharish that resonates here.

"Enlightenment is when the connection between the Witness and the
personality snaps."

love all

Here are the top ten reasons
"why we need to be enlightened"

1) Because it give us a reason to smile in the morning.
2) Because it is better for self-esteem than being deluded.
3) Because it's always good for a laugh at parties.
4) Because knowing that I'm not yet enlightened
is a good explanation for doing stupid things,
and for persistent, nagging self-doubt.
5) Because it allows people like U.G. and you
to have something to rant about.
6) Because it has a catchier sound than saying
"I need to be endarkened."
7) Because it gives a focus for an otherwise
absurd existence.
8) Because it gives absurdity to an otherwise
mundane existence.
9) Because it has a lofty, supernatural feeling
that makes the imagination of poets
and artists soar (or perhaps sore --
if you consider many silly New Age
10) Because being enlightened never gets old.

With a knowing glint in my eye at all times,

10 ways to become enlightened. Any of the 10 will work. I'm sure there
will be many more lists!!

1. Eat only brown rice or clear soup.
2. Sit no more than 17.5 ft. from an enlightened entity every
day in satsang for a three 2-week retreats.
3. Have no thoughts about enlightenment.
4. Have no thoughts whose object is "I."
5. Have no thoughts that proceed from an "I."
6. Have no thoughts.
7. Be told by an enlightened entity that you are enlightened.
8. See that there is no such thing as enlightnment.
9. See that there is no thing.
10. Never use personal pronouns. Say "here," "there," "this form," "that
radiance" instead.




Nonduality for the People

Knowledge should lead you to that beautiful point of "I don't know"


by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

During a lecture in Los Angeles, someone asked Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to describe enlightenment. The following was his reply:

Enlightenment is like a joke! It's like a fish searching for the ocean. Once upon a time, there was a congregation of fish who got together to discuss who had seen the ocean. None of them could actually say they had seen the ocean. Then, one fish said, "I think my great-grandfather had seen the ocean!" A second fish said, "Yes, yes. I also heard about this." A third fish said, "Yes, certainly, his great-grandfather had seen the ocean." So they built a huge temple and made a statue of the great-grandfather of that particular fish. They said, "He had seen the ocean. He had been connected with the ocean."

Enlightenment is the very core of our being; going into the core of our self and living our life from there. We all came into this world gifted with innocence, but gradually, as we became more intelligent, we lost our innocence. We were born with silence, and as we grew up, we lost the silence and were filled with words. We lived in our hearts, and as time passed, we moved into our heads. Now the reversal of this journey is enlightenment. It is the journey from head back to the heart, from words, back to silence; getting back to our innocence in spite of our intelligence. Although very simple, this is a great achievement. Knowledge should lead you to that beautiful point of "I don't know." The purpose of knowledge is ignorance. The completion of knowledge will lead you to amazement and wonder. It makes you aware of this existence. Mysteries are to be lived, not understood. One can live life so fully in its completeness, in its totality. Enlightenment is that state of being so mature and unshakable by any circumstance. Come what may, nothing can rob the smile from your heart. Not identifying with limited boundaries and feeling "all that exists in this universe belongs to me," this is enlightenment.

Enlightenment is that state of being so mature and unshakable by any circumstance. Come what may, nothing can rob the smile from your heart.

Unenlightenment is easy to define. It is limiting yourself by saying, "I belong to this particular place," or "I am from that culture." It's like children saying, "My dad is better than your dad," or "My toy is better than your toy." I think most people around the world are stuck in that mental age group. Just the toys have changed. Adults say, "My country is better than your country." A Christian will say, "The Bible is truth," and a Hindu will say, "The Vedas are truth. They are very ancient." Muslims will say, "The Koran is the last word of God." We attribute glory to something just because we are from that culture, not for what it is. If one could take credit for all that exists throughout the ages and feel as though "It belongs to me," then that is maturity. "This is my wealth because I belong to the Divine."

The Divine, according to time and space, gave different knowledge in different places. One becomes the knower of the whole universe and sees that, "all the beautiful flowers are all from my garden." The whole evolution of man is from being somebody to being nobody, and from being nobody to being everybody. Have you observed that young children have that sense of belonging, that oneness, that innocence? As we grew up we lost that innocence and became more cunning. The innocence of an ignorant man has no value, and the cunningness of an intelligent man also has no value. Enlightenment is a rare combination of innocence and intelligence. Words to express and, at the same time, being very silent. In that state, the mind is fully in the present moment. Whatever is necessary is revealed to you in such a natural and spontaneous way. You just sit and the song flows through you.

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