Jerry Katz
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Highlights #216

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I knew.
I saw I didn't know what I thought I
I gave up knowing for not knowing
with great relief
Through not knowing
Now I know.


You knew before you thought you didn't
know. Through thinking you
didn't know, it opened you to what you
already knew.


SKYE quotes Eckhart Tolle:

"Thinking has become a disease. Disease happens when things
get out of balance. For example, there is nothing wrong with
cells dividing and multiplying in the body, but when this
process continues in dis-regard of the total organism, cells
proliferate and we have disease.
The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used
wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To put it
more accurately, it is not so much that you use your mind
wrongly-you usually don't use it at all. It uses you. This
is the disease. You believe that you are your mind. This is
the delusion. The instrument has taken you over.


The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not
the possessing entity-the thinker. Knowing this enables you
to observe the entity. The moment you start watching the
thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated.
You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of
intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny
aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the
things that truly matter-beauty, love, creativity, joy,
inner peace-arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken."

also from ECKHART TOLLE:

"Identification with your mind, causes thought to become
compulsive. Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadful
affliction, but we don't realize this because almost
everybody is suffering from it, so it is considered normal.
This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that
realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being. It
also creates a false mind-made self that casts a shadow of
fear and suffering."


Thanks for this.. I read this book two months ago and spent an evening
with Eckhart Tolle. He is a very clear and a very softly powerful man.

I have been in *just* this situation (described above) since receiving
various posts yesterday and today.. they derailed me into *mind*
big time. It has taken a fair amount of writing, listening, stillness
and some good friends here to get clear.

Your use of what I wrote as a springboard for a lecture (based on a
lot of assumptions about who I am) brought, what my friend Elysha calls,
the 'Shmee' (screaming me) to the foreground for defense. It has been
humbling to observe this old mind pattern and intense vulnerability. I
am working through a sense of betrayal. My issue... my mental stuff. I
also see that I have betrayed myself in my assumptions.



Someone do me a favor and go to

And listen to Vartman on one of the sound files. I listened
for about 5 seconds and had to shut it off. My question is,
Why do all these Satsang people sound the same? The same
pacing. The same pausing. The same eternal tone. The same,
'You see'. The same little humor. The same 'in the moment

Why do I feel like I'm being sucked into something? Why do I
feel the current Satsang movement is no different than any
religious movement with their intonations and rituals and
fulfillment of expectations?

Where is the unpredictability? Where is the rebellion? Why
do I have to turn Vartman off and listen to the hum of my
computer if I want to hear something real?

As a boy required to attend synagogue I felt stifled. I felt
more alive and in touch with life when I departed the
synagogue. Somehow I had the insight that just being alone
in the day's sun was as religious and spiritual and Godly as
it gets.

Now I have that same feeling with Satsang. It's bullshit.
Just listen to Vartman. You know anyone can say anything
they want with that pacing and tone of voice and it will
sound spiritual and wonderful. Using Vartman's tone, try
saying the following:

"I'm going to sue your ass in court ... you see ... you
slimy stinking good for nothing bastard ... you piece of
human garbage, you are the lowest form of human existence
... you see ... you horrible ..."

And don't you hate it when you're reading transcripts of
Satsang and you come upon the clue-in: [laughter]. I hate
that. Just let me read the transcript and I'll decide if
it's funny or not.

So what's my point? Nothing holds. Reality is not to be
found in Satsang with all its good feeling and relaxation
and mellowness and truth. Reality is not found. It is known
to be here and now. You see.


Very good points. For many people, they have to go to lots and lots of
satsangs before they see that they don't really have too. Same as any
other practice, even when satsang is stated to not be a practice :-) I
myself see the satsang phenomenon as a hilarious divine comedy.

One reason that so many sound alike is that many come from the same line of
teachers. Papaji has perhaps the most in the West (maybe Osho has more).
I first saw Vartman's info on the Papaji website called
<>, you'll see pictures and notices of
those who are sharing what they got from Papaji. One person told me that
Papaji had "officially authorized" 17 people to share satsang in the West.
They have authorized others. I myself was authorized to share satsang in
this same way, by Michael Rosker, who was authorized by Moksha, who was
authorized by Prasad, who was authorized by Papaji.

Here's a quote from that Papaji, according to which there are more than

...he sent out thousands of what
he called "ambassadors". And so
now there are literally thousands of
"official" ambassadors, each one sharing,
in their own way, what they received
from the Master Poonjaji."

And there's even a link to send mail so you can be added to that page as an
ambassador carrying Papaji's message: <mailto:[email protected]>.

In general, there are lots of satsang cultural conventions I've seen and
been told about by world-traveling satsang attendees, including:

-The measured, spiritual vocal delivery
-Lots and lots and lots of hugs
-The competitive locking of eyes to see who sees the
most of the Self in the other person (a great friend
of mine is the U.S. national champion!)
-The well known Lucknow Disease of avoiding the "I" word in speech
-The assumption on the part of some teachers that anyone sitting
in a satsang can be given advice and told what to do because
they are seeking

Most of this There's lots more too!



according to
me there is 'awakening' and 'transformation'. Not knowing
is awake and the continued dissolving of mind habits is
transformation/deepening. Is that anything like what you mean?


There is always this fascinated
debate in many traditions (e.g. Zen,
Tibetan Buddhism) about this question:

(1) Awakening and "finished", nothing more to be done.
(2) Awakening followed by transformation/deepening.

I think the case of Ramana Maharshi
is (1). Have you any commentary?


This is a fascinating that
seems to ignite considerable debate and conflict.

I would really appreciate hearing from
both Jan and Harsha in particular on this question....


Because Ramana almost could be called "publicly owned", it is possible to
give facts. Ramana had this spontaneous flash that leaves neither doubt nor
a choice. Yet he "meditated" (for lack of a better expression) for years
and led a life that "others" would call the life of a renunciate. No one
apparently bothered to ask Ramana; he would probably have said (in his case
written down) something about the unparalleled bliss of Self. Evidenced in
his biography: he wanted to be in physical solitude as well, in total
forgetfulness of mind, body and senses. For Westerners, his total neglect
of body would have caused a strong dislike, as C. G. Jung remarked in a
commentary. Of course Ramana went through the usual sequence of samadhis
and there can't be the slightest doubt on moksha. The Self doesn't
transform; what happens is the de-identification to the point of what could
be called "the weakest link with mind/body possible" and in youth, there is
plenty of energy for de-identification by K.. So Ramana was thoroughly
familiar with samadhis and Kundalini. Those who don't have such a bright
flash as a starter, have to go through stages/phases where the hindrances
to a radical giving up of "former worldly life" have been overcome, or
these hindrances have to be overcome one by one as is the usual case for a
householder. So I don't see a principal difference between 1. and 2., more
a marginal difference. In 1., one is surrendered 100% immediately and in 2,
100% is realized gradually. When 100% surrendered, transformations are


Anyone who has been in the spiritual/religious field for any length of time
will notice that it is no different than any other field. There is politics,
intrigue, and competition for attention among teachers, gurus, etc. Everyone
claims to have the superior way. Even in the area of exploring the nature of
the Kundalini Shakti or Nonduality, the competition is heated and intense.
Over the last 25 years, I have seen many
teachers and gurus ridicule each other and different paths, and their
disciples of course take their cue from their gurus. Sometimes the criticism
might even be justified from some point of view. But this is how spiritual
business is done. This is how spiritual business always has been done. El
Collie on the K-List, mentioned examples of healers who could not heal
themselves. This is not uncommon. That is just life. There is a long history
of teachers and gurus hiding their own shortcomings and problems, sometimes
serious, and acting as guides. Certainly people can still benefit from their
teaching although some may be misled and harmed as well. This is why it is
important for spiritual aspirants to take some responsibility and
familiarize themselves with at least the basic religious, spiritual, and/or
Shakti/Self/No Self
literature which comes from the genuine spiritual traditions. Hinduism,
Jainism, Buddhism and Taoism and to some extent the Judeo-Christian
traditions have been the main sources for me. But there are many other veins
of knowledge as well. These are there for all and can be studied and
reflected on. The genuine aspirant cannot remain satisfied with endless
intellectual questions and answers or endless psychic experiences through
kundalini manifestations. But there are subtle questions arising from the
longing of the Soul, such as (What does it all mean? Where is True Rest.
What is the foundation of experience, any experience? Who seeks answers? Why
are answers sought? Who asks questions?). If such questions do not trap one
in the jungle of intellectual mumbo jumbo but are followed to the source,
they can hint at the Pull of the Heart.



So many people here on this list spend much of their thought-time (and that
is all it is, really) here denying the physical reality of life and aspiring
to Transcendence. They unwittingly anaesthetize themselves to the point
where they imagine they have transcended "conditions", "illusions",
"images", etc. They cloth their anesthesia in language that, without the
benefit of
experience and the subtlest ability to discern, obfuscates the truth. They
make reckless assertions and decisions. This is the "schlock" I am
referring to. I make these same mistakes. (Perhaps even now I'm falling down
a slippery slope...)

We are on the cusp of a great moral problem here. We are riding this problem
like a wave, playing along the breakline. It is a very big wave and I
believe we underestimate the potential for real danger here. At risk of
creating more schlock, I paraphrase Beaudrillard.

"As individuals, many of us can no longer or are no longer willing to
produce the limits of our beingness. Or perhaps we are denying our limits.
We can no longer produce ourselves as the mirror. We are a screen, a
switching center for all the networks of influence."

When we have lost the ability to discern our limits, we fail to see the
seams where we are stitched together, and thus the world as well. We are in
this world, regardless of how much we think we are outside of the influence
of this world. Many of us here would chuck intelligence and discernment for
the imagined panacea of one ideology or another -- any automatic process. We
assume we are entitled to immortality before we know what it is. We
assume that, before we have learned to walk, we are able to ride a bike...or
navigate a spaceship, for that matter.



Desire and Self are opposite sides of the same coin, like fire and its
power to burn. They are *and* are not two all at the same time.


By the way as one *is* two, and as twoness
is not other than one, and as one is not the same as or
other than two,
communication can occur without there being separate entities.
Communication is then understood from the perspective of the
"coin" itself, not as something moving from point a to point
b on one of the sides of the coin.

Ok, I understand and accept your view. However, it still makes
sense to view things as they are experienced, rather than holding
to a conception of how they really are. Even while I agree that
all is one, my experience (and that of any being in a body) *also*
includes an understanding of separateness. This is Maya, in which
we are all enveloped, realized or not.

The problem I have with the "all is one" thing is that people
go ahead and generate a *concept* of what this "all is one" thing
is, thereby setting up an expectation of what realization is like.
It is expectations about realization that form some of the biggest
hindrances to Its being experienced.

I know quite a few folk that expect that upon realization, their
sense of themselves as individuals will be permanently obliterated,
as they will then come to know that "all is one." This is in
fact not true, at least not in every case of realization, and in
fact not in a single case of realization that I've come to know.

I've observed in my exploration of online discussions that some
folk have a tendency to develop intellectual models of nondual
being and then adopt them as their "reality" when in fact they've
only applied yet another overlay of Maya.

While reality can be *said* to be nondual, it is *us* as beings
that *are* nonduality. The container of social experience will
always be dual. People attempt to deny the dual nature of social
existence in order to make it fit their ideas of nondual reality,
when in fact all they've done is applied another concept and layer
of hindrance between themselves and their realization.



I have given this out to over a thousand people over the years, and the
reaction to it has been largely positive. I give it to all my friends in
cyberspace in hopes that it will bless you and help us all to come a
little closer to the reality that we are all in this thing we call Life
together. A Native American friend once told me, "If we live as a
species, we live together, no matter where we are. If we die as a
species, we die together, no matter where we are." A good wake-up call!

Here is the Mantrum:

I am the Universe, and the Universe is myself.
There is nothing without me, that dwelleth not in me;
There is nothing within me that dwelleth not without me.
I am the Microcosm in the Macrocosm.
Out of the One, I have become the Many.
I draw all the Many together, and cause them to be made One.
So shall we be One throughout all eternity;
As it is written, so mote it be!

From the Guru Granth Sahib:

"From within, from within,
Let the self be as if it were nought.
Put aside all sense of separation,
And become One with God!"

There is no sense of otherness when there is complete Unity. Oneness
means more than just one of a kind. It means, also, this complete and
unadulterated Unity of all that is with what we are. This has to be true
on all dimensional levels for it to be complete. It gives us a sense of
Order knowing that the One is in control of the ALL, since that is what
the ALL is!

We all strive for this Oneness, this Unity, this Completeness, for it is
this that brings the End. This is what Jesus said (Matt. 24:14): "And
this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a
witness unto all nations, and then the end shall come." What is the
Gospel of the Kingdom which brings on the end of the Age? It is the
realization of the enate Unity of all things with That from which all
things came, the Full Revelation of the One of which we are a part.

But let us not forget that in the End comes a new Beginning, for Life is
a spiralling circle that ever continues our evolution.

i'm looking at this blank e-mail form, thinking about how good it is
sometimes to leave as much space as possible-- to listen with big ears
and not even have a "take" on anything. how can i express with words
the song in my heart-- it is it's own last word.


the following is a poem by yeats, and i like it, cause it's a song i
know how to hum.

i love you all


I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world's eyes
As though they'd wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there's more enterprise
In walking naked.
-- w.b. yeats


My thoughts on thoughtlessness.

Is it really possible to be thoughtless?


Not only are feelings interpreted thoughts, the potential to feel is a
thought as well, analogous to the "I" thought but much less "tangible".
Apart from that, the process of thinking is layered as can be easily
verified with a practice of repeating mantras.


¤What is the purpose of my brain,
¤... to think?

To function properly, that is to think when required.

¤Should I struggle to be thoughtless
¤or should I allow my brain to just
¤do what brains do and think?

The practice of suppressing thought is said to be analogous to plugging a
kettle with boiling water. Sooner or later the pressure exceeds a threshold
and thinking will resume. What is more, there are at least 3 levels of
thought going on simultaneously and only the "top' layer is under control.

¤Of course, any thought without
¤action or emotional attachment
¤means nothing.

Persons in coma don't think either but they're not in samadhi and they
don't come out of the coma Self-realized. Thoughts running riot, caused by
some event, is the automatism that is worthwhile being curbed. Getting hold
of thoughts like arising anger is worthwhile too as it offers the
possibility to give up instead of getting angry. Becoming aware what is
going on "behind the scene" will decrease thinking by itself.



. But what
is Satsang? Isn't it the company of 'holy people' or the

It's nothing more or less than that, and who's to say who
'holy people' or the 'wise' are? We have come to think of
Satsang as a highly formalized affair centered around a
single person with recognized Guru status.

In its purest sense, Satsang is ongoing, because who or what
isn't holy or wise? How can someone discriminate?

I was on the bus the other day and a teenage boy got on
board with a box of donuts. There had to be dozen donuts in
the box, all full of colors and glistening glazes

And I watched him, as if in some panic of hunger, he
devoured half a dozen in front of me. It took him about ten
minutes. He couldn't tell I was watching because of the
angle, so there was no self-consciousness.

I thoroughly enjoyed his total passion and involvement and
that nothing else was important. It's hard to live like
that. So it was the company of the wise. It was Satsang. I
made it Satsang. Dunkin' Satsang.


-- talk
about "literal
thoughtlessness," there's
no more spontaneous
"meditation" than head-to-
toe, hard-to-breath laugh!


Amen and hallelujah! Laughing may well be the most accessible, available to
everyone method of no-mind there is.
It can also be used in a conscious (in the sense of deliberate) way. One of
Osho's finest processes, which he recommended all his people do at least
once, is called Mystic Rose. It consists of three "stages," laughing, crying
and silent watching, one week of each for three hours a day. When done in a
group, the usual format, the contagiousness of others ROTFLTAO helps keep
everyone going. The same for the week of crying, which is aided by the
tear-jerkingest, hopefully non-schlocky music that can be found, John
Lennon's "Imagine," for instance. Major cleansing is possible with this
process, leading into a great third week of silence.
It is true that the laughter of the first week is not all spontaneous,
sometimes it is work. As such it can be likened to any method. Nevertheless,
much of it is spontaneous, making this a method of considerable
accessibility and efficacy.
Laugh on!

From the enlightainment files:
One night in Washington, when Nixon was president, there was a heavy
snowfall. When the president woke up in the morning, he looked out of the
window and saw a beautiful blanket of snow covering the White House lawn. He
snapped out of his reverie when he noticed, written on the lawn in yellow
snow, "Dick Nixon is an asshole."
Nixon got very angry and summoned the FBI and the CIA. "I want that urine
analysed," he ordered, "and I want to find the culprit right now, without
delay! This is top priority!"
Early in the afternoon a representative of the two agencies reported back to
Nixon. He said, "We have tested the urine and we know whose it is. However
there is some good news and some bad news; which would you like first?"
"Oh no," said Nixon, "I guess you had better give me the good news first."
"Well, sir," said the man, "we analysed the urine, did tests on everyone,
and it is Henry Kissinger's."
"Oh no," cried Nixon, and then suddenly the realization hit him."That's the
good news? What could the bad news possibly be?"
The man answered, "It was in your wife's handwriting."


OH quotes HH the Dalai Lama:

"Now, for example, in my own case, as a Buddhist monk, I believe in
Buddhism and through my own experience I know that these Buddhist
practices are very helpful to me.

However, because of habituation, through many previous lifetimes,
certain things may arise, like anger or attachment. So now what I do is:
first learn about the positive value of the practices,
then build up determination, and then try to implement them.

At the beginning, the implementation of the positive practices is very
so the negative influences are still very powerful. However, eventually,
as you gradually build up the positive practices,
the negative behaviours are automatically diminished.

So, actually the practice of Dharma is a constant battle within,
replacing previous negative conditioning or habituation with new
positive conditioning."

The world is a very dual place, and will always remain a very dual
place. One encounters folk trying to apply ideas of nonduality to
the world, but this changes neither their state of being or the
conditions of the world around them.

The world is dual. *We* are nondual. There is no matrix to
escape to. It's us, right now. We're there dude, nonduality
enveloped and enfolded into a very dual container. When the
body drops off it drops off. It will not change who we really
are one single bit.

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