Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #227

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If there is a quality of "selfness"
comparable to "prettiness" it is in
the sense of Being. "Self" in our
parlance, on the contrary, refers to a
discrete object (or subject). The sense of Being subsists without
necessarily referring to objects. I am -- but I am no thing. In fact the
"I" can be subsumed in the "Am" without a loss.

"No self"/"empty self" seems to be merely speculative, as are the
associations with particular teachers. If an "empty self" is really
empty, then "it" is empty of self -- and thus no self. There you have it.
Enjoy it.



Hey! I went to your web page at and there was
nothing to navigate. I moved the mouse around the page and there was "End
the Search" so I gave up.


Excellent. It worked.


Nice photo though. ;)


Merely the outward form of a mystery. It shall one day be merely a skull,
flesh eaten clean off by maggots.

Here's a great Dzogchen text. Very
rich. It's a page of a site devoted to a rock band in Kentucky. Imagine



Sometimes the way you express ideas appears to me to be open to being
interpreted pretty well however you like. I have taken some pains to draw
a distinction between 'mutual arising of phenomena' and the simplicity of
cause and effect, or karma.

It's not an openness to any kind of interpretation, rather it's
an "integrative vision". It's like this: "mutual arising" once intuited,
is never absent - all phenomena arise interdependently. Thus, this
interdependent arising is seem as not absent when karmic "repercussions"
are viewed. I agree that *ultimately* karma is a term that doesn't apply
as a way to "make sense" of Reality - but then no term and no logical
understanding does (not even dependent origination or mutual arising).
When awareness notices the linking of phenomena perceived in time,
this learning undermines the sense that the separate self is a viable
conceptual entity. Thus, karma may begin as an undertanding that "I
caused this by what I did before," but it becomes "before, after,
and yet-to-come are so linked that using these terms to try to
make sense of reality is limited, and this limitation includes
the idea of the "I" that "makes karma". At this point, a leap
beyond karma is possible, and we are in agreement about that leap
being possible.

So I see karma providing essential learning that eventually can
undermine the separate self-sense, when that learning isn't avoided
(including avoidance by prematurely concluding there is no "me,"
so no "karma", so anything I do is just fine, regardless of
obliviousness to consequences or feelings of those hurt).
An example: major corporations need karmic awareness that the
repercussions of pollution will affect "who I am," not "someone

When there is total transcendence of any investment
or identification of a "self that exists apart", then karma is dissolved
as a learning tool. However, until then, karma is a useful tool,
particularly when events are viewed in terms of time, volition,
and consequence. A sense of responsibility, integrity,
and non-avoidance of consequences of actions is useful
for the "relative self." "Really" there is no separate relative self
in the first place, no separable events, no way to establish time with
separable moments, etc. The stickiness and hairsplitting in our
conversation arose, as I see it, from the difficulty in discussing
learning as related to relative or practical realities. Such learning
has a "time and place", although in the *ultimate* non-perspective
no such learning needs to, or can occur.

I get the sense that you like to muddy the
waters with prose that seems overblown to me at times; this view of karma
really stretches the word. I prefer to either keep it simple or let it go
until a situation arises which puts it into clearer perspective.

To say it simply: I learn from karma until there is no "I" to which
karma could pertain, and no view of time in which to situate
any self. The learning from karma is perspective-specific, the
learning of "no I" is perspectiveless, beyond any situation

Hi, Tony..

I'd like to ask you to join me on this bench for a bit.. as I read your
response to me, these question/thoughs emerged about your wording and

Tony: "I'm afraid that I know 'all is one' but again following Sankara,
one has to deal with the world whilst one is in it. One has to follow
the feel or flow of one's karma also, even if it is to the extent
of 'observing and witnessing what one is performing'. For it is
happening to one at this level is it not, even if one does not do the

T: "I suppose one has to try and rise above the emotions of the leela.
[snip] I am aware of these contradictions plus some other samkaras and
personality problems this body/mind complex has."

Christiana: What is this 'one has to' about for you? Have you looked at
it's source.. particularly in light of the next comment:

Tony: "I am also of the mind that it is actually easier in the end
result to rise above them instead of trying to cure them. Cut the roots
instead of trimming the branches so to speak."

Christiana: So.. does this feel like an assigned different facet of
'mind'? Does it's message still, however, have a 'feel' of an
'imperative'? Are you rising above or inquiring into those 'roots'?

I ask these questions because they are mine.

Tony: "Some of the nuances of thought escape me for I am rather rough
and ready in an Irish fashion, and have not been trained in this type of
thinking. I am a tough old bird, and street fighter.

Christiana: Well as one tough-ol'-Irish-(delightfully untrained yet
entrained)-bird to another.. mazel tov!! I am discovering other layers
. one being that I have been fighting with myself.. drop that one and
what is left is an alive tickle. Just some thoughts.. in play with you.


Does competition have to mean that someone
has to win and someone has to lose or could
it mean something else? Is there a need for
competition in an abundant thinking universe?


> Can a person seek challenges, disruption and crisis subconsciously?


Moving through life with 'patches'/compensations for (assumed by normal
standards) 'failure' is this very form of seeking. This action is
continuous and produces effects...

> How does the subconscious mind fit in with the concept of awareness?

In that 'realm' are stored the 'buffered' information which are the
criteria for valid-invalid, good/bad, productive/nonproductive, etc. A
person comes to represent those criteria, and acts as though those criteria
are valid. These criteria are the challenge, the dare, which is the
above-mentioned action of seeking. Overall and over time, refinement may
take place, as all criteria are ultimately replaceable/disposable.

Awareness OF this ongoing dynamic of error-checking (the interplay between
consciousness and criteria) can free one from the assumed necessity of
taking it seriously. Thus is born a higher-level routine of error-checking,
and so on, ad infinitum. The challenge is to exist with (over time)
exponentially fewer critera for error-checking, always becoming aware of
the birth of higher-level routines of error-checking as 'mere activities of
consiousness', leading to 'no criteria for Being'.

> How do feelings and emotions fit in with the concept of awareness?

Such phenomenon can be understood as the product of the interaction of
consciouness WITH specific criteria; the dangers inherent to holding ANY
criteria are thus easily represented by such feelings and emotions. Such
can be seen as yet another error-checking routine in action; the problems
arise in the interpretation, of what is as neutral as the 'engine-check'
light on the dashboard instrument-display of a car.

Sensory perception is mirrored to the hypothalamus, which dictates emotion.
If sensory information is not 'raw', the (buffered in the 'subconscious')
biasing criteria will entrain the resultant neurohormonal products into a
form which reflects the distorted sensory information; this distortion,
projected as 'what is seen', is meant to act as a goad to keep us in
balance. We are attracted to harmonious 'states' and repelled by chaotic
ones. Problems arise when (introjected) criteria define the value of any
state; the goal is to allow a return to the 'natural' or 'original'
empty-of-criteria condition. In this condition, all data is accurately
reflected, producing feelings which are an actual accurate reflection of
what is being perceived. The peace (lack of aversive feelings) resultant
from this condition, are the self-reward of 'bliss'.

> Feeling like my heart is going to jump out of my chest,
> like my solar plexus is churning...what does this mean?

Conflicting critera are producing a storm of neurohormonal/endocrine
products; the search for balance follows/is concurrent with this
experience. When we stray to the right, the red light comes on; when we
stray to the left, the blue light comes on. Neither-light-on means
on-course; on-course enables clear-light illumination, VIS, neither red nor
blue. This is a repicturing of the essential, built-in navigational power
of the Human Being; peace is the criteria for maintenence of direction.
This is 'why' we love peace.

> I admit that expressing feelings is new to me and many times
> produces pain and suffering inside me after I verbalize them
> or just write them down as I do now.

Thank you for applying for higher-level error-checking.

> Could this be a result of energy stirring up inside me
> and producing an out of balance effect as far as
> my inside and outside world?

'You' are refining introjected criteria, to find a 'valid' you. What will
you eventually find?

> How does one know when they have experienced
> "awareness"?

This is when 'you' recognized that 'you' are the only criteria, over,
above, and independent of any criteria; this is when you are free of any
criteria. It is also when you glimpse the possibility of this; that to be
independent of any criteria is to be self-generating on no grounds

> How do you, on this list, define bliss?

See above discussion of 'no-error' signals produced by low-level
error-checking routines (the 'subconsious' and its self-balancing
activities of seeking).

> How does bliss feel in the world of relationships?

One facet I can report, is the peacefull awareness that there is nothing
wrong with something being wrong. It is the awareness of abiding in the
dynamic balance of self-balancing; it is further, the heartfelt desire to
extend this awareness, in relationship.

> What is the cycle of awareness, consciousness
> and bliss composed of? Is there a standard?
> Or is it different for each personality based on
> their own "stuff", which they have inside them?

Presumed 'self', when validated by criteria, is always at threat; no
(defined) self exists when no criteria are held. Leaving behind criteria,
over time, is represented by this cycle you mention. The movement
'left-right-center' is always happening, and is represented in every facet
of our experience. It is a completely neutral, and unstoppable, mechanism
for survival. It will eventually crush ALL criteria to essence; going
'with' it is bliss, fighting/resisting is only possible when criteria are
held. Any held criteria will be ground to a finer and finer powder in the
mills of the gods; it is all 'grist for the mill'.

> I don't even know why I am asking these
> questions...I am aware that I am asking them,
> I am aware that feelings and emotions are
> stirring up in me strongly as I write them.
> Tim has been a big help to me in understanding
> surrender. I guess I have to experience surrender
> to really understand it.
> Michael

It is necessary to ask such questions; by these means are the higher-level
error-checking routines spawned. We are built in such a way that this is
all inevitable; and it is good that we see that something is wrong, and it
is good to see that seeing what is wrong, is the possibility of
continuance. It is also good to recognize the essentially automatic nature
of all of this, and to step out of it's way. It itself, never needs fixing.

==Gene Poole==

Took a tour of the book stores today and found some good new titles.
InnerDirections has a new edition of "Talks With Ramana Maharshi", very
tasty. Satyam Nadeen has a new book called "From Seeking To Finding".
And, for the pandit, Roger Marcaurelle has a book on a controversial
point of Sankara's view called "Freedom Through Inner Renunciation:
Sankara's Philosophy In A New Light". I bought the Ramana one, but the
others looked good too.


Chuck Hillig's, Enlightenment for Beginners may be the best
introduction to nonduality available. With a few words on
each page, it says what Is.

I admit to getting goose bumps twice in my first reading.
That's how effectively Chuck presents and builds the

Nonduality is simple. What's difficult is letting it be
simple. Enlightenment for Beginners is so
Nonduality-friendly that it neutralizes that difficulty. It
allows the reader to let nonduality be simple.

Chuck's book is for adults and written, compassionately, as
though for children. It's a vacation to the Clear and Plain

More about Enlightenment for Beginners at


While taking a shower a short while ago,
I seem to get some good thoughts there.
It came into my mind that maybe I feel
abandoned, lost because I am supposed to.

Since we are all one seamless whole
we must be born in a
human body form in order to experience
separation, abandonment. From the moment
of birth we are separated from ourselves and
we spend our lifetime searching for ourselves
only to find that we have never really been
abandoned to begin with. Aloneness is very
different from being lonely. The thoughts that
create my fear of being alone are not the same
as the feeling of being alone.

What does the feeling of being alone really feel like?
I don't know. I just know what the thought of the
feeling of being alone feels like...fear, anxiety,
panic, frustration. So knowing that my very
essence is aloneness,oneness,wholeness,
totality, then I can no longer be afraid of the
thoughts of being alone. The thought of being
alone can dissolve itself as it comes back to
the source of where that thought came from.
The feeling of isolation...which I really kinda
like...:) no longer has to bring fear and panic
in me. So, if I am no longer afraid of being
alone I can open my heart and allow love to
come in knowing that the opposite of love,
fear is just an illusion which I have created
in order to experience the separation which
began as a human experience some 50
years ago.


I think I lost my voice. If anyone finds it, please return it
immediately; I NEED it. There's no one speaking for me over here. I
keep coming up with these great ideas, but ultimately they're not me.
If they're not me, they seem kind of useless. Go figure.

What I figure is that if I sound like someone else, it needs
to at least be recognized. I can then recognize that others
are sounding like others. In that recognition, I find
sameness with others. In that sameness I can know my own
voice. It is the lost voice. It is absolutely unlike any
other voice, and one who speaks from it needs to exercise
another kind of recognition that is not like the earlier


~ when one doesn't know what s~he is
nothing else is understood
not life nor death
nor love


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