Jerry Katz
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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #229

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Taking wisdom from the messenger and
taking the messenger
are two different things. How many
texts and how many
thoughts of wisdom and clarity have I
avoided because the
package it came in did not measure up
to my idea of what the
package should look like.And how much
bullshit have I
accepted because it came in a package
I recognized, found
familiar and therefore trusted. So, I
would ask you
this......if the passage had not come
with the [familiar]
tag line ...then how would you have
responded to the

--Kristi Shelloner

Life as I have grown to know it may be an illusion. It is
sad to think that "my" life is an illusion. Is it any
wonder there are so many depressed, angry, hurting,
suffering people in the world? I for one hope that, while I
am here on this planet that I remain a feeling person who
has compassion for other feeling persons, whether they are
enlightened or not... especially if they are not. What
good is spirituality if you can't integrate it into your
life? Isn't that what the Christian churches have been
accused of. Going to church on Sunday praying for love and
forgiveness, instead of practicing it everyday.

When we put labels on people we put them in a box, and
suffocate them. We can open the box and allow them to
breathe the same air we breathe.
Their view of duality, nonduality should have no bearing on
how we see them as an integral part of life...this life that
we are living now, in this present moment.

We can live forgiving love, compassion, and understanding to
others because we have learned to give those things to
ourselves. We all deserve to be accepted, acknowledged and
heard. How good it feels to feel accepted for who I am,
acknowledged as a person of worth, and listened to, not
necessarily agreed with, just listened to.

L isten
O bserve
V alidate
E xpress

Listen to me, really listen to my thoughts and feelings.
Observe that I am real, not just an "illusion".
V alidate my existence in some fashion.
E xpress your thoughts and feelings to let me know you are

We can study all the ancient scriptures, get into lengthy
intellectual debates about who has more wisdom, who has
experienced this or that, but the bottom line is that we
have to put our faith on the line each and every moment of
our life. This is done through integration of spiritual
principles into everyday life.

When an angry person gets in your face and calls you a nasty
dirty lowdown ********, what will your response be?

Bottom Line:

Love yourself.
Love others.
Judge Not.
We all want to be:
Accepted Acknowledged Heard

The greatest gift we can give someone is our time...our
presence is the greatest present.

--Michael Johnson

Hi, this is my first post to this group. I did TM for a
decade or more, for the last decade I've focused on the
Gyana Yoga/discriminative approach for example J.R.
Krishnamurti. Please visit my web site, the
work of my departed friend Edward Tarabilda, who's passion
was articulating a multi-dimensional approach to Spirit.
Also, I recently attended a two week seminar by Barry Long
in Oz ( I live in Littleton, CO, USA) and I find him very inspiring.
--Roger Isaacs

Dear NDS and HarshaSatsangh,

Because of the recent threads on gurus and charismatic
paths, I talked to a very good and experienced friend of
mine, Michael Rosker, about these approaches. (NOTE:
Michael is not on NDS or HarshaSatsangh but does browse the
web). He had about 15 years' sincere and devoted experience
in various charismatic and bhakti paths, and later, came to
the advaita/non-dualist path. I asked Michael to offer some
insights based on his long experience.
In a nutshell, he says that these paths, as they are
sometimes practiced in the U.S., *can* involve certain
excesses that harm someone's self-esteem, and might even
depend on a previous lack of self-esteem in the new

Since Michael pretty much hit just the high points in his
essay below, I'll fill in some details. He began the
spiritual search in the late 70's because of health
problems. Over the years, he has been a very faithful
devotee of at least 4 famous schools with charismatic
leaders. He also spent time with a few individual gurus,
while not as charismatic as other teachers, nevertheless
combine a bit of advaita philosophy with bhakti practices
and psychotherapeutic recommendations, or sometimes, just
plain psychological manipulation. During this time, about a
decade-and-a-half, he experimented, doing things like:

-all kind of diets: ayurvedic, macrobiotic, yogic, raw
foods, blood-type, vegan, vegetarianism, high-protein

-banging his left shoe on the ground to make the spiritual
or physical problem go away

-stopping having sex with his wife

-on retreats, digging 4-foot holes in frozen ground in
mid-winter, then immediately filling them back up

-meditating 6 hours a day

-chanting several thousand rounds a day to a personal, very
human guru

-never seeing the sun except on his way to work

-losing about 50 pounds (now he's healthier than ever, but
still skinny!)

For Michael himself, most of the time on these paths, he was
miserable, angry, or depressed. But for the last 2 years,
he has been investigating non-dualism. This started when he
met a teacher who talked to him person-to-person, as a peer,
as though nothing needed fixing, acknowledging that he's not
a child, not broken, etc. With this great shot in the arm,
Michael's investigation continued until it came to the end
of all questions, the end of all answers. Now he's very
happy, a loving and radiant presence. People go to him for
support, healing, help of all kinds, and love. There's lots
more to say, as Michael's a very good friend. But I'll stop
and let his essay speak for itself.



Bhakti Analysis, by Michael Rosker

What is it that would make an intelligent, successful and
educated person abandon even his most fundamental common
sense and accept a philosophy or code of living that in any
other situation would only be described as stupid? In the
bhakti tradition as it has been transplanted in the U.S.,
that is exactly what has happens. Normally, after spending
a lifetime fortressing oneself into a self imposed prison of
self-indulgent misery one comes across an experience of no
limitation. After which, of course comes the compulsion to
have this experience to be permanent. The old way of
living, in comparison has become intolerable. At this point
one is likely to turn to a number of spiritual paths that
make claims to fulfill this longing. Since this newly born
spiritual aspirant has no experience in the metaphysical
world, he is likely grant spiritual teacher liberties that
he would not normally even consider. From then on one could
spend years banging their left shoe in the dirt or
prostrating themselves before a number of 8x10 glossies. Or
chanting every morning in Sanskrit, "If the Lord Hari is
angry, then the Guru protects you. But if the Guru is angry
with you, then no one can save you." This might all done in
the name of "purifying the mind."

But surprisingly enough, I haven't come across one
legitimate case where this has actually taken place. What
it does do however, is to create a new group of "low esteem
children" who blindly follow whatever mommy or daddy guru
tells them. Now this is not as grim as it seems. There are
indeed wonderful benefits from this type of surrender. What
I've discovered from many bhakti's is that for the most part
they seem to have some "healing your inner child" agenda
going on. Where this is concerned there can be some great
healing taking place. One can begin to feel the love,
acceptance and protection that had not been established
early in life.

Currently, there is no provision in the Bhakti charter for
graduation to adulthood. If at some point in the aspirant's
evolution these belief systems come into question, he will
be told one of many quasi poetic, remotely metaphysical
buzzwords to squash any attempted escape. One of these
might be "It is only the Ego that wants to know," or "It is
beyond the mind." Since low self-esteem is one of the
prerequisites for becoming a Bhakti, it will be difficult if
nearly impossible to extricate oneself from this
self-deception on one's own steam.

In my own case, it took the help of a spiritual teacher
named Francis Lucille. This was the first time, after many
years of earnest seeking where someone of unquestionable
realization had sat and spoken to me as an equal.
I remember after one of his talks, him sitting next to me on
the rug, talking for a half-hour while everyone else was
socializing around us. The experience was one where I
couldn't be sure who was contributing what in the
conversation. It was literally contiousness speaking with
itself. I remember exclaiming aloud at the end of that
evening that I had indeed become an adult Now, this
recognition was only the first step, enabling to walk on my
own two feet. There still was the task at hand to weed
through the many layers of misunderstandings and inferences
that maintained the jail cell I called Michael. Fortunately
for me, I came across an experienced gardener who had the
insight to see beauty hidden behind the overgrowth and had
patience enough to yank them out of the ground, without
disturbing the flower.

Imagine for a moment that all our past memories,
experiences, successes and failures have been wiped away
from our memory banks and replaced with what ever it is we
think we want to be in there.

What's left ?

Are we still who think we are now?

Are our feelings and emotions the same?

Do we react to life the same?

Do we miss that which we left behind?

Do we grieve for the self that is no more?

After grieving is done do we accept our new self?

Are we more spontaneous and less reactive to life?

Are we more trusting of what life will bring?

Do we now accept ourselves as we are or do we go on seeking
something that is already this present moment?

Do we see ourselves brightly...not dimly?

Do we see others as a reflection of ourselves?

Are we grateful for all we are and all we have?

Are we humbled to be experiencing life in this very moment?

Do we look at our family and friends with love and gratitude
now that we know our life is exactly as we created it?

Do we love ourselves for what we created?

Just Imagine...

Three Forms of Knowledge

Ibn El-Arabi of Spain instructed his followers in this most
ancient dictum:

There are three forms of knowledge. The first is
intellectual knowledge, which is in fact only information
and the collection of facts, and the use of these to arrive
at further intellectual concepts. This is intellectualism.

Second comes the knowledge of states, which includes both
emotional feeling and strange states of being in which man
thinks that he has perceived something supreme but cannot
avail himself of it. This is emotionalism.

Third comes real knowledge, which is called the Knowledge of
Reality. In this form, man can perceive what is right, what
is true, beyond the boundaries of thought and sense.
Scholastics and scientists concentrate upon the first form
of knowledge. Emotionalists and experientalists use the
second form. Others use the two combined, or either one
alternatively. But the people who attain to truth are those
who know how to connect themselves with the reality which
lies beyond both these forms of knowledge. These are the
real Sufis, the Dervishes who have Attained.

--Jan Barendrecht
Michael: What good is spirituality if you can't integrate it
into your life?

Xan: "Spirituality" may be something you would or would not
integrate into your life depending on your individual sense
of purpose.
"Enlightenment", or the recognition of eternal awareness as
yourself, is not necessarily "good" for anything. It is not
necessarily something you then use to improve life
conditions for yourself or others. In the surrender of your
identity, *It* uses you as it will. The prayer of surrender
is "Thy will be done" until it is recognized there is only
one will. Anything else is just ideas.

Jan: The wraps do have a nasty property though: they will
only burn one after another and each time a wrap has been
completely burnt, one thinks "this is it" and of course it
is, but "with" the next wrap... So the fire has to
extinguish by itself, when all wraps have been burnt.

Dan: An apt description of the nature of temporal
Like many of your other metaphors - starkly beautiful in its
solitude and stillness - burning away as an empty fire.
-- Peace --

I am lately getting the unmistakable impression that the
purpose of all this "nonduality talk" is to induce
vomiting. Most of it is truly indigestible. Perhaps that's
the point: the Wordless.

After hurling: great Peace. ;)

Phil Burton

When love is, "I" is not; this is probably the most frequent
experience that yet escapes attention.


Why speak of 'Truth'?
Why use the word at all?

It is only a word, a sound with no meaning outside itself.

It is the most used word in 'spirituality' and the most
misused, the most abused.

It is not a doctrine, not a method, not a procedure, not a

It may be the same as 'Stillness' 'Freedom' 'Self' and 'no

But all are words, sounds with no meaning outside of

--Petros on the new Petros-Truth list

Not really on topic for nonduality but...
I just found a brilliantly silly site, the anagram server:

love, Anew damn crab

Rearranging the letters of 'Nonduality Salon' gives:

Insult and a loony. Annually sod on it.
Loony, anal nudist. Lousy and not nail.
Until and as loony. Unload on nastily.
Us and notionally. Annoy in lads lout.
Unload on saintly. Loony in an adults.
In sod to annually. Stood in annually.
Annual loons tidy. Annoy lout island.
Unload saintly no. In Satan on loudly.
An adult, loony sin. Loony and in a slut.
Sod into annually. Lout and nosy nail.
Lout and in as only. Only unload saint.
Anal loons untidy. No! nastily unload.
Undo saintly loan. Nosy and in all-out.
Sun notional lady. Annoy on as dull it.
Nationally. Sound. Lout annoys in lad.
Lout and sly anion. Undo sly national.
Odious, tall nanny. I, annually sod not.
Silly and on an out. Annoy insult load.
Is an only and lout. Sunny and tail loo.
No! annually sod it. Lout load as ninny.
Ninny as adult loo. On a dull it annoys.
Disloyal noun ant. Lousy land on an it.
Anal loony in dust. Old ninny as a lout.
On insult on a lady. Annually do to sin.
Is not. Annually do. Lusty and in a loon.
Tiny loans unload. A loads lout ninny.
Annoy so dull an it. In an only, sad lout.
Lousy old in an ant. Undo nastily loan.
Soul and tiny loan. Until load annoys.
In and on a sly lout. Annoy until loads.
Loyal and on units. In lousy, anal don't.
So tiny, annual old. A lousy land in not.
To sunny, anal idol. No! Satan in loudly.
Install and on you. Alas! lout do ninny.
Adult lion annoys. Unit as loony land.
Annoy until as old. Duly loan on saint.
Soundly. National. Loony and tail sun.
Lousy and tin loan. Anal nudity loons.
Duly. Satan in loon. Duly national son.
Ninny as all-out do. Any lout on island.
An unit loony lads. Louts annoy in lad.
Annoy not as I dull. Duly anal notions.
Unload nasty lion. Load saintly noun.
All-out sod a ninny. Lout in and on lays.
Slay in and on lout. In lay and on louts.
Loony as adult inn. Loony until a sand.
Annoy dull in as to. Annoy into as dull.
Annoy unload list. Only and in a louts.
An only, loud saint. Lion and lousy ant.
Not a lousy inland. Nationals on duly.
Lusty and on an oil. Old analyst union.
Tiny as a dull noon. Alas! to loud ninny.
On and an oily slut. Nosy adult in loan.
Nosy adult on nail. In any adult loons.
Insult and any loo. Lout so dial nanny.
Lout so laid nanny. On until on as lady.
In loony 'n' as adult. Is loony 'n' an adult.
Loony anus land it. In only as on adult.
Lousy, to an inland. Lousy land nation.
Sunny load on tail. Sunny load to nail.
Sunny dial to loan. Laid to sunny loan.

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