Jerry Katz
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Highlights #24

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Ivan wrote:

What is duality, as it may be treated in this list?

Duality, in this list, is the entire movement toward nondual


I'm drawn these days to the idea and presence of Natural self, an unentangled
and unbiased relaxation into stillness - down in the belly of my body/mind.
After so many years of trying to get away from, or manage and control the
absurdities of my personal self it takes consistent work to catch myself in
those old habits and just stop. Like all awakening practice, a slight shift
in awareness releases my mind into this silent naturalness. One more step of
transformation - what believes itself to be what it is not, gives up little
by little.



There is a classic book called Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by
Chogyam Trungpa. Spiritual Materialism is the ego-centered version of
spirituality, it's spirituality for the sake of getting something.

Well it's fine to cut through that. The outer layers, the hypocrisy and
subtle phoniness aren't too hard to see and cut through. The challenge
comes in realizing that that 'cutting through' is an ongoing process. It
is neti-neti. It is the cutting through of the extremely subtle and
spiritual. That's Meher Baba's onward march.



The question is: what is it that prevents unicity
to manifest? It seems to be the continuity of the
inner centered entity. And what is the "fuel" that
keeps that center active? Seems to be the drive to be something other then
what "is" -- to become different, prefereble better. Would you agree?

[] The "fuels" are many... attachment to the things of this world (the
sense of "ownership"), attachment to sense-pleasures, attachment to
thought, even attachment to attachment, and attachment to detachment.
Aversion is also a form of attachment. The attachment/aversion cycle is
what creates and maintains the illusion of duality. The cure is dispassion.

Ivan: I understand. But if one is going to "desattach" oneself of these
things one by one,....well, I don't think is going to work. So the imediate
question that pops to my mind is -- "who is atached?". It is the inner
center, isn't it? An whay is it attached? -- Because it wants fullfilment,
in other words, to become in a "better" state then this one, with the aid
of the object to wich it is clinging.
You see, I feel that a gradual "dispassioning" will not lead to the
understanding of the inner entity. It must be done "at once" seems
from here. To step out of time taking time doesn't seem reasonable, if one
comes to ponder. Excuse me if I sound a bit authoritary -- it's not
intended...I am just "strolling around" something...


Tim G. writes:

The attachment/aversion cycle is what creates and
maintains the illusion of duality. The cure is dispassion.

Xan responds:

As for me,
though it sounds dualistic,
I pray for help.
And I get it.

The request that I make to "get me free" of my loops
may be just a trick, but it's a trick to end my habitual
tricks. Like dreaming our way out of the dream.
Now we are dreaming a dream of waking up.

Praying for help relieves me of trying to do my awakening.
It also opens up my mind and heart,
and once opening I pray for help
to keep on.

My prayers are answered by/as Presence.

There are agents of Grace - it's just each other
living in this world and in wholeness worlds.
Lord, am I grateful!


accepting negative feelings and emotions is the characteristic
of the bodhisattva and all those treading the path of the
holistic life. acceptance doesn't equate to experiencing or
cultivating these as a steady diet, however. emotions are
barometrics of life-change. negative emotions imply that
one's circumstance is in need of change or that one is
reacting strongly to what one perceives as a threat.

either the perception must be shifted (the stimulus which
results in negative emotions like fear or anger must be
accepted as part of the living environment) or the
circumstance must be changed so as to refrain from
continuous abrasion and possible breakdown of emotional
system (depression, apathy, insensitivity -- typical
result of a dense urban environment). love does not make
negative emotions obsolete as signals of needed change


What I am asking us to consider is that
for those of us who are feeling rather Self
satisfied in that we have 'overcome' our desire
to express negativity, and are doing something
beneficial for the world in that....that we may not have
*eliminated* negativity....we may have simply passed
it on to someone else to express....everytime
we have a 'negative' feeling or thought, refuse
it's expression, and choke it back down.


this is very true. the "sweetness and light" religious
have attempted to force a cessation of negative
emotional expression and wound up creating a hell
of repression and seriously sick social dynamics



It is the highest possible compassion to annihilate both
the object the subject of compassion.


nonsense. eliminating the object of responsibility and the
subject of compassion is the greatest depth of wisdom.
rarefying them is the greatest height of compassion.
fusing compassion and wisdom is the task of the bodhisattva


upon such annihilation, do object and subject cease to exist?
become not different? integrated or unified?


they were never separate. when we separated them we killed truth
and created experience

Gloria Lee: see "other bodies" as the same as myself, as my very self, would this
result in anything other than compassionate acts?


it would result in psychosis

Gloria Lee:

To have dissolved that perception of separation


knowing unity, no 'others' exist

Gloria Lee:
...Perhaps the very concept of personal responsibility is seen
thru...golly, then there is no one to blame either, is there?

no responsibility leaves the door open for brutality

Gloria Lee:
Now, how would one be absolutely certain of "all

certainty is the last resort of the desperate


Gene Poole:

The ongoing _practice_ of expression, centered in the (paradoxical)
awareness of the nondual perspective, is one of the hardest things that a
person can ever attempt, in my opinion and experience. Here, we are
'breeding' nondual realizers, as the safety of sharing is acknowledged, and
the gentle compassion which you model takes root in each one who shares, to
then so-give similar leeway to others who show up. The deliberate openness
and tolerance of your efforts, make this an incubator rather than a
filtering system.

I want to acknowledge to each one, how I so deeply appreciate each and
every sharing. I do not have the time to respond to every mention of me or
what I write, but I do read very carefully every word that is posted.

Longtime readers may know that I center myself in 'abiding', tolerance,
compassion, patience, and letting-go. This is my ongoing practice; the
reason for such a practice is the powerful inner tendencies to be just the
opposite of those ways. I do what keeps me out of trouble. From that, I
have discovered (seemingly by 'accident') that in abiding, I am open to
actually knowing what is going on; that in the inner relaxed stillness
which is abiding, that I can have my eyes open to all of what is, without
fear or prejudgment, and that it goes right through me, like wind in the
trees. I actually have to pick out subjects to 'get excited about'. So far,
the preservation of the actual usefulness of this list has been my chosen
focus. I would like this incubator to continue to exist, to provide the
world with an ever-increasing supply of 'nondual realizers', for such is
greatly needed, in my opinion. So perhaps the only thing that I feel is
worth defending, is _possiblity itself_.

As I see it, part of this duality-to-nonduality work
is noticing what we have have judged and rejected
and including each bit as it shows up.

It feels like a mother gathering in all the prodigal chicks
Volkerie chicks.



I've come to recognize that when I get shaky and wierded
out a breakthrough in consciousness is just around the corner.



..for that person who has an ego structure that is not fully developed
(of which there are many in this world, and some even on these lists), the
first work is to live life. Just live a normal life, or focus on a life
which challenges the ego to grow, or
do psychotherapy, whatever it takes. Then come back to nonduality later.
Let Grace be the guide. Many people do not even examine nonduality until
they enter their 40's and 50's. In India, the life of a householder comes
first, before the life of the sannyasi.

In my personal journey awakening and healing personal negativity go hand in
hand. It wasn't until the truth of mySelf became more apparent that the
fearful and self-judging aspects could substantially begin to let go.


At the beginning (6 months ago) when I was introduced
to the nondual perspective, sadhana came naturally and easily. The more
I've learned, the more difficult it has become. Lately it has become
extremely difficult. This mind is too full of thoughts now; when it was
relatively empty of knowledge, I experienced samadhi of one sort or another
regularly. I have not experienced samadhi now for at least a month.
"Practice" is suffering a great deal. I know too much. Words usually
create duality, and maintain it. Only that which is utterly wordless and
silent brings the nondual perspective.

(Which prompted these 2 responses:)


St. John of the Cross describes this in Dark Night of the Soul.
I read it when I was going through something similiar.
It helped a lot.

Essentially he says that in the beginning one experiences blessings and
sweetness of Grace and often assumes this is a permanent state. However, as
one is captured in dedication, the dark night of purification takes place and
there is grief over the loss of the honeymoon days. A person in the dark
night is often excruciatingly aware of their human weakness - pride, fear,
judgements, etc., and frustration and longing for the pure love of Self are

St. John says this is done purposefully by God to strength and purify the
student, leaving nothing of the imperfections of human nature un-surrendered.


Tim I know that feeling. It is time to take a break 'entirely' my friend.
six or seven weeks ago I was saying the same thing... too much... too
much... I
could feel my self losing the 'connection' and suddenly I lost it all
There were so many ideas and loose ends floating around that I literally froze
my brain. I decided to quit reading, I quit posting, cutting myself off
completely from input beyond that of the day to day grind. Time passed and my
mind seemed to be no clearer.

Soon, I could 'feel' myself getting frustrated... not in an angry sense but
more like a 'ho hum' kind of feeling. It grew and eventually surfaced and my
wife thought that I was upset about something. I explained that I was not; I
was nuetral and yet the feeling continued to grow only now I was aware that it

Looking for why, I searched countless reasons regarding relationships with
people, places and things. Still nothing. I searched for those hidden 'evils'
and I found none. Still more weeks passed and I was so 'empty'.... (/ \) ...
then I logged on, resubscribed to my favorite haunts and threw in a few new
ones. I started reading books again... I started thinking again... and soon, I
was overwhelmed with a sense of accompishment... a bliss of sorts...
suddenly I
could feel something different... better somehow... fuller and yet emptier...
but clearer.

I guess that we are taught to go and get or conquer when it comes to
'realization' or whatever... regardless, I have learned recently that perhaps
some of the greatest lessons that await are the ones that are already
sometimes they just get a little cluttered by everything else...

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Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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