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#2543 - Thursday, August 3, 2006 - Editor: Jerry Katz


We start with a letter from Gabriel Rosenstock on nondualism and flag waving.  

Then excerpts from Native American self-realized people. I like their names: Four Guns, Two Feathers. If I were Native American my name would be Three Lists.  

Next there is notice of an apartment for rent to visitors to Nice, France.  

Finally an important article on elves. We hear from Bjork and people like Elly Erlingsdottir on the subject.  

Gabriel contributed all the articles except the one on Nice, France, and for all I know he was the decorator.  

Alright. Now get outa here.   --Jerry    


 

Nondualism and flag waving

Gabrial Rosenstock

Dear Jerry, 

Surely Non-Dualists have transcended flag-waving vasanas? Surely the Non-Dualist sees flag-waving as atavstic, tribalistic, nationalistic, imperialistic? Yes, enlightened beings such as Papaji and Aurobindo were initially attracted to the nationalist cause. But that was to boot out the British invader, not to carry the Indian flag into 100 foreign territories around the globe?

I cannot support flags – even that Irish tricolour mounted near the North Western Frontier by Irish soldiers in India who had taken the shilling and begun to regret it.

It is time to burn all flags, peacefully and ceremoniously, so that nobody can do anything for them or against them ever again. 

I remain, unflaggingly yours, 

Gabriel

 


    Gabriel Rosenstock sends the following selection:  

Some short extracts from The Wisdom of the Native Americans, Ed. Kent Nerburn (New World Library, 1999)

 

“It was good for the skin to touch the earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth.

            Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth. The birds that flew in the air came to rest upon the earth, and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing.

            That is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its lifegiving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly; he can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him ...”

                                                --Chief Luther Standing Bear

 

 

“We learned to do what only the student of nature ever learns, and that was to feel beauty. We never railed at the storms, the furious winds, and the biting frosts and snows. To do so intensified human futility, so whatever came we adjusted ourselves, by more effort and energy if necessary, but without complaint.

            Even the lightning did us no harm, for whenever it came too close, mothers and grandmothers in every tipi put cedar leaves on the coals and their magic kept danger away. Bright days and dark days were both expressions of the Great Mystery, and the Indian reveled in being close to the Great Holiness...”

                                                --Chief Luther Standing Bear

 

“We do not want churches because they will teach us to quarrel about God, as the Catholics and Protestants do. We do not want to learn that.

            We may quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth. But we never quarrel about God. We do not want to learn that.”

                                                            --Chief Joseph

 

 

“I have attended dinners among white people. Their ways are not our ways.

            We eat in silence, quietly smoke a pipe, and depart. Thus is our host honored.

            This is not the way of the white man. After his food has been eaten, one is expected to say foolish things. Then the host feels honored...”

                                                                        --Four Guns

 

“The white man who is our agent is so stingy that he carries a linen rag in his pocket into which to blow his nose, for fear he might blow away somerthing of value...”

                                                                        --Piapot

 

“The more I consider the condition of the white men, the more fixed becomes my opinion that, instead of gaining, they have lost much by subjecting themselves to what they call the laws and regulations of civilized socities...”

                        --Tomochichi

   


   

Nonduality teacher Susan Dane and her husband Peter are renting a beautiful apartment in Nice, France. Here are some details, or you can go right to the website describing this lodging: http://www.rentalriviera.com/

 

BEAUTIFUL JUST-RENOVATED APARTMENT IN NICE FRANCE

SLEEPS 4.

Fabulous location -- 6 blocks to beach.

View from my apartment!

Have you ever been to Nice, France? 

If you have, you probably want to go back. 

And if you haven't, you must put it on your list of PLACES TO SEE! 

We are an American writer and artist who divide their time between Nice and our home in the States.  When we're not in France, we rent out our apartment to help cover the costs. 

We are 5 hours south of Paris by train on the clear turqoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea.  Your own private Club Med. 

Our beautiful 2 bedroom /1.5 bath (sleeps 4) is NOT an average rental property.  This is our home with beautiful original art and many special touches.  We just finished rennovating it a few months ago, so everything is clean and new, including the refinished original parquet floors and a new designer kitchen. 

http://www.rentalriviera.com/ is new too!  It has lots of photos and neat things to do on the fabulous Cote d'Azur.  We hope you will share it with friends and use it as a resource center.    

We are only 20 minutes to Cannes, 30 minutes to Monte Carlo, 45 to Italy, and surrounded by fabulous medieval villages. 

We hope you enjoy visiting our site.  Please keep it for reference and pass it on to anyone you know who is thinking about Europe as their next vacation destination.  There is no place more beautiful than the southern coast of France.

 When inquiring about availability, write to  susan&[email protected].   

Be sure to visit http://www.rentalriviera.com/ for the full scoop. 

Nice is fabulous and you will love it. 

We hope to hear from you soon. 

Susan & Peter

 


By SARAH LYALL (The New York Times) Published: July 13, 2005

HAFNARFJORDUR, Iceland - Do elves exist? Like many Icelanders, Hildur Hakonardottir considers the
question to be more complicated than it appears.

''This is a very, very, very delicate question,'' Ms. Hakonardottir, a retired museum director,
said. ''If you ask people if they believe in elves, they will say yes and no. If they say yes,
maybe they don't, and if they say no, maybe they do.''

Hypothetically speaking, what does she think elves look like?

''Well, my next-door neighbor is an elf woman,'' she declared suddenly. ''She lives in a cliff in a
rock in my garden.''

Despite having seen the elf only once in 15 years -- enough time to determine that she was ''bigger
than life and dressed like my grandmother, in a 1930's national costume'' -- Ms. Hakonardottir, 67,
has no doubt of her existence. ''My daughter once asked me, 'How do you know where elves live?'''
she said. ''I told her you just know. It's just a feeling.''

It is a feeling that many people in Iceland apparently share. Polls consistently show that the
majority of the population either believes in elves -- generally described as humanlike creatures
who are fiercely protective of their rocky homes -- or is not willing to rule out their existence.
But while believing in elves is rooted in Iceland's culture, it remains a touchy subject.

''You have to watch out for the Nordic cliché,'' the Icelandic singer Bjork told The New Yorker
magazine several years ago. ''A friend of mine says that when record-company executives come to
Iceland, they ask the bands if they believe in elves, and whoever says yes gets signed up.''

Yet even Bjork cannot say no for sure. ''We think nature is a lot stronger than man,'' she said in
another interview, when the Elf Question came up. ''A relationship with things spiritual has not
gone away.''

A belief not just in elves but also in the predictive power of dreams, in the potency of dead
spirits and in other supernatural phenomena, is closely linked to Iceland's Celtic traditions and
punishing, powerful landscape -- especially the harsh weather and the rocks that appear everywhere.

''If there was a large stone in the garden, and somebody said to an Icelander, 'That's an elf
stone,' would they blow it up? They wouldn't,'' said Terry Gunnell, head of the folkloristic
department at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik.

''It's not like they think there are little people living in there who come and dance outside,'' he
added. ''It's more a sense that there are other powers, other forces around them.''

This town, a port on the outskirts of Reykjavik, prides itself on its unusually high elf
population. Tourists are invited to tour the known elf locations, including a large rock whose
reputation as an elf habitat meant that a nearby road was diverted some years ago so as not to
disturb its unseen residents.

Elly Erlingsdottir, head of the town council's planning committee, said that made sense to her.
Recently, she said, some elves borrowed her kitchen scissors, only to return them a week later to a
place she had repeatedly searched. ''My philosophy is, you don't have to see everything you believe
in,'' she said, ''because many of your greatest experiences happen with closed eyes.''

Recently, the planning committee considered a resident's application to build a garage. ''One
member said, 'I hope it's O.K. with the elves,''' Ms. Erlingsdottir related. Should the council
determine that it is, in fact, not O.K. -- usually this happens when a local mystic hears from the
elf population, directly or through a vision -- the town would consider moving the project, or
getting the mystic to ask the elves to move away, she said.

Such occurrences are not unusual. In nearby Kopavogur, a section of Elfhill Road was narrowed from
two lanes to one in the 1970's, when repeated efforts to destroy a large rock that was believed to
house elves were thwarted by equipment breakdowns. The rock is still there, jutting awkwardly into
the road, but it is unclear whether the tenants are.

''With the artificial lampposts, there's too much light for them, and there's also too much
noise,'' explained Gurdrun Bjarnadottir, who has lived across the street for some 30 years. ''A lot
of people believe they still live there, but I think they've moved.''

In the same town in 1996, a bulldozer operator, Hjortur Hjartarson, ran into trouble as he tried to
raze a suspected elf hill to make way for a graveyard.

After two different bulldozers repeatedly and inexplicably malfunctioned, and local television
cameras failed when trained on the hill, though they worked elsewhere, the crew halted the project.
''We're going to see whether we can't reach an understanding with the elves,'' Jon Ingi, the
project supervisor, told Morgunbladid, a Reykjavik newspaper, at the time.

Local elf communicators were called in to arbitrate, and after a while, work resumed. ''In my
opinion, well, whatever it is, hidden people or elves, it has just accepted this and moved away
from there,'' Mr. Hjartarson told Valdimar Hafstein, an academic researcher who in the late 1990's
published ''The Elves' Point of View,'' an article about elves and their effect on construction
projects. ''That's my opinion.''

Although he found many similar cases, Mr. Hafstein has grown weary of the subject. For a while, the
Icelandic tourist board cited him as a national elf expert. ''I kind of feel that I've done my
part,'' he said. He recently completed a doctoral thesis (on Unesco, not elves) for the University
of California, Berkeley.

Although it is easy to find Icelanders who roll their eyes at elf conversations, it is not easy to
find hardcore skeptics. But 73-year-old Arni Bjornsson is one.

''Today, it is almost a fashion to say that you believe in supernatural beings, but I take this
with a pinch of salt,'' said Mr. Bjornsson, who worked for 25 years as the head of the ethnology
department at the national museum. But even he is not saying no, exactly. ''If you were to ask me,
'Are you sure there are no supernatural beings?' I would say I don't believe there are,'' he said.
''But I wouldn't rule it out.''

In Kopavogur, a section of road was narrowed to accommodate elves thought to live in the
nearby rock.; Residents of Hafnarfjordur sometimes dress up as elves to amuse themselves and
tourists. The Elf Question is a delicate one in Iceland.

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