Jerry Katz
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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #257

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Larry Biddinger wrote to remind: Isn't
anyone going to answer Mary's
What does "I am that I am" mean? Some
of many responses follow.

It is a variant of "OM". It is the
only thing that ever
happened. It is not different than
uttering I Am, or I Am
That, or inquiring Who am I?. It is
The Word. When you know
the only thing that ever happened then
you know what it
means to utter "I am that I am." Then you utter it. And your
utterance of it is its utterance of you.

This voice is available to everyone ... and is heard in the deeper
silences through the open human heart.

Revelation of Love, Chapter 26 translated by John Skinner.
Julian of Norwich wrote of the Twelfth Showing:

I it am, I it am;

I it am that is highest;

I it am that you love;

I it am that you like;

I it am that you serve;

I it am that you long for:

I it am that you desire;

I it am that you mean;

I it am that is all;

I it am that Holy Church preaches and teaches you;

I it am that showed myself to you here.
~ ~~~~~~~~~~

Dave: "Manchine"
"I am that I am."

I don't know what the teachers say, but I'd say it's what you felt when you
first "saw".
Jerry to Dave:
Perhaps there are three seeings. One seeing is an awakening
into the world, the moment of innocence: it is every
experience from satori to cosmic consciousness. A second is
a seeing into the foundation of innocence or experience: I
AM. A third is beyond seeing, as the eye cannot see itself:
it is radical nonduality.

'I am that I am' refers to the second sight.

... My simple answer (I feel simple today :)
Philosophies concepts thoughts ideas explanations bla bla bla can
separate us from simply being.
I am learning to accept and abide in not knowing.
I am that I am is a statement of all that consciousness
fundamentally knows, not depending on senses or thinking.
Simply I am, no reason for it, I am because I am.

Here's an explanation -- It's like asking what is the true nature of the
I, the unseen seer? Not the body/mind or ego, but That to which all
appearances appear. It is known not for being any particular thing, but
just for Being. It's not that I am something, it's that I simply am. What
am I? Simply that I am.
From: evelyn moschetta

While rooted in witnessing awareness one disolves into a changeless background
from which everything appears. I am that. Love and Om Evelyn

THE Definitive Historical, Biblical and Literary Explanation of the Origin of
the Saying "I AM What I AM" as told by Laura Olshansky:

The answer finally became clear to me after I read Harold Rosenberg's
wonderful volume, "The Book of J," a translation and interpretation of
the children's stories in the Old Testament.

Yes, I said "children's stories." Rosenberg suggests -- and once you
read what he says and take a fresh look at Genesis and Exodus, you realize
that of course he's right -- that all those wonderful weird stories about Adam,
Eve, Sarah, Jacob, Isaac, Rebecca, Joseph, Moses, etc., are being told by
an adult to a child.

Moreover, the adult is telling those children's stories in the special way
a person uses when another adult is in the room listening. The teller puts
in jokes that go over the child's head, but make the other adult smile.

The reason hardly anybody notices this is because most of the jokes in
these stories are puns. Word play. The author of these stories was
crazy about puns. And unfortunately, puns don't translate. So when the
Old Testament went from Hebrew to Greek to Latin to modern languages,
the jokes were lost. (Also, people don't expect a religious book to have
jokes in it. But when these stories were written, they weren't "religious"
in the modern sense.)

This is exactly what happened with "I Am What I Am." It's a joke, a kind
of pun, for an adult who is overhearing a story being told to a child. And
the joke got lost because you only hear it if you know the original Hebrew.
But if you look at the place where it occurs in the Bible, Exodus 3.13, and
you know the original Hebrew words, you can hear the joke for yourself.
It goes like this:

God tells Moses to inform the other Israelites that Moses has been sent
to them by God to free them from bondage.

Naturally, Moses is worried that the other people won't believe him. Why
should they? It sounds a little grandiose, don't you think? So Moses asks
God, "If they ask me your name, to prove I really talked to you, what should
I tell them?"

This already is a kind of joke, because the ancient Israelites thought it was
wrong to say God's name.

So even if God were to answer Moses's question, what good would it do
Moses? He wouldn't be allowed to go back to his people and tell it to them!

You see, it's the setup for a joke.

But in this story, God is a great comedian. Here's how he answers Moses's

Instead of saying his name, God says in Hebrew, "Ehyeh-asher-ehyeh,"
meaning, "I am that which I am." Meaning, in other words, "I'm just
whatever I am." (You could also translate it, "I will be what I will be," etc.)

Imagine God saying this with a shrug. Moses asks, "What's your name?"
God shrugs and says, "I'm whatever I am." He's avoiding the question,
saying he doesn't need a name.

Now here's the punchline.

God then says, "So if they ask you my name, just say, 'Ehyeh.'" In other words,
say the first part of the sentence "I am what I am." As if God's first name is
"Ehyeh," meaning, "I am."

This is a joke because in the language that God and Moses were speaking,
and the language the story is written in, "Ehyeh" is very close to "YHWH,"
which is the *real* name of God that nobody was allowed to say! (The root of
the verb form "ehyeh" is "hayah," "to be." The author here is giving a jocular
folk etymology for "YHWH.")

It's a joke! God is finding a way for Moses to say "YHWH" without anybody
getting mad at him.

Imagine you are an adult in a room while another adult tells this story to a
Both adults know God's real name is YHWH, but the child does not. From the
child's point of view, it's just a story about God's name being "Ehyeh."

Because the author of this story was a literary genius, it's not only a joke,
a joke that carries some real spiritual weight: Ramana Maharshi said this
one little joke is all you need to get enlightened.

(Laura Olshansky)
Editor in Chief

Jehovah was spelled YHWH, leaving out the vowels, indicating
> it was not to
> be spoken. I'm not sure exactly why, not being Jewish.
Actually, Glo there are no
vowels in Torah-era Hebrew
at all, they're implied --
so there's nothing special
about the supposed name of
"God" in this regard. I
never got a satisfactory
explanation for the old
prohibition on uttering
"YIH-HO-VA" aloud, but it
turned out to be a dandy
privilege for the Temple
priesthood, didn't it?
Dan B:
I studied this a long time ago, but it's a very intriguing
point you raise. In the Hebrew alphabet, each letter
is a number, and each letter-number represents
an energy configuration (as understood by Qabalists).
YHVH may be viewed as a configuration of energies,
pointing to an infinite reverberation manifesting
as living forms. The legend is that anyone who could
"pronounce the Name" properly would essentially be
able to create and destroy the universe. YHVH
thus does not necessarily need to be understood
as the name of a deity, rather can be viewed as the
Name via which the Nameless manifests all that was/is
manifested (i.e., all that can be "named").
There is another word used in the Hebrew Bible,
Elohim, that is also translated (possibly mistranslated)
as God. Elohim (a male plural ending placed on a singular
female root word) is simultaneously singular and plural,
male and female. These two words can be understood as
refering to processes inherent
in the nature of reality and spiritual awareness
rather than an external deity. At least, this is
how some have viewed the situation.
God sure does have a lot of names for a guy with no name. :)

Six Billion +++ and growing...
and each one introduces him/herself as "I am" or the equivalent...
in their own language.

As an interesting 'coincidence'... I am = Je suis... in French...
which might cause some to ponder... where... the word / name Jesus...
may have been intended... to point.

(IMO the words "Je suis" and "Jesus" are both likely the result
of transliteration from the same root language.)

( /\ )

Xan and Sarlo on acceptance:

>-Practicing acceptance - The truth of yourself has no judgement
whatsoever, and judgement patterns in the mind are a major barrier in letting
that truth. To facilitate opening up in silent awareness, the mind can learn
self-acceptance and self-appreciation with a moment to moment practice.

Seeing the mind's judgements for what they are and replacing them gently
with acceptance, when feelings arise it becomes easier to simply be
present with them and to feel one's way down through their layers to the peace
that is always beneath.

There are a couple of other aspects of this i have found helpful. One is to
put the focus on just acceptance rather than self-acceptance. This avoids
reinforcing the already strong enough dichotomy between "self" and "other"
that is so problematical. Most of the time there is in any case no conflict
between self and other so acceptance flows like a lazy river, not having to
choose. In some cases this could lead to a moralistic forced acceptance of
the "other's" point of view or trip at "my" expense, which i have come to
see as unhealthy and usually not in "my" interest nor necessarily in the
The question of how to avoid the potential masochism of this situation is
dealt with by the second aspect, which is: i realized that if a situation
is happening there must already be acceptance of it somewhere, otherwise it
could not arise. So i find where that acceptance is. If i would do violence
to myself to accept, say, something apparently nasty happening to myself,
okay: i don't have to accept it. The usual solution will be to accept my
non-acceptance, ie this is where i can easily find the acceptance that must
be present. If i am so conflicted -- a fairly unusual situation, though
less so in the beginning of my career -- that i cannot accept my
non-acceptance, i can go to the next level, ie i accept that i am
conflicted. An infinite regession is theoretically possible here with each
new level being more and more unreal in the terms of everyday experience,
but practically speaking, the level of accepting conflictedness is all that
is needed.
This exercise -- more a yogic stretching than a calisthenic grunt --
strengthens all essential non-physical muscle groups almost by definition
effortlessly. Use it in good health.
Love, Sarlo

Next,Jerry shares many quotes from the book mentioned below, and since this is
getting too long already, perhaps you might want to check out this full post in
the archives or buy the book?

Here are excerpts from THE MARRIAGE SPIRIT:Finding The
Passion and Joy Of Soul-Centered-Love by Drs. Evelyn and
Paul Moschetta(Simon & Schuster) They are both marriage
counselors. Evelyn is a contributing member of NDS. She
tells me that in this book "we have tried to help couples
(unaware of nonduality) to begin to perceive a larger

Thanks for permission to quote this material, Evelyn.

Everyone has a spiritual self. It’s that part of us which
stands behind our ego, aware of everything we do. Our
spiritual self is the sacred presence inside us, the
invisible light which animates our body, mind and senses.
The same transcendent energy that powers the entire
universe, pulses in and through us.
Spiritual intimacy becomes possible as you begin to realize
that each of you is cut from the same sacred cloth. In
essence you are both the same; you are one. In addition to
being a body, mind, and senses you exist as pure spirit.
You are divine spirit in physical form. You are sacred.
Your spiritual self, free of ego and self-centeredness,
expresses the sacred non-material dimension of life. It is
your inner source of soul-centered-love and the key to
personal and interpersonal well-being. Living and loving
with the clear awareness this higher self provides is what
all of us inwardly yearn for.
Co-existing with your higher spiritual self is your ego
self, your inner psychological “me.” Unlike your spiritual
self, which is universal and the same in everyone, your ego
self is very personal and self-centered. It is made up of
all your conditioned thoughts, beliefs and habitual ways of
behaving. It has its own private logic, a kind of survival
mentality, which it uses to make itself feel safe and
secure. Its main goal is satisfying its own needs and wants
and because of this it has a tendency to be self-absorbed
and selfish.
Spiritual intimacy means consciously using your marriage,
the everyday give and take between you, especially the
difficult moments, as opportunities to rise above your ego
and express your best self, your spiritual self. At those
very times when the sharp edges of your personalities clash
and you retreat from one another your commitment to
spiritual intimacy calls you together in a joint effort to
put your higher self forward .
Eventually, you so over
identify yourself with your body, your roles and images that
your spiritual essence rarely guides your existence.
As long as we see ourselves as only body, mind and senses we
are on shaky ground because our ego self is extremely
vulnerable and needs constant validation. It seeks always
to justify and strengthen itself. Its’ needs are insatiable
and it keeps us on a roller coaster of seeking approval and
avoiding rejection.
Your spiritual self, on the other hand, seeks no approval
and avoids no rejection because it is not based on a
personal image. It lies deeper within you. It calls to you
in a softer way and unless you turn to it and direct your
attention there you will not hear it. It lets you know when
you have neglected it for too long by the anxiety, emptiness
and depression that are all too familiar.
Well, nothing like humor to dispell depression....

Under title of "Deconstructing the Tibetan chain letter" Dan amends the
post from Andrew (which is numbered) with the "revised" D: version. One chain
letter not to be missed!

Dear Andrew,
Perhaps you didn't know this, but
anyone who forwards chain letters
may unwittingly create karma to deal with,
as each letter forwarded may
lead to unforseen results --
there is a possibility of setting back one's awakening
approximately three lifetimes, in some cases four.

I've seen such karmic chains before, and it's not pretty.
Admittedly, this particular letter appears relatively
benign. However, looks can be deceiving.
As a perennial "helper", I have nominated myself
to perform a sacred deconstruction
of the chain letter, thus diffusing any karma
and assuring that you may continue on the pathless path unimpeded. :-)

>The mantra must leave your hands within 96 hours. You will get a very
pleasant surprise. This is true, even if you are not superstitious.

D: Don't bother complying with this request,
as doing so may reinforce your continued reliance on
external persuasions of various sorts. Abandon musts
and shoulds, all ye who enter here. You will get nothing.
This is true, even if you are blindly superstitious.

>I N S T R U C T I O N S F O R L I F E

D: Life requires no instructions.

>1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve
great risk.

D: The greatest Love, which is the Universe, is risk-free

>2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

D: Release all previous lessons.

>3. Follow the three R's:
Respect for self
Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.

D: Follow nothing, materialize as presentness.

>4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful
stroke of luck.

D: Life originates now - nothing needs to be remembered.

>5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

D: Let Life be your rule.

>6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

D: Let a big dispute with yourself end your entire reality.

>7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to
correct it.

D: Move on - fearlessly.

>8. Spend some time alone.

D: There is no time - there is only Alone.

>9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

D: Let go of values - you are Change itself, thus you are Constant.

>10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

D: Remember nothing - Silence simply *is*.

>11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back,
you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.

D: Never get older, constantly release the past.

>12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
Do all you can to create a tranquil, harmonious home.

D: Have no place to reside.

>13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current
situation. Don't bring up the past.

D: Don't disagree or agree - simply spontaneously *be*.

>14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.

D: Achieve nothing, release knowledge, be your own Way.

>15. Be gentle with the earth.

D: Shake, rattle, and roll!

>16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.

D: This instant, go someplace you've never been before.

>17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for
each other exceeds your need for each other.

D: Awaken! Only Love *is* - no best or worst, only Love meeting
its need for Itself - which is satisfied immediately and presently.

>18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

D: Judge not, for you are the goal for which you've been striving.

>19. Call your mother

D: Be your own mother and father.

>20. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

D: Can't argue with this one. However, for the sake of the sacred
Cook yourself, recklessly love, and abandon the results.


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