Jerry Katz
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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #261

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Jerry asked:
Is it merely a coincidence that
Awakening and the coming
demise of seeking, parallel the growth
of the Internet?
It's a side question that some of us
may care to ponder.
Clearly the Internet plays a role.
Without the Internet, it
might be asked, would Awakenings
spread so quickly and

Melody offered:
I wonder if maybe the fact that now
those of similar
interests from all over the globe can
all be linked together
gives an illusion of there being more awakening now than at
any other time?

Christiana chimed:
I agree with you Melody, that this appearance of vast
awakening is not yet felt in the masses still deeply
embedded in the 'world dream'.
Still, having participated in several online communities (a
few specifically intent on witnessing the flow of the System
as It Self organizes), I have found the Internet to be the
*current* upon which our
*opportunities*... for clearing the 'foreground dross', as
well as anchoring in 'Background Awareness'... are
available. Many of us have been doing this work in
solitude. Now we are in communion and in deep learning
communities with others here in Australia, Chile, Canary
Islands, Holland, New Zealand, Canada, these United States.
I find this awesome.

Melody returned:
As one who has spent almost 2 years in cyberspace discussing
first spirituality, and then non-duality, I'm beginning to
wonder if this 'appearance' of awakening is only an
'illusionary' feeling for me!

I'm not saying that cyber-talking has not been greatly
appreciated by me. It has always been interesting,
stimulating, entertaining.
I have learned much about my self during this time, have
faced a lot of 'self'. But I'm mindful now that Awakening
is not necessarily the 'end result' of all this 'work'.

I suspect that this 'cyber-talk' has the possibility of
simply becoming another diversion ( a clever one at that)
from one's simply dropping the "I".

I speak of this... only as I am looking at my own activity
on the computer lists these days. I'm looking at how the
mind can use the Internet as the very vehicle to keep
rocking me asleep.

Hans spoke to this point very well, in another context....
on another thread:

" ..... and therefor this notion was turned into just
another problem because my mind wanted to do something with
it, get some result from it.

The problem of the thinker, as I feel it now, arises when
you start thinking "about" something because this process
sort of takes your attention / awareness away into
associations and interpretations.

So i have to break through this pattern by understanding
this process and staying aware that a thought is just a
thought and that thinking about something is also just
another thought."

Skye opened: I've noticed a big change over here. 90% of
the customers i make patterns for are women, 10% are men as
i don't design childrens clothes. And i visit garment
manufactures twice a week and get the chance to chat to many
people as i work. I rattle on to everyone as i work, about
the non- dual perspective, so they understand immediately
why i don't get distraught the way they believe every
conscientious worker should be when things go wrong (as they
are wont to do in the deadline world of the rag trade).

I've discovered both men and women are *much* more eager to
talk about inner awareness these days than even only 5 yrs
ago, when i was just as obsessed. I tell everyone how much
time i spend on the net and how much i enjoy discussing the
nondual reality with people all over the world and they
always want to know more.
I've noticed it makes them more personal with me, less
People instinctively trust this undogmatic manner of looking
within and without. They instinctively gravitate towards it

Its quite beautiful these days.

Christiana introduces Richard Thieme and Real Toads:

Dear Real Toads,

This is the first email to the Real Toads list, a variant of
the first post to the Real Toads discussion board at

I don't know what will happen with Real Toads, who will come
out and play and how we will evolve as one place among many
in which to explore spirituality in the online world. My
initial intention, at any rate, is to share this exploration
and learn from one another along the way.

Why do I find spirituality in cyberspace so fascinating?

Because spirituality - which means how we come to terms with
the depths of our humanity and discover and express it - is
a great adventure. For many of us, it's exhilarating or
exciting or just plain fun. It makes the rest of our lives
more interesting.

The explosion of media for electronic connectivity is
changing what spirituality looks and feels like and changing
what it means to be human.
Glo introduces the incredible Simone Weil

Simone was a saint without a religion or church, a very
radical free thinker type. This website has a brief bio..I
am a bit pressed for time. She is well worth some reading.

From "Grace and Gravity"

"Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there
is a void to receive it We must continually suspend the work
of the imagination in filling the void within ourselves."
"In no matter what circumstances, if the imagination is
stopped from pouring itself out, we have a void (the poor in
spirit). In no matter what circumstances... imagination
can fill the void. This is why the average human beings can
become prisoners, slaves, prostitutes, and pass thru no
matter what suffering without being purified."
"That is why we fly from the inner void, since God might
steal into it. It is not the pursuit of pleasure and the
aversion for effort which causes sin, but fear of God. We
know that we cannot see him face to face without dying, and
we do not want to die."
Manchine talks about atoms and 'me', and Eric gives his take
on it:

The "One", is like infinity, if one looks for detail, one
sees it however infinitely deeply one goes. You get close
to any object, you can't see the object, maybe just the
surface. You can go inside and see atoms, it doesn't look
at all like the object anymore.

I feel consciousness is like that. We see at a detail which
we call "me". We get further away, we see more of the
whole. The more encompassing our conscience becomes, the
more whole we become, but I maintain that, that doesn't mean
that the "me" doesn't exist. As in the case of the atoms,
we can't see them but they are there, and our every breath
depends on their comportment.

What is the "me" for?
I was thinking just yesterday that the *me* was for looking
into all those *details*, you know, just to verify that *we*
really are deep, that *we* are something beyond a dream.

Doesn't seem to be working though.:-)

Roger Isaacs, Dan Berkow, Ph.D., and Harsh K. Luthar,
Ph.D., use their degrees:

However, if one can't still the mind sufficiently, then
NonDuality teaching will be useless, it will become just
more & different activity of thought rather than
transcendental reality.

Dan: One can't still the mind sufficiently. It's not
Only Original Stillness will do :-) Therefore, "nonduality
is indeed useless. As a different activity of thought, it's
probably equally as useful, perhaps even a little more
useful, than some of the other dualistic thought processes.
Nonduality teaching can only be "real" as direct expression
of nondual awareness. At best, such can provide
encouragement for a leap of awareness when timing is right,
and readiness is. That's about it.

Roger: Dan says "One can't still the mind sufficiently"

I think we can agree that the mind can be stilled. Everyone
has experienced a relatively stiller mind at various times?
But how to accomplish this is THE question.

Can we liken the overall procedure to lowering the
temperature of a pot of water till it freezes? Lowering the
temperature of the water (stilling the mind) is all that we
can do? When it's still enough there is a transition, but
at first the transition is only momentary, not permanent.

"one can't still the mind sufficiently" might be seen to
find fault with whatever procedure is being used to still
the mind. There's a certain helplessness in that statement
suggesting that our attempts at lowering the temperature of
the mind are insufficient and should perhaps be abandoned.
A potential self defeatist attitude. "Self inquiry is

To me, you seem to speak in clever riddles: "one can't still
the mind...only original stillness will do". Well, how the
hell is an individual, a seeker, one who claims the
appearance of doership & volition, how are they to use this
volition to find "original stillness?" You seem to undermine
any potential procedure claiming it can't be done!

Procedures (called the yogas in the hindu tradition although
meditation is obviously found in many traditions) are useful
in lowering the temperature of the mind, stilling the mind.
It is only at that very still point right above the freezing
point where technique can be abandoned. At that very still
point technique has done it's job and it falls away
naturally in that moment.

Abandoning technique or subtle effort before stillness is a
reality is self defeating.

Harsha: Thanks for sharing Roger. You have much of value to
contribute. Meditation and Yoga are important and found in
various spiritual traditions in some guise or another. They
are indeed very helpful.
Ultimately, it seems each person is attracted to that
practice which is useful for them for the time being.
Beauty is always in the "I" of the Beholder. Where else
could it be? :--).

Roger: Dan's statement makes sense from a 'Zen' perspective,
and I'm probably taking his comments out of context. :-)

It's given that: a) there are numerous teachings about
subtle effort or Yogas or techniques of meditation, b) there
is a NonDuality, advaita, Zen, effortless teaching.

For me, the interesting angle is not to competitively pit
NonDuality against Yoga/effort, but to ask when is subtle
effort appropriate and when is NonDuality appropriate? And
which style of subtle effort should one use and I think this
varies by individual.

Both are absolutely essential, Yoga/subtle effort does not
lead directly to the goal, but it is an essential
intermediate step in stilling the mind.
Without the intermediate preparation the final step most
likely won't happen.

Egoic attachment is such a clever, cunning, deceptive
thing. The brain is so skillful at acquiring security &
advancing the biological agenda of the individual, that this
physical brain and it's seeking mechanisms can hold onto
thoughts about NonDuality, just as with other prejudices,
and fail to have the direct experience of NonDuality.

Even advanced seekers (Xan posted an example about students
of Papaji) are known to mistake an intellectual
enlightenment for completion, or to mistake psychic/mystical
experiences as completion. Flashy mystical experiences or
genuine psychic powers can co-exist with egoic attachment!

I appreciate your comment "it seems each person is attracted
to that practice which is useful for them". This style of
expansive loving positivity, complete in itself, is a
natural complement to the style of leaving no stone unturned
in passionate questioning.

This is very Joycean:

My practice is a matter of gradually getting used to what I
suggested as an "experiment" and Ive been many years at it -
and I didnt mean to suggest that people dabble - its more a
persistent cultivation. I just didnt want to seem pushy -
with these words I have made something that requires effort
seem easy - and the lovely relaxation Im describing, the
untying of Knots, is from experience - but as I watch my cat
who has been sitting on my meditation cushion and blankets
all day while I dabble with duality periodically oblivious
to my practice -I have yet to experience the relaxed
profoundity that is obviously effortless attainment for the

Absolutely - we are the world - and this magical display is
agog at this magical display - joyce short
Tony O'Clery woke everyone up with this question:

If the small i is destroyed and only the great 'I Am' shines
forth, how does one get past that attribute? That feeling?
Remember there is no ego to produce effort, or even
non-effort, so how does one proceed to Nirguna?
All thought may stop but that still leaves the 'feeling'.Is
that not still duality?

Joyce Short: Let me guess. This small "i" pops in and out
of the GREAT I AM - rather as mother and child and are of
the same family as mother and child. Thought comes and
goes, feeling comes and goes, the little habit of "I" who
has a habit of clinging to everything that comes and goes
eventually grows up lets go - relaxes its grip on what is
arising out of nature - recognizes its Mother and returns
home. The Mother would never destroy her child but waits
patiently to be recognized.

Andrew Macnab: There's an odd sense of falling through
bliss, very hard to speak of, like an ocean draining away.
One doesn't proceed, one dissipates.

Bruce Morgen quoted someone: "At first, I was irridescent;
then, I became transparent. Finally, I was absent."

Jan Barendrecht drummed: If the recognition of *That* didn't
bring forth the knowledge how to get there it has to be
interpreted that it will be "beyond reach" as apart from
already existing, recognized subtle tendencies, nothing
remains what could be called "initiative". But anyone,
"having died while living prior to the recognition" is
likely to know *how to get there*: A story, not to be told
for good reasons.

Jerry Katz became inspired: This is where Grace parts ways
with Intention. Intention falls away like a spent engine
utilized to break through gravity. Grace takes the last
attribute, and then Grace gives all the attributes back. To
know the nondual unchanging reality while the forces of the
universe are twisting mysteriously through your very
tissues, is to be successful at the game of Grace and
Intention. To stop those forces and get stuck watching what
has been stopped is to lose momentum, is to expose
unfamiliarity with what is unchanging. The solution is to
USE intention to bring about the highest knowledge that it
is capable of tearing doors open to. THEN to release
intention, or to see it drop away, and then, without
sentimentality for its return, to allow Grace to be Grace,
but without intention that Grace be Grace. Release
Intention, release Attention, find their Source, then
Intention and Attention will be given back to you by Grace,
but they will come dressed in a whole new way.
Gift wrapped. By Grace.

Larry Biddinger wanted to know why: As long as there is one
with attribute there is an "I" so the process continues. My
guess is there is an automatic mechanism inherent in "I"
that gradually opens so completely there is eventually no
"I". This is like saying awareness becomes so aware, there
is nothing to be aware of. But I don't know; why are you
asking? Do you know?

Dan Berkow: Yes, a subtle feeling of "I AM"
involves a duality with "Nothingness", not nothing, but
Nothingness "prior to" Being or Nonbeing. Before "I AM",
beyond limitlessness, is what is never described, felt, or
known. One doesn't proceed to This. One is fully undone.
This can't be expressed. Even to raise the question implies
that something can be said.
Nonetheless, a good question to raise :-)

Just when we were dozing off again, Ron (Carol) Philo
stopped us and asked for further directions:

I've been wondering. Do the members of the group think that
experiencing the extremes of something ( famine/feasting,
loneliness/too many people, etc)
helps, hinders or does not effect achievement of non

Andrew Macnab pointed one way: Experience itself is neutral.
Trying to resist experience or hold onto it hinders.
Not resisting or clinging is harder with intensely painful
or pleasurable experiences.
Experiencing extremes without resisting or clinging helps,
it's learned, or more precisely, resisting and clinging are
unlearned gradually through experience. There is an
intentional attitude of nonresistance/nonclinging, a
vigilance, which becomes more functional over time, like a
muscle that gets stronger as it's exercised.

Jerry Katz yanked out a map: Rajneesh/Osho taught that
movement to one extreme brings about the other. His famous
Dynamic Meditation worked with extremes. His Sannyasins
wore extreme garb. He taught with regard to going deeply
into sex, not repressing it, but taking it to the extreme.

But when Rajneesh was teaching twenty, thirty years ago,
people were more confused than they are today. People
couldn't see or firmly intuit nondual, unchanging reality.
So they needed to move into extremes in order to drive a
wedge into a world of confusion birthed by sexual freedom,
psychedelic revolution, the Cold War, Vietnam, ignorant
religious upbringing, abuse at home, the New Age, etc. Da
Free John did the same in his own way, and now he is an

Extremes were needed until recently. The dust has settled.
Arjuna is a good example of the evenness that prevails.
Although it's not hard to see that Satsang is extreme, too.
It's an easy kind of extreme.

Guerrilla Nonduality doesn't speak of taking behavior or
practice to extremes. It recognizes that the human organism
is already extremely gone. The street is extreme. We can
see that now. We can look at ourselves sitting still and at
peace and because our nondual vision is so acute, our
slightest dualistic behavior seems extreme. Not wanting to
see that or acknowledge it, there may be a tendency to run
from it or to deny it by creating extreme circumstances,
such as fasts. If you want extreme, just stop and look. As
nondualists, the dual is very obvious and it feels extreme.
No fasting needed.

Neither Rajneesh nor Da Free John could expect their
devotees to see the obvious extreme. They had to take their
devotees to extremes so that they could get to the point of
seeing themselves as extremely gone from reality, as
extremely false, so that they could win perspective.

To get the perspective it is necessary to intuit the
nondual. Nowadays there are many who intuit the nondual and
they see that the so-called normal at-rest person is
extreme, is living an extreme lie. Therefore, no outrageous
behavior such as fasting or marathon running or marathon sex
is necessary. (Well, two out of three.)

To answer the question, all experiences are extreme.
Movement through extremes can drive a wedge through the
cloud of experiences, thoughts, feelings, and open a space
in which one can fall and intuit the nondual.

Here's more from Arjuna Nick Ardagh's, "How About Now?
Satsang with Arjuna."

"...for many of us it's time to move beyond preoccupation
with the minute fluctuations of 'my freedom.' 'Am I getting
identified with thought? Am I getting caught up? Or am I
resting? Maybe I should do another retreat, or maybe I
should have a session.' There comes a time when all that
becomes like a hamster on one of those wheels. The very
preoccupation with one's own state of consciousness is what
keeps identification in place. What arises spontaneously
from here is a life of service. That is the greatest

"As soon as the body is used in service, the attention goes
off this illusion of separate identity and starts to be
concerned with the larger mind/body. For many of us, it's
time to move beyond 'my freedom'. There's a pull of the
heart, a call of the heart, to something bigger than 'my
spiritual state'."
Eric S. says we're totally dependent on thought to

There is a simple fact to the "busy" mind that seems to be
interferring with your enlightenment at present. The need
to survive and the inability to live outside of society.
Since it is obvious that society controls all your access to
resources- it will be impossible to "escape" from dependence
on a learned/conditioned or reacting mind.
Why do you "think" we have all these racing thoughts banging
around our heads to begin with? Why the need to survive of
The drive to propagate. Perhaps one could "escape" to a
monastary- take some vow of poverty, attach oneself to a
religious conviction- try to substitute one habitual impulse
for another. But adding one delusion on top of another only
brings about the search for change to errupt.
So instead of envying that shiney new car that is being
driven by- you look up at an attained buddha posturing in a
lotus position- merely redirection of that search for total
security and life that your mind is now screaming and
checking for at this very moment.
Today? I think I will shop for religion to fill this void-
tommorrow? I will invent an all encompassing philosophy.
God! I am hungery- let's go shopping. Sorry sir- that loaf
of bread is 2 dollars- you only have one.Time to go out and
compete for more, I'm starving.
How will I ever feed off of your enlightnement? Why should
anyone listen to those stories of Awareness? Do you have a
certificates? Are they redeemable? I need to fill up my
car. That is real enough ain't it!
- not everyone can sit around all day and meditate, someone
must work the fields and push the plow. Why not this way
instead. Oh, it is not getting you what you desire-
"enlightenment" But I suppose in our spare time there is
always time for these convictions, systems and games to play
with. Let's kill two birds with one stone and make a
teaching profession out of it! Please pass the donation
plate. Next!

Or so I thought...

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