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Jerry Katz
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Nondual Highlights Issue #2795, Saturday, April 21, 2007

For the creation of a New Man in a man, the laws of another order higher than his own must begin to influence and affect a man, just as, for an acorn to undergo its latent possible transformation, it must begin to obey the laws of oak trees and gradually cease being an acorn at all.

- Paul Brunton, posted to AlongTheWay

"If you want to get rid of something, you must first allow it to flourish."

I’ve come to see that there is no such thing as criticism, there are only observations. And there is no observation that does not enlighten me, if my mind is open to it. What could anyone say to me that I couldn’t agree with? If someone tells me I’m a terrible person, I go inside myself, and in two seconds I can find where in my life I’ve been a terrible person; it doesn’t take much searching. And if someone says I’m a wonderful person, I can easily find that, too. This is about self-realization, not about right or wrong. It’s about freedom.

When someone tells me that I lied, for example, I go inside to see if they’re right. If I can’t find it in the situation they’ve mentioned I can easily find it in some other situation, maybe decades ago. I don’t say that out loud. But inside me, it’s a joining. And then I can say, "I am a liar. I see where you’re right about me." We agree. That person is realizing who I used to be, the very thing that I began realizing twenty years ago. I fall in love people who are angry at me. They’re like people suffering on their deathbeds: we don’t kick them and say, "Get up." It’s the same when someone is angry and attacking you. This is a confused human being. And if I’m clear, where is it that I couldn’t meet him? That’s when we are the happiest, when we’re giving ourselves without condition.

I have a good deal of practice at this. Paul, my ex-husband, used to yell at me a lot, especially after I got a little clarity in 1986. He wasn’t happy with my change. He would just wail through the house, yelling, "Who are you, Goddamn it? Where’s the woman I married? What did you do with her? You don’t love me. If you loved me, you’d stay at home and not travel. You love everybody else as much as you love me." And of course he was right, from his point of view. He equated loving him with doing what he wanted me to do, and his story overrode reality every time. When he yelled at me, his chest and face would expand, he’d blow up like a balloon, get very red and very loud, and wave his arms a lot. All I could see was a dear man who was frightened of losing me and who was doing the best he could. He was yelling at himself, thinking it was me. And I would just love him and appreciate him and listen to the music of his complaints, as his imagination created the wife who didn’t care, and moved farther and farther away from reality, so far that the distance seemed unbridgeable. Finally, in his hurt and anger, he would turn away from me as if I didn’t exist. And I didn’t.

If a criticism hurts you that means you’re defending against it. Your body will let you know very clearly when you’re feeling hurt or defensive. If you don’t pay attention, the feeling rises and becomes anger and attack, in the form of defense or justification. It’s not right or wrong; it just isn’t intelligent. War is not intelligent. It doesn’t work. If you’re really interested in your own peace of mind, you’ll become more and more aware of that sense of wanting to defend yourself against a criticism. And eventually you’ll be fascinated to find the missing pieces of yourself that your critic is helpfully pointing out, and you’ll ask him to tell you more, so that you can be enlightened even further.

Criticism is an immense gift for those who are interested in self-realization. For those who aren’t, welcome to hell, welcome to being at war with your partner, your neighbors, your children, your boss. When you open your arms to criticism, you are your own direct path to freedom, because you can’t change us or what we think about you. You are your only way to stand with a friend as a friend, even when she perceives you as an enemy. And until you can be intimate with us however badly we think of you, your Work isn’t done.

After you’ve done inquiry for a while, you can listen to any criticism without defense or justification, openly, delightedly. It’s the end of trying to control what can’t ever be controlled: other people’s perception. The mind rests, and life becomes kinder, and then totally kind, even in the midst of apparent turmoil. When you’re aware of being a student, everyone in the world becomes your teacher. In the absence of defensiveness, gratitude is all that’s left.

- from A THOUSAND NAMES FOR JOY: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are, by Byron Katie with Stephen Mitchell, posted to The_Now2

It's Mine

Many people present me with an assumption that because all these things exist, there must be a fall guy, somebody or something in themselves to blame.

That's the common understanding about ego. But that is not ego.

Things are sometimes as simple as they appear.

Sometimes a thought is just a thought, a feeling only a feeling, and an action just an action, with no ego in it. Now the ego that exists, if there is any ego at all, is the thought that ego is there. But there is no evidence whatsoever for this ego's existence.

Everything is just arising spontaneously, and if there is any ego at all, it is just this particular movement of mind that says, "It's mine."

- from: Emptiness Dancing, by Adyashanti, posted to adyashantigroup.

Question: Is it possible to sin?

Bhagavan: Having a body, which creates illusion, is the only sin, and the body is our only hell. But it is right that we observe moral laws. The discussion of sin is too difficult for a few lines.

Queston: Does one who has realized the Self lose the sense of "I"?

Bhagavan: Absolutely.

Question: Then to you there is no difference between yourself and myself, that man over there, my servant, are all the same?

Bhagavan: All are the same, including those monkeys.

Question: But the monkeys are not people. Are they not different?

Bhagavan: They are exactly the same as people. All creatures are the same in One Consciousness.

Question: Do we lose our individuality when we merge into the Self?

Bhagavan: There is no individuality in the Self. The Self is One--Supreme.

Question: Then individuality and identity are lost?

Bhagavan: You don't retain them in deep sleep, do you?

Question: But we retain them from one birth to another, don't we?

Bhagavan: Oh, yes. The "I" thought [the ego] will recur again, only each time you identify with it a different body and different surroundings around the body. The effects of past acts [Karma] will continue to control the new body just as they did the old one. It is Karma that has given you this particular body and placed it in a particular family, race, sex, surroundings and so forth.

Bhagavan added, "These questions are good, but tell de Acosta [he always called me de Acosta] she must not become too intellectual about these things. It is better just to meditate and have no thought. Let the mind rest quietly on the Self in the cave of the Spiritual Heart. Soon this will become natural and then there will be no need for questions. Do not imagine that this means being inactive. Silence is the only real activity."

- Ramana Maharshi, posted to MillionPaths

Let the Lover be disgraceful, crazy,
absentminded. Someone sober
will worry about events going badly.
Let the Lover be.

- Rumi, poetic version by Coleman Barks and John Moyne, Unseen Rain - Quatrains of Rumi, posted to Sunlight

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