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#2868 - Tuesday, July 10, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nondual Highlights -


One: Essential Writings on Nonduality:





Here's a nice fat issue of the Highlights. Some Zen, some Vedanta, some Sufism, and some words about where they are is exactly where they belong, like cauliflower in the casserole. Thanks to people who contributed material to this issue: Gabriel Rosenstock, David Spero, Eric Chaffee, and Jess Wells.





Gabriel Rosenstock send the following. I think you'll enjoy the links. Try to visit at least one of them.

* JWH essay: "Bodhidharma's Gift oEnlightenment"
describing the transcendental role of Zen's progenitor:

* Haiku by guest poet and storyteller Sam Yada Cannarrozzi, a resident
of Lyon, France, at:

* New haiga by Russian/American painter and poet OlgaHooper:

* Have you viewed: Bug Haiku ? See the complete page-by-page web
version of the popular 1968 book with haiku by JWH and illustrations by
Earl Thollander. Go to the menu bar and open Haiku, then 'Choose,' then
scroll down to 'Bug Haiku.'

* Poets interested in entering the next James W. Hackett International
Haiku Award may wish to visit the web site of The British Haiku Society

* Recent readers from the nations below indicate the growing world wide
popularity of haiku: Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) * Christmas Island *
Fiji * Indonesia * Luxembourg * Sao Tome and Principe * Saint Vincent
and the Grenadines *Tuvalu * Ukraine * Venezuela * Zimbabwe




Reincarnation as Organic Metaphor

By David Spero


The philosophical generosity that birthed the Vedic spirit is completely absent in today’s world. Our world culture has become religiously self-righteous and utilitarian. The view that spiritual realization arises as a gift from nature, a flowering of various invisible, organic processes, has vanished.


Judeo-Christian-Islamic theologies assert the existence of a God separate from nature. Accordingly, they tell us that the world was created for a two-fold purpose, first to glorify this transcendent, separate God, and second to redeem the human race in time and space. However, this view is dualistic in nature and ultimately incorrect, for nature does not exist in linear time. Nature’s time is cyclical. An apple tree produces apples year after year without any ultimate purpose other than the joy of fruition. Nature’s functioning is not teleological. Humans tend to hyper-intellectualize, projecting purposes onto other life forms. They freeze the fluidity of life into rational concepts. Judeo-Christian-Islamic dualistic theologies have devastatingly stained the spiritual fabric of our world.


Reincarnation is a charming, sensuous metaphor for organic life in migration. Rebirth was not meant to create the impression of a linear march (of births) through time. Instead it pointed to the world as fertile soil in which human beings might flourish. The ancient Vedic rishis, or seers, were ardent lovers of nature – even nature-worshippers. In the natural world they saw the “reason” for existence, filled as it was with spontaneous displays of overwhelming beauty. Skies, seas, mountains, fragrances of sweet flowers, were meant to lift the human spirit into supra-sensual ecstasies. Perceptual, emotional, and mental faculties were spiritually stimulated by natural phenomena. Knowledge and devotion were like strings on a guitar, fusing into the melodic rhythm of the total human being. Lila, the spirit of playfulness, the self-generating power seen in nature, was the universe’s matrix, the ultimate “reason” for its existence.


Evolution allows the soul’s maturation through time, carried by the force of desire. Just as a flower requires sunlight to live and grow, human beings blossom through yearning. Desire is not a dirty word, as certain spiritual traditions insist. Desire’s force serves the expansion of human consciousness as it matures and deepens into a painful hunger for God, culminating in moksha, spiritual liberation. Liberation or moksha is actually desire’s fruition, not its negation.


The yogas of karma, jnana, bhakti, and raja were the spiritual paths of action, discrimination, devotion, and meditation. They conveyed a theme of adapting any and every form of human activity into the Self or pure consciousness. These spiritual paths affirmed compassionately that any type of person could awaken from dualistic experience, and evolve from the waking state to unlimited Brahman consciousness.


Samsara, often referred to as the wheel of birth and death, the field in which transmigration occurs, literally meant “running together,” or “wandering.” Samsara referred to living movement, like that of a meandering river. This non-mechanistic image starkly contradicts the guilt-ridden idea of rebirth as retribution. It nullifies the cold notion of physical embodiment as a mechanical exercise carried out by the indifferent principle of cause and effect. Judeo-Christian-Islamic monotheistic, utilitarian theologies seeped into the fabric of Hinduism over the centuries, tainting its immaculate, highly metaphorical, notion of rebirth.


The rebirth process was carried out by the vasanas, infinitely subtle, wave-like energy patterns. Vasanas transmigrated from body to body, bridging incarnations. Curiously, the word vasana comes from the root VAS, which means “to perfume.” A human being “perfumed” from body to body. Vasanas, trans-fleshly fragrances, organic blueprints of matter and psyche, were the potentialities of consciousness, acting to transform matter into energy, and vice versa. A reincarnated human being was hardly considered a heap of residual, karmic debris. He was a floating fragrance, evanescent as a wisp of air, seeking a proper nervous system, one that would in-breathe him into human form.


This ethereal view of rebirth may sound effeminate and oversimplified in today’s overly patriarchal spiritual climate. A circular, self-generating reality cannot be grasped by a mind obsessed with purposes. Reincarnation, organically understood through metaphors, exasperates the strategies of the rational mind to obliterate a spontaneous ontology. Only a mind freed from utilitarian consciousness can grasp the reality of a purposeless existence. Time, space, and nature vibrate as webs of energetic frequencies, organic nexuses through which living forms grow. These frequencies may be grasped intuitively by a poetically liberated awareness.


The ancient Vedic understanding of reincarnation remains a brilliant, liberating, and life-affirming metaphor, vivified in an aboriginal, spiritual innocence, solidifying a vast, organic, evolutionary process. 





Eric Chaffee sends the following from


The Ten Sufi Thoughts from The Way of Illumination, by Hazrat Inayat Khan (The Message Volume 1)


1.There is one God, the Eternal, the Only Being; none else exists save God.


2.There is one Master, the Guiding Spirit of all souls, who constantly leads all who follow towards
the light.


3.There is one Holy Book, the sacred manuscript of nature, the only scripture which can enlighten
the reader.


4.There is one Religion, the unswerving progress in the right direction towards the ideal, which
fulfills the life's purpose of every soul.


5.There is one Law, the Law of Reciprocity, which can be observed by a selfless conscience together
with a sense of awakened justice.


6.There is one Family, the human family, which unites the children of earth indiscriminately in the
parenthood of God.


7.There is one Moral Principle, the love which springs forth from self-denial, and blooms in deeds
of beneficence.


8.There is one Object of Praise, the beauty which uplifts the heart of its worshipper through all
aspects from the seen to the unseen.


9.There is one Truth, the true knowledge of our being within and without which is the essence of
all wisdom.


10.There is one Path, the annihilation of the false ego in the real, which raises the mortal to
immortality and in which resides all perfection.



Jess Wells sends the following:


I Must Belong Somewhere


Leave the bright blue door on the whitewashed wall

Leave the death ledger under city hall

Leave the joyful air in that rubber ball today


Leave the lilac print on the linen sheet

Leave the bird you killed at you father’s feet

Let the sideways rain in the crooked street remain


Leave the whimpering dog in his cold kennel

Leave the starlet on her pedestal

Leave the acid kids in their green fishbowls today


Leave the sad guitar in its hardshell case

Leave that worried look on your lover’s face

Leave the orange embers in the fireplace remain


Everything it must belong somewhere

A train off in the distance, bicycle chained to the stairs

Everything it must belong somewhere

I know that now, that is why I’m staying here


Leave the ocean’s roar in the turquoise shell

Leave the widower in his private hell

Leave the liberty in that broken bell today


Leave the epic poem on its yellowed page

Leave the gray macaw in its covered cage

Let the traveling band on the interstate remain


Everything it must belong somewhere

Sound stage in California, televisions in Times Square

Everything it must belong somewhere

I know that now that is why I’m staying here

Yeah, I know that now, that is why I’m staying here


Leave the secret talks on the trundle bed

Leave the garden tools in the rusted shed

Leave those bad ideas in your troubled head today


Leave the restless ghost in his old hotel

Leave the homeless man in that cardboard cell

Let the painted horse on the carousel remain


Everything it must belong somewhere

Just like the gold around her finger or the silver in his hair

Everything it must belong somewhere

I know that now, that is why I’m staying here

I know that now, that is why I’m staying here


In truth the forest hears each sound

Each blade of grass as it lies down

The world requires no audience

No witnesses, no witnesses


Leave the old town drunk on his wooden stool

Leave the autumn leaves in their swimming pool

Leave the poor black child in his crumbling school today


Leave the novelist in his daydream tomb

Leave the scientist in her Rubik’s cube

Let the true genius in the padded room remain


Leave the horse’s hair on the slanted bow

Leave the slot machines on the riverboat

Leave the cauliflower in the casserole today


Leave the hot bright trash in the shopping malls

Leave the hawks of war in their capitals

Let the organ’s moan in the cathedral remain


Everything it must belong somewhere

They locked the Devil in the basement, threw God up into the air

Everything it must belong somewhere

You know it’s true, I wish you’d leave me here

You know it’s true, why don’t you leave me here?


written by, Conor Oberst


Hi Jerry,

I really dig this folky song by Conor Oberst and his band Bright Eyes. Oberst (raised in the Midwest), now 27, has been making records since his teens, and in the last few years has became quite world renown.This song is off the singer song writer’s latest album (which is quite bent on mysticism), it nicely contrasts with some of his earlier works that have a politically activist flavor.



here's another cool poem:     


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