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#2883 - Thursday, July 26, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz 

The Nondual Highlights  

One: Essential Writings on Nonduality:    

    This issue is dedicated to Scott Morrison.

In Highlights #2881, a reader asked for identification of a teacher whose name he said sounded like Harrison or Peterson. Vicki, Gloria, Anna, Ross, Gary, Brian, Doris, and Sarlo figured the person was Scott Morrison.  

Following Vicki's letter is every reference to Scott Morrison featured in the Highlights and on in the last 9 or 10 years.  


    This is in reply to the person whose question was in the Tuesday

I believe the person you referred to may be Scott Morrison, whose site
was After his death, someone else co-owned it
and they do not respond to emails. Scott died while undergoing gall
bladder surgery. He was relatively young and lived in Oklahoma. He had
previously lived in Costa Rica.

Does this ring true?

Vicki Woodyard    


Open and Innocent: The Gentle, Passionate Art of Not-Knowing (Paperback)
Scott Morrison (Author)



by Scott Morrison

What does it mean to love, absolutely and unconditionally? It means that no matter what arises in consciousness, in the mind, in the body, in the environment, there is only love. There is a story told about St. Francis of Assisi that illustrates the radical nature of true love. It seems that there was some kind of dispute that arose in the course of things between Francis and one of the other brothers. The dispute itself was not particularly important, but the thought of saying something derogatory, something harmful, about his comrade arose in Francis' mind. He was so disturbed by this that he lay down on the stone floor and had his friend place his foot, his sandal still on, on his mouth, lest he ever consider saying something hurtful about his brother again. That is radical love.

Who is willing to be a fool for Love? In recent years, the ancient ritual of foot washing has been rediscovered in Christian churches of all different sorts, from among the most liberal to the most conservative, particularly in the Southern United States and other areas of the country where there has been a long history of racial tension, fear, strife, and deep, unhealed wounds. In what would on the surface of egoistic concerns appear to be a considerable risk, white people, men and women of all ages, from all walks of life, would get down on their knees in front of black people with a large pan of water, and affectionately wash their feet. Black people, men and women, would then get down on their knees and do exactly the same for white people. That kind of vulnerability, that kind of willingness and unconditional commitment to openly give and receive love without any psychological or social defense whatsoever, is itself liberation and transformation. In the touching and being touched in that way, who was the giver and who was the receiver? In the flood of tears and release that followed, what became of the fear, anger, hurt, and sorrow?

These are just two extraordinary examples, and there are countless others, but it comes down to this fundamental question: Am I truly willing to be a fool for Love? Am I willing to be in absolute and unconditional support, in whatever ways are skillful, wise, and appropriate, of my friend's healing and freedom from suffering? My neighbor's? My adversary's or enemy's? A total stranger's?

This is not in any way some kind of escape into codependency or compulsive pleasing or "loving too much." None of that is love to begin with. It is rather a total and irreversible commitment to a world where everyone is included. Is there some other more noble or intelligent way to live? Is there really anything else I'd rather be or do with my life? When this body draws its final breath, what will I have wanted this life to have been an experience of and an expression of more than anything else? Do I really have anything to lose? Do any of us?

Scott Morrison

To be sure, we all have a great deal to learn from each other. However, the process of subtle arrogance and self deception in the spiritual arena is perhaps the most damaging of all illusions. I am a Buddhist, or a Yogi, or a Pagan, or a student of the Fourth Way or the Kaballah or some other mystical or ecclectic school, and I imagine that Christians are at least somewhat deluded. Or I am a Christian, perhaps a Catholic or an Evangelical, or a Course in Miracles student, or a Muslim, or a Jew, and maintain some pretense that my version of “God” or “Love” is somehow more accurate than “theirs.” But in fact, when we think “Jesus said so-and-so,” or “The Buddha taught thus-and-such,” we might ask ourselves, “How would I know, and why am I repeating this?” If we face it sincerely, it is hard to avoid the discovery that all we are doing is trying to justify our own opinions and their connected feelings, perhaps seeking to be tied in with some powerful authority figure(s) which is fortified by our own conditioning. So we each have our private and group stories about things, and continue to surreptitiously elevate ourselves and put each other down.

But in fact, there is no private liberation or salvation. (Where is the “one separate” from the rest, to be saved, except in some mental fiction?) Of utmost importance, finally, is putting an end to this devious and hurtful process of “spiritual ego,” of imagining there’s some kind of competition, and that there’s someone who has to defend his or her particular spiritual turf against others. If you stop using your transient body or your thoughts or feelings as points of reference, it will be obvious that there is no “someone” and there are no “others.” That whole thing is a paranoid fantasy, a pathological delusion, in this case in the name of whatever religion to which we happen to subscribe. So let’s call a spade a spade: God, the Absolute, does not belong to anyone, nor to any particular group.
(So why pay homage to a limited god?)

Furthermore, Enlightenment, Self Realization, does not belong to anyone either. (In fact, everything belongs to Enlightenment. So why pay homage to a limited enlightenment?) Although it may occur in virtually any context - Buddhist, Christian, Yogic, Sufi, Hindu, Fourth Way, Muslim, Taoist, Jewish, Wiccan, 12-Step work, shamanistic, agnostic, scientific and so on, Spiritual Awakening, the Realization of Emptiness, the Tao, cannot be owned. How could That which is infinite be possessed by any religion, tradition, path, lineage, teacher, or hierarchy, all of which are limited? Is God a Christian, or a Jew, or a Muslim? Is Enlightenment controlled by Buddhists or Yogis or Hindus? How could That which is formless be made to conform to any set of assumptions about liberation, past or future? (If you still find yourself resisting that possibility, you might ask yourself how you would know, one way or the other, and what motives are tied up in thinking about it in any specified way, for or against. Why maintain beliefs or disbeliefs at all?) Is truth a really a matter of subjective opinion? Is not truth, if that word means anything at all, an ongoing process of careful observation and uncompromised, undefended honesty?

It’s time we stop pretending, subtly or overtly, that our particular group is superior in some way. That’s a hidden way of saying, “I’m superior,” (and therefore not inferior). Let’s bring our woundedness, our childhood fears and hurts of inferiority, covered over by the pretense of individual or collective superiority, to a total and absolute halt. Completely. Now. If we need to weep, then let’s weep together. And let those tears of shame be tears of relief, tears of joy, in finally putting down this burden of trying to defend and justify what we have imagined ourselves to be. What doesn’t exist doesn’t need to be defended. It never did.

Particularly in recent years, many of us have had very powerful awakenings, but these experiences, in and of themselves, do not mean that much unless we allow ourselves to be transformed, completely, by what we have discovered. If we try to use them to validate our religious and peer identities and opinions, with our various secret and subtle motives and perceptions so shaped, we corrupt our awakening, and are already entangled in delusion. (And when we make ourselves or our group or our path or the teacher we’ve identified ourselves with special, we make ourselves separate.) The most any spiritual institution can do is to support and celebrate what is already real and true without reservation.

Full awareness, peace, freedom, clarity and joy can, and do, only exist now. If any of us still find ourselves suffering from the symptoms of ignorance, divisiveness or competition, that is to say, fear, envy, anger, sorrow, frustration, disappointment, jealosy, self-loathing, guilt, depression, loneliness, despair, or confusion, it is because we are still negotiating with God, still negotiating with Truth, still negotiating with Love, still negotiating with Freedom, still negotiating with Serenity. The pain is none other than the agony of lying to ourselves about what we want more than anything else. It is like finally finding the lover we have always longed for, but holding back in terror of losing that love.

Why put this moment off? That which you seek is That which you already are, and always have been - you are not separate, you cannot be separate from the Absolute, from Infinite Consciousness Itself. If you dare to stop pretending that you and your life are based on some mental version of things that arises out of memory, you will find out beyond any doubt! This is not some kind of wishful thinking or grandiose mental trick. Rather, with total and unflinching sincerity, with no psychological defense or self deception whatsoever, search your heart and find out what you permanently are, what you’ve been all along. Find out if there has ever been a separate “Other.” If you discover there never has been an other, is there one now? Could there ever be? Why pretend anymore?

If you dare to give your heart, your soul, your mind, your body, and your life, unconditionally, to what you discover to be true, you will know an infinitely deep and abiding peace that has never been even a breath away. This bliss, this tranquility depends on nothing, and It is not capable of ending. Furthermore, it doesn’t make a bit of difference what you’ve ever done… or not done. You can put an end to the battle. Yes, that’s correct, just walk right out of the war, right now. All you have to do is surrender, absolutely and completely, not to me, not to some authority figure, or some organization or institution, but surrender only to your own deepest Purity.

God and your own Unbounded Love are not different. If you truly give yourself up completely, it will shock your whole system. It will suddenly dawn on you,

“Oh my God, what a fool I’ve been! What was I thinking?”

Then the absolute insanity of giving yourself to anything else will become apparent. Why wait? Why put off your own complete and total liberation? In your innermost and outermost places, in every single moment, Love waits for you everywhere. Is there really something else you would rather do? Is it possible that the thing that you fear the most, the thing that you avoid the most, is what you truly desire the most? It cannot abandon you. Even if you choose to ignore It, betray It and walk away, It is always closer than your next breath. Suspend all opinion and debate, and find out for yourself.



The True Path Is the One that Works  -Scott Morrison

There is some irony in the apparent fact that where honesty and
clarity are most needed, they may seem so compromised, confused, and
elusive. In truth, there is no path, no road, and no separate one to
walk it. These are just a metaphors for reality -- the dharma,
satsang, how it is, how it works -- such that "the way" is also the
destination. Concerning this issue of spiritual awakening and
liberation, there are many people with varying degrees of purity,
skill, and understanding from both East and West, from traditional to
contemporary, who are essentially selling water by the river. There
is also sometimes a kind of subtle competition with other people who
are doing the same thing, and perhaps considerable alarm if someone
comes along who is giving the water away, to say nothing of those who
are telling people about the river. This may be inevitable, given the
dualistic nature of thought, as well as the mind's tendency to think
only in terms of its own motives and repeat belief and opinion prior
to investigation.

At some point, for a variety of reasons, we may identify with a
particular religion or organization or path, perhaps because, to some
degree at least, it offers some useful insights and/or group support.
Further, there may be a charismatic teacher, or peer pressure or
encouragement, or maybe we're just tired of looking, and here are
some people who seem to have at least some of the critical answers.
At a certain stage for many people, this process may be helpful, so
long as the motives of the student are pure and remain pure. It is
important to keep in mind, however, that even if it is uncorrupted,
no one designs a given "spiritual path" or methodology specifically
for you. At best, those means may reflect the insights and
understandings and patterns of the particular person or people who
put them together. However, ultimately, sooner or later, the real
question persists: What is "the true way?"

The true way is, simply put, the one that works. No one else can find
it out for you. You must discover it yourself. Satsang, the dharma,
the truth that liberates, is not yours unless you have investigated
and verified it so thoroughly that there is no longer any doubt. Even
genuine mystical paths eventually deliver you to this point, and then
the rest is completely up to you. You must be the pure scientist, the
pure artist, and the pure mystic. Otherwise, some water-down, pre-
packaged institutional version will prevail. You must look with your
own eyes, hear with your own ears, observe, and consider very
carefully with your own heart. Then, and only then, can you speak
with your own voice.

The requirements are simple and non-negotiable: a rigorous,
uncompromising, unrelenting and irreversable commitment to direct
observation and honesty, as well as an absolute willingness to be
transformed, completely, by what is discovered to be real and true.

There is also one other that is most helpful, and a perfect and
direct reflection of spiritual surrender itself: an unconditional
willingness to support others in that process.

From There Is Only Now
by Scott Morrison



 "The word "enlightened" simply refers to life without a past or a future,
life without self-centered fantasy (all of which is made up of nothing
but memory). Sex fantasies, romantic fantasies, money fantasies, power
fantasies, political fantasies, prestige fantasies, security fantasies,
control fantasies - there is no reality, no love, and no freedom in any
of them. Stop indulging in that kind of escapist daydreaming, and you
will suddenly realize that you are the world, all of it unfolding,
moment-by-moment. You are the whole thing, and every sight, every sound,
every smell, taste, feeling, thought, experience and circumstance,
everything that takes birth, lives out its life, and dies, is you. The
idea of separate identity, whether neurotic or grandiose, with all of
its competitive and conflicting desires, using people, judging or
blaming yourself or other people, none of it makes sense anymore. In
fact, the memory of all such activity breaks your heart." -Scott Morrison


To be awake is to be unconditionally open to all that is. It is to be completely without prior
opinion or assumption about anything. To stay awake is to surrender, totally, to unedited and
unrestricted awareness, to abandon the pretense of both past and future.

~~Scott Morrison.


    "There is a lot of confusion over this imaginary goal, this spiritual concept referred to as enlightenment. So let's clear it up, once and for all. It has nothing to do with some future, hoped-for experience. To imagine that it does is just the play of spiritual desire and self-centered escapism, of mental commentary, memory, and fantasy, based on what has been read or heard. To be enlightened is simply to be absolutely, unconditionally intimate with this moment."

No past.
No future.

Open Mind.
Open Heart.

Complete attention.
No reservations.

That's all.

Scott Morrison


Scott Morrison's list: Recommended Reading and Listening

Investigative, Meditative, and Experiential Approaches

Editor's Note: It is useful to remember that books are simply dried ink on paper, offering ideas, instructions, stories, explanations, inspiration, from the mind and heart of the author. When you pick up a book, you are sharing with the author your greatest possession - your time. All books, and this is particularly true of the list below, are best read with great attention, healthy skepticism, passionate curiosity, sincerity, and care. Suspend both belief and disbelief, be unflinchingly loyal to the process of truth, and your rewards in exploring the books below will be truly extraordinary. If you are especially diligent, honest, and willing to be intimate in that most sacred of places, where you are now, you will find yourself putting down the book from time to time, for a moment of great purity and exquisite beauty - an open heart and an open mind.

Suggested Exploratory List



"That's the remarkable thing, isn't it?  Enlightenment is ruthlessly intelligent.  Peace
doesn't get involved in any of the details -- one's historical, moral, religious, spiritual,
racial, political, educational, or social background and so on.  Not one iota.  Wisdom
cares nothing about these things.  Freedom only knows of this one eternally present
moment.  That makes it all very, very simple -- no need to complicate it.  With no
historical or future entaglements, there is just this one immediate choice:  Are you
completely willing TO BE that which you say you love and revere, no matter what the
circumstances?  No pause, no hesitation, no deliberation.  If you say yes and proceed to
speak or think or act in a way that contradicts it, then it begs the question, are you
serious about this?  This simple question, "The way you are living this instant, does it
work?" is profoundly useful.  If it isn't working, then what will it take?

If we are not wisdom, if we are not freedom, if we are not serenity this very instant,
then what good is any of this?  If we are, then in our very being here, we offer the most
precious and joyful gift in the world to everyone around us.  Infinitely more than
thousands of philosophies or religions, or millions of words.  It's that simple.

from openmindopenheart dialogues  Scott Morrison




"Life is, by nature, constant flow and interaction of numberless elements. Nothing ever stays the
same, even from one moment to the next.

Everything is on its way to becoming something else, and therefore, nothing can be held onto. If
you see this clearly, if you consider and examine this deeply and fully, then letting go is the
only thing left to do. How can you hold on? What is there to hold onto?

"So the art of spiritual surrender is really the art of not knowing. Then it doesn't make any
difference at all whether you are walking down the street or eating lunch or responding to your
email or making love or sitting alone on your couch. This is the first and last time you will ever
be doing this. If you truly understand that, it changes everything."

~ Scott Morrison ~


 If you dare to give your heart, your soul, your mind, your
body, and your life, unconditionally, to what you discover
to be true, you will know an infinitely deep and abiding
peace that has never been even a breath away.

This bliss, this tranquility depends on nothing, and It is
not capable of ending. Furthermore, it doesn't make a bit
of difference what you've ever done... or not done. You
can put an end to the battle. Yes, that's correct, just
walk right out of the war, right now. All you have to do is
surrender, absolutely and completely, not to me, not to some
authority figure, or some organization or institution, but
surrender only to your own deepest Purity.

God and your own Unbounded Love are not different. If you
truly give yourself up completely, it will shock your whole
system. It will suddenly dawn on you,

"Oh my God, what a fool I've been! What was I thinking?"

Then the absolute insanity of giving yourself to anything
else will become apparent. Why wait? Why put off your own
complete and total liberation? In your innermost and
outermost places, in every single moment, Love waits for you
everywhere. Is there really something else you would rather
do? Is it possible that the thing that you fear the most,
the thing that you avoid the most, is what you truly desire
the most? It cannot abandon you. Even if you choose to
ignore It, betray It and walk away, It is always closer than
your next breath. Suspend all opinion and debate, and find
out for yourself.

From There Is Only Now by Scott Morrison



Question: How very interesting to realize that all our so-called pain and sufferings are really eye openers. Probably if one goes beyond this dual game of joy and sorrow, happiness and unhappiness, then one might end the turmoil. I feel so. Then there is no anguish.

Well, I will think about my response. I think I only will have to accept people and situations as they are without manipulating, condemning. For this, the thought process has to undergo a mutation. I wonder how this is going to be! I wonder sometimes why I dont get a hang of certain things. Is it because I still struggle?

Answer: It may be embarrassing to admit it, but there seems to be some kind of masochistic pleasure in the struggle, the drama, the suspense, the intrigue. But sooner or later, even that pleasure, that security of knowing in advance, that predictability has faded into repetition, monotony, self-loathing, and boredom.

When you are completely fed up with it, temporary gratifications, self-centeredness, ambitions, hopes, intrigues, competitions, worries, agonies, sorrows and all, then you may be ready to let it all die, including the one who is at the center, the star of the movie, tragic or ludicrous or whatever. To let the "known," which is limited, completely die, is to make room for the unknown, which includes the known, but is infinitely larger and unpredictable and alive and clear and vibrant with energy! The unknown includes everything and literally has no boundaries, and it does not stay the same from one instant to the next.

To let go of the known, to let it die, including the separate and ficticious mental "self" around which all of its activities revolve, is to come to terms with the simple and obvious fact that it does not exist, except in memory and fantasy. That memory and fantasy is none other than the endless ambition to become something better, to acquire something better, to make something better happen, and to hold on to what you are pretending you own and control. When even the feelings and sensations associated with this repetition are no longer enough, then you will realize you have nothing to lose. That could be in ten or twenty years, or it could be later on this week, or it could be right now. It's up to you.

- Scott Morrison



We don't *have* awareness, we *are* awareness. And awareness *is*
love. When it is wide open, when it is not fixated on some narrow and
contrived identity, some narrow craving, argument, irritation, or fear,
the nature of awareness is unconditionally affectionate, tender,
sensitive, and compassionate. Advaita Vedanta, Christian meditation,
the Buddhadharma, Kabbalah, Vipassana, Tibetan Dzogchen, Zen practice,
Sufi practice, and all true forms of mysticism, at their very best, are
simply doors to this discovery. The radical, unconditional mercy of Jesus,
the uncorrupted compassion and understanding of the Buddha - these are
just metaphors for your own pure heart, the core of your own being.
Yours, mine, everyone's.

Scott Morrison



 You Are the World

Yesterday we went into the difference between concepts and reality. In the course of that, we discovered that there is no such "thing" as Texas. Today, we are going to expose the simple fact that there is no such thing as you either, whoever you are.

You and I are not different from Texas. When you investigate carefully, to see if you can locate your "self," all you find is a flow of thoughts and images and ideas and opinions and roles and scenarios and names and identities, all of it made up entirely of memory, and fantasy derived from memory, accompanied by a flow of bodily sensations -- again, muscular contractions and other feelings -- giving you concrete referents (physical anchors), but no solid, separate, stable "you" to be found anywhere.

Furthermore, in discovering that you are nobody, you also discover that you are everything. That is to say, you can, in any given moment,distinguish between your hand and your foot and your head and your house and your car and the earth and the sky and so on, but close investigation reveals that those are all a part of you. In other words, there is no part of you that is separate from any other part, any more than you can separate your head from your body or your heart or your blood stream. They are all parts of the same thing. Different parts, yes, but not separate.

In reality, every living cell in your body is made up entirely of things you normally think of as "outside of yourself," that is, continuous interactions between water (clouds, rain, streams, rivers, ground water, etc.), plants, animals, minerals from the soil, sunshine, an ovum from your mother, a sperm from your father, genetic structures from both of them as well as their parents and so on and on. In other words, everything is related to and constantly interacting with everything else. Physics tells us this. Biology and ecological sciences tell us this. Psychology also tells us this. But far and away, much more important, is that direct observation will reveal, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that nothing is, or can be, separate from anything else. And that includes everything we think of as us.

The beauty of this very radical realization is that, once you actually see it, feel it, discover it for yourself, you can stop pretending you are somehow this isolated, lonely, fragile little ego, suspended as if in solitary confinement, with its own private life and its own problems and longings and fears and regrets and disappointments and resentments and frustrations and worries and so on. In other words, there is no private you, and there is no private life. (It only seems that way, because when we are thinking about whatever we, at the time, imagine to be ourselves, nobody's watching.)

Please don't make the tragic mistake of reducing this to a philosophy -- something you agree with, or perhaps have a problem with, and so on. Find out directly, beyond any question! You have an opportunity to put a stop, once and for all, to this shallow, silly, neurotic misunderstanding.

You are the world. You are the universe. You are the Infinite Consciousness into which all worlds and all experiences arise and disappear. Are you big enough and bold enough to embrace all that you are, to embrace your own Pure, Infinite Being?

- Scott Morrison

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