Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:

Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day

Nondual Highlights: Issue #2905, Sunday, August 19, 2007, Editor: Mark


Adyashanti - dialogue evening satsang Aslilomar Feb 2007

S: So the other thing just recently, I picked up this book by
Bernadette Roberts and I'm just like stunned, like every page, and so
I guess one of my questions is she talks about no-ego and no-self and
she distinguishes those two and I think I always thought they were
the same thing. I wondered if you could...

Adyashanti: Well it does get into a bit of hair-splitting, I must
admit. It all depends on what people mean by those. Everybody means
something different as far as I can tell. I ask 10 people what's ego
and I give me 10 different responses. I'm sure Bernadette Roberts has
her definition of ego and her definition of ego is different from her
definition of self. So they're going to be different. But there's no
universal definition of either one. That's the difficulty of it all.
I mean I think she's making some very beautiful points in that book
about what she's seen, is very wonderful. It's very true. But when it
gets to the sort of fine distinctions between the subtleties of
definitions it gets very problematic because there is no such thing
as a universally agreed upon definition of either one. And she's kind
of assuming that there is.

S: Right.

A: And there really isn't.

S: It's like I picked up this book and this little voice inside
said 'uh-oh this is going to scare me.' Mostly because like I feel
there's this love affair with God going on.

A: Ah, okay, I got it.

S: And she talks about that even dropping away.

A: Yes.

S: And part of me is like 'Oh, my God, God has just swept me up.' And
now you're going to like take that away.

A: I know.

S: And something here is curious, like what's beyond even this.

A: Of course, that's the way you're hooked up. You're hooked up
reality, for all of what you really are and nothing less. And you
won't be stopped even if you bump into the best possible state you
can find. Eventually what you are is hooked up to come back
completely to itself no matter what that is. It's just the way the
whole thing works.

S: And yes that's what it feels like. It feels like swept away. I'm
being swept away and there's no choice.

A: Right, there isn't any choice. And you're right and you're
intuition is correct and you will lose your relationship with God.
It's correct. And I don't say that to diminish it. I can remember it.
It's wonderful, it's profound, its very transformational. It's about
the most extraordinary experience you can have. Right? No self is not
an extraordinary experience. In many ways it's the total ending of
extraordinary experiences. The problem is in the description of it,
all descriptions can only sound negative. If you're going to talk
accurately, they can only sound negative. But actually the happening
itself definitely isn't. It's far from it. In comparison you'd never
go back to anything. Even the best thing that ever happened to you. I
can guarantee you there will not be an impulse in you that would want
to go back to anything.

S: Like something just responds when you say that.

A: Cause you know that's the truth of you, knowing, okay it's got a
taste of this and you got yourself unified with reality or God,
right. That's just a conceptual way of saying it but its one way of
saying what happens, you got yourself so unified there's almost no
distinction between you and God. And it's wonderful. It's profound
and the best possible thing that can ever happen to you. And it's not
the end of the journey going nowhere. Right? Because the truth is
actually One so in One the time will come when there's not Union
because there isn't two.

S: Right.

A: We think the only way our minds are hooked up, can only conceive
when they hear someone say Oneness we can only think of Union. You
know like when I'm with my lover and we get so close and intimate and
we lose each other and it's like we're the same thing and everything
and that must be what Oneness is. Not even close! That's wonderful. I
like it as much as the next person but it's not the same thing. It's
One. One isn't close, One isn't Union, one isn''s One. Oh my God.

S: Yeah there's this curiosity here because I do see it embodied in a
couple of teachers I sit with at home and with you and yeah...

A: And that's why you're here. That's what brought you here. That's
the invitation. And of course there's the hesitation because like God
I love this yummyness. Geez this is just so great. And then there's
the part of you that knows, well you know,

S: This too shall pass.

A: This too and you're totally hooked up for truth and all-the-
wayness. And that's what's going to happen. That's what's going to
happen. And that's what is happening. That's why you're here. It's
already starting to happen, you see.

S: Can I ask you about one other thing?

A: Sure.

S: So I have been having what I call 'terror beyond terror'

A: Of course you are at this point.

S: And I'm not even sure if I need to ask anything about it. Like I
realize there's this idea going on that, every time it comes up which
is usually in the middle of the night or anywhere where it's totally

A: Right, right.

S: Right and there's no light. Like I'll wake up and 'void' is a word
I hear folks use, probably be appropriate and feeling of being

A: Uh-huh. Yeah.

S: And every time when I'm not in it I think, this time I'll meet it.
This time I won't like run for the light you know...

A: Right.

S: And it shows up and its...

A: I know, I know. And one of those times you won't. You can't plan
for it. You can't sike up for it. You already know the truth of it.
The truth is you don't know what's going to happen the next time. You
really don't. You never did. You can't prepare for it. You've tried
that. You've tried being ready. You've tried being 'I'll just let
go.' It doesn't work does it? Cause the truth is you never know. You
don't know. Right? But you can be assured, it's happening to you. The
invitation's coming. It will continue to come until the fruit is
ripe. Don't have any doubt that the invitations will continue. They
will continue. And the letting go will happen. Just not on your time

S: Right.

A: There's really nothing you can do to prepare for it. Right. It's
just the invitation. I knew it was already happening. I could feel
it. You feel the void and the self-fracturing and the 'me' is coming
unglued and God who wants to lose that cause that's the me that's
unified with God. That's the 'me' that's prostrated on the floor,
that's blessed out and at one with.No! And then something behind
there is like 'Yes.' Dragging, pulling, unceremoniously prodding.
That's' what I call 'fierce grace.' Right. You get the nice grace,
love and bliss and you know the heart openings and all that. It's
nice and you let go and you let go and you let go. You don't know
you're being prepared to really let go. And you don't know that for
most people nice soft grace usually doesn't do it. You've got to
have 'fierce grace.' And that greater intelligence knows when its
time to turn up the wick to 'fierce grace.' And you know it and it's
like 'void' 'disappearing selves and fracturing egos.

S: Thank you.

A: And its all as natural as the rain is.

S: Right as rain.

A: Right as rain, as predictable as rain. It's happened a hundred
thousand times before and it'll happen a hundred thousand times
again. It couldn't be more right.

S: Thank you so much.

A: You're welcome.

Epilogue: That's probably the greatest gift I think that she did in
those books is just making that subtle but important distinction
between a self or an ego that unified with God and a self that is no
more. It's a useful distinction. At a certain point. Well on that
wonderful note sweet dreams. (end of evening satsang)

- posted to adyashantigroup

top of page