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Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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#3014 - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

Nonduality Highlights -    

This issue includes another reader's submission, this time by Ben Wolfe, who kindly wrote us, "in appreciation, a year and a half later. This is a post I just sent to the sufimystic list." But first, a couple of quotes chosen in appreciation of what Ben has to say.        

If there were any object, any doctrine, that could be given to you to hold
on to or understand, it would reduce you to bewilderment and
externalism. It's just a spiritual openness, with nothing that can be
grasped; it is pure everywhere, its light clearly penetrating, outwardly
and inwardly luminous through and through.

-Te-shan From Teachings of Zen, edited by Thomas Cleary

posted to Wisdom-l by Mark Scorelle  


It speaks to me in the silence of this one

By Fakhruddin Iraqi
(? - 1289)

English version by William Chittick and Peter Lamborn Wilson


It speaks to me in the silence of this one
then through the words of that one speaking;

it whispers to me through an eyebrow raised
and the message of an eye winking.

And do you know what words it breathes into my ear? It says,

          "I am Love: in heaven and earth I have no place;
          I am the Wondrous Phoenix whose spoor cannot be traced.

          With eyebrow-bow and arrow-winks I hunt
          both worlds -- and yet my weapons cannot be found.

          Like the sun I brighten each atom's cheek;
          I cannot be pinpointed: I am too manifest.

          I speak with every tongue, listen with all ears,
          but marvel at this: My ears and tongue are erased.

          Since in all the world only I exist
          above and below, no likeness of me can be found."


from Fakhruddin Iraqi: Divine Flashes (Classics of Western Spirituality) , by William Chittick / Nasr Seyyed Hossein

Poetry Chaikhana Home


  Chaos and Transcendence posted to SufiMystic by Ben Wolfe

Some Sufis teach that it is the interplay and convergence between the
individuated consciousness and the universal/transcendent consciousness that
is the highest development of both the human being and of God.


I'd love to hear more about this Hafizullah. It's certainly where the greatest sense of mystery, of discovery, of delight and of play are in my life.
Whatever has been pulling me, towards whatever it is I'm learning, is located at this boundary.

One of my two favourite books, prior to becoming conscious of whatever-it-is-we're-doing-in-this-group was "Chaos: Making a New Science", by James Gleick. Chaos (apologies for the lesson to the many who probably share the interest) is the ordered, self-regenerating, dynamic and yet utterly unpredictable patterning found at the heart of many natural processes, and especially under 'boundary conditions.'

It's a creative force. It produces astounding beauty. It's impossible to see the world in the same way after taking this way-of-looking in: it breaks down perceptual walls and habits in much the same way as Zen. It's been called one of the three things twentieth century science will be remembered for, along with quantum physics and relativity.

the interplay and convergence between the
individuated consciousness and the universal/transcendent consciousness

From a chaos point of view, it is no surprise that this interplay, which mixes levels, which should not be describable, which should not (to the linear and rational mind) exist -- not only does exist, but is at the centre of existence.

It's where reality "folds back on itself" in infinite regress. The "still point" is here, the "pregnant void," the "nothing that is everything." It's a place of pure connection, the lovely, exhilarating, endlessly surprising paradox of "knowing" that nothing can be known, and that the you who is doing the knowing does not exist.

I was a whitewater canoeist (I could say "am", but I don't get out nearly enough). A river sweeps round a bend or obstacle, and water turns back upstream to fill the space. There's a boundary line between the downstream and upstream flow. If the force of the flow around or over an obstacle is powerful, there can be a ferocious wave, standing in place on this line.

One of the games canoeists play is to surf this wave. It's one of the fiercest points in the river, where its forces meet, and you can edge in from the downstream side and sit perfectly still in the midst of the chaos, and hold your paddle in the air and do absolutely nothing.

This is just a single "folding back," of forces playing on themselves, and it's a high that has people donning wetsuits and helmets and risking their safety when the ice is barely off the river. This high is just a pointer to the experience of surfing the boundary between levels of consciousness. That, in turn, is just a single step toward falling into the infinite regress.

I love the Nisargadatta quotation: "Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing.' Between the two, my life flows."

It captures this for me.

In the same paragraph, Nisargadatta says:

"I call this capacity of entering other focal points of consciousness, love; you may give it any name you like. [...] Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and the object of experience, I express it by saying that I am both, and neither, and beyond both."

I think this place is the source, the nature, not only of nirvana, moksha, fanaa, but also of creativity, of limitless psychological healing. Art, spirituality and psychology meet here. (So, I suspect, does physics.)

The self dissolves, and becomes pure interconnection, pure openness.

Another of my favourite quotations is from Byron Katie, I transcribed it from a sample recorded session of her process 'The Work':

"Who would I be without my story? In that moment is where I create, it's where God and I [or, "god and i"] are without separation."

This is one of my own favourite poems, one of the first I showed anyone else. Gloria Lee published it in Nonduality Highlights, about a year and a half ago, under a pseudonym I gave her for the part of me that was having these experiences, in words that couldn't be stopped. The process was too precious, too fragile and too clearly and overwhelmingly "not in any meaningful way mine" to dare attach my name to. .

it has to do with calculus with breaking free of the need to see that one last step the one that is infinitely small as needing to be measured and divided in its turn it is zeno's paradox we have puzzled it for 2500 years circling the point at times infinitely close reaching for reunion with the whole while always steps beyond counting away as far as when we began kept at bay by this mind-made trick that makes us stop to carve one last small digital divide between us and the welcome waiting on the other side
(There are tiny changes in this version.)

As with other things I've posted to this group, I have no idea whether the images, the metaphors, the connections, the experiences, (I'm still very new to trying to describe or, better, "speak from") are common to any or many others.


(By the way, my other 'favourite book' alongside "Chaos" was (and is) a children's story, full of paradox, puns, impossible quests, challenges to identity, awakening wonder, the attempt to see infinity and zero ... and then a 'hero's journey' to rescue the twin princesses of sweet Rhyme and pure Reason from their joint prison, in The Castle in the Air. Buy it for every child you love who's over about 8, maybe even younger, and then don't explain anything. It's a cheap paperback, called "The Phantom Tollbooth," by Norton Juster, and illustrated, as a bonus, by Jules Feiffer.)

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