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#3056 - Friday, January 25, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz



This issue is about Jeff Foster's new book and website. His website is at


Jeff's book is ...







(Ordering details below)




Often the question is asked “why attempt to express the inexpressible? Why try to use the words of duality to point to nonduality? Isn’t that just …  totally misleading?”


Well, the answer can only be given in words. But of course, as always, the answer is never “in” the words…


Oneness delights in its infinite expressions, its myriad manifestations, and words are simply a part of that perfectly balanced arising of the world, of the No-Thing appearing as a million apparently separate things. And of course, there is really no separation between Nothing and Everything at all. Separation is simply an illusion, and yet it is a perfectly appropriate illusion. And in a sense, as so many spiritual teachings tell us, the illusion exists only to be seen through, a seeing through which is total Freedom. (And yes, of course, that “freedom” can just be turned into another goal, another idea of what “this” should be like. It seems that’s all the mind can do: create and pursue goals, however “noble” those goals seem at the time.)


And that’s all absolutely wonderful, it’s all part of the play of form. The clear and direct message of nonduality does not deny or reject any aspect of the play. This is not about any sort of denial whatsoever. Oneness does not deny anything, because Oneness is everything. It is perfectly whole, already. Already complete. Already awake.


And the apparent separate person, the “individual”, struggles with these concepts. Indeed, that seems to be all an “individual” can ever do: struggle, search, suffer. Because the individual thinks he or she is separate from the whole. There is a belief in an “I” separate from the “world”. And in that separation, suffering takes root.  


But the suffering quietly, softly, gently whispers this:  dear friend, it is all illusory.


Suffering rests on the assumption that there is a separate person who suffers. And in liberation, when there is no solid “person”, it is seen with such clarity that this “person” never really existed in the first place, and suffering was always just a story, arising now. A story with an absent storyteller. And this is not to deny suffering. From the perspective of a separate person, suffering is very real, and out of compassion, Oneness rejects none of it. That is its nature: wholeness, unconditional love, and a joy with no name. And in the face of this apparent suffering, there is no “cold detachment”, not at all. No, there is appropriate movement, appropriate action. Effortlessly, Oneness meets Oneness, because really there are no “others” to help. The wonderful paradox of this.


Yes, this world is nothing but a great big, wonderful story, a brilliantly convincing dream. And every night, the body lies in bed, and the eyes close, and the world dissolves, which just goes to show how illusory the whole thing is!  But so perfect in its illusory nature! So many spiritual teachings seem to deny or reject this illusion, fuelling the illusion/reality dichotomy, which is simply another story. But no matter. All is allowed, all is perfectly appropriate. Until it’s not, and that’s when the teachings of nonduality might resonate.


And yes, all of these words are attempting to point to the ineffable, the inexpressible, to that which is totally beyond all words and concepts and beliefs.


And ultimately, yes, they are just words. Little squiggles on paper.


But somewhere beyond these words, there is a resonance, an energy that is so undeniable, so obvious. It’s nothing to do with the mind. And when this message is heard, there is no turning back. In the face of such clarity, such presence, the mind has no chance.


The clarity sits there, waiting for the mind to give up its incessant searching and striving. And what is revealed is an effortlessness, a joy without cause, a spontaneity and aliveness which destroy all past and future, and leave only the simplicity and ordinariness of this extraordinary world, illusory or otherwise. And then even the extraordinary/ordinary divide crumbles, and what is left is… well…


A freshly brewed cup of tea. Breathing. Cars beeping their horns outside. Just this, and nothing more. And it’s so obvious: this is the clarity, the liberation that the individual self could never reach, because the individual self is just a thought. Just a thought. A harmless thought.


All harmless, all benevolent. And wordlessly, silently, Oneness offers itself, asking nothing of “you”. There are no requirements, no prescriptions, nothing more that needs to be done, although all sorts of “doing” may happen, or not. There is no choice in it. This is absolute Grace, and it’s what you are. Welcome home, dear, dear friend.




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