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#3139 - Thursday, April 17, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz

Nonduality Highlights -      

Something for everyone: the extremely nondual, the pop culture nondual, mock chopped liver, and the mainstream nondual.  

included is Joni Mitchell's Sixties confession:

"But now old friends are acting strange. They shake their heads, they say I've changed."  

And Rodney Stevens' 2008 declaration that "Enlightenment ... is an antiquated and nearly laughable term."

  Between those two, this issue flows.    


by John Wheeler

Reviewed by Rodney Stevens

Taking his cue from Gaudapada's Mandukya Karika ("This Brahman is the higest truth--where nothing is born"), John gifts us with his fourth collection of dialogues.

The Q&As, which form the middle portion of this glorious work, are a treasure-trove of pristine responses and taintless Advaitic principles. The concluding sections offer penetrating "Pointers" and an in-depth interview with John. This is the first time that he has published such an interview, and it is gratifying indeed.

Gratifying too are "The Basics," at the start of the book. There, under various headings, we are presented not only with a splendid introduction to John's understanding, but to nonduality itself. Just to pluck a simple but thoroughly delectable tidbit: "The purpose of non-duality spirituality is self-knowledge." It is not to meditate, to pontificate, to be silent, or to be a buttress for propagating more questions, as seekers are given to do. It is to discover one's presence, here and now.

How? The author writes, "Clarify the fundamentals completely so there is no doubt left about who and what you are." That "what" is particularly precious, and John isn't just throwing it out there. For when you recognize awareness directly, you see that that is what you are. The who and I are mere fictions, idiomatic conveniences that allow us to communicate with one another and to go about our supposed lives. (Actually, there is only one "life," and that is beingness).

John continues to fine-tune his writing and teaching, though I hasten to add there is no evolution here. In addition to putting even more importance on the fundamentals these days, he rarely utters to the word "awakening" anymore, which is perfectly fine. I continue to use it, making it clear to whomever I am speaking that there is simply no person to awaken. There is simply this presence of awareness, which is--at once--immediate and beginingless, subtle and profound. "Enlightenment," however, is an antiquated and nearly laughable term that continues to be used by posturing gurus, academics, and teachers who themselves aren't self-realized.

Once again, Julian Noyce, that ingenious publisher of Non-Duality Books, has produced an impeccable trade paperback. The classic design and layout are precisely in keeping with John's earlier titles.

Quibbles? Only that Annette Nibley's commendable Preface was published (on Amazon, I believe) in 2006. A fresh Foreword--by either Nibley or someone one who is alive to John's writings and who has awakened through his pointers--would have been more fitting for this 2007 publication.

YOU WERE NEVER BORN can be ordered directly from the publisher (  ) or at the following Amazon link:


Rodney Stevens--who lives in South Carolina and who awakened through John's writings--can be contacted for talks and workshops at: [email protected]

      "But now old friends are acting strange. They shake their heads, they say I've changed."   We've never posted the lyric to this great self-realization song.  

Both Sides, Now   
by Joni Mitchell  

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I've looked at clouds from both sides now

From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As ev'ry fairy tale comes real
I've looked at love that way

But now it's just another show
You leave 'em laughing when you go
And if you care, don't let them know
Don't give yourself away

I've looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It's love's illusions I recall
I really don't know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say "I love you" right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I've looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I've changed
Well something's lost, but something's gained
In living every day

I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all
Copyright 1969; Siquomb Publishing Company    

Something for Passover...

Vera Mirkin's No-Liver Chopped Liver

Our mother is 102 years old, so she must be doing something right!

3 onions, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 hard boiled eggs
1 cup walnuts
cayenne and salt to taste
(you may add other seasonings if you wish)

Saute the onions in oil until soft. Combine with the remaining ingredients and process in a food processor until smooth. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Yield: about 3 cups



Alice A. Chestnut has sent some quotes:  

The gift you offer another person is just your being.  ~ Ram Dass  

s we willingly enter each place of fear, each place of deficiency and insecurity in ourselves, we will discover that its walls are made of untruths, of old images of ourselves, of ancient fears, of false ideas of what is pure and what is not.  ~ Jack Kornfield  

When an old culture is dying, the new is created by a few people who are not afraid to be insecure.  ~ Rudolf Bahro

You can think of the groundlessness and openness of insecurity as a chance that we're given over and over to choose a fresh alternative.  Things happen to us all the time that open up the space.  This spaciousness, this wide-open, unbiased, unprejudiced space is inexpressible and fundamentally good and sound.  It's like the sky.  ~ Pema Chodron, "Practicing Peace in Times of War"

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