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#3207 - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz

Nonduality Highlights - 

Once I got fired from a job and my boss told me to go home. I said, “Could I stop and get a sandwich first?”

Wait, I’m going somewhere with this.

The word “stumbling” is often seen in spiritual teachings. Stumbling implies a vertical presence cropping up in the midst of your horizontal walk. It’s like a bolt of lightning. It’s vertical. Or it is like the descent of a dove. It is nowhere in the vision of the horizontal walk. You have to be struck by it, or struck down by it, or experience the descent, whatever is most meaningful. It — this vertical presence, this bolt of Grace — has to be stumbled upon. You can’t say, “Oh here comes the dove. I’ll let it descend on me, but first I’m gonna stop at Quiznos.”

When you get “fired” from your old life, you pretty much have to head straight “home.” Or perhaps it is suddenly realized you are already there. There’s no stopping for anything on the way.

Here are some people who have talked about stumbling (most of these quotes are from past Highlights!):

“Just keep in mind the feeling ‘I am’, merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling ‘I am’. Whatever you think, say, or do, this sense of immutable and affectionate being remains as the ever-present background of the mind.” Nisargadatta Maharaj

It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” Joseph Campbell (perhaps quoting another source; unconfirmed)

Emmylou Harris has an album, Stumble Into Grace.

“You don’t find truth as much as you stumble upon it when you have cast away your illusions.” Adyashanti

Maybe this is what Paul Simon means when he says, "bouncing into Graceland."

“I myself do not know how I stumbled into this so how do you expect me to give it to another? My mission, if there is any, is to debunk every statement I have ever made. If you take seriously and try to use or apply what I have said you will be in danger.” U. G. Krishnamurti

“After stumbling, and nearly falling, I stopped, and then, to my delight, I suddenly became the Native American Shaman, Medicine Bear. The change was immediate.” Tyberonn

How do you know you’ve stumbled? f you’re stopping for a sandwich on the way to an anticipated stumbling, you've got it wrong. But you never know. The sandwich could make everything right. The Kabbalah says

“Whoever delves into mysticism cannot help but stumble, as it is written: ‘This stumbling block is in your hand.’ You cannot grasp these things unless you stumble over them." The Essential Kabbalah, Daniel C. Matt

Lyric to Graceland:

Jerry Katz

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