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Jerry Katz
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#3480 - Monday, March 23, 2009 - Editor: Gloria Lee

The Nonduality Highlights -     

Introduction to Poetry  

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.


by Billy Collins

from The Apple That Astonished Paris. University of Arkansas Press, 1996

Yes, indeed.
I share your view with regard to multiple forms of expression.
Because Wordsworth wrote a beautiful poem about daffodils doesn't mean that no one can write a poem in their own way about daffodils.
Being open to all forms of such expression, I think is the essence of true non-duality. There is one form of non-dual teaching around that more or less says "this is the best and only way it can be said" - which to me invalidates it ... because non-duality is Open ... it is not closed.
I, for one, welcome your approach, because we all need to be awake to where our own personal unique talents lie, and to encourage and be encouraged to find our true and natural expression in whatever way is right for us. The universe is a multifarious thing/no-thing ... and there is never only one way of things being done. All that human beings need to realise, I feel, is that "yes, it is right that this other fellow says something completely opposite to me, and I defend his right to do so ... as long as he is not causing suffering through holding and expressing his view". Opinions are opinions, and even the most self-realised people have opinions. It's just that they are not attached to them like most people are.

- Roy Whenary

You're More Than You're Cracked Up to Be

When self-centeredness comes to an end, we discover not that our “self” has ceased to exist but that the self is not what we thought. The self is no longer an inner sanctum of private experience or a narrow set of personal needs or expectations. Our world is our self, rather than our self being our world. Rather than constantly trying to impose our self onto life, we realize that all of life is who and what we are. Or, as Dogen put it: “To carry the self forward and illuminate myriad things is delusion. That the myriad things come forth and illuminate the self is awakening.

– Barry Magid, from Ordinary Mind (Wisdom Publications)

We think we know what the result of awakening will be - namely a lessening of pain. So we make up stories - a story that we must say ‘yes’ to everything, that acceptance will help us awaken. A story that things will be easier if we awaken, that we will love unconditionally if we awaken; that our lives will be smoother, happier. If we awaken. We make up a story that we are drawn to truth. We make up a story that our yearning is opening our hearts. Ha! All this thinking is just a mind crying out for a good therapist. 

If you are unhappy or unfulfilled or not at peace, then I would suggest you see such a person - she will probably be of far more help than some self-proclaimed teacher touring around giving ’satsang’ and helping you dream nicer dreams.

Awakened state, unawakened state … such things are the storybooks of children. Look around - do the animals spend time wondering about an imagined God, a Nirvana, a state of happiness, a oneness with all? Have a little humility my dear friend - notice that you are not as clever as the gentle little field mouse who lives quietly in the grasses and never for a moment wonders about becoming one with the universe. She just lives and is. She does not need or think of the pretensions of evolving, of gain, of being something, or of attaining. For her this moment is it - everything and everyone appears and recedes into and out of her own quiet awareness. She just lives. Really - isn’t all this talk and more talk of awakening just a small death you are giving yourself? Isn’t this imagined answer to all your problems blinding you to what is here, now? If you are unhappy or lack peace, see a therapist. Or perhaps quiet and free, with pain or without it, just be.


Forget everything.

The world is not wrong.
Thoughts are not wrong.
Family, work, play, are not wrong.
Distraction is not wrong.
It is not necessary to dissolve the world.
Forget such things, and be happy.

Striving or still, that which appears, appears.
Striving or still, that which does not appear, does not appear.
Forget such things, and be happy.

From activity comes desire.
From desire comes preference.
From preference comes attachment and detachment.
From attachment and detachment comes pain.
Forget such things, and be happy.

Meditation, holy sciptures, knowledge.
Freedom cannot be found from these.
Striving, accomplishment, attainment.
Freedom cannot be found from these.
Forget such things, and be happy.

From belief separation emerges.
From separation the concept 'I'.
From 'I' thought appears.
From thought the senses arise.
From senses the body is manifest.
From the body, the world.
Forget such things, and be happy.

What is this world?
What is happiness or sorrow?
What is knowledge or ignorance?
What is life or death, sleep or wakefullness?
What is wisdom or oneness?
What is the seeker, what is the found?
What is purity, what is impurity?
What is God, what is not?
What is existence, what is its absence?
What is bound, what is free?
What is space, what is eternity?
Forget such things, and be happy.

Nothing arises, nothing fades.
Forget imagined boundaries.
Forget imagined loss.
Forget what you think you are.
Forget nirvana.
Forget yourself.

Forget everything, and be happy.


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