Jerry Katz
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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #355

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There is beauty in the range of manifestation we all are, but also beauty
in the profound truth that we aren't at all.


...The Inuit have 200 words for snow. They have a word for snow
that really describes the sky as snow is forming, and a word
for snow that describes its quality when it is melting and
evaporating back into air.

Evaporation is like the death, the deep sleep of snow. That
is a state of all-aliveness and union. Snowflake formation
is like life or the awakening from the deep sleep of snow.
It is a state of separation, identification.

Reality is water in whatever form. Water is all that
matters; it's all that's real. None of its forms stands for
a greater truth than another, because any one of its forms
is 100% water. Water is a universal symbol for Truth. Now
I'm only 75% water. That's because I'm 25% bad ass as can


To me, events are like the corns of sand on the beach - no one
is the same as the other, yet all are corns of sand. When only
a sandcastle is seen it is called "experience" but when the
corns can be seen as the smallest building blocks, events are
arising and subsiding. In the course of events, the ocean will
flatten out any sandcastle :)

A useful analogy, Jan. The teacher is this Ocean.
The student is a sandcastle, and as the
sand disperses, is all grains of sand,
then none in particular.

The teaching is clarity, for those
who have 'eyes to see', not made of sand.

Enjoying sleep, the Sandman cometh -- to build castles
of sand, shrines to accumulations of experience,
halls to house 'survivors' continuing themselves
as best they can. Sand to form
hierarchies of experiencers in religion, politics,
entertainment and popular culture -- to build cities of
religiously accumulated wealth and position, cathedrals of
knowledge, and images that "immortalize" experiences and
the imagined and required collective and individual
"one who must be there" experiencing. So much energy
put into so many versions of the castle of sand,
so many versions of the castle floating in the air.



In the relative there is potential. In the versus there is power. If
there is one and one, there is two; between those two there is power,
potential. Of that power, is birthed the third.

The third is the one. This one that is the third, is the invisible
'holy ghost' or spirit; this represents consciousness, awareness,
mind. It is this invisible third which is of so much contention here
and elsewhere.

The third is the unmanifest; it is potential, and it always is
speaking to us. It is the voice of possibility; it is the possibility
of the conversion of power into presence. This third, invisible, is
the imagined component called 'soul'; it is our constant companion,
our goad, and our muse.

The potential of the third is the uncreate; it is a palpable force in
the lives of everyone. It is our bridge, our gateway, and it
comprises that which it speaks of. It is a miracle.

It is what is here, that trips the arrogant, and nourishes those who
hunger for what cannot be seen. It is universally applicable, yet it
cannot be measured or captured.

It can be sensed, as a presence, just beyond the left shoulder; it is
there, but rational mind denies it.

Each of us is the third, of our parents two. To be aware is to know
this; it is to be able to drop the identity given, and to be that
formless immortal. This is the opportunity which each of us is.

Our problems begin, upon need of making more real, the apparent
outer, than the inner. No resolution is found in the temporal; and
none is needed otherwise.

==Gene Poole==

Personal History

It all started with a Bad Agreement, but I hope I can be forgiven for
conceding my nothingness, for at the time I was but 2 years old.

Yes, I admit it; my impression was that I could escape 'their' wrath,
by acting as 'they' wanted me to act. Little did I know...

Over the subsequent years, I found that the 'style' which I had
adopted at home, was in serious conflict with the 'ways of the
world'. Indeed, it seemed that wherever I turned, I was the target
for all kinds of 'corrective measures', applied by various versions
of 'them'. The only consistency, was found in the basic contract;
specifically, that if I acted like they wanted me to act, I could
escape their wrath. A bit less naive now, I realized that to escape
'their' wrath, I would have to act in a multitude of ways, all
different, depending on circumstances of 'who' I was with.

Having boiled-down the essential agreement to this one line (act as
they want, to escape their wrath), I found it fairly easy to escape
wrath. Unfortunately, I also found that living in this constant state
of compromise, left little if any happiness for me, aside from the
feelings of relief resulting from escaping of wrath. I began
harboring resentment in serious amounts; I also began to seek
isolation, to be away from 'them', to avoid the taxing necessity of
play-acting. I found little happiness in being alone, but it was
better than risking wrath.

It was not long, before the pain of carrying multiple false-selves
began to weigh very heavily upon me. By now, I was into serious
avoidance, which itself led to accusations of 'irresponsibility', and
thus to accumulation of wrath, and thus more resentment. Alas, I
found myself within a spiraling vortex, being sucked down the drain,
as it were. My reaction was to cling ever-more tightly to the straw
of identity, thus to avoid drowning in that disorienting turbulence.

To counteract this life of agony, I found drugs. By medicating
myself, I could have a time of peace, all for myself. This was a
major revelation; I became a serious student of drugs, to the purpose
of discovering which drugs could provide the greatest and
longest-lasting peace. The public media was full of news of LSD,
reputed to be a 'one-stop solution' to suffering of all kinds;
naturally, I had to try it.

My first acid experience was similar to tripping over the top step of
the Empire-State Building, and tumbling down the entire long
staircase, all the way to the ground floor. It was too painful and
disorienting for words to describe. Sharing my disappointment with a
companion, I was told that I had encountered my own 'karma'; I was
told that I could have a good LSD trip, if I did preliminary work of
honest self-evaluation. I considered this advice, because it seemed
nonsense to take a drug, hoping for relief of suffering, only to have
suffering increased instead. It seemed to me that acid was too
volatile to be used for the relief of suffering.

I eventually realized that self-evaluation consisted of comparing
myself to something or someone. In this light, I sought those who
were reputed to be the 'best', to which to compare myself. In this
search, I eventually was told that Jesus is the best of the best, the
standard by which all 'men' are to be judged. My next step was to
'become a Christian' of the born-again type. Upon receiving this
status, I once again tried LSD. Unfortunately, I found myself
confronted by satan. Needless to say, this was a terrifying
experience; however, at the time, I saw myself as Christ, being
tempted by satan in the wilderness. My self-evaluation had indeed
worked; I was now Christ HimSelf. Certainly, I had overcome my karma!

Numerous LSD-trips later, I concluded that the whole thing was a
tossed salad of confusion and delusion. Unfortunately, I was the one
confused and deluded. And I was still 'acting like 'they' wanted me
to act', to avoid 'their' wrath. I was still accumulating resentment.
My only refuge was the secret island of identity on which I lived in
isolation; it seemed to me that really, nobody was able to see me or
visit me on my secret island. My safety had become a terrible
aloneness. But at least I was safe.


Much later, I attended a lecture by a Toltec Shaman. He stated that
our troubles begin upon the enactment of our first agreement. It
dawned upon me that he was correct; I was even able to remember the
essence of this first Bad Agreement, by which I had been bound ever
since. Upon this realization, I was able to understand that my island
of safety was an identity which was created as a refuge from the
wrath of others. I saw, in a flash, that as long as I carried this
identity, that I would be isolated, alone, miserable, confused, and
sauteed in resentment. And I realized that any identity would be
essentially similar, different by degree only.

Upon this insight, I resolved to let go of identity.

Letting go of identity necessitated the complete abrogation
(cancellation) of ALL agreements, including the very first one. I
discovered that the first agreement was made, for the purpose of
adapting to parental 'values', thus to assure my acceptance as a
member of family.

How can I describe the consequences of this letting go of agreement
and identity? Suddenly, I was in a featureless neutral void. There
was no stimuli of any kind. I had a very brief moment of
disorientation; in that moment I felt myself spasmodically reach for
the security of identity, an impulse which I cancelled as soon as I
felt it arise. The resulting feelings were unfamiliar, but tolerable.
I learned to breath, in that void-space; that was the most important
thing at the time. I found that I had no needs of any kind. I found
that I am essentially what I define myself to be; I found that I
could ignore any arising impulse to define myself. I found my nature,
which surpasses any identity. Identity was seen as "...leaves on a
deciduous tree; they sprout, grow, wither and die".

Seeing the tree naked of leaves, I saw the underlying mechanisms
which generate meaning; I saw mind. Looking more closely, I saw the
roots of this mechanical tree, infiltrating globally, as is their
nature to do; I saw nothing wrong with that. I saw that I am not the
leaves, tree, roots, or globe. I saw that my nature is to contain or
encompass or 'understand' or better, to 'have' all of that.

I learned the taste of myself, myself undiluted by any factors
whatsoever. It is this taste which I now have, and if needed, can
recall at any time. It is a taste which cannot be imagined, known
only by experience.

I know that no matter what the taste one samples, that only the taste
of self will be recognized. I know that each person, no matter how
confused or deluded, will eventually experience this taste. I also
know that agreements and identity are unnecessary, but that it may
take a long life of experience to make this plainly clear.

No-one is doing anything 'wrong'. Errors or sins are evaluation and
are themselves symptomatic of lack of void. No relief of suffering is
to be found in other than void. Thought may be used productively if
it leads to letting-go into void. Thought can be used like the oars
of a rowboat, if needed.

Devoid of all meaning and metaphor, there is no conflict. Only memory
can identify the absence of conflict; it is the finest of arts to
remember conflict, without creating conflict. Joy is had, only by the
same method; only memory makes joy relevant or important. The memory
of joy, creates its opposite, unless this mechanism is understood.


It is possible to relate all of this in speech, devoid of style which
implies implicit or explicit agreement; it is possible to relate this
in the bare machine-language of neutral mind-machine. It is possible
to bring this forth from memory, and at the same time to allow it to
remain flat information. Any depth seen, is meaning implied by the

Void is limitless space with room for all. Void is my nature, and
that is all I can say about it.

Identity is optional; mind is a tool; consciousness is what arises
from the field of awareness which is my nature, which is void. All
form arises from nothing and returns to nothing; awareness is the
field in which form has its brief existence.

Awareness is antecedent of form, and awareness remains after form is
gone. Memory is a factor of consciousness, which is used to retain
form and to bring forth form from nothing. Identity is based in
memory, and is a recurring form, created from nothing. Identity need
not be re-created; essence of Being is void ("emptiness") and
perfectly serves, devoid of identity.

Running on empty,

==Gene Poole==

Thanks Gene!

I like the slant you give, that "our troubles begin upon the enactment of
our first agreement." That is the point when we take something upon
ourselves that was originally not in the picture, and put ourselves under
contract. There are even some libertarian political theories that say that
contracts are slavery, because you bind yourself now for a time in the
future, foregoing your freedom at that later time.

I like your moment of confident, radiant seeing, where you say

>I know that no matter what the taste one samples, that only the taste
>of self will be recognized. I know that each person, no matter how
>confused or deluded, will eventually experience this taste. I also
>know that agreements and identity are unnecessary, but that it may
>take a long life of experience to make this plainly clear.

This is beautiful! The taste of self is all that anyone does taste, even
now, even when there are experiences that seem to be contrary. A given
experience might be accompanied by lots of unpleasantness and a belief that
"this CAN'T be the self," but even this belief and all the grunginess are
the same taste, the taste of self. I agree, this will become clear - it is
one's unavoidable destiny, sooner or later. There are moments in
everyone's life where they receive the grace of a free sample of this clarity.

It sometimes happens in with the dying (sometimes it doesn't). Many people
kick and scream during the dying/grieving process. But then some of them
settle into this clarity and go out serenely with a smile, like a young
child dropping off to sleep.

I for one really like these histories, for the exact reason that they are
irrelevant to what we are. I love movies and novels as well. And like
Tim, my memory for the "Greg" story, a book on the bookshelf, a movie plot,
or any other narrative is quite poor.




American Beauty...

Hello friends,

On the front page of this website last year, there was a request for
people's opinions of this wonderful movie. I have really been
looking forward to a page devoted to some of the responses as there
was on the Matrix.

Was that project abandoned? Is there anywhere else on the web where
the non-duality of American Beauty has been mentioned? Everytime i
watch AB i am touched even deeper. I feel there is even more to it
than i am catching.

I think Ricky's camera symbolized the Impersonal Witness. What else
did anyone notice?


The scene where Ricky describes his experience when taping the red
bag is the most lucid expression of realization ever committed to
celluloid, imo.
...It's the scene where Ricky is showing Lester the video of the red
plastic grocery bag blowing in circles. Ricky describes his experience
of the taping of the bag, how he saw the inherent beauty in all things,
and how he found he *never* had to be afraid again.


Another cinematic realization scene that was exquisitely sweet imo was in
LIFE ON A STRING (1991), a Chinese movie directed by Kaige Chen. It's the
story of a blind banjo player who was told by his master that when he broke
the 100th string on his banjo, he would be able to see. At a very late
age, he did get to the 1000th string, and *what* he saw actually made me
weep for joy for about 20 minutes!


My favorite line from the movie came at the end.

"I'm grateful for every moment of my stupid little life."

Smiling Quietly

Peace - Gratitude - Michael

Ahh, indeed, a tremendous, tremendous movie. Absolutely deserving of
every award and nomination it received. I didn't think it
particularly "nondual" as compared to many other movies (any movie
may be viewed from a "nondual" standpoint of one sort of another),
but your mileage may vary.

For my review on the IMDB, go here:


Thanks for bringing this up, Rick. I have to see American
Beauty again. The last lines of the movie were most nondual,
I recall.

Speaking of movies, I saw 'Being John Malkovitch' on video
last night. It was fun and interesting, but missed all kinds
of opportunity to demonstrate nondual perspective. It
settled for being surreal, arty and humorous.

Also saw Boys Don't Cry. Based on a true story, it is very
much worth seeing for its excellent acting and social



The day my dad died I was cranky with him. I wanted him
to hurry up so I could go out with my friends and talk
about all my realizations for the week.

The day after he died I felt bad. At one point I asked
him to forgive me. In that moment I realized I needed
to forgive him. We were together in forgiveness. He
was really there with me and all was forgiveness.
None of the other stuff mattered at all. It was all
just nothing. I was in my heart. Way different than
being in my head talking about being in my heart.


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