Jerry Katz
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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #368

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Does not remove
The burden of memory

But denial
And that is pain

Is pain of denial
Better than the pain
Of what is denied?

Pain is unpleasant
We turn away from pain
What then, do we face?

Can we face our denial
Without pain
If facing denial removes pain?

What is denied
Compressed in memory
Becomes stimulating pressure

Pressure imparts movement
Movement away from pain
Away from painful others

Cheer is denial's companion
Outer face smiles
Inner face weeps

Other's weeping reminds
And threatens the lid of denial
Thus forced cheer in compensation

"If you don't bring it up
I can keep it down
Let's cooperate!"

Thus stuffed,
We march on
Cheerfully pressured

Looking for Big Answers
Prescribed by Big Guys
For Big Problems

Losing ourselves
In maps of meaning
The blurring is deadening comfort

Let not clarity dawn
Let not denial be seen
Let not pain be released

Let the games continue
For fear of the True Answer
Which dependably arrives at last.


Trading doubt for wonder.
It is time.
Time that I eat like breakfast,
that sustains me,
that my body is made of,
my blood.

He that I am forgives him that I was.
I live where my word has been before me.
Lay that word on my tongue.
Let me keep yes and no unsplit.
Don't let me talk my eyes into blindness.
Blue sky of which heaven?
This world AND the other.

the slouching happy body
rambles around,
enjoying the smell
of its own dung.

in love,



I was a bee,
In every way
You think I'm crazy?

Then I was a tree,
Slow, quiet, roots so cool,

Once my whole Universe
was nothing more than a corner
where spiders weren't.
My whole fucken Universe!

What's the differnce
between that and life.

Do you know what I mean?




Human beings have no independent or autonomous existence
whether they accept the fact or not. And whether they like
it or not, they are being helplessly lived within the vast
totality of an imponderably intricate creation over which
the have absolutely no control. --Balsekar


What follows is dedicated to my 80 year old mother who
often refers to herself in the third person as "the old
lady" (also the name she fondly calls her aged dog). Love
may often seem fragile and fleeting and we wonder how it
can survive in this crazy world, but I know it is stronger
than all the difficulties and obstacles that can ever be
put in its way, because I have known my mother. This is a
part of D.T. Suzuki's introduction to the Japanese No play,
"Yama-uba," in his words:

Yama-uba, literally "the old woman of the mountains,"
represents the principle of love secretly moving in every
one of us. Usually we are not conscious of it and are
abusing it all the time. Most of us imagine that love is
something beautiful to look at, young, delicate and
charming. But in fact she is not, for she works hard,
unnoticed by us and yet ungrudgingly; what we notice is the
superficial result of her labor, and we think it beautiful
- which is natural, for the work of love ought to be
beautiful. But love herself, like a hard-working peasant
woman, looks rather worn out; from worrying about others
her face is full of wrinkles, her hair is white. She has so
many knotty problems presented for her solution. Her life
is a series of pains, which, however, she glady suffers.
She travels from one end of the world to another, knowing
no rest, no respite, no interruption. Love in this phase,
that is, from the point of view of her untiring labor, is
fitly represented as Yama-uba, the old lady of the

We ordinarily like to talk about such an agency in our
philosophy, theology, and literature, but we do not go
beyond mere talk, we hesitate to come before its actual
presence. We are like the painter who used to paint the
dragon, but who lost consciousness, as he was frightened in
the extreme, when the dragon itself appeared to him in
order to let him paint the mythical creature more
faithfully to the reality. We sing of Yama-uba, but when
she makes her personal appearance, and lets us see the
inner side of her life, we are at a loss and know not what
to with ourselves. If we want, therefore, to dig deeply
into into the remotest recesses of our consciousness as Zen
would advise, we ought not to shrink from taking hold of
actualities with our own hands.



The Question:

"There appears to be two schools of thought relative to the
issue of free will. One is like J. Krishnamurti's, which
implies we have a kind of free will which we can use to
break through delusion, and the other is like Balsekar's,
which says there is no free will and that all is
pre-determined, even the desire to break through. Somehow,
my gut instinct tells me that Life is a like an
improvisation rather than being a fixed script, and while I
once had a powerful experience of being lived by Life, it
still felt like an improvisation, a potential rather than a
fixed plan. This also accords with quantum physics. What is
your view of this issue? "

My reply:

If I move beyond the question being about 'feelings',
'Instincts' and move into the realm of 'pure reason' (and
don't say I Kant... ), this is what remains:

Our exercise of "will" seems to be consistently geared
toward self-limitation. It is within this constantly
enforced field of self-limitation that the question of
'free will' occurs. Without exercising our "will" in the
service of self-limitation, the uses of "will" are quite

The exercise of "Will" in the service of self-limitation
can be seen clearly, in the human talent of the deferral of
pain. From a Darwinian point of view, humans who could
fight, run, or otherwise act to survive while _in pain_,
are those survivors from whom we have inherited our genes.

As masters of deferral of pain, we are by extension, also
masters of deferral of embarrassment; we are able to
confabulate 'alternative realities' for the purpose of
remaining in the comfort of our own delusions. Our various
cultures conspire within themselves, and with each-other,
to maintain this allowance for extraordinary confabulation.

It is ironic that what is a powerful talent for survival,
can also be used to deny reality. On the other hand, the
denial of mortality, the very delusion of it, can serve to
lead cultural heros into battles of tribal and cultural
preservation; it is hard to argue (logically) against
conquest as a means of survival.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), each culture has
evolved a unique 'religion', each of which has become the
touchstone of the reality of the respective culture. The
clashes, conflicts, and wars which have arisen around
religion, indicate the sacrifice which humans are willing
to make, in order to maintain what is certainly and purely

If the "script" is "fixed", it is 'fixed' in the same way
that professional wrestling is 'fixed'. Human interactions
are either manifested through self-limitation, or not. It
takes only one human who acts in the non-self-limited way,
to send shockwaves through all cultures, both present and
future. The 'fixing of the script' calls for naming any of
non-self-limited human to be 'abnormal and dangerous to the
status-quo', thus to preserve the privilege (cultural
tradition) to indulge in group-confabulations of 'reality
as revealed by messengers of the divine'.

Currently, most humans subscribe to what amounts to a
'religion of self-limitation'. It is those who have seen a
glimmer of what could happen if self-limitation were an
option, rather than a 'divinely enforced duty', who dare
question the reality or uses of "will". Proper and ethical
uses of 'will' do not transcend humanity, rather, such uses
are manifestations of what can eventually become a
'choiceless compassion'.

Those humans who have, or are, advocating the correct uses
of 'will', are by no mere coincidence, also known as
compassionate humans. Empathic knowing of our human
commonality can lead to a mass-migration of humans away
from the mandatory religion of self-limitation; this
involves the withdrawal of our projections of 'divinity'
from a mythical 'other', and the acceptance of personal
responsibility for the correct use of 'will'. No longer
would humans be burdened with the 'will' of a capricious
'god'; instead, human activities would be considered
carefully before execution.

Leaving behind the culturally-enforced mandate of
self-limitation, allows the sudden and spontaneous
perfection of the human. In that brilliant perfection, all
self-limiting ideas and traditions are clearly seen,
including the entire category of self-limiting assumptions
of 'ego' and 'ignorance', both of which are now being used
as sly excuses for self-limitation. Any individual who
dares allow the spontaneous perfection of the human to
occur, moves beyond the fears which mandate hiding within
apparently eternal conundrums such as the 'question of free
will'. Bereft of any such camouflage, the perfected human
is free to choose.


Dear NDS,

I will be off-line for the upcoming week. Taking my leave
for a while, crossing moon-river in style ;-)

Thank you Salon members for being you. Appreciation for the
Self that is shared here. Many vibrations resounding as the
Great Drum. "This" has taught and been taught well; I leave
peacefully and happily, knowing that wherever I go, "This"

Blessings, Dan



Yeah well personally I'll take the combo platter, a heaping
helping of crispy fried determinism so I'm not to blame
along with a big pile of fresh steaming free will so I can
be forgiven. Then I'll have a big slice of nihilist black
cherry tart for dessert with a double existentialist
espresso and a meaningless cognac.



"What if God was one of us... just a slob like one of us,
just a stranger on a bus, tryin' to make his way home?"

"One Of Us," from "relish" by Joan Osborne

Words & music by Eric Bazilian



Yes, we feel pain and we poop. And it is all real. I do not
care what anybody says about it being an illusion. I know
also that it is an illusion. The impossible we do before
breakfast. The improbable just takes a little longer.

I am so grateful for this little lifestream called Michael.
He's fairly cool. After all the shit he's been through, he
turned out alright. So, who created him, who animates him,
who gives him a part to play in the illusion? Well - you
know - THAT did. :-))

This is the situation of all of us: we have a part to play.
We can be whiners (no inference to you) or we can be
fearless doers. Or, we 'perform' at some combination.

The maya is not evil nor is it good. It just appears, THAT
made it. This is a form of enlightenment. Acceptance.

Ah, I gotta go now. I am 'caught up' in the illusion that I
have even the foggiest idea of what I am typeing about!


Peace - Love IT and Live IT - Michael


I have been browsing around the nds site. This gem was more
than worth the trip:



Free will, if it is willed at all, can only be exercised in
the eternal now. This one moment in time is all I have free
will over -- or do I? Am I typing this now as a result of my
free will to do so, or is it just happening, now?


Suggested link featured selection from Eckhart Tolle's new



Friends come and go, the sangam remains, even with new
faces it is the same.


Sangam is my rendering of a word that appears in many
forms, depending on -- i guess -- which language/dialect it
is taken from (Sanskrit, Pali, Hindi etc) and which system
of transliteration is used. Other forms are sangha and
sanga, and the root in satsang. It means -- again depending
blah blah -- fellowship, community, etc and refers, as i
understand it, to the group of fellow-travellers around an
enlightened master, extended to include such gatherings as
NDS. It doesn't mean you have to love and be friendly with
every one of your fellow-travellers, it means to recognise
our common interest in waking up and some other generally
commonly held group self-definition -- for NDS perhaps best
left undefined, but in the usual scenario, a kind of
acceptance of the master. The point of the group
self-definition is not an us-vs-them state but a kind of
trust, even though individuals may be distrusted, and
openness to insightful feedback. There has been lots of
discussion of NDS as guru, sangam is perhaps a more
accurate description. Or not. Your call.



The difficulty with rational, logical discourses is that
they are all in the head. Round, and round, and round
and......... one dimensional.

Where is the heart? And the life situations? We all eat, we
brush our teeth, we feel lonely sometimes, and joyful at
others. We get scared at funny noises. We have questions
about what is right and how to do something.


In other words we are human. Non-duality is true of all
existence, of all manifest and unmanifest worlds. And then
here we are, flesh and blood. Feeling, emoting, thinking,
moving, sensing. All this talk of illusion, and impersonal
reality is a mystery to me.(the way it is talked about, not
the reality itself). Everything is very real, very tangible
to me. I would never for an instant think that all the
misery and suffering that i see just walking down the
street is an illusion. Or that the beauty of nature is just
a projection of mind. Ego is a very tangible "force" that
needs to be worked with.Physical pain is quite real to me,
as is eating, taking a crap, waking up in the morning and
going to sleep at night. Non-dual reality / enlightenment,
is all there is, that is undeniable. Yet here we are,
incarnated as human beings having to make peace with the
also undeniable fact of duality. We all have "life
situations" and need to deal with them and the dealing with
them just so happens to be in the realm of duality. A life
of suffering and ignorance is rooted in the assumption of
separation. Piercing this assumption could be called
awakening to already present enlightenment. However this
awakening does not change, one iota, the fact that we exist
in a dualistic world and must attend to it. What it does
change is the way in which we relate, on all levels, to
this world. Whether we have awakened to already present
enlightenment or not, what we do does matter.

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