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Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #3933, Friday, June 25, 2010, Editor: Mark

What is beautiful? Whatever is perceived blissfully is beautiful. Bliss is the essence of beauty.

- Nisargadatta Majaraj, posted to ANetofJewels

Movement and the Arising of Bliss

If the universe did not move,
the manifest world
would not appear before us.

The first movement is the arising of bliss...
then desire, followed by suffering,
and then inevitably - and finally
- bliss again.

Before and after every storm
there is always stillness.

- Metta Zetty

Bliss is within us.
There's no journey about it.
You have to realize it.
Reject the things
which are barriers
and impositions upon Bliss:
the worries of the past
and the plannings
of the future.

If you want true Bliss
forgive and forget
everything, without exception,
any sin, even to the extent of
'Forgive them, Father
for they do not know
what they are doing.'
If you can do that
then only can you hope for Bliss;
not otherwise.

- Swami Amar Jyoti, posted to AlongTheWay

So that you may gain the treasure

I am amazed at the seeker of purity
who when it's time to be polished
complains of rough handling.
Love is like a lawsuit:
to suffer harsh treatment is the evidence;
when you have no evidence, the lawsuit is lost.
Don't grieve when the Judge demands your evidence;
kiss the snake so that you may gain the treasure.
That harshness isn't toward you, O son,
but toward the harmful qualities within you.
When someone beats a rug,
the blows are not against the rug,
but against the dust in it.

- Rumi, Mathnawi III: 4008-4012, version by Camille and Kabir Helminski, from Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance, posted to Sunlight

There is nothing specifically you can do to move your true identity or sense of self into the expanded dimensions of your true nature. Identity is not something you do; it is what you are. However, the sense of identity follows your awareness, and since you are ultimately everything, it can and will identify with whatever is in your awareness. This is the danger of a teaching that doesn't point to or convey the existence of true nature. If something is not even talked about or considered, it is much less likely that awareness will notice it, and also much less likely that identity will ultimately shift into it. This is why it is important to teach and explore the nature of all of the qualities of presence such as joy, peace, and love, so that awareness begins to touch them and eventually identity shifts to the underlying truth of Being.

A subtle distinction needs to be made between your true identity and the sense of self you have in any moment. Your true identity has and always will be the infinite spaciousness of Being, including all forms, both physical and subtle, and all of the formless emptiness of pure space. But your sense of self is a flexible means for this limitless Being to experience itself from many different perspectives. By having this quality of identity that can move in and out of all kinds of experiences and temporarily appear to become them by identifying with them, Being gets to try on all of these different experiences or illusions from the most contracted and limited to the most expanded and blissful. Without this capacity, Being would be a static existence of infinite potential that is never expressed. By moving its identity into and identifying with the myriad perspectives of limited experience, this potential becomes experienced in form and movement.

So while mis-identification is the root of all of your "problems," it is not and never has been a mistake. Being has very purposefully shifted its identity in and out of infinite apparent selves to try them all on for size. Being stuck in identification is itself an illusion, since all identification is temporary. So while it is helpful, from the perspective of a limited self that is suffering, to explore and discover the other capacities of your identity to move out of the ego and into true nature, ultimately all of the spiritual teaching pointing to other possibilities is actually just a description of what has always been going on, not a prescription for the right way to be. Every expression of life is an expression of the right way to be, if the right way to be is simply to express our limitless capacity to experience identification and dis-identification, form and formlessness. The deepest fullest experience of anything is to become it, and that is what Being has been up to all along.

The ultimate freedom or liberation is the discovery that it is fine to identify and dis-identify. True freedom demands no limits, not even limits against limitation. Since Being itself is completely free and unharmable, it has been endlessly exploring every possibility of that freedom. This can allow you to hold everything, even the spiritual journey, lightly. The goal is and has always been the journey itself. You can be curious about this whole process of identification with ego, with no-self, and with true nature simply for its own sake. It is a rich and mysterious world of perception and reality that we as consciousness inhabit. Why not taste it all? Life is and has always been this endless movement in and out of identification, in and out of forms and formlessness.

- Nirmala, from Beyond No Self

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