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#4168 - Friday, February 18, 2011 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights


Nonduality: Enumerating Being

-James Traverse


Dear Jerry,
Thank you again for the highlights. I enjoy them daily.
After reading James Traverse's interpretation of King Lear, I was remembering some insight I wrote to those calling for guidance, regarding the notion of being a "fool". I have pasted it below
To your deepest peace, joy, and unconditional fulfillment.
Love and namaste,
Ellen Davis
Looking now I see that fools are the figments of a judgmental imagination.  Stepping into the shoes of a fool is stepping into freedom from those judgments.  It is finding yourself in a suit that has finally lost its hook and turns into all of those magical colors.
The fool is our feared future or what we look back upon with judgment.  Standing here as we are, one with all, nottwo,  no matter how broken we might have thought ourselves to be, who separate is there to judge?
Today I got an essay by Scott Morrison.  At one point he said, "If you truly give yourself up completely, it will shock your whole system. It will suddenly dawn on you, "Oh my God, what a fool I've been! What was I thinking?""
That is the feeling. Yet, if you are still with that, and give yourself up really completely, there is no one left to judge the fool or the ignorance... and if you keep your heart open, there is compassion for that ignorance.
The vision of the fool is also the fear of death .. of your death....of the identity that you have held to so tightly.  Let yourself be the fool and it will be the death of what hooks you and your shackles.  The fool or joker's garb is the colors of the charade they have given up - but that they can wear proudly without embarrassment because they themselves are not fixed to their own identity, nor do they believe the thoughts about it; it is a brightly colorful reflection to all that see it of all that they fear.  The fool laughs knowing that there is no fool but for the one who fears being one.
 Here is something i wrote in 1999 about being a fool:
One must be willing to be a fool.  Only fools take risks.  What do you think jumping into the unknown is, reasonable?  Actually, when you know that the mind is a circuitous trap, it is reasonable.   Fool is a term coming out of what other people think. So being willing to be a fool is being willing to sacrifice your appearance to the world.  A very courageous thing to do.




Thank you and other editors for producing NDhighilghts. It's a sanity-touchstone and frequently a source of delight for me.

When I was in engineering school more than 50 years ago, a vague but persistent impulse led me to buy and keep books about philosophy, psychology, and history , among them Science and Sanity by Alfred Korzybski. For the past 30 years my path has led thru deeper layers of mind – personal crisis and recovery, long vipassana meditation retreats, Jungian analysis, hypnosis, travel to India to be with Poonja, and connection with Ramana and Nisargadatta by reading. Many of my books mysteriously survived and traveled with me. Gradually I have reconnected with  the human drama without being absorbed by it; that has been accompanied by turning to my old library and continuing  reading with a changed perspective.

A thought arose in my mind about Science and Sanity, which I had not finished nor thought about for decades. I immediately found the book on a shelf  within arm's reach. My interest went to Chapter XIX "Mathematics as a Language of a Structure Similar to the Structure of the Human Nervous System"; the apparent correspondence between mathematics and the "outside" world has puzzled me since engineering school.  The following statement by Korzsybski jumped off the page for me:

The problems of "formalism" are of serious and neglected psycho-logical importance, and are connected with great semantic dangers in daily life if associated with the lack of consciousness of abstracting; or, in other words when we confuse the orders of abstractions. Indeed, the majority of "mentally" ill are too formal in their psych-logical, one-, two- or few-valued processes and so cannot adjust themselves to the ˆž-valued experiences of life. Formalism is only useful in the search for, and test of, structure; but, in that case, the consciousness of abstracting makes the attitude behind formal reasoning ˆž-valued and probable, so that semantic disturbances and shocks  in life are avoided. Let us be simple about it: the mechanism of the semantic disturbance , called "identification", or "the confusion of orders of abstractions" in general, and "objectification" in particular,  is, to a large extent, dependent on two-valued formalism without the consciousness of abstracting.

Alfred Korzybski
Science and Sanity, 1933, Chapter V, Mathematics a Non-Aristotelian Language, p 276

That struck me as an elegant description of being lost in dualism; and the inverse implies non-dual awareness. An impulse arose to share this with you, probably because of your interest in science and non-dualism.

Kind regards,


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