Jerry Katz
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Highlights #451

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Friday August 25, 2000


but hey i'm just a bliss monger
and it's just that the less me there is
the more bliss i am
being somebody
being nobody
just plain old being
beyond identification
with identification



I hear you saying below what Joseph Campbell used
to counsel his students by saying, "Follow your bliss".

Joseph Campbell, the mythology teacher and author, was
the first person I ever heard suggest such a thing in the
early 80's.

He was the first person I heard speak who ever encouraged me
to step outside of society's 'shoulds' and simply do what
fills me with joy. I remember how the hair stood up on the
back of my neck when I heard that.....and how 'happy' I
felt considering such a notion. Not long after hearing him say
that, the healer who taught me to 'smudge' told me, "always
follow the course of action that makes your heart sing,
and you will be doing God's will for you."

This reminds me of what Osho used to say.

He used to encourage people to satisfy all desires....
suggesting that only after one has been satiated will they
be willing to let activities such as sex, drugs, and other
'stimulants' fall away. Once one has recognized the transient
nature of such activities.....and once one is no longer
satisfied with a 'happiness' that is dependent upon people,
relationships, objects, or activity, they will be ready to
open to a Joy that has no beginning...and no end.

Osho's approach is a little more 'fun' than others,
isn't it? :-)

He certainly speaks to rebels who are finished following
what others say you *ought* to do or be.

And you may have noticed....if you have read the posts
here for any period of time....that you're in good company
here on this list, Sky. If you're ever wanting attention,
or hoping to get a 'response' from someone.....just tell them
what they 'ought' to be doing or being.

Still waters run deep around here, but tossing that particular
pebble into the pond can still create big waves with a number
of us here. :-)



A story has a beginning and end.
I don't have a beginning and end.

A story describes things.
I'm not describable.

If I tell you a story about this,
I lie - it's not a story.

You want to have self-disclosure,
meaning; you want stories
that appeal to your story, so
that you feel you have received
something meaningful.

When you have no story, when you
have nothing meaningful,
unsplit reality opens.

To want the description, the story,
to want to get others' stories,
that is human.

Beyond the storied, beyond the human
perspective, lives Reality.
The Reality that is wholly other
than the human framework,
the Reality that is not one
centimeter away from where
and who you are.

I will give a brief version of
my story, although it is

I went through a great deal of
seeking for truth. I took
risks, I reached a point
where I didn't care what
happened to me.

I lost my mind, my senses,
my reality.

I reintegrated.
I was no one, living
as someone, but
no one was here.

This made no sense,
yet it did make sense:
the sense it
made was poetic,
Gradually, little
by little, it became
more "functional"
in the day to day
It led me to study
certain things,
to unfold a certain

I kept a low profile.
I put one foot in front
of the other.
I didn't advertise
my awareness.
I felt humbled by
"all this," and
I tread carefully
through the maze
constructed on
this planet.

Now, here I am.
I never left.
I am where I never
left, and never
What else is there?



The following was spoken by a satsang teacher named Sky
(hey, who ISN'T a satsang teacher these days? What happened
to the old days. Dubya Dubya Two. Hey, there should be a
trendy world war called Double You Double You Too! The
soldiers wear prete porte or haute cuisine or Oscar de la
Rente, whatever it's called. The bullets are done up with
nail polish. The Geneva Accords are modified so that POW's
must be given delicate little sandwiches with the crust
removed and Perrier when the first arrive, Tae Bo sessions,
and so on. When you want to kill someone, a maitre'd shows
you to your enemy. You have to tip him if you want to get a
good shot. Stuff like that. Let's show a little class for
chrissakes. And when people are drafted for this war, you
get deferred if you're NOT gay.)

"(Vartman) just sort of took us all in and of course led us
and what else could we do but to fall into Satsang and find
it Here, Nothing. (The baby making noises) (Sky laughs) He
doesn't want a dummy he wants a breast, (Sky Laughs) give
me the real thing. And that's what we're here for the real
thing, the real nourishment, the real milk. (Group laughs)
Real mothers' milk, that's what we're here for."


XAN sends a quote

Life is a direct and immediate experience
of the Infinite
manifesting through the finite
in the present moment.
We simply do not recognize it as such
because of our narrow focus
on the finite.

Relax into your own immediate experience
of Perceiving -- of Clear Seeing --
here and now, in this moment.

Shift your attention
to the infinitely vast and
edgeless nature of the present moment,
and suddenly
you will directly experience,
and immediately recognize,
Reality dynamically emerging as
This, here and now.

There is nothing more or other.

- Metta Zetty


Mark Otter wrote:
> How 'bout if I throw in a devil dog too?
> LOve, Mark
> ps I'm telling you, Jerry, t shirts. Big bucks. we could be richer
> than thieves. (of course I think we should look into that career option
> as well...) Let's lynch Michael and then take his money. Yeah, that's
> the ticket. sure beats bioengineering. now in the mean time why am I
> having so much trouble realizing my own true nature?
JERRY & CHAZ discuss AZIZ.
> Chaz: Sure, he says the same thing differently, we all do.

Hi Chaz. Quotes of this or that teacher are passed along and
one takes them or leaves them. I'm familiar with the writing
of a whole bunch of living teachers, and I find Aziz's
voice, as a whole, different than the others. Most of the
teachers sound alike. Aziz sounds different even though he's
saying the same thing, yes. Also, he publishes large amounts
of his writings and talks on his website, which is unique.
Most others are trying to sell a book. There is a quality to
his words which I haven't analyzed but which sounds unique,
to me, when compared to others I read.

Perhaps if you read the page entitled Enlightenment at
you'd get the sense I'm talking about. Maybe not. I'm not
saying this is man's darkest hour and you have to read Aziz
and come to agree with me. I don't care.

> Jerry: This is what he says with regard to
> a question posed by Dave Oshana recently:
> Can Enlightenment be lost?


> Aziz: As we know, the basic purpose of our practice is to
> stabilize in the inner state, whether it is the Presence or
> the Absolute.
> Chaz: So which is it, the Presence or the Absolute? What i find most
> contradictory about enlightnment is, how can one awaken to the direct
> experience of being here now when one is so deeply engrossed in ones
> own inner state, that one has become numb to ones sentient body as
> Ramana Maharshi and many spiritual teachers became? Where is the
> absolute in that?

Enlightenment is contradictory. It's maya. I thought we all
kinda knew that. In fact, you say so at the end of your


> Aziz: When one is stabilized, the need for practice
> is over, for the state is permanently and unconditionally
> present. However, our relationship with the state always
> has a dynamic quality. When the inner state is attained it
> is not yet all over. We must ask, who is Enlightened? Who
> is experiencing the inner state?
> C: Either there is stabilization or there is not. And if there is
> no need for further practice then what does he call this, "We must
> ask, who is Enlightened? Who is experiencing the inner state?".
> A practice which just reinforces the 'Who' again, the separate
> witness. So whats going on, first there was a 'me', then there
> wasn't, now theres an even bigger Me busy 'relating' or not relating
> to its inner state!. What a merry go round.

Not so much a merry go round as a spiral, as I see it. The
work of attention becomes more refined. It may begin with a
rote practice fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen
minutes at night. Then tastes of 'reality' give way to
nothing but the one taste of 'reality', but still there is
attentional work to be done which may be called further
practice. The only real stabilization, as I see it, is
death. I don't think practice ends. But I understand and
accept what Aziz is saying. That's my practice, to find
understanding in what he is saying. Another practice is to
deconstruct. If I'm any judge, both are 'right'.


> A: The inner state is not all there is to Me. Me exists to be
> fulfilled in its own dimension, and not exclusively to enjoy the
> inner state.

> C: So the 'Me' has its 'own' (sounds exclusive to me) fulfilling
> dimension, which is not to be exclusively enjoyed and is a dimension
> that is not all inner. Sounds contradictory to me.

what does it contradict?

> The Me is about
> as mental a state as a human being can get. As far as we know, all
> the rest is actual existence. If he means the 'Me' marries actuality,
> then i might understand what he's saying, but that would dissolve the
> Me which stands in the way of direct experience. So he just doesn't
> make sense to me. I come across this sort of metaphysical merry go
> round all the time, nothing original about it.



> Aziz: After stabilization the energetic presence of the
> Enlightened state cannot be lost, but the Me can lose its
> Enlightened relation to the state.
> C: This sentence seems to say that a 'relating' Me has hung around
> (maybe because i kept up the 'non-practice' of asking 'Who' is
> enlightened) and it can be separated from its own enlightened state.
> Sounds pretty spaced out to me.

It may sound spaced out, but people experience it.


> A: It is possible for Me to lose all interest in the state, being
> pulled by the negativity of the mind. Stabilization in the inner
> state is like coming out of the womb: one cannot return. However,
> though Enlightenment cannot be lost, the Enlightened understanding
> and appreciation of it can be.
> C: I call that loosing it, no two ways about it. If enlightment
> doesn't bring mental clarity and still leaves one a helpless victim
> of negativity then its not any kind of Enlightenment i want.

It doesn't sound too good. On the other hand, why the hell
not? Who am I to argue with what's here and now?


> A: For true Enlightenment encompasses the presence of the inner state
> and the wholeness of intelligence which recognizes it.
> C: And which ever way one recognizes it, it might be wise to bare in
> mind that our piddly human enlightenment could quite possibly be just
> a state of mind and a figment of our creative imagination. Bringing
> lots of food for thought and the ability to laugh at ones self.

Yes! That's what I'm saying now.



T he dialog as nutshell-ish as possible has to with scale (or verticality as
conceive it) and memory.
I see teachings much like docks for boats or launching pads for rockets. As
relatively static (though alive) *structures* for individuals to use (or to use
individuals) to enable them to get into their boats dry and set sail, or more
contemporarily, to launch themselves into another state, dimension or
realization or

The relative 'aliveness' of a teaching has to do with the situational, cultural
delivery of the 'spiritual instructions' for proper sailing or astrophysics.
Clearly, many teachings are old and timeless and as such require the devotee to
themselves to the particular world view that teaching once represented - which
this case could be a reflection of view of the many thousands of years old.
This is
why the Gurdjieff teachings appeal to me, because they anticipate a
Newtonian, causal, dualist, subject-object set of conditioning in the target
audience. I am (and not) that - as are (or were) many of us.

A mis-step we often make, myself included, is to project the personal process of
awakening or realization onto the structure of a teaching. In this way extreme
unction guarantees access to heaven. Gurdjieffian Movements grant
Rubbing soot on your forehead head has some objective value. The endless list

To create the logical paradox inherent in these discussions.....

Those who have attained then see the need for teachings having remembered their
path and difficulties, although they clearly understand there is no need for a
teaching. A function of Compassion. In the Gurdjieffian parlance - being in
Householder, or reciprocal maintenance (as above so below), or putting someone
your place so that you may move on. Docks and launch pads need maintenance.
New ones
need construction for whatever odd vehicles may evolve. Memory.
Acknowledgement and
proper placement of one's self in Creation.

I know there may be no above or below for some, and that we are all just one big
playful, dramatic universe having fun with a curious concept called 'existence'
Will as a molecular modeling tool and chance and forgetfulness as the lock on
our own
private viewing room (just to make the experience as real as possible). This is
where memory of the reels you viewed in the matinee before you attained this
come in. Not all of us as yet realize, yet all are capable of knowing, what
some of
us might realize. A function of Compassion. Scale. Verticality. States.
Unfolding. We would go mad otherwise.

As such, there is a reverence for all teachings, but a primary concern for all
students. In that having seen a boat sail from a dock and knowing the name of
ship we do not worship the planks and pilings for the ship having reached its
destination. Or having seen a rocket blast-off and radio back its position we
do not
rub the soot from the booster rocket on our foreheads and expect this will
grant us
access to space. This sailing or launching we must do for ourselves.

Practically, the dock may provide you means and practices to open your Heart.
It is
then your obligation to understand the functions, capabilities, behavior,
and, yes, vulnerability of having an Open Heart. The dock, quite obviously, is
your Heart, it is something apparently, for the time being at least, outside of



Wow Royal,

Buddhism and Hinduism and yoga - a big subject!

Other people will have a lot to say too! You've probably seen this happen
-- when it comes right down to it, it's usually a temperamental, esthetic
choice, or what one happens to be introduced to or what one stumbles upon.
Where do you live? I live in NYC and there's lots of everything here....
>From Zen to Shiva worship. There are people here who worship
interplanetary aliens and the UFO's they came in on. There are people who
eat only fruit, or try to live on air alone. There are some folks whose
Indian guru died -- they now practice by going to a local yoga center once
a week and screaming at the top of their lungs for 40 minutes. Then they
go out and eat pizza.

Here are some capsule impressions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Yoga.

-All 3 paths have meditation
-Hinduism and Buddhism have chanting
-Hinduism and Buddhism both have instantaneous and long progressive paths
-Hinduism and Buddhism have ethical precepts and stress
moral development
-Yoga (as per the yoga sutras) also emphasizes ethics and conduct,
but in practice it usually focusses on meditation and physical postures
-Many people practice yoga just to relax from stress or to exercise
-Buddhism and yoga are both very popular among Westerners, Hinduism less so
-Hinduism has more deities (though Tibetan Buddhism has the most as far as
Buddhism goes)
-Hinduism emphasizes belief in the divine authorship of its texts, the VEDAS
-Buddhism has sutras but usually emphasizes the experimental
"try and see" approach
-Buddhism has forms which place more emphasis on the sutras
(said to be spoken by the Buddha), and other forms that place
less emphasis on the sutras (like Insight and Vipassana).
-The Vedanta branch of Hinduism also has the "try and see" approach,
but emphasizes the authority of the Vedas and Upanishads
-Hinduism believes in the Absolute Self, often symbolized by a deity
-Buddhism usually emphasizes "anatta" or no self. Also sunyatta or emptiness.
-Buddhism and yoga have more local places to practice than Hinduism
-Lots of books on Buddhism available
-Buddhism is the least culture-bound path,
yoga less, Hinduism the most culture-bound path. The culture is Indian.
-Buddhism has comfortably adapted into Japanese, Thai, Tibetan,
Chinese, Vietnamese, and Western forms
-There is a western form of Hindu philosophy called advaita,
which takes and simplifies the philosophical portion of Hindu's
more orthodox "advaita vedanta." There is no clear Buddhist
analogue to this western hybrid.
-Hinduism and Buddhism have different sub-branches that
-emphasize the intellect
-emphasize the heart
-emphasize meditation
-emphasize textual study
-Hinduism tends to place more emphasis on a guru
-Buddhism tends to place more emphasis on the practice,
less on the qualities of the teacher
-There have been scandals involving both Hindu and Buddhist teachers
-Hindu incense smells more flowery than Buddhist incense, which
smells more woodsy
-Hinduism and Buddhism both have delicious vegetarian food,
though you can find non-vegetarian food in certain branches
of both traditions too.

That's all shooting from the hip...


Royal Welcome (and more)

>From: royalsan>Subject: Re: Agnihotra
>While I have encountered many individuals on other message boards who
>offer snide gibes in response to others' opinions, I was unprepared
>for such a response here, given what I had read on the website home
>page. Many of the responses caused me such distress, I concluded
>that I had made a mistake in joining. So I unsubscribed. Perhaps I
>am still too fragile in spirit to withstand such negative reaction to
>what was offered with an open heart.

Gene: Hi Royal. For one, I am glad that you resubscribed.

Perhaps with an abiding spirit, you will gain the experience needed
to withstand such 'negativity'.

>Obviously I made a poor choice of words with which to introduce
>Agnihotra and The Fivefold Path. I do not, by any means, hold myself
>up as an expert or teacher. Just to offer the opportunity of
>exploration. While the link I provided in my initial post was to the
>group with which I am affilitated, there are other web sites
>pertaining to Agnihotra which you might wish to explore.

Several years ago, I lived on the Big Island of Hawaii. I met there,
an interesting woman, who practiced Agnihotra. She joined my
Self-Healing study group, and I invited her to bring her equipment
and paraphernalia and give us a demonstration. We decided to meet
outdoors, on a certain morning, to conduct the ceremony.

I was at the time, amused by much of her seriousness. But at some
point, I realized that what she was doing was at the least, a fine
and effective way to focus herself upon what she wanted in her life,
and for everyone. I was actually tempted to send away for the copper
device. But I did not. I did come away with a generally 'positive'
impression. And the odor of the smoke was quite pleasant to me.

>I have resubscribed because I would like to engage in positive
>discussion with others on the spiritual path to enlightenment.

Forgive me for being a 'smart ass', but I wish you well on your path
to Florida.

This is one way to hear what you say; the "path to", the processes,
practices, journeys, specifications, ways, means, and criteria of
'getting there'.

A question: How does one 'know where to go' if they have never been 'there'?

>It is not my purpose to belittle the beliefs or statements of others, and
>ask only the same consideration of others. I read the following on
>Nondual Perspectives on Ahimsa and it stuck a chord within my heart.

On this list, there is still tolerance for and even glorification of
'personality'. When personality expresses, difference is apparent. We
also have glad-handing, stroking, and all of the rest of the standard
world-dream 'ways' of identity. It need not be so, but so it is.

>"O lover of meditation, become pure and clean. Observe nonviolence in
>mind, speech and body. Never break another's heart. Avoid wounding
>another's feelings. Harm no one. Help all. Neither be afraid nor
>frighten others." --Swami Muktananda

Good advice, if advice is sought or needed.

Mind is an engine which unceasingly dissects, divides, compares, and
thus creates separation, categories, planes, dimensions, time, space,
and everything. It can never leave alone 'what is', but 'what is' is
always PURELY 'what is', in all its apparent vicissitudes,
regardless of the actions of mind.

It is easy to assume that the universe that you see, is the same one
that everyone sees; it is also easy to assume that if you suffer, if
you have values which point to what 'should be', that others should
also follow those same values which you hold.

It is not easy to know, that each has their own path, which is their
life, and that those who advocate 'ways' often do not take this
subtle fact into account. But it is easy to perceive that we all have
'boundaries', especially if we encounter what is to us, a 'negative
manifestation'. It is at that point that our self-protective barriers
materialize, and defense of our own sacred path/life is initiated.

I congratulate you for keeping on keeping on.

==Gene Poole==

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