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Highlights #471

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Friday September 15, 2000

SKY on "Enlightenment"

Hi Greg,

You ask some very appropriate and constructive questions, in my
opinion. Thank you for putting them in as gentle, considerate and
respectful a way as you have. Although I feel that most if not all off
your questions would have been answered had you been reading my posts.
In which case I don't think you would have made that scurrilous and
gratuitous reference to my ~*~ coat of arms, which has been passed down
to me for 7 generations, kidding ;^).

To answer your first question,

"May I ask - what's your concept of enlightenment?"

For me, it's a process of deepening love, sensitivity, awareness and
mirth characterized by a sense of intimacy with all that is as oneself:
light heartedness. Compassion, understanding, gentleness, levity,
openness, flexibility....

The most important thing about "enlightenment," for me, is that it
is a relationship, not to others, but to All, to Oneness, to "God," to
the Universe, to the Self (vs merely the self). Therefore, it is really
NOT my calling to determine whether another person is or is not
enlightened. My calling is to Love Allness, and only to love or not
love others as an expression of my Love for the ALL.

Whatever I do is only secondarily a relationship to whatever object
or objective may appear. It is primarily to my ALL, as an expression of
Love and Devotion to Heart.

The only reason I may gratuitously say that someone is or is not
enlightened is if they challenge my ego with theirs. As I've posted,
it's merely a childish ego thing.

If someone wants to play the game of "I'm enlightened and you're
not," then I may egotistically throw the ball back into their court with
the same (goof)ball. As I say, it's not my call whether someone is
"really" enlightened or not.

In fact, my want is to say that if you think you're enlightened,
then you are. I would even go so far as to say, "fake it till you make

But it's fun to play versions of the childish game, "I know you are
but what am I?" Psychoanalysis and
most popular psychology today, calls this projection. It assumes that
if one person can't accept something about themselves, they may insist
that it is not they who have this unacceptable blemish, but some other.
In which case I have to say that one has to insist that she has it and
others don't, she is in denial about she herself not having "it."

I could further project that since I think of myself as gentle and
loving, she is harsh and brutal. She might even cooperate with that

I've also said that I subscribe to Osho's interpretation of the
Ashtavakra Gita, that enlightenment requires no requisites, no
cataclysmic psycho-physical trial.

Yet, the Ashtavakra Gita doesn't insist on Love, nor does it
emphasize feelings and the heart chakra, as I do..

But, as I've said in my posts, it's just an ego game. Ego games
are OK. It is OK to have an ego. It is also OK not to have an ego.
I've written that I believe we go through cycles, as well.

I believe that politics are OK. And I respect that you feel that

Have I answered your questions, below? I'd be happy to discuss
these issues further, if you'd like.



POU on "Shame & Enlightenment"

Kia Ora

Tena koutou katou

In relationship to 'shame' neither state.. either recognizing ones self, or
awakening to one self bears any escape from the experience of shame...

The condition for knowledge is a belief.. So what do I belief? What I
belief is how I will experience objectivity, either inner or outer.

Outer: objects of substance materialized manifestations

Inner: objects of thought, feelings, concepts ideas beliefs
fantasy etc..

Before we enter into this subject and it is clear that I have neither of
your permission to enter into this but this is seen in the ongoing light the
subject of shame. The first thing I would like make clear from my
understanding is that mentioning or speaking of the word shame evokes shame
deep in all areas of the unconscious mind. It also has to be made clear
here that enlightened beings still have deep unconscious areas of their own
mind. Freud was looking for the unconscious mind endlessly and it is my own
personal opinion that the bodymind is the unconscious mind.

My own understanding is that the difference between shame and guilt is that:

Guilt: is I made a mistake

Shame: is I am the mistake

Today older German feel the guilt of their mistake of acting unconsciously
in giving over to Hitler

Many of the young German people feel the shame.. do you see my point?

All humour related to shame is a way of trying to avoid the unavoidable fact
that all of us are connected into the unconscious collectively held belief
system of shame, that we're wrong, that I'm wrong. Why? Well of course, this
in my own opinion, is because as the unmanifested state of consciousness, the
absolute subjectivity, the nominal, the empty set, nirvana, Tao, whatever
label one feels comfortable with, has manifested from the absolute state of
pure subjectivity manifesting in the phenomenal state as objectivity. The
objective world in other words.

As the absolute subjectivity manifests itself into objectivity it
immediately experiences itself through duality. In the state of dualism of
course is witnessing itself through me and you, us and them, etc. Wherever
there is separation or the idea of separation, simultaneously arises the
creation called fear. Fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more it is
rendered unconscious the stronger it manifests surrounding us, to prove to
us we're right about what we believe.

On the integrity tone scale, shame is the lowest state of integrity there
is. And the glue that holds it together is created through the substance of
denial, apathy, hopelessness, terror, and subjugated to covert hostility.

There is no way out of shame until one starts telling the truth.
Consciously decides to stop pretending and start telling the truth.

The fascinating thing about shame is witnessing it in the enlightened
state. I became fascinated with this topic many many years ago having grown
up in an extremely dysfunctional past. Shame became a fixation for me,
eventually leading for me to work professionally within this field.

But watching shame today in the enlightened ones and the denial that it even

Everyone's enlightenment naturally is extremely unique but the fact is the
state of awakening, the state of enlightenment can only express itself
through the individual bodymind, through the individual to the degree of the
openness of that person, and this is where we start to hit on shame. It's
where a schizophrenic split starts between the enlightened state and that of
the psyche. The psyche literally splits and where shame is involved the
dominant or that where the attention judges it is better to be placed
identifies there and the shame part of the psyche, the second part of the
split is rendered unconscious.

To elaborate on this point further the attention all goes to the state or
this newly discovered state of oneness, peace, stillness, bliss, etc. Are
you following me? The attention is literally in a state of anaesthesia. It
is no longer free. A new prison is now created in terms of the psyche
called enlightenment. People start to feel comfortable in their newly
enlightened prison. They begin to redecorate it and hang the Master's photo
up on the wall. Talk about their new rediscovered Plato's Cave. Unaware
that should they ever become conscious enough to decide to move out of this
prison the concepts become the prison bars.

Shame and the new state of awakening can be felt, it can have conscious
awareness brought to it, if one first, is willing to stop the denial process
and accept and become conscious of the feeling, the initial defense
mechanism to avoid feeling what has just arisen. Do you understand me? For
most people in the newly enlightened state from what I have witnessed within
myself also, is rather than feel the feeling that themselves desiring to
come into conscious awareness, the belief becomes apparent that this feeling
is not alright to be felt, renders it unconscious and the attention is
refocused back into the enlightened state.

We also have to be clear here, "attention" is not enlightenment, it is the
tool or the aspiration that arises in consciousness as the ego arises in
consciousness, for the ability for consciousness to recognize itself in it's
diverse manifestation.

.....all of us have to look seriously into seeing how we all became involved in
this creation. While there is blame there's going to be the repetitiveness
of ongoing shame.

Shame. Mmmmmmmm.

Love Pou

(note: edited somewhat for length, yes really.)

DAN on "forgetting enlightenment, breaking with known"

I forget who's
writing this.
It doesn't matter.

The concept of enlightenment
is just a construct that
contrasts with the
concept ignore-ance.

Reality is nonattempt
to ground
awareness in constructed
truths, including the
constructs "reality",
"enlightenment", "ignore-ance".

It is the attempt to ground one's self
that fosters insecurity about
losing one's mind, one's reality.

With no attempt, no insecurity.
With insecurity, awareness may open
simply by noticing, by being
with insecurity.

To deny, ignore, resist insecurity,
conceptual reality repetitiously substitutes
as Reality until it seems to become Reality.

To give up the "false life"
based on conceptualization
requires a break
from everything known.

The tendency to cling to what is
known, to thought, to memory,
to body, to world, to concepts
is inevitable.
This inevitability arises along
with the identification that
maintains the system of
"mental constructs".

To break from this is a spontaneous
"act" of nonaction.

To describe it in any way is misleading.

It's not the result of effort, neither
is it the result of effortlessness.

It's not what you thought it would be.

It's not the image of love, of peace,
of God, of bliss.

Because the tendency to maintain the
reality based on images and concepts
is ingrained as the sense of what
is "factual", conceptual
reality is "seen" and "experienced"
as if it were the "real," the "tangible".

Breaking with reality opens as
Maintaining reality: the continuity
of self resisting its own
non-entitihood as ignore-ance.

Once spoken as "To gain [have]
the world is to lose one's soul [Self].
To lose the world [constructed reality]
is to gain [open as] one's soul [Reality]."

No one can possibly be correct
or incorrect about ways to
state "this".
There can only be pointers, and
none of them can even be true,
let alone be truth itself.

No one has ever stated a true
idea or perception of It,
let alone been able to be

No one is enlightened nor

Every being/creature with
qualities is construct.

Who knows anything?


The Beatles sang
>Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream. It is not dying. It is
>Love, Mark
>(I think George wrote it)

There is no mind,
relax, float without stream.

It is not being. It is not being.

Love plays the game existence to
the end, of its beginning.

Lay down all thoughts, surrender
is this Void; it is shining.

It is shining.

(Pardon the liberties
I took with this, George.)

But then, your inside is
out and your outside is
in, so come on!



On sharing nonduality with others...

> [...]
> ║My honest question to you all:
> ║How do you communicate to your collegues and friends and to your
> ║family the grace that is given to you? Or do you believe, that there
> ║is no need to communicate and whoever finds the way to God will do it
> ║on his own?
> ║I really need support on that point.
> ║Thanks.
> ║
> ║Love.
> ║Hans

I see family occasionally, and have a few close friends. A
few family and friends I can talk to with an assumption of
the nondual viewpoint. The others I'm connected to by a
compatible sense of humor. The latter will talk to me about
what I'm interested in and even ask questions, but the
conversation very quickly turns goofy. The reason they'll
ask me about my spiritual interests is because they know it
will lead down another avenue of goofing around and having a
good time.

So perhaps a good way to communicate spiritual interests to
a friend or colleague is to do it in terms of what your bond
is. If your bond isn't spiritual, you can't get spiritual on
a person. You can only go deeply into the bond you have and
let the other person see you as honestly as possible.


You ask what Is-ness is. Without being too fancy, it is things-as-they-are
(D.T. Suzuki said "Things as it is"!). It is This Moment Now, though these
things say a bit too much. This is to emphasize that Is-ness is not in the
future, the past, in hopes or dreams or wishes, or in woulda-coulda-shoulda
conditions. It is not in India, Tibet, Mecca, one's childhood home, the
womb, heaven, God, one's guru, Buddha, or anything or anyplace else. And,
EVERY moment is just like that!!

You ask about the X... The X is the criterion or the cataclysmic
experience that is said to happen when enlightenment dawns. In many
teachings about enlightenment, there is a kind of condition or criterion or
description about what happens when enlightenment occurs, or what happens
just before, or just after. I call that a picture-theory of enlightenment.
Sometimes the picture can get very subtle and look like it's not a
picture. Some of the more subtle picture-theories or descriptions of
enlightenment might be like "enlightenment is when you stop caring about

About the stages - depends on the teaching. Some teachings have graded
levels, some are unitary. The highest number of levels of enlightenment I
ever heard someone seriously believe is 172. The lowest is zero. Which
teaching does one choose? One that resonates with you, draws you.

You ask about my concept of enlightenment.... "Love loving Love" is good.
"Consciousness shining in its own glory" is good. "No extra, no lack."
"No presence, no absence." But seriously :-) ,I just happen to have a page
that Jerry put together, where I discussed very similar things with someone
else. It is here, on the NDS site:

Look for the link called "Experiences of Enlightenment." There are two
sub-sections, "The Problem of the Criterion," and "The Problem of Arm's


Yes, sky,

It's not my definition either, actually. When I say "it's all light" it's
not because I believe it, but it's used as an antidote to a notion that
might cause suffering. We tend to hear more often 'my enlightenment' or
'I'm enlightened' than we hear 'your enlightenment' or 'you're
enlightened'. Other times, people have an impossible notion of
enlightenment that makes them feel left out. "She has it but I don't."
Sometimes I call that a "doo-doo club" notion of enlightenment, like "I'm
not enlightened, I'm in the doo-doo club."

I've got to go now (still at work), but I'll write later with some thoughts
about your notion. It is very honest and inclusive, the emphasis on Love
is great. More later!




║ (For me, whatever the Buddha is said to have said may or may not be
║"true." So, I prefer to get as much spiritual truth as I do directly
║from experience or from that of others, provided that it sounds
║credible, and that I can identify with it.)


To me, the mentioned statements by the Buddha are more or less "proven" by
experience (with the exception of "the laws of nature do no longer apply") - it
is always the requirement for a quote being used.



"What is" just "IS" - both mandatory and "forbidden" denote authority.
is possible due to insight or Love; unconditional surrender entirely does away
with the sense for authority.

║Perhaps this is connected with the idea, anyway, of both
║an affirming and a receptive aspect to will. When I try
║on surrender, it seems we are looking at surrender on
║both a vertical and horizontal scale. On the horizontal
║scale, I surrender to all that passes through me; feelings
║that arise and fall, thoughts that are triggered associatively,
║sexual arousal. But doesn't there seem to be a higher
║authority to which I surrender also? This higher authority
║is internal.

I agree surrender can be divided into two types - no interference with whatever
arises (not the same as passivity though) - and surrender to what could be
perceived as "higher" power or as still goes in the East, a guru. Yet,
can simultaneously of both types when for instance it is clear that Love cannot
be interfered with in any way yet is "power supreme". But in unconditional
surrender, no sense of authority can arise because when it would, one could
surrender to it and that would indicate surrender isn't unconditional.


MARCIA (to sky)

IMO, you have some things powerfully confused. :-)

Social obligations strikes me as phony, false
type stuff; stuff you don't really have to do
but do for social reasons. Social reasons,
by definition, would be false i.e. for
image or something like that.

Having to take care of the physical needs of
yourself or your loved ones is not a social
obligation. Essence connections such as
relating to a parent or a child is not a social
obligation. These can be carried out in a
false way but they are real obligations not
social ones.


I am not trying to straighten you out. I am trying
to straighten me out after following your logic.

I know what you are talking about. I am asking
you to look deeper. I think you are mixing all
sorts of things up together in one pot that don't
belong together.

If you are talking about what to say to people
who perceive that they have social obligations
that come to you for help, send them to Miss
Manners or a school counselor.

I can't make insanity sane no matter
how hard you try.


I wonder. :-)

I am kind of confused. In a way it may be a guy kind of

It seems to me that under certain circumstances or around
certain influences, I can't help but respond. Either I lack
discrimination, have no boundaries, or some other
dysfunction or......

It seems to me that had I been around Mr. Gurdjieff or
Jesus or someone with great being, I couldn't help
but respond. Is this surrender? Is this a female response?
Is that component >inside< as well? It seems to me that
the answer is yes.


We have talked about this. :-)

Surrender, in a way, is faith. Belief in things unseen over
that which the senses cry out as true. I see these things
in sittings and then I get caught up in the cogs of life,
the teenagers, the animals, taking care of the household.
To maintain this awareness, this grounding, from the
sitting as I move through the cogs of life.

In our sitting when I couldn't stop coughing. I kept having
this belief come up which said...."I am not going to be able
to stop coughing." This would trigger another round of
coughing. Something, or somewhere inside, a knowing
which said to just let go of the belief. I was clinging
to the belief. All I had to do was let go or surrender
it. Panic, fear to let go, and then letting go and all the
need to cough was gone.

Another thing, I have joined the gym. All these stories
about how hard this is come up. I have reached this
point of surrender where I just get on the stairmaster
and go till the sweat is running off me. I feel the
muscles in my legs and my foot as it hits the stair
and I keep on climbing way past what I would consider
the breaking point. A letting go here, a surrendering
to the pure joy of the body working hard.

POU replies:

I know this is a very male thing to do...I do fully appreciate that what I
have to say here.. is not in good standing with the seriousness of this
discussion... .. but.....the question of surrender.. is a wonderful pass
time... until one is really serious about really surrendering...

If we truly absolutely want to really surrender.... we need to find out..
who is surrendering to whom..

As soon as the 'i' who surrenders.. you know comes out with both hands on
the white is seen to be yet another game of hide and seek. the
real...I..zation there is no one to surrender to anyone.. or thing.. that
all there is.. is.. the act of surrender.. not to.. or for.. anyone.. or
thing.. the real surrender.. takes place.. and that surrender has never ever
not been taking place for the SELF knows of no other activity worth while...
accept surrendering unto it own Self..

and how does that take place here in the phenomenal plane of events

through me and you and we do not exist as separate things...


JAN & SKY A dialogue

S: I don't believe anything is futile. But I know what you mean.
║However, I believe that the spiritual is something that requires
║seeding. I hope to plant the seeds. At worst, it's fun to talk about
║these things.

J: Agreed, talking about it is fun. But there is also the expression "don't
a freshly laid egg" as no living bird will leave from it. Unless someone is
insisting on instruction, I behave like a so called "normal" human being who is
an amateur regarding nonduality. Futile means, it is tried to open the egg
before enough brooding has occurred.

S: Anyone wholly into spirituality is probably already "enlightened" anyway.
║ Still, I know what you mean, feel what you mean.

J: Correct, the thought "(s)he is/is not enlightened" doesn't enter my mind
either. Mind is like the night sky at new moon - mainly empty space...


S: It's funny you should say you're not a teacher!

J: But there is a good reason for it - the sense of "I am this, (s)he is that,
this is a teaching" cannot enter the mind. So what remains is just
communication, irrespective of its subject or those attending.

J: Aloneness means that (temporarily) absolutely nothing is felt, in trying to
express it, "empty space" would qualify. When closing the eyes and ears, it
would be easy to forget phenomenal life instantly. It isn't Oneness because the
sense of unity isn't felt either. Disembodied while remaining alive is another

║I call that meditation. Yeah, I do it all the time. (Not literally.)

J: For a good reason, the causal body ( the potential to feel, the substrate of
human behavior) is very tenacious. So it takes a very long time before one can
say to be disembodied with the body remaining alive; usually that occurs
before the body gives up.

J: But there is a good reason for it - the sense of 'I am this, (s)he
is that, this is a teaching' cannot enter the mind. So what remains is
just communication, irrespective of its subject or those attending.

S: Yes, the Ashtavakra Gita says that one is not anything, no caste, no
age, etc. I'm totally with this. When said gently. But, for me, to
hear it said aggressively sounds more like an insult than a liberation.
For those who say it aggressively, I'm sure it is liberating. Again, a
social environment thing, in my opinion.

What's your experience with the A. Gita?

The A. Gita is a nice read - for an aggressive tone there could be a reason, to
make a strong impression that cannot be forgotten easily. How would one change
the behavior of a chain smoking dad who is used to smoke near the baby? Not by
argument or reason - by imprinting a strong emotional impression that will pop
up each time a cigarette is lighted - nothing else works. For those, addicted
the dream of maya, it can be useful to apply a similar approach.

S: Yes, aggression can be the only last resort. But when it is the
first resort!?


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