Jerry Katz
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Highlights #50

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> "Dear Gene,
> Have you ever considered the possibility that this longing for an
> "objective center" (as you call it) is not just a "meme" but an innate
> inner drive in mankind, and therefore may have validity? I know you "take
> the perspective" of anatman, but perhaps you might consider that the
> Atman/Brahman connection is very effective in filling that drive for the
> changeless and immutable, and thus the perspective of Atman might indeed be
> valid and truthful?
> Just a thought to ponder,
> With Love,
> Tim"

Gene: Yes, indeed I have given that many years of seriously
dedicated and
'practical' effort. That, what you express, has been my
impression... that
the 'longing' or 'searching' was indeed there, as a real
thing to react to,
a guide and a clue, both.

Now, however, since the time of two years ago in March, I
have seen deeper.
I have finally 'grokked' what Buddha was 'really saying'
when he stated
'anatman'. Buddha stated, quite clearly, that it is the
movement towards (a
real OR imagined) object of desire, which is evidence of
what is called in
Pali, "dukkha", or (as varioiusly translated) 'lack of
integrity', 'lack of
wholeness', 'incompleteness', or simply the usual western
of "dukkha", that being 'suffering'.

The difficulty I had, was first in attempting to understand
Buddha via the
agency of translation. To resolve this, I virtually lived in
the Hilo,
Hawaii public library, which has a huge room of many
hundreds of Buddhist
texts and teachings, in many translations. I finally found
the 'real
meaning' of the original spoken Pali word "dukkha". There is
no literal
english translation, but 'suffering' is as far as you can
get from from a
literal translation.

How "dukkha" has been (logically) misunderstood as
'suffering' is this;
dukkha _leads_ to suffering.

It is the _being led to suffering_ which is the path; at the
end of the
path lies atman or Brahman. Suffering is the path, and the
longing begins
the search. What begins the longing? Is there actual
separation, and thus a
goal, and a path to it?

The upshot or deeper understanding is this; one who suffers,
because of that very drive to seek, to know, to find, to
achieve, to
attain... what? What they assume that they do not have, is
what is thus
being sought. Thus the search; thus the longing. The longing
reveals the
searching, NOT the other way around. The longing, what you
refer to as
'innate inner drive', was seen by Buddha as being caused by
'dukkha'. As
long as that drive lasts, there is suffering.

"What is sought by the seeker is the one who is seeking"...
(ala' Dorothy's
ruby slippers).

Buddha said, that if we posit an 'atman', that we make our
'dukkha' a
permanent state. Thus, the 'religions' which posit 'soul' or
'atman', have
essentially institutionalized suffering, as a permanent way
of being.
Another way of saying this is to say, that as long as there
is a goal,
there is activity of movement toward that goal. That
movement is
symptomatic of the suffering, and the suffering is
symptomatic of 'dukkha',
and 'dukkha' is gifted to us by (the memes of) traditional
culture,that which is called 'dualism'.

But Buddha did empahtically NOT say that 'there is no
atman'. He said
'anatman', and there is a HUGE difference. 'Anatman' is the
same as the Zen
(Buddhist) 'no-self'.

Buddha refused to debate the issue of the reality of the
'atman'. For him,
it was a totally moot point, because his thrust was to
illustrate how the
whole system works; either FOR itself, or AGAINST itself.

His 'anatman' is a brilliant way for Buddha to be saying,
what has been
said later by (Zen) Buddhists, which is, "If you meet the
Buddha on the
road, kill him". That is exactly the same as saying

The issue of 'real' objective 'atman' or soul is indeed
moot; it is the
suffering living Being who is the issue, not the reality or
the hypothesis
of atman.

If you can see what I am saying here... that it does not
matter 'if' there
is or is not 'atman', whether atman is pie in the sky or
rock solid real...
what matters is that 'dukkha' is the 'normal conditioned of
the human
Being', and that the 'longing' and the 'search' are the
symptoms of assumed
'disintegrity' (dukkha).

Humans have always looked for 'somebody bigger to save
them', and have
invented (many versions) of 'God'. Death is a scary thing,
and thus humans
have invented 'afterlife' and 'heaven' to compensate, IE, to
cool the fear
of death. Buddha saw that suffering humans did not suffer
because of
suffering... he saw that they suffer because of _assumed_

Further, and of utmost importance, Buddha saw that human
institutionalize dukkha as a given, necessary way of being,
and that
religions use that ('born in sin') (born unrealized) (born
incomplete) as a
goad to cause movement in those who are attracted to
religion. Buddha
essentially freed everyone from the search, in a way that is
quite similar
to (but spoken differently) the Christian redemption. Buddha
burned ALL
idols/graven images, leaving only 'nothing', and 'He is

"Nothing has Buddha-Nature"

That is why I point to atman/soul as 'meme'; it is the meme
of 'something
greater/better/purer than me', which is the assumption (the
putting-on of)
'dukkha'. It is the _contagion_ of duality which is the
meme. That is why,
when one is observed to point to 'atman' or 'Bramhan' as
possibility' or as 'the ultimate reality', we can know, with
certainty, that this one who is thus pointing, is lacking
the insight to
know their own nature, and thus can only see it (themself)
as a projection.
It is as though the seeker, is seeking their own spirit,
which they already
are (that spirit). The meme which validates the concept of
is the "gift of dukkha". Taking-on that gift of assumed
incompletness in
any circumstance is a Very Bad Agreement to be making, ever.

I feel that it is important to continue the essential
core-teachings of
Buddha, in whatever words may apply. To continue to refine
our definitons
of the 'divine' to the 'ultimate causeless cause' is just
fine, but what of
the one who takes the work of defining, as literal work of
attaining? This
is the classical trap of the seeker; "it is always somewhere

Now, as far as I am concerned, if I am or have a soul, that
is fine. If I
am Atma or Brahma, if I am the Ultimate spirit of the Living
Universe, or
if I am the Arcturian Flame Being, that is fine. I am still
either stuck
with one state of functioning or the other; as I said above;
I am either
working _for_ myself or _against_ myself. It is the quality
of my life that
matters to me, and I want to be working for myself, not
suffering, but
instead enjoying. I am a gift of me, from nowhere, here
having fun on the
Urth. it was not always that way for me.

"I do not search" for "what I am" because "I am That" which
I am.Whatever I
am, I am this. I am not incomplete, not do I need a special
name or
definition; I am neither validated nor invalidated by any
name or

It has 'taken me many years' to realize all of this, and to
experience the
actual practical benefits of my realization. The work has
been the cutting
through, the parsing, of the mass and density of
superstition, which is the
burden of humanity. I bow to the one who came before me, and
who did this
so well, that I can see my way that much the better. Buddha,
Jesus, Socrates, Ramana, one voice saying to me, "You
already have what you
want, if you will be still, and know".


> Dan: For me, this paragraph gets to one of the core issues here. I've
> addressed this core issue above to the best of my ability. To make a
> comment on your last question, the way to end this hell is to end
> fragmentation and division of "what is." The way to do this is to *see*
> that there is no fragmentation in "what is," no division in "what is." The
> moment you see this, it is so. This is the ending of conflict and
> division. It is seen that there is no basis for conflict, thus no
> conflict. This occurs in awareness.


Awareness is.

What occurs in awareness, is what occurs in awareness. This
is so, and it
must be understood.

Now you state the conclusion of this knowldge/awareness;

> Heaven is awareness as it is, hell is
> awareness trying to be what it is not. There is nothing to go for. Only
> resting in what is... Nothing to get out of, only letting go of the notion
> that there is someone or something separate who can get out!
> Peace, Dan

Yes. If we can 'let go' of that (erroneous) awareness, we
are free. But
this does not mean, to let go of awareness. The risk in the
'belief that
letting go will make one free', is that it is a conclusion
of (thought or)
awareness. Resting in conclusion, is not resting in
awareness; therein lies
the rub...

Letting go of the need to understand the roots of suffering,
could involve
letting go of the understanding that what happens in
awareness, is
happening in awareness. It is not accurate to say that 'what
is happening
is happening ONLY in awareness'; rather, it is correct to
say that 'what is
happening, is happening in awareness'. There is a crucial
difference there,
in the inclusion of 'only' as a qualifier. Thus, the events
which cause
grief (death, violence, etc) must *first* be seen to be
_events of
awareness_, and then perhaps as 'actual events', if an
examination of
awareness reveals such events to be 'really happening'.

The 'spititual way' instructs us to _first_ examine our
awareness, and to
only then, conclude that events are 'real', if it is useful
to do so.

The practice of 'resting in what is', as you name what I
call 'abiding', is
that practice of being aware of awareness first and always.
This does not
exclude a 'real world'; instead, it purifies that 'real
world' of the
errors of assumption which are the product of unexamined

My world is a better world, if I admit that it is my world,
my own world of
my own awareness.

I am then responsible for the actions which I commit which
are the products
of my (concluding) awareness. In reality, there are no
conclusions; any
conclusion is the conclusion (ending or finishing) of my
awareness. By not
concluding, I continue; by not concluding, awareness

It is the searching for the 'correct' which is the search
for the end of
awareness, eg, the return to the sleep of the innocent, at
the conclusion
of awareness.

Human search for 'truth' is the search for the original
sleep-bed of
conclusion. The bed of conclusion is not the ground of
Being, it is the
void of awareness. Awareness of void, is awareness of the
state of
nonawareness, but nonawarness is by definition not aware of
this; thus the
process of dissection, to find the ground of awareness. The
danger is in
finding it, not in not finding it. Those who 'find it', lose
awareness, in
their conclusion (finish) of the task of awareness.

Taskless awareness is abiding awareness.

>From the workless wordshop of

==Gene Poole==


Xan spoke:

The sense of his presence is like a flavor of him in pure
awareness. There
is no relationship in oneness. Yet just as I have
relationships here in the
earth plane I have a relationship with Papaji. How it all
works is beyond
me. All I know is that his presence is priceless to me in
the return of my
awareness to Being.


Glo responds to Ivan:

Ivan: The brain is terribly unconfortable without
conclusions --
to start of.
Thought is the turning away from conclusion-less-awarenss.
Thought is the filing of the gap awareness-conclusion.
Without the gap -- where is thought?
Thought, the gauge of illusion.
Fear of the precipice.
No escape.
This is


Dear Ivan,

FEAR?? Did I hear this right?? Please clarify this, and one
question I have for you.

Did it ever occur to you that even defining "that" as must
be fear
of unknown. also a way of coming to a
of sorts? You may think it is necessary to 'exclude thought'
all, but you are coming to that conclusion by a thought
yes? It is a well-thought out and if I may add seemingly
subtle and complex way you have of getting to this state of
no center. I honestly do not have the time to go over all
ground you covered with Dan, I did read it carefully tho. My
objection to it all is that it seems to imply that the
moment you
have any "everyday awareness of what is commonly called
reality, you seem to be saying you are "out of it"..out of
or sync with "that", the real beingness awareness. Well, it
sounded kinda an either/or..on or off. If I am mistaken,
clarify this for me.

I think we are not so much afraid of the unknown itself per
as afraid of what we suspect may be in the unknown. It is
possible to be on friendly terms and at ease with "the
unknown" as
well. If I can be said to have any position here, it would
have to
be called a nondual ordinariness. To me its ok to let your
have its little everday reality conclusions and preferences,
otherwise one can hardly decide how to get dressed in the
That is not the same as coming to conclusions about "The
Nature Of Reality." To me, you sound almost painfully
to never allow the thinker to have any thoughts, tho
obviously you
do allow the mind may keep some basic how to function and
around in ordinary reality. My sense of freedom includes a
enjoyment of ordinariness, the everyday reality of life that
on. I do not "lose anything" by doing you see what
mean? Is this "No thinking allowed" sign really a "Keep out,
trespassing" sign sign?? You can be a thinker without
all these ultimate conclusions or an ego/identity to the


Phil Burton confessed:

I have been through a doubting spell like the one described
by Tim G. a while back, in which I
cannot seem to connect to the truth of nonduality. It seems
that reading this text has
awakened that connection anew.

After I read it, I went off to do something else, and all of
a sudden it just opened up, and
it was realized that I am That Awareness that underlies
everything else that appears and
disappears within Awareness. From Francis I came to be
aware that the body and mind, being IN
Awareness, are also modes and manifestings of That.

"I am. I am not the body or the mind." There is a great
subtlety in that. It means: I Am
That; and I am not body or intellect because body and
intellect are also That. When this
connection is made it can blow you away. There is nothing
that is not That Awareness, and
aside from You nothing exists.

Thoughts which occur are not owned or possessed by an "ego"
because the "ego" itself is
nothing but thought. It is as ridiculous to say "I think" or
"I do" as it is to say, "I reside
94,000,000 miles from earth and give light and heat to the
surrounding planets." This is
because thoughts and actions are natural phenomena like
sunlight, clouds, and rain. These are
not identified with any ego, so why thoughts and actions?

I think it was Lao Tzu that said something like "The way
forward seems like the way back."
Real attainment seems like loss, yet nothing real is lost.
There is a moment when the
body-mind complex just relaxes, opens up, and lets in the
Light, and it seems like falling
with nothing to hold on to. And that is wonderful!


Dan offered:

The more intellectual
gymnastics we do, the more we privilege extraordinary
states of awareness, the more danger we are in exluding the
Reality of nondual ordinariness. Many Zen paintings speak
to me
of this nondual ordinariness, and their contrast with the
Hindu imagery (which I also love) is pronounced.
For me, your statement has a lot to do
with the human tendency to want to be "perfect" (which makes
total sense to me that we would want). The question is,
does it mean to be perfect? To be perfectly aware, to be
still, and/or to be perfectly ordinary?

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Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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