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#5086 - Friday, November 15, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights


The following posts and exchanges from the last two days were posted to the Nonduality Highlights group on Facebook. All are welcome to join and contribute, or just lurk!

Pete Sierra

Thanks for inviting me.

Yesterday, pain in the knee,
Today, in the hip.
Pain is orbiting my body
like a satellite. Beep, beep.

Anna Ruiz I love you Pete Sierra.

Peter Baker The excitement of getting older is in not knowing which bit is going to hurt next! 


Tim Gerchmez

Do you live in the world, or does the world live in you? The common parlance is 'in the world', but is this our experience? Do we see ourselves living in the world?

It's too simple even for a child... "mommy, I looked around the room everywhere, but I couldn't find myself in it!" 


Peter Baker

Being Batty

The philosopher Thomas Nagel asked the question of what it is like to be a bat. 
He went on to say that although we could know exactly what a bat looked like and how it behaved – and although we could know everything there possibly is to know ABOUT a bat we could still never know what it was like to BE a bat. 
So what makes bats know what it is like to be a bat? 
Is it the kind of food they eat or the fact that they have compassion for their fellow bats?
Is it because they enquire into their battiness or read about their bat nature? 
No, they know what it is like to be a bat simply because they ARE bats. 
And this is the sense in which I know what I am regardless of my appearance, behaviour or anything else.
What I am is what makes the knowing of everything ABOUT me fall short of what it is like to BE me.
I have no idea what I am – I am indescribable - but my being is undoubtable and unavoidable.


Sheryl Moore Valentine

I have to admit that I don't get, i.e. understand the whole 'satsang' thing and all the debates on duality and non-duality. I've been into A Course in Miracles for over 20 years, and in the last 2 years was moved more into contemplating and reading the practices of the Hindu sages.... really opened my eyes and I see clearer now, but still.. I just don't get all the debates... when I see that, at least speaking only for myself, Spirit Within is leading me to see Self.... I am not one of those who thinks "I know" what it is all about, so I am really open to discussion on this! Thanks! Much love!

John Devitt A lot of ND discussion is the equivalent of the theologians endlessly debating how many angels can dance on the head of a needle. It's a game people play, till a more interesting one shows up. Life itself continues to unfold irrespective of whatever we think or say about it.

Tim Gerchmez The thinking/saying is an aspect of life unfolding, of course... It's not like thought is separate from life.

Jerry Katz One person's "debate" is another's "being moved," and it's all this unfolding they're talking about.

Dhanya Durga Moffitt Dear Sheryl, Here's one bit of information. I've been exposed to the teachings of nonduality for quite a while, beginning in 1991, when I met Poonjaji in Lucknow--and I was a spiritual seeker for twenty years prior to that. So that's a lot of years.

In 2002 I met my current teacher, Carol Whitfield, and then her teacher, Swami Dayananda, and through them I came in contact with the very ancient teachings of Advaita/Vedanta found in the Upanisads.

I love this teaching. It has helped me to understand what nonduality actually is. 

The practice of debate and discussion about nonduality is very ancient, stretching back centuries. 

There once an Indian sage, who was called Adi Shankaracharya, who most likely lived in the 7th century. He wrote commentaries on ten major Upanisads, and the Bhagavad Gita, as well as composing many original supporting texts on the topic of advaita. It is his commentaries and texts that are primarily used in the teaching tradition in which I study.

Along with writing commentaries and original texts and traveling around India teaching, one other thing Shankara often did was to hold debates with various people who were considered to be spiritual authorities of his time, and who may have interpreted the words of the Upanisads variously. 

There were at that time in India other schools of philosophy who cited the Upanisads as the source of their teaching, but whose philosophy wasn't really nondual. So Shankara would hold debates with these people. 

There were certain rules for debate. I think there are four types of debates that one is advised not to enter into, like don't bother to debate with anyone who isn't even interested, don't bother to debate with anyone who just wants to argue and isn't open to really listening to what you are saying. There are a couple more, but I can't remember what they are. I guess I might add, don't bother to debate with anyone who is out and out rude (that would be one of mine at least. It may not have been necessary in Shankara's day because he wasn't on the internet 

So bottom line what I'm trying to say is that debating or discussing may not be a bad thing, and in fact, talking and debating and discussing nonduality with others is a time-honored practice, stretching back thousands of years, right back to the 7th Century and Shankara, (and probably even much farther than that).

I've learned a lot in discussions with others over the years. I've also pretty much learned when not to discuss, when it isn't any use, or to see when a person just wants to argue. And certainly because of the way the internet functions, there can be a lot of incivility, as one doesn't know to whom one is talking or what that person's motivation might be. Still it is interesting, and for the most part I like it and on the whole feel I've benefitted from it. Om!

Mace Mealer The miracle of conflict is resolution, conflict being an aspect of two is thereby resolved into one. Some might say this is resolution is rare, while some might say it is patently inevitable, while others might posit that it is all rank illusion . There are exactly as many views as there are minds to hold them, but only one, I repeat ONE truth... maybe.

Wayne Ferguson Or not-two, at any rate... 


Jerry Katz: I was supposed to go to some kirtan tonight and walked there and never went. Too mellow for me. I'm heading out to karaoke with the beer and people like myself who can't sing but at least sing loud and horribly. Makes me wonder what I'm doing in the spirituality racket. I feel like an atheist who builds churches.

Wayne Ferguson "There is much that is difficult for the spirit, the strong reverent spirit that would bear much: but the difficult and the most difficult are what its strength demands. 
"What is difficult? asks the spirit that would bear much, and kneels down like a...See More
Selections from Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra,

Tim Gerchmez There's no reason to care if people consider you 'spiritual' or not, unless you're in it to be considered a certain way. Which would be especially ironic given that advaita is about loss of self, dontcha think? . Enjoy the karaoke (I like it too ). There's nothing "unspiritual" except carrying around a self-image, in my view.

Mark K Lemon The mystery loves fun!

Amrita Nadi OMG Jerry! i can't read the other comments, eyes bad now, but had to respond: Beer and karaoke can be 1,000 times more spiritual than kirtan or chanting or pujas or whatever has a label of being spiritual.. Now, you know that darlin' and "i" know it cause i used to live on a garbage pile with a raccoon eatin' out of a used pizza box, and we both got friggin' enlightened! , , , and it's all been delightfully down hill since then! Bars. beer. jazz. and watchin' damn fools croaking at a mike . . . life is so great! Now, go young party animal - you can croak almost better than anyone i know.. jes' maybe stop labelin' stuff, ya know?

Tim Gerchmez ^ Yayyyy! Pizza lighty-mint is the best kind! 

Braying Jack Cass We all need our hobbies...

Amrita Nadi Tim dear: "Pizza lighty-mint" hoho! Join me sometime, eh?

Tim Gerchmez Will do, if we're ever together in the same area. The cheese gets kinda stringy when you download it, even over a high speed line .

Amrita Nadi Stringy cheese is good. It's the sauce and pepperoni that gets messy. But it's a date. i live in a cave near a dumpster - i traveled uptown - lalala and got me a piece of the pie lalala.. aha! we have desert!

Tim Gerchmez At the moment it's a big bowl of Spaghettios with cheddar melted on top... Not a very 'spiritual' food either, but I never did care for those sautéed yak's livers that the Tibetans like... . My kitty-cat got a plate of people tuna, too, and was happy about that.

Amrita Nadi happy cat is good. bring him with you. This is my cat after a heavy spiritual day of karaoke.

Melanie Boothby live large. it is required at karaoke.

Tony Cartledge If you still feel guilty, just bring up 'All you need is love' or 'Across the Universe' or 'Tomorrow never knows' by the Beatles at karaoke.

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