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Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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Sunday, November 17, 2013 - Editor: Dustin LindenSmith

The Nonduality Highlights •

Russian media billionaire Dmitry Itskov has invested some of his fortune in what he calls a “science mega-project” to achieve cybernetic immortality, somewhat along the lines of Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity. When I contemplate this sort of thing seriously, for some reason it underscores how terribly transient and illusory our human experience is. It also makes me feel like we’re all willing participants in a strange sort of game, life, wherein we all implicitly agree to follow a bunch of rules to disburse resources, measure the passage of time, and organize our physical world…

In 2011, Itskov founded the 2045 Initiative, which is named for the year when he intends to complete the project’s ultimate goal: to outwit and outrun mortality itself. His “avatar” project is a four-stage process, beginning with the development of androids directed by brain-computer interfacing—mind-controlled robots, in other words. It would culminate in a computer model of a person’s brain and consciousness, which could be uploaded into a machine for posterity. An eternal problem, solved.

A quote from comedian and musician Reggie Watts has gone slightly viral this week, even amongst my non-nondual Facebook friends. Clearly something about this sentiment resonates with some of the mainstream. 

One wonders what Watts means by the “you” he references in his last sentence...

The important thing to remember is that this simulation is a good one. It’s believable, it’s tactile, you can reach out, things are solid, you can move objects from one place to another, you can feel your body, you can say I’d like to go over to this location, you can move this mass of molecules through the air to another location. At will. That’s something you live inside of every day.

From an issue of Jerry’s earlier this week comes this bit from a 7-point summation by David Hodges on what is nonduality:

...all dualities are in reality aspects of the same stuff but at different points on a spectrum. 

Highlights reference:

Original source:

Reader and philosopher Wayne Ferguson wrote to us about the preceding David Hodges post on Reddit. He said it reminded him of Aldous Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy, and wrote this thoughtful comment on his own blog:

While it is very important not to underestimate the differences between various religions (and religious sects) as we interact with their adherents– especially on a global or regional scale –it is also important to see the possibility of seeing beyond our differences–of seeing that which most of the world’s wisdom traditions seem to share in common.   And once exposed to this possibility, it seems that our hearts and minds actually become more open to a unitive intuition of the One in Whom we live and move and have our beingthe One that is beyond name, form; beyond any and all traditions.

Ferguson is speaking of a bold, noble truth by which to lead our lives. It may be impossible to identify any conflict in the world which could not be resolved by the manifest actualization of that ideal.

Finally, a personal note. I had two quite glorious epiphanies this week while practicing two of my main passions: jazz tenor saxophone and drawing. In each case, I experienced several blissful moments of what behavioural neuropsychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls flow. 

While playing a slow blues in B-flat with my Hammond B3 organ quartet, I felt the music come through me completely unhindered, without any of my own conscious psychological involvement. For three or four minutes, I became lost in physical time and space, just hearing the notes of my saxophone being played to me as if in a dream. Improvising jazz can be a terribly cerebral exercise when playing a complicated tune. But in this instance, I exercised no personal interference with the notes that were played; they just flowed naturally through me, without my control.

Later in the week, while sketching somewhat aimlessly, I realized that if I changed my hand position a certain way and then removed my brain’s focus from the motor control of my hand, I could just “see” the image I wanted to draw in my mind’s eye, and watch my whole arm move in harmony with what I was seeing. As long as I maintained my focus of awareness on the “seeing" instead of the “drawing,” the image I saw in my mind was exactly replicated in graphite on the page. But “I” didn’t “do" a thing to draw it. It just happened.

The common aspect of both of those experiences? I think I was just getting out of my own way. For several glorious minutes this week, I got completely out of my own way, and let life be lived as it always is, but without my own conditioning or desires or influences laid on top of the experience. 

So, that was pretty awesome.


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