Jerry Katz
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Highlights #54

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Xan offered:

from Master Ta Hui

"'Just get to the root; don't worry about the branches.'

Emptying the mind is the root, the fundamental, then all kinds of language
and knowledge and all your daily activities as you respond to people and
adapt to circumstances, through so many upsets and downfalls, whether joyous
or angry, good or bad, favorable or adverse - these are all trivial matters,
the branches. If you can be spontaneously aware and knowing as you are going
along with circumstances, then there is neither lack nor excess."


The "conventional path" isn't a single but a plural as there are many
variations. What is in common, is finding Guru(s) (physically dead or
alive) / teacher(s) to whose presence /statements / methods etc. one
feels strongly attracted.

And of course "here" the question is: "who is attracted?" If the ego,
disillusion could follow and seekership could end in another disappointment
(presupposing that one doesn't become a seeker because of having a pleasant
"interesting worldy life").
But from the spiritual perspective, "drinking the cup of
bitterness" is always a sweet necessity when seen in retrospect

So all unconventional paths have in common that (for the sake
of explanation) the "inner" Guru takes the initiative, no
matter how strange that may sound. The "inner" Guru isn't a
seeker and doesn't have a path; the pathless path could be
called top-down or flash awakening (as opposed to bottom-up or

Which unavoidably is leading back to the issue of " the Grace
of God" and the wounded ego. For a starter, how would you
describe prince Gautama's ego, when going for the homeless life
on being confronted with suffering for the first time, leaving
loved ones behind? A big healthy ego, like Ken Wilbur described
in one of
his books ??

Path.....From the first moment I ran across Gurdjieff and the
Work I knew there was something there that had tremendous
weight. I struggled and worked with the application of the
ideas, I did personal work with other people in groups, and
I even attempted in small ways to pass some of the ideas
along to others. This must be the gradual bottom-up way.
The conventional modality.

But the real awakening was a flash-down experience. How
could it be any other way?

In fact that is what the Work says. All we can do is work
to balance the lower centers in order to receive from the
higher centers. In fact all this talk about ego and therapy
really isn't germane as one will not receive unless one can
bear it. If reception occurs in an unbalanced machine the
gears will freeze and the person will be crystallized
wrongly forever.

Regarding the ego, it always reminds of Ramana's remark, not to
ransack what will in the course of events be discarded. Among
others, spontaneous K. awakenings can occur after one has
experienced a severe loss and for those unprepared, there can
be problems; they are always solved when the insight of the
"don't" arises: resist, fight, blame and regret. Without the
"don't", one can receive quite a lot.

From: andrew macnab <[email protected]>

When asked to sum up his teaching in one sentence, J. Krishnamurti said;

"Attempt without effort to live with death in futureless silence."

There is no memory in this silence.




It feels that facing what is is like standing at the gate of the
Infinite, and that the Infinite comes uninvited and with no other
reason than compassion to pick you up from that gate.

Tony (from HarshaSatsangh):

Fear is the primeval subconscious feeling of separation from the
source. It manifests in many ways, all to do with bodily attachments.
If one is in communion with the source then it is 'Why fear when 'I'am
here'. Referring to the 'I'Atma of course. For all is one and then who
is to fear and what is there to fear.

Colette responds:
Nice Tony, thanks. I also have found lately that ego as inner child may then
project on the return journey back home to Atma, the pains and fears
encountered during teh intitial separation and even with own parents as
unconditional love is impossible to have flowing all the time. The child
learns to weather separation over and over and over - yet fear and defense
mechanisms get built. Can I trust Love if it means separation too asks my
inner child self?

To me, and from my experience of childhood, fear is not the primeval
subconscious feeling of separation. Amazement, or the beauty of
strangeness, is more.

"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the
proportion." (Francis bacon)

This amazement brings a taste for adventure, and like a little child's
touching with no fear the fire for the first time, a fear from it is
born from pain. From the amazement of our own beauty that we want to
touch, and with habit and pain, comes the "other" one, or the "something
else", we come to fear.

This picture nicely express the amazement i am referring to:

As amazement was an entry door into the world of separation it may also
be the door out of it. But it's a more delicate path than just killing
the fear...


The disidentification with everything is quite
a leap. In my mind, it is not the ego that makes the leap. We agree on
this. It is "itself" that leaps to "itself." It is just that the ego needs
to be in readiness to accept this movement. An ego that might look to
other to be unbalanced might actually be quite balanced. It's not a matter
of how "others" perceive it, it's a matter of its readiness for a movement
like that, and its willingness to give itself over to that movement.


Feelings leave impressions behind in the mind; when
the old impressions are erased, the impressionability is erased
as well. This is what makes the difference between suffering
and pain. In many discussions it is assumed one's "assets"
remain unchanged; they are changed thoroughly and this makes
"all" the difference. Because the past does not consist just of
facts, but of impressions and facts, it takes some analysis to
verbalize "the" difference, as seemingly memory remains the
same; the facts remain, but all impressions are gone as is
impressionability. Which is the explanation for the absence of
the entire "individuality structure", because that is rooted in
accumulated impressions.


Jung saw the unconscious as sometimes
"taking over" in
ways that hurt the person, particularly if the ego was not
able to relate,
communicate, and assimilate the messages from the
unconscious. So he saw
the journey as somewhat unpredictable and at times dangerous. This is the
archetypal "hero's journey." For me, it's not really a
hero's journey, and
the dangers are more mind-made than real. Yet, while the
intention is to
remain ego-centered, there are dangers simply related to the ongoing
challenges that ego may have difficulty assimilating or
perceiving accurately.

I wouldn't be surprised if many cases of psychosis turn out to
be K. related; this must be the one of the dangers. If one
can't relate to inner events, there is the possibility to stop
interpreting, putting one as it were in a no-man's land, or to
adopt a fight or flight reaction pattern (possibly developing
into psychosis). The unpredictability of the no-man's land can
be associated with the archetypal hero's journey. It reminds of
an introduction, Jung wrote in a book on Ramana Maharshi, that
wasn't finished by his close friend Heinrich Zimmer. Jung
visited India but didn't visit Ramana; he was considered
absolutely predictable. Instead, Jung was overjoyed by meeting
a householder, firmly rooted in "worldly" life, who was a
disciple of Ramana. This was the "proof of the pudding"; the
validity of Ramana's teaching / method for John Doe.

Whether you call it the "inner guru" or "the unconscious
self" that wants
to "integrate the conscious mind," there is a similar thrust here. The
person may find themselves doing thing not expected,
encountering events
that are challenging or discomfitting. The outcome feels
predetermined" from ego's perspective (and the outcome ends up being the
"unknown" itself). I agree that this is very important. It doesn't really
fit that well with Wilber's rather linear and forward-moving ideas about
spiritual evolution and development, although he does make
some good
points. In my opinion his tendency to see spiritual
development as
predictable, controllable, and fitting with conceptual maps is why some of
his statements about ego have the kind of sound to them that you detected.

The excellent point you make is that "ego is never master in its own
house," which is essentially the point Freud wanted to make, although Freud
didn't clearly see how related this was to spiritual

The predictability of those, who in Jung's words, follow their
own nature, irrespective of society, family ties etc, is a
fact. For them, ego was never an issue, nor wanting to realize.
One "flash" is enough to see the "work ahead". Then, all other
issues suddenly have become non-issues; the biography of Ramana
reveals this clearly. For others, without such a flash, it is
different. The analogy of having pulled out a number of nasty
thorns all at once, or having them pulled out one by one. IMO,
ego has become a problem because of societal overrating of
individuality and tabooing death. This causes egos to behave
according to the laws of the jungle, with predictable
consequences too ;-( At best, ego is a sincere servant.


Here's what "not the doer" meant to me. Arjuna wished to
renounce action altogether, but giving up
actions based on ego desires is only half way to truly
relinquishing all attachment to "results of action" - sacrificing
all notions of success or failure and all ownership of the actions
performed. Krishna did mention the lucidity of knowledge that
would see in all creatures one existence, a single undivided
presence. When Arjuna speaks of his delusion of ignorance being
destroyed, he also says he has by grace regained his memory. That
appears to be the remembrance of I AM. So it implies that only
with this awareness in place by remembering who one is - not
separate - only then
is it possible to act freely. THIS includes recognizing what one
was born to do, not resisting one's destiny. Awareness
(transcendent type) may be a rest stop or oasis
of peace, yet it is not a stopping place from which one ceases
participation in the life of apparent duality. Only with
transcendent awareness does immanence have the possibility to
manifest as heaven on earth..the return to heaven is to the
"Edenic garden where
God's (I AM) presence is readily available" - this is to end the
exile, to
return home. To bring eternity into time. And it is here and now,
IMHO. Where else is there to go?



Since Dan mentioned TV commercials it reminded me
of an experience I had twice actually. Twice when it
was time for me to "get" something a character in a TV
program looked me right in the eye and gave me the
message. There was no doubt about it.He looked me
right in the eye and said a personal direct thing to me.

The first time my husband was with me watching also
and I asked him if he got what the guy just said. He
mumbled something or another but it was clear that
the effect was not at all the same.

It was very strange. Direct eye contact through the
TV with a message.

Followed to its logical conclusion,
the bodisattva vow results in
a whole bunch of bodissatvas
standing around saying
"go ahead", "no please after you",
"no I insist"...
The only solution
is for them all
to be one.



I have been watching a man dressed in rags. He carries a sign that says

His eyes burn with fervor; the fervor of mental illness? Perhaps. His eyes
are fired by a gentleness and a smile for everyone he passes that cuts to
the quick, and despite my walls, makes me feel as though I have been seen to
the very core of my being and found good. His presence on the street corner
is reassuring somehow...I notice his smile and his grace; his gentleness and
openness to any who will return his glance, his absolute respect for any who
do not...I wonder about him...I do not notice his rags or his unkempt hair.
I think about Jesus, as I watch the many who walk pass this man revile him
and move away in fear.


The flash comes: nothing matters, walk lightly, be real, our errors work as
well as our successes...words get in the way...words are fun...words give me
a bubbles up with the doesn't matter if it doesn't matter, errors don't exist...great
joy...I am alive!, it doesn't matter....


Harsha (from HarshaSatsangh):

Sages tell us that in the tree of
life, most fruits are bitter sweet. However, Satsanga (Company of the Truth
or of the wise sages who know the Truth) and meditation on the nature of the
Self lead to the fruit which is only sweet and extinguishes all bitterness.
We bow to the great sages in all religions and spiritual traditions and
those who are outside and independent of all traditions - who have pointed
to the true nature of the spirit. We bow to the sweetness which is our
eternal nature.

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