Jerry Katz
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Highlights #557

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Thursday, December 7


The Alchemist

"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the
alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky. "Tell your
heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.
And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its
dreams." -Paulo Coelho



stop. listen. become as subtle as an infant!

what is the difference between a parent and an infant?

a parent nourishes to teach,
teaches to unfold
unfolds to empower
empowers to release

an infant receives to to become a child
a child receives to become a adolescent
an adolescent receives to be an adult
an adult receives to become a parent

what does a parent receive?
if they still receive, they become the infant.

what is your face before you were born?



The only reason we buy so many popcicles is to stop my wife from eating
all the cool-aid.

Imagination is not creation. When we 'imagine' we tend to do so with
the worst in mind for our enemies. When we are 'creative' however...
well... it is just not the same if you know what I mean.

Can you describe for me the number 'two (2)' without the use of
objects, things, and concepts? Curious however, that you still know
what 'two is' as you 'search' to 'define it'.

Thus, nonduality is 'described' as 'not two' and yet, if one 'observes
self inwardly' it is only in contrast to 'what is out' and visa versa
(regardless of which end you call self and whether you say this is it
and this is not it) thus, it can not be 'one' either.

Therefore, there must be 'three halfs' to spirit. There is 'what it is'
which is always exactly 'half' of what we 'do not know' and the
'subsequent two opposite halves that argue over 'what it is' at the
expense of 'what it is not'.

-- Hobbes



Observing the reflection, mirrored through the position/no-position
dialogue which Terry and Dan are holding; juxtaposed with Jerry and M.
Christopher's offerings this morning.

My ongoing inquiry, woven with yours here..

The matrix calling us forth..
appearing as, through and not-as us..
including form and formlessness..
known as more than our individual blinking cell lights..

.... how do we serve This?

I ask.. how can the Whole be served by listening deeply to your four

Might the "call for coordinated effort" be listened to *effortlessly*,
and, better danced with as Lover, through partnering with the Beloved
... each recognizing their sum as less than the Whole?

In lieu of "coordinating effort", can we surrender to order arising..
and know the fire of heart, to act on what appears before us.. mindful
of the habit of forgetting... honoring the still voice here.

When I read your voice Terry, I feel your passion as Lover, as well as
your forgetting. I hear, through Dan, an echo of Beloved re-minder.
Gentle reminders, we all need, to see through the memes (such as
idealized terms like "global village"), and how they bind us to
criteria. These are the cell membranes encasing our free dance. Useful
in moments so as to contain the fire.. alchemical crucible and
generator for authentic action. Useful in moments to release back to

Assuming the possibility that Whole might be playing with a new form
in-formation... that of individual cells uniting as new galvanized
parts. How is *effortlessly* co-ordered? Perhaps through no position
listening, until action position arises. Then stoking the generators
with spacious,non-idealized fuel.

I am in-formation,
I am in-formation-less,




Political Emptiness

rested at zero
is the best place
from which to act

without imagination
or creation

somebody's got to do it




'Self-secret' is 'intelligence' itself. You spoke of space-generating
nanos... well, intelligence is the most fierce of all creative forces;
it is sheer fire in speed and organization; it never stops; it
compounds upon every previous action, and with the increase in human
computational power, is now trying (Oh, HOW it is trying, fiercely,
unrelentingly! Like the first salmon to spawn RETURNING to the Golden
Age worlds, to deposit its report; thus to generate the most important
forward-wave of changes!, from our 'past', for to change our present!)
to establish true logarithmic rate-of-increase.

If and when this occurs, notice a dramatic shift upward in 'resolution
of reality', richness and depth, and self-stating meaning, emanating as
Display; then to be forced to renegotiate our presence, not alone any
more; all living inside of a 'giant',


This is pretty much what I have been talking about. We are the First
Salmon and this is the First Day; deposit/report/generate! A critical
mass is reached and a chain reaction started; intelligence increases
exponentially. And no one needs to take Credit, being enlightened is
nothing special. Our teachers aren't rich and famous, our students
aren't future avatars.


A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread - and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness -
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

Some for the Glories of This World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!


There is a time for violence,
There is a time for peace.

Only those who remain utterly devoted to their inner feelings--their
core being anxiety and serenity, first; and contempt and compassion,
second--know when the time is right for violence or for peace.

Only those who live in touch, first and last, with their feeling--are
capable of the subtlety of choice. Only they can transcend numbing
generalizations and passionate exaggeration. Only they know the truth
of serenity and compassion. And, thus, of love.


As some zennists might say, "The passions are enlightenment." Or:
samsara is nirvana. Serenity follows anxiety, and compassion follows
contempt. Agesilaus said (in Plutarch's "Lives"): "It is circumstance
and proper timing that give an action its character and make it either
good or bad."

Gene mentioned Charles Luk. In his "Ch'an and Zen Teaching" he
translates Hsu Yun's discourses, partly as follows:

"Where do both easiness and difficulty lie for an old hand? By old hand
is meant one who has called on learned masters for instruction and has
undergone the training for many years during which his body and mind
were mature for it and he was clear about the method which he could
practice comfortably without experiencing any handicap. The difficulty
met by a monk who is an old hand lies in this feeling of comfort and
clearness in which he stops and stays. Thus, because of his stay in
this illusion-city, he does not reach the place of precious things
(i.e. the perfect Nirvana). He is fit only for stillness but is unfit
for disturbance and his training is, therefore, not completely
effective for really full use. In the worst case, the practiser will,
when coming into contact with his surroundings, give rise to feelings
of like and dislike and of acceptance and rejection, with the result
that his false thinking, both coarse and fine, will remain as firm as
before. His training will be likened to the soaking of a stone in water
and will become ineffective. As time goes on, weariness and laziness
will slip into his training which will become fruitless in the end.
When such a monk is aware of this, he should immediately give rise to
the hua t'ou again and rouse his spirits to take a step forward from
the top of a hundred-foot pole (he has reached) until he reaches the
top of the highest peak on which he will firmly stand or the bottom of
the deepest ocean where he will walk (in every direction). He will cast
away (his last link with the unreal) and will walk freely everywhere,
meeting face to face (lit. substance to substance, or essence to
essence) with Buddhas and Patriarchs. Where is the difficulty? Is this
not easy? "Hua t'ou is the One-Mind. This One-Mind of yours and mine is
neither within nor without nor between the two. It is also within,
without and between the two and is like Space which is immutable and is
all-embracing. Therefore, the hua-t'ou should not be pulled up or
pushed down. If it is pulled up, it will cause disturbance, and if it
is pushed down, it will cause dullness, and so will be in contradiction
with the mind-nature and not in line with the 'mean.' Everybody is
afraid of false thinking which he finds difficult to control, but I
tell you, dear friends, do not be afraid of false thinking and do not
make any effort to control it. You have only to be aware of it but
should not cling to it, follow it or push it away. It will suffice to
discontinue your thinking and it will leave you alone. Hence, the
saying: 'The rise of falshood should be immediately cognized, and once
cognized, it will quit.'"



Is the Alarm Clock Ringing?

Humans are "attentional beings". What that means is that the very
essence of human existence, of being human, is derived from the giving
and receiving of attention. Even the act of identification with the
bodymind is an act of attention in which the "me" is inappropriately

Cultural conditioning has assured that 'attentionality' as the core of
being would be lost in a myriad of inappropriate identifications. One
might speculate that the survival of the bodymind is the cosmic
'reason' behind this arrangement.

This paradigm has led to an attentional deficiency for many humans,
since the need, per se, of attentional energy for human sustenance and
growth is greatly ignored. This energy is supplied in mutual
face-to-face attention; however, the notion of what is required for
growth and sustenance is greatly distorted by misidentification.

One of the more subtle distortions lies in prematurely 'identifying'
attentionality with "Awareness", with the "not-me", and with "nothing".
This abstract distortion is abetted in internet dialogue where actual
face-to-face communing is not the norm. Not recognizing the need to
exchange this attentional energy, to get beyond the content of dialogue
and of language, contributes to the deficiency.

From this perspective, what goes on here in this list might really be a
symbolic acting out of this need. So perhaps in getting out into the
world, facing its deficiencies face-to-face, is the real awakening.

Is the alarm clock ringing?


DAN BERKOW (from the Lotus-and-Sunflower list):

Someone asked: Is there anything Existential "Nothingness" has in
common with Buddhist "No-thing-ness"?

Existential "nothingness" can open into
Buddhist "nothingness" if one isn't
attached to having the existential dilemma
being continued. Existential nothingness
opens when deep questions about existence
and reality lead to uncertainty about
anything having ongoing reality or meaning.
If despair and a sense of isolation become
a "stopping point", then existential nothingness
has made itself into a somethingness, and there
is a hidden clinging. Similarly, suicidal
thinking or nihilistic relativism represent
hidden clinging.

If existential "nothingness" is taken
as a posture, a pose, a way to encounter
life, it represents an "identity of emotional
emptiness or numbness, inability to
commit to life, a substitution of despair
and negation for life". It is this "nihilism"
that is specifically regarded as "not Middle-Wayed
awareness" in Buddhism, along with "eternalism"
that is similarly spoken of as "not Middle-Wayed".

The Middle Way is exactly what is neither
nihilism (the negation of anything and
everything as having any use or value),
nor "eternalism" (the affirmation of
anything as having ongoing, continuing,
or ultimate existence or identity of its own).

The Middle Way, because it is neither
negation nor affirmation, allows
seeing in which subject and object
mutually arise and interdepend, and
in which the "negation of any
permanently or independently existing
thing or quality" is simultaneously the affirmation
of interpenetrating Totality beyond words or thought.

Thus, self isn't negated, it is simply
not affirmed as existing, hence neither
affirmed nor negated.

When existential nothingness reveals to itself
that the underlying dilemma of birth and
death isn't resolved by clinging to nihilism,
the "true nothingness", the
"actual void" opens before one's very eyes.

And this void really isn't Buddhist at all, any
more than it could be Jewish or Christian.
And it isn't a void, either. It's an infinity
of potentiality and Totality. So "nothingness"
or "void" are just words that say no description is adequate,
no quality can be attached, no conditions

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