Jerry Katz
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Highlights #597

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Saturday, January 20

A net of lies, that starts out small,
Soon appears to capture all.
Defined and captured by its links
I can't break free or so I think.
But one day by some happenstance
Some twist of fate or act of chance;
It's all revealed as delusion
And so it comes to a conclusion.




On the non-duality circuit it has been heard that dzogchen is
the equivalent of advaita. Yet, dzogchen seems to have far too
many concepts, rituals and practices associated with it, so can
it be compared to advaita which currently eschews such things?
Or is it the shape of advaita to come (lord help us - I hear
many a post-Lucknow teacher is offering all kinds of
psychotherapy on the side - hope I haven't offended anyone only
provoked reasoned discourse).



We are discussing our spiritual practices on the NoDoer list
( and I thought I would re-post my
list here, with an additional practice I just thought of, number
11. I will preface this by saying that it is obviously mostly a
"wannabe" list of what I am working on rather than a "This is
what I do all the time" list.

1. Sitting silently in meditation posture, being aware of What
Is. This usually begins with awareness of body sensation,
but then expands to include awareness of thoughts arising
and awareness of sounds and anything else that appears in my
awareness. Sometimes I find myself trying to identify myself
with this awareness, as if to say "I Am this awareness," but
paradoxically, that seems to shut down awareness. It seems
more fruitful to instead have the attitude of an inquirer
into Who I Am, an openness rather than an asserting of Who I

2. Same as number 1, but moving in yoga postures instead of
sitting. Here there is naturally more attention given to
body sensation, since the movements produce more and
different sensations than are experienced in the sitting
posture. The postures are generally done slowly, as that
seems to facilitate the entry of awareness into each nook
and cranny of my body. As the body relaxes and the
sensations are witnessed in stillness, what is felt seems to
be not only the physical body, but a more subtle,
non-physical body, an "energy body." Sometimes, when this
feeling is very intense, I will move this energy body while
the physical body remains still. This is from the Kashmir
Shaivist tradition as taught by Jean Klein. I am only toying
around with this, though; I don't feel I really understand
what I am doing. So I play with it. Come to think of it,
that's all I'm doing with the physical movement, too, is
playing with it. I don't really have to understand it, do I
(with my mind, that is)?

3. Same as number 1, but instead of sitting silently, I perform
simple yogic breathing exercises.

4. Same as number 1, but going about my daily routine instead
of sitting silently. All activities to be done in awareness
of What Is, as opposed to the usual condition, dwelling in
What Isn't. (Daydreaming, anticipation, etc.)

The following could be seen as practices in themselves, but I
tend to see them more as pointers which are subsumed in, or
equivalent to, the above practices.

5. Being Here Now. Seeing that there is only Now, that thoughts
of past and future are occuring only Now.

6. Bare attention, mindfulness, self-remembering, the Witness.
Same as #1, really.

7. Noting that anything which appears is not an object unto
itself, unrelated to the Whole, but an appearance within Me
(Consciousness). And the Me, being Consciousness, is
openness, not an entity. It is seeing, not a seer. The
objects, the seen, refer back to this seeing. More
precisely, they are not separate from this seeing.

8. Feeling that there is no 'I." Functioning in my daily life
as if everything is just Happening By Itself, with no
controller, no volition, no doer. Sometimes I will say:
Okay, for just the next hour, or the rest of the morning,
everything is going to happen with no Person. It is just
going to unfold spontaneously, with nobody there trying to
"make things happen." Somehow everything seems to get done
just fine!

9. Feeling that I am Everything, the Totality, the Vastness,
the Universe, and that everything is appearing within this
Me. Same as #7, basically.

10. Accepting everything just the way it is. Welcoming it, even.
Understanding that this is the way it Must Be. Wanting
anything to be different changes nothing, for whatever
happens, happens. This does not mean that if a car is about
to run over somebody you must just stand there and watch.
The fact of you running to pull the person out of harm's way
is also part of the way it is. If we are not accepting What
Is, or everything that happens, from indescribable beauty to
unbelievable horror, we are suffering.

11. Conducting myself "impeccably." When I am impeccable I act
as if I am on stage and everybody in the world is watching
me. I am both the actor and the audience. I don't just
mindlessly throw the towel on the towel rack; I fold it
neatly and hang it. I am in no hurry to get anywhere, I feel
no panic about something that needs to get done. Each
movement is done with economy, efficiency and grace. When I
interact with others with impeccability I am totally there
for them, responding to their needs. True impeccability
requires full non-localized attention, the forgetting of
self and awareness as Self.



It is only a human being who
would refer to reality, or
be concerned about
not taking unreality for reality.

The human being, believing
a self to be formulating reality,
inevitably questions what is,
what is not reality. How can
I manipulate reality to get
what I want? How can I
protect myself from reality's
unwanted intrusions?
How can I have the bliss of
full reality?

What is implied here is that when
the human being is not, reality
is. Yet, from reality, arises
the "human being", which
is an image, a formulation,
and organization of vibrations
into a "package".

So, reality "knows" the human
being, and so a human being
seems to be. The human
being never knows reality,
which is unknowness.

As reality knowing the human being,
I know that this human being
is the "one vibration" that is
boundless, and is a differentiation
of vibration which appears as if
autonomous as if "interacting"
with other "things" which are
this same "one vibration" at
different apparent rates.

It is a dance. The dance happens.
There is nothing "external" to restrict
the "one vibration" from vibrating
and infinitely differentiated rates.

How marvelous, this dance I am,
we are, none is! The dance
in which "is" and "is not"
*are* vibration ...

The one that is many, one, and no-thing ...

The one sense that differentiates into
multiple senses, thus enabling images
of beings, things, space ...




Hi All...

I picked up a used book yesterday:

__"Polarity, Dialectic, and Organicity"__

Author: Archie J Bahm

Professor of Philosophy, U of NM

Publication number 783, American Lecture Series

Publisher: Charles C Thomas, USA

Here is a link to Google:


Impressive results. This guy has been 'at it' since 1946.

This book seems to be the most particular 'grammar of
nonduality' which I have ever found. I now know what 'extreme
aspectism' is!

Anyway, this is for the interest of those with brain-cells to

(And I got this at Goodwill for $0.79... )

Bon Apetite!

Gene Poole

And BTW, check out this 'meaning-based search-engine':




I had Dr. Baum as a professor in a philosophy course in Ethics I
took at the University of New Mexico in the early 70's.

I remember his going on about sat chit ananda and not having a
clue what he was talking about. I really didn't understand the
class very well. I got a C.

Dr. Baum was a twinkling man. That's the word that comes to
mind. Looking back, he seemed amusingly exasperated at our
inability to really understand. I never felt a resistance toward
or from him. In other words, he 'felt' like he was a good

He posed difficult, challenging questions continuously in class
and he would laugh as he posed them. It was a kind laugh, almost
as if to say, 'Excuse me for puncturing your ignorance, but I
beg you to consider if you will.' He almost seemed embarrassed
to pose such questions. That's the kind of laugh it was. And he
laughed continuously in that way. I remember that. Part of the
laughter must have been from that place that none of us could
have imagined at the time. Also something about that laugh let
you know that no one could possibly answer his questions.

I remember Dr. Baum in a positive way. He was married to the
same woman forever and forever. He looked like a twinkling,
positive Archie Bunker. He seemed old even then. Unfortunately I
didn't have a clue what he was talking about.



Terry Murphy wrote:
"To begin with, to the extent that there is any philosophical
basis to this view it is one of 'pragmatism.' William James
wrote a book called 'Pragmatism' and he explains that the value
of philosphy is in the way it changes our behavior. In other
words, a 'good' philosphy is one which supports goodness in
human beings. We can *believe* anything we want to believe, but
we are most likely to be happy if we believe that which supports
a loving, happy attitude."

There are some who believe that *no* philosophy can have value
by this criterion. This seems a bit harsh to me but i would bet
that very little of our behaviour is altered by philosophy
alone. And in combination with other factors, philosophy is the
weak cousin, dispensible, ie the other factors are by themselves
sufficient to alter behaviour.

Example: Thou shalt not hit. Not a bad idea for promoting
general harmony and happiness, yet observed in most cases only
because no impulse to hit arises. When the impulse to hit arises
the philosophy comes into conflict (and harmony) with a number
of other forces, which struggle with each other, or balance
against each other or whatever. That philosophy will tip the
balance is extremely unlikely given the primality of other
forces potentially involved -- anger, alcohol, prejudice,
repression, a need for self-defense, etc, or on the moderating
side, a peaceful heart, insight born of experience, the
availability of alternative action, etc. In my adult life there
are two instances of my hitting another living being, both
anger-related, which stand out as formative and much more potent
in producing the "desired" outcome of non-hitting than
philosophy. In both cases i hurt myself (my hand) rather than
the intended recipient. Such an experience acts (acted) as a
catalyst to understand viscerally that this is not the "best"
course of action.

Philosophy, especially its most apparently effective subcategory
morality, is largely impotent when ranged against powerful
primal impulses. If we have learned early only that hitting is
bad -- perhaps even by getting hit by parents for hitting others
-- we have not learned an effective way to deal with the hitting
impulse, only a way of keeping it down for a while. Other
subtler tools are needed.

And sex! Centuries of sexual morality have created a monster
where sexual abuse, to name but one direct consequence, has run
amok all over the planet, never mind rape, harassment and
hypocrisy in the highest places. Think of the better world it
could be had we invested in empowerment of women and children
instead of the tired, sick patriarchal repressive models we have

Osho sez: "Philosophy is a blind man in a dark room on a dark
night, searching for a black cat which is not there." Yes, this
too is a philosophy, but one which has value by James'
criterion: it is a mental system that helps us to understand the
impotence of mental systems. It helps us to look in other
directions than mental systems for ways to understand and go
beyond our biology and conditioning. Mental systems are the most




I respect the fact that Wilber or any traditional nondualist has
chosen to take a linear, monopolar path as their personal path
of spiritual unfoldment, for any such choice is their deep right
and privilege. I have no respect, however, for the promotion of
hegemonic claims, made on behalf of this path, that it is the
preordained path for the whole of mankind, and for the very good
reason that these claims can, for a while at any rate,
intimidate and disempower people from making deep, creative
structural choices about their own spiritual path.



This current "NDE debate" is really funny. I've always
associated the acronym "NDE" with "Near Death Experience." :-)

The "Nondual Experience" both is and isn't an experience. All
words are gross approximations.

Paradoxically, what we're discussing here has nothing to do with
nonduality. Nothing. Nonduality can't be talked about, only the
question can be asked: "Who is talking?"


Tim (Omkara)

P.S... for those who believe in 'atmosphere' affecting things,
maybe the current presidential administration change and
resulting national protests and debates (even Internet mailing
lists are filling fast!) are affecting us... maybe those of us
"nondual types" are more sensitive to happenings in the
'world-dream'? :-). Pure speculation, who knows? It's wild "out
there" today... perhaps that translates to "wild in here" as


Dan wrote:
"To have opinions about the NDE (whether from a religious or
nonreligious viewpoint) simply reflects a misunderstanding of
what the NDE is."

Terry replies:

There are inherent absurdities in this statement. You are
expressing an opinion of what the NDE is, while at the same time
invalidating such opinions. Where I think you miss the boat (or
raft) here is in not making a distinction between expressing a
view or opinion and being attached to such a view or opinion.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, even opinions about
enlightenment. It is not unreasonable to discuss the Buddha's
enlightenment experience under the bodhi tree, all buddhists do
so. That was the prototypical "NDE." I am not trying to explain
it, or even discuss it; I was simply expressing the opinion
that, in the phenomenal world, the Buddha's enlightenment and
subsequent reflections of it are 'good' things, and have
positive results. Another absurdity inherent in your statement
is the concept of 'misunderstanding' 'what the NDE is.' If there
can be a misunderstanding of the NDE then there can be an
'understanding' of it. This is impossible, because the NDE, as
an experience of the Ground underlying all understanding, is not
amenable to being understood. In other words, if you can speak
of someone misunderstanding the non dual experience, you don't
realize the nature of the experience yourself; it is not
something which can be understood or misunderstood. Of course, I
take it for granted that the use of the word 'experience' refers
to the phenomenal, not the absolute; you can attack anything I
say on the grounds that the inherent duality of language renders
all expressions of any sort false on their face. But then we
would have no chance whatever to communicate. As a phenomenon -
as the buddha's famous experience under the bodhi tree which
changed his life and the lives of so many others - we can speak
of Enlightenment (or the 'NDE' - Matthew's language, not mine)
and have views about it. If we are true to the transformations
(moksha, or liberation) which accompany an NDE, we will not be
*attached* to our views; but that doesn't mean we are entirely
without opinions. Everyone has a point of view. My views are
generally expressed in tandem with opposing views, in the hope
that the thoughtful reader of both views will come to a balanced
appreciation of the subject. In this manner I express an opinion
without being attached to it. I hope you understand now. ;-)

aloha, terry



Matthew said of NDE or mystical experience:

"((Lot of f*cking good it did them, given that the suffering of
mankind hasn't changed a lick since the beginning (whenever that
was). And despite all the mystical experiences and presumed (and
i do mean presumed) enlightenment and being "free" going

Chuck replies:
I agree only in part with matthew in the sense that having a
mystical experience does not guarantee anything. A schizophrenic
can experience nothingness and it can become the most terrifying
"experience" that one could ever under go. For it can be like
stepping into no gravity. All identity vanishes---where is
everyone else?----where is it?---So there is more to
"experiencing of consciousness without thought or image
(no-thing-ness). This is called insight. If it is not
"understood" or integrated then it may have little value. A
pilot staring at a cloudless sky, can suddenly have a "white
out" experience. He or she can loose all sense of perception and
thought...not knowing what is up or down, etc.....for the pilot,
it can be quite an annoyance and potentially very dangerous. I
will have to elaborate at another time but, "we have to learn at
long last that the mystical experience is what it is. It is to
be "sought" not because it is noble as wisdom or goodness is
noble, but because it is an additional skill: a skill which can
confer delight. It can also yield a highly pragmatic result,
which again is value-free, it can insure the practitioner
against the vicissitudes of life, against boredom and despair,
because these can be viewed as silly and unimportant in the
radiance of successive mystical experiences, or just one
mystical experience properly remembered. I have to add here, so
I will not get corrected by the non-duality police......I am
aware that there can be no realization of oneness within
mystical consciousness since that would indicate the presence of
the observing self. All descriptions of this "experience" ..God,
Supreme Good, Samadhi, Pure Awareness, Void, etc. etc. are names
bestowed in *remembrance* and shaped by the creeds, dogmas,
spiritual belief systems of the participants. At another time I
would like to bring up some issues such as the problem of
imposing one state of consciousness on another, emotional
intelligence, the multidimensional/relative nature of "reality",
and taking responsibility for ones actions---not as judgment,
but to get a feel where some on this list are coming from in
regard to these dancing issues.

just a void dance,

chuck h


one might say I had both and at the same time. The senses, with
the exception of vision, were dead and there were no thoughts or
feelings - just a peace of an unknown kind. There wasn't even
awareness how blissful it was or how long as there was no sense
of time either. Only when the police woke me up from coma, it
became clear how blissful it was - the impossible mix of an
extremely strong longing to "return" immediately, the reassuring
knowledge that "death" had to be great after all and the
devastation that one can take leave of life only once, so it
couldn't be repeated...



Tim (Omkara)

P.S... for those who believe in 'atmosphere' affecting things,
maybe the current presidential administration change and
resulting national protests and debates (even Internet mailing
lists are filling fast!) are affecting us... maybe those of us
"nondual types" are more sensitive to happenings in the
'world-dream'? :-). Pure speculation, who knows? It's wild "out
there" today... perhaps that translates to "wild in here" as
well? >>

Hi Omkara,

I have been following this assiduously from the beginning, but
today, I have been avoiding everything outside and everything on
tv...the result of this election has something not quite right
about it...I don't mean legally, but I have a vast and vague
dis-ease that I have never had with any other election...I agree
with you...there is some sort of "thing " happening here that is
still nebulous...and I don't want to start any sort of a
political debate...this feeling that I have has nothing to do
with that...I just feel that in the grand scheme of things, we
have taken a step backwards...that what we are looking for,
promoting in here, working towards has been swept into a corner
for awhile. I am not saying this is such a vague
unease that it is hard to put into words, and I am no where near
ready to put on a white robe and a sandwich board that says the
end of the world is I all alone here? IS what i am
feeling a little weird and unfounded?

My opinions only.


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