Jerry Katz
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Highlights #598

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Sunday, 1/21/01

White Wolf shared some new poetry:

After a Midsummer's Dream

For some winter and rather long time now,
I have felt the strength of the white wolfe.
Or, perhaps, the blue granite dome polished by
The vast stretches of geological time,
Glistening in, but indifferent to the sun.

Through the medium of the wild and weather stained
Aeons I would speak to you of silence and waiting.

You, surprising, with your aster smile
Have brought the cataract of spring
Gushing into some hidden valley of dream.

You, the limpid moon drifting through
The silvery clouds of midnight, softly
Has my heart spoken to me of your beauty.
Softly has Orion urged me to approach
the deep radiance and fluidity of dawn.

I could speak words of love to you,
But such words would be meaningless.
For love is something that grows time.
Love is the scarlet columbine dancing
Amidst the gentle waving sedges of May.

I have told you that you are beautiful.
(Like the men who have come before,
like the men who will come after.)
But to speak of beauty truly, to see
The whispering lupine sway, is an act of silence.

So I will not speak to you of love nor beauty.
I will utter no white words high with
the melting promise of late snows, rushing
too quickly down the falling mountains and out to sea.

Men speak too freely of love in the presence of beauty.

For some cold and near eternal time now,
I have been sleeping alone under the white snows.
In some high and hidden valley waiting,
Waiting for the imminent thaw of some
perpetual and self-sustaining revelation.

With the force of the feral white wolfe silently,
With the grit of polished blue granite profoundly,
I am awaiting the unfolding song of flowers.

Like the serene moon drifting, I hope,
Drifting softly through the clouds of eternal dream into
the dancing grasses and singing tiger lilies of spring.

I would speak to you, my Beloved,
of attainment discovered in waiting.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, thy lord is with Thee&
Mark Christopher Valentine

A Hymn to My Beloved

To define beauty is to speak of silence
it means to possess the unknown
and confirm the very breath we take

I discovered while in dream
When the sun was a dark blue
And the stars a sparkling rainbow
In what might have been a miracle
Floating over your head like diamonds
The moist fluidity of dawn in your eyes

I could say your body is beautiful
carelessly I could say it (as men do)
and still speak the truth
but the truth in the end
is that the body and even the mind
beautiful though they may seem
are but flesh on and in finite bones
slowly breaking down into dust

To define beauty is to speak in silence
To gaze upon a holy mountain
Or catch with you very breath

A butterfly

But if I speak of beauty
I lie,
for mere words do not cannot speak of beauty

Your very existence
Illuminates the hummingbird
Hidden in the rain
And speaks more of what beauty might be

But you are more than that image, much more.

You remain a mystery to me
And that is the temporal bond between us
The knowledge that we will never reveal
All of our mystery
Not even to ourselves

Yet you enter my lungs
Like a crisp breath of winter air
Cover my body like a blanket of snow
The primordial waters of my softest dreams

And out of the ashes of my life
I now allow myself to see

Because I have eyes to see
Eyes covered with your fluidity
(and other eyes, you understand)
eyes that have seen everything:
the horror and the sublime, fire and ice)

I see, I hear, I touch, I know
Your soul slowly evolving as my soul
Oh my Beloved, out of God's imagination.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, hold us in your arms
Now and forever, forever, forever&

Mark Christopher Valentine

uarekive pointed to some Nisargadatta quotations:

You can read more than 200 quotes by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj on the
importance of earnestness, eagerness, effort, practice, doing, action
and instructions on what the aspirant must do by clicking:

With Love,


Antoine posted (inviting comments and reactions):

On Philosophical Dichotomy
Advaita of Sri Sankara and Sakta Advaitism

While the Advaita of Sri Sankara achieves unity by the sublimation of
the 'many' as a mere appearance, the Sakta Advaitism seeks to obtain
this by recognizing in the 'many' a real manifestation of the One. All
Vedanta philosophy is an attempt at the solution of the One and the
Many. The kingpin of Sankara's Advaita system is the doctrine of Maya
and the division of Reality into the Paramartha (metaphysical) and the
Vyavahara (empirical). The Maya doctrine maintains that the non-dual
Being is the only real existence (Paramarthika) while the 'many' are
only the appearance (Vyavaharika) of it conjured up by ignorance.
Appearance means that the objects experienced are not actually there
while they are experienced (Mithya). All the time the multiplicity is
experienced, the non-dual reality alone has been experienced. A snake
experienced on a rope in comparative darkness is given as an example of
this philosophical doctrine. The implication of this doctrine is,
therefore, that creation and created objects have never been in
existence (Ajati), and that one says these are there only because of
ignorance which corresponds to the darkness which leads to the
perception of a snake in the rope. By explaining the phenomenal world in
this way, Sankara achieves the non-duality and the immutability of the
one Existence; but in the eyes of a critic, this is achieved only by
compromising the non-dual oneness of Reality; for he has to admit; for
he has to admit an entity called Ignorance which must necessarily be
separate from that non-dual existence. If for any reason it is said to
exist in the non-dual existence then it will be admitting Svagatabheda
(internal difference) in the non-dual existence, and if it is regarded
as separate, dualism comes in. Besides, in the ligth of this doctrine
both bondage and liberation and the spirit seeking liberation become all
unreal. As a critic of Advaita has humorously put it, all the teachings
of the ``Sastras about liberation become like consolation given to a
sterile woman on the death of he son``.

In contrast to this version of Advaita, the Shakta school maintains that
the non-dual unitary Existence has an internal polarity which is only a
distinction without a difference. The non-dual Brahman is not only Pure
Being but pure Will also. It is Being-Will. Though these are separately
spoken of, they are just like fire and its heat, which form one and the
same entity. The concept of Being without Will is as good as Nihil
(sunya) and Will without Being is a fictitious assumption. So according
to Sakta doctrine the non-dual reality is Being-Will. It can change into
multiplicity in a real sense without losing its integrity as a Whole.
That change mutates the causal substance is a law that governs the
entities of the limited world. It cannot hold good with. It cannot hold
good with the Infinite and the Absolute Being, unless we make its
absoluteness a meaningless expression and reduce its entity into that
of a stock or stone. So according to Sakta version of Advaita, the
Non-dual Entity as Will or Sakti, changes in a real sense into the world
of multiplicity Jivas and Jagat, without however forfeiting its non-dual
status as Being. This looks illogical, but in no way more so than when
Kevaladvaita posits an ignorance while at the same time describing the
ultimate Being as non-dual. Besides, in the Sakta version of Advaita,
creation being real, bondage, liberation and the scriptures which teach
the way for liberation all become real.

These basic metaphysical differences also imply ethical differences
between them. For Sri Sankara, all actions hove got only reference to
the illusory level Vyavahara (empirical life). Though works done in the
proper spirit of detachment may be an indirect cause for spiritual
illumination, these have to be abandoned or renounced at a certain
stage, as the aspirant should become absolutely workless in the sate of
Jnana. No combination of Karma and Jnana is allowed in his system. But
in the Sakta doctrine, there is no such dichotomy between Jnana and
Karma. Upasana and Jnana go hand in hand. The Sakta system is simply a
system of rituals accompanied with meditations, but is is based on a
non-dual interpretation of Reality.

From the Introduction of The Saundarya-Lahari of Sri Sankaracarya
Also at

Omkara responded:

Only philosophers are concerned with philosophy. And they will argue and
argue... is Shankara right? Was Buddha right? What about Tantrism,
'Shakta advaitism," Kundalini, ad infinitum...

These arguments are of interest only to those who have not had a taste
of 'the nondual', or where there is an agenda to avoid 'that which is'.

The philosophers who argue one guru or one teaching over another don't
even realize they create a duality just by doing so... the so-called
nonduality is turned into duality because one philosophy is viewed as
'more accurate' than another (or some are discounted completely, etc.).

I tell you, none of these views reflect reality at all. Reality is
without any concepts or philosophy.

Go ask a tree its philosophy for living. Ask it "By what philosophy do
you live by?"

Love, Omkara

And Ed replied to him:

Actually trees are very biased against humans. The giant Redwoods are
known for their bigotree.


Mathew quoted JM Cox:

Copyright (c) 1995, J.M. Cox

The dual nature of man is a reality, regardless of what it is called.
Every sane person knows full well that everything they say, do and think
reflects this reality, because everything they say, do or think is
self-referential. Difficult as this situation may be to digest
initially, I suggest that you begin by rereading the above sentences and
considering them anew. The existence of a duality is not imaginary,
though any time you put a stable solid name on it you're letting
yourself in for a certain amount of delusion, because all systems
overlap. For purposes of this discussion, picture man as two distinct
systems: at the upper end of the nervous system, the level of ordinary
consciousness, exists the intellectual portion, the so-called
psychological, spiritual, mental life of man; everything below
constitutes the instinctive, biological aspect of man.

What I want to tackle tonight is how this duality manifests itself and
affects what seems to be the attempt to become more conscious. Remember
what I've already told you: that all sane and ordinary people want to
become more conscious, though the urge is usually called by other names.
It's called improving yourself, getting ahead, trying to become
educated, trying to save the environment, and so on and on. All of these
activities are a reflection of man's urge to become more than he is now,
to become other than he ordinarily is.

This urge can be seen dramatically at the earliest and most active
stages of a person's life, when Life runs the most potent sap through
man. Children are the humans who most actively and enthusiastically
dream. Of course, the urge is pretty rampant all the way through the
teenage years of rebellion, when it can be seen in the raw attempt to
better one's elders. That is Life pushing the last generation off the
stage, giving rise to growth and movement from generation to generation.
Collectively, the urge can also be seen in the advancement of
technology, the progress in health care, the increase in physical
well-being and the expected life span: all reflect the course of Life
through man. That's what I'm calling the urge to become more conscious.

On an individual level, every child's dream--whether it's to become a
great ballerina, a scientist or an explorer or a football player-- you
know the dreams kids have--is the dream of becoming more conscious,
because it's the dream of being something other than what the kid is
now. Every child dreams of being not just bigger or older, but of an
improved, enlarged existence. Though kids' dreams rarely last--at least
in intensity and drama--past the teen years, the adult version would be,
for instance, a man or woman taking up a new hobby or trying to master a
new art form or sport. The unspoken ideal is, "If I could just get to
where I could do such-and-such, I'd be a different (read "better,
bigger, more complete, more powerful") person."

People only dream about being what they are not. And if you're sane, you
always dream of improvement. A normal person doesn't dream of
regression: "Gee, I wish I could leave my comfy home and my family and
hit the road and kill lots of people." These are not dreams, they're
nightmares. All ordinary people dream of improvement, in whatever form.
Of becoming more charitable, more spiritual, more positive--which
translates into: something they're not. Again, such adult dreams
represent not just being older, bigger or richer. They represent a more
conscious existence, though it is expressed in quite simplistic, even
materialistic and physical forms. A mother's plan to set aside enough
money to send her kid to an ivy league school, or a father's dream of
moving his family to a better neighborhood, reflects the desire for a
more conscious existence.

To put this in even more slipshod terminology: everyone is driven to
want to be a mystic. Almost everyone recovers from this by the time they
reach maturity. But if you're alive and you still have plans and
daydreams of being better in some way, you've still got the urge.

The historic method for those who actually set out to become more
conscious--those who consider themselves to be real-live grown up
mystics--has always been the study of one's self. All systems, from the
religious and mystical to the psychological arts, accept a priori that a
person must achieve some self-realization, some basic knowledge, in
order to accomplish anything extraordinary. In other words, you can't
wander around in a cloud of oblivion so thick that you constantly forget
your own name, where you put your keys or your children. At any rate,
the message has always been that to achieve any degree of
understanding and insight, if not enlightenment, you first have to study

May I bring to your attention the fact that the question has never been
asked: Which self?

I suggest you reflect on your own: Given the tradition of self study,
and the methods commonly in use, which self do you think they're
studying? (If it makes you feel any better, you've got a 50-50 chance of
being right.)

To begin the study of a creature of dual nature--namely man--look at the
two areas to which man has access. There are several salient features
that should jump out at you, the first being that there is only one area
that can be told to study itself, that would ever think about studying
itself, that has any potential to attempt such a study. So it should be
pretty obvious which self is usually the subject.

Notwithstanding the fact that all systems overlap, here's a creature-man
again--of two distinct systems. And he's told that to accomplish
anything in the way of increased consciousness, he must come by an
enhanced degree of self-knowledge. Simple: he has to study himself. But
only one of his two indigenous systems can understand that directive and
undertake the study.

Would it even be possible for you to turn to the instinctive portion of
your being, to look down at the lower portions of your nervous system
and say, "Ok, fellahs, here we go, we're going to study ourselves now."
Do I have to mention that the most likely response would be a big blank?
No matter how fine a machine you might have going for you on the purely
physical level, there is no verbal way to approach and involve that
silent, instinctive self in such a study. But imagine what would happen
if you could make your biological functions understand the proposition.
If the instinctive system could hear the challenge to study itself, what
could it possibly make of such a thing?

Go back and consider again which self is targeted by all the known
methods, by all the rituals, such as meditation and prayer. They are all
parts of the attempts to study one's self, but what do prayers consist
of? What does meditation involve? Which self is most directly involved?

One of the points I'm making here is the simple and obvious fact that
throughout history, people have been directed to study themselves, but
no one has ever tackled the question of which self is to be studied. It
would seem that if self-knowledge is the desired product, this would be
one of the first matters to be investigated, right?

The fact that man is of a dual nature is not news, even to the most
mundane and ordinary of intelligences. If there weren't two selves,
there would be no study of anything. Consider again how everything you
say, do and think is self-referential. Everyone acknowledges his dual
nature by the simple act of self-reference, by just saying, "I." Notice
that our single-natured animal friends, who never refer to themselves,
never tell personal anecdotes, never say "I," are also spectacularly
free and devoid of the urge to study themselves. You'll never get a
beaver interested in searching for his true nature. There's nothing to
study; there's one system, and that's it.

So what is one to make of all this? Here is a possibility. The goal of
all who pursue an enhanced consciousness, who wish to become more nthan
they are, can be described as the realization of a unified nature. In
fact, that's one of the historical descriptions of the mystical pursuit:
the great union, whether it's called a union with a god, with one's own
various conflicting parts, or with Life itself.

Where there is duality, there is conflict. And where there's no
conflict, where there exists a single, unified, system, there is nothing
to study. So take your pick: you've apparently got the choice of either
resembling a battlefield or a beaver. Unless there is a third,
transcendent possibility. And if such a third possibility exists, what
does that say about the method of studying oneself? If you can't study
yourself unless you have a divided nature, then isn't it just possible
that the study itself perpetuates and solidifies the divide? So perhaps
Life simultaneously perpetuates the urge to overcome one's dual nature,
and ensures the continuation of that nature, all in one swift, killing

What are you left with after that? You can resemble a battlefield, or a
beaver. Or you might consider a transcendent, third possibility.

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