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Highlights #637

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Wednesday February 28, 2001



Continuing the "have a little faith" dialogues

> I feel that you and Michael are saying the same thing especially
> when you say 'everything is a tool'.
> So, whether it is 'a little faith', the ego, or anything else -
like
> Michael says 'it is the play of One'.
>
> Happily Confused and seeing with my heart,
> Blessings,
> James

Dear James

The spirit is all the same, but wording makes a lot of difference in
creating confusion.

Either there are no tools or everything is a tool; but you can't have
some items as tools and some others as not tools. One can argue that
logic is a tool and illogic is not; agreed, but logic is a tool only
as long as it seems to work, beyond that you trash logic also!

Some more confusion happens when you mix up gita and upaniSats; or
between different chapters of gita because the contexts are
different. :-)

But I am a strong defender of ego. I will fight it out..

It is a different flavor of advaita - the advaita with an attitude!
LOL.

Love all.
Bhadraiah

Hi Bhadraiah,
When you said 'everything is a tool' I felt that you and
Michael were saying the same thing.

I understand 'tools', as it is generally used, to mean an
instrument used to assist in accomplishing a task.
I also feel that there is another understanding of tools (and
all objects) as pointers to their source.

If all there was and is is Silence, I don't know what that would
look like or mean.
When there is a sound, I can dwell on the sound or I can
acknowledge the sound and see that it refers to Silence.
I feel that all objects are tools in this way and that they
point to their source. It is not that we have to deny objects (things
like the ego) it is simply a matter of 'emphasis' or how we use the
tool.

Recently the folks at NDS were discussing practice. I see
practice as a tool. There is the practical application of accomplishing
a task and there is the deeper understanding of the 'tool' pointing to
its source.

Peace,
James



For Canadians, lots of cool domain names are available as www.(your
name).ca
for example, ramana.ca, nisargadatta.ca, nonduality.ca, jerrykatz.ca,
consciousness.ca., iamthat.ca, etc. Why are names like this available?
Other than the fact that very few people are interested, in the past a
person had to register a business in more than one province in order to
get a Canadian domain name.

This is someone's chance to start a website called Nondual California at
www.nondual.ca. Or Consciousness California at www.consciousness.ca.
Californians are eating this stuff up. Petros, are you listening?

Good luck to everyone.

The only problem is that the payment/registration page isn't secured.
That makes me a little concerned, so check this company out before doing
anything.

Jerry


>If Sri Nisargadatta was so advanced how come he still had the
need to smoke? Isn't habit and need attachment? If a 'minor
experience' destroyed my most powerful desire/passion/pastime
/habit. I do not understand how others far advanced can still
be attached to their habits. I do not understand how someone
who has seen the 'light' could still be interested in candles and
match sticks? love, seeker <

~ Perhaps to bust our notions about what it means to be 'so advanced.'

Xan


DUSTIN

Hi everyone,

My guru is going on a trip tomorrow, and I was overtaken by some questions
today that I turned into a journal entry this afternoon. I think you guys
are the only people I know who understand what this stuff means, and I'd
appreciate hearing about some of your experiences. Entry follows:

Wed-28-Feb-01

I'm locked in. I can observe myself acting out my life's activities and
events, but I know I'm not really even alive as that entity who appears to
be doing the acting. That person is my winter coat for this season. When the
season changes, so undoubtedly will my attire, also.

I'm beginning to accept this truth, but I'm frustrated by even that problem.
That is to say, who is doing the accepting? Who is wearing that coat? Whose
hand is holding this pen?

All action is pointless. Sure, I'll agree that certain actions or thoughts
can create certain effects on certain circumstances in certain ways, and
that these effects might even develop and grow to cosmic levels. But that
too is meaningless to me. There will always be a greater cosmic goal or
objective to attain, but what's beyond that? And beyond that? There's more
to it than that simple flow of energy from one place to another - I know it.

Actually, I'm not looking for anything at all. I don't want anything. I
don't want to reach the gateless gate; I don't want to hear the soundless
sound; I don't want to walk the razor's edge of here/not here, of not
this/not this. I think all I need right now is a method. Not a method to
realize the absolute, but a method which I can use to carry out my life's
activities without losing my damned mind.

My mind is shapeless, spilling over onto the floor with every thought and
action. How can I carry this mind more carefully? How can I live here and
carry on these conversations while knowing that I'm not actually saying
anything? I'm not really here...

I must be having trouble reconciling this knowing/not knowing, this
awareness of my own awareness of my non-existence. This world is constructed
of opposites, but my world is a void. One may be reflected in the other
somehow, but there is no possible meaning that can be derived from either
one. I am nothing, yet these words are coming from something, aren't they?
What is the relationship between the something and the nothing? How is
something manifested from nothing?

Would knowing that help me to live in peace in the world?

Look, what I'm really looking for here is your best shot. I'm totally open
to any question, any action, any words. Give me your deepest philosophy,
your most ragged-edged sword to split me open down the middle. Is it a
practice? Show it to me. Is it a meditation? Take me through it. Is it a
philosophy? Describe it to me. But help me most with one thing: help me to
see how to clarify my own existence and integrate myself fully into the
void. Show me how to burn away my person-sense and yet still live on in this
world. Impart to me your greatest secrets, even if they blow me apart. I
know that everything will be fine after it all explodes. After all, the
explosion is just another experience, too...

I am ready. I am...I am. I am. I am.

Thanks for sharing in such
a direct and sincere way, Dustin.

From here, what you say rings true.

It's the end of complacency, the end of
maintaining and reacting to images.

Who knows what will happen?

If the sense of the ordinary, the usual,
the expected vanishes, who's to say
"what's next"?

If I'm ready for the deepest pit of hell
or the highest heaven, or boredom,
or rejection, or love, or happiness,
or anywhere in between,
and not ready for anything,
then, I'm "opening" ...

That's how it feels here.

Blessings,
Dan



The opening is happening.
Let it.
Don't stop to analyze it.

I have read your journal from time to time. The experiences you
relate there are common. I know how 'mind' blowing they can be.
But, they are common. They happen to someone like you or me or
anybody who has made a concious effort to find out.

Now, you asked for it - so let it flow!

At times it may feel herky-jerky, stop and go. That's ok.
Understand it is a process. All of your trips and expectations
are being stripped of meaning. The glass is being emptied!

What will be left? What is on the other side?
Just a natural human being in love with life!

There may be some profound tears and some unrestrained laughter.
Whatever comes in the moment will inform and instruct. Let it!
Roll with it! Roll in it! Well, you won't have much choice!!!

If you had a blissfull experience of expanded conciousness yesterday,
don't try to recapture it. It was for yesterday. Today you may be
overwhelmed by the utter sorrow and suffering. Don't try to hang onto
that either.

This is a process. The establishment of the I AM. Of course IT is now
and has been always here. Just here. Just here. Just here.

We go through this process for the sheer drama of it all!!!

HAHAHAH and HOHOHO!

Peace - Oh! This! - Michael


JAN B.

Hi Dustin,

No matter how many questions would be answered,
new ones will rise immediately. Any answer is but
a pointer to the next question. The questions are like
hair, answering is like cutting hair but hair will continue
to grow...

That is the power of conditioning - perpetuating itself
by those questions. The answers can fill books but knowing
them will only evoke feelings... And new questions would
arise nevertheless...

Only one thought is able to knock out the lot: give up...
Conditioning is like a flywheel empowered by one's mental activity...
So give up... You won't lose your mind...
The issue is "how much can be tolerated"...
When too much, forced one-pointedness can take of the strain...

Who bothers "who is talking, working, walking, shopping etc."?
Give up that question too...
What matters is that "those things are properly taken care of".

"Give up" isn't "the" magic potion. But there will be a day, when
"give up" just happens... So what is there to lose by giving up now?

Jan



TERRY responds

Hi Dustin: I'll go through this, you asked for comments, don't know
if this will "help", maybe help me.

--- In [email protected], "Dustin LindenSmith" <[email protected]> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
snip
> appreciate hearing about some of your experiences. Entry follows:
>
> Wed-28-Feb-01
>
> I'm locked in. I can observe myself acting out my life's activities
and
> events, but I know I'm not really even alive as that entity who
appears to
> be doing the acting. That person is my winter coat for this season.
When the
> season changes, so undoubtedly will my attire, also.

How do you know you are "not really even alive"? You are a living
organism with a brain that takes in information, which then
reconstructs that information in certain ways. Don't come to
premature conclusions about "what is".
>
> I'm beginning to accept this truth, but I'm frustrated by even that
problem.
> That is to say, who is doing the accepting? Who is wearing that
coat? Whose
> hand is holding this pen?

Exactly my point. Who is holding the pen, writing that journal?
"Frustrated" with the problem, because it isn't a problem. You have
decided arbitrarily that things are a certain way, but they are not,
and then the problem arises.
>
> All action is pointless. Sure, I'll agree that certain actions or
thoughts
> can create certain effects on certain circumstances in certain ways,
and
> that these effects might even develop and grow to cosmic levels. But
that
> too is meaningless to me. There will always be a greater cosmic goal
or
> objective to attain, but what's beyond that? And beyond that?
There's more
> to it than that simple flow of energy from one place to another - I
know it.

If there is nothing, or the kind of nothing you describe, then how can
actions cause results. Again, there is something happening here.
>
> Actually, I'm not looking for anything at all. I don't want
anything. I
> don't want to reach the gateless gate; I don't want to hear the
soundless
> sound; I don't want to walk the razor's edge of here/not here, of
not
> this/not this. I think all I need right now is a method. Not a
method to
> realize the absolute, but a method which I can use to carry out my
life's
> activities without losing my damned mind.

Yes, this might require some work. I believe (you should not believe
this until you have experienced it) that there is a level of
processing information that is below the threshold of meaning for
ordinary consciousness, and that this is what is experienced in
concentrated states of meditation. It seems to me that the
information comes in packets that are too small for ordinary
processing, and thus at first appears to be "nothing". But this level
of processing is a key to spiritual practice, it is who we are before
any construction of meaning can take place. I suspect that with more
practice, we can get to this level, see this "flow" take place,
without constructing meaning. That's why we can't talk about it. But
its not "not real". The mind is still there, it is the basis of mind.
>
> My mind is shapeless, spilling over onto the floor with every
thought and
> action. How can I carry this mind more carefully? How can I live
here and
> carry on these conversations while knowing that I'm not actually
saying
> anything? I'm not really here...

You are making the images of reality. The conversations, the floor,
the thoughts, as I said, something is happening and you are part of
that happening. Shapelessness is good. Greg talked about non-local
and atemporal. Here you are.
>
> I must be having trouble reconciling this knowing/not knowing, this
> awareness of my own awareness of my non-existence. This world is
constructed
> of opposites, but my world is a void. One may be reflected in the
other
> somehow, but there is no possible meaning that can be derived from
either
> one. I am nothing, yet these words are coming from something, aren't
they?
> What is the relationship between the something and the nothing? How
is
> something manifested from nothing?

Great question. Dalai Lama says everything manifests from space
particles. Another word for nothing. What is the relationship? What
you see: inside everything is a whole lot of nothing, but that is
what is, at the same time. No difference, not in time or space. So
you are both nothing and something. It's easier to experience the
something, hard to get to the nothing, but wrong to conclude that you
are one or the other, and not both. How does it happen? Damned if I
know.
>
> Would knowing that help me to live in peace in the world?

I doubt it.
>
> Look, what I'm really looking for here is your best shot. I'm
totally open
> to any question, any action, any words. Give me your deepest
philosophy,
> your most ragged-edged sword to split me open down the middle. Is it
a
> practice? Show it to me. Is it a meditation? Take me through it. Is
it a
> philosophy? Describe it to me. But help me most with one thing: help
me to
> see how to clarify my own existence and integrate myself fully into
the
> void. Show me how to burn away my person-sense and yet still live on
in this
> world. Impart to me your greatest secrets, even if they blow me
apart. I
> know that everything will be fine after it all explodes. After all,
the
> explosion is just another experience, too...
>
> I am ready. I am...I am. I am. I am.

Think about your mother. She really loved you. She brought you up
without reward. Just did everything because of love. Take that
beautiful feeling and stay with that for a while. You'll feel just
like that, and everything will be great. Love, Terry


GREG GOODE
This is not a recommendation, but an observation....

In the last several weeks I've spoken to two people who had amazing results
that even decades of spiritual seeking had never provided for them.....
Zoloft, a medication prescribed for anxiety or depression.

Both of my friends felt more stable, mentally clearer, happier, more
peaceful, less agitated after taking Zoloft. One person, who had been on the
spiritual path for 40 years, finally found what he was looking for, and stopped
the spiritual search.

Some paths tell you that the goal to be sought is liberation, or no-goal, or
emptiness or the Self, or desirelessness, or the transcendence of/or
integration with all that is, etc. And many people adopt these ideas as their
own goals. But like the old children's riddle about how you can tell
when you find what you want.... when you stop looking....

Love,

--Greg



BRUCE MORGAN

There are now quite a variety
of SSRIs (Selective Seratonin
Reuptake Inhibitors), and some
of them have little or nothing
in the way of sexual side
effects -- "Celexa" is one of
those. "Zoloft," as effective
as it otherwise is, is a well-
known libido throttler. I
think the gist of what Greg is
saying is not to assume that
everything manifesting
psychologically is a spiritual
or philosophical matter and/or
amenable to yogic/meditative
techniques, prayer, "natural"
preparations, diet/lifestyle
changes, etc. -- sometimes it's
an ailment that can be remedied
given the help of a skilled
and sympathetic MDiety. :-)


Hi Bruce-ji,

Yes, what you mentioned is sort of close to what I was getting at in the first place. Here's a
message from the MahaMudra list that I sent in response to something that Terry Nabata has
written. He found it an odd story, and asked, What do the spiritual search and medication have to
do with each other anyway??

=======================

Hi Terry,

You're right, the message begs for a reply and your reply was right on the mark. Spiritual search,
medication, etc. My buddy put them together, not me. For me, the most interesting and ironic point
about the story is this: at times, what people really look for is not what they tell themselves they are
looking for. My friend who stopped searching was on an advaita path, and over the previous
decades (he's now in his 70's), he explored mostly Judaism, Kabbala, Zen and advaita, most
recently, the latter. If you'd have asked him, he was looking for Brahman, as advaita says. But
according to the teachings of his own chosen path, advaita, the peaceful and content and clear
state reached by him is much closer to the place advaita recommends to BEGIN serious study of
advaita, not the time to stop. But he stopped there, and was happy about it!! I noticed the difference
in the next phone call we had, and I'm happy for his relatively non-agitated mental state, like he's
feeling "Wow, I've got it now - the search is over!"

But according to formal advaita, as in Shankaracharya's _Tattva Bodha_, this is where the student
is deemed "qualified" to begin the study of advaita. I remember when I first encountered his list of
pre-requisites for beginning study, I thought, "Whoa, dude, that sounds like enlightenment itself,
and you say it's just the beginning!" The list, as given in the Tattva Bodha is called the Fourfold
Qualifications for the study of advaita:

1. Vivekah - discernment between the Real (consciousness)
and the Unreal (everything else)
2. Viragya - dispassion for the objects in this world and the next
3. Sampattih (fruits of spiritual practice) (6 of them)
Sama - staying composed, mind under non-forced control
Dama - control of the sense organs and speech
Uparama - accountability and responsibility
Titiksa - patience, endurance, nonreactive forbearance of hot/cold,
happiness/unhappiness, and other pairs of opposites
Sraddha - faith in the words of the teacher and scriptures/texts
Samadhanam - one-pointedness of mind, ability to meditate/concentrate
4. Mumukshutvam - the burning desire for liberation

Anyway, that was what was interesting to me. Another friend worshipped with Siddha Yoga/Guru
Mayi for 7 years. When her singing career took off, she found the happiness she was looking for
from that spiritual path....

Love,

--Greg

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