Jerry Katz
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Highlights #652

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Friday March 16, 2001

dearest friends at heart ,

to know the secret of nonduality
know the secret of yourself
look deep inside to the core
the essence of your own existence

look into the consciousness
that is always always present
deeper than body
deeper than thought

find the source of all that appears
know yourself keenly
know yourself directly
knowing and being are the same

there is only one of us
all of us are exactly and perfectly
that one

much vaster than mere love,

if we experience others
we have assumed we are some body
if we experience a world
we have assumed we are some body
nonduality can never be known
from the point of view
of this somebody

check it out!
turn direct around (180 degrees)
look into
this assumption


mmmmthanx for listening

everything has come to a complete stop
the word bliss doesn’t begin to describe this
fascinating existence
functioning in the dream is utterly hilarious!
self is the word
there is only one


xan sends a quote from metta zetty

from Metta Zetty:

Consider the possibility that Life is complete --
exactly as it is...

...that within each moment
Reality is infinitely and endlessly manifesting...

...that all of the apparent parts
are an expression of one vast and magnificent

Imagine how all THIS would appear to you
if seen through Satisfied eyes.

Breathe deeply and let go
of all expectation and desire...

...and in this moment of clear, pure Seeing
you will discover all there is to know:
nothing more, nothing less,
than what is here, now.

Dan said:

"The universe and who I am are not two.

terry (M), says:

Sometimes, almost lost in the verbiage, the stream of consciousness,
comes the essential point. Like, 'not two.'

One of my favorite poets, A. E. Housman, once wrote:

More Poems

Good creatures, do you love your lives
And have you ears for sense?
Here is a knife like other knives,
That cost me eighteen pence.

I need but stick it in my heart
And down will come the sky,
And earth's foundations will depart
And all you folk will die.

Here the poet is talking about the illusion of life that we all have.
We *know* at some level that we *are* the universe, but our identification
with these bodies confuses the issue. Do we really think the universe will
end with our death? We often act as though we do.
It doesn't help, I don't think, to imagine, as Dan apparently does,
that it is our awareness which is life and reality. What of sleep, and is
death not but another sleep? 'To sleep, perchance to dream, ay there's the
rub' said Hamlet when he was contemplating suicide. Or the Eagles, in Hotel California: 'you
can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.'
Or Bob Dylan, from "Gates of Eden":

As friends and other strangers
From their fates try to resign
Leaving men wholly, totally free
To do anything they wish to do but die

Here is another poem from Housman, if you will bear with me:

op cit

I lay me down and slumber
and every morn revive.
Whose is the night-long breathing
That keeps a man alive?

When I was off to dreamland
And left my limbs forgot,
Who stayed at home to mind them,
and breathed when I did not?

. . . . .

- I waste my time in talking,
No heed at all takes he,
My kind and foolish comrade
that breathes all night for me.

Housman is pointing out the deficiencies in the way we look at life and
death, and making us think, if we will. Of course, his 'kind and foolish
comrade' is 'not two' of us.
I can't explain anything without the whole picture being present, so
pardon my length here, this always happens.

If there is any error I see repeated over and over on this list, it is
the assumption or assertion that 'who we are' is related to or identical
with our 'awareness' or 'consciousness.' This error is certainly not borne
out by a study of scripture. To buddhists, consciousness is one of the
skandhas, one of the elements of reality that we erroneously regard as self.
In hinduism, true knowledge of God is found in deep sleep, when we are
neither aware or dreaming. And jesus would say that to lose your life is to
preserve it.
The 'problem' of death is directly related to this identification with
consciousness. One of the wonderful paradoxes of the spiritual path is that
our consciousness increases greatly as we become more mindful beings. If we are always
mindful and tune our lives to the pattern of the Universe, the
tao or will of God, we become conscious on a whole other level than ordinary consciousness. We
may hardly sleep, or dream; we may actually know Everything.

But the illusion of individual selfhood then disappears, and
this is what we call death, or deep sleep. I have been dead. It was
wonderful, I knew everything, in all its perfection. But I wasn't aware of
'myself' as an entity, an individual.
The awareness that we think of as self is not at all what we tend to
imagine it to be (reemember the final narration of Kevin Spacey's character
in American Beauty). The buddhists know that awareness is related to sense
perception, that each sense (the conceptualizing mind itself being a sense
as well as the other five) has its own consciousness, and that consciousness
does not exist in any kind of pure form, but only connected to 'stuff' that
it is conscious of.
The aim of a conscious being is to be continuously mindful. Once we
have discovered that good and evil are entirely dependent on each other, we go beyond
categories but still retain our essential nature, which is to
prefer the good, to affirm reality. So the being who has Awakened is
constantly engaged in transforming all behavior related to egocentric views
into behavior motivated by unconditional love. This requires continuous
awareness, as attachments pop up constantly.

The sense of self which virtually everyone possesses, whether saint or
sinner, ordinary man or sage, is an illusion created by connecting the dots
of moments of awareness. The buddhist image used to represent this is the
circle created by swinging a torch around: there really isn't any circle,
just a succession of momentary perceptions of a torch being whirled. Think
about it: we are not *aware* of the moments we spend asleep, not only at
night, but all during the day. We drive to work and don't notice 99% of
what happens outside; we daydream or listen to music, but much of the time
we retain absolutely nothing of the stream of phenomena we pass by. Since
we are not aware of these moments of sleep, and few of us are aware of this
constant process of falling asleep and waking up (while fewer yet stay awake all day),
we all tend to string together the moments of awareness as regard
ourselves as continuously conscious beings. And the more we think of
ourselves as continuously conscious beings, the less it is the truth.

Children and animals are vastly more aware than adults. Our awareness
tends to function when there are decisions to be made, things to be learned, new situations to
face. A child will expend tremendous powers of
concentration just learning to walk, or speak. Animals are alert to any
advantage and quick to jump on it. Adult humans have automated such
procedures as walking and talking, and as they grow older tend to rely more
and more on the fruits of experience and less and less on learning new
things. The actual moments of awareness become fewer and fewer, but the
'person' never realizes it, because they are asleep most of the time, and
don't realize that they are only awake a small portion of the time. Stop
someone and ask them if they are awake and they will invariably say yes; the question causes
them to look within for a moment and sure enough, the
light's on, since they are looking. But they will most likely immediately
go back to sleep unless challenged again.

In Rilke's Eighth Elegy (The duino Elegies), he says (I will only give
the a couple of paragraphs to save space, but the whole is luminously

With all its eyes the natural world looks out
into the Open. Only *our* eyes are turned
backward, and surround plant, animal, child
like traps, as they emerge into their freedom.
We know what is really out there only from
the animal's gaze; for we take the very young
child and force it around, so that it sees
objects - not the Open, which is so
deep in animal's faces. Free from death.
We, only, can see death; the free animal
has its decline in back of it, forever,
and God in front, and when it moves, it moves
already in eternity, like a fountain.

- - -

If the animal moving toward us so securely
in a different direction had our kind of
consciousness - , it would wrench us around and drag us
along its path. But it feels life as boundless,
unfathomable, and without regard
to its own condition: pure, like its outward gaze.
And where we see the future, it sees all time
and itself within all time, forever healed.

The consciousness of humans - so increased in the spiritual people who
cultivate it as a part of the *transformation* from the childhood of the
race to its adulthood, so as to not only be perfectly doing the best we can,
but to be *consciously* perfectly doing the best we can - is not who we are;
if it were we would never wake up.
The unexamined assumption in all of this sort of talk is always 'who
are you' (as alice's little blue hookah-smoking caterpillar asks).
The ego is born with our naming and dies when the body so named is no
longer breathing. The ego has no real existence, just as there are no
individual ants or bees or leaves; in every case the apparent individual is
a part of a 'fountain' (Schopenauer would say waterfall, and I imagine Rilke
was thinking of Schopenauer when he wrote that line) of individuals, the
fountain being the Real or essential 'thing'. The modern human city, our
whole economy, is far beyond the ability of 'planners' to create, as the
soviet experiment with central planning has shown, for example. It is no
different with an ant or bee society, where individuals automatically find
their places and make the whole thing go.
Without the 'ego' there is no death. When a leaf falls off a tree, it
then mulches the tree; whether 'alive' or 'dead' the individual leaf does
what the tree requires. One leaf differs little from another and matters
less to the whole. The wind blows and the leaves dance, the sun shines and
they make sugar, it rains and they bathe, when it is dark they rest.

We know this, of course, but the sense of self arising from
consciousness remains, and in the Awakened this awareness increases
tremendously. As we are transformed, the temptation to identify with
consciousness increases in direct relation to our knowledge that such
identification is ignorance. When we are completely prepared to renounce
all interference with the will of god, with *what is*, then we can know
everything. And who is more willing to renounce activity than a corpse?
It is the dead who are truly alive, truly know what is going on. 'The
Grateful Dead' got their name from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. In all
cultures, advanced 'mystery' schools taught that to 'die' while still alive
was the open door to mystical experience. But simply renouncing egotism is not 'dying,'
however important to self-transformation. It is in death, or
deep sleep, or mystical experience, that we realize the intelligence which
informs spiders how to make webs and beavers how to dam streams is the same intelligence
which builds our freeways.

So, my friends, it comes back down to the fact that life and death are
'not two.' In an absolute sense there is only Life, there is no Death.
Only Yes, and no No. Only Good, and no Evil, only Light, and no Darkness.
"Death be not proud" said Donne; for death is a phase of an ongoing
Life which never started and will never stop, death is a tool or a friend,
not an enemy or a problem.

aloha, terry

terry murphywrites:

> The ego is born with our naming and dies when the body so named is no
> longer breathing.

Eureka! Finally "got" this...heaven knows I have been told this often
enough...but for some reason, this sentence did it...or maybe I have
progressed far enough to finally see it!

I mean, I know that the ego is not real, is not an entity of itself, but as
long as I am alive, I have one...good or bad, timid or bombastic, hurting or
compassionate...and it dies when I do..."it" doesn't go on after me, and "it"
was not present before me...sorry folks...this has been a stumbling block to
me for several years now...this need to protect my ego, my self...and I
finally have had a break the giggles here, it is so amazingly
simple....and the pendulum starts on its slow journey back to center.

Thank you Terry.


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