Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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Highlights #654

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Sunday 18-Mar-01

Christiana/Grateful for the grace of your heart breathe

Welcome back Christiana-ji,

I'm glad you're here, having ridden the waves. Glad to
meet you for a moment on this particular beach.
I have asthma from childhood. My grandfather died
partly from emphysema, having smoked from age 6 to his
death at age 78. I've also known what it is to not be able
to breathe, to forcefully guide every breath with "will-power"
lest it not happen. In these last weeks, my heart was
breathing for you, with you.

Thanks for the kirtan. How was La Jolla? Jerry gave
a quick mini-capsule, but I haven't heard any more.
Last year they quoted you on the Inner
Directions PR material!

Hope to hear more from you as the time is right...
Essay on Ego - not seeking destruction

Chuck H:
> In the spirit of self-actualization, I do not readily accept the
>destruction of our ego, but rather an *expansion of our identity in
>oneness*. I personally do not accept the traditional dictums from
>eastern religions or western authorities on the destruction of the

Definitely.. nor here either! Given there is nothing there to
destroy, it makes the whole idea rather difficult... something like
attempting to stop your (the body's) shadow from following you by
meditating, shooting at it with a gun, striking at it, doing various
penances and so forth <g>.

Really, what it boils down to is that the whole subject of ego is
mainly of interest to "an ego" intent on maintaining itself in the
face of other ideas (usually "spiritual" ones) it perceives as a
threat of some kind or another. 'Remove' the threats, 'remove'
seeking and striving and this imaginary thing just kinda fades.

Why even bother to discuss "ego?" Why not discuss "djfdsfjdslkfjd"

> I also do not accept (as do many eastern religions) that the only
> reality is the mind. That is just another form of reductionism.

I would go so far to say that the only *unreality* is the mind.
There is no such thing as "the mind," which simply means "all
thoughts/emotions past, present and future"

There appears a stream of thought... discontinuous and disparate.
From memory is constructed a 'contraction' within this stream of
thought that (and this is a truly miraculous and incredible 'power')
somehow thinks itself a *center* of sentience and takes on 'a life of
its own'. Absolutely incredulous (even awe inspiring) how this could
even APPEAR TO occur.

Mark O:
In memory of Dr. Seuss (with apologies to the dear man):

I am not djfdsfjdslkfjd
I am not dsfjdslkfjd
I am not dslkfjd at all.

I am not kfjd
And I will not be

I am not fjd
And I cannot see

I am not jd
Nor j or d

In fact I am not me.

Inevitable identity and original sin

Gene Poole:

For as long
as there is memory
There is material
from which to
construct identity;

Identity is maintained
moment to moment
like the movie projected
in a theater;

One brief outage
of power proves
that the screen
is really blank,

If the observer
is paying attention;

When identity
is re-initiated,
it is known
for what it is,
If the observer
is paying attention.

Next, attention shifts
to the machine
the mechanism
which creates identity;

The observer turns from the screen
which had occupied so much
of attentive life,
now known to be

and turns
and looks at the source
of the movie
and then wonders:
"Who wrote the script
of this story?"

Projected story,
and the content
of the movie itself;

The question arises:
Is the story made
from whole cloth,
or are fragments
at least,
Reflection of reality?

Upon deeper reflection
It is seen that events
in themselves
carry no explicit meaning,

That meaning
is created
and pasted upon events
and thus, the plot
of the story;

And how
is this meaning created
and why
is it pasted upon events?

What is the source
of meaning?

Every meaning
is meaningful
only to one
who carries
the keys to interpret
that meaning;

Using the same keys
the only keys known
all the time
with every event
makes every event
mean the same thing;

And what every event means,
is 'me'.

Yes, that is correct;
every event affirms
that I exist,
and that is the meaning
of every event,

Every event is personalized,
I dare not leave one event
nude, naked, bereft
of my personal stamp
of approval,

And I will approve it
only if it affirms me,
only if it is 'life-affirming'
'positive', 'loving',
'progressive', 'liberating',
as my preferred values

As my guiding idealism

And yes of course
I know one thing
from another,

In my seeking
I know, of course,
what I am looking for,

Have it all planned out,
plenty of external schedules
recipes formulas algorithms

Every right-thinking person
already knows,
It is common sense,
and it is to be obeyed,
honored, worshipped,
even feared;

For if I betray it
denude it of meaning
strip it of values
reveal the emptiness
which it is
and see it as
the unknown,

I also give the lie
to identity!

And we can't have that, can we?

Is it true
that one
who is able to see
the emptiness
of a thing,
is also able
to see the emptiness
which is that one?

Is it possible
to look and see

Is space
evidence of absence?

If I look in a mirror
I am looking through emptiness
to see a reflection
of emptiness,

Yet I persist in looking;
how marvelous is emptiness!
egoless non-state

from Here Lies The Heart

Bhagavan (Ramana) was asked many times about
his egoless state. He said:

The Gnani (the Enlightened) continually enjoys
uninterrupted, transcendental experience, keeping
his inner attention always on the Source, in spite of the
apparent existence of the ego, which the ignorant imagine
to be real.

This apparent ego is harmless; it is like the skeleton
of a burnt rope --though it has form, it is of no use
to tie anything with.
death and Consciousness

Hi Terry!

Interesting perspective on
consciousness and awareness
you present. I enjoyed
what you had to say - thanks
for presenting the position found
in earlier Buddhist texts that
awareness is an aspect of phenomenality,
not something in which phenomenality
appears - nor the nature of phenomenality.
I value this position.

There is no final way to say what reality is.
We can only be a creature presenting a limited
point of view. An ant might describe reality
a different way, yet the ant's view is true from
the ant's perspective.
Certainly, there is not one Buddhist perspective
on the nature of "mind" or "awareness" --
one of the reasons for "competing" Buddhist

Sometimes, I've thought of reality as a mathematical
set of relations demanded by the nature of infinity.
But that's not the "truth" either -- the "truth"
always eludes the mind -- which is intriguing
and wonderful.

Thinking in terms of
a "something" "in which" things
appear is a limiting view, regardless
of whether such "something" is
described as "awareness", "consciousness",
"God", or "nothingness", or indeed
"the universe". As there
is nothing which can act as a "which"
in which things can appear (for in what
would that "which" appear) -- nothing
can be said to be appearing
in something, hence can't be appearing
to something or for something. So, nothing
is a thing at all, for anything to be a thing,
it must be constituted, must have a something
in which to appear, and elements which can
constitute it as it.

Dzogchen View of Everyday Life

Being Present in the moment may initially be fearful.
But by welcoming the sensation of fear with Complete
Openness you cut through the barriers created by habitual
emotional reaction patterns.

When you engage in the practice of Discovering
Space, you develop the feeling of Opening yourselves
out completely to the Entire Universe. You
Open yourself with Absolute Simplicity and Nakedness
of Mind. This is the powerful and ordinary practice of
dropping the mask of self-protection.

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