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Highlights #674

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Saturday, April 7, 2001

Alice Fulton

Nonduality is mentioned in this excerpt from an interview
with Alice Fulton. The entire interview is at

MILLER: In the excerpt from your working notebook, I'm
interested in what you call "betweenness." You list "the quality
of betweenness: what comes between two quantities, objects,
people" or "the nature of being between categories" as an
organizational category important to Sensual Math, and later
mention "Thirdness rather than binary thought." Do you see
betweenness or nonduality as linked to voice in your poems?

FULTON: When I began writing in the seventies, everybody was
writing voice-based poetry, and young poets were concerned about
"finding their voice." One of the tests for whether you were a
true poet was whether you had discovered your authentic voice.
Right from the beginning, I decided that wouldn't be it for me,
that I wasn't interested in finding this thing that spoke
through me, or finding a persona that would be mine and would be
steady. I was much more interested in language and what could be
built of it. I wouldn't have said it in these words, but I was
using language as a construct. And that's still how I think of
making a poem.

In the newer, polyphonic poems, the voices are multiple. I use
various tones and registers of diction and vocabularies as a
means of creating a texture of multiple voices within one poem.
And these shifting voices, by refusing to build into one steady
character or personality, might be said to exist between
identities. As for nonduality and voice, my poems that create a
speaker without giving any gender clues are trying to disrupt
the man/woman binary and suggest a third, less categorical way
of being.
Non-Duality and Doorknobs

"Doorknob Yoga"

Sure, how many different ways does this guy need to prove his

People you met in everyday life are desperate for
entertainment. This should be evident in the frequency of
overreactions to minor entertainment events.
he he,

Dear Glo,

As I see it, people are not desperate for entertainment per-se, but
to break out of the perceived confines imposed by "self," by the "I"
or the self-image. So people perform these experiments seeking to
find something 'beyond themselves', 'a change in perception', a
loosening of the 'bonds' imposed by self-image (which includes a
body, automatic reactions, a sense of doership and ownership, and so

To 'be a person' is an enormous burden. "Entertainment" is a
temporary escape from that burden.
Concept and Non-Concept

A thought a thought a thought a thought.....
Sometimes it seems that they follow each other in sequence.
Sometimes it seems that one causes the next.
Sometimes they seem to rise and fall without cause.
Sometimes it seems that they refer to a world or a self.
Sometimes they seem to refer to themselves.
These seemings all are thoughts.
That these seemings all are thoughts is a thought...
No thought is not a thought.
The thought of no thought is a thought.

Well-said, Andrew.
Has anyone heard?

Thanks Andrew... a nice pointer to the fact that thought is a 'closed
system' curving back upon itself.

Thought seeing itself as a closed system is also a thought, of
course... :-). It's an imaged "big picture" that doesn't exist
(except as more thought).

Continuing in this vein too long could drive thought mad ;-). And
the idea that this could happen is still thought <laugh>.

At some point, it's all futile.

Here now it seems to be like this;
Thought about thought is a closed system, so to say thought is circular
is correct as saying such is thought about thought.
In noticing thought without thinking about it, thoughts appear and disappear,
just as sights or sounds or smells do.
I! appear in thoughts just as I! do in sensations.
Each sight sound smell touch or thought is an aspect of I!


There is no "noticing" of 'noticing thought' or 'not noticing
thought' as seen from here, nor 'thinking about thought'... but this
question arises:

Is it 'better', do you think, to 'notice thought without thinking
about it' than to 'think about thought'?

Is this "perceptual mode" an 'improvement' on something?
"The Core"

Omkara's nondual-related website, "The Core," is now back online.
If you've never visited (also if you already have :-), you're invited:
Ramana Maharshi/The Bargain of a Lifetime/Repost

Conversations with Ramana Maharshi were typically
public and watched by other devotees. The following
dialogue between Sri Ramana and an unknown
visitor occurred at the Ashram and is recalled by a
devotee. The man was in depth of despair and at
first Bhagwan seemed quite unsympathetic. The
visitor's conversation with the sage is quite remarkable
and worth reading. Selected portions presented from the
Maharshi newsletters.


The man started moaning and crying even more, as if
his heart were breaking. "All my hopes of salvation are
gone. You were my last refuge and you say you
have nothing to do with me! To whom shall I turn
now? What am I to do? Towhom am I to go?"

Bhagavan watched him for some time and said,
"Am I your guru that I should be responsible for your
salvation? Have I ever said that I am your master?"

"If you are not my master, then who is? And who are
you, if not my master? You are my guru, you are my
guardian angel, you will pity me and release me
from my sins!" He started sobbing and crying again.

We all sat silent, overcome with pity. Only Bhagavan
looked alert and matter-of-fact.

Bh: "If I am your guru, what are my fees? Surely you
should pay me for my services."

D: "But you won't take anything," cried the visitor.
"What can I give you?"

Bh: "Did I ever say that I don't take anything?
And did you ever ask me what
you can give me?"

D: "If you would take, then ask me. There is nothing
I would not give you."

Bh: "All right. Now I am asking. Give me. What
will you give me ?"

D: "Take anything, all is yours."

Bh: "Then give me all the good you have done
in this world."

D: "What good could I have done? I have not a
single virtue to my credit"

Bh: "You have promised to give. Now give. Don't talk
of your credit. Just give away all the good you have
done in your past."

D: "Yes, I shall give. But how does one give? Tell me
how the giving is done and I shall give."

Bh: "Say like this: 'All the good I have done in the past
I am giving away entirely to my guru. Henceforth I have
no merit from it nor have I any concern with it.' Say it with
your whole heart."

D: "All right, Swami, I am giving away to you all the
good I have done so far, if I have done any, and all its
good effects. I am giving it to you gladly, for you are
my master and you are asking me to give it all away to

Bh: "But this is not enough," said Bhagavan sternly.

D: "I gave you all I have and all you asked me to
give. I have nothing more to give."

Bh: "No, you have. Give me all your sins."

D: The man looked wildly at Bhagavan, terror stricken.
"You do not know, Swami, what you are asking for.
If you knew, you would not ask me. If you
take over my sins, your body will rot and burn. You do
not know me, you do not know my sins. Please do not
ask me for my sins." And he wept bitterly.

Bh: "I shall look after myself, don't you worry about
me," said Bhagavan. "All I want from you is your sins."

For a long time the bargain would not go through.
The man refused to part with his sins. But Bhagavan
was adamant.

Bh: "Either give me your sins along with your merits,
or keep both and don't think of me as your master."

In the end the visitor's scruples broke down and he
declared: "Whatever sins I have done, they are no
longer mine. All of them and their results, too,
belong to Ramana."

Bhagavan seemed to be satisfied. "From now on there
is no good nor bad in you. You are just pure. Go and do
nothing, neither good nor bad. Remain yourself, remain
what you are."

A great peace fell over the man and over us all. No
one knows what happened to the fortunate visitor; he
was never seen in the Ashrama again. He might
have been in no further need of coming.
On Various teachers...(long)

Scuse the length, but tho't may be of interest to some
who like to compare gurus.... Gloria

Dear Heather,
I loved your letter. It really is so very well put, and really speaks
for itself. I cannot comment for sure about why you had a hard
exciting teacher and then a softer calmer one and how that all worked
for your growth. I do not even know what led to my own awakening.

My first consideration is to ask if there is anything more that you
need? I am sure that you would ask if that was so.

I didn't name "A" because the email was slightly critical though it
was mostly affectionate towards "A". A is someone who was an Osho
Sannyasin and then with Poonja (Papaji).

I could have named "A" to stir up some controversy and thereby
generate some attention for my work as your teacher Andrew Cohen has
unavoidably done in the past. But I generally feel all teachers are
well-intentioned, and one day I will meet some of them, and I would
hope that the meeting is more beautiful than intellectual.

I met Andrew over 10 years ago. After that time I met softer
teachers too. Andrew seemed gesturally pugnacious, he would laugh
nasally and cackle at certain type of `out of bounds' questions. I
hear that he likes watching boxing matches. I felt challenged by him
but also lost by his concepts. There seemed little time to speak to
him and he seemed to smirk at people's questions. There was a vibe
from a notional `security team' around him that seemed to repel
people. I later heard of some `persistent' questioners being ejected.
I also heard that Andrew has been challenged by other teachers who
were with Papaji. As you know I prefer the gentle approach.

I would say that when I met Andrew he had no practices or structure
that was `scary'. Now, I hear that there is a structure.

People talk of a powerful energy about Andrew, they say he got it as
a gift from Papaji. Whatever is the case - simply that `energy' is
more than sufficient to create a huge buzz - regardless of the
philosophy being spoken.

I did wonder if all the practices and discussions on Andrew's
retreats are just like energetic waiting rooms, since people may
require something to do until they get to see the main man - the

It may start to seem that I have a strong viewpoint on Andrew - I
don't. All teachers are enigmas and have unique expressions. They do
their best to help people to get `IT'. Andrew was around in the early
days. I felt a power around him but never understood what was going

I don't speak of the ego much. But let's say I do massage it. until
it dissolves! All this talk of ego and trying to do things just seems
to create another ego, and they are all illusory. There was a lot of
efforting going on in Andrew's group when I was there, or so it
seemed, though I can see some people got into all kinds of states too.

Maybe Andrew helped tire your ego out. I don't know if he would see
it that way. As I say I don't really see the ego. I just see if there
is a capacity to experience/catch the fullness of Being Alive in all
parts of one's Being. I also apply a little shoe-horn and almond oil
to stretch that space - it's almost imperceptible unless you are very

It sounds like something really great is happening with you and you
are just seeking a bit of understanding. I am guessing is your new
teacher the latest big splash in the pool - John de Ruiter?

I met John 4 years ago and people still remember the taped
conversations that I had with him ("From Endarkenment to
Enlightenment" and "The Still .Voice"(?). I don't have either of
them) . That was before my Awakening. I did half a longish, 2 hour
conversation with John the first night he was in London few months
ago. I was hoping to hear Mira, Papaji's wife, talk with John. She
didn't so I decided that I wanted to speak and was lucky to be given
a chance to have the mic. I raised some questions about statements he
had made - partly what I had thought up myself and partly what some
people in Mira's entourage had been talking about by way of
comparison with Papaji and Advaita. Mira later met John a few days
later, I missed it for my sins!

John is also difficult to fully understand. He speaks a lot less than
Andrew. Both have powerful energies. Interestingly, in the Total
Freedom Dialogue meetings we get quite a few people who have been
with John, Osho and Papaji. Why? Because I guess, Freedom and not
structure is on offer. We get a few people who have left Andrew.
Perhaps, ironically, it is too challenging to be with Andrew and be
in a meeting that makes no demands at all.

We don't get many Buddhist and Christians either. We offer no
practices, no rules and no membership or staged fellowship. The only
commitment one has to make is to oneself: to be honest, open and
vulnerable. That can be scary but it is the only way to finish the

I don't know if that answers your questions but it allowed me to say
a few things for the record, so thanks.

Lots of love


Hi Dave,

Just wondering how your soft/gentle approach handles ego. I have been
with a teacher, perhaps even the one referred to as "A" in the
message you are responding to here, and his teaching was a very big
challenge to ego and that seemed to be the whole point. There was a
fire and a passion experienced as well as the noble desire to do the
right thing which was very thrilling as well as terrifying at times.
There was the discovery of a reservoir of strength that enabled me to
abandon everything personal; family, possessions, ideas and desires
for acceptance and recognition. I experienced states and
relationships that were completely unknown to me previously. There
was also the deep love and reverence for A. as he lived the example
of perfection in action and helped others to rise up out of their
small and limited ideas of who they were to meet him in that
challenge. It was like living the most incredible adventure

I have since been with a teacher who speaks very gently from the
depths of Presence and found this to be a much more direct encounter
with the deeper state of Consciousness that accepts What Is happening
in the field of NOW with no challenge to anything whatsoever. No
resistance, no challenge, just pure and gentle awareness of being
Conscious NOW. No little me to fight against or sacrifice, but rather
the allowing of everything to be as it is...including the rising and
falling of thoughts, feelings, and circumstances.

My experience of life is now very peaceful, quiet and ordinary. There
is still a thrill, however it is the thrill of feeling alive in every
cell of my being and is not dependant on any outer condition. There
is the recognition that every form is also alive in this thrill...the
cows in the field, the trees, the birds, the whole of Nature
springing up in this awake and alive energy of Beingness. Gentle and
very sweet awareness of being alive...NOW.

So I am wondering if my previous experience with A. was a necessary
one in which the hard shell of ego was penetrated to the point that
enabled this very soft and gentle awareness to flower. I am grateful
for both teachings but wonder at getting stuck in ideas of striving
for perfection that require time and never seem to really take one
all the way home. I would like to know from your experience, just
what you think of this question.

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