Jerry Katz
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Highlights #681

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Saturday April 14, 2001


I saw a great movie last night - Memento. Like
The Matrix, it calls into question all the viewer's
notions about reality. The hero is trying to solve
and revenge the murder of his wife. The only
problem is, he has a memory disorder where
his short-term memory only lasts about 15
minutes. So he has an elaborate system of notes
and reminders to keep himself informed about what
is going on.

And there's another catch: the story is presented
backwards, from the end to the beginning. So we,
the audience, know only as much as the hero knows.
We, like him, don't have the benefit of the memory of
what has gone before.

It is extremely well done - and highly entertaining to
boot - and leaves you guessing as to what is really
going on right until the final scene. Even then, I walked
out of the theater with questions, but, thanks to the
Internet, found a good discussion of the movie on
rec.arts.movies.current-films that clarified a lot for me.

The movie is a meditation on memory, identity, and
trust. The question of "who can you trust" receives a
very surprising answer at the end, as does the question
of "How do you construct your own personal reality".
I think the answer to this latter question is more subtle
than in the Matrix, and equally disturbing. Like most
Philip K. Dick novels, this movie keeps surprising you
with the way the basic reality of the story keeps shifting
under your feet.

I think people on this list who enjoy such movies
would like this one. And if anyone has seen it I'd love
to discuss it with you.

There is only Understanding

The word "you" here relating to the human race at large,
or the 'spiritual community' at large, or just as a pointer.

**There is only Understanding**.

But what do 'you' do? You create something other
than Understanding, which you label "Understanding,"
and then go off looking for it.

Does that make sense?

There is nothing but Understanding, timeless,
located nowhere. But you create an idea called
"the body," and seek to get id of it, or 'transcend'
it. You create the idea of "time," and then seek to
find the timeless. You create the idea of 'thought' and
seek to still it.

The 'food body' (an idea you created) is troublesome
to you. The idea of death, which you invented out of
thin air, is displeasing.

Constantly creating 'meaningful things' and
then chasing after them (or 'meaningless' things
which to avoid), you ignore Understanding.

You *ignore* Understanding, in search of *everything but*!

There is nothing else. Literally **NOTHING** else.
Still, you continue to create 'other things', and go chasing.

You create the idea of 'The Supreme' and then seek to
find it, as though Understanding could be an object or a
subject, 'located somewhere'.

You go 'inward', first creating the concepts of 'inward'
and 'outward' and then chasing 'inward' -- while avoiding

Constantly paying attention to *EVERYTHING BUT*
Understanding, Understanding is missed. And that's
the most incredulous thing, because there is nothing
BUT Understanding. How do you manage to miss it?

How are these various dreams (like "Understanding")
so much more interesting than the Everpresent,
never-lost, never-gained Understanding?

Easter offering

All of the genius and glory that the universe
holds has to go somewhere.

Your choices are clearly laid out before you, and you can
choose all or one of the cosmic blessings available.

The only way to stay humble may be to notice the humor
of your position.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Everything is god.
Understanding this is the whole of awakening.
Really, it is that simple and wonderful.

Those with intricate concepts of god - yes even the
totally deluded - are god.

Mean folks, kind folks, winos, wizards and wierdos
all are god.

Simpletons, fools, and slack-jawed dolts are created
from the same god stuff. Faggots, maggots and mewling
pukes they too are god stuff.

Let's not ignore the noble, generous of heart, and sweet of
disposition. They too are god stuff.

Sweet irony is all I can offer to those god stuffs who
whine about not being able to find god anywhere.
Poor babies!


This easter permission is granted to take Jesus
off of the cross and invite him to a party!

Peace - no charge - Michael
Jan Kersschot

Shelly Borg sent this link to me. It looks good:

Thanks, Shelly!


Definitions of Samadhi

For those wanting a definition of Samadhi, or just curious,
here's ahelpful link:

Different traditions define "Samadhi" differently,
especially by 'different types', but one definition is
"ecstatic absorption." It can involve an
intense bliss, and/or an 'absorption' in nothing, which
could be noted by an outside observer as "complete
absent-mindedness" as though "nobody is

Sometimes Samadhi in the context of (formal) meditation
involves envisioning something, and 'identifying' with it...
in my case, it happened once after seeing something in
the film "The Matrix" -- while meditating, envisioning 'floating'
disembodied in a vast (undefined) space of pure
whiteness, then 'becoming' the space of whiteness.
It's possible to 'get lost' in something like this for hours
or even days, all 'body consciousness' gone.

The poor mind (continuing)

--- In [email protected], "jb" <[email protected]> wrote:
Thank you Tim - more or less, I responded to Sarlo's
post with an excerpt from my "history" and a few
observations... In "my case", no 'spiritual' knowledge,
no understanding, only giving up "the will to live and enjoy"
- no desires were left... Acceptance of whatever was
happening, neither like nor dislike. At first, there
was that subtle fear, relatives would notice that - but only an
absent no-mind was noticed sometimes.

"My history" as well, although certainly much different in specific
details... 'in my case', reducing activities to a bare minimum
(certainly not an option for everyone) until doing almost nothing...
not working, not seeing friends, just letting go of activities and
desires down to a bare minimum (zero)... and for the first year or
so, some "formal meditation" (now given up... I just fall asleep ;-).

In many ways, what Nisargadatta recommends, "just be" as often as can
be spared (in my case, almost 24/7). But much of my life has been
like that anyway as discussed before... few friends, "trouble leading
a normal life" (laughing at this... so-called trouble holds
some 'blessings in disguise').

For a while my life was similar, now it's rather full of work and people.
It makes no
difference. It's no problem to "just be"
in the midst of activity.

It would be a problem, when almost continuously in samadhi...
My job was a solitary research one, little or no talking. The job
went OK despite the samadhis but no person to talk to was left,
unless regarding the work - and that can't go unnoticed.
But it didn't make a difference, whether walking, at home
or at work :)

I had to "play the spiritual game" for a while... and of
course, "no doer" (whether perceived or not), this is \
what "should have happened" and continues as 'what is'.

In many ways there's no choice... people "seeking
enlightenment" are shit out of luck. Either the 'life path'
turns in a certain direction or it doesn't. There isn't much
anyone can do to aid in it, because there isn't anybody
choosing <laugh>...

There are no particular requirements,
except trusting the heart.

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