Jerry Katz
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Highlights #7

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from [email protected] (!)

duality is the struggle between opposities, doing is extrusion
into one of a pair of opposites; nonduality sees no opposition,
nondoing engages no extrusion, content to flow with the Way

|# Is the only way to reach my hand up towards that
|# which is higher through logical thought? How about
|# intuition or opening my heart? Feeling my way up?

logical thought is higher, more abstract. engaging in it,
we leave home and enter into a dangerous environment,
empty of the atmosphere we need for life. reaching deeply
into the heart, it becomes open


From: [email protected] (Jerry M. Katz)

It is my feeling that are we all mountain climbers. We come into this
life because it is the biggest mountain around.

Welcome to one of the camps along the way. Take a moment, if you will,
to understand exactly where you are, who you are, why you are here, what
you are doing, and where you are going, before proceeding further along
the way. It will help to remember where you come from. In case you have
forgotten, it is where you address your post cards to.



People are fond of saying
There is no such thing as Realization
There is no such thing as Enlightenment

Why single them out?
There is also no such thing as words
movies and popcorn
little green frogs
rice and veggies
e-mail conversations


so what?

To me this non-existent non-process of non-awakening is
just too intimate to think about the fact that
it isn't happening.

Otherwise, why do I feel so grateful?



[email protected] wrote:

show your heart as it is pierced by arrows of
severity. cry out in pain without attempting to restrain their arms.
demonstrate the tenderness of the tender-hearted and you will set an
example which I will call 'Christian': martyr to the cause of love (God)


Luke 2: 34-35

"And Simeon blessed them, and
said unto Mary his mother, Behold,
this child is set for the fall and
rising again of many in Israel;
and for a sign which shall be
spoken against;

(Yea, a sword shall pierce
through thy own soul also,) that
the thoughts of many hearts may
be revealed."

from Andrew:

Misquote me, take me out of context, boil me up, boil me down, ignore me,
plagiarize me,call me stupid or brilliant,I don't mind. If I feel hurt, or
flattered, or insulted, that's interesting. What do I have to be afraid of?


From: Marcia Paul <[email protected]>

My friends and I have been working with the theme
of false personality. This is the part of personality
which isn't even really personality. Personality is
the habits, opinions and so forth that are ingrained
in one but false personality is when image gets involved
and personality is compared to some image to see if
it measures up. It is just a framework. You can toss
it if you wish.

We have been talking about false personality as that
which is not needed in any situation.

I had an example. I was in the grocery store and there
was some very slippery something on the floor next to
the parsley. Well I slipped and as I went down I grabbed
the shopping cart with my arm. I really injured my arm.
It is bruised badly. Another customer came running
over to ask if I was okay. I was so embarrassed at
having slipped that I picked myself up and disclaimed
having any injury at all. I was really hurting too. I left
quickly. On the way home I realized that the embarrassment
was totally false. And even more if an older person (older
than fifty) slipped they could kill themself.

When I came home I told one daughter and tried to show
her my bruise. She said it was gross and leave her alone.
I told the other daughter and she wanted to know every
detail. She hugged me and said my poor dear old mom.
I heard her on the telephone telling every friend that her
mom fell down in the store. I told my husband and he
said I should sue them.

When I was relaying the story to my friends one of them
pointed out that the retelling of it in the hopes of getting a
little sympathy (I told them this) was also false personality.
Ha Ha. I had to laugh at that one. That was absolutely
true. And I had not seen it.

Why am I telling you guys all this? Because that is one of
the reasons I post to this email list. In the hopes that
someone will point out something to me that I am not
seeing. Andrew just did. It is helpful. Everyone knows
George but George. I can't promise I will always be
grateful but I can promise I will listen. And whatever
it is it will worm it's way inside if it carries a seed of truth
in it.


>> "How, in the name of non duality does one 'attract' anything ... let
alone limitlessness??<<

How in deed? Yet it would seem that we do...............

It is my observation, that in our attempts to discuss the indiscussible [
which we must ] one of the problems that most often arises is insistence
that Ultimate Reality is some sort of static void, empty, silent, eternal,
and without any movement or change, without qualities or

However, it is my experience, that such is just not the case.............

Ultimate Reality is dynamic, vital, and if you will kindly excuse the
expression, alive................

With Love and Affection,



From: [email protected] (==Gene Poole==)

Enlightenment is a Unicorn Barbeque

Part one: Why there is no enlightenment

Many words are expended on the topic of enlightenment or realization, and
most of those words are in vain.

If we pay attention to the ongoing (seemingly eternal) debates on the
topics of enlightenment and realization, we soon come to realize that such
arguments state that 'it' is this and not that. An 'it' is a noun;
enlightenment is not a noun. It is easy to brush this off as 'being too
critical of commonly used figures of speech', but I offer that speech used
correctly, will yield correct results.

A noun is defined as a word... describing a 'person, place or thing'. We
have agreed that enlightenment is not a thing. Is it instead, a place?
Perhaps some, using speech in a loose and metaphorical way, have stated
that 'where they are at' or the 'space they inhabit' is enlightenment.
Perhaps we can discover that place which is enlightenment. Or perhaps it
would be easier to discover the places which are not enlightenment, and to
thus decide that there may be a place which is enlightenment. If that is
what is decided, that is speculation, not 'fact', and thus not

Is enlightenment a person? This question begs the discussion of 'is a
person a thing', with references to flesh, temporality, brain, and what is
the difference between a living and nonliving 'thing' and what is the
difference between a 'sentient' and 'nonsentient' 'Being'. I would rather
skip that discussion at this time, as I do not agree that enlightenment is
a person.

If enlightenment is a person, is it only one person, or is it several, or
is it every person?

Here we come to the veritable 'rub' or difficulty of this discussion. There
is no enlightenment. Thus, it is only by twisting definitions, can
enlightenment be posited to exist. Only by positing either faith, or
'inexpressibility', may enlightenment be clung to as a valid concept. Yet,
the word 'enlightenment' is in common use, and so it may be referrential to
something that is 'real', but what could that be?

If we dismiss the reality of the concept of 'enlightenment' and start over,
with a clean slate and a determination to stay true the rules of language
(as long as we are speaking), we may be able to come up with something
useful to contemplate.

A higher level discussion of enlightenment will yield the conclusion that
enlightenment is not a thing, it is a 'property' or 'characteristic', such
as the 'property' of speed or velocity, which we ascribe to a moving car.
It is impossible to capture speed and to then put it into a jar. Similarly,
enlightenment cannot be captured and put in a jar, and neither can it be
captured and put in a book. At best, we can have a description of speed,
from (of course) a human point of view. Einstein excelled at that task; he
elucidated speed as a property and as a characteristic, related to the
nature of photons and gravity and space.

Enlightenment, although refering to light, and thus to photons, also refers
to gravity. To be 'enlightened' is to lose weight, and thus change one's
relationship to gravity. Less inhibiting heaviness means more ease and
grace of movement. Consider the dilemma of the obese Gazelle.

Although we cannot capture speed, we ascribe it to objects (cars or
photons) and thus say that it is 'real'. Of course it is real.
Speed is a measure of velocity, and velocity is noticed only in a relative
way. Some things go faster than other things. Similarly, enlightenment is
also ascribed to be a property which is noticable in a relative way. Even
if we say that there is no such thing as 'relative' enlightenment, we still
persist in saying that one person is 'enlightened' and another person is
not enlightened. This is relativity, the relativity of enlightenment, and
this relativity is the relativity of self-evaluation. This relativity of
self-evaluation is the activity of 'personal awarenss', yet, if we are
speaking of relativity, we must acknowledge the reality or actual existence
of 'others'. Remember, we cannot posit a relativity of enlightenment
without having at least one thing, person, or state of 'Being' to be
compared to another of such a nature as to be a valid comparison. The
relativity of enlightenment, being the relativity of self-evaluation,
depends upon the acknowledgement that there are two, and one is
enlightened, and the other is not. Only then can 'relative' enlightenment
occur. But if one is enlightened and the other is not, is that one who is
enlightened, 'absolutely' enlightened, or is there an 'internal' relativity
of enlightenment, so that it may be said that one is 'more' or 'less'
enlightened in comparsion to oneself?

If I posit that I have grown, changed for the better, become wiser, more
functional, better at 'what I do', I then have a scale with which to
'grade' myself in terms of 'enlightenment'. If I see enlightenment as
something to strive for, I will look for a 'target state' to work towards.
But if enlightenment is 'real', and I am not enlightened and desire to be
enlightened, and thus seek a 'target state' to attain to... what is that
target state? Why, it is 'enlightenment', of course! But what is
enlightenment? If it is not a person, place, or thing...

If we have succeded in wiping the slate clean of the conventional
definitions of enlightenment, are there unconventional definitions that
have to be tackled? Yes, enlightenment is often defined as a 'state of
Being'. If this is the case, the problem of relativity arises once again.
There are very many defined 'states of Being', such as happiness,
depression, panic, lust, hunger, and so on. Is enlightenment to be found
among these states of Being, as a special catagory? If I am not hungry, I
can claim to be hungry. If I am lustful, I can claim to not be lustful. I
am capable of deceiving not only others, but also myself. For example, I
may not be hungry, but I may find comfort in eating. I may not be
'enlightened', and I may claim to be enlightened. I may find comfort in
assuming that I am enlightened. But commonly, there is great discomfort in
assuming that one is not enlightened. May this not be the same species of
self-deception that is seen in the assumption that one is indeed

There is something about the idea or concept of enlightenment which is
disturbing and alluring to humans. The word, idea, and concept of
enlightenment is a 'hot button' for very many people. It seems that some
have a desire to be enlightened, and that others, while so desiring, assume
themselves to be forever blocked from attaining this alluded state of
Being. Yet others, discount the actuallity of enlightenment, but on grounds
which are easily disproved. The debate roars on, in any case.

Part two: Realization

It is a point of fact that words (like these words) refer not to things,
but only to other words. We generally use language in a utilitarian, and
not very conscious, way. It is possible to use language in such a way as to
respect the limitations of language. Such proper usage of language stops at
precisely the point where language cannot go. If a person is aware of the
limitations of language, they will not use it improperly. To do so is to
use a tool improperly. It is 'like' using a hammer to change a light-bulb,
or using a tomato to construct a keyboard for a computer. Yet, language is
misused commonly, and that misuse has long been accepted as a tolerable

If we accept that the improper use of language is a common occurance, is
there a way to work around and avoid the consequences of improper use?

The only way to use language properly, is to learn to hear _in_ correct
language. Bear with me here. I mean what I say. Yes, it is possible to be
immersed in a culture of those who do not use language in respect to it
limits, and to still be able to hear language correctly. I am refering to
knowledge of grammar. Grammar is a filtering system which parses language.
This means that what one hears, if compared to correct grammar, will be
resolved to what is possible for language to 'do' and what it is not
possible for language to do. It is possible to learn to do what I am
describing; it is possible to learn to hear language accurately.

If words 'point' only to other words, if we can accept that as a fact, we
may eventually see that word and language is a special world unto itself.
The 'world of words' is a discrete world, with its own rules and
properties. It is encumbent upon one who seeks self-improvement to discover
those rules. It is possible to make significant gains in life, by realizing
the limitations of language. By following this realization, one will not
use or _hear_ language improperly, and thus save themselves a great deal of
trouble, such as that which occurs when one accepts an invitation to a
'snipe hunt' or to a 'unicorn barbeque'. Similarly, if we understand that
what enlightenment is, that it is a word... we will then not look for the
thing to which it points, for it (enlightenment) points only to other
words. If one saves ones appetite for the fabled unicorn barbeque, one will
eventually starve. Or one may come to the picnic, and eat a slab of beef,
to avoid starvation, all the while 'believing' that it is indeed
unicorn-meat which is being 'experienced' as food.

This is the case with the problem of enlightenment. If it is 'real', it is
real only in the universe of words. Remember, words refer only to other
words. Thus, enlightenment, if real, must be understood in the relativity
of the world of words and language. To what then, does enlightenment
refer? To what words does it properly connect? If a 'state of Being' is
real, it is a description only, not a thing. If enlightenment is real, it
is a description, not a thing. If it is not a thing, it cannot be had.

This is the realization. The realization occurs to, or within, a living
person, who is then properly defined as the 'realizer'. The realizer may
propound a 'realization', and may state that the realization 'was
enlightening' to them. This is proper use of language. But if the
'realizer' so-presents the realization to others, will the others have the
'same' enlightenment? Perhaps, but only if the communication process
adheres strictly to the proper useage of language. Only then, if the
proponent of such realization uses language correctly, and the hearers of
that language hear correctly, is there a chance for the transmission of
'that' enlightenment. Otherwise, it is beef, or unicorn?

The transmission of enlightenment is said to occur. The Zen traditions, and
the traditions of Vajarayana (Tibetan Buddhism) come to mind, as traditions
which state that enlightenment may be transmitted and received. In Zen this
is referred to as the 'transmission of mind' and in Vajrayana, it is
referred to as the 'transmission of the Dharma'. It is the opinion of this
writer that such transmissions can and do occur. But we are still dealing
with language here; it is by the vehicle of language that such
transmissions occur. It is by continual immersion in study of a particular
and rigid set of language, that the student is schooled or learns the
particular and correct nature of each word, and of the correct compounding
of words into the phrases which have the meanings which (are though to)
"contain" the essence of the 'mind' or 'Dharma' which is to be transmitted
or received.

This continual study is sometimes called 'sadhana'. It can also be called
'worship' or 'fellowship'. It may take forms which are identified as
listening, reading, talking, praying, chanting, singing, or silence. It may
be undertaken as stillness or movement. This special study is for the
purpose of eliminating the improper use of language; first in the avenue of
hearing, and then, eventually, in the avenue of speaking and writing, is
the improper use of language eliminated.

For the purpose of making this clear to the student, the tradition of
Vajrayana has posited that there 'are' spaces within the person in which
all improper use of language is stored. According to this wisdom-teaching,
that storehouse of the improper use of language is called 'skanda', and
serves the perverted purpose of distorting what is heard by the listener.
This 'skanda' ('heap') dwells within, and the hearer will not be critical
of their own hearing, unless they can hear of the 'skanda' and the hazards
to understanding which the heaped misuse of language presents to the
hearer. Indeed, it is the 'loaded skanda of hearing' which necessitates the
entire teaching/sadhana process. If it were not for the accumulation of
improper use of language, this particular form of ignorance, that of
improper hearing, would not be a problem. But as long as it is a problem,
such ideas as the 'skanda of hearing' are supremely useful, and even
liberating, to the one who is listening.

Wisdom-teachings parse language. It is the responsibiltiy of the hearer to
learn this and to respect the proper use of language. The parsing of
language is the imposition of correct grammar, and that is all that it is.
As such, wisdom teachings do not 'contain' anything but the proper use of
language. Thus, enlightenment is leaning how to hear, and if taken far
enough, learning how to talk, and how to write, correctly.

Wisdom is to hear 'around' or 'instead of' the improper use of language,
and to hear instead the proper use of language, but the basis of wisdom is
ignorance. By this I mean that it is awareness of the relativity of the
correct versus the incorrect that conveys wisdom. In that way, is 'mind' or
'Dharma' transmitted.

Masters often use the word 'emptiness' in attempt to cue the listener to
the reality of language. It is the empty bucket which is of use; only then
may it be filled and put to use. Similarly, it is the fullness of the
'skandas' which is the body of assumption which is ignorance, and which
when seen, may be purged. Still, this is language which is strictly
metaphorical. Or is it? Is there actually such a thing as a 'skanda', and
if so, where does it reside? If we can find it, we can purge our ignorance.

It is of no importance that there is or is not, a 'skanda'. What the entire
wisdom-teaching states, is that language must be used properly, as a point
not only of self-respect, but also in respect of others. Only by the proper
use of language may 'enlightenment' be 'attained'. The difficulties of this
'task' of 'doing' the 'course' or 'path' to enlightenment, are stated to be
eased by the actions of a teacher or 'Guru'. The teacher helps the student
parse language; that is all the teacher does. Eventually, the student may
be able to hear correctly. At that point, if such point is reached, the
task is done.

Please pass the barbeque sauce...

==Gene Poole==


From: "jb" <[email protected]>

> From: [email protected] (Jerry M. Katz)
> In other words, If we can't really do anything, then how do we do
> anything? It's a deep and valid Zen-like question. An understanding of
> it may require abiding at the hub around which the question rotates, but
> extreme nondualism does away even with the abiding. So how does one talk
> about the doing away with the abiding? And then how do you talk about
> doing away with what was done away with?

Perception has an unconscious part that could be called automatic recorder.
So all impressions are present, like the knowledge that there is no self,
that self is "forced" upon one by the merciless instincts or basic feelings
and one ends up identifying with and interpreting these instincts or basic
feelings as something to will or to desire; this starts up the endless score
of desires If one had to put up with everything unknowingly acquired and
nothing would happen, it would be hopeless. The automatic recorder noted
down everything and without that, how would it be possible to recognize
one's real nature? By putting up with what has been unknowingly acquired,
one will be faced with the "original" feeling that caused the
conditioning/automatic response; quite a lot will happen when this
"deconditioning" becomes a process that will even consume "virtues" and
eventually this process will burn itself out, leaving absolute freedom
linked to a living body without desire or passion. Only that freedom is
extreme nondualism, be it just for those who have to abide...



From: "Harsha (Dr. Harsh K. Luthar)"

"Though earth and man were gone,
And suns and universes cease to be,
And Thou were left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee."

Emily Brontė (1818-1848)

From Melody:

"One cannot serve two gods".

I know this,
yet how I wish

it could have been so.

Why was I forced to choose
between you?

How I longed to please you,
and to make you oh so proud.

But the price of membership
was simply way too high.

To choose you....
I would have lost my Soul.

Yet in choosing God,
I have lost my "name".

Either way,

something in me
had to die.

An easy choice perhaps.

But Dear Lord...
how it still hurts

when I let it.

from Petros:

Accepting there is no such 'thing' as enlightenment, even as a process, and
that there is no entity to be realized . . . thus there is nothing to be
done in any case. The concept of enlightenment is the last thing for the
seeker to hold on to. He might even start to envy those who haven't even
started on the path and have no concept of enlightenment whatsoever -- in
their mammalian ignorance they seem to be a step ahead of the spiritual
seeker. The seeker feels like he's traded the frustrations of physical
desire for the thousandfold greater complexities of spiritual life. But he
knows he can't put the genie back in the bottle, he has to follow the logic
to its natural end. When the concept goes, he goes! Then there's an open
field and it's all quite peaceful.

The Way that can be spoken is not the eternal Way. When the Way is
forgotten, spirituality is invented.

"Everything you are doing to seek peace or enlightenment is destroying the
natural peacefulness of the body that is already there." (U.G.)


from Gloria:

if it hurts, say ouch.. if you are sleepy, go to bed..if
you are hungry, eat. Why all this self-examination over how to do everything
just the right way and what to call IT


from Xan:

Personality is form in thought and emotion based on memory
It has "I am like this" and "I am not like that." in it.
It has the familiarity of at least this lifetime.

But freedom will not be found in personality.
Freedom lies in Presence.

When curiosity grows strong enough people often want to know their own source.
Source/Presence is not learned, it is eternal, it is whole and undiversified
Personality is learned, it is temporary, it is a multiplicity in itself and
in comparison with others.

That's why personality - none of it - is "real".

Marcia wrote:

My understanding is that there are three core personality
structures. One is anger based, one is fear based and one
is image based. Embarrassment is image based. As long
as I exist in a material body I will have a personality
structure. The aim is to have it be the servant and not the

The aim of the Work is not self improvement but to be
able to see things for how they really are and to be able
to respond from the real and not from the false. But
before I can do that I have to see what is false. That is
all. It is not bad or good or in need of fixing. It just is
programmed or habitual.

There is a saying in the Work and that is to always do
what it doesn't want to do and to not do what it wants
to do. It being the personality. For one person to speak
up and holler about stuff on the floor would be perfect
and for the person who always does that it would be
better to see if they could hold their tongue. It is all a
matter of separation from what we think really is us.
To be on a self improvement program means that I must
think that self is real and can be improved. It is just as
unreal to feel that I am always at fault as it is to feel that
I am never at fault. One is not better than the other.


Andrew wrote:

The word enlightenment is a noun. It's not a verb adverb adjective etc.
therefore it is a noun.
A few other words that seem similar to enlightenment; truth, beauty, freedom,
justice, honesty, happiness. All can be used in a relative sense or an
sense. The fact that I cannot point to an example of any as an absolute in the
'real' relative world does not negate their realness as absolutes. Similarly,
physical properties exist as relative or absolute; I can say that a surface is
flat, meaning that it approaches the ideal of flatness, or is relatively flat,
but any physical surface will always have a certain amount of unflatness. This
does not mean that flatness as an absolute is meaningless.
I can say that there is a pencil on my desk, that is a statement which is
absolutely true or not.
I can say that a person is free, or honest, or just, or beautiful, or
enlightened, and that statement can be relatively true or not. The statement
may not possibly be true or false in an absolute sense about any person with
regard to their life in the relative world, but it may be true in absolute
What is real; the relative, or the absolute?
What if I deliberately stop regarding the relative as real (stop deluding
myself that it is(I (relative) am) real), and instead live in (as) the
absolute, and treat the relative as a device, a figure of speech(so to speak);
like language, a medium of expression. Instead of perceiving with the senses,
perceiving through them. If this is how I exist, then enlightenment (or truth
freedom beauty, etc.) is more real than the pencil on my desk. More tangible
than the pencil.
Speed, relative as I might think of it ordinarily, but absolute, the
fundamental constant C in Einstein's formula. Which is real? The absolute,
relative speed is just comparing and conceptualising. Reality is the present
instant, the relative world is formed by comparing the real present with the
remembered past, or the real here with the imagined there, a shifting
construct, mirage.
I compare myself with my remembered self. I imagine that I have
progressed. Gained or lost.
Bullshit. I am now. What I am now is all that is valid. The totality of now as
perceived by the totality of me.
The real is experienced when language is dropped. All language is
fundamentally comparative.
The role of the guru or teacher is to show how to forget language, and then to
come back to it from wordlessness so that language is a device, rather than

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