Jerry Katz
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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #70

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I tried what I thought was going to be a very simple
exercise in attention. The aim was to count to fifty up and
back seven times without stopping. I was to start over each
time I lost my attention. At first it was a real struggle.
I anchored my attention on the task. I visualized the
numbers in my mind clicking off like on a counter.
Almost immediately I heard these very familiar voices in the
background telling me that I had screwed up. Now I knew I
hadn't. These were very familiar voices.I kept my attention
anchored. Then it got easier after this initial onslaught
of my "old familiar" patterns. Then I noticed I had
switched from visual to auditory and the counting went much
faster. At the end I noticed I didn't want to quit. :-)

Now why did I tell you all that? Because I never would have
even noticed those patterns had I not set an aim to perform
the exercise. If I had just set an aim to notice my
emotional self-defeating pattern I never would have seen
it. Make sense?



How fortunate for you to know at the time that it was a
process; for me, it was a 'death in the family', literally
MY death, the death of my favorite 'me'.

Separate identities... no longer existed. I was for the
first time, boundaryless, and terrified, to say the least of
the matter. I was... any person or even thing which seemed
to be occuring at the time, then. Now, I look back and can
have compassion for myself, but at the time, I ranked myself
to be a total failure in all of the important things of
life. 'Spiritual' issues were translated through the
'hellfire and brimstone' version of Xtianity, and I was...
a candidate for hell.

Sure enough, 'satan' appeared and escorted me to hell, for
'all of eternity'. There, I learned firsthand of the
follies of my self and all of humanity; that 'we' are mere
dupes, ignorant fools, filled with delusions and illusions
of grandure, mere food for the grinders of eternal

As you might imagine, this knowledge was a crushing blow to
experience. I became totally without hope. I spent a
virtual eternity in 'hell'; I would like to say, that aside
from some passages in Dante's Inferno, and the imagery
depicted in H Bosch's triptich painting 'Garden of Earthly
Delights', that nobody can know the suffering that I had to
endure, to be ripped-off of my assumptions as to the basic
nature of the human Being.

At that point of total hopelessness, Jesus Christ appeared,
and it was apparent to me that He is real. He took my hand
(literally) and transported me 'back' to 'this reality' for
another chance to 'get it right'. I was highly motivated to
NOT return to hell; I was to say the least, **totally**
astonished that Jesus would find me and aid me in the way
that He did.

Now that I have the reader writhing in a veritable melange'
of value-judgements, I should clarify that I now know that
Jesus is... an eternal commentator on all things which
impact humans. His gentle voice may be heard, revealing and
telling the story of how this all works. He has informed me
that hell is only for those that really need it, and that
fear is the gateway to hell, and that He (Jesus) is free to
go to any place and any time to help any person who needs
help, whether or not that person is a 'Christian' or has
even heard of Jesus. He further informed me that the basic
human 'flaw' is to _decide_ or _conclude_. I learned that
there is no such thing as 'objectivity', and have since that
time, had to fight the (conditioned) tendency to take things

I learned from Jesus that the way that He speaks, is
designed to initiate a person who is ready, into ever-deeper
mysteries; that in the way that He speaks, every phrase is
like a step on a long staircase, leading up to what humans
do not now know. In this regard, there is a place for
faith, once a person has taken the offered help, and has
seen that it works; that from that point, one is a fool to
ignore what is offered. But perhaps, only one who has
suffered as drastically as myself, can appreciate and use
this insight. Others seem to persist in maintining that
they can 'figure it out for themselves', and thus ignore the
Grace (however it may come) which is the Free Ride. As you
know, Grace is 'where it is at'.



You know, it's funny but I often get accused of being a
diletantte in the way I tend to travel from group to group,
teacher to teacher. It's all the more strange since I am
one of the toughest critics of the type of "new age" mindset
(esp. here in California) which drives people to flit about
from one teaching or "path" to another without making a
committment to any single one. At a certain level this kind
of roaming can be symptomatic of a very superficial mind,
someone who "uses" the Teaching for entertainment or

Personally, I am careful not to do this, and simply try to
be aware of it when it does arise in my own case. When I
occasionally catch myself treating any path lightly or in
the manner of a diletantte, I will reduce or stop my
involvement until I can re-orient myself and make up my mind
what exactly I came there for. I am also conscious of the
egoic satisfactions that can arise out of hob-nobbing with
too many teachers or gurus. I've had conversations with
folks at satsangs which were little more than mutual
recountings of teachers one has visited, sort of like a
spiritual version of celebrity name-dropping.

The thing with me, when you strip away this silliness, is
that I see these teachers and their disciples as friends and
associates that I simply enjoy spending time with. Who
wouldn't travel long distances to sit with a good friend?
There's really no place I'd rather be almost anytime.
There's noplace else one can pick up such "vibes" as in a
good satsang. I'm not chasing after anything, nor am I
specifically looking for a teacher. I'm just a satsang


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