Jerry Katz
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Highlights #790

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Sunday, August 05, 2001 12:38 PM
Subject: [NDS] New NDS Moderator

Dear List Members,

Gene Poole is the new moderator of NDS List. All
final decisions are his and he has full authority
and powers, ranging from approving new members to
deleting the entire list and archives, if he

Gene was my first friend on the internet and has
been my partner all along. He is the only one I
know who can assure that NDS remains separate from
the pack of similar lists. His loyalty and interest
has been mainly, if not solely, with this list, and
he understands its vision. He has taught very much
to many. His voice is unique. Gene stands for a
wide-open nonduality, in my opinion, which is what
the list is about.

I'm not removing myself from the internet
nonduality scene, just stepping back quite a bit
for no reason other than that it seems like the
thing to do.

Gene and I have consulted on numerous list-related
matters over the years, especially in the early
days, and I'm sure we'll continue to do so, but, as
I said, final decisions are his.

Thanks to all for the privilege of serving you as
moderator for the last three or so years. It's been
quite an experience! I'll continue to keep the
website going at <>.


Jerry Katz

*Thank you so much*, Jerry, and a
hearty "mazel tov" to Gene. May
your respective burthens be light!

Much love -- Bruce


Jerry, you are the first real person I met on the internet and you're
still the realest. Bon voyage and happy brainwaves!



Hi Gang,

Well, my newest little nondual book, "The Way IT Is," can now be
purchased from my website at It's also available
through and at

Jerry likes It and you probably will, too. To read an in-depth
review of "IT" that was just posted on the 3rd Millennium Gateway website
by Dennis Trunk, please link to:

"The Way IT Is" by Chuck Hillig ISBN: 0-9649740-1-0 $11.95

With Blessings,


Jerry and Friends,

I was answering a question this morning about a book critical of Paul
Brunton, written by the son of one of his first American disciples, and found
myself relating the following story. It's a little known one that I
personally witnessed and participated in, and that I think suggests an
interesting and very American perspective on the Guru tradition, and the
meaning of taking refuge. I doubt it could have happened in any other country
or at any other time than the recent past. It is uniquely the product of the
Tibetan diaspora and the spiritual "greening" of America that seemed to take
place synchronistically.

It's a true story. I hope you enjoy it.

I went to school at Cornell in Ithaca,NY and used to return to a small
upstate town near there, Trumansburg, to visit old musician-friends who had
elected to stay up in that area. An article in one of the local newspapers
drew my attention to a group of disciples of a man named Anthony who had gone
to study with Brunton before he died and considered himself his major
disciple and dharma heir. The group was called "Wisdom's Golden Rod" and was
a sizable number of people, especially considering the outriders, of which I
soon became one. There were at least 70-80 regular members who got together
one or more nights a week for regular study and meditation in a little town
on Seneca Lake called Burdett. Under Anthony's tutilege they conducted a
cutting edge Astrology/spirituality class once a week(which wasn't my kind of
thing), and ran the 1st, and subsequently only, systematic Plotinus Enneads
study group I've ever encountered( which very much was my kind of thing).
These weekly classes regularly involved 20-30 students a night throughout the
week. Not surprisingly, the academic community was well represented. Taken as
a group, Anthony and the Wisdom's Golden Rod participants were the 1st and
most powerful expression of a karmic group that I've ever encountered. One
got the impression that through countless lifetimes these "friends and
enemies" had worked out their mutual karma until they had arrived at a
peaceful reconciliation as the members of Anthony's advaitic mystery school.

They wrote the Dalai Lama when they heard that he would be appearing in
America for, I think, the 2nd time, and invited him up to visit them. They
were then, as now, a non-affiliated sangha who prided themselves on "taking
the best from many traditions". They certainly weren't Buddhists, from any
perspective, although non-dualism was their organizing overview.

Interestingly, and I think karmically, HH accepted their invitation and came
to visit them for 3 whole days. It was clear that he felt very close to this
American philosophic school, and he lavished friendship and attention on all
of them, but particularly on Anthony.

It was as a result of my "friend of 'Wisdom's Golden Rod' "status that I was
invited to participate in the 1st of two private darshans with HH, for which
I was, and am, very grateful to Anthony and his student friends.

A few of Antony's followers became Buddhists and formed the core of Ithaca's
emerging Buddhist community, which now boasts a Tantric ashram/community
center with it's own on-site Buddhist teaching monks. Currently they have
some sort of official sanctioned symbiosis with Cornell. Ithaca also boasts
Snow Lion Publishers, America's premiere Tibetan Buddhist publishing house.
All of this started with that initial 3 day visit from His Holiness to
"Wisdom's Golden Rod", a non Buddhist group which, ironically, counted Paul
Brunton, an American Hindu who was not a Hindu, as it's spiritual authority.

Anthony, who was an auto-didactic chain smoking intellectual, contracted
lung cancer, unfortunately, but probably inevitably, and had one lung
surgically removed. While laid up at the farmhouse he shared with his wife
next to the "Golden Rod" facilities, he secretly got in touch with the Dalai
Lama, who by coincidence was back in America at that time visiting some of
the Buddhist installations in Vermont and,I think, performing the 1st or,
perhaps, 2nd Kalachakra Initiation ceremony in America. The Dalai Lama
immediately agreed to grant Anthony and his friends a private darshan and
Anthony, although clearly suffering, organized his troops and within a week
delivered them to an al fresco garden darshan at a devotee's farm or estate
in Vermont. After exchanging greetings and answering a few of the student's
questions, the Dalai Lama and Anthony, in full view of both their parties,
retired to a vine covered gazebo at the other end of the garden, where they
conferred in private.

At that time, Anthony revealed to His Holiness that he was dying and hadn't
long to make his final arrangements. He said that his first concern was the
welfare of his students, and he asked the Dalai Lama if he would take them
under his wing and offer them his influence and protection. HH allowed as how
he wasn't a practicing guru, and so could not accept them as students, but
that he would watch over them and offer them his special attention.

The meeting was soon over, and Anthony and his friends headed back to
"Wisdom's Golden Rod" and Seneca Lake.

Anthony's revelation of his final conversation with His Holiness was the
occasion of a great emotional outpouring from his students, who hadn't even
begun to come to grips with the possiblity of his approaching death. This
moving catharsis was accompagnied by intellectual confusion, doubt, and in
some cases, outspoken dismay as the group had never accepted any kind of
Buddhist affiliation, even an affiliation with the Dalai Lama. They were in
equal parts honored as well as shocked, and I think, more than a little
angry, with Anthony's unexpected gesture. At the same time, all of them were
understandably moved by the extreme concern he had shown for their welfare. I
think that the most enlightened among them knew, that in Anthony's concern
for their spiritual safety, he had abandoned his pride and his hard won
intellectual detachment and simply turned to the highest spiritual authority
and refuge that he had could access. Also, I don't think that it's a
coincidence that His Holiness was an expert, if little known, Tantric
philosopher, as well as a great monastic leader and practitioner.

After Anthony's passing their was a great debate as to how to deal
respectfully with the Dalai Lama's kind, but to many of Anthony's students,
threatening, offer. But that's another story.

To honor their departed teacher, the senior membership of Wisdom's Golden Rod
undertook to edit and publish the whole corpus of Brunton's voluminous
journals and notes in a massive project that took them 5 or more years to
complete. This hard bound series is called the Notebooks of Paul Brunton and
it's published by Larson Publications in Burdett, NY.

All this verbiage is far afield of my original simple answer to a question
about a book critical of Paul Brunton; but I thought that it's a curious,
wonderful and, in some circles, a controversial story about the first strides
of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism in America and the real meaning of "Refuge", and
I thought you might like to hear it.

yours in the bonds,

Regretably, I left an important fact out of my previous story, which
is that Anthony died only 2 days after commending his students and
friends into the spiritual care of HH the Dalai Lama. It seemed a
moving synchronicity.

yours in the bonds,


(from 8/2/01)

bybbyg & DAN on the nature of reality

> Dear Dan
Thank you for responding in a thoughtful way.

Dan: My pleasure, bybbyg.
I enjoy looking into this dream-nature
with you ...

Your analysis is

Glad you like it.

Advaita Vedanta has many texts to draw from pointing to what
you describe. Ramana Maharshi was asked if there was any difference
in "waking reality" or dreams and he answered thet the only
difference was that dreams did not last as long.

There is no real way to ascertain how long anything lasts.
How long something lasts depends on the way measurement
occurs in the dream in which duration is being measured.

Waking reality is a dream, in which the concept occurs
that dreams happened the night before
and can be discussed the day after.
All of these interwoven ideas: waking reality,
dream, the night before, the day after,
are simultaneously occurring in
this dream: "the now moment" in which seemingly a concept
about a character experiencing a reality has occurred ...

When a political
activist asked him if he felt any responsibility to help others, he
replied "What others?"

To whom did he address this statement?

He went on to ask the person if when he awoke
from a dream did he feel a responsibility to go back in to the dream
to awake the others.

Yes, an excellent point.

Dissolution of the ego is another term for liberation.
Conceptual advaita is an oxymoron.

The distinction between concept and reality is

We all know that before we post.
I try to regurgitate what I absorb from sages lives and words for
reasons unknown to me.

What sages (others)?

Knowledge is not accumulation of facts . It is the state we all know
when ignorance is dispelled.

Ignorance is our own (generally "unconscious") activity,
done to "get somewhere" and "have something" for "me" ...

Beyond such attempt --
what ignorance could there be to dispel
(what something 'other' than truth)?

While ignorance is present

Only present is present.
Nothing else.
There may be the attempt to
act as if there could be
something else, but that's
all, just a futile attempt ...

Except for this futile attempt to
act 'as if' ...
What ignorance is there, belonging to whom,
presenting itself from what place
outside of this present,
by what means?

we believe
we act but when knowledge is present that is all there is.

And ...

Present is present.
All is all.

From whence can arise a separate
"we" who can believe or disbelieve
a concept such as "we act" ...
ascertained as "truth" or "fiction"?

Only the
Self. Only Knowledge.

Yes. And this Self can only
be no Self whatsoever (for
what *real* mirror could there ever be,
by which it could know itself
as Self?), and in the same way,
no Knowledge can there be,
for what knowledge could ever take place
(knowledge requiring something to
be known) ... and thus being so unknown
that no concept of known or unknown
could ever pertain ...

The point is to not swerve away from

Who else is here, who could
swerve or not swerve?

The word is dhyana. Easy to say. Your love and desire
for liberation will accomplish this as mine will for me.

If truth were something that could be accomplished,
then truth would be a lie.
To call truth 'liberation' is a lie, because it implies
that something other than truth could occur, from which
truth would need to be liberated.
To call truth "truth" is a lie, because it implies some
other reality apart from truth, which could be false.

Anything ever said about truth, liberation, love, etc.,
is a lie, including this statement.

Thus, every statement is equally true or false, and neither
true nor false.

Yet, in the day to day world of banks, research science,
hotels, and psychiatric clinics, consensus
must be reached about relative ways
to ascertain truth and falsehood.

Although this consensus reality of day to day determinations
of truth about things like money, gravity, bills, and medications
is to be understood for what it is, the meanings defined from
within this reality can never yield the truth prior to and beyond
this reality.

I don't think my query on the psychological community's stance on
Advaita was answered by your analysis, as good as it was.

True. To answer in terms of consensus reality, I'd say that mainstream
psychology focuses on thinking coherently, integrating
thought, feeling and action, and interacting in a balanced way socially.
Generally, ideas like personality and identity are considered
in terms of changing imbalanced and unintegrated
approaches or structures to more balanced and more integrated.
This endeavor called 'psychology' (similar to the endeavor
called 'spirituality'), being itself projection, perhaps makes it difficult for
the average psychologist (or spiritual person)
to embrace reality (which renders their own
identity and work necessarily as projection, concept-only).

It is a rare
psychologist (although I've met many)
who is open to reality (nonduality) as such, in my experience.
In my opinion, this is in no small part due to the fact
that reality is the end of psychological (or spiritual) reality, process and
inquiry. There is no longer a entity capable of self-consciousness,
who could be invited to self-reflect (or meditate, or move to truth),
who could be addressed as the conceptualizer, experiencer, or realizer.

So, that's my answer within the day to day consensus reality, in
which projections by communities of individuals (such as
a group of scientists or psychologists) makes a difference.

Yet making truth into a meaning that could
be supported, endorsed, or verified by such a community
or any community (including a so-called spiritual community)
has made that truth into something that it is not -- essentially
a commodity for endorsement, validation, personification,
barter, salesmanship, contesting, and so on.

Although people associate, validate, agree, etc., with concepts and
persons that they link with "nondual understanding",
such associating, owning or validating has nothing whatsoever to do
with truth.

Another way to say this is like this: the dream arises as a whole.
Any apparent splits questioned or endorsed by dream characters
(who arise as if they could have split from dream reality to endorse
or question aspects of dream reality) are simply the playing out
and through of aspects of the dream-whole. There is no dreamer
to be found nor negated. Thus, whether a dream community endorses
or doesn't endorse a so-called nondual explanation of reality makes
no difference whatsoever to the dream-whole, which already always
is a dream-whole, regardless of statements or actions
made one way or the other by dream characters.

The unimportance of the question was emphasized very well from an
objective viewpoint.

Glad it came across that way.
It's actually a question, which, if taken seriously, imbeds
a dream character in the belief that he or she has a reality
of his or her own, to interact with others, who also have
realities of their own.

The problem with that as I see it, I only get
to have subjective viewpoints.

Yes, "I" is an apparent subjective viewpoint.
The sum of all "I's", experiences, and viewpoints
is what is usually construed as intersubjective reality.
That there is no reality whatsoever to "I's", experiences,
and viewpoints usually remains as an undiscovered truth.
If this truth be discovered, the subjective viewpoint is utterly
undermined, and there is no objective viewpoint available

The ego exists by utilizing projection
and veiling, rajas and tamas. Any attempt at objectivity is

The ego doesn't utilize projection, it is projection.
Any attempt at a subjective reality is projection/introjection
as well.

Reality "alone", meaning "with no other", is reality.
There is no place to project (or introject) anything.
As *this* is one's own nature, no projection has
ever taken place.
There is no one who ever could be liberated or

Another way to say this: there can only be
projected reality when knowing oneself
as real is deferred. When no longer negating
the reality one is, there is no projection possible.

Why do we attempt to negate what can't be negated?
Because we're convinced that subjectively experienced
reality is true, and thus take such negation as an
unquestioned and assumed a priori fact.

The assumption that reality has been negated
is ignorance -- which is literally ignore-ance
of the truth of being ...

Ignore-ance, or shutting out of truth, is "unconscious"
is assumed by the organism along with the sense
that an organism exists ...

The negation of reality is the sense that
an affirmation has taken place ("I am", or "things exist"),
various phenomena can be experienced as objects,
and a self as subject can seemingly be here.

I sense your good will and I am glad for the interchange.

Same here ;-)
Yours with much good will,

And from here to there, as well ...


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