Jerry Katz
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Nonduality Salon

Highlights #8

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Gene wrote:

> I offer that this thin slice of my 'work' is just that, yet it is my
> expression which I take joy in; I would not deny similar joy to any
> who
> attempt it, and that is the intent of my work. That such gives joy,
> gives
> me no shame, and also no pride, yet satifaction abides.

> Skye:
> Abides! ;-) now now Gene, you know the essence of nonduality is to
> develop a mind that does not abide anywhere? Eventually I hope we
> will develop "the language of the unborne" for this new net medium,
> until then every word we type (when discussing nonduality) requires
> complete attention.
> Big Love
> from the skye of no skye who is skye too.

I want to comment not on the wisdom from which each of you comes, which
may be the same highest wisdom, but the approach each of you is taking.

Gene speaks of abiding as an instructional imperative. One must abide.
That resonates throughout Gene's writings.

Skye understands that because one cannot abide, or really do anything at
all, that a whole other way of expressing ourselves is required if we
are to commune via email at all.

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?

Skye's extreme nondual point of view is very difficult for many to do
anything with. Texts such as the Avadhuta Gita and the Ashtavakra Gita
are extremely nondual. (They are available through my website at

These texts successfully speak from the nondual disposition without
instructing anyone on how to get to that level. They simply confess what
is beyond the abiding, the transcendence of abiding. That seems to be
the disposition Skye would care to take.

Often people mis-interpret the extreme nondual expressions as meaning
it's okay to do nothing, no practice, no responsibility, no ethics, even
no abiding! People use them as an excuse to avoid facing who they are
physically, emtionally, mentally, spiritually.

People need instruction on practice. That's why discussions on diet,
depression, dealing with and facing life events, kundalini activity,
meditation, witnessing, abiding, and so on, are often seen here. They
have a relationship to understanding the nondual nature of reality. A
person somehow has to get to nondual understanding.

It's effective to have two perspectives, one coming from the Skye of
nonduality, and one coming from the Gene Poole of human practice. You
both meet in the same wisdom. One shows us where we're going, and the
other gets us there.



>As for freedom. What does set us free?

"you are free,"
said the silence, wordlessly.
love and light


From: samuel <[email protected]>

On June 8th 1999, Gene Poole posted to Nd-Salon,
a dissertation on what parts of speech 'enlightenment' is not.

Which, upon pondering... 'spawned' this little verse.

"Enlightenment"... is... a copulating verb!
That's right... "copulating"... is the word you heard!

You know... is, are, was, were, become, became, seem, feel...!
These are words that 'guide us'... **to be**... here and real.

Apologies... if my choice of 'words' offends anyone.

( /\ ) Namaste,



---which prompted Jan to write:

Nice to hear from you Sam; you poem caused a tiny ripple on the lake leading

Offense is in the beholder
When present, it will crush one like a boulder
Who cares about a reproductionary word
Perhaps an extraordinary nerd

Words are but the tools for abstraction
Like pleasure seems a tool for satisfaction
Words have no value of their own
They point to experiences which can easily be shown

Words are neither false nor true
They make up for all descriptive glue
Words can both attract and repel
Causing mind to expand or to rebel

Words have no power of their own
Except OM which isn’t just a word
OM kills duality with a diamond sword
But even with infinity of words that can’t be shown.



> From: Jelke Wispelwey <[email protected]>
> Hi Gene,
> When I am asleep, I'm in the dark,
> When I am awake, I'm 'in the light'.
> Could enlightenment be the difference between 'being awake' and 'being
> asleep'? If so, then what IS this difference?
> Just wondering,
> Jelke.

One can take a different perspective: enlightenment - being invested with
light. From this perspective, it has a start (first recognition of light, or
real nature) and it has an end (everything has "become" light, or one is
unconditionally awake). This is more in line with statements from the Buddha
concerning attainment of nirvana and with a comment given by Purohit Swami
and with ancient Masters like Hermes Trismegistus, who completed



From: "jb" <[email protected]>

> From: Marcia Paul <[email protected]>
> [email protected] wrote:
> > Yep. Personality is useful for living in this world.
> > But it's still false as an identity.
> > But there's nothing wrong with falseness.
> > It just won't set us free,
> > no matter how central to the onion it is.
> Marcia:
> I think the stuff closer to the center is harder to see.
> Take a computer for example. You have documents
> stored in files, then you have the programs used to
> create the documents, then you have the machine
> language which allows the programs to talk to the
> computer, and then you have the computer itself.
> By the time you get to the computer itself you are
> getting to the core stuff.
> The flash of embarrassment I observed when I fell
> was just a document stored in a file. The search for
> affection as a result of my injury was more like a
> basic program which runs allot of the time. The "i"
> which observed these two was more like machine
> language. The story teller is most likely the machine
> itself.
> As for freedom. What does set us free?

Finding built-in programs that are the mental equivalent of Cleansweep and
Norton Utilities. When properly used, unwanted programs are deleted, a total
defragmentation will take place and the registry will be freed from aeons of
useless entries that have caused so many system-crashes. These programs will
only work when the hardware is connected through fire-wire.



Ikkyu story;

Master, I dropped your favorite jar and broke it

When Zen Master Ikkyu was still a child, he began to study Zen in a
Ikkyu's master had a jar of candy that he was particularly fond of and, to
keep the
novices from eating it, he told them that the jar was filled with poison.
however, was not fooled. One day he opened the jar and ate some of the
candy. It was so good he shared it with the other novices. They all enjoyed
candy very much and ate every last piece. Ikkyu then dropped the jar and

When the master returned, Ikkyu went to him and said, "Master, I dropped your
favorite jar and broke it."

"Well," said the master, "all things must pass. It's good you told me.
Where is the
poison that was inside?"

"Oh Master," said Ikkyu, "when the jar broke I felt so bad about it that I
ate the
poison. I thought it a fitting punishment. But strangely, nothing has
happened to

The master looked suspiciously at Ikkyu, but the boy just stood quietly.
"Er, yes,
hummph," said the master. "Very strange. You are a lucky child, after all."
still somewhat confused, he let Ikkyu go.



Speaking of Adi Da, I read "The Knee of Listening" way back before
Franklin Jones metamorphosed into Free John. It was evident in that
first book that he "had IT" as Alan Watts confirmed in his preface.
From that time on I have beoome ever more ambivalent about Master Da;
but I do have a quote which I would like to share with the List. I
transcribed this from an audio tape, and am not sure whether it ever
actually appeared in print. I have supplied the capitalizations
according to his custom:


If the body-feeling arises, consider the Current of Living Energy that
pervades the body, that makes this feeling possible, and that is itself
this feeling.

Then consider the Consciousness that is aware of the body, this feeling
and this Current. Is it not the Source of this Current, and is it not
the Same as this Current?

If any thought arises, consider the Current of Living Energy. Is not
every thought merely a modification of that Current? Is it not the
Light by which every mental image becomes visible? Is it not the
Substance of every perception? Is it not the Essence of every emotion?

If this Current is considered in every instance, does not the
body-feeling, every emotion, every perception and every thought or form
of mind dissolve in It?

Then consider the Consciousness that is aware of this Current and all of
its modifications. Is it not the Source of all of that? Is it not the
Same as all of that?

If no body feeling, no emotion, no perception, and no thought or form of
mind arises, as in the case of deep sleep, then consider the
Consciousness that is merely felt aware in that case. Is it not the
same Consciousness that is otherwise aware of conditions in the waking
and sleeping states of body and mind? Is it not the Source of All? And
even in this case, when the body and mind are not noticed, is not the
Current of Living Energy still arising? And is it not the Same as

Therefore consider the Current of Living Energy and its Source
Consciousness under all conditions, whether waking, dreaming or
sleeping, until the Self-Radiant Transcendental Condition is Obvious,
and conflict with conditional existence is transcended.

Then abide as That, recognizing All, naturally and freely allowing all
conditions and activities to arise and pass spontaneously.


OM shantih



Harsha said on HarshaSatsangh:

Where are the contradictions and differences between the words of the
Sage of Arunachala and the practice of Yoga and Meditation? Honoring a
Great Sage does not imply that others are dishonored. Self-Awareness,
Contemplation, Prayer, Meditation, Yoga, Pranayama, etc., are indeed
natural to all spiritual paths. All paths traveled with sincerity lead
to the Self. Self is beyond all paths. That is the Truth. Honoring the
Truth, all are honored.


Maurice responding to Melody:

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

To choose at all
is to loose the Soul.
Yet "you" is a kind of
habitual choosing, a pattern of old desires
no longer fullfilling ....
And so the Soul moves on and on
in delusion, on and on
...ah, better? More? Spiritual?Fulfilling...yes, on
to better delusions....

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

Choosing God? Choosing God!
What hubris even
a Centaur may display
In loosing a name
but gaining

>Either way,

>something in me
>had to die.

Yes, death is the way of transcendence,
but sleep is also like a death...
Do you take the high road (evolution),
Or the low road (regression, wallowing in the
squallor of old habituations)?

>An easy choice perhaps.

Ah "choice" again, and Choice
again and again. But let's not
make it too easy here.
Remember the past. Your roots,
your parants, your country tis of Thee
Your Separation naturally longs to linger
in the Arms of What brought you forth...
Rock a-bye-baby...but the bough broke
Did it not? Now your choice, your choice
maintains the Separation, the duality you
so long to recover from...Oh the longing
for that Union...Oh, the longing,
the longing to be in your arms...
I swoon so longingly within the delusion of my separate self...
It hurts, this parting, this separation, this choice making
endless chain of delusion that "I" maintain...


Bruce wrote:

Emotions are much like life-
forms -- they arise, flower,
and die in rather short
order if we as "ego" do not
attach to them. To borrow
Xan's wording, "with
practice" this sequence
compresses to
instantanteousness, winking
on and immediately off like
a firefly. "Giving attention"
to the transient nature of
emotion and its effect on our
breathing, heartbeat, and
sensorium certainly, as Xan
says, "helps a lot." That
which remains in the absence
of such transient phenomena,
internal or external, is who
we really are.


Thought I'd re-play this, Andrew:

This body is completely encased in tendrils of energy, which twine and
spiral over every millimeter of its surface. It floats in infinite void,
shining like a supernova. Point of view can move around it, above it,
below, to any side. It can move away until it is the faintest
pinprick, one pixel, one photon, even farther until it blinks out. It
can move toward and the tendrils are made of smaller tendrils winding
around themselves. It can move inside and inside is also infinite space
only separated by the wall of twining energy, like the line that defines
0 (zero). The twining tendrils can unwind and twist their way out and in
in all directions infinitely far and never find another or an end. There
is no body but the twining tendrils of energy.



"Rock a bye baby..."

That lullaby plays over and over
inside my head.

And I cry even harder yet.

Images begin to dance
accross the screen

of my imagination.

Images of being cast out,
of being alone, left behind...

and the sorrow
keeps spilling forth.


in my tiredness,
I stop.

I stop thinking,
stop remembering,
stop imaging.

I just focus on the body,

which has held the pain
for years...

and thru which
the pain has flowed outward.

And suddenly I notice
there is no Sorrow.

There is no experience
of suffering,

without the thoughts of
suffering to feed it.

Like fire
without oxygen...

sorrow disappeared
when the mind shut off.

And then the 'wondering'
begins again.

Continue to allow the sorrow....

until there are
no more tears to 'burn'...

or simply stay still
and sit in the Silence?

Stillness appeals to me,

but I know my mind
will return again and again.

And what will she bring with her
next time?


Hellow Andrew,

Thank you for writing.

> The word enlightenment is a noun. It's not a verb adverb
> adjective etc. therefore it is a noun.

Okay. Noun it is.

> 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 absolute 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 žat, meaning that it approaches the ideal of
> žatness, or is relatively žat, but any physical surface
> will always have a certain amount of unžatness. This does
> not mean that žatness 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.

Does the pencil have a point?

> 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 terms.

Point taken. We have here two distinct sets of relativities, one within the
'relative' and one which is comprised of the relative VS the 'absolute'.
You propose a system of thought which will parse the 'reality' of this
complicated if/then relationship. You state below that this way of Being is
quite natural for you.

What is called 'Boolean logic' is what is called upon to parse (your
alluded above) reality. Boolean logic is based upon a binary (yes/no,
if/then, on/off, and/or, etc) system of decision, and it is the basis for
most computer programs. At base, it is based upon the classical binary pair
(1/0), which is also (Life/death) or more accurately put (Be/not Be). As
Shakespear put it, "To Be, or not to Be... THAT is the question!" Human
survival (immunity and factors of integrity) is based upon this built-in
parsing engine, which if it fails, the person "dies".

> 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 Žgure 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.

Well put, Andrew. You refer to seeing (Being) the foreground. The pencil is
in the background. The foreground is always the absolute. I am (for me) the
foreground; the pencil and 'everything else' is background.

What is the common point of confusion, is that the 'background' is
_supported_ by the foreground, not the other way around.
'Larvals' (those dwelling unconscioiusly in the world-dream) assume that
the background is the soil in which the 'self' grows; that it is the brain
which originates, and that the brain itself is originated by the
background. Thus, the unshakeable atachment to the background, which is
assumed to be 'the source'. You point out that the background (the relative
world) is secondary to the foreground (the absolute). I see this as

> 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.

I would caution against stating that one is real and the other is not. As
in your fourth paragraph above, relative reality is to be compared to the
absolute. The comparison need not eliminate the relative reality, only show
its relativity to the absolute.

As far as 'just' comparing and conceptualizing... that activity is what it
is. It need not be scorned or relegated to the trashcan, on the basis that
it is not the absolute. The absolute is able to create, contain, see, and
evaluate the relative. That is the foreground activity which 'I am'. I need
not diss myself; in fact, to do so is vastly weakening to me, or to anyone
who does such to themself. I appreciate, am deeply grateful for, all of my

> 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.

Once that is seen, and deeply integrated, the work begins. Intrinsic to the
work is the 'job' of getting along with 'other Beings'. If we insult
ourselves, on the basis of 'purging ignorance', we will _always_ subtley
insult those others by our very way of Being. Such self-denigrating
behaviour forms a background field of tension, which in 'our' culture, is
quite palpable.

Accepting oneself 'whole' is possible, and leads the way to acceptance of
others as who they are (or seem to be). One need not use the 'flamethrower
of truth' to denude the underlying skeleton of the flesh of ignorance and
traditional world-dream assumption. If one wishes such an operation, such
is available. Many 'masters' use the deep 'accubeating' technique quite
effectively, if one will put oneself under their 'care'. I have done that.
I prefer Love.

> 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 reality.
> andrew

I understand your advocacy, Andrew. But I disagree that 'language is to be
dropped'. I experience the 'real' and also use language. It is true that
there are potentially many steps to being comfortable while living
simultaneously in two 'worlds'. Language is neither of those two worlds, it
is a 'pocket-universe' which requires respect of the navigational process
required to successfully negotiate that world.

I have yet to find a 'Guru' who is able to show the student how to forget
language. Do you know of one? This could be an interesting discussion. (I
could point out that 'automatic speaking' is actually a forgetting of
language, but is also a 'meditative disorder'.)

Your statement that "...language is a device, rather than reality" should
be reparsed, in my opinion. Language is indeed a device, and if understood
as such, is completely harmless. But language is as real as your pencil,
also. Neither needs to be assigned a 'supreme' catagorical classification.

Wordlessness underlies language; wordlessness is 'always there' and is the
source of words. This is my constant experience (at least while doing

If I find myself 'pressurized', with words spewing forth in a fountain of
attachment, I know that I have tapped a deep pocket of unabreacted or
unresolved material within myself. If that happens, I can usually succeed
in reversing the polarity of my words (without turning them off), and to
thus speak in poetry, rather than in defensive resentment. This is what
Shakespear did, and why his words live on as they do. He was able to have
the feelings, the sentiment, and the awareness of the actual relativity of
the situation, all at the same time. His is a high art.

The parsing-engine of 'real/unreal' is useable only in the world-dream. In
the world-dream, the absolute is 'unreal'. The error of many is to assume
that in the 'absolute', the the world-dream is 'unreal'. In 'reality', the
absolute _contains_ (subsumes) the world-dream. Seen in this way, the
world-dream is harmless. This is freedom.

The Unicorn barbeque is happening in the space between the two worlds. All
are invited.

Thank you Andrew, for this opportunity. Please write again.

==Gene Poole==


Imagining fire....

a roaring, crackling
searing fire,

I begin to notice
all the ways

I could make it end.

No more air - by suffocation,

drenching it with water,

or kicking the embers

and separating the fuel.

And then it occurred to me,

after watching me try
one method after another

trying to put an end to it....

why not just leave it alone?

Let it be.

Let it roar
if it wants to.

Or die naturally,
from lack of attention.

I can see now

though I 'thought' so before,

I am not the fire.

Nor am I the one
who's trying
to put it out.

So, who am I?



>So, who am I?
> ~Melody
> ______________

At the risk of sounding like a broken record...

" I am I... Don Quixote... Lord of La Muncha... "

( /\ )



Petros wrote:
> This one has never been accused of being in the happy sappy faction.

I was at work today reading a few emails I had printed out, when someone
asked me what I was reading. So I got into the thing about a mailing
list, website, blah blah Eastern spirituality blah blah, explaining
myself broadly on the chance that he had a genuine interest in such

And the guy laughed. He said I was the last person he suspected would be
into Buddhism and stuff like that. I said, What do you mean? He said I
wasn't peaceful and gentle and positive all the time. I said, Yeah, well
it's a big world out there and you never know who's doing what, or what
anyone's story is blah blah.

So that's how I come across, and maybe that's how Petros comes across. I
suppose we're just being ourselves, which is better than being the very
model of a modern Maharishi.

Let's face it, personality, religion and spirituality are guests here,
they are not the host. It's nice to meet all the guests here, but you
have to excuse yourself from their company in order to approach the

sappy and happy,

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