Jerry Katz
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Highlights #867

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Wednesday, October 24


Let me give examples of some very strange
identifications. People identifying more with their
clothes and hunger instead of their bodies or even
lives! All these incidences happened in Arusha,
Tanzania some 15 or more years ago.

There was this beggar happily chewing on a roasted
maize/corn cob which somebody must have bought for
him. I was about 20 feet behind him. As this beggar
crossed the street without looking, concentrating
on his lunch, he was hit by a car and tossed high
up in the air. He landed on the windscreen and then
rolled on the ground. As I ran towards him, I saw
that he was still conscious. He was crawling about
looking for something. I thought maybe the shock
has confused him and maybe he was looking for his
teeth or something! Everybody who witnessed the
scene was surprised when with a yell of delight the
beggar found the corn-on-cob he was looking for and
went on his way as if nothing had happened. At that
time this beggar was obviously identifying himself
with his hunger more than with his body or even

The other incident involved a fight. Somebody had
knifed a young man and he was bleeding. Instead of
being concerned about this deep wound in his leg he
was holding his trousers and trying to get the
blood off it and looking at the tear in it. He was
shouting something about having borrowed the
trouser and shirt for an interview or something and
worrying about how he could ever pay back the
'cloth/loan sharks'. So this person was identifying
more with the clothes than his own body or life!

In the same way our bodies and minds become so
important and urgent to us that we start
identifying with them. We forget that the body/mind
is just like the clothes we wear and not us. If in
the above examples somebody gave the beggar enough
food and the young man cash to pay for the trousers
they would then start identifying with their bodies
and their wounds and realize the danger that they
were in!

So what would it take for us to realize that we too
are wrongly identifying with our body/mind and that
we are in fact pure awareness, not what we are
aware of?


There's really nothing wrong with identifing with
the body/mind. In fact it is quite natural. The
problem for the aspirant is in the *exclusive*
identification with the body/mind. Most jnanis are
still quite aware of themselves as individuals
while living in the simultaneous understanding that
they are only the Self. As paradoxical as it
sounds, it is quite natural and comfortable as a
state of existence.



We are a strange land, we must leave in order to
find again. A pilgrimage is a journey to a region
that is our own uncharted unearthing. This realm
must be created as it is explored. It is a path
without tracks, and therefore can be crossed with
no concern for paths. The pilgrim must lay down in
himself in order to be the way of himself. It is a
territory where discovery is the only measure of
distance, and translation the only rule of
direction. A journey that retraces an in-folding
map in order to find the beginning at the arrival.

Every pilgrim must go down to the river and pray,
for he must be shown the way, by a guidance he
prays into being. Without this fasting from words
and thought, he cannot learn the language of the
river, that contours the expression of this
transpiring world. He must become this stream that
forms his own mandala. A river that flows swiftly,
but bears its source, as a stillness beneath it,
like a fish that drinks its own water, yet never
moves of itself, but holds the river flowing

This strange way of traveling calls for a letting
go of all conceptions of the idea of destination,
for the journey becomes meaningless if the pilgrim
looks for a goal to set. Being both the fish and
the water, he must learn the art of swimming
without reckoning what it is to be saturated or
evaporated. This way he can move beyond land, sea
and sky, to be the wellspring of the river itself.

It is not enough for the heart to be still without
the comprehension of what this stillness speaks of.
This watching must also be known in adoration. That
this vigil be the prayer of the universe of the
watcher. Until the prayer is all that there is to
be known. Nothing but this prayer, that is a
rivering in the heart of stillness.

And so the pilgrim becomes the journey, and finds
that he is the adoration of himself alone. That the
devotion that stirred him to travel was the guide
of his divinity that called him to speak of
himself. A self that returns to this world no
longer a stranger to its appearance.

You are appointed to Loves fulfillment.
Remember your sacred part
and you alone complete the holy circle.
Surrender now, to this ineffable grandeur.
If you have another plan, forget it!

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