Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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Highlights #928

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12/24/01 Monday

Jan Sultan wrote:
> 1] Mindfulness
> 2] Being in the Now
> 3] Stillness of the mind.
> Bliss lies in the gap between two thoughts.
> Widen the gap gradually and fall into the peace that hides there.
> Beyond the mind, via the gap, lies "I am".
> Beyond the "I am" ...........
The teachings of Ramana and Nisargadatta are the simplest two-part teachings. I'll
re-word them according to my understanding and self-discovery:

There is one occurrence: I AM.

There is one knowledge: Standing Free (which might be called the 'Beyond I AM', or
nondual reality.)

Nisargadatta said to follow the I Am. Ramana said to inquire, Who am I?
Same thing, as I see it. Then they both spoke of the 'beyond I Am'. And that's really it.
Everything we talk about is a celebration or a variation of the teaching, and these are
infinite in expression.



I agree.
However, to get past the clever mind [or to really understand these things]
one has to devise fresh variations all the time.
You have to remember that even Ramana and Nisargadatta had to do the same
thing with previous teachings. Sometimes to read these two again and again
does not help as one tires of repetitions.
A slight variation, a fresh approach and voila! ... breakthrough!



Going beyond 'I am', which is conceptual, perhaps we can say then that
the understanding is no understanding, because I cannot know myself
actually only conceptually, as if at a distance.

If this is the case, and we will never know :-), then it could be said
that everything we say is in violation of the teaching:-) endlessly so



Q: When you say Being, are you talking about God? If you are, then why
don't you say it?

A: The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of
misuse. I use it sometimes, but I do so sparingly. By misuse, I mean that
people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite
vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew
what they are talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they knew what
it is that they are denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs,
assertions, and egoic delusions, such as "My or our God is the only true
God, and your God is false," or Nietzsche's famous statement "God is dead."
The word God has become a closed concept. The moment the word is uttered, a
mental image is created, no longer, perhaps, of an old man with a white
beard, but still a mental representation of someone or something outside
you, and, yes, almost inevitably a male someone or something.
Neither God nor Being nor any other word can define or explain the
ineffable reality behind the word, so the only important question is
whether the word is a help or a hindrance in enabling you to experience
That toward which it points. Does it point beyond itself to that
transcendental reality, or does it lend itself too easily to becoming no
more than an idea in your head that you believe in, a mental idol?
The word Being explains nothing, but nor does God. Being, however, has the
advantage that it is an open concept. It does not reduce the infinite
invisible to a finite entity. It is impossible to form a mental image of
it. Nobody can claim exclusive possession of Being. It is your very
essence, and it is immediately accessible to you as the feeling of your own
presence, the realization "I am" that is prior to I am this or I am that.
So it is only a small step from the word Being to the experience of Being.

And so it is that where another man might tell you to withdraw all your
powers and thought within yourself and worship God there - and he would be
saying what was absolutely right and true - I do not care to do so, because
of my fear of a wrong and physical interpretation of what is said. But what
I will say is this. See that in no sense you withdraw into yourself. And
briefly, I do not want you to be outside or above, behind or beside
yourself either!
"Well" you will say, "where am I to be? 'Nowhere' according to you!" And
you will be quite right! Nowhere is where I want you! Why when you are
'nowhere' physically, you are 'everywhere' spiritually. Make it your
business then to see that your spirit is tied to nothing physical, and you
will find that wherever that thing is that you are giving your mind to,
there you are too in spirit, just as surely as your body is where you are

from: The Cloud of Unknowing
[author: unknown English mystic of the fourteenth century]


When my daughter was small she got the dubious part of
the Bethlehem star in a Christmas play. After her first
rehearsal she burst through the door with her costume, a
five-pointed star lined in shiny gold tinsel designed to
drape over her like a sandwich board. "What exactly will
you be doing in the play?" I asked her.
"I just stand there and shine," she told me.
Sue Monk Kidd


every morning a thousand words spring up
so much to tell of love and pain
of being and compassion

every morning a thousand words spring up
to rant and rave and laugh
at the absurdity of it all

every morning a thousand words spring up
and swirl around like motes in the air
and settle down as dust upon everything

and i look at the broom
as it dances this dust away
and i smile

loveya - michael

Happy Christmas Folks,

I Am Who Am I


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Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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