Jerry Katz
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Highlights #935

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12/31/01 Monday



Re: Falling into sleep... Falling into Self

Gene Poole wrote:

I have in mind, exploiting the potentials of conversation here
onlist. This approach
requires willingness to make words appear on screen, a vital staple
for email lists.

The quotes you post are good; I am wondering if you have a personal POV which
could be shared here, as well. You do seem to have a position or trend of
advocacy, as revealed by what you post.
By POV I am assuming you mean point-of-view?
Why have a fixed or one POV?
Hasn't life shown us that, "I don't know" is the most correct statement?

Love You

By the way, thank you for the compliments.
Specially coming from one of the top brains of NDS!


> It is useful to define this > problem-which-is-no-problem-which-is-a-problem.
> [Following that semantic transform seems to lead in and out and in...

All attempts by the thinking faculty to examine itself
lead to this blinking on-off state, so much so that
its appearance can be taken as a sign that that is
what's occuring

This dichotomy is the basis of mind.
Being and nonbeing,
formless intuition and discursive intellect.
And beyond, no source can be seen.


A few thoughts.......

The 'problem' is usually considered to be one of suffering. Looking at
the root meaning of 'problem' it translates as 'something thrown in
front', such as an obstacle or challenge.

Our problem then is the challenge of life, how to live. Such challenge
has been addressed by religion, philosophy and politics. From our
non-dual enquiry, we are led to ask such questions as 'is there a
problem at all?', 'Is there suffering without a sufferer?'

'Non-Duality' as a means to solving something then fits into the same
frame of reference as all the other answers which man has come up with
to correct his/her life.

However, if life is not a problem, then there will be no answer.

or more humorously, if you have an answer you still have a problem :-)


"Self and Other" - Alan Watts

So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without
loving everything defined as other than yourself. In fact, the more you try to think about what your self is,
the more you discover that you can only think about yourself in terms of things that you thought were other
than yourself. If you search for yourself, this is one of the great koan problems in Zen, produce you, find
out who you are. When, for example, Shri Ramana Maharshi, that great Hindu sage of modern
times--people used to come to him and say 'Who was I in my previous incarnation?' You know, that sort
of stupid question. He would say 'Who wants to know?' Who are you? Find out who you are. And you
can search for you endlessly, and never find out. Never. Everything that you get a kind of sensation of as
being yourself will, upon examination, turn out to be something else. Something other.
And now let's work on the other direction. Go exactly the opposite way. What do you mean by something
other? Let's find something other than me, and search for that. 'Well,' I say, 'all right. I can touch the
ground here.' This is something other than me, and yet, I realize that my sensation of this soft carpet with
something firm underneath it is a state of my nerve endings in my hand and in my muscles, which report to
me that this is a softly covered hardness, and that everything I feel about this carpet and the floor is a
condition of my brain. In other words, when I feel this so-called external thing, I feel it only as it is as it
were translated into states of my own body. All of you I see with your various shapes and colors, when I
look out here, I am actually having an experience of how it feels inside my head. That's the place where I
know you, and you know me, in your heads. So that I really do not have any sensations of anything other
than myself, because whatever I do know, I have to translate it into a state of my own body in order to
know it at all.
But do you see now what I have done? I carried in one direction the argument, where do I find my self?
And it all turned out to be something other. Then I followed the question, how do I find something other,
and it all turned out to be me. The same thing happens, for example, when you get into the old debates
about fate and free will. When you discover that everything that you do is completely determinate. Then
you suddenly have to wake up to the fact that the only real you is whatever it is that's determining what you
do. I mean, if you say 'All that I do here and now is a result of the past. There have been processes in the
past, going back and back and back, and my sitting here in this room and talking to you is simply the
necessary effect of all that ever happened before.' Do you know what that's saying? It's saying that here in
your presence talking to you is everything that ever happened before. That's me. Wowee, and so of
course with you being here, if you want to figure it that way, because all this problem about causality is
completely phony.
It's all based on this--that in order to talk about the world and think about it, we had to chop it up into bits,
and we called those bits things and events. In the same way, if you want to eat chicken, you can't swallow
a whole chicken unless you've got a huge mouth. So you cut it up into pieces, or you get a cut-up fryer
from the store, but you don't get a cut-up fryer from an egg. Chicken comes whole out of the egg. So in
the same way, the universe of nature doesn't come in bits or bites. It comes all in one piece. But to digest
it, to absorb it into your mind, you've got to cut it into bits and take it in, as we say, one thing at a time. But
that chopping of the world into these separate bits is like chopping up the chicken or carving the slices off
the beef, or taking water out, cupful by cupful. You can handle it that way, but that's not the way it is.
So you have to see that the whole notion of there being particular, separate events, and particular,
separate things, is nothing more than a calculus. A calculus. Calculus means 'pebbles.' Pebbles used for
counting. So when we measure curves, we pretend as if they were a series of points, and the position of
these points can be expressed in an arithmetical way, say by tracing a curve across a piece of finely
calibrated graph paper. That's the basis of the calculus. So that a curve swings so many points across, so
many down, etc., and so you feel you have control of the curve that way, you measure it, you know where
it really goes. But where it really goes, you have set up this 'really' in terms of your other criss- cross
system, and you said 'That's for real.' All it means is you've meshed two different systems, one on top of
the other, and you're saying 'What I mean by reality is the systems of measurements that I've invented. The
system of weights and measures. This thing is REALLY,' and you feel a great sense of confidence, 'exactly
two pounds.' Now simply because you've made the two pounds of apples correspond with the weighing
machine, which is a constant. Two pounds of apples, two pounds of grapes, different number of apples,
different number of grapes, but you say 'That's really two pounds.'
But so, in just the same way, we say 'There are really different people. There are really different events.'
But actually there aren't. I'm not saying that if we were to see the world in its truth, all of you different
people would disappear, that your outlines would suddenly become vague, and you would turn into a solid
lump of gelatinous goo. A lot of people think that's the way mystics see things. That's not at all what would
happen. The thing I'm saying is this: we are all different, but we are as interrelated and indispensable to
each other as the different organs in our body - stomach, heart, glands, bones, etc. Now you can argue
that the stomach is fundamental--eating is the big thing, and therefore we grew brains as extensions of the
stomach to get it more food. So that you say 'The brain is the servant of the stomach.' But you can argue
equally that the brain is primary, and it has all these thinking games to play, and it needs a stomach as an
appendage to supply it with energy. Or you can argue that the sex organs are primary and they need the
brain and the stomach to keep that ecstasy going. But the brain and the stomach can equally argue that
they wouldn't find it worthwhile going on unless they had the sex organ appendage to give them solace.
The truth of the matter is that nobody comes first. No one pushes the other around. You don't find brains
without stomachs and sex organs. They all go together - and this is the fallacy of Freud, in saying that the
sexual apparatus are primary. It just goes along with the others.
So you don't have a universe in which a series or a collection of separate events or things are banging each
other around like an enormous mass of billiard balls. You have a situation which is quite different from that,
where what have hitherto been called 'causally related events,' to say that certain events are causally
related is a very clumsy way of saying that these certain specific events which you have isolated as being
causally related, were in fact really all parts of the same event.

more at:



Andrew, and Gary, thank you for your delightful replies...

Comments follow:
Re: Following that semantic transformS
>andrew macnab wrote:
> >
> > Gene Poole wrote:
> >
> > > S
> > >
> > > It is useful to deŽne this >
> >>problem-which-is-no-problem-which-is-a-problem. > >
> > > [Following that semantic transform seems to lead in and out and inS
> >
> > All attempts by the thinking faculty to examine itself
> > lead to this blinking on-off state, so much so that
> > its appearance can be taken as a sign that that is
> > what's occuring.
> >
> > andrew

Yes. You have correctly derived the meaning implicit
in my proposal to Jan S.

A question can be asked; is one state (in) more valid
or real than the other (out); or is the 'on' state of the
flash, more valid or real than the 'off' state. Or are
they both equally real and important? Is there justification
for ignoring either state?

We can explore this question, because the answer is
important to know.

Consider the dilemma of the movie-goer. He sits in
a theater, watching what seems to be a changing image
on the screen. The movements and changes on the screen
seem smooth and continuous.

We know, of course, that what is happening is that the
eye and brain of the viewer is being 'fooled'. The movie
film actually is just a series of single frames, which
the eye and brain of the viewer sees as an uninterrupted
presentation. Somehow, the speed of the presentation
of the single frames fools the perception of the viewer;
what is really a series of separate flashes of light, become
a smooth, seamless picture.

Consider that the perception of the 'world-dream' with
all of its problems is one state, and that there is an
alternative state, in which there is no world-dream display.

The point I was trying to make to Jan S is this: If we formulate
our perspective of 'reality and what we should do' based upon
the display of the world-dream 'state', our formulations will
be reactive to what seems to be going on, in what is perceived
of that state.

This means that such faculties as 'thinking' and such properties
as 'ego', and such occurrences as 'being fooled by illusion' will
be the grounds for our decisions as to 'what to do'. It means that
the problems presented in Jan's posted quoted materials, are
presented as though there is a solution to those problems to be
found by considering the problems and how the human deals
with those problems. My suggestion to accurately define the
problems, led Jan S to conclude that 'there is no problem',
yet the proposed remedies for an undefined problem continue
to be offered.

I guess that I feel a certain responsibility (justified or not), to
point out here, the nondual perspective, this being the NDS.

Heaping POVs of various authors and spiritual teachers upon
the reader (and I do not assume the reader is incapable of
seeing this) without clearly defining why these POVs are being
presented, may be interpreted by the reader as proof that
such POVs are valuable in some way. No doubt, each POV has
value in itself, as the way that one or other author has approached
the 'issues' entertained.

Yet, I feel that I should point out that the alternate (between
flashes of world-dream materials) state should be examined.

The Space Between Worlds:

'It' is always the same, from flash to flash. It may seem to be
broken up or interrupted by flashes of world-dream display,
but it is actually a 'state' of its own. It has a continual, unbroken
'existence or manifestation'. Just as some people cannot see
but the smooth image of world-dream display presentation,
so others may choose to pay attention to the spaces between,
or more accurately, the alternative to world-dream display, as
it continues always, smoothly and unbroken.

Perception is capable, contrary to certain opinions, of perceiving
the continuity of what is behind of, or supporting, world-dream
display; this what is, can be for the sake of convenience, termed
to be 'emptiness'. It is also called, variously, the Cosmic Void,
Sunya or Sunyata, or 'Nirvana'. It is the apparent source of all
of what manifests as world-dream display, yet is itself not
manifest in world-dream display.

The human faculty of understanding is capable of perceiving the
subtle distinctions which are treated here; certainly, it may
take training and practice to enable that talent, but such is
entirely possible. The wholesale dismissal of such talents is not
called for, as a 'remedy' for poorly defined 'problems' which
stem from perceiving world-dream display perceptions.

What is the actual challenge which we face in life? According to
the highest Masters, we are faced primarily with the task of
being able to recognize what is actually going on, in what is best
described as 'a provisional relationship between perceiver
and perceived'. If we designate this as a 'class' or 'case', we
may see that all events of reality fall into this case. I propose
that it is useful to call this case the 'master case'.

The Master Case

From here, all issues of resolving dilemmas which arise in
duality, are in the 'master case'. The challenge I refer to
above, is resolved by the highest Masters, in moving to
the case which itself, contains the 'master case'. And this
all-inclusive case, is emptiness.

Perception of Emptiness

The usual (world-dream) version of emptiness is simply
the apparently empty space between objects, or 'nothingness'.
I will point out here, that the emptiness between the objects
apparent in the world-dream, is no more 'real' than the objects

In reality (pardon my presumption!), the 'empty space'
perceived between objects is a representation which is
derived from a learned extrapolation of relationship
which is termed 'spatial' or having to do with experience
with objects in space. It is the presumption of the reality
of space as nothing, which prevents the easy
understanding of what 'emptiness' really is.

What I said above, is that our conditioned habit of assuming
that 'space is empty and objects are in this emptiness' is
what stands in the way of easily seeing the actual nature
of what is emptiness, or restated, the actual foundation
for the 'illusion' of the world-dream.

It is the gaining of such an ability, which at first is opposed
by conditioned habit, which is the actual 'solution' that is
being sought by spiritual seekers.

So, the focus of the seeker 'should be' upon the nature of
emptiness itself, rather than upon the many, many examples
of how things can go wrong in the world-dream, and the
numerous and ultimately, misleading examples of remedies
based upon world-dream perceptions.

I propose that such 'remedies' as 'stopping thought' and
'killing the ego' and 'seeking the silence within', issue
exclusively from treatment of world-dream display. As
such issue, each such 'remedy' is simply the next phase
of the 'disease' which is being examined. In other words,
we can expect 'more of the same, but more-so' if we
attempt to implement such world-dream based remedies.

If on the other hand, we hold in abeyance our habituated
assumption of what is emptiness, we may be able to
finally see what emptiness 'actually is'. In this case, we
have a clear (no pun intended) alternative to world-dream
problems and solutions. World-dream 'case' is found complete
and whole, in emptiness; emptiness is what transcends
the 'master case' and all subcases contained in that case.

The Empty Case

In emptiness, there is no case. Thus, there can be no
comparisons. It is not like anything else; there are no
analogies which hold. One cannot say that emptiness
is a 'case' because, it has no outer boundaries. It
(emptiness) is in fact the 'case' which holds all other cases,
yet it itself is not a case. It is useful to define emptiness
as 'case' only as an aid to make the transition from
'doing the world-dream' to 'losing the assumption that
one can do'. All doing is done in and in regard to world-
dream drama-cases, as is (for example) this letter itself.

"No Do-er, or no doing?"

It is easy to hallucinate that there is 'no doer', as
a sop to relieve the suffering of world-dream drama-
players. It is much more difficult to understand that
'nothing is done', yet such is the case. The issue of
whether or not there is a 'do-er' is a red herring; the
real issue is whether or not anything is done. If there
is no doing, the issue of 'do-er' is moot.

If no 'do-er', is the do-er 'done'?

What 'does the do-er'? The do-er is not only
done-for (as in served by), the do-er is being
'done' or 'created. How does this work? Is there
a 'who' who does the do-er?

How is it, that the do-er is so meshed with a
smoothly displayed story of great significance,
wherein every moment of existence of the do-er
is fraught with the drama of winning or losing!?

Is it possible (I am asking) that the 'do-er' is
nothing BUT the creation of that oh-so-gripping
drama? And if that is the case (which is the question),
that it is the do-er who is creating that drama?

And if that is the case... the do-er is the drama,
AND a special character created in that drama...

That, the creator and the created are actually
one... this is the proposition on the table at this
time. No drama without dramatis personae,
and no actors without a drama to enact.

Identity is the name of every actor, and drama
is the name of every play; this is the 'master case'
of what is called 'duality'.

How is this case seen, from the nondual perspective?

More later,

And 'happy new year!'

==Gene Poole==

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