Jerry Katz
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Highlights #947

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01/14-15/02 Monday & Tuesday


The absence of self

[This is not a 'teaching'. These are just my present views - they can
change anytime.]

Anthony de Mello said [when his disciples complained about the noise
created by the many visitors],
"Silence is not the absence of noise;
It is the absence of self."

It is the same with suffering in all it's forms; seeking, frustration,
anger, contempt, impatience, sorrow, anxiety, tension, wishing things were
different, thinking the grass is greener on the other side, if only ... , etc.

All suffering is gone when there is no self.

And it does not have to be total lack of self. It can be achieved in
stages. Understanding that you are not the self, understanding about your
true nature. Understanding what is being pointed at, helps slowly dissolve
the importance of the self. [The practice of non-attachment, the practice
of neti-neti (I am not this, not this, etc.), the self inquiry of 'who am
I', etc. all help in deflating the ego]

When the importance attached to the self diminishes. Suffering in all its
forms also diminishes. I don't know about enlightenment but this diminished
self has helped me in many ways:

"What is" - is much more readily acceptable.
Most of the time "all nows are the same". i.e. it makes no difference if I
am stuck in a traffic jam, or relaxing in a Jacuzzi.
Noisy kids, strange noises, threatening situations or individuals, lack of
enlightenment, etc. hardly affect me.
'Peace of mind' is rarely disturbed.
Despite outside turmoil the heart is hardly ever touched.
[Unlike in the past there was many a times some unease, some anger, some
resentment, some self-pity, the feeling that something was lacking and
general uneasiness and low level anxiety.]
Now all negative emotions only skim the surface. If there is any
resentment, anger or frustration, it affects only the mind and is gone in a
few seconds. The heart remains undisturbed.

So if you want my opinion, forget about seeking some 'extraordinary
enlightenment'. Just relax - "in the now". Accept - "what is". And try to
understand deep down who you really are.


Hi Jan, can you say what the apparent self is? To me it seems like a
specific class of feeling, different from physical and emotional
feeling. Others talk about it as separation; not sure what to make of
that. There is a feeling of non-separation as a sort of post-self
experience. But I can't really identify separation in my experience.


It is the clinging to the false that makes
the true so difficult to see. Once you
understand that the false needs time and
what needs time is false, you are nearer
the Reality, which is timeless, ever in the
now. Eternity in time is mere repetitiveness,
like the movement of a clock. It flows from
the past into the future endlessly, as empty
perpetuity. Reality is what makes the present
so vital, so different from the past and future,
which are merely mental. If you need time to
achieve something, it must be false. The real
is always with you; you need not wait to be
what you are. Only you must not allow your
mind to go out of yourself in search. When you
want something, ask yourself: do I really need
it? and if the answer is not, then just drop it.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj


Jan, you missed my question. I'm not interested in eternity. What I
would like to find out is the exact nature of the main error as YOU see
it. What is the make-up of this missidentified sense of self in your


Here are some Nisargadatta sayings to drive what I had written further in!
[It seems I always come back to Nisargadatta :-) . He has said it all]

Love You
Where is the need of changing anything? The mind is changing anyhow all the
time. Look at your mind dispassionately; this is enough to calm it. When it
is quiet, you can go beyond it. Do not keep it busy all the time. Stop it,
and just be. If you give it rest, it will settle down and recover its
purity and strength. Constant thinking makes it decay.

Nothing you do will change you, for you need no change. You may change your
mind or your body, but it is always something external to you that has
changed, not yourself. Why bother at all to change? Realize once for all
that neither your body nor your mind, nor even your consciousness is
yourself and stand alone in your true nature beyond consciousness and
unconsciousness. No effort can take you there, only the clarity of

In peace and silence, the skin of the "I" dissolves and the inner and the
outer become one. The real sadhana is effortless.

When you refuse to play the game, you are out of it.

A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind
is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does
self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady
self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without any effort
on your part.

The window is the absence of the wall, and it gives air and light because
it is empty. Be empty of all mental content, of all imagination and effort,
and the very absence of obstacles will cause reality to rush in.

There is no effort in witnessing. You understand that you are the witness
only, and the understanding acts. You need nothing more, just remember that
you are the witness only.


> I am Observation and Observation is HereNow.

Since the Universe is infinite I am always in the center of the
> Universe.

I'll see your observation and raise you one perception:

Since the universe is not proven as fact it seems to appear and disappear at 24 frames per
second most of the time, it follows that no center can be found except in the assumption of a separate self
as a fixed observer.



Infinite and finite have to be relative
to an observer, and the observer's criteria
for these.

If the assumption of a center in or as a fixed
observer dissolves, who can say or care
what the nature of the universe is?

What is the universe with no fixed observer
taking notes?

What is proof but the meeting of fixed (set) criteria?


Hi Jan,

This man is a list and this list is battle-scarred, weary, and
everything is taboo except sitting in an alley between storefronts,
eating old birthday cake, everything around you coming alive.



>..........jan, stop reading. you said you were trying to not use your
>conscious mind ans you have to, to read.

Ah! But you don't know me. For me reading is like breathing. It does not
disturb my silence. Sometimes I have gone through pages sub-consciously.
But it is not a waste of time as it has sunk in somewhere and processed.
I do not meditate or pray or do self-inquiry, ... I simply read.
I think I will call it 'reading meditation'! :-)


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