Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:


Highlights #961

Click here to go to the next issue.

Wednesday, January 30


'Our' tendency is to create maps and then,
to live in them.

Language is 'of course' a complex map of 'reality',
yet, does it actually have any correspondence to

Language 'has to do with' what we Urthoids call
'meaning'... yet, if you think about it, it can be seen
that words (the components of the 'map of reality')
refer (point to) only to other words.

And therein lies the difficulties which underlie the
various religious and secular conflicts which
continue to plague 'us' as individuals and societies.

If a word is reputed to 'point to' something other
than another word, there is the claim (by the one
pointing) that what is being pointed to is 'real'.

I can point to a cat and say 'cat', and there will
be general agreement (among speakers of English)
that I am speaking 'truly'.

Yet, if I 'point to' Nonduality, am I speaking truly?

And if I point to 'heaven', 'hell', 'enlightenment',
'nirvana', 'sin', or 'God', what is the opinion of
my 'veracity'?

It is certainly possible to invent words which
refer to what does not exist. An example of
such a word is one of my favorites,
'interocitor'. I use this word to get ignoramuses
off of my back, when I am doing tech support:

"Please give me some time to recalibrate the

A similar tactic is used by the 'spiritual master',
when referring to the vast spectrum of supposed-
to-be-literal spiritual 'realities'; the acolyte is
soothed and given something to look forward to,
when the master does this. Our 'spiritual literature'
is full of such conceptual make-work and placeholders.

What 'we nondualists know' is that there is no
independent reality to refer to. And this is an
important statement to understand. Apparently,
it is precisely unclarity about this central truth,
which gives rise to the plethora of placeholders
which are themselves taken to have independent
reality. Such words as 'duality' and 'nonduality'
are themselves mere nonsense, but only insofar
as _all words are nonsense_.

To understand how this works, we must return
to the first four paragraphs, above (please do this
now; read down from the top back to here).

The sharp reader will ask: "You say there is no
independent reality'. Independent from what?"

Answer: Independent from self (use word 'me'
here). 'There is no reality independent from me',
or equally, 'all reality is dependent on me'. Now
take it on a real stretch... 'I am the sole reality',
or even... "I Am That"... or descriptively,

"There is only self".

Note that when this is read, or heard stated,
there is an automatic assumption on the part
of the hearer (say 'me') that what is being
referred to is something other than the hearer
'itself' ('you', otherwise known as 'me').

And from this insight, we are able to finally see
that it is the act of pointing (speaking) which
allows the assumption that the speaker is separate
from what is being described, when in fact, the
intention of the speaker is to state that the speaker
is 'self' and that the speaker is stating that 'there is
no reality independent of me' and that 'I am that
to which I refer'; in other words, 'I am self-referential'.

This is a tacit confession of 'subjectivity', too often
taken as 'mere solipsism', as though there is
something outside of solipsism. And here we have
the chief lie among many lies... that there is something
independent of... me (as you would say 'me').

The lie of Satan, as he tempted Eve, was to imply
that there was something outside of her own experience,
which she was 'missing', and that if she wanted to make
her experience 'complete', she should do certain things.

This lie, the lie that there is something outside of yourself
(' I am missing something and I am suffering'), is the chief
lie, the 'father of lies'. If one can stop repeating this lie, and
all sub-variants of it, nonduality 'happens'.

When one stops the constant cycling of the chief lie
(as a component of of 'my' internal conversation),
there does occur 'abiding', a way of Being.

Only in abiding, is there the possibility of choice.

How is this so? Other than abiding, is non-abiding,
and non-abiding is based in reaction-to, and reaction-to
is not choice.

Abding abolishes 'should' and 'what-if'. Abiding
abolishes idiotic religious and secular conflicts. Abiding
as way of Being, allows 'information' (observance of
phenomena) to enter and leave 'me', to pass through
and to state just what it is.

Do 'we' have the courage to simply state, even
experimentally, 'I am the ultimate reality', while
deliberately NOT pointing to any external factor?

In other words... will you say what you are, without
referring to any supposed 'external factor'?

Let me know!

Spurious Addendum:

Taking silliness seriously, is silliness!

'Isophor' is useful insofar (cool, eh?) as is needed
to point out the potential for conflict between
'reality' and 'map of reality/Language', yet the
central concept (among educated folks or 'deep
thinkers') is that language was never intended to
replace 'reality', and that such conflicts as arise
between people around this point, are essentially
self-resolving if this is kept in mind.

Main Entry: -phore
Function: noun combining form
Etymology: New Latin -phorus, from Greek -phoros, from -phoros
(adjective comb. form) carrying, from pherein to carry
: carrier <gametophore>

Main Entry: is-
Variant(s): or iso-
Function: combining form
Etymology: Late Latin, from Greek, from isos equal
1 : equal : homogeneous : uniform <isentropic>
2 : isomeric <isocyanate>
3 : for or from different individuals of the same species

Here we can see that 'isophor' means 'self-carrier',
or 'what represents itself'.

(Too bad that Latin is 'dead'... how are we to
delve into the roots of our language?)

"I am isophoric to nothing" is thus a true statement.

Yet, it is one of a _class_ of true statements, which
never need to be made:

I am me

I am self

I am aware of myself

I am

I is

I is I

[and in the same vein it follows:]

Now answer: What is the sound of one hand clapping?



(part of a very long post)

Waking from the Meme Dream

Wake up! Wake up! Errrr, ummmm, grrrrggr, Oh yes, I'm awake
now. Wow, that was a weird dream. I really thought I had to
escape from the slurb, and it mattered terribly to get to
the cupboard in time. How silly! Of course, now I see it
wasn't real at all.

Wake up! Wake up! What do you mean, "wake up", I'm already
awake. This is real. This does matter. I can't wake up any
more. Go away! Wake up! Wake up! But I don't understand -
From what? And how?

These are the questions I want to tackle today.

From what are we to awaken?

And how? My answers will be "From the meme dream" and "By
seeing that it is a meme dream". But it may take me some
time to explain!

There is a long history, in spiritual and religious
traditions, of the idea that normal waking life is a dream
or illusion. This makes no sense to someone who looks
around and is convinced there is a real world out there and
a self who perceives it. However, there are many clues that
this ordinary view is false. Some clues come from
spontaneous mystical experiences in which people "see the
light!", realise that everything is one, and go "beyond
self" to see the world "as it really is". They feel certain
that the new way of seeing is better and truer than the old
(though of course they could be mistaken!). Other clues
come from spiritual practice. Probably the first thing that
anybody discovers when they try to meditate, or be mindful,
is that their mind is constantly full of thoughts.
Typically these are not wise and wonderful thoughts, or
even useful and productive thoughts, but just endless
chatter. From the truly trivial to the emotionally
entangling, they go on and on. And what's more they nearly
all involve "me". It is a short step to wondering who this
suffering self is, and why "I" can't stop the thoughts.

Finally clues come from science. The most obvious (and
scary) conclusion from modern neuroscience is that there is
simply no one inside the brain. The more we learn about the
way the brain functions the less it seems to need a central
controller, a little person inside, a decider of decisions
or an experiencer of experiences. These are just fictions -
part of the story the brain tells itself about a self
within (Churchland and Sejnowski, 1992; Dennett, 1991).


Stever wrote:
> How to End Needless Suffering Now:
> A. Stop working to support ideas.
> 1) Stop speaking words so much.
> 2) Stop writing words so much.
> 2) Stop reading words so much.
> 3) Stop listening to words so much.

I took your advice and didn't read 99 percent of your post.
No offense, just conserving energy.

Hey, you, how about this twist to your proposal:

A. Stop taking the work of supporting ideas personally.

Nothing inherently wrong or destructive about supporting
ideas, about banter, about verbal play.

I ran through the list of ideas I 'support' and found that
without ideas, I simply don't exist (neither do you, btw).
Dead as a doormouse, doctor! Nothing. Oh, I guess this is
your point..

You know, as a householder, this life as a dead doormouse
just won't do. I have bills to pay, dogs to feed, clean air
battles to fight, classes to take and an infrequent donut
to eat..



Springwater Center (Toni Packer's center) has a new web
site. The address is the same but the layout and design are


Now, who's Ann M. Lingbergh?

Well, you inspired me to look. I knew her first as the
author of the book Gift From the Sea, which may be her only
"spiritual" work (at least it is her best known). She was:

An aviator--the first woman in the U.S. to earn a glider
pilot's license; a writer; an environmentalist; the wife of
Charles Lindbergh and mother of "the Lindbergh Baby".

She died almost exactly a year ago at age 94.



You are right about the Donuts. Krishna likes donuts
without eggs. He doesn't like anything to be mixed with
eggs, you know. He likes to have egs boiled, with a little
pepper and salt. I am saying this from my direct experience
with Him. This is how it happened: Yesterday night, I was
watching one of the Seinfield reruns on TV and having a
Budweiser. That was when it happened. George Costanza
jumped out of the TV and stood before me. It was
unbelievable. Slowly, his shape started changing ( the same
way as in some Special Effect movies!), and lo!, there
stood Lord Krishna before me. Wow!, what a beautiful view
it was. Even though I was born a Hindu, till this moment, I
did not really believe in His existence. But now my doubts
stand cleared. I offered Him a Budweiser, but He declined.
He said He prefers SomaRasa to Beer. But SomaRasa is
available only in India, and I am in California. What could
I do. I prepared Tea for him, and asked Him what food He
would like to have. The only thing that was available in my
refrigirator was some eggs. I offered that to Him, and He
accpted that. That is when he told me that He likes eggs
boiled, with little pepper and salt. After the dinner, we
had a good discussion, over which we discussed lot of
issues - from Afghanistan to Enron to the debate between
Non-dualists and HareKrishnas. I assume that you will be
interested to know His opinion about the debate , right?
According to Him, it is all His Leela (Play) that is going
on. All of us are just pieces in His Chess Board, and He is
the player. He also mentioned that He Himself are the
pieces and the Chess Board too. He says that people who try
to describe Him are like the Blind men who described the
elephant and fought with each other. I assume you know that
story, right? He mentioned that for every Ramana Maharshi,
He creates a Prabhupada or a Pat Robertson, so that their
followers will fight the non-dualists. That is part of his
leela. For every Mahatma Gandhi, He creates a Hitler, for
every George Bush, He creates a Osam Bin Laden. He just
enjoys it all. Today morning, I dropped Him at the
airport.He said He was going to meet somebody in Cincinnati
tonight. Just to keep His play going! He has promised to
attend my SuperBowl party on Sunday. he will bring some of
His friends too ( Jesus, Bodhisattva, AlLat, XingXangXong,
TikTakTok, Superman, SpiderMan and some African and
American God's whose name I can't even pronounce). I have
promised Krishna to get some SomaRasa from India by Sunday.
Krishna told me that Lord Shiva will also meet me soon. I
am looking forward to that, since we have some common
interests like Bhang, Dance, Ganja etc. I am a changed man
after meeting Krishna. Now I know my role in Krishna's
play. I am enjoying it to the fullest. Let me open another
Cheers, Raj Kumar "Krishnan" Nair.



Yes, we've had lots of nacho satsangs, I even wrote an
article about one of them.
<>. One guy lost his
awareness of internal/external while eating a nacho. He
never experienced space or the body the same way again!
Someone else "discovered" the witness; the idea that he was
bundle of thoughts dissolved. It must be the hot sauce we
use up here.

Pizza is good in NYC. But I suspect the tacos are better in
Texas. Come on up!

I'd always heard that everything was bigger in Texas. When
I was first in Texas driving my car many years ago, it
seemed like even the miles were larger, that it took longer
to drive 10 miles than it did in New Mexico right across
the state line...



Glad you were here. Hope you stay. Nonduality isn't
incompatible with anything, the Mandukya Upanishad has some
great passages that give examples of this. Imagine the
worshippers of Jesus, Vishnu, Krishna and Shiva arguing
about the supremacy of their chosen deity. All the while,
an audience of nondualists looks on from the bleachers,
enjoying the display. I can understand how you would long
for companionship of fellow Krishna devotees. I used to be
a deacon in the Pentacostal church. Holy Rollers! Some of
the sweetest, nicest people I've ever known. The fellowship
was incredible. I saw visions, Jesus revealed Himself to
me; I was one of the few people in the congregation to have
a visual experience of the Holy Ghost. I like Christianity,
in spite of its exclusivist, supremacist tendencies. The
members believe that other faiths' believers will all be
damned to eternal Hell. But that's the same with all
orthodoxies. Everyone is doomed to everyone else's hells.
That's why they call those religions orthodoxies. But you
know something, that kind of thing is falling out of
fashion these days. I'm not sure about ISKON, but
Christianity's numbers are dropping, and their planners are
trying to think of non-fear-related incentives to bring
people in. In my church what did it was the great gospel


I'm glad Paul's here too, and I appreciate your magnanimity
Greg, but... It seems to me that nonduality is incompatible
with any kind of theism. As there is no me (personal), so
there also is no God (personal), there's a necessary
subject-object relationship. The only talk of God that I
see as compatible with nonduality is God as Godhead, as
ground of being, as God beyond God. To me the idea of a god
by whose will and as whose play this world exists and we
live and die is offensive, it's god as the ultimate tyrant.


from Guru Ratings

Dear Sarlo,

I checked through the archives and could find nothing
mentioned about Kriyananda, or Donald Walters. He founded
the Ananda church, chiefly sailing on the coattails of
Paramahansa Yogananda. He was revealed to be the classic
narcissist and fraud who has paid plenty of money to the
women he was convicted of abusing. He declared bancruptcy
and fled to Assisi, Italy, where he still controls and runs
the Ananda and Crystal Clarity publications. He was once
the vice-president of Self-Realization Fellowship until he
was asked to leave India for indiscretions with underage
girls. He subsequently left SRF. I have met a few people
who were in the group and they tell some odd stories. There
are several sites of ex-devotees who talk openly about the
abuse and dishonesty they encountered. I don't have them
right off, but they're easy to find in a search.



There is a saying: In the beginning, there was nothing.
Then God said, "let there be light", so now we can all see,
that there is nothing.



Peter Sweeney was kind enough to put my review on the
website for the book described below.



(what follows is not my review, just something I sent to
other lists:)

Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing by Jed

A forthcoming book. Read a preview and pre-publication
reviews. Jed is an enlightened teacher in Iowa who has
drawn students to his 'accidental ashram' for the last six
years. He is a natural, gifted teacher whose ordinariness
is striking, when compared to many nonduality teachers out

I read the book and liked how Jed came to life in the
pages, and how he demonstrated the way he instructs a
variety of students at different stages of understanding.
He constantly refers to spiritual enlightenment as abiding
non-dual awareness. Also he uses only one technique, which
he calls Spiritual Autolysis, which is basically Ramana's
inquiry, Who am I?, or What is me?. The difference is that
he requires his students to write down the answers. He
feels the inquiry works better that way. No doubt it helps
see how his students are coming along. He comes across as
being very good at what he does.

I think a study of his book could help anyone be a better
teacher of spiritual things because he provides tools. I
know that sounds a little contrived to use such tools, but
sometimes it may be necessary to resort to them, depending
on who one's talking to. For example, what if you're
talking to your 17 year old relative? You may not be
accustomed to talking about nondual reality to a person of
that age. Maybe a couple of simple teaching tools would
come in handy. Or what if you're talking to someone first
exploring spiritual subjects and you're only accustomed to
talking to seasoned people on the lists? It might be worth
thinking about anyway.



I didn't say i'm not in the world. I said, or implied, that
the dream nature of the world is seen and known and one
lives out of that knowing. It means you don't buy into
anything once and for all, and are capable of embracing
everything. I don't mean you go around hugging everyone,
you just see everything as part of the dream play that's
going on.

When I was a kid I walked out of the synagogue knowing I
had within me the same knowing as Abraham, Moses and all
them guys. I wouldn't be in awe of them. I felt I was not
different from them. I was 12 years old. So I've been at
this world dream game for a long time, not always
understanding what I instinctively knew and therefore not
always coming from that knowing. And it's not to say that
fear and emotion don't take me for rides. If people here
didn't know me so well, I'd lie and say nothing bothers me.
But it's okay. You can't please everyone, so you gotta
please yourself, as Ricky Nelson said.



why is this universal knowingness, self-awareness, er, personal?
- two years of unbelievable bs. on these lists, trying, trying.

"Yes, everything that could be said has been said,
but we have to say it again because no one was listening."

-- Anatole France

top of page


Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: