Jerry Katz
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Highlights #974

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Wednesday February 13, 2002



What is thinking?

is Balsekar saying the totality is causing each and
every thought to appear?

if so, do "we" agree?


Good one. Bwahahahaha!

That depends on how you define

The very perception which leads to
the assumption of 'we' is a form of
disagreement; this is the same
perception whose effect is also to
impose a sense that agreement
is possible, or more strangely,

If we dispose of 'we', there is no

Red agrees with red, but not with blue.

==Gene Poole==


> Zero is clarity that nothing is lacking,
> so now nothing to be understood,
> and what use is claiming "Understanding"?
> -- Dan

Naw, too simple.

It is possible to 'be yourself' without 'understanding yourself'.

That is the 'true silence'. Why mess it up?

If it does get messed up, then self-inquiry begins.

Is the ending of self-inquiry, understanding, or simply renewed silence?

==Gene Poole==


ºNaw, too simple.
ºIt is possible to 'be yourself' without 'understanding yourself'.

A dog can't imitate a parrot and although it neither knows dogness
nor parrotness, it can only be itself without understanding the nature
of dogness.
ºThat is the 'true silence'. Why mess it up?

That is the $124816 question: the mental equivalent of Brownian movement.
When understood, it is creativity, when not, babble or TV entertainment
(what's the difference anyway?).
ºIf it does get messed up, then self-inquiry begins.

The silence does get messed up for the majority of newborns who don't
even know the word self-enquiry. Messed up to the extent as to be unfit
for any kind of practice to quench the continuation of random mentation,
concealing silence like a brick is hiding space.
ºIs the ending of self-inquiry, understanding, or simply renewed silence?

As there isn't an "I", just this blissful silence, who has been enquiring into
what? That silence has left a trace in memory is evidenced at the
moment of apperception (worded like 'recognition of') so what gets renewed?
Silence or the memory of it? Which leaves all practices as mental jugglery.
Which one would 'cut the crap' most swiftly, provided the student would be
fit for it?



while drinking coffee this morning the fact of every "thing" depending on
every other thing (ultimately) seemed to stop the mind leaving the distinct
presence or influence of EVERYTHING.

time for work now... bye


> Silliness aside Su, denying that such a moment exists
> will make its recognition difficult if not impossible.

I was actually suggesting that it is not *a* moment. But this moment.
Literally. This is the moment. Now. Just this. What is *this*?

Because here, in *this* moment, this is all there is.

I wasn't trying to be silly. But if I am, that is OK too.

Su :-)

from [email protected]
which role plays Kundalini in the disidentification process?

can someone describe his/her "own" experience?


Enlightenment? Is it so common?

Hi Greg,

Some of what you say makes sense to me,
particularly the discussion of conventional
and nonconventional truth.

What doesn't make sense is that a localized
being could be omniscient, unless this
is a self-transcendent localized being.
In that case, it's not truly localized.

A localized being that doesn't transcend itself
will have to know from an outside position, and
knowing will always be limited by whatever
barrier is placing it outside, or placing
what it knows outside.

If omniscience is not from a position outside,
it would be, at the same time, omnipotence.
So self-transcendence as omniscience is also
the power to be everything, which is omnipotence.
To make that car into an elephant doesn't
prove omnipotence, just limited power to make
a specific thing happen. True omnipotence is
the same thing as omnipresence and omniscience, no?

Not power over something else, but the power of
*being*, which simultaneously is *knowing*

The so-called problem of evil arises because evil must
always be assumed as having an outside source of
some kind, or else it's not evil that is opposed
to good. If it's not opposed to good, we don't
have to have power over it, and the problem then
evaporates. So, this problem is very related
to whether omniscience can be separated from omnipotence.

The message of the historical Buddha seems adulterated by
attributions of omniscience to him, as he spoke (imo) to inquire
into the nature of suffering and the ending of suffering,
not to promote enlightenment that makes you omniscient.
But perhaps these attributions are inevitable, are
expressions of a universal aspect of "the human mind,"
as they seem to happen East, West, North, and South
(e.g., the nature of omniscience, who that can apply to,

I think Gautama's original teachings
didn't emphasize things like omniscience
because he didn't want to make positive
claims other than freedom from suffering, and didn't want
to give definitions of ultimate nature, but just point
to ways people artificially placed themselves in self-contradictory
positions. Sometimes teachings about emptiness almost
make emptiness into some kind of ultimate understanding.
I don't think Gautama promoted an ultimate understanding,
and thus specifically differentiated himself from the system
of his time that promised this (through and as Brahman/Self),
just discussed release from suffering by not attempting
to maintain a permanent identity, nor permanent view,
ultimate understanding, or omniscience.

Isn't some of that "austere clarity" lost when
positive claims are emphasized, like enlightenment
that confers omniscience, or emptiness as an ultimate

By the way, in my readings
of teachings that were offered close to the time of
the Buddha, I never read any where he claimed omniscience.
These claims seem to have been added on later, and seem to
represent a human desire to make attributions of
positive qualities. I'm not a Buddhist, nor a Buddhist
scholar, although what I'm saying fits with what some
Buddhist scholars have said.

The addressing of two worlds, the absolute and relative,
seems connected to the Madyamika philosophy about
emptiness and conventional reality, which also
are issues that arise in Western religion.

Certainly, if a mechanic asks me to hand her a wrench
to fix a car, and I hand her a flower and say there is
no difference between a wrench and a flower, or it doesn't
matter because it's all equally from God, that would be ludicrous.

So perhaps it can be said that
the nondifferentiated differentiates, and
that differentiation allows distinctness
without separation. Where the Big Bang
theory meets Jesus and Bodhidharma.



Hi Dan,

Thanks for the meaty message!

I'm not sure what you mean by an inside/outside distinction. Inside what? Outside what? In
Madhyamika, knowing and being are not elided into each other as in Advaita. In Madhyamika, to know
something fully doesn't entail being non-separate from that thing or of the same substance of that thing.
(For Yogachara Buddhism however, all known objects are said to be of the same nature as the knowing
mind; some branches of Yogachara posit One Mind, others keep minds separate from each other.)
Knowledge, for Madhyamika, never escapes they subject/object distinction, even for Buddhas and
Bodhisattvas. In Madhyamika, external objects do exist conventionally, and so are known by a knower
which also exists conventionally. Truths are all conventionally existent objects, past, present and future,
subtle and gross, concrete and abstract. Each object is known by some being at some time or other, but a
Buddha is said to be a being that knows all truths, simultaneously with their emptinesses. Omniscience is
not such a large point in the entire scope of Buddhist teachings; other impressive claims are made of even
Bodhisattvas on the path, such as multi-location, causing multiple universes to shake through their magical
powers, live for 100 aeons, etc. These sound poetic, but are usually understood and taught more on the
literal, concrete side. But actually, what really seems to matter to most Mahayanists I have known and
read is actually something much less - namely cultivating themselves so as to be better able to help others,
while also trying to help others even now.

Much of this sounds too supernatural and mythological for many people, which is partly why there are
various flavors of Buddhism - there's also the more bare-bones Theravada, which is based on the Pali
scriptures. That corpus is said to be "transcriptions" of the oral teachings historical Gautama Siddhartha,
and like you say below, is about ending one's suffering. Mahayanists say that one could actually end one's
suffering quicker by following the Theravada path and can cultivate a deep, intense compassion. The
Mahayana path, they say (when they talk about this stuff) is a way to more effectively help others, since
one will continue to reincarnate to help others even after one's one suffering has ended forever.

Gotta go to be now, it's 2am!



so what can be said by way of conclusion?
> how about "there are no non-dependent things"?
> --now

Yes, I agree, but it only sounds like
a conclusion.

If there is nothing non-dependent, there
is implied something dependent isn't there?

If there isn't something dependent, then
what could possibly be understood by
saying there are no non-dependent things?
It would be like saying "there are no non-goobiedoobie

If there are no nondependent things,
then something dependent can only depend
on something else dependent, ad infinitum,
and dependent things
can only be said to originate from other
dependent things.

In other words, an endless chain of dependent
things goes endlessly back and forward

Because this chain extends infinitely,
any separation in the chain into this
dependent thing and that dependent thing
is artificial. Where does one end and
another begin? There is no nondependent
place to insert a beginning and ending
into this dependent thing and that.

So, in nonconclusion, we can only say
that there neither aren't, nor are,
dependent things. And this comes
awfully close to saying "there neither
are, nor aren't goobiedoobie things."
So, we're far from able to conclude
anything. (Unless we never start, that is.)


we can say whatever we like or remain silent and things are as they are

We ARE the way it is and I don't think it matters if we call it a conclusion
or a nonconclusion.


no_570 wrote:

ºcan someone describe his/her "own" experience?
Not being familiar with anything "spiritual", after apperception i had one week
to contemplate what had happened which was puzzling as nothing had happened.
I compared this to the behavior of a relay with memory which either is "on" or "of"
and only its activation is noticed. Not bothered by beliefs that mind would not play such
a trick again, every event was witnessed in this respect and feelings that arose were
met differently than before: they were ignored and the situation where they arose
was handled in a sensible manner. This brought the insight that the majority of feelings
often had been met in ways, aggravating things instead of alleviating or relieving.

This process and the preservation of energy caused a kind of 'warp speed' K. awakening.
Of course i became aware that preservation of energy was a key issue and that the mental
'dross' making up not one but a battery of relays with memory was 'under reconstruction'.

One day, a colleague asked a personal question and i noticed, there was no longer a function
to respond to personal issues like "how are you doing" or "how are you feeling".
Instead, an emptiness was felt and one that was rapidly growing.
So i learned to respond to all personal issues with 'impersonal' humor which for
many was a surprise as for them it meant a sudden change of personality.

To shortcut an already lengthy story, the emptiness "ate" whatever it could grab
but as in my case it wasn't much, it was 'over' fast - a matter of Yama's boons.
And the database for personal affairs returned in a modified form, without emotional
content: the destruction of emotional memory, which had been the cause to forget " ".


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Jerry Katz
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