Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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Highlights #997

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universal grace - is nuclear grave
universal power - on repulsive war
universal dogma - is a vulgar demon
universal love - on a virus level
universal god - a golden virus
universal space - silver saucepan
universal game - evil man argues
universal tool - overt allusion
universal theory - on virtual heresy
universal belief - unbelievers fail
universal logos - valorous single
universal math - hum as interval
universal teacher - a cleverish nature
universal application - principal evaluations
universal essence - clever uneasiness

essence of NDS - confess needs
essence of rudeness - so censures defense
essence of self - fences feel so
essence of caring - science of ranges
essence of love - seven cool fees
essence of space - peace confesses ___________________________________________________________


PETROS from Petros-Truth

When feeling any negative, painful feeling, simply
be aware that it is a negative, painful feeling,
without manipulation, without judgment, without

Do the same for positive, pleasurable feelings.
Always non-clinging, always recognizing the
nonpresence of a separate "self" in the feeling,
always mindful, always nonjudgmental.

Never repress, deny, exaggerate, or otherwise try
to superficially control or strategize a feeling.

Feel all feelings as spontaneous arisings. Consider
all feelings as fuel to burn off karmic

-- from the Satipatthana Sutta at


BOBBY G. contributes

Sri Ramana Maharshi-"Reality in Forty Verses"

11. Without knowing the Self that knows, to know
all objects is not knowledge; it is only ignorance.
Self, the ground of knowledge and the non-Self,
being known, both knowledge and ignorance fall

12, True Knowledge is being devoid of knowledge as
well as ignorance of objects. Knowledge of objects
is not true knowledge. Since the Self shines
self-luminous, with nothing else for It to know,
with nothing else to know It, the Self is
Knowledge. Nescience It is not.

13. The Self that is Awareness, that alone is true.
The knowledge which is various is ignorance. And
even ignorance, which is false, cannot exist apart
from the Self. False are the many jewels, for apart
from gold, which alone is true, they cannot exist.



Dear Bobby, thank you very much for your comments..
in fact, indirectly, one of the purposes of this
essay is to show that western society (and its
philosophy) is mostly based on the normative ethics
i try to demystify and renounce.. with a few
exceptions like f.e. Nietzsche (and Wittgenstein
('Each a few of my favourite quotes..

'There are no moral phenomena, only a moral
interpretation of phenomena' Nietzsche

'Philosophers use a language that is already
deformed as though by shoes that are too tight'
'Don't take the example of others as your guide,
but nature' 'Each of the sentences I write is
typing to say the whole thing, i.e. the same thing
over and over again; it is as though they were all
simply views of one object seen from different
angles.' Wittgenstein

in the essay i try to show that normative ethics
are a rejection of our own existence (viz. taking
up a role), and that we need to acknowledge and
re-cognise non-normative ethics.. in that way, a
new 'hierarchy' appears, viz. the 'distinction'
between those acknowledging non-normativity and
acting in that way and those who 'think or pretend
to be normative'..

in other words, when we 'break down' normative
ethics as universal scale (both in its universal
and relativist form), we are re- cognising
non-normative ethics as a scale, in fact the only
truly universal scale, for ethics.. when we
re-cognise that it is not the individual acting,
but always the universe looking at itself, we re-
cognise this realisation as the basis of our
ethics, viz. non- normative ethics.. in that
perspective, " be ethical is to exist without
taking up a 'role'; 'the point is to prefer being
to seeming'. To be ethical in this sense is to act
from the awareness of the situation; to live in the
awareness that each situation is real and to allow
the truth of that situation to be acknowledged.
Sartwell defines this as 'ethics of authenticity';
a willingness and faith in one's own being in the
situation without taking up a role, adding that:
"…We are all 'ethical' merely by existing…".

In fact, as 'we are all already real' in each
particular situation, "… The point is to live in an
acknowledgement, enactment, and celebration of the
fact…".Therefore; "…The task of living in truth is
a matter of keeping faith with oneself as a real,
situated, particular being. The 'ethics' of
authenticity emerges out of a willingness to hold
on to oneself (thus not to 'roles', ed.), to allow
oneself to be…".

there is another reason why i view non-normative
ethics as a new universal scale.. as normative
ethics represent a rejection of our existence, they
are fundamentally contradictory to two crucial
features of our own existence; "..Fundamental is
that two crucial 'modes' of our world, peace and
love, are contradictory to normative ethics and
exactly a result of non-normative ethics: "…
Abstractions are precisely what it is impossible to
love; love is always precisely what holds dear the
particularity of the beloved. Love is an opening of
the self to the particularity of the beloved, so
that love is not an abstraction away from ugliness
but an allowance of ugliness to be…Particular
people are the hardest thing to love; on the other
hand, they're the only people that can be loved… To
love is to allow the beloved to be outside of one's
control, or rather, to acknowledge that the beloved
is outside one's control…We speak of loving people
'just as they are'…Peace flows from letting oneself
go, as does humor, for example, which often occurs
in an allowance of oneself and the world to be…".

As a sage once said; Life is hard, it's breathe,
breathe, breathe all the time... i guess we're all
little 'fans'.. :)

i thank you again for your inspiring comments and
suggestions.. to end a small quote from the Atharva

We are the birds of the same nest, We may wear
different skins, We may speak different languages,
We may believe in different religions, We may
belong to different cultures, Yet we share the same
home - our earth.

Born on the same planet Covered by the same skies
Gazing at the same stars Breathing the same air We
must learn to happily progress together Or
miserably perish together, For man can live
individually, But can survive only collectively

let love rule :) jeroen


I think this touches on something I try to say to
people in conversations to get them to think
outside the box. It is this. "I believe in anarchy"
It is true by the way, I do, because I am referring
to the idea that no government will work
indefinitely without perfect people and with
perfect people you don't need the government or

At some point I expect humanity to grow up and
leave the ego behind. I believe that will happen
and so I work for it the only way it is possible.
On myself. Thus anarchy is the highest goal for
humanity. My friends seldom agree.



Kenny's foreword to an upcoming book. It's nasty
and rude.


Thanks for the loud laugh John! Talk is cheap
but... Kenny has to make a living too and obviously
his skills are neither analytical nor poetical as
for instance, Ramana's or Yogananda's devotees, to
mention just two, weren't asked. When knowing how
the mind works, appropriate issues can be dressed
in sweetest words, yet never failing to 'hit' their
target. Hence the foreword reminds of the belief
that the fast food industry (rude boys) is much
better for your health than ecological farming
(nice guys).

Not to mention those Kenny is referring to could,
using his favored "rude boy talk", be labeled the
handicapperceiving, clubbing Neanderthal clowns of
the new age enlightenment circus: a business for
profit only.



Transcen-dancing Copyright 2002

from Live Journal

The mirror before me held a platter of stars and I gazed up to
where the black rim of silhouetted trees met an eerie chartreuse
blended with a blood red, which melted into permanent black
dotted with an infinite array of galaxies and open clusters and
the moment was too beautiful to pass by, so I went back to the
cabin and grabbed my swimsuit. I’d never seen a lake as serene
without ripple, and I tripped with excitement, as I scampered up
the mosquito-ridden slope towards the cabin, quickly stripping
off my clothes and robing myself in a swimsuit I’d owned for four
years. When I returned to the black mirrored lake, I heard a
momentary fright in my head, that spoke to me with whispers of
inhibition. It said: “this is spooky and this is strange and are
you deranged for entering an unknown?” It was closing in on
midnight and the other women stayed near the docks, quietly
gossiping and waiting for me to exceed my boundaries and then
return. The skin of the lake inhaled me into its frigid depths
and if I imagined my body as being warm, I found I was warm and
invited into the depths surrounding me. But the water was so
still, it felt like jello - as an ant in a casserole dish of deep
blue jello - impossibly consuming my minuscule body - and it
being large enough to fill two million me’s - I began to see that
it was not that I swam in it, it was that I was held up by it.
And when I swam entirely submerged, my every movement created the
only ripples in sight and I imagined fish and prehistoric spirit
animals nibbling at the corners of my toes, and I thought I heard
moaning in the waters. But the waters kept me bouyant, if I let
them hold me in the tentacles of a million hydrogen atoms fused
with oxygen, billions of atoms creating a gigantic chain link
fence of jello water that suspended me as I swam, further and
further away from the docks, and further into the lake and I
imagined myself as a single tear immersed in a vast ocean
current. Becoming completely connected to every vast tear in the
ocean but being there, by being here. And as my limbs grew
exhausted and my mind grew frightened, I emerged onto an old,
mouldy buoy, suspended alone in the middle of the lake, held
still by some barrels or cement anchor beneath me, which I did
not imagine, and still do not imagine existed. Only in that
moment, a moment irrepeatable and shared with only myself, I lay
back on that chipped-white painted dock, with strange dragonflies
hovering above my silent mind and green fungis tickling the
interior of my knee.

And I lay there soaking in infinity. I grew colder and colder, as
I gazed up into the stars above me. I became sad, knowing that I
knew less than a dozen egyptian astronomers and that the
constellations held no wisdom for me. But sometimes the
meaningless creeps in. It seems to creep in most often when one
ponders the astronomical smallness of earth. In a portion of sky
no wider than a shell of sand is wide, we see thousands of
galaxies, each containing 200 billion stars, each possibly
containing millions of consciousnesses like our own. Oh, and we
are so alone. Or are we? The nearest galaxy is nearly 200 billion
light years away, and each light year contains trillions of miles
traveled at 186,000 feet per second. And to make one orbit around
the entire nucleus of the Milky Way requires 230 million years of
waiting - which is one ‘cosmic year’ as deemed by astronomers. As
if seeing evidence of the transient nature of life here on earth
is not enough to make you feel small and meaningless, I guess
pondering the vastness of the universe is supposed to make you
feel even more worthless. But it got me thinking - if all those
astronomers were more content with being here now, would even
their wildest curiosity take them tripping out into the darkest
light sent on vibrations from stars millions of years ago? What’s
the point of pondering the vastness without if you can’t go deep
into the vastness within? And who says which one has more
meaning? It depends on the values of any given person.

The universe soaked me into a second and I lay there with my eyes
closed, only feeling, when suddenly the schoolteacher from the
docks called out to me: “Come back in, Swim in now, It’s getting
late.” I resented and resisted. She yelled some more and I hemmed
and hawwed. It’s a matter of philosophical importance. To be
truly free is to truly be present in the desire to drink in the
beautiful universe. I procrastinated in my stay for five minutes,
and dove back in after they grew impatient. The water, again,
warm and buoyant, clear and fluid against my rigid body strokes.
The lake held me in its momentary arms and I imagined from a mile
above, a speck of nothing cradled in a vast cocoon of
God-consciousness. The lake vibrated a smile ripple into me and I
felt grateful to be held. The dock lay before me, but as my
strokes propelled me through the water, I heard myself say:
‘trust God,’ and suddenly a meteorite fanned across the falling
star sky, as if acknowledging the revelation in my heart and I
repeated: ‘Trust God, Trust God, Trust God, Trust God.’ The words
circulated in a cyclical spin, dizzying my head, until it became
my weekly mantra, and I exited the lake for the very last time,
soaked up my exhausted hair, lapped up the remaining licks of
moisture on my skin, crawled into bed and fell asleep.

My faith in vastness, in the existence of timelessness, outside
of our time-space, is so passionate, that is one of the few
?things? that will never suffer from the transcience of my
abandonment. I spoke to God as a child, when as four year years
old, and in utter vilification of my mother, who sent me slamming
into my room and under my sheets, weeping, pleading, begging for
the return of my father from another day at work. In those years,
I conversed primarily with an imaginary friend named Jonathan.
Coincidentally, my brother’s name is Jonathan, and through some
experiences involving DXM and late-night conversations over
marijuana, I have come to feel an intense soul-twin connection
with him, as if we are cosmically united and came into this world
to breathe together and awaken one another.

My faith has gone through many fluxuations, phases and
(ac)knowledges. As a child, my faith existed in imagination, in a
world I created for myself, because I had no friends that could
tolerate me - I felt I existed so far outside of the commonplace,
and as a result, I had to imagine my friends existence and
converse only with them. The result was an imaginary world of
elves and fairies and rituals that necessitated the existence of
pills to be swallowed before crossing Main Street, on my daily
pilgrimage to and from elementary school seven blocks away,
otherwise the Trolls guarding Main Street would chase and gobble
my fairy friends and I.

I grew up in a household of strict Protestant Christianity. My
mother and father took my two brothers and I, crammed into the
backseat of our 1981 Cutlass Supreme station-wagon with my head
dozing onto the edge of my brother’s car-seat, to church every
Sunday. We listened to Public Radio and Medieval Christmas music
and we were forced to suffer the hour drive to church listening
to Prairie Home Companion one too many times. As a child, church
was the place where the old people sang hymns and where the
children sat bored out of their skulls. But for me, it held a
magical majesty. When at the age of five I stood next to my
grandfather during church service, he forced me to sing, despite
my reluctance, telling me that if he had to sing, I had to sing.
(My grandfather was a baritone operatic and singing was a
fundamental passion.) As a result, I spent the rest of my
childhood singing the church hymns, not because I wanted to, but
because grandpa said so. I began improv(is)ing on the songs,
incorporating motown-ish licks underneath my breath, unbeknownst
to the community of aging farmers and their wives that I went to
church with.

These old farm-hewn women knew how to make excellent homemade
noodles and pies, and we had potlucks on a bi-weekly basis. On a
warm Sunday afternoon, the elders would sit around discussing
things that were too big or too boring for us children, meanwhile
after eating too many noodles and too much chicken and
strawberry-rhubarb pies, we children would go outside and frolick
in the yard. It was a beautiful community and a beautiful way to
wile away the hours. Quite often, I would stroll through the
cemetary alone, waiting for my parents to finish with their
conversations, a cemetary which had buried a number of my
ancestors and relatives.

My mother educated me on the beliefs of our church. She explained
to me that we were pacifists and conscientious-objectors, that we
had revolted against the Lutheran protestants in an ancient
Germany. She told me that my ancestors were spiritual dissidents
that arrived in America seeking religious freedom, leaving
Germany as Anabaptists that were persecuted and hanged for their
foot-washing ceremonies and new-testament based beliefs. During
the love-feasts that I grew to love as a child, the men and women
sat on opposite sides of the hall, and candles provided our only
light, which kept it dark and mysterious, and for me magical. We
drank grape juice and broke and ate communion bread (a delicacy
the recipes of which were kept secret inside the imaginations of
old German Baptist women - as they all had their own recipes and
they were always better than anyone else’s). We washed each
other’s feet and sang hymns that reverberated through our chests
and our hearts. These were ancient hymns, crafted through some
man’s inspiration, the most benevolent of which were as polished
and worn as holy wooden pews, varnished brown - exposing the
veins inside its tree trunk.

My ancestors stood in spiritual opposition to a world they saw as
corrupt and vain. They wore plain clothes, lived simple lives,
ate plain food, worked in farm fields and separated themselves
from city lives brimming with sexuality and passion. To me, they
resemble hippies living on communes, eating vegetarian food and
appreciating simplicity and vast beauty amidst divine creation. I
never questioned my heritage. In fact, I embraced and grew
comfortable in the history of my ancestors. But my ancestors grew
complacent in their spirituality, which had a hard time
reconciling itself with modernity. Eventually, women’s rights and
women preachers and cars and technology would cause unfathomable
schisms to breach the tree trunk of their dogma. I ended up
living the modern life that my ancestors abhorred, and found my
way back to their simplicity by knowing too well the society
around me that wants me to desire, and buy, and live in fear, and
to forget history, and to forget that life is sacred.

Eventually, I wandered outside of the confines of my ancestor’s
spirituality and into Hinduism and Buddhism and Sufism and
Taoism. At some point, I was confronted with atheism, and I
looked the other way. God was the only constant in my life, and I
could not give up my soul for the sake of rationalism and the
gratuitious absurdity of skepticism. But I had a problem. I kept
falling in love with a series of intellectuals and artists who
chipped away at my belief system, forcing me to confront God and
Sexuality and Marijuana head on. Now that I see no conflict
between being ecstatic during both sex and during spiritual
liberation (and sometimes the two seem to intermingle) - I have
found liberation inside orgasms and ejaculations and mindgasms
and oceans and wisdoms that I once only read about, but never

My spiritual practice is essential to my existence - and it
arrives after years of intellectual searching, of reading books
and poetry, of writing mountains of poetry and songs and taking
prodigious volumes of photography and of singing and dancing and
celebrating in the existence of existence. My connection to the
universe, to the energy that is greater than myself, that which I
can call God, the cosmos, the soul, the godhead, the divine,
Allah, Buddha-nature, Brahman, is something that I experience on
a real level, in a day-to-day presents (presence). I know the
sacred within my heart. My faith, when everything else is
stripped away, is the only ‘thing’ I know to be true, and is the
only ‘thing’ I will never discard. After I discard every ‘thing’
I have ever owned, including this body and these memories, I
believe I will return to the infinite god-consciousness, that
which some have called heaven, and which enlightenment is called
heaven-on-earth or as Jesus described ‘heaven within yourself.’ I
know that the door will be opened if you knock on it, and you
will receive if you ask.

It is not simply about asking and receiving. It is about dancing.
My spiritual ancestors abhorred dancing, and vilified it,
believing dancing to be erotic and dangerous for the pure of
heart. I disagree with my ancestors, and believe that inside
dancing it is possible to discover complete surrender to the
present, which is transcendence. I believe that by acknowledging
the eternal inside a present moment, to honor the sacred and
create magic out of just another mundane moment, it is possible
to open it up and surrender to God in complete transcendence and
to feel the orgiastic heat waves of life pulsating through and
inside yourself and the universe spiraling above and behind you,
below and around you. I believe enlightenment to be your heart,
my heart, opened and fully exposed to the whooshing of cosmic
energy through the plankton of your soul, to be siphoned through
the briny barnacles of an ecosystem of joy, surrounded by
communities of mussels - muses that are the history of shamans
and mystics and artists and poets around you.

So I choose to celebrate that moment. That’s what it is. A
celebration of that moment of life. It is a prayer and a
meditation and a rejoicing. That’s why it is so transcendent and
ecstatic - because you’re so glad you get to be alive for that
moment that you want to give back everything you can - everything
you feel in the fullest rapture possible to the universe which
gave you this moment. By standing back and watching it pass, you
are giving the universe no joy, and thus you receive no joy. By
praising that moment the universe praises you and a circle of joy
and admiration ensues.

I dance because if I do not dance with my arms fully wide open to
the heavens, I will not fulfill myself. I can stand and watch or
I can dance. The choice is up to the individual. My choice will
always be: Dance and never look back. This relates to
photography. If the world around you isn’t the most beautiful
thing you’ve ever seen before - then you’re not a photographer.
If you can’t jump inside someone’s eyelash and exclaim with
ecstasy that that facial expression is a moment of pure joy, what
are you doing? Begin noticing how the littlest of things are the
same as the biggest of things. People look at my abstracts of a
granite beach covered with barnacles and mussels and they wonder
how I thought of seeing the world that way. I didn’t think to see
the world that way. I just saw a moment of mind-exploding beauty
and I wanted to preserve it for myself. Really, it’s completely
selfish. But someone else looks at it and they see that instead
of looking like a tidal pool with mussels and barnacles - they
see instead a valley nestled in rounded hills surrounded by white
trees and a perfectly translucent lake. In order to interpret it
- they have to imagine what they’re seeing. They take a leap of
faith and see something in a way they’ve never seen before. And
then they realize there’s more than one way of looking at the
world. They see that the smallest of tide pools are no different
than the forest - they both have ecosystems complete unto
themselves that if we bother will be destroyed. It is best to
keep these ecosystems complete because then we get to see the
beauty of its magnificent plan, rather than the cruddy ruddiness
of our disintegrating society that in 500 years will mean nothing
to anyone else except that it profoundly dysfunctionalized their
society. We’ve got to start looking for the connections rather
than distractions if we’re going to start seeing what the world
is really made of and capable of.

I believe enlightenment is a state of mind, a level of awareness
wherein we are liberated from the imposition of unfulfilled
desires and fears that contain our weaknesses. If freedom is a
state of mind, it is possible to be living as a starved,
emaciated slave inside a concentration camp and still be free.
Though the shackles of a war-torn, poverty and disease ridden
existence such as found in Sudan or Afghanistan can be the cause
for complete mental imprisonment inside fear and jealousy and
pride, it is possible to see through the transient metal bars
that bind us. Freedom is the imagination to transcend fears
placed over our eyes that know only how to look without seeing.
But if we are not encouraging everyone in our surroundings to
find the same freedom, then our freedom is selfish and false. If
we are individuals standing in opposition to the rest of
humanity, and we are not seeing a path towards the liberation of
all humanity, then we are not really seeing the truth, and we are
not truly enlightened. Our fears would keep us selfish, hoarding
our knowledge and our wisdom, keeping our vision unique to our
own and our immediate circle. If God is truly present in
existence, in our existence, in our minds and our hearts, then we
will want to help others find God within their world, divinity
within their souls, creation within creation. By creating art, we
are joining the vastly creative creator in the act of creation -
we are helping others to imagine themselves as creators, and we
are joining in the chorus of creators before us who used their
imagination and intellect and hearts communicate with history and
their world. In my humble opinion, I believe creating art is the
noblest and most important job on the planet, because through art
we open up in the hearts of others what it can mean to be alive,
what it can mean to imagine, what it can mean to be healed and
whole, in a world that is sadly dysfunctional and imbalanced, in
a world fraught with struggles of gender and violence and despair
and poverty.

True freedom is not the freedom we speak of in America, the
freedom of the American flag and the statue of liberty. Freedom
is liberation inside the mind, a balancing of the mind and body
and soul, liberation from transience and ego-gratification. When
you find it, you will want to dance inside it infinitely and you
will want everyone around you to dance in their unique ecstasy.

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Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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