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Jerry Katz
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Nonduality spoken here:

"I feel like a salmon smelling the water of the stream where he was hatched."

Selections from the email of

Andrew Macnab

I was thinking about my reasons for posting, and my eye fell on this quote;

"All who joy would win must share it- Happiness was born a twin" ---Byron

People say that forgetting the small self and experiencing the oneness
of all is of no practical use in the everyday world. I disagree and I
offer this example to illustrate;

Last weekend I was on an overnight canoe trip. On Sunday afternoon
I was hit with one of the migrane headaches to which I am occasionally
prone, induced by staying up too late Saturday night talking around a
rather smoky campfire, and missing my usual hit of caffeine on sunday
morning because of forgetting to bring coffee.

Sunday aft. was windy and bright and we were travelling on a river
which meandered through open pastures. Because I was in the stern of the
canoe I needed to pay attention and make continual steering efforts to
counteract the gusty headwind. I also had to paddle hard continually to
make progress into the wind. We had miles to go to our takeout point.
The task seemed insurmountable, the suffering too intense to bear. I
kept paddling, telling myself "It will be done". My verbal measuring
thinking self shut down, there was not the energy left to sustain it,
all the resources were taken up with concentrating on the task at hand,
and with the senses. Whenever my friend in the bow of the canoe spoke,
it took me several seconds to surface sufficiently to respond and then
my response was only "What?" because although I had heard him clearly, I
had not perceived words. It was as though my head had split open or
exploded. Pain was present as a massive dark centre but no one felt it.
The hyper-intense migrane enhanced sensory input was all of reality. All
there was was the brightness of the world, the smells of early spring, the rhythmic
creak and splash of canoe and water. The coldness of the wind and
water. Occasional people walking on the riverbank were mysterious and
significant anomalies. There was no sensation of the passage of time or
of movement. Suddenly we were approaching the end of the route, and "I"
reentered "normal" reality. 5 hours had passed. I sat with eyes shut in
a warm and quiet car for 10 minutes and the experience began to fade.
I'm not arguing in favor of having migrane headaches, but I do say
that the disappearance of the small self in extreme situations makes
extraordinary things possible.

We have become saturated with language. Language gives us history,
knowledge,culture, the ability to communicate across time and around the
world. Word=logos, logic. But we lose something in our devotion to the word.
Thought with words labels, compares ,classifies, separates. It gives the
knowledge of good and evil. Instead of seeing things as they are, it sees
labels, symbols. Marshal McLuhan pointed out that each new medium that comes
along changes our relationship with the world. ("The medium is the

Language is the original medium, how has it changed us? Can we forget
language(or at least suspend our knowledge of it ) and see the world
ourselves as it is without names and labels? This is what the old taoists
mean by forgetting, it is forgetting one thing so that another can be
remembered. This is what "The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao"
This is "suchness".

'Those who speak know nothing;
Those who know are silent.'
Those words, I am told,
Were spoken by Lao Tzu.
If we are to believe that Lao Tzu
Was himself one who knew,
How comes it that he wrote a book
Of five thousand words?

Po Chu-i

If you agree that we all are already enlightened but that we delude ourselves
that we are not, why not ask "UNenlightenment: What use is it?" My answer to
that question would be that it's a tiresome pretence that wastes energy and is
of no benefit so we might as well stop fooling ourselves and accept that we
are enlightened and get on with life.

A habit conditioned in us from early childhood, a byproduct of human culture and
language, the downside of logical word based thought. We chose it many generations
ago, and it worked very well, made us the most powerful animals on the planet. The
problem is that we forget that it's not reality but just a useful tool. A tool which we
as a species have grown so dependant on that we find it hard to stand without leaning on
it. We have trouble letting the words in our mind ever stop.

To set aside everything others have told one about the nature of things, and all
the conclusions one has reached and simply open ones mind and find out for
oneself without selecting interpreting comparing ...

A map is not a road
Words are just words
Formless awareness is
Nameless it is all
Named it becomes everything
It depends how you look at it
Either way it never changes
It's a mystery, and it's the doorway to a deeper mystery

Eureka, I've lost it!

What is meaning? What is the meaning of the word 'meaning'? What is the
meaning of the meaning of the word 'meaning'?

Does the value of a pebble change when someone tells you it's a diamond?

Presence of presence=absence of absence
Absence of presence=presence of absence

Seeing oneself in others=seeing others in oneself

Marcia Paul asked: "Is there ever a real choice to be made?"

Good question. When I asked who chooses, I was responding specifically to
your statement about choosing which "me" to use at each moment. Is it a
choice made by the totality of "me"s or what? Whether there is choice ever
is a/the big question. I act as though there is. As soon as a choice has
been made, it disappears. I sometimes feel that reality divides(or I
divide) with every choice that is made so that every possible alternative
gets chosen with reality(or me) continuously dividing at a rate of infinity
to the power of infinity to the power of infinity and so on. Reality as I
know it is chaotic. An analogy that occurs to me is with running rapids in a
canoe, once you're in the strong current you have no choice about going down
the river, but all the way down you are choosing your path. And it's best
when the path seems to choose itself, a natural response to conditions
seemingly without thought. Permeating and enclosing this chaotic reality I
perceive a steady state which is perfect peace and bliss but which does not
exist but rather is the quality of existence. Egad!

Here are some proverbs and songs by Antonio Machado I translated, from *Fields of
Castilia* pub. 1917. I love translating poetry, it forces me to look at a poem as slowly
and deeply as when I am writing my own poems and a unity of mind develops with someone
who lived in a completely different time and place. One doesn't even need to be able to
read the language one is translating from, just use this; french german italian
portugese and spanish only, unfortunately)and go from there. The machine translation is
crude and wierd, but by looking at it and the original there's enough to go on. It's

Yesterday I dreamed
that I saw God
and that God spoke;
and I dreamed
that God saw me...
Later I dreamed that God dreamed.

Traveller, your footprints are the path,
nothing else;
traveller, you have no path.
As you walk, the path forms.
The path forms as you walk
and when you look back,
the path is seen
where you will never return.
Traveller, it is no path,
just a wake in the sea.

Things are created and everything exists
but we exist to create
to create paths
paths in the sea.

Yesterday I dreamed that I saw God,
shouting to me;"Awake!"
Soon it was God who slept,
and I shouted;"Wake up!"

poem composed of semi-randomly selected words and phrases from Gideon's
bible taken from Pictou county motel room

south wind blew softly
what is the way of the spirit?
potter's clay
turn again
fiery flying serpent
flattering divination
the cloud abode
way of peace
fallen to earth
I will overturn overturn overturn.

The only thing I know is that everything I know is wrong.


On karma; spring follows winter but winter doesn't cause spring.


Naah no one stops, every living being is on that path whether they know it or
not. Maybe pausing or drifting around in a backwater, but not permanently
stopped. There's no choice about it. No way to stop.


About motives and striving for the IAM, I feel drawn on this path, pulled onward as if by a magnet or by
gravity, not by my will. I feel like a salmon smelling the water of the stream where he was hatched.


Jerry wrote: Yeah, that's what it is. A magnetic pull. And then one speaks, or
attempts to speak as though one is reaching out for the hands of
another, attempting to grasp and take another on that magnetic journey.

Or to try to get them to wake up and open their eyes and see that we're all on the path.

As I see it the goal
(imperfectly achieved) is integration of the wordless and the word, to act
(speak) from, in and to the only reality, which is ordinary and extraordinary.
People write of detachment from the ordinary world, of being dispassionate
observers of the events around them. This is only half way there. Stopping at
this point is living death, a sort of limbo. Remaining in this state is
debilitating, however comfortable it seems.
The vital next step is to submerge oneself fully in the ordinary everyday world,
reacting without reservation to events, awake to the extraordinary in the
ordinary. This is where the real work begins.

1 a : a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that
existence is senseless and
useless b : a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially
of moral truths."

Who is there for existence to be sensible and useful to? Who despairs? The
small self despairs and dies and NOTHING remains.

The wild black river falling in love
pebbles turned to gold in its bed
water smooth as oiled muscles in the dark
water clear as black skin flecked with foam
from some passion upstream with love's gravity and time
carving granite to erotic curves
perfect slow changing lines the work of eons
deeper in the body of the beloved earth

The storm
chaotic gavotte of black electric clouds
orgasm of rain in the burning autumn hills
raging jazz rhythm of rain and thunder
thousand wind demons on the trees virtuoso
the fat sound of rain on water
curled tendrils of cloud reaching down the valley
even the crows struck dumb

The salmon in the full river
Purple and silver in fast water
Running by moonlight in cold water
Breaking the fall air
Still as stone
Fast as music
Called by the sky
Watched by the hills
Loved by the golden pebbles
the clean washed gravel

When one is confronted with a problem, there is a tendency to classify it,
to find a similar problem in one's memory, either previously experienced or
heard about, and to apply the previous problem's solution to the present
problem. As soon as this process starts, the perception of the present
problem fades and distorts, and the present problem is not solved. If one is
presented with a problem that is entirely outside one's previous experience
and knowledge then one must apply one's whole attention to it, and make a
creative solution. Can one treat every problem as though it were fresh and
completely new? Seung Sahn the korean zen master says "Only don't know" and
someone else speaks of opening the hand of thought.

Peter J. Lima wrote: I understand J. Krishnamurti, but I am continually frustrated by him. He does not say how
it is possible to live in the "now," or die to the past. He always asks, "Is
it possible?" but never answers yes or no, or how

I think that he knew it to be possible because that's how he lived, but he also
knew he couldn't communicate it to others, only tell them to ask the question of

I enjoy the impossible game of expressing the
wordless in words and I enjoy reading and listening to the attempts of others. I
think U.G. (Krishnamurti) has an interesting and original approach to the game. I don't read
any guru master yogi or teacher in this field with the idea that I will get
anything out of it but pleasure and a mental challenge and that I will learn to
play the game better myself. A fool...Iam that!

Regarding psychological wounds and awakening, it is my experience that attention
to wounds can slow healing down, like picking at scabs. With awakening, the
wounds heal up, or rather they are seen as not real. I think it is a mistake to
tie psychological healing to awakening. One can happen without the other and
neither is a necessary precondition for the other. Wounds heal themselves given
time and rest first, then gentle exercise.

Taking it on oneself to break down another's ego is prideful hurtful and wrong.
It ends badly however well intentioned. It shows error and delusion in the one
who takes it upon himself to do so.

My advice to young seeker who finds such a person would be to run the other way
as fast as he can.

We would think very differently if we had no language.
I used to think I existed, but all there is is an accumulating
collection of memories.

If I'm not taking notice of THIS MOMENT I'm nowhere. Because that's all
there is. And there's nothing to compare circumstances to. And this
moment never comes again though it's eternal. So not taking notice NOW
is an irrevokable loss. And all grief centres on that. And something
that feels like a wound is really an opening that ends waiting. And
striving, gaining, searching are all forms of waiting. And one spends
lifetimes waiting. Waiting for something to happen. And it never will.
Unless one STOPS waiting.

The head tries to understand love, but finally it must admit
that it doesn't know much about it,
it's out of its depth and out of its element.
Love is the heart's element, the heart's domain;
The head sings a melody.
The heart gives the rhythm.
The rhythm is love.

I thought maybe,
"There is a way
around that old snake,
into the garden."
I thought perhaps,
"We never

It seems to me that by relating to a group I am relating less,
not more, because a group excludes those who "don't belong".
If I do not relate to others then I can relate only to myself,
a group of one, then none. A lonely life. Can I instead relate to the
largest possible group, to all? Relate with the maximum
possible effort, with all my heart? Is this another way to lose
the psychological self?

There are weeds in my garden, and various wild creatures graze
here and there (six legs, eight legs, two legs, four, a hundred, none),
but we still get more tomatoes than we can eat.
A more carefully tended garden might yield more,
but it would lose some charm.

Can I remember any of my pure conciousness experiences?
It is one pure conciousnessness experience, it's not "mine", and any
memories are like metaphors, snapshots of the water in a flowing river.
I can and do remember experiencing pure conciousness.
Experiencing pure conciousness is easy, anyone can do it with a little
The self is voila!

I have a poetic license
I carry it on my person at all times
Endorsed for poems of all weight classes
Corrective lenses must NOT be worn.


A short short story;
Cactus-person grows in the desert
-armed with ferocious spines-
-full of bitter juice-
-bearing a fragrant blossom-
S'he can smell the blossom but can't see anything because the spines
grow inward as well as outward, even into the eyes.
Cactus-person thinks,"I am the only cactus-person in the world."
Cactus-person thinks,"I sure smell good."
Cactus-person thinks,"I sure am lonely."
One day, who knows why, the spines drop off, dissolve away
and cactus-person sees other cactus people all around,
some spined, some not, all bearing blossoms.
Cactus-person's juice becomes sweet.
After a while, small animals come and eat around the base.
The flower becomes a seed pod.
Cactus-person falls, rots, sweetens the ground,
More cactus people grow.

Actual seeing is always taking place. We are only aware of it when the
psychological "I me my" self shuts up. The "I me my" self drowns actual
seeing with a constant babble of wishes hopes fears and
The "I me my" self is made to be quiet by meditation. It can also"crash"
in a crisis situation which is why people experience feelings of clarity
at such times.

I (the psychological self) am like an electronic system.
Actual seeing is the input signal. I put the signal through
feedback loops (memory,hope, fear,speculation,etc.) so
that the signal while still present is modified and distorted.
When I meditate (silently observe), the feedback loops
are removed or separated from the signal; I become aware
of the feedback loops, and I become aware of the signal.
I also become aware that I(the psychological self) am
nothing but the feedback loops and that the feedback loops
are nothing but the input signal turned back on itself.

*What Isn't*

Good isn't evil isn't good isn't evil...
Winning isn't losing isn't winning....
Joy isn't suffering isn't joy....
Etc. etc. etc.
Pairs of opposites always emerging from each other.
If I ask what isn't pairs of opposites, I find another pair;
' pairs of opposites' isn't 'x' ....
I can't see beyond pairs of opposites because all that
is beyond pairs of opposites is void, unnameable,
This is the story of what isn't, isn't it?

What I see as a sphere could actually be a disk spinning
(like a flipped coin) so fast that it occupies all of the sphere
at the same time; I have no way of knowing by looking at it.
What I see as a disk could be a line rotating about its centre.
What I see as a line could be a moving point.
The point could be infinitely small, nothing at all really.

As I see it the turning point, the discovery or the revelation
comes as soon as I choose to pay attention, just seeing, hearing,
perceiving, then there is no judging "I" present, or put another way,
I am the perception, I am the world. But I am separated from
it, "I" is created, as soon as I start again producing opinions,
judgements, conclusions...
This mind that is paying attention is seeking. The seeking only stops
(it doesn't ever really stop but "I" is separated from it) when the
judging, opinion making, concluding begins. Seeking is revelation.
I wonder whether "seek and you shall find." could also be
translated as "when you seek you find." or "to seek is to find".
Seeking never ends, discovery never ends, revelation never ends.
When it ends you're dead.
"Seek and you shall find", there are no conditions there, no seek
faithfully for a long time and then you shall find, it's just seek and
you shall find; as soon as you seek you find. The only trick, and it's
no trick at all, is how to seek. That's easy, just be quiet and
attentive. What else could there be? I am aware of me, the world
continuously boiling into existence. This is not thought or conjecture,
I smell taste touch hear see it always, actually, everywhere I look. I
am self aware, self actualizing, participant and observer. If I am
quiet, attentive, alert, thoughts die because attention is not on them,
and there is awareness of the actual eternal instant, the present, where
I, the world am emerging from pure potential. There is no knowing pure
potential, it's always just before knowing. I am only aware of it as
something/nothing out of which I come, which I am made of. I am a
movement of thought and I would add so is the world in which I operate.
They are the same movement of thought. Whether this movement originates
in the central nervous system or the cns is simply receiving and
amplifying (and distorting?) it is another matter. (Memory is feedback?)
When I am quiet this movement of thought stops, or the cns stops
responding to it. There is a space, an interval where I have ceased to
be/am not yet. In this space there is awareness, knowing, perception. It
is not necessary to be something to know.
This knowing is not knowing something, it's just knowing.
That's why I call it pure potential.

If I am standing at the bottom of a cliff and a boulder is falling from
the top, that boulder contains a certain potential with regard to my
material existence. What I am talking about is potential without the

Desire doesn't feel all bad to me, sometimes it can be
quite delicious, more even than the thing that was desired turns
out to be. We don't need to always act on our desires. If we
accept this, then we can experience the desire, even enjoy
it, and not be frustrated that the desire is not fulfilled.

What mad perception?
eternal mind
one said nothing
lost fool heart
answers die

Insight is one thing, ones beliefs and thoughts are another. Insight is
universal, we all share the same insight, because there is one reality,
but each of us thinks and believes and speaks of it differently
according to our individual backgrounds.
It may fundamentally be unimportant how we think and speak about it.


The certainty that comes
with the sudden cessation
of conceptual thought
is that there is nothing
that has absolute existence
there is nowhere to stand
nothing to rely on.
Beliefs and visions
argument and philosophy
can't stand up to that.


There is no belief required, the certainty is that there is
no me and no god.

A vision of god coming alive in a picture is pure


Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

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