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Jerry Katz
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In this redefinition of activism is included an awareness of active as meaning wide awake to the flux of the now moment, the creative possibility

Something So Subtle

Gloria Lee
closing comment by Jerry Katz

You asked for some reflections on (Nonduality Salon) list history a day or two ago, and I went shopping instead. Ok, a few other matters that shall go unmentioned.

What it was like then is no different from now. (Well, your website was a lot smaller.) Just as back then, there was no grandiose plan to create a huge mega list, or to change anyone's life, or to set anyone free from their teachers and shackles. There was no plan other than the magnetic sort of attraction of birds of a feather refusing to be caged. There is only a recognition of what already is true, a seeing of what takes place when limitations are not accepted or believed to matter. Hence the inclusiveness of the marginalized, etc. Yet this never needed to be made an explicit policy, it was just understood. The lack of strategic planning and mission statements. (Ha! how to convey how casually this all came about?)

So it doesn't have to mean that the word activism implies having an agenda or specific stated beliefs, allowing this activism to be so wide open might perhaps be what qualifies it for the nondual adjective. Yet the whole paradigm of the guru, teacher/disciple, adherence to a religion or philosophy - just collapses- into something like the black hole you mentioned. There are no celebrities or authorities here, the usual models need not apply.

As I am quite consumed by preparations for family Christmas and houseguests arriving the day after, I will grab for the easy and obvious examples. The way I hear you Jerry, you are hinting at something so subtle, one may not even know oneself that one is "being an activist." But one obvious parallel may be drawn with parenting. I am struck dumb by parents who ask IF they should teach their children any specific values. IF? There needs to be a recognition of how they already ARE, how it is inescapable, with every breath, in how that child is seen and heard, just as any and every interaction has implicit values. So one might look at the how and what and become more conscious, but that does NOT mean sitting down to "teach" little lists of values or rules to them, its more about looking at oneself.

Who I am speaks without a word being said. Just being who you are changes the gestalt of the whole. There is no contradiction between you standing free and being part of this list family here, or the larger "felt group" that for you may include Buddha and the Beatles and the Beat poets. Just as these are not mutually exclusive possiblities, change can and does occur without any intention to create or cause any specific change in others.

In this redefinition of activism is included an awareness of active as meaning wide awake to the flux of the now moment, the creative possibility. How can one "plan" for what is known to be unknown? A truth which can include the mystery, a knowing of openness, and not an agenda to control life or the future? So the fact that nondual activism seems a paradox and an oxymoron is to me all the more reason it seems to be on track. Certainly a track worth exploring. The deep listening of nondual dialogue seems a good start. Stay tuned....

Jerry already has the one indispensable ability of a true subversive, in that he may appear to be quite ordinary. Yet what is being undermined here? What doors and windows are being opened?

There are many ways of coming at this nondual activism thing. The more ways, the merrier. I think it's safe to say that something has already been achieved that neither I nor anyone might have intended or suspected. We have become activists for a new kind of activism. I do think that we have already turned the corner. There is an empty boulevard along which much can be built. The major work has been done. It took so little. It's effortless. --Jerry, December 27, 2000