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Jerry Katz
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Salt Doll Stories Classic and New


In Maharshi's Gospel, Ramana said: "By constantly keeping one's attention on the Source, the ego is dissolved in that Source like a salt-doll in the sea."

In Talks With Sri Ramana Maharshi, the following is reported:

"Mr. M. Frydman, an engineer, remarked on the subject of Grace, 'A salt doll diving into the sea will not be protected by a waterproof coat.'

It was a very happy simile and was applauded as such. Maharshi added, 'The body is the waterproof coat.'"

from Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna

"Once a salt doll went to measure the depth of the ocean. It wanted to tell others how deep the water was. But this it could never do, for no sooner did it get into the water than it dissolved. Now, who was there to report the ocean's depth? What Brahman is cannot be described. In samadhi one attains the knowledge of Brahman -- one realises Brahman. In that state reasoning stops altogether, and man becomes mute. He has no power to describe the nature of Brahman."

Germaine Hornsby (as told to her by Sandeep Chatterjee, who heard it at Gangotri in the Himalayas)

A salt doll journeyed for thousand of miles and stopped at the edge of the sea. It was fascinated by this moving liquid mass, so unlike anything it had seen before. "What are you" asked the salt doll. "Come in and see" replied the sea with a smile. So the salt doll waded in. The further it went, the more it dissolved till there was only a pinch of it left. Before the last bit dissolved the doll exclaimed in wonder, "Now I know what I am ".

Jan Barendrecht

A salt-doll, a good friend of mine

Once paid a visit with some whine

Lots of talk and the conclusion:

What you need is an infusion

Meditation will bring peace

Concentration comes with ease

Attentiveness without a pause

Revealing bliss without a cause

Progress went extremely fast

And my friend had lots of joy

Sadness belonged to the past

Yet the joy seemed like a toy

The salt-doll asked: "is there no more"

I haven't seen the other shore

Please show me more so I can find

Who is the Master of my mind

The salt-doll knew about the sea

That it was salt and he asked me

Let's go there to see the shore

I'll take a swim and ask no more

He was dissolving in the sea

exclaimed "it really feels a lot like me

I am all - who cares about the mind

Thanks for the help, one day you'll find...

Salt Doll and Seaweed

Once a salt doll became entangled in strings of seaweed. It was all the salt doll could do, to cope with those tangled strings. Then one day, in a quiet and solitary moment, the salt doll tasted its own essence and heard it in the distance. And for a long time the salt doll hungered to fully know That.

Soon the tangles of seaweed became unimportant in light of that hunger and began to fall away.

This was considered highly irregular, and when asked about this behavior the salt doll would talk about the essence that it knew.

When very little seaweed remained, it was easy to cast aside the few remaining strands, and the salt doll did and an ocean appeared before it.

Some say the salt doll stepped in; others say the ocean took the salt doll.

All we know is that there are many salt doll impersonators wearing suits of seaweed.

Ann Morrison Fisher

A man was walking on the beach one day, carrying his shoes in his hand. He sat down beside a tidal pool and looked at the shells and seaweed left in it. Then he noticed, just above the water line, what looked like a pile of salt. But the salt seemed to have the form of a woman. Then she opened her eyes, smiled, and sat up.

"Are you our salt doll who disappeared into the ocean?" he asked. "But she dissolved in the sea. Are you really the ocean itself?"

"I am both," said the salt doll. "I always was."

"How could you have come back from the sea?" the man asked.

"My purpose brought me back," she said. "I came back to tell you about the ocean. And to tell all you people something you don't seem to know about yourselves. I am no different from you. You are all salt dolls."

The man looked down at his bare foot, and for a moment it looked like it was made of salt.


There was a wise old Saltdoll fishing in a small boat with a man. The Saltdoll noticed a scorpion in a puddle of water in the boat, drowning. She reached her hand down to rescue the scorpion, placed it in her hand..... and it bit her!

The Saltdoll carefully laid the scorpion down to a drier part of the boat. The scorpion once again, walked right into the puddle and was drowning. The wise Saltdoll picked up the scorpion to place it on dry land, and again, it bit her.

The man with the Saltdoll watched this scene over and over again in amazement! He thought the Saltdoll was wise, but he could easily see now that he himself had far more wisdom than this stupid old Saltdoll did.

Finally he could stand it no longer and asked, "Why would you save that scorpion over and over when you know it is going to bite you again and again?"

And the Saltdoll answered, "It is in the scorpion's nature to bite. It is in my nature to be helpful."

To test the Saltdoll, the man jumped into the ocean and pretended to be drowning. Without hesitation the Saltdoll jumped in. The man returned to the boat alone. The scorpion was again struggling in the puddle. The man reached down to help.

David Bozzi

a variation on the salt doll

There once was a snowman who lived at the North Pole.All this snowman knew was coldness and hardness. It was a brittle, empty, and lonely world. He had heard tales of a strange world where Life was Everywhere and even sprung up from the ground. That was towards the Center where there was something called Warmth. He traveled in the only direction possible for every direction lead South. He walked and walked until the landscape slowly began to change and transform. He noticed new and interesting things he had never before imagined. The mysterious yellow disc in the sky that used to come and go for such long durations began to increase its frequency of coming and going. This seemed to effect everything, including himself. The cold, brittle ground began to soften as he did and he began to feel lighter and lighter. His cold, hard form began to melt until eventually he merged into the life sustaining ground. He knew that he was now very different from what he had always thought of himself. He become one with a powerful stream that carried him further and further toward the Center. Until eventually he was released into the Ocean of his very Essence.

Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: