Nondual Digest - June 11, 1999:
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Delusion... is that... which we seem to be.
Illusion... is that... which we seem to see.
'Tis all... little more than Holography!
'Tis but I AM*... that we see and we be.
From Tim G:
Nonduality and the Wizard of Oz
The movie "The Wizard of Oz" is actually more �nondual� than any other
movie I�ve seen. When looked at carefully, just under the surface of a
child�s story of witches and tornadoes and munchkins lies an amazing
collection of truths that have been with mankind for all time.
First, we have a girl who seeks escape from the evils and misery of samsara
("Somewhere over the rainbow..."). A tornado strikes (symbolic of the Dark
Night of the Soul) and knocks the girl out, drawing her into an inner
world. She is transported to a mystical land called "Oz," and encounters a
pair of ruby slippers (the value of which she does not yet suspect), but
also encounters Glinda, the good witch of the North (symbolizing Grace) who
urges her to put them on anyway. She then embarks upon a spiritual path
symbolized by the Yellow Brick Road. At the end of this path is the
"Wizard," which is an apt symbol for "the Guru." She meets other travelers
on this path who are unhappy with their lot in life as well, and walks with
them, and is repeatedly tempted by a wicked witch, a symbol of the ego or
that which would block one on a spiritual path. Mostly the witch attempts
to inflict fear, which happens to be that which is most capable of blocking
someone on the path of Self-knowledge. At one point, the witch actually
manages to work a spell putting Dorothy to sleep. This occurs as her and
her fellow travelers see the beautiful, gleaming emerald palace in the
distance, leave the proscribed path, and make a run for it - no shortcuts
allowed in sadhana. It�s notable that only Dorothy fell asleep under the
spell of the poppies� her traveling companions were unaffected, because
they aren�t central to the theme. They are really aspects of Dorothy�s
The witch seems to have won, but a benign force (Glinda, the good witch of
the North, symbolizing Grace) makes it rain, waking Dorothy up (her first
awakening, through Grace - Samadhi) and allowing her to continue.
Eventually, after many trials on her sadhana, she reaches the wizard/guru,
who informs her that she must first defeat the wicked witch of the west
(ego), bringing back a symbol as proof, after which he will grant all the
traveler's wishes (escape from samsara). In the process of defeating the
witch, both herself and her fellow travelers have to face themselves
directly and manifest those qualities which they believe they don't have
(courage, heart, brains, etc) - while Dorothy has to face death itself.
Finally, the witch is defeated by a simple bucket of water, showing her as
the "mirage" that ego has always been. A simple bucket of water is
sufficient to "melt" her. She seemed powerful, but a benign substance like
water melted her away in seconds. Only the correct "substance" needed to
be known. Interestingly enough, the dissolution of the witch happened
entirely by accident. Nobody was aware that water was the substance
needed. The ego cannot dissolve itself - it can only submit to the Higher
Self. When the Higher Self manifested through Dorothy�s unselfish act of
trying to put out the flames burning up her friend the scarecrow, she "lost
her ego" in the process of selflessly thinking of her friend, thus killing
the witch. This is Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
Upon return to the wizard, the travelers discover that he is a fraud (OR SO
THEY THINK), and is not able to confer those qualities they desire upon
them, not realizing that those qualities were already seen as present in
the process of the defeat of the wicked witch. The wizard ends up simply
making them aware (through symbolism) that *they had these qualities all
along*, and it was only ignorance of the fact that had to be lifted. It
turns out that the wizard/guru was not a fraud after all.
Dorothy, the central character in the story, has the most poignant and
difficult-to-fulfill desire of all: She wants to go home. Home here
represents the true Self, the eternal "home" which all of us long for. Yet
the wizard fails in taking her there. The Guru can lead the chela to the
brink but not "bring them home..." the chela has to discover the way for
him or herself.
Upon meeting again with the "Good witch Glinda (Grace)," she discovers that
she has had the power to "go home" all along, inherent in the ruby slippers
which Glinda (Grace) gave her BEFORE she began her sadhana. It was the
same with her. It was only ignorance preventing her from going home.
With great sadness she says goodbye to her traveling companions and the
rest of samsara, and takes the final step, attaining moksha. The repeated
phrase "There's no place like home... there's no place like home..." is
very reminiscent of a mantra repeated in meditation.
Upon return (and upon waking up - such a powerful symbol, especially in
Buddhism - WAKING UP), Dorothy realizes that indeed, "there's no place like
home." She has Realized the search she started at the beginning of the
movie; that what she desired (escape from samsara) had been with her ALL
ALONG. She wanted to run away, but was ignorant of the fact that
everything was already perfect, and that indeed it is the searching that is
false, that is imperfect. What she wanted at the beginning of the movie
she has found, and at the end, she's once again in the same place, but with
a greatly changed outlook on things - a shift in consciousness, if you will.
One of the most interesting points is that all of this was in INNER
journey. The "Land of Oz" was INSIDE Dorothy, as were her traveling
companions. When she wakes up, she sees the people who, inside, she
thought were the scarecrow, the tinman, etc. This is a nondual statement
that indicates that All is One, that all these people in Dorothy�s life are
both inside and outside her, that there is no difference at all between
those in Dorothy�s life and aspects of her personality. It is the people
in one�s life that help to form the personality, and so it was them that
manifested as her traveling companions on the inner journey.
I believe that the perennial popularity (and classic film status) of the
Wizard of Oz is due to the fact that it helps explain a way to resolve that
"inner longing" that all people have for True Self. Through the use of
symbolism, it clearly shows the futility of the search, and the constant
presence of That which is desired -- whether or not we are aware it is
there. It contains an uplifting message that is also a true one, and
people subconsciously respond to that (especially children, who are
generally closer to Ground of Being than adults).
� Tim Gerchmez
From: Marcia Paul <jacpa@...
What was valuable for me about the Wizard of Oz was
that is symbolized the three-centered approach. The body,
the heart, and the mind. To be fully aware a person needs
to be in all three at the same time. Otherwise it becomes
an endless loop.
What I have found for myself is that for most of my life
I have not been grounded in my body. I have been a
head without a body. That is why I have problems I
think with the idea of somehow loosing my body as I
become enlightened. And I have been a heart encased
in armor. So I guess it has been a head without a heart
Still pluggin away at a snail's pace,
Your article was excellent, Tim. Of course I'll add it to the website.
But I need to hear more about Toto. (No snickers, now.) In the opening
of the movie the mean lady (transformed into the Wicked Witch) was going
to take Toto away from Dorothy and Dorothy ran off on her bicycle (the
gleaming wheels of samsara spinning, spinning). Think what the movie
would have been without Toto.
Toto is the mystery, Dorothy's spirit and will to go on. When the old lady
took Toto away, it also took Dorothy's spirit and happiness away, and
precipitated the dark night of the soul period which resulted in her
"traveling to the land of Oz." Toto is the aspect of unconditional love,
that aspect that is exquisitely vulnerable and yet at the same time
represents pure intuition and guidance and strength, both for "itself" and
for its "owner." Remember that Toto was smart enough to jump out of the
old lady's basket and escape, yet Dorothy was unaware of the fact. Toto
also "saved" Dorothy several times throughout the movie, if I remember
correctly. Essentially, Toto represents intuition and love.
And Melody responds:
Unconditional love. Intuition. Deepest Heart.
Perhaps some would simply call it Soul/Self.
Dorothy only knew that to lose Toto, to be separated
from Him, was to lose her Heart. She left home to
be with Toto, and it was with Toto's leadings and
assistance that she found her way back.
Notice that when they were loaded in the balloon
basket, ready to lift off for Kansas, it was Toto who jumped out of the
Deepest Heart knew that a basket ride would not
take Dorothy home, so Toto jumped out. And Dorothy
followed her Heart, as irrational as it seemed
at the time.
And last, but certainly not least:
thanks, Tim, for this thread-- there's no place like aum. .
Bob Bays wrote:
> R. H. Blyth, in his wonderful book "Zen in Engish Literature and
> Oriental Classics" (published in Japan in 1942 (!) and now, I believe,
> out of print), devotes two whole chapters to Don Quixote as the
> outstanding Western example of the "man of Zen." Unfortunately my copy
> and I are currently not in the same space, otherwise I would suppky a
> quote or two!
> OM shantih,
Thanks for this, Bob. I would eventually love to see those chapters. I
have a copy of Blyth's Haiku, Volume 1, Eastern Culture, in hardback. In
that book he has a 100 page section entitled 'Zen, The State of Mind for
Haiku'. In that section he must refer to 50 or more literary figures
from the Western world, but not one mention of Cervantes. Blyth wrote
clearly and simply and convincingly. Here's a portion:
The materiality of Zen comes out in the fact that the religious life is
at its lowest ebb in church, where everything is arranged to incline the
mind to some other place, Heaven or Hell, some other time, the past or
the future. There is more religion in the public-house, on the
battle-field. It is for this reason that, as Christ says, 'the publicans
and the harlots go into the Kingdom of God before you.'
Men live by Zen. All they desire is to see it and feel it. They go to
the cinema for it. The cowboy romances are full of failures to attain
it. When the 'killer' advances into the dance hall with his hands ready
for the draw, it is his Zen alone that our eyes are fixed on. But this
so-called 'Zen', does not exist, as a thing. Nothing is symbolized of
it.... It is 'a symbol proper', as Carlyle calls it, which means, as
Rinzai would say, a no-symbol. In this sense we may remind ourselves of
It is a flaw
In happiness to see beyond our bourne,
It forces us in summer skies to mourne,
It spoils the singing of the nightingale
That's a sample of his writing, which smoothly surfs World Civilization
(from Jesus, to modern day movies of the mid 40's, to Carlyly, to Rinzai
to Keats!) in the name of Zen, and Zen in the name of Haiku. He's good!
I believe his series on Haiku, from which I quoted, is still in print.
As I see it, whether it is enneagram or any other system of seeing our
idiocies, what we get is where our intention lies. Do we want a better
illusion identity or do we want the whole truth, real freedom? Acceptance of
our own bullshit can be a way of opening to our already established
perfection and purity.
I thought in realization
"I" would disappear.
Instead "you" do.
From: "Tim Gerchmez" <fewtch@...
As I sat outside today and gazed at the glorious beauty of nature - the
luminescent yellow and white and purple flowers, the green grass, the
perfect blue sky, the sunshine, the freshness and warmth and life in the
air, I reflected with awe upon the truth that all this is but a mere
shadow, a reflection, a veil covering the Absolute. Oh Glory... it's no
wonder that the mind cannot directly comprehend the Absolute, for if such
beauty were to be looked upon directly by the mind, the head would explode,
the mind would short-circuit and melt down instantly, the body would
dissolve and melt and vaporize. Such glory that cannot be conceived of by
the human mind - it is a mercy that the senses cannot directly take in the
Absolute, for they would explode instantly in the coruscating fireflash of
beauty and love and peace that is Atman.
How many of you know that L. Frank Baum, the author of the Oz books, was
an active member of the Theosophical Society, and there have been
several "spiritual" interpretations of his work?
The current President of the Theosophical Society in America, Dr. John
Algeo (retired Chairman of the English Department at the University of
Georgia), has written several articles on the subject, and also lectures
on it around the country.
> I think many people confuse us with the New Agers and pop-spirituality of
> "Awakening the Buddha Within" and stuff like that. Before I got into
> "Eastern mysticism," I didn't know there was a "hard core" either and
> dismissed it all as white-light mumbo-jumbo, self-deceptive phonyness. I'd
> rather have NondualitySalon!
I like the mix of personalities here, the closeness and the tolerance
It reminds me of L.A. around Alvarado Street.
It's a hectic, lively, broad ethnic mix, from the Jews parading to
Langers for pastrami, to the rich Mexican culture flagged in brightly
colored serapes, and the assertive, ambitious African-American culture
working through high awareness of eternal racial inequality, proud on
unceasing social contributions, to the Asian community quietly slipping
into and out of shops, to mixed Anglo culture enjoying the diminishment
of their national majority status and ability to see themselves as men
and women equal to all men and women.
Across the street MacArthur's Park, green and spacious and lotus topped
lake gleaming cool, sitting like a temple, never melting in summer's
We who live and die in the city, in this Salon, bring ourselves, our
psychological bent, impediments, our cooking utensils and paintings and
guitars and journals and jokes and collection of self-made gemstones,
our pets, our ancestors, our sizzling DNA, and we find a room on the
Street and begin to live and explore. And whether we unravel to the
emptiness while sitting peacefully on a bench in the park alongside the
lake, or while negotiated the crowded sidewalk perfumed with ethnic
garlics, we understand each other. We know what brought us here, what we
deal with, and why we are here. Even as so many of us walk stone-faced
past each other, there's enough said in the passing to be taken for bows
of mutuality. Because at night, late at night, all is quiet in rooms,
and mostly quiet on Alvarado Street, dreams are filled with many faces,
cats stare at men in darkness only they can see in, a fan does not turn,
it is cool in the city of consciousness, and come morning, morning is
simply known as morning. We have never been lighter and younger and more
perfect than this.
Never have I witnessed 'group consciousness'
as I have here these past weeks...the weaving
of threads, and personalities, and teachings
and the processing of such.
If ever I recognized that I was a player upon
the stage, accompanied by many other players, it
Re: Andrew/Unicorn Light & Shadows
Susan had written:
>> >************Is this the same as,
>> > "Out beyond our ideas of right and wrong
>> > there is a field. I'll meet you there."?
>> > Sounds like a good place for a barbeque to me.
>> > Susan
>> Yes, Seer Susan. That is indeed 'where it is at'. A most emphatic YES.
>> As the Unicorn turns,
>> ==Gene Poole==
Andrew then wrote:
>The danger in accepting an invitation to a unicorn barbecue... you may be the
>On the edge of the field, in the side of the mountain, there's a cave with
>philosophers chained inside disputing over shadows on the wall. We could
>build a fire on the threshold of the cave and roast the unicorn there.
Gene now replies:
Andrew, in a manner of speaking, this (the NDS) is the scenario which you
describe so well. In a sense, Plato/Socrates, with his emphasis on the
action of each being the 'midwife' to the other, is our predecessor.
One of the things that I have been talking about here, is the needless act
of using a 'come-a-long' or other impliments of extraction to yank someone
from the womb which they feel as home. Each will have birth (or emergence
from the larval cocoon) in their own time.
It is perfectly clear to one who has been born, who has emerged from the
womb of the world-dream, that things are not as they were, and that also,
nothing has changed. The violence of the world-dream is replaced by the
violence of raw Being; the certainty of world-dream definitions, are now
seen as chalk scribblings on a sidewalk in a rainstorm. The elements,
rainstorm and earthquake, are now seen as the breathings of the vast
organism which I am. I erase and forget all of my assumptions. Yes, I am
that Unicorn. I accepted the invitation, and I found what was eating me.
The fire of the Unicorn Barbeque, is warmth and light, cast into the mouth
of the philosophers cave. Tantalizing scents of 'realization' waft to their
noses, to distract them from their lofty and self-absorbed dissertations.
If they would but turn from the shadows of which they debate, they would
see the light.
As I pass from the womb of the world-dream, I see that the Unicorn is as
real as the Sacred Cow, or the Golden Calf; seeking such, the danger is in
finding it. If found, the dream has been made real; the womb of the
world-dream has been remodeled, now painted and disguised with gold-leaf. A
drunken orgy of purity, a celebration of the successes of the imposition of
the grammar of the world-dream onto the eyes and ears of the seeker, create
the cloak of the attainer.
The attainer, now sheathed in the mantle of success and virtue, is feasting
on the Unicorn; finally, the externals of significance have aligned with
the articles of faith, and all is well in the world. Certainty is at hand,
ambiguity is banished; the glory of attainment, driven by the need to
escape suffering, is the new fundament. Seekers flock to the banners of
That One, tributes and bribes at the ready.
The frenetic acts of the celebrants act as bridges over the interval of
doubt; woe to one who loses the momentum of seeking.
Closed by certainty, the chasm of openness, the painful emptiness of
unsophisiticated nature, gapes and is renamed as Hell; only faith, and the
momentum of belief, bouy the aspirant to the safe heights of those who have
attained. It is the consumption of the flesh of the Unicorn which makes all
of this possible; now, there must be enacted a certain test for the
veracity of truth, for one who eats of the flesh of the Unicorn is safe,
while the fool who is deceived by those who foist other flesh, will fall
into perdition, there to roast in fires of another sort entirely... or so
it is said.
Thus speaketh the Unicorn:
"Those who eat of my flesh, and drink of my blood, shall know me as
themselves. It is I who you seek, yet you know me not, even though it is my
flesh which you taste without cessation."
"Know, as you revel in the gaining of what you sought, that It is I who
guide you to me, and that I dwell in a realm within you. Only one who knows
me, knows themself, and in that knowing, dwells with me in that realm,
which is the true paradise."
Such words as those, engraved upon the stone which had sealed the cave of
the philosophers, reduce the weight of that stone. Now that such words had
been spoken, those with ears that hear, may exit the cave of eternal
debate, to emerge into the glory of the sun. That sun, illuminating all
equally, illumes the I, which now can see, free of the shadows of the
certainty of disparity.
Appendix of VALIS by Phillip K Dick; What is the 'Plasmate' and what is the
timeline of our reality? Of what significance is the dead cat?
Text of UBIK by Phillip K Dick; Realizer Joe Chip finds a message from his
dead boss, which reads:
"Jump in the toilet and stand on your head;
I am the living, you are the dead".
Lyrics of music CD: 'Messiah / 21st Century Jesus' (song: Temple of
Dreams) "Did I dream, that you dreamed about me?"
(Caution: 'Messiah' is 440-beat 'techno', and if played on a competent
stereo (or listened to through headphones) at effective volume-settings,
may induce a state of bliss which (can be) dangerous to larval status. Use
only as directed.)
Explore the Gnostic WebRing (find it via websearch). Read 'Thunder, perfect
Mind', excerpted from the Nag Hammadi Library.
Remember, words and language are harmless to those who do not expect to
find anything in them, beyond what can be found in oneself.
"The Wizard of Oz" got re-released in certain theaters last year for a short
time (November I think it was.) For anyone who took this rare opportunity to
actually see the film on the big screen, as I did, it was an unforgettable
experience. The experience was much more powerful than seeing it on video at
home. Here's my vote for the Wizard as one of the best films of 1998!
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