Friday, March 15, 2002
The Nondual Highlights
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Friday, March 15, 2002
The 1007th Edition
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Editors: Jerry Katz, Gloria Lee, Christiana Duranczyk, Michael Read, John Metzger
Today's Highlights Edited by
Editor's note: The last issue of the Highlights was number 1003. This one is 1007. The missing three issues were actually duplicates that were sent in the last few days and which should have received unique numbers. Each edition of the highlights receives a new number by Yahoogroups whether or not it is a duplicate and our numbers have to be the same as assigned by Yahoogroups. These Highlights are uploaded to the NDS website and are indexed by the search engine. A researcher would expect the numbers we assign to the Highlights to coordinate with those assigned by Yahoogroups. --Jerry
ON JNANA AND BHAKTI
"Among all means of liberation, bhakti is supreme. To seek
earnestly to know one's real nature -- this is said to be bhakti.
In other words, devotion can be defined as the search for the
reality of one's own Atman ["Self']."
-- Vivekachudamani verses 31-32 (Sri Adi Shankaracharya;
Tapasyananda Sw trans)
Shankara lived around the 7th or 8th centuries BCE and is
considered to be the "father" of Advaita Vedanta philosophy.
Advaita Vedanta itself is Jnana Yoga (yoga through gnosis),
sometimes seen at the other end of the spectrum from bhakti yoga
(yoga through devotionalism). Commentators on Shankara note that
devotional themes emerge in his later works (such as the famous
hymn Bhaja Govindam.) Should the two be considered distinct or do
they support each other? What is "mature bhakti and mature jnana?
The argument has been that jnana without bhakti can deteriorate
into dry sophistry and bhakti without jnana can deteriorate into
sentimentalism and fanaticism.
What is devotion for the jnani (or advaitist)? Certainly, the
definition and practice differs from the nondualist (dvaitist),
which usually puts great emphasis on a sometimes troubadouresque
kind of bhakti view and approach. Indeed, some dvaitist groups
vilify the jnani or absolutist view.
But life goes on nevertheless....
"To know God is to love God. Therefore the path of bhakti and of
jnana are same. "
Sri Ramana Maharshi
For Chinmayi more Lankavatara Sutra
Beginning of Chapter 3.
Right Knowledge or Knowledge of Relations
Then Mahamati said: Pray tell us, Blessed One, about the being
and the non-being of all things?
The Blessed One replied: People of this world are dependent in
their thinking on one of two things: On the notion of being,
whereby they take pleasure in realism, or in the notion of
non-being whereby they take pleasure in nihilism; in either case
they imagine emancipation where there is no emancipation. Those
who are dependent upon the notion of being, regard the world as
rising from a causation that is really existent, and that this
acatually existing and becoming world does not take its rise from
a causation that is non-existent. This is the realistic view as
held by some people. Then there are other people who are
dependent on the notion of the non-being of all things. These
people admit the existence of greed, anger and folly, and at the
same time they deny the existence of things that produce greed,
anger and folly. This is not rational, for greed, anger and folly
are no more to be taken hold of as real than are things; they
neither have substance nor individual marks. Where is a state of
bondage, there is binding and means for binding; but where there
is emancipation, as in the case fo Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, masters
and disciples, who have ceased to believe in both being and
non-being, there is neither bondage, binding nor means for
It is better to believe in an ego-substance than to entertain the
notion of emptiness derived from the view of being and non-being,
for those who so believe fail to understand the fundamental fact
that the external world is nothing but a manifestation of mind.
Because they see things as transient as rising from cause and
passing away from cause, now dividing, now combining into the
elements which make up the aggregates of personality and its
external world and now passing away, they are doomed to suffer
every moment from the changes that follow one after another, and
finally are doomed to ruin.
All Lankavatara Sutra quotes from
'A Buddhist Bible', p293,294
Edited by Dwight Goddard.
DAVE OSHANA responding to Jerry
Dave Oshana & Jerry Katz: like Two Peas in a NonDual Pod - We go way
> dave oshana is a very cool guy
Why thank you! It's nice to be known as 'cool' not that it makes
any difference to 'The Work' - just makes communication easier
>and he's doing amazing good things.
Well, you know they are just happening (Did I say it right,
Jerry? - Coach me! ;) )
> I've always supported his work. In the early days we were in
> touch all >the time.
Gee! Jerry's such a big loveable bear of a guy. His arms are wide
enough to hold the hold the Five Great Lakes of North America and
the entire British Isles: England Scotland and Wales, and Eire!
> they're starting to call me Noshana. Because nothing happens to
> people >when they're around me. They go away and they say,
> "Nothing happened."
You sure you want such an exotic name? Did McDonald's get famous
by being exotic? You started well by sensibly calling yourself
"The NondualitySalon" not "The Advaita Ashram" and now you have
more members than any other Nondual Yahoo!Group list. You even
have 11 more members than me. May you could spare me a few
devotees after they have grown tired of "parsing each other's
statements for signs of non-dual thinking", as one of my recently
awakened students enlighteningly commented.
How about "Jerry Noshow" - you don't turn up and when you do
no-one can find 'You' because the Real You is invisible. The Show
could be considered truly bland and tasteless, as well as:
colourless, odourless, & intangible - and afterwards we can all
go and eat Mystic Pizza - which'll have absolutely Everything on
top - and a stuffed crust ...um yummy..I gotta go fill my tummy
Hey Jerry, do I qualify for inclusion in this weeks NDS
highlights? I'm taking serious time-off here to write this reply.
I'm gotta be writing about Ken Wilber's reckless promotion of the
"Rude Boy" as bona fide spiritual teacher in Andrew Cohen's
forthcoming book, but first I am going to wake some people
up...back in a minute..
We love you in the UK - "Go Jerry Go Jerry Go!"
dave oshana Enlightenment Now www.oshana.org/
p.s. If you don't use "Noshana/NoShow" can I have the first
option on it?
> Well, you know they are just happening (Did I say it right,
> Jerry? - Coach me! ;) )
They're always just happening. If that view is lost, freshness as
a teacher can be lost. I saw Douglas Harding give a talk with his
wife that they've probably given thousands of times. Yet
freshness was maintained. It could only be so because they feel
their work is just happening. They spoke for two hours. I got
exhausted watching them give their animated presentation. He's
Teachers who get popular and go out a lot have to keep fresh.
It's no different than being any other kind of performer. The
energy that's bringing about transformation may never lose its
power, the connection with source is never lost, but the human
teacher can get tired, sick, distracted, whatever. You've got
people, an organization, guys with pocked faces breaking legs.
They all depend on it all being fresh.
I have a friend in New York who for the last 15 years has been in
several guru cults and followed a few satsang teachers around.
Until he didn't. Since breaking away from all of that, he thought
very deeply about it for a few years. He came to somewhat the
same conclusion you did - Take a look at the students. In his
estimate, most of the ugly dynamics are due to low self esteem
and unresolved parental issues on the part of the students. He
actually wrote about this and posted it on NDS. There were
several angry responses to his message....
BRIAN EARLE AND CAROL S.
from Guru Ratings List
"Perhaps no one has ever had a teacher; and perhaps we need to
find someone to call teacher in order to realize that."
Carol S.: Who's the teacher?The one you project that role onto.
BRIAN: The cleaner the mirror, the more faithful the feedback.
We also use our friends and lovers the same way. These are people
we choose, and who choose us based on the ability to reflect back
what cannot otherwise be seen by us. Shadow stuff comes up in
relationship. When we take back ownership of all that we are, we
"realize" ourselves completely. The nice thing about guru yoga
(as opposed to other kinds of relational yoga, including intimacy
and therapy) is that it is conscious of itself AS yoga.
CAROL S.: My perception of her changes each time I'm with her; I
feel enlightened or disappointed or angry or scared or busted
or supported or deeply in love; but she never moves...it's me.
BRIAN: Only one who recognizes that he/she is not separate can
remain so unmoved. Unmoved in this case means having one's roots
fully penetrated into the absolute, while the wind blows and
bends the boughs.
CAROL: Who is the teacher? Nothing more or less than the mirror
of myself and my experience and my thinking.
BRIAN: Yes, the mind in other words (Tibetan Buddhism likens the
mind to a mirror).
Those who rest in this breath are like flat water that reflects
CAROL: Perhaps no one has ever had a teacher; and perhaps we
need to find someone to call teacher in order to realize that.
BRIAN: Good point. Before awakening we think we need the
validation, but it turns out we really don't.
This really turns the whole "guru rating" thing on its ear.
Anyone want to start at seeker rating list? Probably not. Hits to
close to home.
"Teachers of Enlightenment, whether they have a pleasing
personality, or a rough one, are DIRT."
> what makes a guru cult? well it certainly isn't the guru.
> it's those idiots that surround gurus.
Friggin hellarious analysis, matthew. Many tanks.
But you know, seen from another view, it's not the leader nor the
follower that should be singled out, any more than it's the dirt,
or in-grown hair, clogging some random skin pore, that causes
that unsightly zit or, if untreated, boil to explode on the skin
and make your life miserable for a day or a week (if you let it).
Teachers of Enlightenment, whether they have a pleasing
personality, or a rough one, are DIRT - common HAIRY DIRT! - and
they clog the skin-pores of Life, requiring immediate remedial
action - white blood cells swarm to the spot, like moths to the
enlightened, to deal with the situation in the only way they can
- hence, it gets noticed.
If Mr. or Ms. Dirty Hairy had not clogged the skin, it would have
been absorbed or expelled - a non-event - requiring no further
action. But, Dirty Hairy is invasive to the body of Life, and not
INTENDED to produce good effects (though for itself, it
"believes" otherwise), but only bad effects, and bad effects are
usually what you get.
But, no worries, mate, Life is big enough to deal with the
situation with a smile, and nary a notice.
So should you - keep your skin clean and healthy and you'll never
need to concern yourself with the effects of those Dirty Hairy
The most obvious and least seen cult on the planet is society.
James - I'm just going to be 'RUDE' here, and say:
On the contrary, The most obvious and least recognized cult on
the planet is individual humans - not just him, or her, or them -
but each one. Of course, society is comprised of humans, and
groups for enlightenment exist in society, and are simply part of
man's hormonal drive to community, to physical grouping.
Societies behave the way men behave and for the same reasons.
Each person, in the mind, operationally, is a cult - and one
which is much more Rude and Not-rude (even silly), than any Guru,
Teacher, etc., whose hand you could shake (and then run home and
criticize him/her for 'their way they are'.)
I couldn't PROVE this to you, but I could illustrate it to you -
and if you're reasonably sane you could See it.
Consider the internal application to one human nervous system at
the brain level: a man becomes his own cult leader; he is *very*
defensive to himself and others, constantly restating the
singularity and certainty of his goals and aspirations; always
and everywhere attempting to present the appearance of a unified,
stable intellectual body - his community of ideas (his
'certainty' about 'certain things'). In other, not so silly,
almost RUDE words: telling everybody just what kind of guru, er,
guy he is (and what HE thinks about 'that burning question of
The only way to break the bonds of genetic evolution, is to make
a PRIVATE effort for the release from the pretense toward
community that all men are forced to make. Hey, to go it alone
with real earned certainty.
James, is that a joke?
Sometimes a dictionary comes in handy:
1. a. The totality of social relationships among human beings. b.
A group of human beings broadly distinguished from other
groups by mutual interests, participation in characteristic
relationships, shared institutions, and a common culture. c.
The institutions and culture of a distinct self-perpetuating
2. An organization or association of persons engaged in a common
profession, activity, or interest: a folklore society; a
society of bird watchers.
3. a. The rich, privileged, and fashionable social class. b. The
socially dominant members of a community. -------
Regarding 1a, there is no way out: the mind-body is dependent on
others regarding the continuation of its existence. Wouldn't it
makes sense to make the 'best' of it? Regarding 1b, don't you
think it applies to you too? The same goes for 2 and it is a
subset of 1a. Regarding 3, a little investigation will show that
what now appears as 'justice', once was used to protect the
privileged from those who already were without rights but were in
the majority... Considering the "success" of justice systems, not
a surprise is it?
For cult, the dictionary gives: -------
1. a. A religion or religious sect generally considered to be
extremist or false, with its followers often living in an
unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian,
charismatic leader. b. The followers of such a religion or
2. A system or community of religious worship and ritual.
3. The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious
ceremony and ritual.
4. A usually nonscientific method or regimen claimed by its
originator to have exclusive or exceptional power in curing a
5. a. Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration
for a person, principle, or thing. b. The object of such
6. An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually
artistic or intellectual interest. -------
Wouldn't you agree that worship, devotion, interest, ritual
nearly have vanished from society? And that these elements are
obliged ingredients for the "glue" of a stable, tolerant and
righteous society? Have you ever visited 3rd world countries
outside the tourist circuit and talked to ppl for whom Westerners
are but arrogant, wealthy and unhealthy?
Society is composed of mass hypnotized people who worship and
The vast majority of people believe that they are their body,
mind and senses - try telling them that they are not and see the
Most feel that they are separate - that there is dualism -
especially those in the privleged world and they certainly
influence those in the 3rd world.
This is insecurity which comes from the ignorance of not knowing
'Who am I?' - and then grasping at that which provides
comfort/hope - something to believe in rather than face the
The members of all those other cults had to come from
Ramana said it well 'I AM THAT I AM sums up the whole truth, the
method is summarized in BE STILL' - try repeating this to the
average person in society...will it have a profound meaning so
that it transforms that persons life? - not likely, the
programming is deep.
Society is concencus reality - a cult.
Judi has premiered the ultimate in spiritual adornments. You can
see it at:
SARLO, SKYE AND BRUCE
An Englishman decided that he wanted to become Irish. After much
research he discovered that the only way to become truly Irish
was to have half his brain removed. He managed to find a surgeon
who would operate, but during the operation the doctor made a
dreadful mistake and removed his entire brain. When the man woke
up, the doctor said, "I'm very sorry, I've made a mistake.
Instead of taking half your brain, I removed it all!" To which
the patient replied, "No worries, mate!"
SKYE: Hehe but the problem is it doesn't work on us Sarlo. Don't
mean to sound biased ;-) - but the fact is, a quick trip to
PalTalk will confirm that the average Aussie is well informed,
refreshingly unpretentious, the least conditioned, indoctrinated
or religious, and therefore make the fairest (albeit it at times
controversial) no BS administrators with the busiest yet peaceful
rooms. No wucking furries mate :-)))))))))
BRUCE: Oh, c'mon Skye -- everyone Stateside knows that Aussies
are beer-swilling, croc-wrestling louts descended from convicts
too incorrigable for English prisons whose treatment of the
indigenous peoples of their oversized island makes the deeds of
Custer and Sheridan look like a U.N. peacekeeping foray! :-)
If Australia had enough population and even a modicum of economic
or military prowess, it'd surely be the undisputed hegemon of the
west Pacific. As it is, the mighty Ozmen had to be rescued from
the Japanese by none other than the Americans. However, when left
largely to its own devices after the war, the overall competence
level of the Aussies and their Kiwi neighbors ensured that the
ultimate west Pacific hegemon turned out to be Japan anyway,
despite utter defeat and nuclear devestation at the hands of the
Japan exports its world- class technology and exquisitely refined
culture all over the world, Australia provides Foster's, Paul
Hogan, Steve Irwin, Geoffery Rush, Cate (sigh...) Blanchette, and
Mel Gibson -- oops, Australia's biggest export industry turns out
be a Yank transplanted from New York! :-)
Well, at least the randy presence of so many GIs on leave in
Melbourne and Sidney while the war was on improved the
otherwise-pitiful Australian gene pool. :-)