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Thursday, March 21, 2002

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  • Jerry Katz
    The Nondual Highlights Outstanding posts sent to the Nonduality Salon email list and other online forums Thursday, March 21, 2002 The 1015th Edition Search all
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      The Nondual Highlights

      Outstanding posts sent to the Nonduality Salon email list
      and other online forums

      Thursday, March 21, 2002

      The 1015th Edition

      Search all Editions of the Nondual Highlights:

      Editors: Jerry Katz, Gloria Lee, Christiana Duranczyk, Michael Read, John Metzger

      Today's Highlights Edited by


      Welcome to new subscribers to The Highlights. Please know that every issue is different. You never know what will show up. This issue features an exquisite excerpt from Mercedes De Acosta's book, Here Lies the Heart. She was one of the first women to meet with Ramana. It's an uplifting report. After that the articles turn to the nitty gritty grind of reminders that the nondual is elusive and yet... . Well, I'll let this issue speak for itself. --Jerry


      Image originally posted to Hafiz list, by Moustafa Arablou



      Mercedes De Acosta

      Excerpts from her book: Here Lies The Heart

      the whole direction of my life turned
      toward India and away from Hollywood. I felt that I
      would surely go there although there was nothing at this
      time to indicate that I would.

      ...I used to go constantly to Adrian's. When we came
      from the studio we often had dinner by ourselves in his
      house or he would give parties and ask me to help him
      arrange the table or receive his guests. At one of these
      dinners I met Paul Brunton who had written a book called
      A Search in Secret India. When I read this book it had a
      profound influence on me. In it I learned for the first
      time about Ramana Maharshi , a great Indian saint and
      sage. It was as though some emanation of this saint was
      projected out of the book to me. For days and nights
      after reading about him I could not think of anything
      else. I became, as it were, possessed by him. I could
      not even talk of anything else.

      So much so, that as a joke, Adrian made a drawing of me
      peering out from behind a group of Indians and wrote
      under it A SEARCH IN SECRET INDIA. But nothing could
      distract me from the idea that I must go and meet this
      saint. From this time on, although I ceased to speak too
      much about it, the whole direction of my life turned
      toward India and away from Hollywood. I felt that I
      would surely go there although there was nothing at this
      time to indicate that I would. Nevertheless, I felt I
      would meet the Maharshi and that this meeting would be
      the greatest experience of my life.


      And this time I wanted most of all to go to India to see
      the great Indian sage and saint, Ramana Maharshi, and I
      felt that I must go at once.

      I had very little money, far too little to risk going to
      India, but something pushed me toward it. I went to the
      steamship company and booked myself one of the cheapest
      cabins on an Indian ship, the S.S. Victoria sailing from
      Genoa to Bombay toward the beginning of October.


      I left Pondicherry and spiritually turned my heart
      toward Tiruvannamalai where the Maharshi lived. To get
      there, however, I had to return to Madras. On my way to
      Madras I had an amusing experience. This particular day
      I traveled third class in order to study the native
      types, but the only occupants of the coach besides
      myself were an old Indian (wearing a loincloth) and a
      well-dressed young Indian barrister. Presently the
      conductor appeared and began to talk very excitedly to
      me in the language of southern India-Tamil. I shrugged
      my shoulders and said in English that I did not
      understand Tamil, at the same time displaying my ticket
      and making signs that I hoped there was nothing wrong
      with it. The old man leaned forward and, in the most
      scholarly English, asked if he might translate for me
      and explain what the conductor was saying. I was
      delighted and asked if anything was wrong with the
      ticket. "It is not your ticket he is asking about. He is
      asking if you believe in the unity of the Divine and the
      individual soul."

      Not a little staggered by this question, I tried,
      however, to appear as though such an inquiry from a
      railroad conductor was the most natural in the world. I
      then replied that I was of the opinion that there is no
      separation between the Divine Source and the individual
      soul. My interpreter conveyed my sentiments to the
      conductor who beamed at me and nodded and bowed, making
      me understand that he, too, held these same views. He
      then mumbled something and rushed off into the other
      coach. "He says he is going to collect the tickets," the
      loinclothed one remarked, "but he will soon return for
      further conversation." He not only returned, but he
      settled himself down next to me, peering into my face,
      and until I reached my destination we four discussed the
      Vedas, the old man translating from time to time to the

      In Madras I hired a car and, so anxious was I to arrive
      in Tiruvannamalai that I did not go to bed and traveled
      by night, arriving about seven o'clock in the morning
      after driving almost eleven hours. I was very tired as I
      got out of the car in a small square in front of the
      temple. The driver explained that he could take me no
      further as there was no road up the hill where Bhagavan
      could be found. I learned then to call the Maharshi
      "Bhagavan," which means Lord and is a title by which he
      was always addressed.

      A religious ceremony was in progress, and men wearing
      bright-colored turbans and women in their festive saris
      were already surging into the square, carrying garlands
      of flowers and images of Siva. I did not linger to watch
      them, but turned toward the hill of Arunachala and
      hurried in the hot sun along the dust-covered road to
      the abode about two miles from the town where the Sage
      dwelt. As I ran those two miles up the hill, deeply
      within myself I knew that I was running toward the
      greatest experience of my life. I was no longer tired
      and I was unaware of the distance and of the heat of the
      sun on my uncovered head. I ran the whole way and when I
      reached the ashram I was not even out of breath.

      Though only 2,665 feet high, Arunachala dominates the
      landscape. It looks as though a giant hand had quietly
      opened and dropped it into place. From the south side of
      the ashram it is just a symmetrical hill with two almost
      equal foothills, one on either side. But its aspect
      changes as the sun moves and the light varies. It has
      many faces and early in the morning a white cloud often
      drapes what seems to be its brow-in reality its summit.

      The ashram was a small place. I remember only a stone
      hall where day and night Bhagavan sat on a couch. Not
      far from this hall, scattered around the hill, were
      small houses where some of the disciples lived including
      his brother. I am told that all this has greatly
      changed. Once the Sage's great spiritual reputation
      began to spread, the ashram grew larger. In my time
      comparatively few people journeyed to see Bhagavan and
      only a few Western women had ever been there.

      In 1943 Heinrich Zimmer, the famous authority on Indian
      spiritual thought, wrote a book about the Maharshi
      called The Way of the Self for which Jung wrote a
      preface. In recent years, and especially since his death
      in 1950, Bhagavan has become widely known all over the

      The Sage in Somerset Maugham's book The Razor's Edge is
      supposed to be Ramana Maharshi. It is possible that this
      is so as a few weeks before my visit to the ashram,
      Somerset Maugham had been there. I was told that an
      English author had come to see Bhagavan and had fainted
      when first coming into his presence. I asked his name
      but they did not know how to pronounce it. One of the
      disciples retired and came back with Somerset Maugham
      written on a piece of paper. A few years later I saw Mr.
      Maugham in New York and inquired if he had actually been
      to see the Maharshi. He said he had, but I did not feel
      I should trespass on a possible spiritual experience by
      asking if it was true that he had fainted.

      When, dazed and filled with emotion, I first entered the
      hall, I did not quite know what to do. Coming from
      strong sunlight into the somewhat darkened hall, it was,
      at first, difficult to see. Nevertheless, I perceived
      Bhagavan at once, sitting in the Buddha posture on his
      couch in the corner. At the same moment I felt overcome
      by some strong power in the hall as if an invisible wind
      was pushing violently against me. For a moment I felt
      dizzy. Then I recovered myself.

      To my great surprise I suddenly heard an American voice
      calling out to me, "Hello, come in." It was the voice of
      an American named Guy Hague , who originally came from
      Long Beach, California. He told me later that he had
      been honorably discharged from the American Navy in the
      Philippines and had then worked his way to India, taking
      up the study of Yoga when he reached Bombay. Then he
      heard about Sri Ramana Maharshi and, feeling greatly
      drawn to him, decided to go to Tiruvannamalai. When I
      met him he had already been with the Maharshi for a
      year, sitting uninterruptedly day and night in the hall
      with the Sage.

      He rose from where he was sitting against the wall and
      came toward me, taking my hand and leading me back to a
      place beside him against the wall. He did not at first
      speak to me, allowing me to pull myself together. I was
      able to look around the hall but my gaze was drawn to
      Bhagavan who was sitting absolutely straight in the
      Buddha posture looking directly in front of him. His
      eyes did not blink or in any way move. Because they
      seemed so full of light I had the impression they were
      gray. I learned later that they were brown, although
      there have been various opinions as to the color of his
      eyes. His body was naked except for a loincloth. I
      discovered soon after that this and his staff were
      absolutely his only possessions. His body seemed firm
      and as if tanned by the sun, although I found that the
      only exercise he ever took was a twenty-minute walk
      every afternoon at five o'clock when he walked on the
      hill and sometimes greeted Yogis who came to prostrate
      themselves at his feet.

      The rest of the time, day and night, and for over half a
      century, he had been sitting on his couch. He was a
      strict vegetarian, but he only ate what was placed
      before him and he never expressed a desire for any kind
      of food. As he sat there he seemed like a statue, and
      yet something extraordinary emanated from him. I had a
      feeling that on some invisible level I was receiving
      spiritual shock from him although his gaze was not
      directed toward me. He did not seem to be looking at
      anything, and yet I felt he could see and was conscious
      of the whole world. "Bhagavan is in Samadhi," Guy Hague

      Samadhi is a very difficult state to explain. In fact I
      do not think anyone has ever explained it. Doctors have
      tried to analyze it from a medical and physical point of
      view, and have failed. I have heard it described as "a
      state of spiritual ecstasy in which consciousness leaves
      the body." But this is not the whole phenomenon, as the
      breath stops and so does the beating of the heart. But
      it is not a form of trance as in the trance state both
      of these continue. It is claimed that Samadhi is a state
      attained only by highly Enlightened people--people who
      have reached Spiritual Illumination. It is a state where
      the spirit temporarily leaves the body and goes into one
      of bliss. All the Enlightened Ones who have attained
      Samadhi describe it as Bliss. In the last century the
      great saint Ramakrishna often went into Samadhi. The
      Maharshi would go into it for hours at a time, and often
      for days. When I arrived at the ashram he had already
      been in it seven hours.


      BOB ROSE

      This sentence from Greg Goode was on the ND Highlights
      and caught my eye: "And what did you think of the
      well-known argument between Gangaji and Andrew Cohen?" I
      think a good way to get my eye(I) uncaught would be by
      knowing what went down between these two. Did she bite
      his ear or did he hit her after the bell? So, what


      Harsha returns to explain historical appeal of styles of

      This is hilarious... Look at it this way. Everyone
      is shuffling one way or the other. Whether it is the
      Advaita Shuffle or the anti Advaita Shuffle, the Yoga
      Shuffle, or the modified Advaita Shuffle or the Tantra
      shuffle or the Neo versions of various shuffles. Whether
      it is the guru shuffle or the student shuffle, and
      whether it is the intellectual shuffle or the emotional
      shuffle, or the bliss shuffle, shuffling happens. Any
      point of view on which type of Shuffling is best will
      quickly lead to an opposing view. The central question
      always is "Where do I stand." To Know Where One Stands
      One must Know One's Own Self. Well, if you are always
      shuffling and watching other people shuffle and trying
      to decide which is the most competitive shuffle, then
      the question, "Where do I stand" cannot capture the
      attention and hold your interest and is of limited
      value. In such a case where is the harm in shuffling?
      Any type of shuffling will do. Shuffle away.


      Bob, you deserve an answer! It had to do with Andrew
      accusing Gangaji of doing the "advaita shuffle" to avoid
      those really tough questions.


      When this first came up on NDS, there were some funny
      posts in response, if anyone cares to read those too.




      Non-attachment is a natural characteristic of your
      deepest part - Consciousness. Bliss is a by-product of
      Awakening. It's not a problem being in bliss – the
      deepest part of you doesn't get attached to bliss.
      However, bliss is a preferable state to be in for a
      *human being*. Anyone who says that they do not
      distinguish between a toilet and a palace is being
      misleading, and possibly, has been mislead to talk about
      things of which they have *no* direct, first hand
      experience. The deepest part of you - Consciousness -
      has no preferences, but you as a "human being" by nature
      do have preferences.

      The reason why I stress as "as a human being" in my
      current writings is because some people have the strange
      misconception that they are "nothing" rather than
      "nothing plus a body" - and the term "body" here is
      shorthand for the whole package including mind, emotion,
      intuition etc. Even more hilariously they go around
      trying to disabuse other people of the idea that they

      "But I don't exist" they proclaim "and you don't exist
      either!". It's hilarious in the pub, but ridiculous on
      the street.

      Boldly, and foolishly they declare, "You don't exist.
      There is no-one there".

      This has become something of a fashion in some circles,
      and like many fads, like skateboarding, break-dancing
      and roller-blading, will pass but not before leaving a
      number of casualties in it's wake.

      There may even be fatalities.

      Here lies poor demented.
      He declared he didn't exist
      And with that,
      and a ten ton lorry,
      his Fate was cemented."


      Dave, are you trying to tell me I exist? That's funny on
      the street, you know, but totally out of line here on

      I believe I might narc you to the
      authorities, if Gene will ever tell me who THEY are.

      At any rate, I have this splendid anti-meditation
      meditation I like to do while walking to work. As I
      walk, I take in as much sensation as possible. Then, I
      begin to take in hyper-sensation. Essentially, seeing
      what is beneath the skins of those bodies I am moving
      through. Bricks, thru-wall flashing, weatherstripping,
      metal studs or masonry, carpet, cabling, nails, tacks,
      dustmotes. You get the picture, finer and finer grain.
      Somedays, it seems that I am walking through a giant
      coded stage set. Really, if I could simply believe it
      enough, I could move entire buildings. Why do they stay
      stuck? It befuddles me. They are being held in place by
      others' thoughts, and others inability to see what I am
      seeing, the groundless data that makes the stageset. If
      we could just all get on board, we'd be shifting the
      stage set with ease.

      This is, actually, much easier to do with my "own body",
      this sort of hypermaterialization and stageset shifting.
      Hypervisualization of innards, layer upon layer of
      innards, innards of the gut sort and beyond, a whole
      stage set of workings, and these more obligingly shift.

      The curious thing about my "own body" is that sure, it
      shifts, but that puts a sort of pressure on when the
      body isn't doing the shifting. So, you might say that
      the body, this stratification of coded material, is a
      mind in its own. When I push on it with my "own mind", I
      push against its "own mind" if the two aren't in
      alignment. This causes all sorts of knots and

      So, this makes me wonder a bit about the city, its "own
      mind" (versus my "own mind" and the "own minds" of
      others) and how much knottiness and crankiness are
      inadvertently being created.

      But then, knottiness and crankiness are just more code.
      Another layer of innards.

      Doesn't prove that anything exists, but it sure beats
      playing scrabble.


      Saying something, implies something is being said.

      Saying nothing exists, implies there is something
        being said about nothing existing.

      How silly.

      Nothing has ever been said, about what can't be said.

      Say what?


      The body wanted immortality, so it invented... SEX! The
      mind wanted immortality, so it invented...

      Splendid, indeed! And tanks fer dat!!!

      Many who live almost totally in-the-head, fail to enjoy
      the life of the body. Afterall, IT has a life too,
      doncha know!?

      Many who talk about Enl... and Awa.. and Lib..., seem to
      forget that Sex is the physical, material, form that E,
      A, and L are patterned after.

      The body wanted immortality, so it invented... SEX! The
      mind wanted immortality, so it invented...

      Trouble is, of course, the body can do what the mind can
      never do - have BABIES!! Oh sure, it can talk about
      having babies, but where's the PROOF!? Just more words,
      just more talk.

      Sex, now there's a trick. Cell division, replication,
      duplication, what glorious concepts, being in TWO PLACES
      at ONCE!

      Just imagine, all the fun one could have if one could
      actually BE in two places at once (not in imagination,
      in reality). One could be King of the World!

      The mind wants immortality, just like the body does, but
      the body is much further along, evolutionarily, than the
      mind is, and the mind don't like that much, being so far
      behind the body, being secondary to the primary life of
      the body.

      So, it invents stories, to wile away the hours, to wile
      away the life, and pretends that the STORIES are little
      BABIES. Babies, that it sends out into the world, to
      live in other peoples' brains, in hopes that they'll
      grow, there, into something approximating the Parent.
      And, the really hilarious thing is, some people actually
      BELIEVE they can DO IT!!!

      We call them - teachers, gurus, masters.


      "But I don't exist" they proclaim "and you don't exist
      either!". It's hilarious in the pub, but ridiculous on
      the street. Boldly, and foolishly they declare, "You
      don't exist. There is no-one there". --Dave Oshana

      You're being too fair here! Not everyone who claims not
      to exist allows others not to exist as well. They don't
      always spread the wealth like that. In this verbal
      nondual skateboarding game, many people say of
      *themselves* that they don't exist, but lament that the
      other one still *does* exist. The other person's worst
      fault might just be not to have gone to nondual language


      I know a lot of things about a lot of teachers who say
      they are "permanently resting in the Self and beyond
      duality." As they say in New York, "so what else is
      new?" Greed, dishonesty, intolerance, arrogance, theft,
      sexual predation, manipulation. The world turns.... The
      way you find that kind of stuff out is to get to know
      the teachers offstage.




      One group of individuals hungering for attention and an
      escape from the tedium of their lives.

      Add one dollop of self-loathing to each over the course
      of their lives.

      Stir in one bigtime guru who says it's all ok

      Mix together with dozens of suggestions and

      Sprinkle liberally with mass hypnosis

      and presto! You've got bliss!



      IS IT YOU?

      hey you. yes you.
      whatcha doin'? believing in stuff?
      oh, how delightful!

      there is so much to believe and to believe in, isn't
      there? keeps one going too.

      what's that? ah, you believe that if you believe in
      enough stuff, some of it is bound to be the right stuff
      to believe. so, your bases are covered!

      oh no, you say. you only believe in what's true. and of
      course since you believe it, it is true. and you can
      prove it.

      you have all these decorations and testimonials to back
      you up. you have the words of those you call master. you
      have your experiences and your very own logic to
      describe and define your experiences. you have your
      lineages, scriptures, visions, teachers, preachers,
      learned friends, and the truth of your convictions to
      mine for proof of your belief.

      you have nothing but a misty fabrication that will
      dissolve in one moment leaving no trace.

      you can run but you can't hide - michael



      That there is:
      No high without low;
      No thing without some thing.
      No Duality without non-duality
      as No thing exists independently
      there is No thing.


      Question: with such a meaningless/meaningful post
      as this, why did you sign it? Why did you provide the
      dancefloor, upon which these meaningless/meaningful
      words could be read? Why do you sign your name with
      "Love". Why do you point the reader elsewhere than allow
      them to dwell in the utter
      meaninglessness/meaningfulness of the event?

      Question: is Enlightenment, just the clever, sometimes
      enigmatic, sometimes high-sounding words we use to
      impress ourselves? If we are not there to hear it, then
      who's Enlightened?




      Dance of Identity (0/1)

      Must get it right, lest
      Pumpkin status be reached
      'fore midnight,

      Black tie or clown,
      The preferred manner
      Is able to make standard

      The Way; say
      "I meant to do that",
      Cue others self-doubt,

      Thus to own the context
      And to be empowered
      To punch their tickets;

      Live wire, or
      Poor conductor;
      Flux collapses momentarily...

      Perpetual bulb shining
      Bright, filament of
      Your own imagination,

      You see not that
      You generate your
      Own current events,

      But when you blow it
      You re-fuse to switch,
      Short, in the circuit;

      Heated by the passion
      Of difference,
      Radiant, not embarrassed,

      Seeing not (for lights are out)
      That the world you see
      Is what you protest...

      "Sacred mirror of inverse
      Cavitation, regress
      Forever from me... "



      hey, you've heard of the Hinayana School of Buddhism?
      I'm into the BennyHinnayana School of Buddhism. It's
      Buddha in a white leisure suit. He holds up a flower, a
      fat lady falls down on the stage and starts shaking like

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