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Saturday, September 21

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  • John Metzger
    NDhighlights Edition #1204 Saturday, September 21, 2002 Edited by John http://www.nonduality.com/hlhome.htm ... Dan Berkow Hi Drew -- Do you handle all your
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 22 4:22 AM
      NDhighlights   Edition #1204
      Saturday, September 21, 2002
      Edited by John

      Dan Berkow  
      Hi Drew --

      Do you handle all your conversations this way?

      Was just interested in a bit of conversation, not scholarly
      reference materials.

      You raised a couple of points, and I asked you to
      explain the statements. Honestly, scholarly
      reference material is the furthest from my mind --
      something more along the lines of spontaneous
      give and take is what seems interesting to me

      I do get that spontaneous give and take is not
      what you're interested in, in our conversation.
      Also, you seem
      hesitant to declare your thoughts on the
      points you raised, and I infer that your
      caution has to do with the idea that someone
      must do a lot of reading of many words before
      they can understand something you might have
      to say.

      What ends up happening though, is that you've
      presented doubts about whether Wilber or
      Cohen know what they're talking about,
      and then pointed to other references, rather
      than just saying directly what you were thinking
      of when you said that.

      Is this your view of enlightenment -- that one
      must consult various references before something
      straightforward could be said?

      I'm from a totally different understanding -- I
      find that someone can easily say directly
      what their understanding is or isn't, and can
      easily and immediately say what they meant
      if they implied a criticism of someone else's
      limited understanding.

      I have found some limitations in Wilber's and Cohen's
      expressions of what they consider enlightenment.
      I'm sure my findings are biased, and are an opinion
      expressed from a limited, individual perspective.

      I've found that Wilber has aligned his understanding with a
      progressive, developmental model that is highly conceptual without
      seeming fully grounded in nonconceptual clarity. Nonconceptual
      clarity isn't the outcome of progressive cognitive develop-
      ment, and he seemingly makes this correlation when
      he discusses enlightenment. The same model leads to
      a dismissive attitude toward cultures that "lack development"
      according to the scheme. However, that doesn't mean
      that none of his critiques of other cultures have merit.
      For example, his comments about cultures that repudiate
      equality of men and women hold some value.

      Cohen seems bent on establishing himself as a personal
      authority, and seems to need material to diminish
      those who disagree with his stance. He puts a heavy
      emphasis on discipline and responsibility, but seems
      to use these ideas in self-serving ways, which promote
      his correctness and authoritativeness, and in fact,
      imply the need for an authority like himself.

      Do you think me bold to make such statements without
      bringing in references? They are just spur-of-the-moment
      opinion. Probably not worth much. Opinions are subject
      to change at a moment's notice, and are always biased.
      Of course, this is true of scholarly well-researched
      opinion, as well.

      Certainly, one
      can't equate opinion with enlightenment whatsoever.
      But then, one can't equate enlightenment with nonconceptual
      knowing, either. Enlightenment has far too much said
      about it, to be nonconceptual knowing.


      Brother Void   salon.com
      "We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or don't do, and more in the light of what they suffer."
      -- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

      As you watch TV or gaze up the corporate ladder, everyone but you seems accomplished and successful. How sweet it is, then, to realize that failure is what life is all about; failure is why you're here. Isn't there more nobility in your failed attempt to conquer your self, or to relieve the solitude of the one you love, or to just continue living this difficult life in the face of oncoming death than there is in the greatest success of any banker, brain surgeon or late-night aerobics instructor? You can ultimately succeed only at unimportant things. The loftiest things in life always end in failure. So the next time you're suffering from low self-esteem, remember this: Every beautiful, rich, successful person you see on TV will, like you, fail at what matters to them most. If you seek something worthwhile, seek failure.

      E-course   "Practicing Spirituality with Buddhists"



      When one is nobody, and has nothing, there is no danger of warfare or attack, and there is peace. The mango tree laden with fruit did not have a moment's peace; everybody wanted its fruit. If we really want peace, we have to be nobody. Neither important, nor clever, nor beautiful, nor famous, nor right, nor in charge of anything. We need to be unobtrusive and have as few attributes as possible. The mango tree with no fruit was standing peacefully in all its splendor, giving shade. To be nobody does not mean doing nothing. It means acting without self-display and without craving for results. The mango tree had shade to give, but it did not display its wares or fret whether anyone wanted its shade. This ability allows for inner peace.
      — Ayya Kema in Be an Island: The Buddhist Practice of Inner Peace

      To Practice This Today: Opt out of "anything you can do, I can do better" games where superiority or inferiority are the measure of a person. Try not to draw attention to yourself. Notice the intimations of inner peace that come with such a selfless approach.

      Read a review of Be an Island

      felix [excerpt]
      Bowing and scraping before the supposed best life has to
      offer seems fairly easy. You do your little week-end hiatus
      and get in line to receive the blessings and inspiration of
      a saint, and it seems the proper thing to do. Why not? You
      go back to your job and your comforts to see if your friends
      and co-workers notice the difference in your new-found
      demeanor, and life goes on... and on.

      This begging routine seems to have an ancient history. It
      still works. Get up from behind your computer monitor, take
      all the contents of your pocket, and walk out the door of
      your comfort empty-handed. Stay gone for a year without
      calling anyone who knows you, and live only on the kindness
      of strangers with no other resources. Do not steal or hurt
      anyone to get what you need to survive. Prove to yourself
      your spiritual values will sustain you. Then... you'll gnow.
      Thank you, Felix.
      Yes, we are all already bowing....just a question of to what.
      There's another challenge I once had to deal with - empty pockets,
      3 kids to take care of, and  a mortgage... walking away from it all then
      looked easier than staying. This is only to say that there's more than
      one way to find out if your spiritual values will sustain you, and for some
      people it can be getting a job and going into the office. It's hard to know
      what people are going thru, and kinda pointless to compare them.
      I actually did this for a year. It's a breeze compared to getting up and going to the office and dealing with the world in all it's complexities and moral challenges.
      Of course, it's not a breeze for people who are stuck there. Which is a very different experience from the walk-about-in-faith you're sort of recommending. We come to our lessons in the way they are intelligible to us at a given point in time. I think there are actually only a few lessons but we have to learn and re-learn them in multiple contexts until we get it that the lesson is the same.
      Om Shanti to panhandlers, givers and workers everywhere.
      Love, kristi

      Bob Rose   meditation society of america
      Well it seems that Nasrudin the well known Mullah was
      once asked his favorite joke.
      "Friends please do no not ask me to retell it. I
      laugh so much that I
      have never been able to get to the punch line - so
      even I don't know
      the complete joke."

      "Nasrudin what is funny?"
      "When I laugh at your suffering that is funny."
      "When you laugh at mine it is not."


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