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NDS digest, Monday, June 14

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  • Melody
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nondual Digest - Monday, June 14, 1999: To join the Nonduality Salon please go to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 15, 1999
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      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Nondual Digest - Monday, June 14, 1999:

      To join the Nonduality Salon please go to
      <http://www.onelist.com/subscribe/nondualitysalon>

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      From Melody:
      Subject: Singing over the bones


      The *first* death:


      Tonight I died.

      After years and years
      of holding my breath....

      of hiding in pain,
      and guarding my heart,

      I fell prey to my agony
      and died.

      No, not a gentle dying...like
      lying down for a nap, you will see.

      Nothing so dainty,
      or considerate, or sweet.

      Agony ate away
      at my skin and my heart,

      until...

      it picked
      my ugly old boney bones clean.


      And then I heard her.


      She began to rise up
      out of the dry, brittle ground

      and shake the whole earth
      with her song....

      with a wailing of sorrow,
      that quieted even young birds.

      The tears of the ages
      flowed thru her,

      turning dry, barren desert
      into pools of warm salty brine.

      And in such a pool,
      we began to breathe....

      as One,

      the song of life
      beginning to echo thru us.

      Arising from the ashes,
      from those ole rotten bones,

      so new, so natural,
      and so wild!

      Splashing, dancing,
      howling, we sang,

      and laughing so hard
      that we peed.

      Eeyaaaa oowwwww!

      So *this*
      is how it feels

      to be Alive!

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Andrew wrote:

      It's there all along, a matter of sitting still.
      Being the absolute is not something that can be
      avoided or gained or lost. The sitting still must
      be fierce, intense, charged with intent and urgency,
      this is another reason for the dramatic stories. My
      own major fault for a long time in my attempts at
      sitting was that I was too gentle, quiet, relaxed,
      too much concentrated on Tathagata's serene bliss
      as a model. Now I have learned to charge my sitting,
      and not just sitting, but all the activity of my
      life with energy, spirit, like a Nio (warrior guardian)
      or like Fudo (wrathful buddha) with his sword and
      lassoo, to capture and kill delusion and throw it
      into the fire. Now, after I sit meditating, my brain
      feels exercised, like after an intense game of chess
      for example. Stillness has intensity, it roars.

      Not extreme or rough in the sense of self punishing,
      but there must be a feeling of creativity, excitement, intense probing
      inquiry. To use the wind analogy,
      the fire needs a good supply of oxygen so it will
      burn bright and clear. Not a hurricane, but good
      steady breath.

      andrew

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Madhya Nandi:
      |What is "I-Consciousness?"


      nagasiva:
      the temporal awareness of fluctuating nervous system, born
      and dying in a flash like a shooting star

      Madhya:
      |...what is the pure essence of I-ness?

      nagasiva:
      which part of an automobile is its essence?

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      From: nagasiva@... (!)

      letting go of the self, not attaching to it or what
      it might or must be, there is still the presumption
      that 'it' has some essential reality, rather than
      that this essence is a fiction derived from a
      misperception of karma

      this presumption is a masquerade; unmasking the self
      as conditional and changing, existential angst remains

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      "!" = Ego
      "." = Truth
      "&" = Unity
      "?" = Sadhana
      "," = Argument
      "/" = Futility of words

      Tim

      zero:
      ! : /
      ?
      " , " !!!!
      " , "
      /
      ?
      "."
      &

      imth@
      zero

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Jan: A repost on memes (from an article by Susan Blackmore in New
      Scientist):

      "Hold out your arm in front of you. Whenever you feel
      like it, of your own
      free will, flex your wrist. Repeat this a few times, making sure you do it
      as consciously as you can. You'll probably experience some kind of decision
      process, in which you hold back from doing anything and then decide to act.
      Now ask yourself, what began the process that led to the action? Was it you?
      Neuroscientist Benjamin Libet of the university of California in San
      Francisco asked volunteers to do exactly that. A clock allowed the subjects
      to note exactly when they decided to act, and by fitting electrodes to their
      wrists, Libet could time the start of the action.More electrodes on their
      scalps recorded a particular brain wave pattern called the readiness
      potential, which occurs just before any complex action and is associated
      with the brain planning its next move. Libet's controversial finding was
      that the decision act came after the readiness potential. It looks like
      there is no conscious "self" jumping into the synapses and starting things
      off. This and other research has led me to believe that the idea of "self"
      is an illusion. You are nothing more than a creation of genes and memes in a
      unique environment. Memes are ideas, skills, habits, stories, songs or
      inventions that are passed from person to person by imitation. They have
      shaped our minds, leading to the evolution of big brains and language
      because these served to spread the memes. But the memes with the cleverest
      trick are those that persuade us that our "selves" really exist. We all live
      our lives as a lie."[...]

      Petros:

      That is a very interesting excerpt. Reminds me of the time, years ago, when
      I took a class in psychology at my old state college given by a teacher who
      was a rabid Skinnerian. He spent most of the semester disabusing the
      students of their notions of "free will" and agency. And I do mean
      disabusing -- the guy was very intense, vulgar, almost insulting at times.
      Many of the students fought him vigorously. But I loved every minute of it,
      and I was already halfway with him. That one class really evaporated what
      was left of my notions of "self" and "free will." It was only in an
      academic, rationalistic context without any advaita overtones. In a sense,
      this college professor may have been one of my earliest "gurus" without even
      being conscious of it.

      I recognize, however, that Skinner only dealt with the observation of
      outward behavior. Behaviorism does not deal in matters of "spirit" or
      ultimate truths. In this respect it is limited. But it is a step in the
      right direction.

      The study below is also reminiscient of the old Christian debates between
      free will and predestination which I used to engage in regularly. I have
      been accused of being an arch-Calvinist for my rejection of human free will,
      though it is plain that no where in scripture is the phrase "free will" to
      be found . . . whereas predestination (or Grace) is explicit throughout. I
      do prefer the word grace to the word predestination, by the way. To
      paraphrase a current catchphrase ("it's all good"), I would say, "It's all
      God!"

      People are going to believe in free will if they want to, because even that
      belief is determined by grace. But I feel that if one can eliminate this
      concept, it's moving one step closer to God. It is to remove one more
      barrier. (Anyway this is how I would explain myself to the uninitiated.)

      Skye:

      The study []is also reminiscient of the old Christian debates between free
      will and predestination which I
      used to engage in regularly. I have
      been accused of being an arch-Calvinist for my rejection of human free will,
      though it is plain that no where in scripture is the phrase "free will" to
      be found . . . whereas predestination (or Grace) is explicit throughout. I
      do prefer the word grace to the word predestination, by the way. To
      paraphrase a current catchphrase ("it's all good"), I would say, "It's all
      God!"

      The Krishanmurti's book "Freedom from the Known" goes into
      this. He says there is no such thing as freedom of thought, thoughts
      are always relative to the known or last thought. Without thought we
      are alert passionate loving action.


      GLo:
      In a sense, for Skinner there only was outward, learned behavior..however
      unknown or invisible the causes.)
      I read a true story re:Skinner. He and his students once trained some
      chickens to dance by using food rewards to demonstrate the principles of
      behaviorism, and after the experiment was over, someone took the dancing
      chickens out to entertain the public. Then there was an uproar and charges
      of "cruelty" over requiring these chickens to continue dancing, so they were
      quietly retired. Yet how many people live their whole lives as "dancing
      chickens"??

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Jan:
      Knowing there is no self, it should
      become possible to observe feelings like anger etc. arising before the idea
      "I am getting angry" is synthesized. This isn't control; it is the
      recognition that everything arises spontaneously. How mind is affected by
      what arises is evidenced by one's breathing; the reverse is true also and
      this is the reason for practices like pranayama (control of breath).

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


      Subject: Koans...

      Skye:
      Here is another; if all things return to the
      One, to what does the One return to?

      Petros:
      all things.

      Jerry:
      From: umbada@... (Jerry M. Katz)

      My koan was, "One plus one equals two. What is the more perfect answer?"

      It is one that came to me many years ago. I don't know how it holds up
      to the traditional koans or whether it closely resembles any of them.


      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Who is it that perceives? What is perceived? Over a quarter of century ago
      in a philosophy class I learned that Kant, a great German philosopher had
      reasoned that the "Thing in itself" can never be known. Kant argued that we
      can never truly know what we are perceiving in essence as the mind itself
      has built in categories which determine how perceptions take place. His
      conclusion was that we are limited to knowing only perceptions. The great
      nondual traditions focus on the nature of perception and the nature of the
      perceiver. The great master of masters, Ramana Maharshi, before whom the
      yogis and tantrics bowed, has said again and again to find out who the
      perceiver is. Who is the "I" that looks out and "sees". There lies the
      eternal clue which leads to the Eternal Realization or Recognition. So my
      dear and wonderful friends, what do you perceive? How do you perceive? Who
      perceives?

      Love to all

      Harsha


      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      From: "Harsha

      Forwarding from HarshaSatsangha


      From: "Debora A. Orf"

      [This story takes place on a "dark and stormy night".]
      Ching Ching: "What is that sound outside the gate?"
      Student: "It is the sound of raindrops." Ching Ching: "Human beings are
      perverted - they lose themselves and they chase after things."
      Student: "What about you, Master? Do you lose yourself?"
      Ching Ching: "I almost don't lose myself."

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

      Marcia:

      What I have observed but not really enough to say that I
      have verified it is that the emotions, the mind, and the
      body centres vibrate at different speeds. The emotions
      being the fastest and I think the body next followed by
      the thoughts. By the time a thought actually forms the
      other two centres are fully engaged.

      Another observation is that somehow paying attention
      to the coming and going of my breath feeds the
      emotions. If, for example, I am sensing my body and
      feeling from the inside the neural network and I begin
      to also pay attention to my breathing I get overwhelmed
      by emotion. It is the darndest thing.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Allowing the observation.....in particular, allowing
      the observation of resistance.... seems (for me) to
      be the key to picking up all my apples.

      I believe it was Jan who suggested (in an entirely
      different context) that one needs to 'drop' the
      Witness.

      Whoever said it, I chuckled....because I realized
      I have to 'have' it, before I can 'drop it'.

      As it is now, when I become One with the ocean,

      there is so much of 'me' left out...strown about
      the beach, and hidden away in suitcases, that 'I'
      never really melt.

      Melody

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      From: "Petros" <xristos@...>

      Another teacher, Nirmala, is coming to my area this weekend. I am not
      familiar with him but he is a former pupil of Neelam, who is a disciple of
      Poonjaji, who as everyone knows was a devotee of Ramana Maharshi.

      Here's a quotation from his site (http://www.boulder-satsang.com/Nirmala/):

      All pain must be faced
      and embraced as the true countenance of
      your beloved

      All fear must be met
      and recognized as the thrill of tasting
      the unknowable

      All joy must be surrendered
      and acknowledged as a gift with
      no giver

      This union only requires telling the truth
      even when the truth shatters your dreams
      even when the truth leaves you emptied out
      even when the truth reveals your counterfeit existence
      then there is no other possibility
      then happily ever after.



      Satsang will be Thursday, June 17 and Friday, June 18 (both at 7:30) and a
      retreat will be held that weekend. Location is: 3525 E. Tere St. Phoenix
      (Ahwatukee area)

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Marcia:

      What I have found for myself is that I seem to compartmentalize my ''i's"
      into some that I want to say are really "me" and some that I want to say
      are not who
      I really am. This compartmentalization
      is usually "against" some image. I cling to some of them. The real trick to
      not standing on the board you are
      trying to pick up has to do with letting go of all of them. That is seeing
      your own nothingness. It is frightening. To really see that nothing of who I
      thought I was had any substance scared the shit out
      of me. It has gotten easier.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      nagasiva:
      letting go of the self, not attaching to it or what
      it might or must be, there is still the presumption
      that 'it' has some essential reality, rather than
      that this essence is a fiction derived from a
      misperception of karma

      Tim:
      |I'm not understanding how you define "self" here.

      nagasiva:
      anything associated with the identity or essence of the
      writer of these words. compare a 'wave' in the water:
      we follow the form, but the essence constantly changes

      (nagasiva, earlier)
      |# this presumption is a masquerade; unmasking the self
      |# as conditional and changing, existential angst remains

      Tim:
      | So what is the cure for this "existential angst?"

      nagasiva:
      learning to tread water. letting go of fantasies about
      atmans and souls, the future and past collapse into the
      surfing now

      Tim:
      | Or do you believe the core of 'enlightenment' is eternal anxiety?

      nagasiva:
      nirvana's core is described well by words attributed to the
      mythical being Gautama Siddhartha the Buddha: it is the
      cessation of craving after the impermanent as if it was
      indeed unchanging. this craving extinguished like a candle
      flame, the angst over existence without permanence or
      absolute cause evaporates in laughter as the cosmic joke
      is realized

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Jan:

      Kant reminds of the analogy of looking through a keyhole. If a person is
      passing along the keyhole at a short distance, the observers can see,
      dependent of the height of their keyhole, one leg, two legs, a trunk or a
      head go by; different experiences due to the limitation of the observers. At
      a large distance, the observers could agree on having the same experience.
      But there wouldn't be any agreement with an observer, looking through a
      keyhole from above, for that observer would see something entirely
      different.

      As knowledge and understanding comes as a result from processing perceptions
      through such a keyhole, it follows that even identical experiences (like
      nirvikalpa samadhi) can result in a different interpretation / explanation.
      The consequence of this is that in order to understand someone properly
      (instead of having one's entirely "home made" interpretation), one has to
      bring one's keyhole at the same position of that of the one to be
      understood. This is easy in a personal communication where empathy and
      Silence can be more important than words but less easy when communicating
      via some twenty-six symbols.

      Jan

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


      Jerry M. Katz wrote:

      > "One plus one equals two. What is the more perfect answer?"

      andrew:

      "nothing from nothing makes nothing"

      Roshi Stevie WonderSan

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      rom: Tomas Diaz de Villegas <legas@...>

      I recently saw the movie "Pleasantville"- a brother and sister get
      zapped into one of those 50's black and white father knows best kinda
      worlds. It's a cooky backdrop but it was good- the brother and sister
      end up completely changing their universe with possibilities they never
      considered and soon color begins appearing in their black and white
      world!

      I think the reactions to the changes in the "Pleasantville", as well as
      the effect of these changes on the people, had metaphorical depth-
      enough for me to say it had nondual appetizer taste to it.


      while I'm on the subject and becuase I saw Tim provide an oldy and a
      goody (Altered States), I'de like to offer a few other interesting
      video's that I have enjoyed at one time or another (I actually had these
      writen on a list I keep):

      -Lost Highway (try to figure it out- it's a dark zen koan of movie)
      -In the Mouth of Madness (a little cheezy but has some interesting
      moments- dark Reality twisting with some cheezy horror thrown in-)
      -The Big Labowski (I loved this one- great fun, great characters-
      laughed my ass off- it had a jestfull and sweet nondual flavor)
      -Event Horizon- (This really freaked me out at the time- I saw this as a
      big metaphor for the drama surrounding the fear that must be faced)


      enjoy,

      Tomas
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


      >>From: "Skye Chambers"
      >
      >>Here is another; if all things return to the One, to what does the
      >>One return to?

      This question arises, only if we consider 'the things' as something
      *other* than the One manifesting... and thereby having to 'return'.
      When considered as... all is just 'whatever it is' manifesting, there
      is nothing that needs to return anywhere.

      >
      >Ooooh... that's a killer :-) Kinda similar to "If God created all things,
      >who created God?"
      >

      This question arises only because of the use of the word 'created',
      which implies two separate entities.

      If it is phrased... "If God *became* all things,"
      separation is no longer implied, and 'implied duality' no longer exists.

      ( /\ )

      sam

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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