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Highlights, Friday, Nov. 12

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  • umbada@xx.xxxxxxxxx.xxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx)
    These are the highlights from the Nonduality Salon for Friday, November 12, 1999, from cross hairs to butt prints and everything in between... --Jerry
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 13 10:18 PM
      These are the highlights from the Nonduality Salon for
      Friday, November 12, 1999, from cross hairs to butt prints
      and everything in between...



      The idea of cross hairs may seem violent and attacking to
      you, but the day you get your own self right in those cross
      hairs will be your lucky day. Out with the old, in with the



      Nonduality does not appear. That's why it is nonduality.
      What appears is just verbiage and an occasional pretty


      You make an excellent point.
      It's quite paradoxical to words.
      Nonduality appears to an individual who has no existence in
      the Nonduality that has no appearance. The individual is
      then free to express This, which is not expressible.



      I ... see the formation of images of self and others, not
      only as accounting for conflict and social division, but
      inspiring much rejoicing, awesome creativity, love and

      To me it is the imposing of our personal images on others
      that bogs us down. Personalities free to bloom unjudged are
      as innocent and varied as a field of wild flowers.



      I once had a really huge desire to make someone
      *listen* to what my heart is sharing, but that desire is
      shrinking more and more every day, thanks to a great extent
      to this list, and for those of you who refuse to hear what I
      say. Kind of funny, isn't it? Life's a mystery. <s>


      yes this is fading for me too, though i still yearn to have
      what i communicate from the *heart* be *felt* as such.
      So much misses the mark via e-mail words and gets received
      by the intellect only.

      Actual life is so much more precise. There we have vocal
      tones and subtle unconscious gestures directing cupids
      arrows directly to the heart.

      Life's a mystery alright.



      All I want is to be free to hold nothing, All I want is to
      be free to be fully and fearlessly with whatever is
      occurring here and now

      I commit to being open to the meanings I am generating, to
      be allow the meanings to be


      Yes, this was my affirmation too, in my 'Illusions of
      Duality' post, but it was interpreted as sounding like some
      sort of idealistic wish list and being "very defensive about
      some supposed "nondual line".

      In actuality my sense of nonduality is acutely enhanced by
      accepting what is occurring here and now. I experience life
      more fully by this holding nothing as separate, as more or
      less precious, be it personal or nondual. I come from a
      species of consciousness who are studying the energies of
      'allowing' with loving endeavor. A species of
      consciousness, no more or less precious than those studying
      the energies of suffering.


      This classic piece from Thomas Merton in Seeds of
      Contemplation might be meaningful. It was written in the
      40's and he uses 'men' instead of 'people'.


      "I wonder if there are twenty men alive in the world now who
      see things as they really are. That would mean that there
      were twenty men who were free, who were not dominated or
      even influenced by any attachnment to any created thing or
      to their own selves or to any gift of God, even to the
      highest, the most super-naturally pure of His graces. I
      don't believe that there are twenty such men alive in the
      world. But there must be one or two. They are the ones who
      are holding everything together and keeping the universe
      from falling apart."


      In the Jewish religion it is said there are 16 people who
      hold up the world. Whatever. Let the other 14 fight it
      out. They can sign up for this list. To me, the point of
      this way of looking things is that it's very hard to see
      what is. But if there are one or two or 16 people who see
      what is, then a portion of us must also see what is. That
      would be the holistic interpretation of Merton or the Jews.
      A small portion of us is free. And spiritual life is the
      opening to that part of us that is free, that in fact keeps
      the universe from falling apart.

      Letting go of struggle and fear is necessary, yet this
      involves its own struggle with the kind of attention
      required to do that.



      Judgement is one of the primary functions of ego-mind that
      holds the illusion of duality in place. But, you must know
      that, at least as a concept.

      ==GENE POOLE==

      Another way of saying this derives from the 'Power VS Force'

      "A person becomes susceptible to any force which that person
      subscribes to".

      It is indeed possible to actually see and understand that we
      are 'power', and that use of force is an unwise expenditure
      of one's power. This is an understandable relationship
      between 'abiding awareness' (that is, awareness which
      'sticks around', does not go away, does not wildly
      fluctuate) and the consequences of unwise reaction to
      _perceived conditions_.

      Abiding awareness is able to see that everything that seems
      to happen, is happening in a continuum of self-referential
      reflections. Abiding awareness sees that all of this
      apparent activity, this movement, this ebb and flow,
      constantly creates itself by referring to itself.

      It is possible for abiding awareness to reinforce itself, by
      the act of abiding. This is the same as stabilizing in
      non-reactivity as a way of Being. So stabilized, the
      'difference' between the self-creating, self-referential
      movements, and the nature of abiding awareness becomes more
      and more clear.

      Soon, it becomes apparent that any expenditure of power
      (so-done by the application of force) involves what could be
      considered to be a 'sacrifice' of power, as power (abiding
      awareness) is manifested, by choice, as force.

      Abiding awareness abides by virtue of the 'act' of abiding,
      and this 'act' is non-reaction to the impulse to expend
      power by converting power to force. Thus conserved, gifts
      of power as _force_ may be skillfully given, perfectly
      timed, as a gift, to awaken another. This kind of
      intervention is ruled _only_ by compassion.

      Great Power results from wise regulation of reaction;
      abiding awareness abides, as a result of wise conservation
      of power. Great Power may choose to gift to 'lesser power'
      (awareness which has not yet learned what leads to Great
      Power, eg, the deliberate non-reaction which results from
      cultivated non-attachment, which leads to abiding), lessons
      which will lead to an understanding of compassion as the
      highest power. This gifting is indeed an intervention.

      Compassion transcends all imaginings of harm or benefit.
      Compassion is what is going on as the 'project of
      civilization', as Dan referred to it. As the Greatest
      Power, compassion leads, and all lesser powers follow. In
      this Rhumba-chain, which undulates through human history,
      compassion is in the lead, and the reactive users of force
      bring up the rear. Reactionary ones feel the 'crack the
      whip' sensation at the end of the line, and desiring more
      control, try to fight their way forward. Inevitably, as one
      moves forward toward the beginning, the effects of
      compassion become more pronounced; in this way, is a system
      of refinement in place, which includes everyone.


      Melody: Would we be feeling such regret, without a sense of
      guilt? Is not 'guilt' ego centered?

      Jan: Not necessarily; suppose you are walking on a path in
      the woods, don't see a beetle and crush it. Whatever the
      "explanation" for this (karma, guilty of being not
      attentive, ignorance), you crushed a creature and it doesn't
      feel good. Guilt is said to be ego-based when there is the
      sense of "I am the doer"; when this sense has left one still
      wouldn't feel good overlooking the beetle and crushing it;
      the feeling would be the same, the interpretation (I am
      guilty) is absent.

      Of course the example is imaginary; when the sense "I"
      becomes weak, one appears to have a sixth sense that will
      prevent one from accidentally crushing little creatures.

      Melody: We talk so often here of surrendering 'ego'.

      What would it mean if we were to surrender our collective
      sense of guilt? What would we lose?

      Jan: The brick wall of defenses from behind which both
      attacking and hiding seems easy...

      Melody: What are we afraid of? I ask this sincerely.
      What are we afraid this says about 'us'?

      Jan: The "I" could be called the potential to conditionally
      enjoy and suffer.
      Losing the sense of "I" is the ultimate fear as it leaves
      nothing to defend and nowhere to hide. During this process
      of severing all links with the "I", one can feel insecure,
      nervous and for some one can become an "open book". Pain
      can be felt more intense but "reverberation time" will
      steadily drop...


      ...my main point is that any steps in the direction of
      articulating a social or "mahayana" nonduality could be
      something totally new and would probably coincidentally
      facilitate an appreciation of nonduality in a broader

      what do you guys think?


      This is a good idea Larry - but what's wrong with mahayana
      itself? It has a sophisticated non-dual philosophy that
      integrates compassion into its vision of emptiness. The
      Dalai Lama writes books about its ethics.
      It is not advaita, there's no background of sat-chit-ananda,
      but there are many practicing Mahayanists who take social
      issues seriously. There are "engaged Buddhists," as you can
      see from picking up any issue of Tricycle Magazine. How
      about that?

      I think that an emphasis on social issues in *advaita* on
      the other hand won't be popular, at least it hasn't proven
      to be so far. Andrew Cohen has tried to build the notion of
      behavioral norms into his notion of nondualism, but it
      hasn't made him too popular with some others who are
      attracted to nondualism.

      On the other hand, in many advaita teachings, there's a
      certain attachment to the absolute, to doing nothing, to
      practicing quietness or non-doership. Not as a way of
      purifying, but as a way to make Silence true.

      But just because there's nothing real to do, no others, and
      no suffering -- doesn't mean we don't help others and help
      appease suffering. To think that this is paradoxical
      combination is impossible or nonsensical is to be attached
      to nirguna Brahman, to the noumenon, to the absolute.

      I think what you're saying here, Larry, is very important!


      (the Sequel to Footprints)

      One night I had a wondrous dream,
      One set of footprints there was seen,
      the footprints of my precious Lord,
      But mine were not along the shore.
      But then some stranger prints appeared,
      And I asked the Lord, "What have we here?
      Those prints are large and round and neat,
      But Lord, they are too big for feet."

      "My child," He said in somber tones,
      "for miles I carried you alone.
      I challenged you to walk in faith,
      But you refused and made me wait."
      "You disobeyed, you would not grow,
      So I got tired, I got fed up,
      And there I dropped you, on your butt."
      "Because in life, there comes a time,
      When you must fight and you must climb.
      When you must rise and take a stand,
      Or leave your buttprints in the sand!"

      Author Unknown
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