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#1852 -Thursday, July 8, 2004 - Editor: Jerry

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  • Jerry Katz
    #1852 -Thursday, July 8, 2004 - Editor: Jerry Highlights Home Page and Archive: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm Letter to the Editors: Click Reply on your
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 10, 2004
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      #1852 -Thursday, July 8, 2004 - Editor: Jerry
       

      Highlights Home Page and Archive: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm

      Letter to the Editors: Click 'Reply' on your email program, compose your message, and 'Send'. All the editors will see your letter.

       
       

       
       
      A discussion about Sarlo's website: Sarlo's Guru Rating Service
      at http://www.globalserve.net/~sarlo/Ratings.htm
       
      Mark Otter
       
      Hi Sarlo,

      I just wonder if the idea of rating gurus, giving them rankings, is
      not just another example of the great western game of competition?
      If you want to have the right career, you need to go to the right
      school - Harvard, Yale, etc, and work for the right professor - the
      one with the largest group and the highest grant profile... If you
      want to be enlightened you need to be the disciple of the right
      guru. Travel to India, sit at the feet of Bhagavan Maharshi,
      anything less is... well... less. I wonder if people who hear such
      reasoning from well respected "spiritual people" might not get some
      subtle idea that the way to acheive enlightenment is to
      compete? "I'm more silent than you..." I have longer and better
      sahmadis than you." Perhaps there is no such subtle thinking going
      on, except in my mind, but I wonder...

      I recently met a fellow who's into Gurdgieff and some other folks,
      who he described as "supermen". I gather he spent some time with
      these folks (sorry, I'm blanking on the names) Anyway, I took him to
      a satsang of Pamela Wilson, and it looked to me as though he
      withdrew his attention entirely from the proceedings, even walked
      out partway through and sat in the outer room reading. I spoke
      during the time he was in the room, and later upon recounting
      something I'd said, he made it clear he hadn't heard it. When I
      asked him about his opinion of the satsang, he said it seemed to him
      to be "too easy", that people were relaxed and not being challenged.
      He later sent me the peice by Aziz Kristof that we discussed
      recently warning against pseudoadvaita, and in particular, against
      the followers of Papaji. It looks to me that my friend's image of
      spirituality is a very macho, highly competitive sport and frankly,
      he strikes me as kind of unhappy with that viewpoint, albeit unable
      to hear any other. I realize that I can't really know whats going on
      in his mind, and I may be projecting it, but like I say, I wonder...

      Love, Mark
      ps I am pointing to just one aspect of your list and site, and I do
      not mean in any way to suggest that there are not positives. That
      there are places online where one can find out about teachers and
      become exposed to the kinds of concerns that folks have is in my
      thinking, a very good thing. And there clearly are fakes and
      charlatans out there preying on seekers, and your site and others
      are probably very helpful in helping people avoid such traps. So
      thank you for your service!
      pps I'm curious to know your thoughts on whether a guru rating
      service might,in some subtle way, impart the idea to readers that
      enlightnement is a competition, and if so, does that help them
      acheive enlightenment, or hinder them?
      Sarlo:
       
      >I just wonder if the idea of rating gurus, giving them rankings,
      is
      >not just another example of the great western game of
      competition?

      Ah! Yes, hi Mark, now i see. I thought you were talking about my
      forum-list. Thanks for all your thoughtful feedback.

      >If
      you want to have the right career, you need to go to the right
      >school -
      Harvard, Yale, etc, and work for the right professor - the
      >one with the
      largest group and the highest grant profile... If you
      >want to be
      enlightened you need to be the disciple of the right
      >guru. Travel to
      India, sit at the feet of Bhagavan Maharshi,
      >anything less is... well...
      less.

      Actually my site does not mean to suggest this, but i can see how you might
      get that idea. What i am comparing is the odds that a random seeker might
      find "success" with this or that guru figure, but the appropriateness of
      this seeker with that guru will always be determined by personal fit, that
      elusive je-ne-sais-quoi that cannot be analysed.

      >I wonder if
      people who hear such
      >reasoning from well respected "spiritual
      people"

      *AHEM!* Wash your mouth!

      And then read my disclaimer. http://www.globalserve.net/~sarlo/Disclaimer.htm

      >might
      not get some
      >subtle idea that the way to acheive enlightenment is
      to
      >compete? "I'm more silent than you..." I have longer and
      better
      >sahmadis than you." Perhaps there is no such subtle thinking
      going
      >on, except in my mind, but I wonder...

      It is going on in plenty of minds.

      But competition, like shit, happens. It is well established, way beyond
      holier than thou. Any help it gets from me is less than a sunflower seed on
      the icing on the cake.

      Greg-san has shared some examples that are so prevalent they even have
      syndrome-names:

      LUCKNOW DISEASE - linguistic malady befalling seekers at Papaji's.
      Characterized by never using the word "I" - to encourage one's self and
      also show others that there is no one at home here. Instead, they would say
      stuff like "This form is going to the rest room."

      ADVAITA SHUFFLE - Conversational gambit. What Andrew Cohen accused Gangaji
      of doing when she didn't want to talk about ethics and enlightenment.
      Jumping to the absolute level at odd times. Like when the receptionist asks
      why you were late for your doctor's appointment. "There's no one here to go
      anywhere or be late for anything."

      LANDING - Losing one's enlightenment. What Gangaji accused Andrew Cohen of
      having done. Term used by those who think of enlightenment as a kind of
      thing that can be lost. Something like claiming enlightenment and then
      getting peevish and petty over who pays the tip at the diner.

      NONDUAL POLICE - Those who badger others to use nondual terminology.
      Whenever they hear someone saying something like "I'm going out for
      coffee," they barge in: "WHO is going out for coffee??" Nondual police
      want everyone to always be in constant Ramana-self-inquiry-mode.

      THE EYE THING - Keeping eye contact with the other person as long as
      possible. Whoever drops their gaze first is not as established in the
      Beloved. Some blinking is OK, but not too much. The deeper into the Self
      you are, the longer you can hold it. Used by many satsang teachers. One of
      my friends can out-stare anyone. He kinds of drops into a Candida-mind-fog,
      and hours can go by.

      >I recently met a fellow
      who's into Gurdgieff and some other folks,
      >who he described as
      "supermen". I gather he spent some time with
      >these folks (sorry, I'm
      blanking on the names) Anyway, I took him to
      >a satsang of Pamela Wilson,
      and it looked to me as though he
      >withdrew his attention entirely from the
      proceedings, even walked
      >out partway through and sat in the outer room
      reading. I spoke
      >during the time he was in the room, and later upon
      recounting
      >something I'd said, he made it clear he hadn't heard it. When
      I
      >asked him about his opinion of the satsang, he said it seemed to
      him
      >to be "too easy", that people were relaxed and not being
      challenged.
      >He later sent me the peice by Aziz Kristof that we
      discussed
      >recently warning against pseudoadvaita, and in particular,
      against
      >the followers of Papaji. It looks to me that my friend's image
      of
      >spirituality is a very macho, highly competitive sport and
      frankly,
      >he strikes me as kind of unhappy with that viewpoint, albeit
      unable
      >to hear any other. I realize that I can't really know whats going
      on
      >in his mind, and I may be projecting it, but like I say, I
      wonder...

      The Gurdjieff effort / struggle types are not going to find a lot of common
      ground with the nowhere-to-go crowd. It's interesting that he chose to go
      with you. His motivation certainly might be a little suspect. But yes,
      who's to say?

      >Love, Mark
      >ps I am pointing to just one
      aspect of your list and site, and I do
      >not mean in any way to suggest
      that there are not positives. That
      >there are places online where one can
      find out about teachers and
      >become exposed to the kinds of concerns that
      folks have is in my
      >thinking, a very good thing. And there clearly are
      fakes and
      >charlatans out there preying on seekers, and your site and
      others
      >are probably very helpful in helping people avoid such traps.
      So
      >thank you for your service!

      Inasmuch as it can be of any real service, that's probably it, and
      general-purpose articles on what to look out for on the Path, from many
      sources. The "directory" aspect of it also has value but there are many
      places to find such info. The rest is not to be taken too seriously, the
      ratings themselves and the opinions masquerading as description. I
      acknowledge the impossibility of value comparison.

      >pps I'm curious to know your thoughts on whether a guru
      rating
      >service might,in some subtle way, impart the idea to readers
      that
      >enlightnement is a competition, and if so, does that help
      them
      >acheive enlightenment, or hinder them?

      I don't think many, if any, will get the impression that enlightenment is a
      competition. It seems basic to me that "I'm more all-one than you" cannot
      be entertained by anyone with a lick of common sense, though unconscious
      competitive tendencies will come out about various aspects which are deemed
      important, like humility or longer, harder samadhis.

      Admittedly, if people did get the idea of competition having value from me
      then that would be a disservice. I try in various ways to discourage that,
      especially in the disclaimer, but perhaps there are other ways i can
      address that too, without sacrificing the delicate balance of
      non-seriousness, mock-seriousness and information.

      Thanks!

      Sarlo
       
      Mark Otter
       
      Hi Sarlo,

      I must say, I'm discovering that it is always very pleasant to
      converse with you. Very clear.

      I'm starting to see that I have not faired terribly well with
      competition in my life and that I have a strong bias against it. And
      yet, Darwin might suggest that it is not completely negative within
      a changing universe. I think conditioned (and therefore blind to
      global outcomes...) competition may well be a hindrance in the
      uncovering of Self, as it requires an "other" to operate, but I
      think I've recently been making more of a point of it than may be
      helpful because of my personal issues. Your very clear response to
      my post, as well as other recent developments in my life, has helped
      me see this and I am most grateful. I enjoyed reading your
      disclaimer and also the feedback, much of which seems
      rather "competitive" (or combative...) to me... grin.

      with great affection,
      Mark
       
      Sarlo
       
      Mark, what a sweetheart! Thank you and blessings on your
      journey-which-is-not-a-journey.

      The feedback posted on my site is not all i get of course, but the
      combative stuff is most likely more interesting than the supportive. ┬┐Why
      is that? :-)

      It is astute of you to notice that that combative feedback is also fairly
      competitive. And my site itself has a significant personal competitive
      element, which is rating my own master at the top. Competition is everywhere!

      Love, Sarlo
       
      Jan Barendrecht
       
      Competition shows well: wild animals fight for food and mates. One rule is
      that "bigger" is interpreted as "stronger" so the smaller animal often
      avoids a fight by leaving the opportunity to the larger contender. But
      smaller creatures can have properties the bigger animal is unaware of.
      Awareness is both a key (to unlock "mysteries") and a power, able to
      overcome eventual physical inequality.

      Eurasian collared doves (ECDs) are quite smart and have learned that by
      flying on my knees, hands or shoulders, they can outwit the physical
      superiority of the temporary bullying ECD, hormone driven to defend a
      territory for both access to food and a mate, at the cost of more fear than
      the doves, not in that phase. Some former bullies (out of that hormonal
      phase) know the issue so well that they behave like the common pet doves,
      with the difference that ECDs still are in the wild and aware that
      eventually they can get a full stomach without my aid.

      This in turn attracts ppl, some take pics of the unusual scenes but others
      want to know the secret. One man, after being told he should be aware of
      unconscious movements, interpreted by all birds as a threat, responded by
      saying he understood, and unconsciously made several gestures (again). So
      the doves took off immediately and the man understood, understanding is
      worthless.

      A little girl, charmed by the sight of doves landing on my knees and
      shoulders, in my hands, wanted to know too what it takes to make doves
      behave that way. I showed, not to move unless very slowly, and never to
      throw bread, like humans are throwing stones. She said to understand and
      threw bread - like humans are used to throw stones. Even the resident bully
      ECD immediately took off. The girl was disappointed and didn't understand
      what happened. But her mother did :-)

      Awareness has no competition.
       
       

       
       
      Harsha
       
      If nothing is wanted,
      it matters not
      whether you have what it takes.

      Whatever it takes
      to get whatever,
      is itself completely false
      and has no foundation.

      And whatever you accomplish
      can only satisfy some delusion
      until the next one takes hold.

      See where you are.
      Clearly.
      It's easy.
      There is nothing else to do.

      Love to all,
      Harsha
      ~ ~ ~
       
      Dear Friends:

      People speak of visions and white lights and spiritual
      and psychic experiences. These are beautiful things
      and indications of meditative practices at some time.

      Those who know the source that lights all experiences,
      spiritual and otherwise, remain unmoved by such
      descriptions.

      Advaita Vedanta declares without compromise. Atman Is
      Brahman! Thou are That!

      With what white light or spiritual experience shall we
      now be impressed?

      Once Sri Ramana was asked about traveling to different
      planes and having visions.

      The Sage of Arunachala asked the questioner something
      like, "What are you experiencing now and how is it
      different?"

      So we see that grocery shopping and satsangh are not
      two different things. Each serves is purpose in the
      moment. Satsang really means company of the truth or
      Self. So we are always in Satsang.

      All techniques fall at the feet of the Sage and become
      meaningless.

      May all beings be free from sorrow.

      Love to all
      Harsha
       
       
       

       
       
      Al Larus
       
      This one's for you,
       
      pull the bucket 
      from the well,
      below the surface
      of the silent blue

      between lakes
      and trees,

       
      go see
      the forest
      for the leaves,
      then like a thief,
      grasp a few

      taking it all back home.

      Editor's note: The photos in issue 1849 attributed to Sam -- a fine photographer in his own right! -- were actually by Al Larus. Apologies to Sam and Al.  --Jerry

       


       

      Humanitate
      NDS

      If you can watch this without smiling, you're really enlightened. If you can watch it with smiling, you're really enlightened.

      http://www.mimfreedom.com/littlebitty.htm

       


       

       

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