Highlights, Thursday, Dec. 16
- GREG GOODE
For me, attending is no more.
But years ago, there was lots and lots of attending. It was
like this - before and during spiritual seeking, I wasn't
badly suffering or in pain or unhappy with my life or stuck
in dysfunctional patterns. Instead, it was a deep sense of
loneliness, alienation, lack of fulfillment, and a strong
yearning from the heart and mind to know "What is it all
about? What is the purpose of life? What happens after?
What are all these mystical truths that are spoken of?
Where is fulfillment to be found?"
In a nutshell, the paths for me were two: devotional (bhakti
and karma yoga) thru Born-Again Pentacostal Christianity,
then later, a wide search and deep inquiry that was
primarily intellectual, but felt at the heart and body
levels as well. This message is about the second part...
Lots of what follows may seem quite heady and intellectual,
but believe me, the heart and body definitely got involved.
Part of it is that my education and training were as a
professional philosopher. There were hundreds of books and
many paths gone through.
This is where Christiana's point about attention comes in.
For about 5 years, I kept one question constantly in mind
(whenever the mind wasn't engaged in what was before it),
because I **REALLY** wanted to know the answer: what IS this
choosing, willing entity? One day while I was reading a
book by Ramesh Balsekar, standing on the Grand Central
subway platform, the answer came by way of the world
imploding and my phenomenal self expanding, disappearing to
merge with it. No separate independent entity was seen
anywhere. All "willings," "desirings," "thoughts," etc.,
were seen deeply deeply as spontaneous arisings in
consciousness, happening around no fixed point or location.
Not only the entity "Greg," but also *all* personal entities
dissolved, became appearances in consciousness.
Lightness, sweetness, brightness, and a certain fluidity of
the world followed immediately as sensory qualities of
everything, and became one with all experiences. There were
psychological aftereffects as well, like more resiliency,
more psychological peace and happiness. At the time, it was
really a non-event. Even now, it's not something I ever
noticed or thought about at the time, unless I'm asked and
then try to reconstruct it.
I do remember that people at work noticed, my friends and
parents noticed. I didn't have a real good intellectual
understanding of it at the time, and didn't seek one. I'd
never met anyone else to talk to about this.
This came at the "right" time too, because I was just going
through a break-up with a beautiful transsexual lady who
looked like Naomi Campbell, but who was monogamously
challenged. It was not difficult, where years previously it
would have been painful. We are now very close friends.
Then more attending. Another several-year constant inquiry,
but very light, almost with an aesthetic, playful, artful,
no-big-deal appeal. This time the inquiry was on the
dualism between the appearances and the background
consciousness that the appearances appear to - it was that
simple. By this time I knew lots of other people, satsang
I could sincerely say that "I am the background, because the
appearances appear to me," that was clear. I never ever
ever felt like I was a mind or a body or a thought or a
feeling of contraction in the chest or forehead.
But I didn't understand it. Why should the appearances that
rise up out of consciousness seem like something other than
consciousness? This continued for 2 years, constantly
arising (but no longer taken as "my thoughts, my inquiry") -
it just happened. Then one day, sitting at home reading a
book by Krishna Menon given to me by Francis Lucille, the
whole thing imploded.
The telescope collapsed. There was a burning savikalpa
samadhi for 90 minutes. It went away. Then the
object/subject, appearance/background thing just collapsed.
No separation or gap or dichotomy was seen anywhere, then or
since. No union or wholeness has been seen either. No
questions, no answers. All is unbroken, continuous, was
never different. The light, love and sweetness from before
was no longer part of discrete appearances as it seemed to
be years before, but rather the source and substance of
objectless knowledge itself. Talk of subjects or objects or
appearances (or anything) became a kind of enjoyable
make-believe, helpful perhaps in speaking with other people,
but that was it.
What do I do? If I had to come up with a word, it would be
celebrate. It looks like this. Work, ride a bike, lift
weights, eat, I'm dating a new lady, I write e-mail, have
satsang with friends, visit Francis Lucille, a beloved
teacher, who gave me the Krishna Menon book (he counts
Krishna Menon and Jean Klein among his teachers, too). I
was invited to teach this same kind of stuff at the yoga
center of friends in New York City's Soho, who also love
Francis. I am trying to learn to dance-skate, but am often
lazy. I am trying to learn more compassion and kindness.
For this reason, and for the beauty and simplicity, I
practice Shin Buddhism. There is a temple in New York.
I'd like to share that I... had the privilege of meeting
Greg last summer. We met for a late dinner on a hot summer
night in New York City. Greg is wise and whimsical..
ordinary and powerfully nonordinary...charming and
disarming, and as is evident to all, living an integrated
life. It is such a treat to have these opportunities.
And Christiana is quick-witted, widely intelligent, bright,
with beautiful eyes, the quality of being very *here* and
present, and loving and caring, deeply soulful and spiritual
all at the same time. She dropped into Manhattan on her way
through the NY area on family business, and we had a nice
dinner at a well-known Greek diner that had seen better
days. I value Christiana's presence on this list and on
Looking at my self
in the mirror
I see with a memory
of days past,
and with expectant eyes
wanting to hold onto
of someone who never
How painful to admit that
I am not seeing the beauty
of the One
but rather the discrepancy
between image and expectation.
To drop the expectation,
to let go of the memory,
is to stand face to face
with the present.....
with what IS.
Dare I see, I mean really see,
what stands before me now?
Sedona Method - Lots of my friends are graduates or teachers
of this, and it is particularly popular with devotees of
Ramana Maharshi, Robert Adams, Papaji and the teachers
It is a psychological method to "release" negative feelings
by seeing that they are dependent on other, deeper feelings
and beliefs. The deeper feelings are released, which
releases the more surface-level feelings, resulting in a
temporary feeling of clearness.
This is my spiritual 'immediate' family and this method (not
always named anything in particular) is well known to me so
I would like to say a little more about it.
The method is to simply be present with whatever emotion is
felt. I originally saw this as a new evolution of spiritual
teaching that is a truly spiritual (nondual, if you prefer)
answer to many people's emotional suffering and to our
society's excessive psychological focus. Then Arjuna Nick
Ardagh said he found references to it in old Dzogchen
writings. It is a way of healing emotional patterns and
wounds that leads not to just better functioning but to the
truth of Oneself.
I have noticed that people who do not have a strong
emotional nature often will say to those who do, "Just get
over it." to which a common response is, "I wish!" This
simple approach of being fully present works in the area of
emotion as "Who Am I?" works through the mental. Rather
than useless attempts to get rid of emotion, feeling becomes
a vehicle of self-realization. When the truth is accepted
inclusively, emotion becomes a delightful form of
expression, a servant, like thought.
Gangaji's way is to direct the person to simply feel and
then allow what is beneath to rise up to awareness.
Sometimes there are other layers of emotion. Feeling down
through the layers there is always ultimately the vastness
Years ago a teacher of mine called the process "What's under
Nick's way is to be present to the feeling, then to increase
it to the maximum. The understanding is that whatever is
faced fully in awareness - no longer resisted - is
completed. He said when he first started guiding people
through this he told them there would be temporary relief
and clarity; but he has had numerous responses from people
which said the old emotional pattern never returned and a
sense of wholeness and freedom remains.
In the space created in awareness by the release of what had
been a preoccupation ...... Silence.
This is not to say I think we can Do our awakening.
As I see it Grace reaches us in any way it can.
Thanks xan. I find it is my spiritual immediate family (one
of them), as well. Most of my friends in New York are or
have been students of one of the feelings methods. For the
last several years, we've had about one teacher every two
months come to NYC from Papaji's lineage. The great
majority of the ones at the satsangs were Sedona graduates,
and out of this group, other friendships formed and went in
different directions. The vigilance that Gangaji and Papaji
speak of is very similar to what I hear about the Sedona
method. At least one teacher, Pam Wilson, gained
inspiration from Papaji, Ramana, Robert Adams and Neelam,
was actually a Sedona teacher but left the Method.
Thanks for giving sweet and clear voice to what might be the
largest and most popular form of face-to-face nondualist
teaching in the West. Many of the same teachers and
students travel to Europe as well. There are other feelings
method teachers based in Europe as well.
Student: Are you saying that 'no thinking' is also a
Papaji: 'Thinking and no thinking are both normal functions
of the mind'. A mind that doesn't think thoughts, which is
free of the idea of no thought as well, can be called a
free-mind'. Thought and no thought exist in relation to
each other. They are both properties of the mind. 'No-mind'
is something else. It has no connection with anything.
When the mind is so undressed that it is free even of
no-thinking, there will be nothing left of mind. While
there is the mental state of no-thought, there is still a
place where objects can land; but when no-thought is thrown
away, leaving only 'no-mind', objects cannot land anymore.
In fact, in that state there are no objects at all.
Actually I had never heard the name Sedona Method before, or
any other name for it. When I began doing this myself,
after I gave up on processing all my 'stuff' oh so many
years ago, I called it "turn and face".
I have met Pamela Wilson in her satsangs here in Colorado.
She is a delight, with quaint and original ways of
expressing herself about awakening as the wordless.
Here are a few excerpts from a little book someone put
together from her words called, The Ocean, The Fish and The
-In the old days young men used to go into the forest, or
into some very dangerous place to prove their courage. This
is actually the most dangerous place: the heart. That's
why we talk about being lion-hearted. It requires the
courage of a lion to rest there.
-When failure comes, or fatigue comes, it's a blessing.
This is the humility that is required: to stand naked
before God, to say, "You're right. I am a failure at
doing." This is innocence.
- Words are just bones thown out for the mind, to keep the
mind busy while the grace does the work. Like dog biscuits.
- The body really is like a pet that we have. We should
walk it and we have to feed it, make it rest. If you had a
young child or a pet and it was really scared you wouldn't
judge it. You would just comfort it.
- Having a body is like being at a beach, just letting the
waves of peace ebb and flow, and allowing peace to be
welcome in the body. Peace is welcome here.
- Sometimes there's a desire to dive deep into the ocean.
So, like those pearl divers who wear very little so that
they can be unobstructed in their diving, just for a moment
could you set aside this form and dive into that presence
with your formless essence?
- So you're in the ocean and this fish called "wondering"
swims by. So enjoy the fish and just let it go. Your
business is savoring the moment, not wondering how to
catalog that fish. So just enjoy the feeling of the ocean,
- Love, like a sleeping beauty, lies in the heart. And
awareness is the prince that goes inside and kisses the
sleeping beauty. We take our awareness into the heart to
find love, and just one kiss, awareness and love, awakens
- In this love affair it's nice to bring the beloved a
little gift - tiny. We sacrifice what is held dearest - not
a cow, not a camel, not a goal, but just a little bit of
individuality we give her as a gift. We hand her the castle
walls and defenses as our gift - a small trade.
-You have only one job to do. Actually two: relax and
It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it.
- We are designed to be delightfully imperfect. Any attempt
at perfection is not trusting the Beloved. So actually you
have three jobs: rest, enjoy and be imperfect.
- Grace prunes us like a rosebush.
- Like the phoenix a few feathers get burned in return for
immortality. A little suffering gets offered to the flame in
return for joy. It's a good trade. You'll never find that
- Satsang is really just a gathering of many mountains to
discuss their mountain nature.
- The jewel is always wrapped in that dark velvet of not
"Finally, in my sixties, the meaning of the phrase "Don't be
came to me unexpectedly. At that time I just danced about,
saying "Don't be deluded! Don't be deluded!" My heart
filled with gratitude. If someone had actually been about
to cut off my head, I would have considered it an illusion.
But I carefully thought it all through and returned to my
old self and to my various methods of practice. I still
can't stop treasuring this bag of dung. The thing that we
call existence is deeply ingrained."- Suzuki Shosan
Treasuring the body-idea is simply treasuring consciousness,
which is fine. Consciousness is something to be treasured.
I certainly don't subscribe to the "sack of dung" idea
proposed by Shankara 3,000 years ago, although I think this
whole idea has been taken out of context (viewing the body
as a "sack of dung" is simply a way to put the focus on
something more permanent). But nor do I subscribe to the
body as the focus, to the "Eat, drink and be merry, for
tomorrow we may die" idea. I deny the reality of the body
only in relation to "I." The body may or may not exist, but
it is not "I," it is not "me," it is not "mine." Pointing
to the body in the mirror, is only pointing to a body
amongst 7 billion other bodies. That which is pointed to is
not myself. That's all it comes down to.
What an opportunity to look into the paradox of no-self and
expectations originating from false self! It would be
dangerous to assume our work is finished - of facing in pure
awareness our remaining fragments of identity.
All my foolishness arises in the Silent IAm. I would be
even more of a fool to turn a blind eye to it. I am
particular alert to the mind's capacity for self-deception.
It is a core element of my 'practice' to be vigilant in this
way. (Larry take note)
It is walking the razor's edge to be watchful for mind's
expectations, projections and judgements while absorbed
in/as Silent Heart. I find that willingness to see, and
seeing through my own bullshit leads to deepening and
expansion of awareness.
Very well put Xan, I've heard you talk about this vigilance
quite often. It is a natural unnoticed practice that arises,
with a natural rhytm, like breath. The practice may be
unnoticed and automatic, but the bullshit comes to light, as
a result of this watchfulness. This willingness, to see the
bullshit and not hide from it, but to expose it, is an
invitation to bliss of being, every time again.
The experience of exposure however, is nothing like any kind
of bliss. It may even feel like a voluntary crucifixion.
To my imagination this mostly appears as a very unappealing
practice, but since it comes natural, there is no way to
evade it, there is no place to hide from it.
Nailing down yet another concept, another belief, another
idea, another formula, without holding out any kind of
prospect, without the promise of any kind of reward.
Yet, there is..... but not for me. It is giving up this
'me', that is the reward in itself.
Perhaps Judi would say: ***just cut the bullshit now***
a poem from Sahjo Bai, a Lady Saint:
I would give up Rama, but not the Master.
I do not consider God equal to the Master.
God sent me to this world,
But the Master freed me from birth and death.
God set five thieves after me,
But the Master saved my lonely soul.
God ensnared me with family ties,
But the Master removed my attachment.
God involved me in disease and suffering;
The Master made me a yogi and freed me from them.
God involved me in meritorious acts and deeds;
The Master showed me my real self.
God hid Himself from me;
The Master gave me a lamp and showed God to me.
God involved me in bondage and release;
The Master removed all my doubts about them.
I sacrifice myself to Charandas;
I will give up the Lord, but not the Master
Observing the capacity for self-deception is clarity.
Clarity is all that is.
With clarity as all that is, there is no effort involved in
There is only perception, not divided into a subject and
Self-deception (reacting to an "object" or a "self")
is recognized as such instantly, and is thus instantly
transformed into clarity.
Performing this transformation each moment (as there is only
"this moment") is the "magic" of birth-death/Infinity.
Indeed it is the razor's edge where time meets eternity.
Acknowledging only the unmanifest is a folly; the beauty of
a flower isn't diminished by its transitoriness.
Such a beautiful flower we see here.
Loving its fragrance and fine petals.
It blooms for an moment, and that instant...
ah, that instant...
The difficulty with 'icons' is that we place them 'before'
our 'eyes' then struggle endlessly in fear and/or desire to
look 'around' them. Whatever that 'symbol is' call it the
God, is 'all' that you are 'not' (the becoming of your being
and the being of your becoming) and, unlike 'other', God
does not stand 'before' you, he stands 'behind' you and 'I'
I approached the mirror from behind and it was blackness. I
scratched at the mirror and it 'peeled' away and let some
light in that blinded my eyes. As I peeled 'more' I
realized that the 'looking glass' reveled it's 'self'
transparent 'before' me and my heart was filled with joy!!
As I sit 'within' unconditionality and look out at that
unquenchable thirst named 'space', I wondered what could
fill it. Then it 'occured' to me.. 'only' unconditional
love could fill 'seamless' space and thus I fired a shot and
called it light. It was a signal, an sos, and to this day I
wonder: Did 'I' get through the barrier called you and me.
So, it is true, the light chases the dark from within but is
it enough to power 'this'... a simple word?
The universe arises in the mind (the perceiver). When in
dreamless sleep, the perceiver temporarily ceases, and with
it the universe. Upon awakening, the universe re-appears
simultaneously with the perceiver.
Thus, the universe is entirely dependent on the perceiver.
No perceiver, no universe.
One may argue that the universe continues while the
perceiver is asleep.
Which universe might that be? If your body is observed by
'another' while asleep, it will be seen to be lying still
and breathing slowly (or brainwaves may appear to slow down
on scientific instruments). This observation is happening
within the universe of he/she who perceives the sleeper. It
proves nothing except that with each perceiver who considers
themselves separate, there is a separate universe, in many
ways perceived quite differently. Many aspects of the
world-dream are common to all dreamers, and many are not.
Under a small sky
enclosed by valley walls
like a painted dome
in a temple
I made a Beast of bones
Found where the ocean grinds its teeth
(the round rattling stones)
Bones cleaned by the fast black spiders
Bones with flight still in them
(horizon and the setting sun)
I joined the bones with stolen copper
Tendon ligament and nerve of wire
Bitter soft and red
I made eyes from tears
Teeth and claws from words
Sharp and strong enough
We wander together
Eating what it catches
At night it watches
With liquid eyes
While I sing
Waves are ocean playing and dancing.
They exist as...waves!
A wave does not need to deny its waveness to know that it is
ocean and nothing but ocean.
(editor's note: the above lines led to several posts between
Andrew and Tim Gerchmez, with others joining in. These are
the final exchanges.)
You are correct - to *say" that there is wave or there is
ocean is duality. To be only ocean is nonduality. Form is
emptiness, but how can emptiness be form? Emptiness is
emptiness. Form seems to arise from emptiness, but how can
it be so?
Logic can't go here. It's not a question of whether form is
real or not but that all form is emptiness, and emptiness is
form because emptiness is all, emptiness is form whether or
not form is real. Emptiness is everything real and
everything unreal. We're debating whether the world of
forms is truth or lie when what's important is what
underlies it, which is emptiness.
You're correct. It's been an interesting debate however,
and I haven't felt the slightest bit of "you're right and
I'm wrong" in it (refreshing!). This is the kind of debate
that, once in awhile, is stimulating to participate in. It
makes both participants and readers question, and is a good
reminder of what's important and what isn't. But it seems
this has been enough, and let's conclude with this post (or,
with your response, which I'll read but not reply to). I
have no interest in "getting in the last word." If you
want, be my guest :-)
Wave is the whole ocean over time.
Time is thought. They are identical, "1 = 1." The movement
of thought creates the movement of time, and vice-versa.
The ocean itself is beyond time, therefore beyond thought.
The waves on its surface arise within time (thought), and
subside again within it. Yet even time (thought) is the
whole ocean. The veil "covering the Absolute" remains the
Some people use that fact as an excuse to remain with
suffering, to remain in the limited realm of the wave (I'm
not accusing you of this). For that reason, I sometimes put
focus on the ocean rather than on the wave, even though the
wave may be the ocean, and even the gateway to knowing the
ocean. In order to understand experientially that the wave
is the ocean, one must venture beyond the limited boundaries
of the wave. Few people are motivated to do so. First they
have to trust that the ocean is there, and that if the wave
subsides they won't be left "high and dry," so to speak.
Wave is not only on the surface, that's why as wave moves
into shallow water it becomes taller and steeper, it extends
right to the bottom of the ocean.
It seems to me you're stretching the "wave/ocean" analogy a
little thin here, but it's all ideas. The reality lies
beyond. Ideas are only a bridge, at best.
Emptiness being form - this is the Buddhist way of looking
at it, and isn't really translatable into advaita-vedantic
terms. There's no analogue of background consciousness, of
nirguna Brahman in Buddhism (maybe in Dzogchen). Hence the
long-standing debates. Many Buddhists take advaitins for
eternalists, and advaitins take Buddhists for nihilists.
They agree, however, that entities such as small selves,
egos, schoolbusses and apples have no independent, inherent
Maybe Andrew can expand on this...
Or maybe not :^) For buddha there is no thinkable or
languagable ultimate. Just emptiness. Not dependent on
Buddha holds up a flower when everyone was expecting a
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MAILING LIST
PHOTOS, GRAPHICS, ARTWORK, OTHER FILES
New to Chat?
free and easy:
a spontaneous song of indestructible wisdom
by Gen'd�n Rinpoche
happiness is not to be found
through great effort and willpower
it is already present in open relaxation and letting go
there's nothing to do or to undo
whatever momentarily and adventitiously arises in body-mind
has no real import at all
has very little reality at all
why identify with it and become attached to it,
passing judgement on it and on yourself and others?
far better simply
to just let the entire game happen on its own
springing up and falling back again like waves
without 'rectifying' or manipulating things
just noticing how everything vanishes
and then magically reappears, again and again and again
time without end
it's only our searching for happiness
that prevents us from seeing it
like a vivid rainbow one runs after but can never catch
or a dog chasing its own tail
though peace and happiness have no existence
as some actual place or thing
they are forever at hand -
one's constant companion at every instant
just don't be taken in by the apparent reality
of good and bad experiences
they're like today's passing weather
like rainbows in the sky
wanting to grasp the ungraspable
you exhaust yourself in vain
but as soon as you open up and relax the tight fist of
infinite space is right there - open, inviting, comfortable
use this spaciousness - this freedom and natural ease
don't look anywhere else
don't go off into the tangled jungle
searching for the elephant of great awakenedness
when he is already at home
quietly resting in front of your own hearth
there's nothing to do or to undo
nothing to force
nothing you have to want
emaho - how marvellous
everything just happens of itself
God is 'power'.
Power is it and all.
What form does 'power' take?
Infinite 'energy' forms.
Some 'worship' the power.
Some 'shun' the power.
Some 'seek' the power.
Some 'run' from the power.
Power, then is the 'will'.
Power 'of' the 'will' or
the will 'in' the power.
Power preceded you and
will go on before you.
You are this/that power.
'Made' of the power consumed 'in' the power
and creation 'with' power.
God is 'with' you always.
And, I, am 'with' God.
The swimmer, Curiosity,
wants to hear about deep water
from other swimmers.
Meanwhile vast ocean
No answer can be given to anyone. But the right questions
can be asked. And how you address them can be discussed and
futher questions asked. Everyone on this List is carrying
out the function of the Guru. Each one of us, without
exception, is Grace itself. You sign up for this list, you
are the Guru.
Awakeness involves "the entire field". Thus, there is no
question about any entity which is "to be awakened", neither
a sentient nor nonsentient entity.
Suffering is relevant in the context of the belief in the
existence of an entity that could "be awakened". It is the
ending of this misperception that has been discussed as the
"ending of suffering".
I have had difficulty reconciling the experience of the Void
with this experience of Pure Love. Is it possible that
there is a God that is formed from pure awareness and is not
separate from pure awareness but united with it?
I would appreciate any thoughts related to this experience,
to the Void, to God, and what I believe to be Buddhist
thought that there is no God.
Dear neo You seem to be blessed with experiences that don't
fit into your conceptual frameworks. Glory be! It occurs
to me that trying to figure it all out may be a major trap
for you. If you want to know about God and the void, why
would you be discussing it with humans? If you want to know
about the ocean deeps, avoid boats. Become a diver. There
is no substitute for leaving behind attempts to reconcile
ideas and discovering for yourself what Is.
You are pure consciousness, without beginning, middle or
end, not separated from anything but encompassing all. This
is not something to be limited to one or more experiences,
but can be all day reality and when so, it is perfectly
normal, because it is unchanging, independent of the fate of
As long as the limitation of experiences continues, the
desire to describe, name and classify will continue, but
what does that solve? When the drop of water found its way
to the ocean, how can it know anything else but water?
Does water change if described by a physicist instead of a
Reading about Ramakrishna could make things clear for you;
he had almost every possible religious experience (samadhi)
and came to the conclusion, that all paths will lead the the
same (Unnameable). A rather clear label for it is
Sat_Cit_Ananda which means Being_Consciousness_Bliss, these
3 aspects not being separated but a whole and these aspects
are innate. A classification of experiences is given, among
others, in classical yoga but the yoga sutras of Patanjali
(much shorter read) will give enough insight and a summary
is, that these experiences are a composition of 1.
cogitation, 2. reflection, 3. bliss and 4. I_am_ness.
When bliss is involved, the sense of love will dominate the
experience, when I_am_ness is involved but bliss is absent,
the sense of void will dominate the experience.
This is one of Ramakrishna's legacies. He lived at time in
India when there were two strongly opposing Hindu factions -
one that advocated consciousness of Brahman, the formless,
and the other that was passionately blissful in union with
favorite forms of God. His ecstasy in Divine Mother and his
frequent samadhis in emptiness bridged a false division. He
refused to give up either one for the other.
THE GREATER SEA, Kahlil Gibran
My soul and I went to the great sea to bathe. And when we
reached the shore, we went about looking for a hidden and
But as we walked, we saw a man sitting on a grey rock taking
pinches of salt from a bag and throwing them into the sea.
"This is the pessimist," said my soul, "Let us leave this
place. We cannot bathe here."
We walked on until we reached an inlet. There we saw,
standing on a white rock, a man holding a bejeweled box,
from which he took sugar and threw it into the sea.
"And this is the optimist," said my soul, "And he too must
not see our naked bodies."
Further on we walked. And on the beach we saw a man picking
up dead fish and tenderly putting them back into the water.
"And we cannot bathe before him," said my soul. "He is the
And we passed on.
Then we came where we saw a man tracing his shadow on the
sand. Great waves came and erased it. But he went on
tracing it again and again.
"He is the mystic," said my soul, "Let us leave him."
And we walked on, till in a quiet cove we saw a man scooping
up the foam and putting it into an alabaster bowl.
"He is the idealist," said my soul, "Surely he must not see
And on we walked. Suddenly we heard a voice crying, "This
is the sea.
This is the deep sea. This is the vast and mighty sea." And
when we reached the voice it was a man whose back was turned
to the sea, and at his ear he held a shell, listening to its
And my soul said, "Let us pass on. He is the realist, who
turns his back on the whole he cannot grasp, and busies
himself with a fragment."
So we passed on. And in a weedy place among the rocks was a
man with his head buried in the sand. And I said to my
soul, "We cannot bathe hear, for he cannot see us."
"Nay," said my soul, "For he is the most deadly of them
all. He is the puritan."
Then a great sadness came over the face of my soul, and into
"Let us go hence," she said, "For there is no lonely, hidden
place where we can bathe. I would not have this wind lift
my golden hair, or bare my white bosom in this air, or let
the light disclose my sacred nakedness."
Then we left that sea to seek the Greater Sea.
It has been said that the realized being is utterly
unpredictable -- yet the tendency is there to follow the
natural laws (nonharming, etc) because something other than
personality is operating.
It reminds me some passages in the book "Truth is a Pathless
Land - A Journey with Krishnamurti" by Ingram Smith.
Sometime after five o'clock a stream of buses, overloaded
with office workers, came roaring past us. I was intrigued
to notice that as each bus approached from behind, Krishnaji
reacted in a different way. Sometimes he would walk right
on and the bus would go around him; at other times he would
quickly cross to the other side of the road; occasionally he
would leap over the irrigation ditch running between the
road and the rice paddy and walk there while the bus went
by. With no two buses did he react in the same way . There
seemed to be no habit pattern whatsoever.
As I watched, I realized that in some extraordinary way he
was responding to the attitude of each bus driver. He
stepped aside for the agressive driver, and let the
accommodating driver adapt his driving to us. He seemed to
move in relation to the intention of the man behind the
wheel, to be an integral part of the whole movement, of the
subtle interplay . Yet each was doing exactly what he
intended: Krishnaji walking briskly for an hour, and the bus
drivers reaching their destinations in whatever way they
chose to drive . It didn't matter to Krishnaji whether he
was walking on the road or off it--it was the exercise, the
oxygenation of the blood, the freedom of body movement that
A flock of scheeching parrots rocketed across the road
directly in front of us. Krishnaji's reaction was
instantaneous and dramatic.
He physically shuddered as though the birds had flown
through him, then continued on as if nothing untoward had
Our speed in this slow-moving island made us objects of
whimsical interest. Villagers stood and watched us as we
strode by . Occasionally, as we paced through a village, a
pariah dog would burst out snarling or barking. Krishnaji
responded differently to each dog. As one approached he
would shout, "Get back"; to another he would call softly and
let it run alongside him, even patting it. Sometimes
children would race up beside us. From one he would
distance himself, another he would permit to jog for a while
at his side or between us. Again, different responses,
always patternless, his action relating completely to the
present situation. It was a tremendous learning experience
to observe such freedom from habitual reactions.
hello list hearts you are all in my heart today.
in my heart also are, and hear i become the nonreal
--kids who have no food to eat today
--working people who make barely enough to pay for the
clothes they wear to work
--people who sleep in the street because they have no money
--people of colour who are in prison for crimes they did not
--visionaries who are committed to institutions because they
are "harmful to society
oh there are so many more to think of. the most "outthere"
patient i shared hours with in the hospital spoke a kind of
word salad. .
.seemingly disjointed and confused, but interspersed with
constant repetitions of "Jesus is the reason for the
got milk? got ears?
i knew it!
i love you gen :-)(-:
And by the way... the movie Matrix was an 'extreme
disappointment'. The dialouge, although loosely littered
with nondual reference was lame and melodramatic... the
special effects were fantastic...
but all in all, I give it 5 yawns out of 5... :oO...
The Matrix film has a great irony. Some of its spiritual
references are about levels of reality, levels of
experience. About 3 levels, as I remember. Oddly enough,
however, the higher up you go in the Matrix universe, the
grungier it gets. The lowest, most deluded level is the
most pleasant, like a 50's TV show world. And the higher is
ugly, with rusted megalithic structures housing pods of
oozing protoplasm. It was the unpleasantness of the higher
levels that spurred the computer folks on to create the
lower, more pleasant game-realities. So for game-characters
working their way upwards through levels in Matrix-world, it
was hard work like sadhana often is. But the result was an
ugly and sad wisdom, not freedom, bliss or enlightenment.
It revolves around the question:
Would you prefer the red pill or the blue pill (I might have
got them switched)?
Red pill: Know the truth, but the truth is painful and ugly
Blue pill: Be blissful and ignorant
There is a mystery which always remains a mystery.
Realization is acceptance that this mystery remains mystery,
is never understood. It is no flaw or imperfection that
this mystery remains. The mystery is perfect. It is
Not claiming to know what this means.
Just knowing it's beautiful.
An open-ended mystery -- the kind that invites endlessly,
the kind that infiltrates the very air we breathe.
Not baffled at all here, simply breathing the mystery.
Now we continue with the essential teachings and techniques
given by Sri Ramana in the Forty Verses on Reality. Each
verse is pregnant with method, meaning, and indicates the
Truth of the Self.
26. If the ego is, everything else also is. If the ego is
not, nothing else is. Indeed, the ego is all. Therefore
the enquiry as to what this ego is, is the only way of
giving up everything.
27. The State of non-emergence of 'I' is the state of being
THAT. Without questing for that State of the non-emergence
of 'I' and attaining It, how can one accomplish one's own
extinction, from which the 'I' does not revive?
Without that attainment how is it possible to abide in one's
true State, where one is THAT?
28. Just as a man would dive in order to get something that
had fallen into the water, so one should dive into oneself,
with a keen one-pointed mind, controlling speech and breath,
and find the place whence the 'I' originates.
29. The only enquiry leading to Self-realization is seeking
the Source of the 'I' with in-turned mind and without
uttering the word 'I'. Meditation on 'I am not this; I am
That' may be an aid to the enquiry but it cannot be the
30. If one enquires 'Who am I?' within the mind, the
individual 'I' falls down abashed as soon as one reaches the
Heart and immediately Reality manifests itself spontaneously
as 'I-I'. Although it reveals itself as 'I', it is not the
ego but the Perfect Being, the Absolute Self.
I am very familiar with the Ramana, Papaji, Gangaji
lineage. There is at least one person that knows Gangaji
personally and has known her from her early days who is a
follower of Sai Baba.
As I have said before my spiritual quest has been a solitary
one for most of my life. The ideas that we are discussing
on this list were ideas that were so foreign to people
around me that I wondered most of my life if I was partially
insane. A number of years ago I was given an audio tape of
Gangaji. She was a guest on a radio show somewhere in the
southwest. For the first time in my life I heard someone
speaking the thoughts that by now I kept private. There was
a tremendous resonance.
I then ordered additional audio tapes, then videotapes, and
then arranged to go on a retreat with her in Colorado.
After that I went on to retreats with her in North Carolina
and again in Hawaii.
The last two retreats were with both Gangaji and her husband
Eli. In the first of these retreats she told me that there
was nothing else that she could do to help me and that the
rest was up to me. In the second retreat she would not even
let me speak.
To answer your question she spoke the Truth more clearly
than I had ever heard it before or since. In addition, the
structure of her retreats I found particularly helpful,
especially the silence.
Ken Wilber's early works give a good understanding of
He speaks of the evolution of consciousness within
phenomenality as going from pre-personal, to personal, to
transpersonal. Since pre-- personal states are prior to
subject-object duality and w/o linear time as are
transpersonal states, the two can easily be confused.
Looking at my own situation i can observe that i have never
had a solid sense of self. The Buddhist concept of anatta
can lead one to justify their pathologies by thinking they
are being led to transpersonal awareness, when in reality
perhaps they are weighted down by pre-personal issues.
This reminds me of the story of how only a ripened fruit can
fall. Does anyone agree that it may be important to develop
a healthy identy, a strong sense of self, before
Undrstanding can occur?
(note: this is the last few paragraphs of a very lengthy but
important post. Please see the full post in the Nonduality
1) It is important for children to have a healthy
self-identity and good moral values, before being gradually
taught that love of all beings equally should guide one's
judgment; and that ultimately an intuition of what is right
for everyone will take the mind beyond judgment altogether,
to a state of non-doing and pefect harmony.
2) A person who has reached adulthood in a condition of
pathological self-loathing or narcissism needs special
treatment by trained professionals, probably including
3) Adults who are as yet unenlightened should find their
way somehow to the Path - which is usually right under your
nose and so obvious that it is ignored because it doesn't
seem sufficiently 'sexy' or exciting. There is nothing so
good as water for the thirsty. Steady, slow progress on the
path gradually lifts the delusions and weakens the
illusions, regardless of whether these are regarded by the
'false ego' as healthy or unhealthy.
It is often very gratifying to oneself and others to promote
the idea of a 'healthy ego,' by which term we are referring
to self-esteem. People like to be stroked and often form
mutual stroking societies, or will pay people or reward them
in other ways for giving them believable flattery.
People may even develop vested interests in such self esteem
efforts and conditioning, and will develop all sorts of
encouragements and even entire philosophies to justify what
they are doing. Thus they may argue passionately for such
In my view, children may be encouraged or discouraged in
terms of self-esteem for doing what they do, as they have no
individual judgment they can rely on to provide them with
such self-awareness. Mentally ill people may need special
Ordinary adults should be encouraged to practice love, and
honor truth and wisdom; and should discouraged from hatred,
anger and abuse. Their egos should be left alone. The less
attention that people's egos get, the more those false
selves tend to simply dry up and blow away. (Things aren't
always quite that simple, and if you have a guru or
'teacher' that person may elect to use a different
strategy. The Tao Te Ching states, "That which is to be
diminished must first be allowed to fully expand." Under
special circumstances what would naturally happen on its own
rather slowly may be accelerated.)
You heard about Joseph Goldstein (I think it was)?, who
after almost 20 years of teaching Vipassana-type meditation,
finally went to a therapist to work on issues with his
mother. I think it was a 2-year stint, and he said he was
very glad he'd done it.
It seems that some kind of self-protective superiority is
found in all paths, sort of built in to the teachings, not
to mention the teachers.
It's easy to spot in the crystallized religions, harder in
the newer, less orthodox teachings. A charitable
interpretation of the built-in superiority might be that it
keeps folks on the path, lessens the tendency to go
spiritual shopping. There comes a time when some people
will turn away from a path regardless of (or because of) the
superior stance. And other people might benefit from
staying on the path, shedding the self-promotional stuff.
And still others will internalize the self-promotional
I found this happening with me in Christianity. When I was
first saved years ago, I loved everyone, felt united with
everyone of every religion.
A real fellow-feeling, as though I was thinking, "Wow! THIS
is what you guys have been talking about while I was an
atheist. It's great!" But then as I grew further
inculturated in my particular denomination, I started to
internalize their superior stance vis-a-vis other religions
and even other Christian denominations. I found myself
feeling superior to those others, and I started to be
vigilant about it, knowing is was one of the occupational
hazards of formal religion. My church was a Black church,
African American. I was the only white member. Once a
missionary told me, "Dr. Goode, you talk SAVED, for a
*white* person." This was only because I had picked up and
mimicked that denomination's ways of expression, which in
the context was just right.
Adi Da's First Talk:
There is a disturbance, a feeling of dissatisfaction, some
sensation that motivates a person to go to a teacher, read a
book about philosophy, believe something, or do some
conventional form of Yoga.
What people ordinarily think of as Spirituality or religion
is a search to get free of that sensation, that suffering
that is motivating them.
So all the usual paths - Yogic methods, beliefs, religion
and so on - are forms of suffering. Ultimately, all the
usual paths are attempting to get free of that sensation.
That is the traditional goal. Indeed "all" human beings are
seeking, whether or not they are very sophisticated about
it, or using very specific methods of Yoga, philosophy,
religion and so on.....
As long as the individual is simply seeking, and has all
kinds of motivation, fascination with the search, this is
not understanding - this is dilemma itself. But where this
dilemma is understood, there is the re-cognition of a
structure in the living consciousness, a separation. And
when that separation is observed more and more directly, one
begins to see that what one is suffering is not something
happening "to" one but it is one's own action. It is as if
you are pinching yourself, without being aware of it...Then
one sees that the entire motivation of life is based on a
subtle activity in the living consciousness. That activity
is avoidance, separation, a contraction at the root, the
origin, the 'place', of the living consciousness....
There is first the periodic awareness of that sensation,
then the awareness of it as a continuous experience, then
the observation of its actual structure, the knowing of it
all as your own activity, a deliberate, present activity
that "is" your suffering, that "is" your illusion. The
final penetration of that present, deliberate activity is
what I have called "understanding".
April 25, 1972, Hollywood, CA.
Some dreams are nightmares. I've never had a nightmare I
could say I was grateful for...
I've had nightmares I became grateful for once the worst was
over, because of the kick-in-the-butt I got to give up yet
another bit of my foolishness.
I've found every dream is a potential gift if unwrapped
lovingly. Nightmares are the processing of difficult
emotions, often deep-seated fears, anxieties, strong anger
or desire. The nightmare is a signal to find ways to
communicate and express, to digest what hasn't been
Perhaps if this world sometimes seems nightmarish, it is the
attempt to digest who we are, which work involves our full
awareness, as full as possible, each and every/only "now".
There seems to be quite a bit of discord here between
different aspects of ourself. For our benefit I would
suggest that each party apologize to the other and ask for
their forgiveness. If that is not possible and you feel you
have to get the last word in, you do us all a disservice.
At the very least, just do not respond to the next attack.
Now, neo, have you made yourself one of the "parts"
attempting to suggest how the other "parts" would relate
That may work, but how well and how long will that work?
If there are no parts in reality, then how is it that so
much verbiage is strewn about this garden, as if to raise
one part up higher, place another lower, to affirm the
existence of one part as special for knowing it doesn't
exist, or to affirm the special nonspecialness of a part for
knowing pure existence? I suggest that all of this
haphazardly strewn verbiage eventually decomposes and
becomes the fertilizer for organic verbiage that is
beneficial and cleanses the air.
Gene seems to have proposed a theory that might help make
sense of the verbiage garden that grows here.
I am attempting to point out that for most humans, all
decisions are made on the priority of _keeping the original
_identity_. This original identity (not to be confused with
'original nature', which itself preceeds identity)
is our 'ticket of acceptance' to family and to society. To
lose identity is equated with psychosis; it is probably the
most stress-producing event a person can experience.
So, some may be evading personality/identity disintegration
while being attracted to the philosophy of
personality/disintegration. Others may be building a
personality on ideas about no-personality, an identity of
specialness based on the idea of having no identity. Still
others may be maintaining an "I am right" identity by taking
the position of ultimate truth, or being beyond relative
true or false. Yet all of these poses are simply the human
being attempting to avoid disintegration, perpetuate
existence, and achieve significance. Very natural. The
breaking apart of self and world can only occur as a chick
breaks out of the egg - when the shell has weakened
sufficiently, the newborn feels strong enough, and there is
readiness. So all of the thrashings and strewn verbiage can
be viewed as pangs of birth.
Yes. Held criteria validate the 'owner'. Remember that the
'owner' is a character in a dream, and because the identity
of the 'owner' is valid only in the dream, the 'owner' is
heavily invested in maintaining the dream. Hitting upon
others with emotion-producing word-attacks is the attempt to
include others in one's 'family way' trance. Once this
family is properly identified, the 'father' and the
'scapegoat' instantly materialize; the vertical rankings of
family hierarchy will appear, to the extent that each member
reacts in such a way as to stabilize or protect identity.
We do see attacks and counter attacks that create emotional
and a family scenario with roles based on words. This does
not seem far-fetched here.
Your statement of 'hypnotic trance' is accurate; world-dream
identity (which is the only kind of identity) depends NOT
ONLY upon individual trance, but also, on the cooperation of
all other dreamers to _remain in trance_. It is only the
collective trance which can be called the 'world-dream'.
The world-dream is a transpersonal trance, and the 'vast
tacit conspiracy' to maintain this collective dream, is what
we call 'society'. Historically, we see vivid examples of
what happens to anyone who attempts to awaken masses of
people, let alone individuals. That is why I favor the idea
of 'awakening to the dream' rather than 'awakening FROM the
dream'. As is cogently pointed out in several spiritual
traditions, there is no-one to awaken 'from the dream'.
The idea that one must awaken is part of the trance. The
intent to stay asleep is part of the trance. Only awakeness
Many verbal formats are ways to keep the trance going, to
reinduct those whose trance slips. Some verbal formats move
toward awakeness and back toward trance in the same
paragraph. No verbal format can serve fully as catalyst to
awakeness, as processing verbal statements requires a degree
of trance, even to "get" the meaning. However, words are
great catalysts because they are so integral to the trance.
Of course, many other non-word events can be great
catalysts, too. Timing and readiness are more important
than the particular catalyst.
Aware of the factors of identity-trance, both individual and
collective, our movements become guided less and less by
_criteria_ and become more and more a matter of conscious
choice. Eventually, we become aware that the pain of the
sufferers within the trance of the world-dream, is an
emanation of the original agreements which resulted in
_accepetance_ into family and society. Acceptance of an
_arbitraily assigned position of inferiority_ is a bad
agreement to make. Acceptance of the 'scapegoat' position
is even more painful.
And the orginal trance factor - acceptance of the idea of
"positioning", that there is a body and space-time within
which a self can be positioned.
That trance factor is the basis for the development of the
rest of the trance reality.
Certain cultures maintain 'rites of passage', in which the
painful submissiveness of the child is exchanged for
equality in the world of aware adults. Our western cultures
seem to lack this event of disposing of interim identity,
thus dooming members of our cultures to perpetual warfare in
the fight for dominance. Remember, it is one who assumes
the reality of identity, who seeks to change that identity.
We can fight among ourselves for the identity of supremacy,
OR we can give up the need for identity.
Yes, that very struggle is evident here as in the rest of
the human community.
To me attack is not justified in any form.
Perhaps we can agree to disagree on this one.
Attack, counterattack, fantasies of revenge, fantasies of
superiority, the wish for invulnerability, the desire for an
unassailable being. These arise together. It's not so much
a matter of justification, although rationalizations abound
(of dual and nondual persuasions). It's more a matter of
If awareness is attached to a position, how can it *not*
function defensively, in one way or another?
Thanks to Gene and Neo for useful comments and insights.
when the concept of attack is no longer held nor the
opinions that fan it (agreeing or disagreeing) one *IS*
one's true self nature, a nonretaliating buddha. Fine
beliefs are the but the stepping stones across the river but
must be dropped to see the dream for what it is, or one
remains suspended over the river unable to make the final
leap, cherishing instead the dream made of finely woven
A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class one day.
"In English," he said, "A double negative forms a positive.
In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double
negative is still a negative. However, there is no language
wherein a double positive can form a negative."
A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah, right."
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MAILING LIST
PHOTOS, GRAPHICS, ARTWORK, OTHER FILES
New to Chat?