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Friday/Feb. 19

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  • Jerry M. Katz
    Jerry asked: Is it merely a coincidence that Awakening and the coming demise of seeking, parallel the growth of the Internet? It s a side question that some of
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 19, 2000
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      Jerry asked:
      Is it merely a coincidence that Awakening and the coming
      demise of seeking, parallel the growth of the Internet?
      It's a side question that some of us may care to ponder.
      Clearly the Internet plays a role. Without the Internet, it
      might be asked, would Awakenings spread so quickly and

      Melody offered:
      I wonder if maybe the fact that now those of similar
      interests from all over the globe can all be linked together
      gives an illusion of there being more awakening now than at
      any other time?

      Christiana chimed:
      I agree with you Melody, that this appearance of vast
      awakening is not yet felt in the masses still deeply
      embedded in the 'world dream'.
      Still, having participated in several online communities (a
      few specifically intent on witnessing the flow of the System
      as It Self organizes), I have found the Internet to be the
      *current* upon which our
      *opportunities*... for clearing the 'foreground dross', as
      well as anchoring in 'Background Awareness'... are
      available. Many of us have been doing this work in
      solitude. Now we are in communion and in deep learning
      communities with others here in Australia, Chile, Canary
      Islands, Holland, New Zealand, Canada, these United States.
      I find this awesome.

      Melody returned:
      As one who has spent almost 2 years in cyberspace discussing
      first spirituality, and then non-duality, I'm beginning to
      wonder if this 'appearance' of awakening is only an
      'illusionary' feeling for me!

      I'm not saying that cyber-talking has not been greatly
      appreciated by me. It has always been interesting,
      stimulating, entertaining.
      I have learned much about my self during this time, have
      faced a lot of 'self'. But I'm mindful now that Awakening
      is not necessarily the 'end result' of all this 'work'.

      I suspect that this 'cyber-talk' has the possibility of
      simply becoming another diversion ( a clever one at that)
      from one's simply dropping the "I".

      I speak of this... only as I am looking at my own activity
      on the computer lists these days. I'm looking at how the
      mind can use the Internet as the very vehicle to keep
      rocking me asleep.

      Hans spoke to this point very well, in another context....
      on another thread:

      " ..... and therefor this notion was turned into just
      another problem because my mind wanted to do something with
      it, get some result from it.

      The problem of the thinker, as I feel it now, arises when
      you start thinking "about" something because this process
      sort of takes your attention / awareness away into
      associations and interpretations.

      So i have to break through this pattern by understanding
      this process and staying aware that a thought is just a
      thought and that thinking about something is also just
      another thought."

      Skye opened: I've noticed a big change over here. 90% of
      the customers i make patterns for are women, 10% are men as
      i don't design childrens clothes. And i visit garment
      manufactures twice a week and get the chance to chat to many
      people as i work. I rattle on to everyone as i work, about
      the non- dual perspective, so they understand immediately
      why i don't get distraught the way they believe every
      conscientious worker should be when things go wrong (as they
      are wont to do in the deadline world of the rag trade).

      I've discovered both men and women are *much* more eager to
      talk about inner awareness these days than even only 5 yrs
      ago, when i was just as obsessed. I tell everyone how much
      time i spend on the net and how much i enjoy discussing the
      nondual reality with people all over the world and they
      always want to know more.
      I've noticed it makes them more personal with me, less
      People instinctively trust this undogmatic manner of looking
      within and without. They instinctively gravitate towards it

      Its quite beautiful these days.

      Christiana introduces Richard Thieme and Real Toads:

      Dear Real Toads,

      This is the first email to the Real Toads list, a variant of
      the first post to the Real Toads discussion board at

      I don't know what will happen with Real Toads, who will come
      out and play and how we will evolve as one place among many
      in which to explore spirituality in the online world. My
      initial intention, at any rate, is to share this exploration
      and learn from one another along the way.

      Why do I find spirituality in cyberspace so fascinating?

      Because spirituality - which means how we come to terms with
      the depths of our humanity and discover and express it - is
      a great adventure. For many of us, it's exhilarating or
      exciting or just plain fun. It makes the rest of our lives
      more interesting.

      The explosion of media for electronic connectivity is
      changing what spirituality looks and feels like and changing
      what it means to be human.

      Glo introduces the incredible Simone Weil

      Simone was a saint without a religion or church, a very
      radical free thinker type. This website has a brief bio..I
      am a bit pressed for time. She is well worth some reading.


      From "Grace and Gravity"

      "Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there
      is a void to receive it We must continually suspend the work
      of the imagination in filling the void within ourselves."
      "In no matter what circumstances, if the imagination is
      stopped from pouring itself out, we have a void (the poor in
      spirit). In no matter what circumstances... imagination
      can fill the void. This is why the average human beings can
      become prisoners, slaves, prostitutes, and pass thru no
      matter what suffering without being purified."
      "That is why we fly from the inner void, since God might
      steal into it. It is not the pursuit of pleasure and the
      aversion for effort which causes sin, but fear of God. We
      know that we cannot see him face to face without dying, and
      we do not want to die."
      Manchine talks about atoms and 'me', and Eric gives his take
      on it:

      The "One", is like infinity, if one looks for detail, one
      sees it however infinitely deeply one goes. You get close
      to any object, you can't see the object, maybe just the
      surface. You can go inside and see atoms, it doesn't look
      at all like the object anymore.

      I feel consciousness is like that. We see at a detail which
      we call "me". We get further away, we see more of the
      whole. The more encompassing our conscience becomes, the
      more whole we become, but I maintain that, that doesn't mean
      that the "me" doesn't exist. As in the case of the atoms,
      we can't see them but they are there, and our every breath
      depends on their comportment.

      What is the "me" for?
      I was thinking just yesterday that the *me* was for looking
      into all those *details*, you know, just to verify that *we*
      really are deep, that *we* are something beyond a dream.

      Doesn't seem to be working though.:-)

      Roger Isaacs, Dan Berkow, Ph.D., and Harsh K. Luthar,
      Ph.D., use their degrees:

      However, if one can't still the mind sufficiently, then
      NonDuality teaching will be useless, it will become just
      more & different activity of thought rather than
      transcendental reality.

      Dan: One can't still the mind sufficiently. It's not
      Only Original Stillness will do :-) Therefore, "nonduality
      is indeed useless. As a different activity of thought, it's
      probably equally as useful, perhaps even a little more
      useful, than some of the other dualistic thought processes.
      Nonduality teaching can only be "real" as direct expression
      of nondual awareness. At best, such can provide
      encouragement for a leap of awareness when timing is right,
      and readiness is. That's about it.

      Roger: Dan says "One can't still the mind sufficiently"

      I think we can agree that the mind can be stilled. Everyone
      has experienced a relatively stiller mind at various times?
      But how to accomplish this is THE question.

      Can we liken the overall procedure to lowering the
      temperature of a pot of water till it freezes? Lowering the
      temperature of the water (stilling the mind) is all that we
      can do? When it's still enough there is a transition, but
      at first the transition is only momentary, not permanent.

      "one can't still the mind sufficiently" might be seen to
      find fault with whatever procedure is being used to still
      the mind. There's a certain helplessness in that statement
      suggesting that our attempts at lowering the temperature of
      the mind are insufficient and should perhaps be abandoned.
      A potential self defeatist attitude. "Self inquiry is

      To me, you seem to speak in clever riddles: "one can't still
      the mind...only original stillness will do". Well, how the
      hell is an individual, a seeker, one who claims the
      appearance of doership & volition, how are they to use this
      volition to find "original stillness?" You seem to undermine
      any potential procedure claiming it can't be done!

      Procedures (called the yogas in the hindu tradition although
      meditation is obviously found in many traditions) are useful
      in lowering the temperature of the mind, stilling the mind.
      It is only at that very still point right above the freezing
      point where technique can be abandoned. At that very still
      point technique has done it's job and it falls away
      naturally in that moment.

      Abandoning technique or subtle effort before stillness is a
      reality is self defeating.

      Harsha: Thanks for sharing Roger. You have much of value to
      contribute. Meditation and Yoga are important and found in
      various spiritual traditions in some guise or another. They
      are indeed very helpful.
      Ultimately, it seems each person is attracted to that
      practice which is useful for them for the time being.
      Beauty is always in the "I" of the Beholder. Where else
      could it be? :--).

      Roger: Dan's statement makes sense from a 'Zen' perspective,
      and I'm probably taking his comments out of context. :-)

      It's given that: a) there are numerous teachings about
      subtle effort or Yogas or techniques of meditation, b) there
      is a NonDuality, advaita, Zen, effortless teaching.

      For me, the interesting angle is not to competitively pit
      NonDuality against Yoga/effort, but to ask when is subtle
      effort appropriate and when is NonDuality appropriate? And
      which style of subtle effort should one use and I think this
      varies by individual.

      Both are absolutely essential, Yoga/subtle effort does not
      lead directly to the goal, but it is an essential
      intermediate step in stilling the mind.
      Without the intermediate preparation the final step most
      likely won't happen.

      Egoic attachment is such a clever, cunning, deceptive
      thing. The brain is so skillful at acquiring security &
      advancing the biological agenda of the individual, that this
      physical brain and it's seeking mechanisms can hold onto
      thoughts about NonDuality, just as with other prejudices,
      and fail to have the direct experience of NonDuality.

      Even advanced seekers (Xan posted an example about students
      of Papaji) are known to mistake an intellectual
      enlightenment for completion, or to mistake psychic/mystical
      experiences as completion. Flashy mystical experiences or
      genuine psychic powers can co-exist with egoic attachment!

      I appreciate your comment "it seems each person is attracted
      to that practice which is useful for them". This style of
      expansive loving positivity, complete in itself, is a
      natural complement to the style of leaving no stone unturned
      in passionate questioning.

      This is very Joycean:

      My practice is a matter of gradually getting used to what I
      suggested as an "experiment" and Ive been many years at it -
      and I didnt mean to suggest that people dabble - its more a
      persistent cultivation. I just didnt want to seem pushy -
      with these words I have made something that requires effort
      seem easy - and the lovely relaxation Im describing, the
      untying of Knots, is from experience - but as I watch my cat
      who has been sitting on my meditation cushion and blankets
      all day while I dabble with duality periodically oblivious
      to my practice -I have yet to experience the relaxed
      profoundity that is obviously effortless attainment for the

      Absolutely - we are the world - and this magical display is
      agog at this magical display - joyce short
      Tony O'Clery woke everyone up with this question:

      If the small i is destroyed and only the great 'I Am' shines
      forth, how does one get past that attribute? That feeling?
      Remember there is no ego to produce effort, or even
      non-effort, so how does one proceed to Nirguna?
      All thought may stop but that still leaves the 'feeling'.Is
      that not still duality?

      Joyce Short: Let me guess. This small "i" pops in and out
      of the GREAT I AM - rather as mother and child and are of
      the same family as mother and child. Thought comes and
      goes, feeling comes and goes, the little habit of "I" who
      has a habit of clinging to everything that comes and goes
      eventually grows up lets go - relaxes its grip on what is
      arising out of nature - recognizes its Mother and returns
      home. The Mother would never destroy her child but waits
      patiently to be recognized.

      Andrew Macnab: There's an odd sense of falling through
      bliss, very hard to speak of, like an ocean draining away.
      One doesn't proceed, one dissipates.

      Bruce Morgen quoted someone: "At first, I was irridescent;
      then, I became transparent. Finally, I was absent."

      Jan Barendrecht drummed: If the recognition of *That* didn't
      bring forth the knowledge how to get there it has to be
      interpreted that it will be "beyond reach" as apart from
      already existing, recognized subtle tendencies, nothing
      remains what could be called "initiative". But anyone,
      "having died while living prior to the recognition" is
      likely to know *how to get there*: A story, not to be told
      for good reasons.

      Jerry Katz became inspired: This is where Grace parts ways
      with Intention. Intention falls away like a spent engine
      utilized to break through gravity. Grace takes the last
      attribute, and then Grace gives all the attributes back. To
      know the nondual unchanging reality while the forces of the
      universe are twisting mysteriously through your very
      tissues, is to be successful at the game of Grace and
      Intention. To stop those forces and get stuck watching what
      has been stopped is to lose momentum, is to expose
      unfamiliarity with what is unchanging. The solution is to
      USE intention to bring about the highest knowledge that it
      is capable of tearing doors open to. THEN to release
      intention, or to see it drop away, and then, without
      sentimentality for its return, to allow Grace to be Grace,
      but without intention that Grace be Grace. Release
      Intention, release Attention, find their Source, then
      Intention and Attention will be given back to you by Grace,
      but they will come dressed in a whole new way.
      Gift wrapped. By Grace.

      Larry Biddinger wanted to know why: As long as there is one
      with attribute there is an "I" so the process continues. My
      guess is there is an automatic mechanism inherent in "I"
      that gradually opens so completely there is eventually no
      "I". This is like saying awareness becomes so aware, there
      is nothing to be aware of. But I don't know; why are you
      asking? Do you know?

      Dan Berkow: Yes, a subtle feeling of "I AM"
      involves a duality with "Nothingness", not nothing, but
      Nothingness "prior to" Being or Nonbeing. Before "I AM",
      beyond limitlessness, is what is never described, felt, or
      known. One doesn't proceed to This. One is fully undone.
      This can't be expressed. Even to raise the question implies
      that something can be said.
      Nonetheless, a good question to raise :-)

      Just when we were dozing off again, Ron (Carol) Philo
      stopped us and asked for further directions:

      I've been wondering. Do the members of the group think that
      experiencing the extremes of something ( famine/feasting,
      loneliness/too many people, etc)
      helps, hinders or does not effect achievement of non

      Andrew Macnab pointed one way: Experience itself is neutral.
      Trying to resist experience or hold onto it hinders.
      Not resisting or clinging is harder with intensely painful
      or pleasurable experiences.
      Experiencing extremes without resisting or clinging helps,
      it's learned, or more precisely, resisting and clinging are
      unlearned gradually through experience. There is an
      intentional attitude of nonresistance/nonclinging, a
      vigilance, which becomes more functional over time, like a
      muscle that gets stronger as it's exercised.

      Jerry Katz yanked out a map: Rajneesh/Osho taught that
      movement to one extreme brings about the other. His famous
      Dynamic Meditation worked with extremes. His Sannyasins
      wore extreme garb. He taught with regard to going deeply
      into sex, not repressing it, but taking it to the extreme.

      But when Rajneesh was teaching twenty, thirty years ago,
      people were more confused than they are today. People
      couldn't see or firmly intuit nondual, unchanging reality.
      So they needed to move into extremes in order to drive a
      wedge into a world of confusion birthed by sexual freedom,
      psychedelic revolution, the Cold War, Vietnam, ignorant
      religious upbringing, abuse at home, the New Age, etc. Da
      Free John did the same in his own way, and now he is an

      Extremes were needed until recently. The dust has settled.
      Arjuna is a good example of the evenness that prevails.
      Although it's not hard to see that Satsang is extreme, too.
      It's an easy kind of extreme.

      Guerrilla Nonduality doesn't speak of taking behavior or
      practice to extremes. It recognizes that the human organism
      is already extremely gone. The street is extreme. We can
      see that now. We can look at ourselves sitting still and at
      peace and because our nondual vision is so acute, our
      slightest dualistic behavior seems extreme. Not wanting to
      see that or acknowledge it, there may be a tendency to run
      from it or to deny it by creating extreme circumstances,
      such as fasts. If you want extreme, just stop and look. As
      nondualists, the dual is very obvious and it feels extreme.
      No fasting needed.

      Neither Rajneesh nor Da Free John could expect their
      devotees to see the obvious extreme. They had to take their
      devotees to extremes so that they could get to the point of
      seeing themselves as extremely gone from reality, as
      extremely false, so that they could win perspective.

      To get the perspective it is necessary to intuit the
      nondual. Nowadays there are many who intuit the nondual and
      they see that the so-called normal at-rest person is
      extreme, is living an extreme lie. Therefore, no outrageous
      behavior such as fasting or marathon running or marathon sex
      is necessary. (Well, two out of three.)

      To answer the question, all experiences are extreme.
      Movement through extremes can drive a wedge through the
      cloud of experiences, thoughts, feelings, and open a space
      in which one can fall and intuit the nondual.

      Here's more from Arjuna Nick Ardagh's, "How About Now?
      Satsang with Arjuna."

      "...for many of us it's time to move beyond preoccupation
      with the minute fluctuations of 'my freedom.' 'Am I getting
      identified with thought? Am I getting caught up? Or am I
      resting? Maybe I should do another retreat, or maybe I
      should have a session.' There comes a time when all that
      becomes like a hamster on one of those wheels. The very
      preoccupation with one's own state of consciousness is what
      keeps identification in place. What arises spontaneously
      from here is a life of service. That is the greatest

      "As soon as the body is used in service, the attention goes
      off this illusion of separate identity and starts to be
      concerned with the larger mind/body. For many of us, it's
      time to move beyond 'my freedom'. There's a pull of the
      heart, a call of the heart, to something bigger than 'my
      spiritual state'."
      Eric S. says we're totally dependent on thought to

      There is a simple fact to the "busy" mind that seems to be
      interferring with your enlightenment at present. The need
      to survive and the inability to live outside of society.
      Since it is obvious that society controls all your access to
      resources- it will be impossible to "escape" from dependence
      on a learned/conditioned or reacting mind.
      Why do you "think" we have all these racing thoughts banging
      around our heads to begin with? Why the need to survive of
      The drive to propagate. Perhaps one could "escape" to a
      monastary- take some vow of poverty, attach oneself to a
      religious conviction- try to substitute one habitual impulse
      for another. But adding one delusion on top of another only
      brings about the search for change to errupt.
      So instead of envying that shiney new car that is being
      driven by- you look up at an attained buddha posturing in a
      lotus position- merely redirection of that search for total
      security and life that your mind is now screaming and
      checking for at this very moment.
      Today? I think I will shop for religion to fill this void-
      tommorrow? I will invent an all encompassing philosophy.
      God! I am hungery- let's go shopping. Sorry sir- that loaf
      of bread is 2 dollars- you only have one.Time to go out and
      compete for more, I'm starving.
      How will I ever feed off of your enlightnement? Why should
      anyone listen to those stories of Awareness? Do you have a
      certificates? Are they redeemable? I need to fill up my
      car. That is real enough ain't it!
      - not everyone can sit around all day and meditate, someone
      must work the fields and push the plow. Why not this way
      instead. Oh, it is not getting you what you desire-
      "enlightenment" But I suppose in our spare time there is
      always time for these convictions, systems and games to play
      with. Let's kill two birds with one stone and make a
      teaching profession out of it! Please pass the donation
      plate. Next!

      Or so I thought...








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