#2780 - Friday, April 6, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#2780 - Friday, April 6, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz - One: Essential Writings on Nonduality http://nonduality.com/one.htm
Nondual Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights]
This is a Good Friday/Passover issue. It begins with some down home emails from people we know and love, then a mystical nondual revelation of Passover, and finally Eric Chaffee reveals nondual teaching in tremendous verses from John 17 as set forth in The Message Bible.
It is said that on this day, the
ideal of the good man, and
of total surrender met total
cruelty on a cross. And, so,
the archetype of the perfect
heart was born.
His death more than any other
symbolizes liberation. Not only
the giving up of the body, but
also the giving up of the spirit.
On the cross of renunciation we
not only surrender the flesh, but
our beliefs, and spiritual hopes,
as well. In this way, we die to our
past, and to the future, and, so, we
are resurrected to this very moment
that floats in emptiness like a star.
PeteThat is lovely. Starr Daily reminds me of this. A convicted, hardened
criminal, he found Christ in his jail cell. His writings are as lucid
as that of any Christian mystic that ever wrote. You might enjoy
listening to one of his talks. I believe the url is
His innate intelligence is a breath of fresh air. When you hear him,
you know he is not dissembling.
and this is
the only afterlife
heaven and hell
surrendering to grace
burns all karma
god's infinite mercy
in a blink
of an eyelid.
so die right now
Oh ! I'm happy to be among you ! --forget heaven..
This week's section opens with an interesting 'Holy-Temple' commandment
called Trumat HaDeshen; to remove the ashes of the previous day's
sacrifices from the Altar before beginning the next day's service.
At first glance this is not so clear. First of all, what difference
does it make if the altar is cleaned each day or not. and why make it a
Why not just clean it whenever it's necessary.
But most important. what do we care what was done thousands of years ago
in the Temple? And even when the Third Temple will be rebuilt by
Moshiach, only the priests would do this work. what does it mean to us
Finally, in a few days will be the holiday of Passover: the Holiday of
Freedom (Z'man Chay'ru'say'nu).
Is there any connection?
Here is a story to help us understand.
Over one Thousand years ago lived a great and Holy leader and teacher
called Rabbi Saadia Gaon (Gaon means Torah Master). This Rabbi had many
hundreds of pupils and all of them had a great thirst to learn. Even a
casual movement or word from their revered teacher provided them a
lesson for life.
Once two of his pupils happened to be walking in the mountains early one
winter morning when they heard a strange noise on the other side of a
hill, when they approached the top they saw, to their great surprise,
their great master rolling in snow (an act of penitence not in practice
today)! Later that day they asked the great Rav Saadia why he was
repenting and heard the following explanation.
"Several months ago I decided that all the honor and attention I was
receiving from everyone around me was interfering with my service of the
Creator. G-d must be served with joy, and without complete humility, joy
is impossible. So I decided that I would spend several months in a place
where no one recognizes me.
"I put on simple garments and began my self-imposed exile, wandering
from town to town. One night I was in a small inn run by an old Jew. He
was a very kind and simple man, we spoke for a while before I went to
sleep, and early the next morning, after I prayed 'Shacharit' (morning
prayer), I bade him farewell and was again on my way.
"What I didn't know was that several of my pupils had been searching for
me, and several hours after I left the inn they appeared, hot on my
trail. 'Did you see Rabbi Saadia Gaon?' they asked him, 'We have reason
to believe that he was here.'
"'Saadia Gaon?' replied the bewildered old Jew, 'what would the great
Rav Saadia be doing in a place like mine? Rav Saadia Gaon in my inn?
No.I'm sure that you are very mistaken! There was no Rav Saadia Gaon
"But the young men explained to him how I look and why they were
searching, when suddenly the old Jew held his head and began yelling:
'Ooy! Rav Saadia, Rav Saadia was here! You were right!! Ooy, Ooy!' and
he ran outside, jumped into his wagon and began urging his horse to go
as fast as possible in the direction that I took. After a short time
when he caught up to me, he jumped from his carriage and fell at my feet
moaning: 'Please forgive me, Rav Saadia. Please forgive me, I didn't
know that it was you!'
"I made him stand up and brush himself off, and then said to him,
'listen here, my friend, you treated me very well, you were very kind
and hospitable. Why are you so sorry? You have nothing to apologize
"'No no, Rabbi' he replied, 'If I would have known who you are, that you
are the great Rav Saadia, I would have treated you COMPLETELY
"Suddenly I realized that this man was teaching me a very important
lesson in the service of G-d, and that the purpose of my exile was
fulfilled. I thanked and blessed him and returned home.
"Now, every evening when I say the prayer before sleeping (called Kriat
Shma al ha Mita) I go over in my mind how I served G-d the entire day.
But when I think of that old innkeeper I say to myself 'Oy! If I had
known about HaShem in the beginning of the day what I know now, I would
have treated Him COMPLETELY differently!'
"And that is why I was repenting this morning."
This is the commandment of Trumat HaDeshen, to remove the 'leftovers'
i.e. the unnecessary attitudes, thoughts, speech, actions, habits etc. we had
yesterday in order to make today a little better.
And it is very meaningful to us today.
We are approaching the holiday of Pesach. called in our prayers "The
Holiday of Freedom" Z'man Chay'ru'tainu.
But according to Chassidic teachings the purpose of this holiday is not
just to remember what happened over 3,300 years ago.
Rather this holiday is a window into the infinite and an injection of
new power and inspiration to constantly free ourselves (Tanya Chapt. 47)
from the attitudes etc. that separate us from complete joy and
selflessness in serving the Creator. That is true freedom!!
That is why we mention leaving Egypt in our prayers several times a day,
every day; because it is a constant process; we constantly have to
tap-in to this power.
And that is exactly what Rabbi Saadia Gaon was doing in our story. As
holy and pure as he was . he realized that leaving one's limitations
(the word for Egypt; "Mitzriam' also means narrowness) meant leaving
even limitations of holiness.
As the mystical work 'The Zohar' teaches; that Moshiach will bring even
Tzadikim; completely pure and righteous Jews, to do 'Teshuva' (return to
But it's not so easy. Indeed it was one of the main causes of the
opposition of 'orthodox' Judaism to the Baal Shem Tov. Just as the Jews
resisted leaving Egypt.
The Besh't taught that even 'Tzadikim' must do 'tshuva'. in order to
leave their personal 'Egypts' now.
This is the true meaning of 'removing the ashes'. to remove all selfish
traits and feelings and it is a commandment for each and every one of us
at all times.
But we get this power from celebrating Pesach each year; eating the
Matzot, drinking four cups of wine, telling about the miracles of the
Exodus, and by learning the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov and his
pupils (called Chassidut. especially Chassidut Chabad) the rest of the
May this Pesach give us the power and courage to do all we can to
desire, think, talk about and do all we can to bring...
Rabbi Tuvia Bolton
Yeshiva Ohr Tmimim
Kfar Chabad, Israel
Eric ChaffeeEaster greetings to all, on Good Friday, the near near side of the cross.
The passages below, centered on John 17, are deeply instructive and comforting. They
demonstrate amazing courage in advance of the cross. The major portion is from Eugene
Peterson's paraphrase of the Bible, The Message Bible. For me, John 17 contains some of
the deepest nondual teachings I've found anywhere. Of special interest is the penultimate
paragraph. But the whole prayer builds to a crescendo of love that is unequalled in
It is worth noticing that this prayer, which Jesus offers for the oneness of all, is said
in advance of his proving it on the cross. Truly, therefore, it is a prayer of faith. He knows
it to be already so, even though the aggressive challenge of separation will attempt to
assert itself in the ultimate cruelty of execution by torture, simply for daring to claim the
oneness of all of creation. (His accusers demanded to know: "Art thou the Christ, the Son
of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right
hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes,
and saith, What need we any further witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think
ye? And they all condemnded him to death." -Mark 14:61-64 kjv.)
Jesus knew what awaited him, yet he did not detour. He faced death and grave with
utter disregard and total submission, in order to show us that the utter inability of those
mere suggestions of separability could somehow eclipse God's everpresence.
When he spoke those words from the cross, which hint to some that God might have
abandoned him, he was quoting the first verse of David's Psalm 22. Surely he knew the
rest of the Psalm, which recounts David's victories of the past, while David was yet in
turmoil. Jesus was doing the same! -- not lamenting separation, but remembering
How sublime it is that he calls to all of us from the other side of this great divide, as
if to say: "It's ok guys! Come on over. You're safe, and always have been. The lie and the
liar have now both been exposed as a delusion. They've been defeated. Welcome home.
Your fears were groundless. It is I. Be not afraid."
Surely his resurrection has plenty of room in it for anyone longing for a dwelling
place of peace and comfort. (Consciousness without fear!) The world threatens and asserts
separation. Jesus has demolished it, and teaches us how to live without fear, in the
oneness which he has illustrated -- in the oneness which is ours, if we will have it. This is
the church which he established. It's a unity, not an organization. One awareness in many
places, inseparable from the unending Source of all Being. 'I in you, and you in me.'
. . .Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I've revealed to you. Ask in my
name, according to my will, and he'll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river
overflowing its banks!
25-28 "I've used figures of speech in telling you these things. Soon I'll drop the figures
and tell you about the Father in plain language. Then you can make your requests directly
to him in relation to this life I've revealed to you. I won't continue making requests of the
Father on your behalf. I won't need to. Because you've gone out on a limb, committed
yourselves to love and trust in me, believing I came directly from the Father, the Father
loves you directly. First, I left the Father and arrived in the world; now I leave the world and
travel to the Father."
29-30 His disciples said, "Finally! You're giving it to us straight, in plain talk—no more
figures of speech. Now we know that you know everything—it all comes together in you.
You won't have to put up with our questions anymore. We're convinced you came from
31-33 Jesus answered them, "Do you finally believe? In fact, you're about to make a run
for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I'm not abandoned. The Father is
with me. I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured,
deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take
heart! I've conquered the world."
1-5 Jesus said these things. Then, raising his eyes in prayer, he said:
Father, it's time.
Display the bright splendor of your Son
So the Son in turn may show your bright splendor.
You put him in charge of everything human
So he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge.
And this is the real and eternal life:
That they know you,
The one and only true God,
And Jesus Christ, whom you sent.
I glorified you on earth
By completing down to the last detail
What you assigned me to do.
And now, Father, glorify me with your very own splendor,
The very splendor I had in your presence
Before there was a world.
6-12 I spelled out your character in detail
To the men and women you gave me.
They were yours in the first place;
Then you gave them to me,
And they have now done what you said.
They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt,
That everything you gave me is firsthand from you,
For the message you gave me, I gave them;
And they took it, and were convinced
That I came from you.
They believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I'm not praying for the God-rejecting world
But for those you gave me,
For they are yours by right.
Everything mine is yours, and yours mine,
And my life is on display in them.
For I'm no longer going to be visible in the world;
They'll continue in the world
While I return to you.
Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life
That you conferred as a gift through me,
So they can be one heart and mind
As we are one heart and mind.
As long as I was with them, I guarded them
In the pursuit of the life you gave through me;
I even posted a night watch.
And not one of them got away,
Except for the rebel bent on destruction
(the exception that proved the rule of Scripture).
13-19 Now I'm returning to you.
I'm saying these things in the world's hearing
So my people can experience
My joy completed in them.
I gave them your word;
The godless world hated them because of it,
Because they didn't join the world's ways,
Just as I didn't join the world's ways.
I'm not asking that you take them out of the world
But that you guard them from the Evil One.
They are no more defined by the world
Than I am defined by the world.
Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth;
Your word is consecrating truth.
In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world,
I give them a mission in the world.
I'm consecrating myself for their sakes
So they'll be truth-consecrated in their mission.
20-23 I'm praying not only for them
But also for those who will believe in me
Because of them and their witness about me.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they'll be as unified and together as we are—
I in them and you in me.
Then they'll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you've sent me and loved them
In the same way you've loved me.
24-26 Father, I want those you gave me
To be with me, right where I am,
So they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me,
Having loved me
Long before there ever was a world.
Righteous Father, the world has never known you,
But I have known you, and these disciples know
That you sent me on this mission.
I have made your very being known to them—
Who you are and what you do—
And continue to make it known,
So that your love for me
Might be in them
Exactly as I am in them.