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#2932 - Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz

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  • Jerry Katz
    #2932 - Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz The Nondual Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights One: Essential Writings on
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      #2932 - Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz 

      The Nondual Highlightshttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights  

      One: Essential Writings on Nonduality. Amazon site: http://nonduality.com/one.htm 
      Check availability at your local Borders Store:  



      A Zen Garden. The story by Jerrysan Rinpoche (Jerry C. Weinstein) can now be read at


      Namaste and love to all


      Anna sends the following to Nonduality Salon:

      "See it in Self"  Edgar Cayce

      From Era posted to Freedom_From_The_Known

      A New Kind of Judgment: the development of Awareness
      There are fundamentally two types of judgment for two types of levels
      or experiences.

      When we judge something and condemn it, it doesn't feel very
      spiritual. Most of the world is doing this most of the time. I'll call
      this the level of "betterment". We judge between good and bad and are
      always wanting the better of the situation. Very normal, and again,
      where most of the world resonates.

      When we discern, or judge, to not attach to a situation, we are
      potentially coming from (or moving to) a non-dual or what many people
      think is a very spiritual place. Both of these actions use judgment.
      One is on the level of betterment, and one is on the level of
      non-duality or spirituality. This non-dual judgment is the new
      kindofjudgment. It is the development of awareness.

      What most of us are trying to accomplish in meditation, or learning
      our own minds, is an appreciation of what is. A non-comparative
      experience of is-ness. No good, no bad, just is-ness, or stillness.
      That type of experience is often called non-dual, and we try to
      experience it during meditation, and since meditation has a spiritual
      stigma surrounding it, we tend to equate spirituality with non-dual
      states of mind.

      The more normal experience is on the level of betterment. The level
      where I prefer this smell to that smell, this feeling to that feeling,
      this person to that person. The first talk I did was on beliefs, and
      how beliefs are born from opinions. Well the level of betterment is
      the dance of comparing what we believe we are, with our situation; and
      striving toward the better aspects of that situation. An important
      point in this talk, and all my talks is to remember that we have the
      tendency to solidify our beliefs, but that it might serve us to soften
      our beliefs about who we are so there's less "us" for phenomenon to
      bump into. This is not unhealthy dissociation, it is being aware of
      our ability to judge things in many different ways. I'll discuss more
      on beliefs later.

      I'm going to define a couple other words right now: relative and
      absolute. Relative is the dance between two or more things, and
      absolute is oneness (or potentially nothingness, but that's another
      conversation). If I am comparing something to something else, or even
      something to myself, I am in a relativistic good-bad frame of mind. If
      there is no comparison, and there is only experience of what is, then
      I am in a non-dual, or what we might call a spiritual state of mind.

      So the concept for this talk is this: if we use judgment to support a
      good or bad belief, or a betterment belief, meaning a qualitative
      stance on things, then we are not acting in a traditional spiritual
      fashion, but we are acting on a betterment fashion. On the other hand,
      If we are using judgment to choose a not belief based, not good or bad
      comparison, but our choice is to choose non-comparison itself; then
      we're acting deeply spiritual, or deeply non-dual. That ability would
      be the new kind of judgement. The decision to drop comparison.

      Many people are dancing in this space without much context at this
      point. They learn about the non-dual state of mind, and all of a
      sudden duality or the betterment level is bad. But, we're not supposed
      to always act spiritual, or non-dual. To think about it differently,
      this entire life is spiritual, but many people take spiritual to mean
      non-dual experience only. You might start to feel that we can bring
      the term spiritual to both levels: non-dual and betterment; if we see
      that awareness or discernment are involved throughout. My betterment
      decisions become more spiritually based when I have the non-dual
      experience available to me.

      The betterment level is where we can lose weight. It's where we make
      more money. It's where we can actually affect change in our lives, and
      other peoples lives. It's not a bad place. We want to get better at
      dealing with the betterment level because it is a part of life. We
      just don't want to remain lost in the betterment level only. We need
      both in our toolkit. If we don't have any ability to just "be", to
      just feel the situation, to move our solidified center of self out of
      the way, then we don't have as many tools. The non-dual experiential
      side allows us to see the beauty in whatever comes up. Without that we
      don't have the freedom side of things. So one is the work
      (betterment), and one is the freedom (non-dual experience). Most of us
      are just stuck in the work.

      So this is a discussion on judgment, on good and bad, on beliefs, and
      on how all this stuff arises. The belief part is the me that comes up
      against the decision. The me that feels the pressure of the situation.
      So many teachings teach that we need to authentically feel our
      feelings, and I completely agree. But not many teachings mention that
      our feelings are relative to who we think we are, and what's going on
      in the situation.
      If you step on my foot, there will most probably be physical pain, but
      most people assume there will be tons of healthy anger there as well,
      and there certainly might be. However, the levels of anger depend
      completely on my perception of the event. If I believe you meant to do
      it, there will potentially be lots of anger. If I have compassion for
      your frustrated situation, there will potentially be less anger. If I
      believe it was completely an accident, there is the potential for very
      little anger if at any comes up at all. So the anger is not absolute,
      it is relative to who I believe I am and you are in that situation.

      Most of us walk around with a solidified self that can't have it's
      foot stepped on. Most teachings would say that we need to include the
      healthy anger that comes up with all these situations. But that
      assumes a static unmovable self. The ability to move self, or choose
      (which is a new kind of judgment) what we want to attach to or believe
      in, allows us a deep freedom and is acting on the non-dual side of
      things. Learning this level of judgment allows us to have more options
      when that conflict arises. I can change the me that is in the
      situation. Fully dropping the me is to fully drop the relativistic
      quality of the situation (feel the feelings, choose to drop the
      judgment). Having these options in our toolkit is the building of
      awareness. Awareness is what I have called discernment in the past. It
      is the comparison and knowledge of where we are.
      So we use the tension of the betterment level to achieve, and we use
      the freedom of the non-dual level to grow spiritually. The two kinds
      of decisions we have available to us are on two very different levels,
      but both are really necessary.

      So normal judging is between relative things and is on the level of
      betterment. Judging (or choosing to experience) the level of absolute
      is non-dual and a new kind of judgment for most people. When we are
      stuck without the new kind of judgment, without the discernment of
      awareness, we are stuck in the betterment side of things only. That is
      generally a reactive and not very full experience of life. Once we
      learn these other tools that we have available to us, it allows us to
      navigate and improve within the betterment level, and it also offers
      the entire spectrum of non-dual experience as well.

      The major block to compassion is the judgment in our minds. Judgment
      is the mind's primary tool of separation. ~ Diane Berke in The Gentle

      Anna note:

      Perhaps when we can see how TO ACT from non-separative action--not
      from a "reaction/reactionary" mode, so to speak, we will truly choose
      to create actions that will not separate us into an 'us' and 'them'.

      Healing ourselves and our world can begin, once again, NOW.


      Infinity Foundation is pleased to announce the publication of the
      following three books sponsored by it. Each of them was a 3-year
      project authored by an accomplished scholar, and each pertains to
      Indic traditions' positive impact on contemporary America.

      1) "Emerson and the Light of India: An Intellectual History", by
      Robert Gordon. National Book Trust, India. "

      Ralph Waldo Emerson was the first American to pioneer the serious
      exploration of Indian philosophy, and as his own thinking grew over
      time, Indian philosophy profoundly influenced the course of that
      growth. This book thoroughly investigates the ways in which the
      scriptures of India shaped the maturing Transcendentalism of this
      great Amerian thinker. In addition, by analyzing in concrete detail
      the crucial ways in which the scriptures of India influenced
      Emerson's metaphysical development, the book repudiates the arguments
      of those who maintain that Emerson abandoned the optimistic faith of
      his youth. it makes plain that those who ascribe to Emerson a"Fall"
      from his early beliefs are demonstrably in error, primarily because
      of their serious misunderstanding of the influence, on Emerson, of
      Hindu and Buddhist teachings." (Back cover).

      Given the central importance of Emerson's Transcendentalist movement
      in America's intellectual history, and its influence upon a few
      generations of American luminaries, this book is a important
      corrective to American history and the role of Indic traditions in
      shaping it.

      A prior book republished in India by Infinity Foundation was, "TS
      Eliot and Indic Traditions," by Cleao Kearns. This book showed how
      Eliot's major works, including the poems, "The Wasteland" and "The
      Four Quartets" were profoundly influenced by Upanishadic thoughts,
      Gita, etc. In fact, large passages are almost direct translations
      from Indic sources.

      Both Emerson and Eliot were towering figures in American literature,
      separated by a century. Both went to Harvard where their careers were
      shaped by immersions in Indian texts and thought. But their
      relationships with Hinduism evolved in very different ways.

      Emerson went back to Harvard years later to make a major address to
      the Harvard community, in which he publicly resigned as a Christian
      minister and preacher, explaining how his new philosophy (based on
      Hinduism) made it impossible for him to continue to preach
      Christianity. For making this speech, Emerson was denounced by
      Harvard. A decision was made to block him from ever being allowed to
      come to Harvard. This ex-communication from a supposedly liberal
      champion of intellectual freedom lasted till he died.

      In Eliot's case, after he wrote some of America's most famous poems
      under Indian influence, he faced a similar dilemma as Emerson:
      whether to go all the way and leave behind his Christian identity, or
      whether to U-Turn back to Christianity. Eliot was under heavy
      Christian peer influence at Harvard. He eventually made a formal
      public "conversion" back to Christianity. This, explains Cleo Kearns'
      book, enabled him to continue studying Hindu texts from the safety of
      an arms-length relationship. Henceforth, he was secure as a Christian
      and said he was merely studying Hinduism from a distance as the
      "other". The post-U-turn Eliot continued to appropriate from Indic
      traditions and his works have left a permanent shift in western
      literature and thought.

      2) "The Experience of Meditation", by Jonathan Shear. Paragon Press,
      USA. This is a compilation of meditation theories and practices in a
      variety of religious traditions, including Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi and
      Christian. Each chapter is written by an insider of the given
      tradition who is invariably one of its leading living
      scholar-practitioners. Shear worked hard to collaborate with each
      system's prominent experts, in order to ensure that each was
      represented authentically in its own voice. The book fills a gap in
      college texts on the popular subject of meditation, by making it
      pluralistic and yet without trying to hide the religious traditions
      underneath each system.

      One of the important outcomes from my interactions with Shear over
      the years has been an incredible treasure trove of evidence on how
      Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation got co-opted into Herb Benson's
      "Western Science" and into Father Keating's "Christian Centering
      Prayer". Both these appropriations are based on TM by erasing the
      source tradition.

      In the case of Father Thomas Keating, the Hindu source was seen as a
      sort of threat to Christianity's claim of having developed meditation
      internally, with no positive help from the heathen others. In Benson's
      case, by ignoring the TM origins of all his "scientific findings" he
      was able to launch himself as a "Western pioneer of mind science";
      then this secured him a lucrative and powerful position with
      Templeton Foundation where he has been facilitating the migration of
      these scientific findings into Christian frameworks; and now he is
      established as the "originator" of the new complementary medicine in
      US research, hospitals and medical colleges. All this and much more
      will be elaborated in my forthcoming U-Turn Theory book.

      3) "Yoga Psychology and the Transformation of Consciousness: Seeing
      Through the Eyes of Infinity", by Don Salmon and Jan Maslow. Paragon
      Press, USA.

      When I first met Don Salmon, a clinical practitioner of "spirituality
      & psychology", he was deeply influenced by Sri Aurobindo and various
      other Indian spiritual traditions. But he was a part of the common
      trend of "sameness" of approaches as a way to mask distinctiveness
      and to gain wider appeal. Don and I had to a few years of fruitful
      engagement, much of it online through the YogaPsychology Yahoogroup
      where he became a very active moderator. Infinity gave him a grant to
      work on exploring the unacknowledged Indic influences, often because
      of U-Turns. His work brought to light many such examples. He shifted
      over time, starting to demand the rightful place of Indian
      adhyatma-vidya (inner sciences) in R&D, education and popular
      explanations. This book was a 3-year project sponsored by Infinity
      Foundation in which Don brings out the conflucence of various
      traditions in shaping the new emerging worldviews of body-mind-spirit
      relationships from the point of psychology. It is somewhat ambiguous
      as to where his latest position is on this -- between Indic
      traditions on one side, Judeo-Christianity's lucrative market on the
      other side, and "western" or generic science in the middle.


      17TH VEDANTA CONGRESS: Prof. Pappu of Miami University is holding his
      17th Congress. Once again, Infinity Foundation is proud to be the lead
      sponsor of this event. The Lifetime Achievement Award this year is
      being conferred to Prof. Arvind Sharma of McGill University.
      Personally I feel nobody deserves it better given his immense
      contributions from within the academy. The detailed program of the
      Congress is attached.


      Rajiv Malhotra

      Infinity Foundation

      Princeton, New Jersey.
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