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#3030 - Friday, December 28, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz

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  • Jerry Katz
    #3030 - Friday, December 28, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz The Nonduality Highlights ... In this issue, Mark responds to Z. James responds to Mark. Also two book
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 29, 2007
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      #3030 - Friday, December 28, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
       
      The Nonduality Highlights
       
       

       
       
      In this issue, Mark responds to Z. James responds to Mark. Also two book reviews written by Jerry. My next issue is on January 1, 2008. Happy New Year!
       
      Jerry
       
       

       
       
      Maybe it's like this: Knowing, which is what we are, is like strong
      light shining into water.The water can be very agitated but the light
      is not contaminated by that agitation.It doesn't get wet
      either. Anyway, we really do not do this stuff we seem to do. Our
      deeds are really events like wind blowing or rain falling.You may say
      that that is my opinion--well, look very closely at the process of
      choice next time you are presented with somekind of fork in the
      road.You may be astonished.
       
      Z
       
       
      -------------------------------------
       
       
      Hi Gang,
       
      I rather like this response, although I can relate to Nora's
      concerns.
       
      As I see it, there are (at least...)3 possible reactions to the
      assasination of Ms. Bhutto.
       
      1) A concern about "my" future resulting from this situation... A
      loss of stability in a crucial part of the world - a buffer between
      the nuclear power of India and the apparently hostile country
      Afganistan, and a nuclear power in it's own right - Pakistan. Hmmm...
      could be trouble for me and my particular "loved ones."
       
      2) A concern about Pakistan's future - apparently teetering on the
      brink between democracy and potentially disastrous fundamentalism...
      and how this might affect "me."
       
      3) A concern about the apparent "fight" between truth and nontruth...
      The truth that all folks want the same thing - happiness, and the
      nontruth that we all seem to have different ideas about what will
      bring that about. It seems to me that this "fight" is very real in
      this plane... Maya, and yet, quite silly on the plane of "truth..."
      Okay, so I'm dividing ALL into Maya versus Truth... but only for the
      sake of argument.
       
      So, for the sake of this hypothetical argument...
       
      What if there is only the truth that we are all love, and somehow we
      appear to have become estranged from this? And what if the more we
      seem estranged, the more intense our desire for "truth" and "love"
      becomes? What if it gets so strong that we think that killing "the
      enemy" is the only way to get back to that love and truth? Given that
      premise, can we despise the folks who killed Ms Bhutto? (and if so,
      can we truly say we have recovered from the premise...?)
       
      I regret the assasination of Ms. Bhutto, because I think she was
      sincere in her desire for the democratiziation of Pakistan, and I
      also believe that such democratization would be beneficial for both
      Pakistan and the rest of the world, but I acknowledge that I do not
      know what is best for the world. Heck, I do not know what is best for
      "Mark." (although I still think that if you send me money, I'll be
      better off...) I just don't know. There are many examples of folks in
      the past who have died, or otherwise sacrificed, which have lead to
      better conditions. Martin Luther King, for example. His martyrdom
      probably lead to better conditions for "people of melotin persuasion"
      in the US. Mr. Ghandi's assasination led to an even greater
      appreciation of his efforts. Jesus Christ's martydom might be argued
      to have led to better conditions for some, although I feel I'm
      stretching here... given the crusades and other abuses...
       
      Perhaps each of these "historical" events might be seen as metaphors
      for ego death. If one can let go of one's personal goals, and come to
      think in terms of everyone's success (and I include all living and
      non-living beings here on Earth, and perhaps even elsewhere... in
      this) then one will be able to take the whole picture into
      consideration and at least hope for the best outcome "in general."
       
      In that spirit, I appreciate Ms Bhutto's willingness to be subjected
      to the danger of assasination in the spirit of democracy in Pakistan.
      I lament her death, but I also applaud her dedication. There is not
      one emotion here as a result of her untimely death, but several. I
      feel grief for her murder. I feel joy at her dedication. And finally
      (although, that is such a weak word...), I feel disappointment at her
      unwise decision to stand up at that particular moment. I also feel
      distrust towards the official government of Pakistan, and disgust at
      the mental orientation of Alquida, who seem intent on destroying so
      many to accomplish something that appears here very selfish.
       
      As all of these emotions roil through my mind, I remind myself that
      at the core of my being (and therefore at the core of all being...)
      there is a silent, joyous, unspeakable sense of being that I seem to
      have come into this life to rediscover; that answers all these
      questions, albeit in a way that I cannot put into words.
       
      I seek, more and more often, to rest in that silence, and hope that
      "everyone" else will too.
       
      Love, Mark
       
       
      ----------------------------
       
       
      Yes Mark,

      Love is self-actualizing and self-correcting... afterall it's Love.

      Love acts - in the *winding* river of it's unfolding there is
      functioning as feeling and all the other 'stuff' of life...

      - mistaken identification with and as the manifestation rather than
      the Source is the 'problem' (in Love it is not that there are no
      problems - things happen - yet nothing is problematic as every
      problem has within it its solution)

      - the 'silent' understanding (the intelligence of the Heart - the
      homeground of Love) that "I am THAT" is 'living' Spacious Awareness
      wherein Love's self-correcting current flows without restriction.

      Love (the reason for the season),
      James
       
       


       

      The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

      by Alan Watts
       
      The Carl Sagan of Nonduality
       
      In 1966, Alan Watts published a book near the end of which he
      introduced the word "nonduality" to a mainstream audience: "The
      unity, or inseparability, of one and many is ... referred to in
      Vedanta philosophy as `non-duality' (advaita) to distinguish it from
      simple uniformity." The Book is important for anyone who wants to
      understand nonduality. The topics it covers are wider ranging than
      what's seen in the current crop of more direct and lean books on
      nonduality. He riffs on God, Christmas morning, American values,
      spirituality, Dads, religion, social change, philosophy, death. He
      calls in Blake, Bohm, Schrodinger, a gang of philosophers, a cut of
      Zen.
       
      Alan Watts was the Carl Sagan of nonduality. That is, he spoke
      eloquently, plainly, quotably, and memorably about the essential
      truth of his sphere of interest, which could be called nonduality,
      truth, IT, That, or This, or Who You Are.
       
      In the first few pages, Watts informs the reader a new perspective is
      about to come down: "We do not need a new religion or a new bible. We
      need a new experience - a new feeling of what it is to be `I.'"
       
      Then he gets into it and in paragraph after paragraph of explanation
      and example, Watts lays down the nondual perspective: "...what we
      call `things' are no more than glimpses of a unified process.
      Certainly, this process has distinct features which catch our
      attention, but we must remember that distinction is not separation."
       
      Watts' tone of voice is like that of any guru: "If you ask me how to
      get beyond the ego-feeling, I shall ask you why you want to get
      there. If you give me the honest answer, which is that your ego will
      feel better in the `higher spiritual status' of self-transcendence,
      you will thus realize that you - as ego - are a fake."
       
      Because of the quality of explanation, I would say The Book is an
      important and excellent book to add to your study of nonduality. I do
      think there are moments when Watts enjoys hearing his own voice, but
      I enjoyed hearing it too.
       
      Jerry Katz
       

       
       
      The Luminous Ground: The Nature of Order, Book 4

      by Christopher Alexander
       
      Feeling and Valuing Existence
       
      This book is a free, original expression of nonduality, or
      non-separation, which is to say nothing is separate from existence.
      If you love art, architecture, color, light, inner light,
      incorporation of the tears and sadness of "the cares of the world,"
      living a natural and open life, this book will show you how that love
      meets up with the truth of your existence.
       
      How can you "feel" non-separation or nonduality? By knowing that you
      exist. This is your sense of "I" that Alexander speaks of throughout
      this book. Or call it "I Am." Since everyone can know that they
      exist, their most fundamental nature is this "I" or "I Am." Valuing
      that you exist, valuing this "I" brings a sense of unity with all
      people, their creations, their appreciations, their failures, sadness
      and tears. It brings a sense of union with humanity.
       
      This feeling of existence is the crux of this book. It's not just
      feeling existence, but valuing existence. It almost sounds silly:
      "valuing existence." Such valuing leads to wonder that never ends and
      all works being done as a gift of existence to existence, or to God.
      It makes you focus on existence so that you create something that
      communicates multiple layers of meaning, the totality of existence,
      in a building or an artwork.
       
      Religion, art, physics, quantum theory, and mostly the "I," the true
      you, come together in this unusual, delightful, beautiful to hold and
      read, art book full of vibrant color photographs, pictures, and
      illustrations.
       
      If there is another edition or another volume, perhaps some of the
      more direct teachings of nonduality can be included. For example, the
      words of the great Indian sage Ramana Maharshi turn one toward a
      disposition most favorable for the understanding, absorbing, and
      integrating of Alexander's confessions about art and existence:
      "Existence or Consciousness is the only reality. If you enquire 'Who
      am I?' the mind will return to its source (or where it issued from).
      The thought which arose will also submerge. As you practice like this
      more and more, the power of the mind to remain as its source is
      increased."
       
      Jerry Katz
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