- DAN BERKOW
Behind the imagined mask,
is the imagined space
behind the mask.
What is real isn't
the mask, nor in
the space behind
Laughing is definitely good for the soul,
particularly at simple absurdity.
Humor seems a double-edged sword -
it may be a defense that keeps
the world intact,
Or it may be breaking through
the stuckness and pretensions of the world -
a willingness to see everything
presumed real shattered.
I was raised with no religion at all. And to be honest i am
grateful for it because to me this would have been a lot of
problems with my family, because i would not have been able
to fit in any beliefsystem. I was rather rebellious about
it. In this way, i stayed open minded. No path was set.
Anyway, the whole concept of a God as it has been created
by the Church is a farce to me. I am not speaking of one's
own inner religion not based on any particular belief
system, which is something quite different. But this whole
makebelief system of the Church is doing a lot of harm and
makes people think that they are *on the right track* which
of course is not so, it is very superficial and not at all
based upon selfinquiry, hence a lot of hypocrisy.
I welcome any discussion about the things we are talking
about on the list, but i must say that i do not really
depend on it, because there is something inside of me that
keeps ringing bells and i know from early childhood that
*something is wrong somewhere* (whatever that means). I
know for certain that reality is something entirely
different from what i perceive, because our inner
mechanisms distort it. But i never got any further than
that and i have no idea either how i came to know that.
Maybe in very early childhood there have been certain
events of realization (that i do not conciously remember)
or it is something build-in, i honestly do not know.
I am not really concerned about higher things. For me it is
clear that the problem resides in ourselves, in our never
ending capacity to conceptualize and to filter everything
that enters our poor brains. As i told Neo just now in
another post, i am waiting that thought gets tired of me,
because i do not seem to get tired of thought.
I have done several so-called therapy groups in the past,
but somehow that does not work with me or i do not want to
work it that way.
There are 2 enlightened masters (at least that's how i see
them) : Osho and Jiddu Khrishnamurti and they are both very
dear to me. However, their approach is not at all the same,
although i see very clearly that their aim is exactly the
same. But Jiddu Khrishnamurti is on top, because his
approach is (although he denies it) through the mind and
Osho's approach is through the heart. And I know for myself
that i will not be at peace (due to my optimistic nature,
this is endurable) before my mind somehow gets so weary of
itself that it agrees to step aside.
Needless to say that we are all different aspects of the
whole Universe, all playing our game in a different way.
While writing this post, i read another one that just came
in from Judi with a quote from Adi Da : we are all talking
about our adventure, and so be it.
Miguel-Angel Carrasco has provided an extensive compilation
of Nisargadatta's words, over 70 printed pages. 'Asmi:
Excerpts from Nisargadatta Maharaj's I Am That', is a whole
new look at the classic work. Thank you, Miguel. --Jerry
HANS: ...in my own experience with people around me there
are very very few poeple (to be honest i do not know of any
in my own circle of family, friends and aquaintances) that
are even close to starting any of such inquiries. If they
experience some kind of problem, then sometimes i ask if
they ever relate this to themselves. Usually, this is what
i am told : "What the hell are you talking about ?" and the
MARCIA: This is a very good point. To me it is critical to
have others that I meet with regularly to help me re-member
myself. Otherwise it is entirely possible to go days
without re-membering myself once. It is like a distant echo
or something. The connection with my group is theoretical,
personal, and social. There is something real being forged
as we meditate, socialize, do Movements, and talk over our
personal work for the week. There is something that clicks
each week, a finer energy produced which can be felt.
I was listening to a Peter, Paul, and Mary song yesterday
that went something like....
I was riding in a train going west blah, blah, asleep for
to take my rest I dreamed a dream that made me sad blah,
blah and the good friends I had. :-)
When I first found the Work (Gurdjieff) I was fairly young.
I moved in communally with people. We meditated together
everyday, talk things over, ate together, had children (not
together but in pairs). Something was forged in me which
has never died. Those long get togethers where we sat and
went round and round about self observation and talked over
our impressions and our lives and set aims and loved God
and read books. I found community with higher aim. I
married my husband in the Work. We have a common ground
between us based on the most sacred part of ourselves. All
the garbage that came later when/as we grew up, became
professional, bought houses and sunk into image was all
built on very solid ground.
Taking my friend home from the meeting the other night. He
starts to tell me about how he was always interested in HC
(higher consciousness) ideas since he was a small child. I
said to him that I knew he was. I asked him if he realized
how special it was to have people like we do that want to
talk about this stuff like we do. We are all so interested
in this. In life you never find this. Go to the grocery
store, to a meeting at the school blah, blah...you never
MARCIA PAUL AND MARK OTTER
MARCIA: I think the difficulty is not earnestness itself
but that it all moves so fast. I can be perfectly honest
about something but it is already gone and another thought
is up on the screen or another self which doesn't feel the
same at all. So while I was being earnest I am not longer
the same person. The lie is the identification i.e. I am an
earnest person and not that earnestness was making itself
apparent at one moment in time.
trying to be smart today
MARK: I like the story, often told by Ram Dass (and I
imagine others as well) about Ghandi. He had called for a
march to display objection to some British action, and many
people had signed up to walk. He then learned that the
British planned to cause some trouble, possibly leading to
harm to the marchers and he called the march off. His
organization protested loudly to him, telling him that
people had quit their jobs to participate in the march and
that it was unfair to change his mind. He replied that his
duty was to truth, but that as a human being he only knew
relative truth, and so when the truth seems to change he
had to change with it because his bottom line was truth. I
think earnestness carries the risk of getting us into
nontruthful positions when situations change, so we need to
be earnest about our ongoing evaluation of what truth is.
When something comes along that presents a more true
version, we need to abandon our earlier truth for the new
one. It may not be that truth itself changes, but our
perception of it deepens.
thank you for being smart today, it helped me see this more
deeply. "smart" seems to me to be a process or direction,
not a destination.
ADI DA (quoted by Judi Rhodes)
There are two types of people that come. Those who have
died to their search, and those who still have a couple
trips left. Regarding those who still have the search in
mind, there is no condemnation, no praise, no blame. That
is the state of their condition. The search is still their
occupation. They have not come for Truth. The Truth has
nothing whatever to do with them. The search, the adventure
among alternatives, that is what "has" them. That is what
has all human beings, until it begins to die. Then the
Truth becomes possible.
When you no longer have genuine alternatives, when you no
longer have the option of your own preferences, when you no
longer have the capability to persist, to survive in the
form of your search, then Satsang becomes something more
than academic. Until that time, all human beings are
talking about the same thing: their adventure! That is what
they are talking about. They are not the least concerned
for the Truth. It hasn't entered into the picture yet. It
is only an amusement, an alternative notion entertained in
the midst of ordinary and extraordinary suffering. They are
still occupied. Fine. But the matter of real religious and
spiritiual life arises only when the alternatives
themselves do not present a real option.
PICK YOUR DOOM -- by JOE
What a great name for a game. Hell, what a great name for
much of joe's life! I live, now, in Schenectady, New York.
Capital of the historic, east- coast rust belt. I grew up
here. Came back from India to help care for, then bury my
82 year old father and got married, became a step- dad and
never left. (Hey, where would I go? Carmel? Tiberon?)
Actually, I've been trying to make my peace with this place
which I spent most of my life loathing. In the 50's and
60's, when I was a kid, it was an amazingly violent and
mindless town. And in many ways, it's not changed all that
much. But, also, this place is joe... so if the "I's" that
loath this place die out, many of the "I's" that loath
those parts of joe will die out, too. It's going pretty
well, says the gut... I've thought often about Beelzebub's
Tales over the years. I've wondered especially about his
declaration that: "God had to create the world, for the
absolute was shrinking..." I've also laughed often at his
description of how they make such watery chicken soup in
some back alley restaurant in Chicago, U.S.A. He said they
place a big pot of water on the stove in the middle of the
kitchen. Then, they open up windows on opposite sides of
the room. Someone tosses a chicken into the kitchen and the
fat-necked cook chases the chicken through the kitchen and
out through the other window and closes it. After this,
they are free to add vegetables... Take care, judy. -joe
p.s.- You're in California, eh? I miss it (alot, sometimes)
but I'm here... At least I can proudly say that I've made a
complete fool out of myself on BOTH coasts...
Hans, I had a lot of buried anger from the usual training
that nice girls don't express anger. When I finally
realized I don't have to do anything, I started saying no a
lot. The best part was that afterwards, the authentic and
truthful underlying kindness emerged. Once I was only
giving what I truly wanted to give, I enjoyed it more. This
is pretty basic stuff, like psych 101, but it was a hard
adjustment for my family at first. I kinda overdid it to
compensate for my years of servanthood. And I quit my job,
too. It all felt very selfish at the time. But I was worn
out...it was about time to get real.
I have a lot of people around me here that keep shouting
"it's your fault, because if you had not done this or if
you had not done that, then i would not feel how i feel".
And then i try to explain that it has nothing to do with me
or anybody else and they start screaming even louder :)
This story woke my sadness.
JAN BARENDRECHT RESPONDS TO NEO
NEO: Hans, I am tired of thought.
JAN: Not a surprise... According to science, the female
body is default*, meaning that the male mind-body is but a
utilitarian subset of the female mind-body (LOL). In
practice it means that for instance male responses to
stimuli are a bit more... face it guys... primitive!:) So
males shrink away from their body and revert to "more
important brainwork" (thinking).
Of course thinking doesn't make happy and when this is
dawning, the "eureka" is to upgrade the mind with a
muffler. From this perspective one easily can see the
multitude of recipes for mufflers (ROTFL)
So what do you really want? More recipes for mufflers? Why
not make one yourself?
In love, there is silence (no thought), no separation (like
between mind and body), no time. For a lover there is no
identity, gender, mask, it is all given up (surrendered).
Therefore, one unconditionally surrendered could be called
"perfect lover" and such a one can only laugh about the
everlasting joke of the never ending effort to silence the
So instead of trying to change yourself (by upgrading the
mind with a muffler), why not accept yourself, beginning
with your body? I know, for a man that probably doesn't
come easy.. :)
+ The silence in love is full whereas a silent mind is
empty + + While caring for every-thing, love is ever
forgetful of itself +
* Of course, a black and white representation for the sake
of simplicity - there are cases where the reverse is true
but they are the exception. In Hatha Yoga classes men are a
minority and what was thought of as social conditioning
(the caring role of women) appears to be hard-wired. Swami
Sivananda once remarked that without the devotion of women,
religion in India wouldn't have survived :)
I combine meditation with various other excersizes (walking
around meditation type things) to look at the edge of my
consciousness, to get to know it, to learn to expand it.
This is not a thinking process, as firstly I use typical
quieting techniques to reduce local noise and upon
detection of a new edge, I bring it into the known..
quieting it like any ther known thing.
It's after the exercises (meditation) that the good stuff
happens. I'm continuously bumping into newly introduced
edges of consciousness, and those quickly become a part of
the everyday, permitting room for more expansion.
We are the Nonduality Generation.