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Wednesday, October 11

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  • umbada@ns.sympatico.ca
    Issue Number Two of Nonduality Salon Magazine is available at http://www.nonduality.com __________________________________________________________ MANCHINE On
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 13, 2000
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      Issue Number Two of Nonduality Salon Magazine is available at
      http://www.nonduality.com

      __________________________________________________________

      MANCHINE

      On the highway today, driving to Santiago, during a quiet
      peaceful ride through a flowering spring desert, there sounded a
      "TAK", on the windshield, a rather hard beetle left a yellowish
      gel type skid-mark.

      What could be measured here on Earth as something like 50
      milliseconds, the insect went from being a living sentient
      creature to being a skid-mark on my windshield.

      Without doubt the insect would not have had the slightest
      incling of what had happened. It was apparent that "NOTHING HAD
      CHANGED" for the "insect".

      It was also really quite impressive that there was a witness.

      -----------------

      ANTOINE CARRE

      It is still strange, in the world of insects, those few moments
      that it took to make the sound TAK, may seem for an human being
      like falling from a 20 floor building. Life may pass many times
      in front of ones eyes if one is not used to stay in the moment
      (The Bardo).

      Leaving insects on the side... some are to sharp with them :)

      My wife, an orthopedic surgeon, saw one of her patient, an old
      lady with few day to live taken in surgery by her chief surgeon.
      The patient was brought in with the smile of an innocent child,
      my wife told me after. The patient knowing that she would die
      her stomach open on the surgery table. She had no chances, but
      yet they brought her on the table knowing that. It has been hard
      on my wife, for it could of been chosen instead to give the hold
      lady time to say good bye to her family before her death coming
      anyway. It was not so.

      It is a general statistic in modern society that 50% of all the
      expense made in the health care system goes to take care of
      people who have less than 6 months to live. This simple
      statistics does express how in general the fear of death is
      present in our culture.

      I don't know if it has been translated into English but I would
      recommend "L'homme devant la mort" (Man in front of Death) by
      Philippe Ari├Ęs (1914-1984) an historian. It talks and covers in
      great details the relation of men to death over a 1000 year
      period. A TAK in the pulse of the universe.

      ____________________________________________________________

      MARCIA PAUL AND NOBODY EAST

      MARCIA: I don't believe in my paranoid-belief system. I see it
      but I don't believe it is who I am. What is so hard to
      understand about that? I experience a momentary sense of
      paranoia. I choose not to identify with it. It registers in my
      body/mind complex but I don't reside there. If I am residing
      there then mostly it serves to wake me up. Don't you have this
      experience? How do you work with yourself? Do you believe
      everything that registers in your body/mind? This makes no sense
      to me. Are you run by the mechanism?

      NOBODY: Hello Marcia,

      thank you for your explanation. I relax with your capacity to
      choose your state. Things would be worse, when you could not
      stop paranoia anymore.

      When I travelled through Afghanistan to India 1976, smoked black
      Afghan-Marihuana, walked in the dark streets of Kabul, one man
      tried to attack my body - in vain.

      Returning to my Hotel I looked around in every corner and
      house-entrance, all muscles tence with alarmed awareness.

      In e-mail-letters sharing experiences how can you observe these
      sensations? I believe, you can, but what scares?

      Shocking experiences are a good reminder to wake up indivuals
      and collectivs as well. It could not even shock my belief-system
      when Jerry forbids to write my letters here. Yes I get angry,
      when he closes the list of member-ship, but fear? No, Marcia:
      Laughter!

      The way to work with myself is mostly to let existence work with
      me -through me. Example: Feelings of joy, bliss, fun move
      upwards, feelings of fear, anguish, jealousy downwards.

      Yes, and in a trustworthy atmosphere I believe, what body/mind
      registers.

      For example my dentist repaired my teeth this year and this
      dragging metal on tooth made my body/mind believe in pain.

      The dentist started while working with her soft voice a hypnotic
      session telling about my favorite place.

      My favorite place is the lake nearby where I swim in the summer
      in my lunch-break.

      She told about the jumping fish, the ducks, the cold water....
      and my body transpiring from pain started to cool down, to
      relax.

      And to feel the situations as trustworthy what else can be done?
      The situations come in the way they are necassary for my life, I
      know from experience.

      How can you separate your body/mind from your beliefs? I believe
      in the functions of my body/mind according to serve my
      situations to live, to feel, to have fun, to write (+/-)
      (no)-sense, to get answers or not, angry, funny, happy, lovely,
      hatefully or not at all...

      ...and this I have done for 52,5 years and every moment is
      getting more joyfully, playfully with my girlfriend, my friends,
      my colleagues...

      ...and even for the costly service of my 2 years old Volkswagen
      Golf TDI I complained in June I got back yesterday 1029 Mark! So
      even Volkswagen made me believe again in selling a trustworthy
      car.

      nobody

      if you are trustworthy or not I do not care, I admire your
      picture! But who is you and who your daughters?

      ___________________________________________________________________

      JERRY

      The following letter was received. I'll forward responses to the
      author:

      "Advaitists claim that there is a "Self" which is "absolute",
      but the Buddhists deny any thing "absolute" therefore denying a
      "Self" but they speak of "Buddha nature". However, both believe
      in Liberation or Enlightenment so are they different
      Enlightenments (scince one says "absolute" and the other
      doesnt), or are "Self" and "Buddha nature" really the same
      thing? I'm confused as to which path to follow if both are
      really different."

      Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

      ----------------------------

      JAN BARENDRECHT

      This can be viewed from a general perspective: Whatever the
      system (Advaita, Buddhism, Sufism etc.), all statements
      concerning Self, no-self, union, Oneness, primordial mind, to
      name just a few, are verbalizations of what essentially cannot
      be expressed in words, yet the same "timeless experiences".

      An analogy is, that a practitioner of each path is like a
      climber of a colored mountain, a mountain that ends at the top
      in a mathematical point. As a mathematical point is without
      color, it is suggestive that the colorless point is reached,
      irrelevant of the color of the mountain. But how such a
      successful climber will express the view from there, is an
      entirely different matter :)

      ---------------------------

      ANTOINE CARRE

      An ant would most probably give the greatest insight on this
      subject, yet one would have to be able to feel the perspective
      of the ant towards the Self or the Buddha Nature as some of the
      human species may call it.

      Some consult the Buddha nature in ants others don't, a
      difference in culture? the same thing? So many question... I
      will have to consult the next ant that will come to pass before
      I can answer more.

      ...

      No ants did come to pass in this brief period of time, I guess
      my home is clean from ants :), so the tarot cards where
      consulted to try to resolve the dilemma of which path to follow.
      This one came out:

      http://pages.infinit.net/carrea/tree/tarot/zen007.htm

      But consulting each card of the tarot individually one may come
      to find out that the 22 paths that they propose in their major
      arcana resolve themselves into the same point.

      No, it does not lead anywhere, I must find an ant to answer, so
      I may gain some insight on this.

      ...

      The ant, I just found, finds those mountains really cool. It
      wonders if it can climb them also?

      I almost forgot about the ant at some point, it is a very long
      story. here it is:

      I was looking an ant, as I said in the last email, when suddenly
      I passed in front of the fruit basket. In it was a perfect plum,
      among many. In the way it rapidly came to my lips, I found out I
      was hungry and that the plum was the best one I had ever had. In
      the way its juice and texture came to melt with each one of the
      cells of the body was just amazing, like fireworks explodind in
      a sky of cells. The plum and the body simply melted in an orgasm
      of fusion from dna to the skin. I had complelty forgotten about
      finding an ant, you must underdstand... After a while of
      digestion, the question of what became of the plum replaced the
      memory of looking for the ant. A chance I had wrotte about
      looking for the ant on the preceding email, so that reading it,
      I came to reccall I wanted to find one.

      So now it wants to go up the multicolor mountains and find this
      mathematical point. Wonder if I could take it there? Who could I
      consult for that? wondering...

      Maybe silence as a response for this last question?

      Who knows...

      Does silence exist?

      Really...

      Does silence exist?

      Listen, and tell me...

      ---------------------------

      HARSHA

      The difference is only in the words, not in the experience or in
      understanding of sages whose insight reaches the depth of the
      Heart. The diversity and unity are seen to be the same in the
      highest stage. Because most teachers speak from the
      understanding of partial truth and hence ignorance, they are
      overpowered by doubt. Spiritual insecurity leads to taking of
      hard positions, and attempting to defend the indefensible.
      Hence, arguments and strife is the inevitable result between
      religions and gurus and religious teachers. Are they not victims
      of their own immaturity? Blind leading the blind is truly the
      center of the spiritual circus.

      The debate on who has the ultimate truth is a false debate. The
      debate on what are the proper words to describe the ultimate
      reality (Self or Shunya or Buddha Nature) is predicated on not
      having the True Insight. It is a false debate without any
      foundation! Truth cannot be possessed by any tradition,
      religion, country, person, guru, etc. When we speak of Buddha
      Nature or the Original Nature, do we speak of nothingness or
      NO-Thing-Ness? The Original Face is the Heart. It is empty of
      all things, concepts, images, relationships, and is the end of
      all experiences. Yet, time and space are born from it and the
      mind with the tendency to experience and imagine sprouts from
      there. The Original Nature Is Truly the Fullness of Emptiness.
      It Is the Mother that gives rise to all things. It is the Womb
      from which the Universe is born.

      All these notions of no-self and self and Buddha nature are
      concepts only and empty in themselves without any meaning
      whatsoever other than what we give it. In order to communicate,
      words have to be used to indicate the experience of Reality.
      What ever term one uses to describe THAT, It Is What It is. Call
      it God, God Consciousness, or the Self, or the non-self or
      Shunya or Buddha Nature, The Mother, The Great Way, etc. It Is
      That What Has Always Been Here. What Is That, That Is Always
      With You. Is it anything different from you?

      ----------------

      GREG GOODE

      Not all Buddhists speak of Buddha Nature alike. Dzogchen's take
      on it sounds very, very, very much like Advaita's, but they use
      different words like the "Innate Great Perfection." Pure Land
      Buddhism sometimes speaks as though your Self is the Infinite
      Light, the Infinite Life of Amitabha Buddha. Madhyamika Buddhism
      speaks of an existent conventional self that is accepted by the
      world, but of the *non*-existence of an independent, inherently
      real self. Theravada speaks of the self being non-existent, but
      of the aggregates of the mind and body being existent.

      Not all advaitins speak of the Self alike. Sometimes they say
      you can realize the Self. Sometimes they say there can be no
      realization because all is only the Self all the time. And
      sometimes, in a very very very subtle way, some advaitins talk
      about the Self as though each person had their own Self that can
      be realized. In other words, some non-dualisms are not quite
      non-dual, you have to look around and keep your eyes open.

      In other words, just what you get for high-level metaphysical
      teachings depends on the individual teaching and practice, as
      much as it does on the tradition.

      But much more important than the upper-level metaphysics is the
      particular path, the practice, the teacher, the context, the
      students that you'll encounter on the way (and you can always
      re-evaluate and switch paths later!) Do you resonate with it? Do
      you like the teacher? Do you like to do practices, chants,
      readings, good works, textual study, meditation, devotion to a
      deity/guru/principle? Do you feel welcome, love, mystery?

      For many people, the choice between Advaita and Buddhism is
      temperamental. They are attracted more to the look and feel of
      one of these paths, more than the other. They like the
      Indian-ness of the energetic music, food, Sanskrit names/terms
      of advaita. Or the beautiful simplicity of the Japanese
      aesthetic they see in Zen.

      In either case, there's tons of information on the web, and
      contact points in most cities. There are more places to do
      Buddhism than Advaita in most communities.

      --------------------------

      DAN BERKOW

      After reading Harsha-ji's eloquent response, I feel inspired,
      but all I can manage to mutter is this:

      What is a path that is beginningless and endless? How will you
      know when you are on it or off it?

      If you take a path with a beginning and end, you will only end
      at the beginning.

      ------------------------

      LARRY

      There is no reason to reject either one. There is only one path
      and that is you; learn wherever you can. If someone wants to
      engage in that debate, that's fine, but it is only an
      intellectual exercise. It is irrelevant to awakening. Better
      still, forget the whole thing if you can, it's a trail of tears
      and we all end up in the same place anyway.

      ---------------------

      SAMMY RUBINALL

      What I have to offer is that whatever is said in answer to your
      enquiry, the way out of confusion is to decide.

      "I decide" - end of confusion.

      ____________________________________________________________

      JUDI RHODES

      There was a time in my case where I really wasn't "seeking"
      either. I had just sort of given up and was just moving along
      with my life. Looking back on it, you could say I was pretty
      wound down, and I found a great deal of peace in that. By all
      standards I was a very happy and peaceful person. I already
      enjoyed a great deal of insight into the nature of suffering.
      So, I felt I was actually on top of it. Do you understand what
      I'm saying? I'm guessing that's probably about where you are?
      But what happened in my case was a love relationship fell apart
      and I could have just gone on blaming the other guy or bad luck
      or whatever, but I chose not to, because if a relationship could
      come to that, why bother with it in the first place? And I
      realized that I had no way to actually get over the heart break.
      In other words, I saw that I was stuck. So that's where I took a
      look at what my love was really all about and that's where I
      discovered that my so-called love and whole identity altogether
      was nothing more than a miserable seeking. So, what I'm saying
      is, that "real life" caught up with me and I forced to
      investigate myself further. It's like being thrown into a pit of
      suffering and having to find your way out without any help
      whatsoever from any outside sources. The past was of no help.
      Suffering forced me into the present.

      ___________________________________________________________

      WILL

      (taken from a Reader's Digest Article - 1984. happy reading.)

      Well, son, let me begin by asking you to imagine an image of a
      vertical line, topped by a large circle with a horizontal line
      crossing it halfway up. This represents the Nervous System of
      Man, both literally and otherwise. Take this as being the
      individual, but do not limit it physically. This is by no means
      a lesson in physiology, so do not listen to voices that would
      try to find some complaint with what I am saying. I am fully
      aware of the physical makeup of Man. What this represents, for
      specific reasons, is your spinal column, from the base to the
      top, the large circle being the brain, and the vertical line
      being the spine itself. What I refer to as the Line reflects a
      development up to a certain point. It is the horizontal Line of
      consciousness drawn through the large circle. This Line
      literally exists, although an ordinary surgeon could not go into
      the brain and find it. The Line is there. I could find it,
      although I am not a surgeon and I have no interest. In fact, if
      you would like to be technical, I do not need to open you skull.
      I could look into anyone's face and I could see their level of
      consciousnes. I could see the Line.

      Each generation, at about 20 year spans, the level raises. Life
      is expanding. The level of consciousness is physical, it is not
      a vague, invisible something. It is not the old idea that served
      your forefathers and foremothers and foreuncles that "there is a
      spirit or soul in me", or that "there are some sort of vapors",
      something non-physical, as opposed to physical. By the way, if
      we were left to those two possibilities of things being either
      physical or non-physical, there is no such thing as
      non-physical. Consciousness is real. That which seems to make
      Man unique on this planet, that seems to differentiate him
      totally from trees and dogs, is a physical manifestation of the
      Nervous System.

      Right now, the western world is at the highest level. There are
      still parts of the world right now where the level of
      consciousness, relatively speaking, is lower. One cannot escape
      above this level without extraordinary effort, and only then, by
      a very few people. Your degree of education does not matter. You
      can travel the world, you can meet every known and unknown guru,
      you can talk to rabbis, priests, ministers, you can read books,
      but you should know by now, it does not change anything. It may
      apparently increase your curiosity, it may increase your hunger
      for awakening, even before you know what it is, but it will not
      change anything. The continual collection of facts, whether they
      be apparently hard physical facts or into the so-called world of
      mysticism, are not going to change that which you Understand. It
      will simply not change your level of consciousness.

      Humanity, individually and collectively, is serving very
      specific purposes within the growth of Life itself. Quite
      specifically, you are in charge of nourishment transfer. The
      Nervous System in Man is producing a magnetic field. There are
      magnetic and mechanical attractions going on in Life. Much of
      what is attempted to be explained away by fate, astrology, love,
      conscious decision, ultimately always comes down to the fact
      that no one can explain anything, but it can be understood once
      it is Seen that humanity's primary job is to transfer
      nourishment within the body of Life. You are transferring this
      nourishment in Life. It is energy. You pet a dog. Someone passes
      you on the freeway and they blow their horn and you turn around
      and yell out at them. You pass a blind man playing a guitar on
      the street and a tear comes to your eye, and you drop him a
      quarter. You are transferring energy. You are doing it up close,
      you are doing it with sex, you are doing it with friendship, you
      are doing it when you do not know you are doing it. You have no
      choice. You are doing it when you say that you love somebody,
      you are doing it when you say you hate somebody or some group.
      You are transferring necessary energy.

      The highest circuit, located in the brain, and responsible for
      what you ordinarily call "thinking", has reached this Line level
      of consciousness, and it operates in a quite specific manner. It
      is surging through you, operating at a speed not very dissimilar
      from snapping your fingers. It is an electrical and chemical
      combination, but right now we will talk about the electrical
      side. It is literally pulsing up your spine. It is where you are
      plugged into Life. When that electrical charge is cut to a
      certain point, you are dead. I do not care if you are still on
      life support machines, I don't care if you have doctors debating
      whether you are dead or not, you are dead. This energy is
      running through your Nervous System at a continually pulsating
      rate. It specifically goes up to a certain point, which is
      represented in the 'imagined image' by the horizontal line - the
      highest level of consciousness reached by man under ordinary
      conditions. It goes that far and it goes no further. It is as
      though it literally has run up your spine, goes into the brain,
      goes up to the part now labeled cerebral cortex, and it hits
      that Line. When it hits the Line, the energy is totally
      depleted.

      There is a chemical corollary to this. It has to do with a
      certain kind of combination in the blood system. When the blood
      reaches the Line, it is depleted of a certain kind of
      nourishment.

      Now, hallucenogenic drugs and the kinds of things that sometimes
      pass as being mystical experiences, are accidental and
      mechanical ways that people get above that Line of
      consciousness. It is fascinating to ordinary consciousness. But,
      they come back and all they can say once it is over is that they
      have seen things, that they understood things that are
      absolutely astounding, but now that it is over they cannot
      describe it. They are not sure of the significance, and they
      cannot repeat it. But, they know that in some way something
      astounding has happened. Not that they suddenly looked around
      and saw flying spirits and gods. They looked around and they saw
      quite mundane, everyday objects, people, relationships, and they
      realized that they had never seen it in its totality, or they
      had never seen it in this way. What has happened is that they
      have accidentally gotten above the Line of consciousness, but it
      is mechanical and they cannot do anything with it once it is
      over.

      The limitation of consciousness is the physical reality that
      energy is only going so far in the brain. The charge that is
      pulsing through the Nervous System is going "zip" and hitting
      the Line, and starting again, "zip" going back up and hitting
      it. As I said, there is a parallel reality of this within the
      blood system. This level of consciousness results in a very
      specific manifestation. The energy hits the Line and instead of
      going "oh", or "ow", it says "I". When this energy, that is Life
      itself, working through Man, reaches Line-level, it continually,
      in little isolated spurts, sustains the impression of a
      continuum of consciousness as far back as you can remember. "I
      am Ted - Every morning my face does not change that much. I am
      me. My weight's about the same. Everyone knows me. I have more
      or less the same opinions I always did. I am I." But one quite
      real description of this feeling of "I" is the continual
      isolated depletion of this electro-charge, resulting in this
      feeling of an individual I.

      Well, son, there you have it. Any questions???

      (just kidding about the Reader's Digest reference. :-) hope that
      didn't throw any of you)

      -------------------

      JIVANO

      Since 1984 some things have developed, which I would like to
      add.

      Appart from the slow rising of the line, which limits the
      neurophysical energy to below a certain level, there was a major
      development.

      A set of techniques was developed, which allow the line to be
      raised to the individual maximum. That maximum which could
      otherwise only momentarily reacher thru some drugs or in extreme
      situations (peak experiences) - the top of the circle so to say,
      well above the normal position of that limiting line.

      Used by the right trainers and on approp. prepared persons and
      under the right discipline, the line is moved up to a point
      where the human system starts pushing it up by itself (in minute
      tiny steps) over the years. That way the line itself - the "I" -
      becomes smaller and smaller and the total available
      neurophysical energy level larger and larger.

      The bio-/neuro-system is adjusted/transformed by the rising
      energy to be able to handle this larger levels of consciousness.

      This natural process occured pretty seldomly in the past, but is
      occuring more and more frequently nowadays - and can be
      initiated intentionally (although the personality needs to be
      stable enough to go thru such a transformation, otherwise
      initiating the process would result in mental insanity).

      And it should be observed also, that the rising energy is
      without any morale - how we use it is up to us. Another reason
      for appropr. discipline when the process starts.

      The old name of this process is "Kundalini Awakening". The name
      of the man who developed the techniques and trained a bunch of
      people in it is Bodhidharma ( see http://bodhidharma.de ).

      ------------------

      GLORIA LEE

      With due respect for you and your cyberguru, this claim to have
      re-invented Kundalini is like me saying I "discovered"
      motherhood, simply because I gave birth. Its called co-opting
      and just a tad grandiose. What is here now is what was here
      5,000 years ago.

      _______________________________________________________________

      GENE POOLE

      Within the framework of my 'complaint', those who are
      straightforward, who say 'bad' and mean it, and who are willing
      (even perhaps naively so) to own their point of view, are the
      'hippies'. They 'tell it like it is', at least from within their
      own (sometimes admittedly limited) version of 'what is'.

      There is the possibility of redemption for one who is willing to
      make plain what they are about; this honesty, provides the
      possibility of learning. As I see it, individuals who are
      willing to be responsible for themself in this way, are capable
      of recognizing their own error, eventually.

      On the other hand, those who have fallen into the error of
      euphemism, clearly live embedded in a realm of relative values,
      which have become so overwhelmingly powerful that to transgress
      is a capital sin. This applies to the person in question in
      relation to themself, and it applies to those who are seen to
      fall short of the standards of purity which is demanded. No
      correction is possible; a rigid correctness serves as a 'virtual
      spine' to hold upright as system of values which cannot stand on
      its own.

      This is not to say that 'we all' do not do these things, but to
      point out the outrageous pressures which occur within the user
      of euphemism.

      An example of the memetic contagion involved in this systematic
      coercion and control system, is the phrase 'off the pigs', which
      was in common usage during the '60's 'hippy' era. This phrase
      means of course, 'kill the police', but the raw impact of saying
      'kill the police' is generally too powerful to bear, so resort
      to euphemism is taken. "Pigs" is a term which dehumanizes a
      category of human (the police), resulting in desensitizing
      conscience in those who wish them harm. This is similar to the
      practices of the Nazi regime, which defined certain races as
      sub-human, thus 'justifying' extermination.

      The case could be made that all words are mere euphemisms,
      resorted to in the face of inexpressible and indescribable
      reality. But to have a euphemism, one must first have a literal.
      The question of what is 'literal' must be asked, and the answer
      is I would say, that literal, etc, are all terms which exist
      only to describe a 'relative' universe. 'Nonduality' cancels
      relativity only for the experiencer, not for nearby observers,
      while the ease of use of terms which describe the relative
      universes, means consensus reassurance that the relative
      universe is our safe home.

      Given the complexity of the above, I feel that it is our duty to
      purge euphemism from our working vocabulary. This would lead to
      a lifestyle which is less dependent on control and manipulation,
      IMO.

      ---------------------

      If ... mind is nothing else than the collection of the beliefs
      which is then filtering the flow of perceptions and creating
      this body mind, is it also true that if there are no beliefs,
      the body mind ceases to exist?

      If this is true, it would certainly give us a clue as to why
      'beliefs' are so dear to so many people. If what you say is
      true, the effect of having no beliefs would be like suicide.

      Is is possible, that mind is more than thought, or the process
      of thought? If it is more, existence would continue, even if no
      beliefs were held. That is, if existence is determined by the
      function of mind.

      Certainly, it seems that mind is one way of perceiving
      existence. But during deep sleep, mind is inactive, yet the body
      continues to exist.

      Here we must define what is meant by 'existence'. Is existence
      'objective', solid stuff, or something else? Or maybe, the word
      'existence' is a word which has meaning only to mind. Is there a
      sense of Being, which is other than mind?

      If one is seeing, that is Being. It is entirely possible, but
      quite uncommon, for any person to see without the intervention
      of mind, without the filters and translations and editing which
      mind characteristically does as its 'job'.

      If one is seeing, Being, and no mind is active; what is this
      called? What name is given to this activity, which is mindless,
      yet aware?

      This mindless 'state' (let us call it that for now) is possible,
      but rarely experienced. Generally, the 'experiencer' is
      reflected back to awareness through the mirror of mind, after
      being processed and compared to many things. "I am not a cat" "I
      am alive and not dead" "I am hungry" "this is really cool, I am
      having an experience".

      To have the mindless experience is possible, but the experience
      generally simply 'spawns' (gives birth to) the customary
      identity of that individual. It is then the customary identity,
      using mind and thought, who reports to self, that self is there.
      This is 'proof of existence', but only so far as customary
      identity and mind are able to offer proof.

      There is the experience of 'I Am', which can be that mindless
      awareness, but as usual, thoughts follow. This does not
      invalidate 'I Am', but the mindless experience is very brief.
      Many people have this sort of experience, and many of them have
      talked about it here.

      Proper meditation practice allows the 'I Am' experience to
      remain mindless for longer periods of time. Even if the mindless
      experience were to continue for an extended time, hunger or
      thirst may (and usually does) eventually bring back (recall)
      customary identity.

      We can see that anyone who cares to try, can open them self to
      the 'I Am' experience. In this experience, customary identity is
      in the background, latent. Pure awareness is in the foreground,
      as present experience. Learning to allow 'I Am' mindless state
      to prevail, is something that can be accomplished. Properly
      understood, many spiritual practices are designed to lead a
      person to this ability.

      In mindless awareness, mind can be seen as an activity that is
      happening. This is the more advanced version of long practice of
      'I Am'. In this state of mindless awareness, mind is just like a
      cat, hunting a mouse. It is just that interesting. Have you ever
      watched a cat stalking a mouse? The cat is very intent, so
      concentrated that it is difficult to distract. How long can you
      watch a cat stalking a mouse? For about the same length of time,
      does the activity of mind hold attention of awareness. The
      activity of mind is simply one activity among many which are
      occurring in the mindless state.

      Ordinary daily 'identity' awareness is an activity which is
      compelling, absorbing, if we allow it to be so. Like the cat
      absorbed in chasing or stalking or waiting for the mouse, we
      tend to become identified as activity of mind. Generally,
      identity is formed around or derived from mind; without mind,
      identity loses its roots. A rootless identity is not of much
      use; this is what is 'psychosis', from the viewpoint of
      psychiatry. On the other hand, mindless awareness is not loss of
      identity, because identity and mind are seen as activities, and
      the process of identification has been interrupted.

      This is the point that I wish to make right now; having mind,
      having identity, does not disqualify from spiritual or
      extra-mundane consciousness. We all have all of these, but we
      all differ in how we use what we have. There is a lot of
      bullshit floating around, that says if you have mind, identity,
      that you are not 'spiritual'. That kind of idea, sets one onto a
      path which is impossible to follow. If we attempt to treat any
      of our nature as garbage, we are committing a very serious
      error.

      Having compassion for oneself is the way. Following this way,
      one also has compassion for others. But compassion is not a set
      of rules, it is a way of Being. Mind or mindless, compassion is
      real in both realms. It is the bridge of compassion, which best
      connects mind and mindless. Seen through compassionate mindless,
      mind is simply an activity, one of many.

      __________________________________________________________

      XAN

      "Search, no matter what situation you are in. O thirsty one,
      search for water constantly. Finally, the time will come when
      you will reach the spring."

      -Unknown

      This reminds me of the story of someone who was set the
      shamanistic task of finding water in the desert. She said that
      she tried searching, logic, intuition, past experience, etc.,
      but completely failed and thrist was becoming intense for her
      and her group. As she contin- ued to walk, finally she decided
      to let herself become water - felt herself as streams, oceans,
      rivers, waterfalls, puddles, and soon she looked down and saw
      the glorious stuff trickling between some rocks.

      ______________________________________________________________________

      ELLY SEIDEL

      I have made the mind wrong, I have tried to kill it. And it is
      not working. How can I kill the instrument through which I
      perceive? Is it not great to get to know how this instrument
      works? Often this is also called not spiritual. But who is
      calling what spiritual?

      I believe that when the grip of identification gets less the
      real work can start and this means also to investigate how this
      mind works. Feelings like shame which got suppressed can be
      allowed now and felt. Then a new way of being in this

      ____________________________________________________________

      JUDI RHODES

      And that reminds me of the story when Rodney Dangerfield went to
      India to see a guru about getting enlightened. The guru told him
      that he was not ready for enlightenment. And Rodney said, I beg
      your pardon sir, but I'd like to get a second opinion. And the
      guru said, you're ugly too!

      --------------------

      SANDEEP

      And that reminds of UG Krishnamurthy visiting Ramana, finds
      Ramana giggling over a comic strip.

      UG asked whether he Ramana can given him (UG) enlightenment.

      Ramana is reported to have replied "I can, but can you take it?"

      UG went away and states elsewhere, that Ramana was the most
      arrogant entity he had met because if UG was not able to receive
      it, who else could? (Obviously there is no arrogance in that
      statement.<LOL>)

      And the joke was UG did finally awaken and now has a greater
      arrogance than Ramana.

      Oh, the Leela of Consciousness!!!!
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