Saturday, February 3
- TIM GERCHMEZ
A STICK STORY
Have you heard the one about the man who kept hitting himself
over the head with a stick, because it felt so good when he
Once upon a time, there was a man who was doing something like
that, except in this case, the stick was the sense of "I" or the
ego, the sense of self, the self-importance.
For some reason, the man didn't know he was hitting himself with
a stick. There was a constant suffering, but he didn't know the
source of it.
So this man, who was repeatedly hitting himself over the head
with a stick, concluded that he must begin upon a "spiritual
path." He was sure that would stop the nasty pain at the top of
After years of reading books (hitting himself over the head all
the while), the pain didn't seem any better.
So the man went to see a Guru. He entered the room and bowed
(giving himself a particularly hard clop on the head as he did
Upon seeing the man, the Guru, in surprise, said "Hey, why are
you hitting yourself over the head?"
The man, not hearing, humbly bowed to the Guru, and (still
hitting) said "Master, I am suffering. What can I do?"
The Guru said "Stop hitting yourself over the head."
The man said "Master, How do I realize God? How do I become one
with the Absolute? I am suffering and need enlightenment."
The Guru said again, louder, "You're hitting yourself over the
head with a stick. Stop it!"
The man said, "Stick? I see no stick. I have to let the
Kundalini rise. Grant me Shaktipat."
The Guru saw the man didn't know he was hitting himself over the
head. So he decided to get more specific. "You said you were
suffering. Open your hands and let the stick drop. Let your arms
drop. Then the suffering will stop."
The man (still striking his head as hard as ever) said, "But it
takes time for pain to stop. I must become the Absolute. I
prostrate myself at your lotus feet. Oh nectar of Bliss, help
The Guru said "No, you only have to stop this hitting. I can
tell you to do it, and try to make you realize there is a stick
and there is hitting, but you have to actually JUST DROP YOUR
ARMS. Then you will not suffer."
The man said "Why do you talk of sticks? STICKS? I'm not
interested in sticks. I want to become One with the Universe and
feel the Holy Fire."
The Guru at this point was beginning to laugh inside, because
all the while, the man kept striking and striking his head with
the stick and it was a comical sight. But he said again,
patiently, "There's a stick in your hand. You keep striking the
area of the head. Let the stick drop, NOW."
The man still didn't get it. Reluctantly, he said "OK, maybe
there's a stick."
"But how can it happen now?" he said, still striking himself
repeatedly and very hard. "Don't I have to Realize the stick
first? That means I have to meditate. It's going to take
The Guru was very patient, but even he was beginning to get a
little taxed by this. "DROP THE F**KING STICK!!!!!" he shouted
at the top of his lungs.
The man, startled out of his wits, leapt backward. As he did so,
the stick fell out of his hand.
Dumbfounded at the sudden bliss and peace, the suffering rapidly
fading, the man stood still for awhile. Then suddenly
understanding, he bowed to the Guru and left the room.
.......Exactly - and for some, even the least room for joy has
to be destroyed first... If anything - that is one of the few
events I'm grateful for - once having been "reduced" to
Yes Jan, You can't step in the same river -once!
I feel that there can be the functional practicality of focusing
on the river, and I place significant emphasis on exploring the
koan, "Who am I?"
In the situations of what is called my life, I feel that the
challenge is for me to be the 'living', heart-centered answer
for what is needed to facilitate harmony.
When I 'get it correct' I feel that this global, non-dual
harmony is Love, and questions of meaning do not arise for me
Reduced to Nothing-Innocence, James
... Like Michael says, "It is not a contest.", and I'd like to
add, "We make the rules up as we go along."
Thanks everyone for being here and for your gracious presence. I
have been reading the many beautiful messages but have not
responded much over the last week. The devastation in Gujrat,
India, and the horrific suffering that has followed has been in
my thoughts. The outpouring of support from the internet
communities has been heartwarming and demonstrates that a true
Sangha knows no boundaries of religion, nation, and ethnicity.
We have put the links to organizations who are actively involved
in helping the earthquake victims on the HarshaSatsangh
website(www.harshasatsangh.com). If you wish to help at any
point, you can go there and find out more about such non-profit
agencies whose only goal is to make life a little better for
those who are suffering. The HS website is relatively new and
just went up about a week ago. In the future, we will continue
to use the website to make people aware of the brave souls and
organizations that go anywhere in the world to help their fellow
human beings in times of trouble. In our world, compassion is
the natural expression of Self-Realization.
Last semester, a student gave me a book "The Enlightened Heart"
edited by Stephen Mitchell. Looking through it this morning I
came across several beautiful poems. I wanted to share one with
you from Lao Tzu that speaks my heart.
Some say my teaching is nonsense.
Others call it lofty but impractical.
But to those who have looked inside themselves,
this nonsense makes perfect sense.
And those who put it into practice
this loftiness has roots that go deep.
I have just three things to teach:
Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and in thoughts,
you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies
You accord with the way things are,
Compassionate towards yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.
Love to all
I was heading for the non-duality hot tub, and in the garden, I
saw a turtle with a sandal on his back, heading north. In the
hot tub, I saw nobody, with a sandal on his/her head. S/he said
that nobody would take the sandal. I don't understand any of
this, but can anybody tell me where my cat is? Terry
Look under nobody......
Dear Beth: I looked under nobody....I forgot to tell you about
the monks in the garden. They were arguing about a cat...but it
might have been Schrodinger's cat, not mine. Nobody could tell
if the cat was dead or alive. Terry
as the sage Werner Erhardt said, "life is empty and ºmeaningless
and the fact that life is empty and meaningless is empty ºand
Apparently the issue is the word "meaningless" as life can be
lived and an empty space can be perceived. "Meaningless" can't
be perceived so can always be ignored - no one is obliged to
think unless one has to make a living out of it...
But a life founded on concepts, like "meaningless", must have a
charm - otherwise no one would be preferring "living in concepts
with the multitude of thoughts" over "just" living life. A
matter of taste, of course - and utterly meaningless.
Life isn't anything!
show me the answer. Show me the Answer! SHOW ME THE ANSWER!!!
wait, i forgot the question...
The question was, "what is it that you forgot?"
For a number of years, I have had access to a few very useful
concepts, and it just occurred to me that others may also
benefit from this knowledge.
Take a look here:
Think 'trance', what is it?
What is 'pathological trance'?
Can you get 'high' via trance?
What is the implication to the human, of being 'vulnerable' to
Finally, what is your 'preferred' trance-state?
I have observed that it is common for people to mistake trance
Also, that ObCom (obsessive-compulsive) behaviour is dedicated
to perpetuating a desired trance state.
The desired trance-state of a person, is preferred over the
alternative 'states', those of fear, worry, or humiliation.
Grist for the mill...
As I see it, the benefit of exploring trance, apart from the
considerable entertainment value, is seeing that ordinary life
is itself a trance state.
I agree, also I think it is cultivated because it is easy to
see/experience the emptiness of trance. I read the descriptions
of jhana states in the suttas as a progressively more subtle,
and therefore more profound, disillusionment.
Another URL for your entertainment, edification, and enjoyment:
Be sure to follow the link which points you to 'a criticism of
For me, 'you' are 'nothing but' Display, no matter that you are
convinced that you are otherwise.
For me, I know that I am, for others, simply 'part of Display',
from the POV of other.
Difference-engine of mind, when applied to the brief statement
above, yields this:
The POV of any person, is unique and a 'single point' immersed
in a field of 'other'. The difficulties which arise in this
human world, arise specifically BECAUSE each person assumes,
wrongly, that each other person has the same attributes that
they themselves do.
If two people succeed in actually SHARING the CPU cycles of the
living environment, the essential interchangeability of any
apparent 'entities' becomes quite apparent. It is perceive that
there is 'only one entity', and that entity is the Vast Living
Universe. The VLU produces (synthesizes) many apparent
sub-entities, each one of which is given the ability to see
itself AS 'the one', and also to know that it is entirely
imagined (by the VLU), and that the 'subjective experience of
being Me' is nothing but a tension-field (local contraction), a
way to preserve memory-contents.
Historicity, then, is the locus of 'individual Being'. If an
'individual Being' loses historicity, it cannot then be found,
similar to an orphaned web-page with no URL. Memory has
disintegrated, and there is only the relevance, as meaning, of
the actual and original language of the VLU.
If you have followed all of this, you can conclude that it is
the pre-occupation of local contraction by (1) memory and (2)
synthetic (invented) language, which prevents subjective
communication with the VLU _as Display_. Instead, we will only
tolerate to communicate with 'other' human-form representatives
of the VLU, all the while forgetting that every 'other' is
actually a syntheform, upon whom we project our own attributes.
BRUCE MORGEN AND OMKARA DATTA
O: Life is a word. Living is a process.
B: "Life" and "Living" are both obviously words. There is
nothing on this mailing list other than words and images.
O:Thinking about living or talking about living isn't anything.
B: "Thinking" and "talking" are as much a part of living as
anything else. They too are this moment.
O:Living is just 'what is'.
B:Yes, and there is nothing not encompassed by "what is." To
assume otherwise is to concoct a non-existent duality -- that
concoction is the work of "Thinking." "Thinking" is simply
noticed and seen as it is -- like everything else real, it is
this moment, it is "what is." Thought itself is as real as
anything else, the symbols and images it cooks up are just
appearances, transient forms it takes on in the moment.
Incarnation in its entirety is just consciousness having taken
on form. No big deal...
O: This cup of tea is living.
B: Oh, really? Does it have a pulse? No worries, your meaning is
O: Here, this.
B: That suffices, thank you!
O: Beyond some arbitrary birthday or deathday.
O: Just this, here.
B: Exactly, just here -- now!
O: So simple.