Wednesday, March 6, 2002
The Nondual Highlights
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Wednesday, March 6, 2002
The 995th Edition
Search all Editions of the Nondual Highlights:
Editors: Jerry Katz, Gloria Lee, Christiana Duranczyk,
Michael Read, John Metzger
(editor's note: there has been great concern for
Today's Highlights Edited by
the well-being of Sandeep, who has not been heard
from since the incidents in Gujurat, India. There
were impressions that Sandeep might have been
caught in the riots and violence. While the
following information has not been confirmed, it is
a word of hope.)
Sandeep is alive.
He was discharged from a hospital, somewhere near
Godhra and is on his way back to Bombay.
There is no information as to what were his
injuries, how serious or how he got them.
I cannot type anything more, right now.
My whole being is shaking.
Photos taken by cee are posted at
Hope they upload in reasonable time.
They are from the February 17, 2002, gathering in
La Jolla, California, when we attended Inner
See Jody, Petros, cee, Christiana, and others.
There are a couple of photographs that say beyond
words what these get togethers are all about. And
there are others that really beg for a quote or
Thanks for posting the photos, Jerry. I especially
enjoyed the captions under the last picture.
Did you ever notice how the guru-types look like
they are right out of Central Casting? Chuck Hillig
with his beard. Metta looking Great-Motherish.
Jerry, maybe it would help your career in the
NonDuality biz if you grew some facial hair. Of
course, its harder to get donut crumbs out of a
The new volume of HarshaSatsangh Magazine is out
due to the hard work of our editors, Gloria, Greg,
Amanda, and our webmaster David Hodges. I wrote a
special dedication to Jerry Katz and Dolores and
also talked about the old times when Jerry and I
first met. You may enjoy reading.
Lots of love
hey, speck! how is it going?
that good!? me too.
have you got it right yet?
no? oh why is that?
ah, don't get discouraged, dear speck.
yes, i know, but you only think you've tried everything.
well, speck, just put little more heart into it.
i know you can do it.
yup, speck, you'll do allright.
Here's a few paragraphs I typed up from a book on
buddhist philosophy for another group. Thought some
of you might be interested.
Humans sometimes communicate in ways that are
mutually experienced as profoundly meaningful, and
yet seem to surpass our ability to fully grasp
them. Conversations, like relationships, command
our attention most effectively when they allow--or
not infrequently, force--us to go beyond the limits
of our previous understanding and to explore new
avenues, and new destinations, in communication.
Texts are raw material for conversation, with
oneself and with others. Studying a text can compel
us to reassess unquestioned assumptions, and in so
doing, come to a better understanding of others and
ourselves. Self-understanding means also
understanding our relation to others; understanding
relatedness, in the Buddhist sense of relativity,
also means self-transcendence. The possibility of
self-transcendence is what humans seek in
communicating, and is what makes any relationship
meaningful in the final analysis.
To communicate meaningfully is to be transformed in
realizing for oneself, in oneself, or as oneself,
what was previously alien or unknown. To know
somethong is to be transformed, to become
different, and to acquire common ground with others
of similar--or different--understanding. What
enlivens a conversation is a perceived affinity
between oneself and another, or at least the
expectation of affinity. Even violent arguments are
thus motivated, because expectations of agreement
have been frustrated. Commuication is an exchange
of meaning, and the most satisfying form of
communication occurs when meanings are experienced
as shared. This is even true of communications
between persons who disagree with one another, and
is especially the case in the context of Tibetan
scholasticism, where Mahayana Buddhist teachings
are a broad and solid common ground for meaningful
differences. What makes Buddhist philisophical
texts meaningful is the fact that they bring people
together in the pursuit of ultimate concerns, in
disagreement as well as in agreement.
Texts mirror the dominant concerns of particular
communities and historical periods. However, to
study a text as an artifact embedded in a matrix of
historical, cultural, and philosphical significance
is only to look *at* it but not *through* it. In
communicating it is not words alone--hence also not
texts or their interpretations--that are the
fundamental source of meaning. Rather, it is the
process of communicating shared meanings--and
personal differences--that makes philosophy come
alive. In other words, viewed historically or
psychologically, philosophical significance is a
process in which persons (and personal experiences)
are most essential, while texts play a subordinate
role. It is people who give meaning to texts, not
The "truth" of presuppositions about ultimate
reality does not appear to be fundamentally a
question of rational certitude, although Tibetan
scholastic traditions tend to understand them that
way. Instead it is the process of generating
meaning through relativity as relatedness that
makes a philosophical point of view meaningful,
valuable, and true for one person or another.
In this sense there is nothing more or less "true"
or significant about Mipham's "Beacon" or
Tsongkhapa's "LRC", for example, to the extent that
both serve the same function in their respective
traditional contexts, namely, to show how reason is
employed to realize the ultimate that is known by
sublime gnosis. This is not simply a rehashing of
the relativist vogue, but is, in my opinion, very
much in line with how the Great Perfection (and the
"Ratnagotravibha) understand the nature of Dharma
(gnosemic) language. Salvific language is said to
resonate in accordance with the needs of
individuals best suited to understand them, as a
spontaneous manifestation of enlightened wisdom and
compassionate method. In this sense all
philosophies that bring relief to weary minds are
equally true, and equally Dharma.
from "Mipham's Beacon of Certainty" by John Whitney
...reminded me of so many other times when I have
difficulty telling whether or not someone is making
the whole story up but the story is so good and so
serious and delirious and perfectly funny that it
matters to me less and less and so I just listen to
the story and quiver on my magic carpet ride of
reality slippage and think this is all there is,
anyway, so why the hell not enjoy it?
The other night I was dining with, among other
people, my brother-in- law, Harrison. The
conversation was wild and engaging and not long
after we discussed at overlength what the ethical
implications of fertility therapy and whether or
not architecture can save the world, Harrison
launched into an extended mention of how some
people he knows have begun buying up used (yet
still) $600 coffee grinding and espresso machines
to support their ever-refining caffeine addictions
and search for the highest and best caffeinated
experience. There was mention of the snobbery that
accompanies the search for the best- tasting and
most nerve enlivening coffee experience. (What? You
only have that perker you bought at Kmart? You know
nothing! God forbid you don't even drink coffee,
you heathen, infidel, heretic! Some people have
soup, some people have coffee, Joyce!)
Well, right around the time Harrison mentioned that
he had called up his Personal Coffee Grinder the
other day to consult on why his ground beans
weren't tasting the same way they tasted the other
day (What? You ordered from a different Columbian
farm without consulting me?) I slipped right into
that very serious state of truly not being able to
tell whether someone was constructing an elaborate
and delightful tale or just telling the plain old
truth! Looking around, it seemed that the others
all believed him fully, they shrugged and laughed
when I asked them (seriously) if Harrison was
There I was feeling the rude constraints of what I
perceived to be the available and reasonable
reality, totally flabbergasted by others' apparent
acceptance of something beyond it! I was jambing a
red plastic star-shaped piece into the round hole
of my puzzle ball! Well!
By the time Harrison had fully recounted the advice
his Personal Coffee Grinder had conveyed to him, I
had decided it didn't matter a whole lot anyway and
was laughing at the ludicrousness of it all!
JAN SULTAN contributes:
Love And God
Pointers From Nisargadatta Maharaj
By Ramesh Balsekar
The dialogue, one evening, was started by a young
Canadian, wearing a Lungi and a thin Kurta. He said
he was twenty-three, but looked barely out of his
teens. He wore around his neck an elegant little
silver cross on a dainty chain. He said he had come
across the book I Am That in a bookshop in Bombay a
couple of days ago. A cursory glance at a few pages
impelled in him a desire to meet Maharaj
personally. He had already gone through the book
reading almost continuously, through the afternoon,
evening and night, and had finished both volumes
only a few hours ago.
Maharaj: You are so young. I wonder since what age
you have been interested in the spiritual quest.
Visitor: Sir, ever since I remember I have been
deeply interested in Love and God. And I strongly
felt that they are not different. When I sit in
meditation, I often......
Maharaj: Wait a moment. What exactly do you mean by
Visitor: I don't really know. All I do is to sit
cross-legged, close my eyes, and remain absolutely
quiet. I find my body relaxing, almost melting
away, and my mind, or being or whatever merging
into space, and the thought-process getting
Maharaj: That's good. Please proceed.
Visitor: Quite often, during meditation, an
overwhelming feeling of ecstatic love arises in my
heart together with an effusion of well-being. I do
not know what it is. It is during one such spell
that I felt inspired to visit India -- and here I
Maharaj: How long will you be in Bombay?
Visitor: I really don't know. I rarely make any
plans. I have sufficient money to live frugally for
about fifteen days, and I have my return ticket.
Maharaj: Now tell me, what is it exactly that you
want to know. do you have any specific questions?
Visitor: I was a very confused man when I landed in
Bombay. I felt I was almost going out of my mind. I
really don't know what took me to the bookshop
because I don't do much reading. The moment I
picked up the first volume of I Am That, I
experienced the same overpowering feeling that I
get during my meditation. As I went on reading the
book a weight seemed to lift off from within me,
and, as I am sitting here before you, I feel as if
I am talking to myself. And what I am saying to
myself seems like blasphemy. I was convinced that
love is God. But now I think that love is surely a
concept and if love is a concept God also must be a
Maharaj: So, what is wrong in it?
Visitor: (Laughing) Now, if you put it like that I
have no feeling of guilt in transforming God into a
Maharaj: Actually, you said love is God. What do
you mean by the word 'love'. Do you mean 'love' as
the opposite of 'hate'? Or, do you mean something
else, although, of course, no word can be adequate
to describe 'God'.
Visitor: No. No. By the word 'love' I certainly do
not mean the opposite of hate. What I mean is that
love is abstaining from discrimination as 'me' and
Maharaj: In other words, unity of being?
Visitor: Yes, indeed. What then is 'God" to whom I
am expected to pray?
Maharaj: Let us talk about prayer later. Now then,
what exactly is this 'God' you are talking about?
Is he not the very consciousness -- the sense of
'being' that one has -- because of which you are
able to ask questions? 'I am' itself is God. What
is it that you love most? Is it not this 'I am',
the conscious presence which you want to preserve
at any cost? The seeking itself is God. In seeking
you discover that 'you' are apart from this
body-mind complex. If you were not conscious, would
the world exist for you? Would there be any idea of
a God? And, the consciousness in you and the
consciousness in me -- are they different? Are they
not separate only as concepts, seeking unity
unconceived, and is that not love?
Visitor: Now, I understand what is meant by 'God is
nearer to me than I am to myself'.
Maharaj: Also remember, there can can be no proof
of Reality other than being it. Indeed you are it,
and have always been. Consciousness leaves with the
end of the body (and is therefore time-bound) and
with it leaves the duality which is the basis of
consciousness and manifestation.
Visitor: What then is prayer, and what is its
Maharaj: Prayer, as it is generally understood, is
nothing but begging for something. Actually, prayer
Visitor: Everything is so clear now, as if a great
deal of rubbish has been suddenly thrown out of my
system, blown out of existence.
Maharaj: Do you mean that you now seem to see
Visitor: No. No! Not 'seems'. It is clear, so clear
that I am now amazed that it was not clear at any
time. Various statements that I had read in the
Bible, which seemed important but vague before, are
now crystal clear -- statements like: Before
Abraham was I am; I and my father are one; I am
that I am.
Maharaj: Good. Now that you know what it is all
about, what Sadhana will you do to obtain
liberation from your 'bondage'?
Visitor: Ah! Maharaj. Now you are surely making fun
of me. Or are you testing me? Surely, now I know
and have realized that I am that -- I am, which I
have always been and which I shall always be. What
is left to be done? Or, undone? And who is to do
it? And for what purpose?
Maharaj: Excellent! Just be.
Visitor: I shall, indeed.
Then, the young Canadian prostrated before Maharaj,
his eyes brimming with tears of gratitude and joy.
Maharaj asked him if he would be coming again, and
the lad said: "Honestly, I don't know." When he
left, Maharaj sat for a while with his eyes closed,
the gentlest of smiles on his lips. He then said
very softly: "A rare one"' I could barely catch the
I never saw the young Canadian again, and I have
often wondered about him.
Dear members, As I am new to the group, I would
like to say hello to everybody. I read some posts
and found them very interesting. Although 'human
rights' are no usual subject for the group, I would
like to invite you to read the following text. In
this essay I try to develop a 'new' (nondual)
perspective on human rights by combining the
convergences and 'transcending' the contradictions
between universalism and cultural relativism (or
essentialism and non- essentialism (cfr. Rorty)).
If this is no topic for you, I am sorry to have
bothered you. Please do not hesitate to comment and
criticise. I thank you very much for your time and
help. Warm regards, jeroen
you can find the text here:
To know silliness
is to know self
How silliness is
of course the mirror
And how attributing silliness
to another is denial of self
To know beauty
is to know self
How the beauty is
of course the mirror
And how attributing beauty
to another is denial of self
If self is accepted
silliness and beauty
leave the mirror
The mirror thus cleansed
reflects only nothing
and that is self
Reality is the mirror
Categorising is done by governments, by
corporations, by institutions. It's a tool of the
violence based dominance oriented patriarchal
culture. It's hard to imagine how they could
function without categorising people. Maybe they
can't. An individual can.
you were once a sophisticated advaita seeker
you sat on designer cushions at your masters' feet
you used to listen to the stories of legendary masters
now you've become the legendary guru in your mind
the spirituality game has changed for you
instead of the gurus,
you now seek the seekers
the view seems different from the guru chair,
soon a pretty follower will sit at your feet
you'll beg her to switch positions
how sweet it is to worship her youth and beauty!