Nonduality (/\)



THE NONDUAL DAILY NUGGET

Archive 5
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March 21, 2000: New Eyes on Ram Dass, by Christiana P. Duranczyk
March 22, 2000: Eckhart Tolle at Inner Directions, by Christiana P. Duranczyk

March 23, 2000: Meeting Eckhart Tolle, by Chuck Hillig
March 24, 2000: Spreading into my entire .... really entire, by Alone
March 25, 2000: The Self Alone is the Reality, by Sri Ramana Maharshi
March 26, 2000: Patience, by Osho
March 27, 2000: Integrity and Unbounded Awareness: Recent Observations of Nonduality List, introduced and edited by Christiana P. Duranczyk
March 28, 2000: EST and the Forum, by Simon Crosby
March 29, 2000: Meet John Gaeta, Visual Effects Supervisor for 'The Matrix'
March 30, 2000: Matrix Within Matrix Within Matrix, by Gene Poole
March 31, 2000: Cafe Writings, by David Hodges
April 1, 2000: Untitled, by Bernadette Roberts
April 2, 2000: On The Pile with Kevin Costner and a Couple of Other Guys, by O.H.
April 3, 2000: Ah, So, by O.H.
April 4, 2000: The Nisargadatta Song of I Am
April 5, 2000: Self Knowledge - A Short Essay, by Tim Gerchmez
April 6, 2000: Considering Papaji and Enlightenment on Nonduality
April 7, 2000: I and my Father are One, by Peter Schoonheim Samara
April 8, 2000: Might we just once listen to the children
April 9, 2000: Mipham's Beacon of Certainty, by John Whitney Petit
April 10, 2000: God, the Great Thief, by Gene Poole
April 11, 2000: Only INTENTIONAL Action ... Bears A Fruit, by KKT
April 12, 2000: Meditations on my True Nature, by Helga Schleiter Smith
April 13, 2000: The Witness -- A Short Essay, by Tim Gerchmez

March 21
New Eyes on Ram Dass: A Report from the Inner Directions Gathering
by Christiana P. Duranczyk (with a contribution by Jodyr)

I've just (March 20, 2000) returned from the Inner Directions Gathering... a gathering of 500 people, some remarkable teachers, music, chanting, humor, Rumi and fellowship of being. All this amidst the beauty of La Jolla, with the roaring surf under a full moon.

There is much to share, but for now, (it has been) suggested that I might share my reflections about being with Ram Dass.

For me, as for many of us, Ram Dass has been a guide, a teacher, an elder, for over 30 years. This is my first experience of being with him since his stroke. It was painful, poignant and opened my heart more than anything he's ever offered before.

He came on stage in a wheelchair with long hair and black glasses. One side of his body seems relatively paralyzed. He announced that he'd been 'stroked', and later added that he'd been 'stroked by his guru'. He announced that he now suffers from aphasia (a loss or impairment of the power to use or comprehend words resulting from brain damage). He said that he is not doing well. Forced to lose his identity as 'holy man', he sits quite human in his wheelchair.

His mind now, like a beautiful bird with one clipped wing. Again and again, for several hours, he tries to take flight of idea. Again and again caught in midair unable to catch the current. Mind is not connecting the dots and sentences are left in midair.. incomplete. The evening is a cluster of incomplete sentences.. incomplete thoughts endeavoring to communicate. One witnesses his angst.

Then his good friend Krishna Das and his entourage, who are also on stage, begin to perform their magical Hindu chants, and Ram Dass joins them with his heart, body and soul (a term he now uses frequently).

Many years ago I heard him say.. "People ask me about reincarnation, and I always respond.. why be concerned about reincarnation, most of us have not yet *incarnated*." Now he says that his body has forced him to
*incarnate*.

As the chanting continues, he removes the black glasses. Apparently he has recently undergone Cataract surgery.. another sobering irony from the founder of SEVA organization which raises funds for Cataract surgery in Third World countries.

Taking off his glasses, he leaves mind behind and moves with his heart.
My heart's tears join his as I realize the profound love this man has always offered.

He is now an exquisite mirror for us of our brokeness. I watch many not want to look. The crowd thins as people become restless, tired, perhaps not getting what their minds think they want. Not seeing what he offers.

I watch these thoughts also arise in me as the hours extend, and I realize that I have never before been in such a presentation. Observing this mind's discomfort, I recognize that we are not accustomed to broken sentences, to dangling thoughts, to incoherence. We are accustomed to semi-complete idea packages. Yet again and again, I see that what he is now offering is perfect dissonance to break the pattern. I kept returning to my heart and my heart kept expanding with his.

It was a beautiful and painful honor to sit in this humble brokenness, profound teaching and Love with this man. And from the shards of thoughts, a Presence is communicated beyond what he was attempting to say, yet which includes his new offering. He sees with new eyes and speaks of three eyes.. the body, soul and divine.. speaks such from a voice deeply embedded in each.

Blessings to you, Ram Dass.. dear friend.

Jodyr contributes:

I'd like to share a Ram Dass story.

It's a simple one. I was at Timothy Leary's 75th birthday party. Ram Dass was there too. He was dancing on a temporary floor in the back yard. The dj was playing a kind of atmospheric electronica. Ram Dass was interpreting the motion of the music with such exquisite precision that I had no doubt about his level of understanding. It was that spontaneous, completely natural, and dripping with gentle love.

He is very brave to share his difficulty with us. He could just as easily have dropped out of sight. I guess he wants to make sure people understand that they are not their minds, as he is not his. The light of the Self shines in *every* mind. Ram Dass is a blessing to us as it still very clearly shines in him.

Jai Shakti Ma in the form of Ram Dass! Ki Jai!

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March 22
Eckhart Tolle at Inner Directions Gathering
by Christiana P. Duranczyk

One of the primary draws for me to this conference was the chance to again be with Eckhart Tolle. I spent an evening and some private time with him last November, and experienced in his presence a deep dropping into stillness. He embodies and transmits the fullness of mind stopped.

We spoke briefly on Friday night and again I readily knew the fullness of the present. There were several *alive* presentations on Saturday. In my work, I meet many authors. Occasionally, there is a disconnect between the author's work and their presentation. I experienced none of that this weekend. Rob Rabbin and Lama Surya Das were delightfully authentic. Byron Katie gave a powerful presentation of her "Work". Adyashanti offered such a clear presentation that one felt his sharp sword cut through the dross of illusion and moments of pure essence emerged. Michael Green's reading of Rumi accompanied by stirring music was a blessed ending to the gathering.

Yet for me, and for the entire gathering, on Sunday, Eckhart Tolle touched the deepest tonal note. He received an immediate standing ovation. It is difficult to articulate what is so powerful and unique about this man. Much remains below linguistic sculpting. What I can say is that his precise use of language to disassemble structure is as phenomenal, as is his capacity to speak from Presence.

After he spoke, I could not rejoin the assemblage. He had taken me to a place where no further words were necessary or desired. I thus missed the presentation by Rabbi Rami Shapiro.

I went for a long walk along the beach and delighted in the Sandpiper's play along the shoreline. They were my next natural teacher as I observed them scurrying in and out of the tides ebb and flow. I thought... how like we humans.. dancing with Leela. Then suddenly a large wave crashed and just as the water's edge was about to overtake them, they immediately took flight on the currents of the wind. A masterful display of natural awareness segued powerfully with what I had just witnessed with Eckhart.

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March 23
Meeting Eckhart Tolle
by
Chuck Hillig

When I first saw Eckhart Tolle on Friday and Saturday (March 17-18, 2000), I was struck both by his centeredness and by his all-encompassing quietude. It almost seemed like he was not fully "in the world" in the same ways that others were likely to be. I was particularly impressed by his talk on Sunday morning because he seemed to be coming from a place deep within the Heart of Presence. Although he spoke for an hour and forty five minutes, he used no notes and never appeared to be searching egoically for words or direction. His presentation was seamless, clear and, at times, quite humorous. The 500+ audience was moved enough to give him a standing ovation at its conclusion.

When I saw him alone on Monday morning, my good friend Dominica (who has photographed many of the well-known advaitic teachers in the world today) asked me to dialogue one-on-one with Eckhart as she took candid photos of him. Up close, he was very quiet, totally unassuming and almost painfully shy in his ordinary interactions with both of us. There was almost a sense of sadness or melancholy about him. Although he was extremely polite and so very gentle, I sensed that his energy level was quite low after the long weekend. In fact, when we hugged goodbye, I actually felt his body trembling like a young kitten away from its mother.

Because Eckhart's body is very slight and almost underweight, I suspect that he probably has very limited physical resources available. As it is with all of us, Eckhart is being used by Consciousness, but this use seems to be taking a physical toll on his "vehicle." The continued success of his marvelous book will only create more and more demands on his time and energies, and I can only wish him well. I'm sure that he's unconcerned about it. And, as it is with all of us, his life is not his own either.

Bottom line: It is very easy to love this good and gentle man, and if you ever have a chance to experience him directly, please don't miss the opportunity.
~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.namastepublishing.com/

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March 24
spreading into my entire ---- really entire
by Alone

One day.............(now, I remember the exact day: it was Kartiki Paurnima -------- I will look to the English date also --------............. when there is a function also on Arunachal-mountain at Tiruvannamalai (though I am in Poona) --------- as this writing is close to the incident, so I remember the exact date.

I was rather awake on my bed (sofa-cum-bed)............ the time being 4 a.m. (when I afterwards looked in the watch)...........

When thus naturally I was awake............ [I was not aware at that moment, that it is Kartiki Paurnima]........... I felt .............some 'throbbing' was getting spread -- spreading -- (so to say), all around me -- into the whole world -- all around about me and it is spreading -- even in the whole universe --

............some [what word shall I use?] .............some throbbing -------- some 'heaving' -- like ............ all over outside [--------- this is not a visual sight I saw --------]

.............and, inside me, the same sort of thing, at my right side heart

[where previously I have "experiencing"]

.............. This time, it was on both regions (so to say) simultaneously

.............. throbbing inside me at that particular spot (..............now it is in my entire body) ............. already it is spreading into my entire ---- really entire -----body .......... and (the same feeling)

[as if the universe is also my body].............also into all round ------- into the entire ------- universe

(----------- how can I express this?--)

At the same time ---- I mean, simultaneously ------- this was 'going on'............

[Again also, excuse me for bringing-in the personal element ........... when I make fair the article ............ in-about mid-night ........... after some lapse of days perhaps, something of the same 'feeling' I am "experiencing" now, also]

Please .............. to continue the article ...............

This was (rather, is) not even 'simultaneously'.......... but, the whole is throbbing ............. my body is universe ..............

[Kindly, ................ bear interruption a little: "verbalization" and "experiencing" is going on side by side] ........... or, the universe is my body .......... ---------- I don't know what is what -------- ............ a certain cool vibrating -- throbbing -- no burden as such, no violent (so to say), feeling is it .............

a certain feeling of love (also) is in it ............ it may be L O V E.

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March 25
The Self Alone is the Reality
from Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi (pp 15-16)
as seen on
RamanaNisargadatta list

30th January, 1935:

20. Mr. Evans-Wentz:
Is solitude necessary for a jnani?

Maharshi: Solitude is in the mind of man.
One might be in the thick of the world
and maintain serenity of mind;
such a one is in solitude.
Another may stay in a forest,
but still be unable to control his mind.
He cannot be said to be in solitude.
Solitude is a function of the mind.
A man attached to desire cannot get solitude
wherever he may be;
a detached man is always in solitude.

D: So then, one might be engaged in work and be free
from desire and keep up solitude. Is it so?

Maharshi: Yes.
Work performed with attachment is a shackle,
whereas work performed with detachment
does not affect the doer.
He is, even while working, in solitude.

D: They say that there are many saints in Tibet who
remain in solitude and are still helpful to the world.
How can it be?

Maharshi: It can be so.
Realisation of the Self is the greatest help
that can be rendered to humanity.
Therefore, the saints are said to be helpful,
though they remain in forests.
But it should not be forgotten that
solitude is not in forests only.
It can be had even in towns,
in the thick of worldly occupations.

D: Is it not necessary that the saints should mix
with people and be helpful to them?

Maharshi: The Self alone is the Reality;
the world and the rest of it are not.
The realised being does not see the world
as different from himself.

D: Thus then, the saint's realisation leads to the
uplift of humanity, without the latter being aware of
it. Is it so?

Maharshi: Yes.
The help is imperceptible but is still there.
A saint helps the whole of humanity,
unknown to the latter.

D: Would it not be better if he mixed with others?

Maharshi: There are no others to mix with.
The Self is the one and only reality.

D: If there be a hundred Self-realised men will it
not be to the greater benefit of the world?

Maharshi: When you say 'Self'
you refer to the unlimited,
but when you add 'men' to it,
you limit the meaning.
There is only one Infinite Self.

D: Yes, yes, I see! Sri Krishna has said in the Gita
that work must be performed without attachment and
such work is better than idleness. Is it Karma Yoga?

Maharshi: What is said is given out
to suit the temperaments of the hearers.

D: In Europe it is not understood by the people that
a man in solitude can be helpful. They imagine that
men working in the world alone can be useful. When
will this confusion cease? Will the European mind
continue wading in the morass or will it realise the
truth?

Maharshi: Never mind Europe or America.
Where are they except in your mind?
Realise your Self and then all is realised.
If you dream and see several men,
and then wake up and recall your dream,
do you try to ascertain if the persons
of your dream creation are also awake?

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March 26
Patience
by Osho

We have forgotten how to wait; it is almost an abandoned space. And it is our greatest treasure to be able to wait for the right moment. The whole existence waits for the right moment. Even trees know it--when it is time to bring the flowers and when it is time to let go of all the leaves and stand naked against the sky. They are still beautiful in that nakedness, waiting for the new foliage with a great trust that the old has gone, and the new will soon be coming, and the new leaves will start growing. We have forgotten to wait, we want everything in a hurry. It is a great loss to humanity.... In silence and waiting something inside you goes on growing--your authentic being. And one day it jumps and becomes a flame, and your whole personality is shattered; you are a new man. And this new man knows what ceremony is, this new man knows life's eternal juices.

Osho, Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt Chapter 10

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March 27
Integrity and Unbounded Awareness: Recent Observations of Nonduality List
Introduced and edited by Christiana P. Duranczyk
Featuring Gene Poole, Dan Berkow, Ph.D., Bruce Morgen, and Neo

I've been silently observing the antics on this list this past week.. quite a show.. we've seen intelligent posts; slanderous posts; courageous posts and fluid posts.

I am left with a question. What is the intention of this list? My understanding was that this place was created as a consequence of slander and rigid pompous thinking on another list. My understanding was that this was a place where people were free to share what arose to share.. be it delusion or awareness and to have fellowship to learn more about each through honest *dialogue*.

Jerry you say this list and 'reality' are not 'spiritual'.. how are you defining 'spiritual'? I do not define this word as form or dogma or rules but as the working of Consciousness as it plays out in human form.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:
"You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience."

I think I understand your intent to keep this a free place. The creative imperative of Consciousness operates both in impeccable order and in ambiguity and messiness. It can not be contained by human thought structures. As such I understand what Bruce says (below) about 'removing the underpinings'. Yet I also hear Dan and Gene speak eloquently about the need for awareness of timing and language. Are we not collectively being asked to listen and speak to what Gene calls 'the single conversation'? Does not our collective freedom hinge on guiding ourselves and each other into this 'voice' beyond the personal?

I have extracted some writing from the past few days which I feel offer important guidance not towards being 'bad' but towards becoming truly free as we collectively see through the idea of self and grok 'Only Self'. If by 'bad' you refer to the radical upshift out of the confines of the banal entity, leaving it to implode, then I might understand your reference. This shift is a movement of Love, which Marcia describes as a sword, and I add it is a sword free of personal attacks.. it is a sword of clear perception.

.o00o.

Gene: The hidden joke, is that the 'casual listener' cannot hear this powerful language, and thus cannot hear their own voice and how it participates in the single conversation; the casual listener is conditioned to listen only to predefined 'word-objects', and to ignore the meanings stated by everything else. It is the aggregate voice of everything, speaking all at once, which is the vast song of harmony which sings 'us'. We are in the literal womb of our creator, continually nurtured, and given every opportunity to 'get with it', and yet, the casual observer persists in missing this thundering

***
The 'world-dream' has nothing to say about this 'one thing'; those who derive identity from world-dream identifications, cannot 'afford' to 'hear a single thing', for at the moment the 'single thing' is actually heard, the world-dream pops like a soap-bubble.

Dan: Understood from a position inside a boundary, boundaries divide and lead to fear. Understood from no located position, boundaries simultaneously divide and unite, define and connect. Fear is the result of placing oneself within a boundary. Love is the way boundary functions when no entity is placed within a boundary. This boundary defines me and you, unites me and you, and shows that there in only love - neither me nor you. My original skin: the meeting of time and eternity.

Gene: Boundaries themselves have this property; every boundary indeed defines what is distinct, and by doing so, opens the possibility of perceiving what is similar or even identical.

This is a very subtle point to make; I am saying that boundaries can be seen to exist as challenges to perceive that what is apparently distinct, discrete, or separate, are also similar or even identical.

** Language is a set of filters (properly called grammars) which are used exclusively to create distinction; it is difficult to use language in a way that makes distinction work to illustrate similarity.

"Things are not as they seem; nor are they different".

Discussions of similarity use distinction-creating words to 'prove' similarity by a process of eliminating difference, to the point of revealing similarity. In reality, only words create this distinction, but few speakers have mastered the art of using words in a manner that does not inherently lead to separation. If we could 'learn to talk' in a manner that could transcend the usual inherent effect of words, we could speak without creating illusory boundaries between ourselves.

** Living in love, is so delicious, that one will not threaten their own allowance to do so; that is why, the patterns of speech of those who actually live in love, succeed in persistently communicating the essence of love, to those who read such words. The artist is making a subtle plea to the reader, to give up the life of separation in favor of the life of love, and to husband this conversion, by disciplining the speech of self, to remain within the constraints of liberation. The artist is pleading with the reader, to learn to speak in a similar manner, thus to reform the deepest inner thoughts and assumptions. So reformed, language is naturally used as a force to open, rather than close, the mind and heart of those who are listening.

** In this freedom I form me /organise/organize, Does my spell checker check spelling, Or does it check the spell that is upon me? Innumerable bits, each one poised, calling; "Choose me! Choose me!" Yet, I intend to purport, to report, to retort, And yet, not unaware of this vastness, Seek to arrange every bitte into forms which please, Thus to garner the attention of one who is imagined By me, To be like me; To form a union, discover likeness, to verify myself, To offer a mirror, so to speak, yet this mirror already has My own face in it; do you look like me? Or if not, do you, At the least, see like me?

If you see like me, I am joyed, but then, how boring; It is in difference that mirrors truly shine, Otherwise, why compare? Needless is comparison, yet it is pursued, as though Something good will happen; Yet the stresses of the search produce only a majority Of differences, the sameness secretly known beforehand, And on the game goes, life in movement, meanings pasted Upon void, imaginings accused and praised, as though There might be one that is real, one that is bedrock, Unmoving, a point of reference by which our judgements Can be validated; each imagined boulder, however, Becomes a particular particle of speech, reduced To insignificance, upon the alter of another's offering.

Dan: Hi Bruce. For me, it's not a matter of who's right, but more a wish to look at "techniques" -- and heavy confrontation seems to me to be a technique, unless it flows naturally from a trusting and open communication in which the confrontation will be heard as caring.

Industrial-strength, intense confrontation often triggers defensive reactions, hurt, feelings of rejection. Unless someone has a relationship of trust and knows confrontation will be heard clearly, confrontation is likely to lead to entrench continuing cycles of defense and attack, rather than dispell illusions.

I'm not at all against powerful statements or confrontation, by the way, but I do think timing and connection of the parties involved is essential for such communication to be fruitful.

Timing is very important in "teaching." Without appropriate timing and clear communication, tendencies to anchor in illusion are likely to be strengthened rather than exposed or "vaporized".

Gene: How you characterize me, man; as though your words are actually representative of 'how I actually am'. You might mean to say, that 'I am that way, for you'.

** Ego can, however, be co-opted; it can be enlisted 'in service of':

_ Inclusion/acceptance by a group (family or social)

_ Defense of any values implanted prior to age of arising of speech (individually AND collectively)

_ Identity (personal and collective)

Ego which has been so 'co-opted' is indeed problematic, but the problem is not with ego; it is instead, with individual awareness, which uses _strategy_ to work for (imagined) gain. I say again, that to denounce ego, is to speak against oneself. To speak against oneself, is suicidal; to speak against oneself, is to obliterate immunity.

To speak against oneself, is also to imagine that the speech of others, which may be directed against self, is actually penetrating self. To assume that the various insults, brickbats, etc, hurled by others, are literally effective weapons, is also a tragic act of self-weakening.

If the integrity of the cells of the digestive tract are weakened or lost, large molecules of foodstuffs may enter the circulatory system, producing allergic reaction, or possibly fatal anaphylaxis.

Similarly, ego is designed to enable balance, especially during stages of growth leading to maturity.

Thus, ego is not a problem for the immature, and for the mature, it is 'just there'.

Gene: Interpenetration is possible, but ONLY when there are discrete, IE separate 'entities' (bodies, minds, cells) to enact this interpenetration. It takes an "I" and a 'thou' to enact this sort of intercourse.

Penetration implies boundary, does it not? Mutually allowed interpenetration can be the first step toward realization of an actual 'boundaryless' awareness. But this does not do away with the need for integrity of all boundaries of cell, membrane, or ego. Indeed, it is this very needed integrity, which allows the possibility of realizing 'unbounded awareness'.

Neo: Wouldn't it be nice if everyone could support each other and get along?

Bruce: Emphatically not at the expense of honesty.

N: Is unity not the goal?

B: No, seeing *what is* is the goal, and that never happens until at all until the nature of goal-seeking is fully understood.

Neo: There must be a lot of fear here on this list.

Bruce: That much is true. The list is the world.

** Then you realize there's nobody from whom to beg forgiveness -- there's just you and the mirror showing you your pretense, your elaborate self-image.

** The whole image of "working out their differences" is illusory -- look at the world, where when folks are "working out their differences" they are actually angling for an edge, trying arrive at something that looks fair but actually confers some sort of advantage. Negotiation is war in which both sides have forego gross physical means of murder and instead try to kill each other with faux kindness and Machavellian politesse. Nondual realization obviates all such conflict, overt or otherwise, by removing the underpinnings in one "swell foop." :-)

** Imposed unity -- whether by gross physical force or social/psychological coercion such as peer pressure -- is also conflict. The absence of the trappings of war is not peace.

Dan: Yes - and "****** !!!! :-)" suggests that it is urgent to realize this "no choice" situation. Suggests there are many ways to delay, avoid, postpone, and to keep the cycles of avoidance going around. We have an innate ability to entrance ourselves with our words and concepts, mesmerizing ourselves in the secure warmth of self-perpetuated belief. "We" remain at our imagined center, and only "no choice" will remove what has never been there.

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March 28
EST and the Forum
by
Simon Crosby

Summary: This page has been written as background for people considering taking the Forum training offered by Landmark Education. The author is an independent psychologist and graduate of the Est training, the Forum's predecessor.

The Forum is a large group awareness training developed out of its forerunner The Erhard Seminars Training [known as Est]. The creator of Est, Werner Erhard, studied many personal development traditions ranging from Buddhism to Scientology. He realised he could combine insights from several sources to develop a training, to be held under rigourous conditions and designed to induce in participants shifts towards fresh realisations about the way their life has functioned, and realisations about what it is possible for them to be. Such shifts are not readily obtainable in ordinary life because most people are too cocooned by self-comforting habits and ways of being; habits of avoidance, denial, defensiveness, and so on.

The 60-hour training was designed to be so compelling that it would need no marketing, apart from the enthusiasm of graduates - who would ensure a steady flow of clients. And so it has been. The Est training, which the writer experienced in the early 80s, was replaced by the Forum as a shorter and less rigourous version of Est [which had been criticised for being too tough]. The Forum, misleadingly called a seminar, is run worldwide by the Landmark Education Corporation of San Fransisco, headed by Werner Erhard's brother.

The basic ideas behind the Forum probably would be discoverable by a combination of introspection and careful reading. But the difference that really makes a difference - and this is what you get if you buy yourself a place in the Forum - is the powerful setting in which the training is delivered, and that will include having a trainer [referred to as the leader] of considerable ability and expertise. It is an exceptional experience to be part of what happens in a large group of any kind - but especially one like the Forum in which the participants share a common intent and goal. The various rules and boundaries that the Forum organisers set up and insist upon [how my fellow Est participants and I coped with those were deeply illuminating to witness] make for a uniquely super-charged atmosphere. Then there are the Forum's fundamental processes around which the training revolves, processes which have been carefully honed over the years, and still are being.

Most large group awareness trainings are psychological in character. But they are very far from the psychology and style of founding fathers such as Freud and Jung. The Forum is an extreme example of Constructivist Psychology in action. But it is not the polite Personal Construct Theory of George Kelly [the founder of constructivist psychology].

As a constructivist myself I appreciate the constructivism in the Forum and I also like that it seeks to have people disidentify from their problems. I see dis-identification as a key task in psychology and as the master life-skill. The Forum is not psychotherapy, but it is something which may well be used by psychotherapy clients who could do with a more of a nudge than a psychotherapist would consider it appropriate to deliver.

Various books have been written about the experience of Est and several accounts of the Forum can be found. I would advise against reading any of these because they might reduce the impact of what you may gain as insights - and that would be to lose quite a bit of the point of the Forum.

Some people say that the training begins with one's first exposure to Landmark Education staff. Anglo-Saxons are unlikely to appreciate the strongly up-beat and pushy style of some of the Landmark sales team. Waverers can be given so persuasive a hard sell as to wipe out any chance of a sign-up. That is partly why Landmark Education has been described as an "intense enrolling environment" [see Safeguards when Dealing with Landmark]. It is worth not being put off by any pushiness: try seeing that as no more than something skilfully to be sidestepped without being shunted into irritation, or worse.

SAFEGUARDS AND RESERVATIONS

I am positive about the Forum, but reservedly so, because I do not know how efficient the screening process is that is meant to let in only the psychologically well. The Forum is powerful and it should not be taken by anyone whose mental health is anything but firmly balanced and well-established, nor by anyone who is not good at looking after themselves or managing strong peer pressure. If you have any doubt about its suitability for you then you should consult a mental health professional.

If you are in psychotherapy, and your therapist approves of you doing the Forum, then you are unlikely to be unbalanced by the powerful techniques that the Forum uses - some participants would say that losing balance was exactly what they needed. Some maybe, but for the rest there are some issues, covered below, it would be sensible to think over.

If you take the Forum then some degree of ego-inflation is almost certain. For most non-narcissistic people this will be a short-lived matter, and it will be no problem if you have generous and understanding associates.

After the Forum your friends may experience you as obnoxiously accurate when you tell them how bits of their lives do not work properly, and as you spell out what they should do about it. Forum people tend to call this coaching.

If you feel that situations or people are limiting you, then after the Forum you may feel it would be simplest to discard them. I am sure the Forum does not intend such an escapist result.

Do not be mesmerised by the cost of the Forum - what are you worth? Concerning the richness of the organisation - that does not have to be relevant, unless you say so.

One of the main philosophic differences between psychotherapy and the Forum is that the meanings people give to things are dismissed by Forum people. That is more useful than you might think but your non-Forum associates may not enjoy having their meanings dismissed by you - if you do.

The Forum creates an in-group atmosphere partly by using certain jargony words [which they call a new use of language] to refer to its foundation principles. Thomas Leonard says of jargon that too often people seem to "become" these principles rather than simply applying and enjoying them. Your associates are unlikely to enjoy having their ears bent with Forum-speak - unless they find it funny. It does sound bizarre out of context.

The Forum is the opening offer of Landmark Education. You will be expected to take other more expensive programmes, and you will be pressured to sign up before you leave.

There are many rigidities connected with the Forum, and Forum leaders are powerful authority figures. If you are likely to have problems with that then it would be sensible to suspend any dislike for the time being.

If you take the Forum you will hear many stories of seemingly intractable problems being resolved within hours of the end of the training.

Be sure to click on Simon's name above, for more! Included in this article are several significant links to Landmark as well as to other pages on Simon's website. --Jerry

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March 29
Meet John Gaeta, Visual Effects Supervisor for 'The Matrix'

John Gaeta won the Oscar for visual effects. The following is taken from a chat session with John Gaeta. I've deleted the portions with the other guests. If you want to read the entire chat session, go to http://www.whatisthematrix.com

Even if you've seen the Matrix three times, you'll want to see it again after reading the chat transcripts, or even after reading what follows.

guest-Jaisin says: What was the inspiration behind the Matrix "code"?

John: It's the fabric of life.

guest-shokker says: what is your favorite scene?

John: My actual favorite scene is the one in which Morpheus and Neo and Trinity and the group go into the Matrix and this is the scene at which point Neo understands what he is going into and there is a very simple shot of them exiting an apartment building in slow motion that despite the fact that it is a very simple camera trick, it is incredibly powerful and is so well set up, that you really believe you have entered an altered state of reality.

guest-BatNeal says: What advice would you give to anyone interested in a special effects carreer?

John: Work for free--anything to get your foot in the door.
It's such a strange field. People come in from all different types of places and their path of entry is always unique. There is no one way unless, of course, you have computer skills, especially in graphics.

guest-wry says: John--every time I come down my steps I think of that slow-mo scence. It was great! Thanks.

John: Me too. My life works in slow motion.

guest-uga says: how hard was it to do the bullet time effects?

John: Any time you are asked to do something that has never been done before, it is as hard from an emotional and self-confident point of view as it is from a technical point of view.

guest-jonandben says: How did you guys get started in special effects?
How would you recommend I get in?

John: Work for nothing--that's how I did it.

guest-NEO says: Is editing the hardest job to do?

John: I would say marketing.

guest-Batbat224 says: Are you going to be making any other movies in the style of the Matrix in the future?

John: I think Matrix is a very contemporary type of movie and it's arrival comes with the arrival of a few other equally contemporary and free type of movie experiences and I think there will be many movies that appear as a gimmick or a copy of the Matrix but then again there will be many many more movies that are authentically becoming part of modern cinema.

guest-ZEUS says: I was wondering if you will do the Visual Effets on Matrix 2 and 3? if so can you tell us what will be in it?

John: I actually love the spoon scene because it is a simple application of visual effects towards a story concept and it serves the story as opposed to being just an eye catching scene.

John: Absolutely I will do the Visual Effects on the Matrix trilogy and No, I can't tell you what will be in it.

guest-ScubaMDW says: What was the most expensive special effect in the movie?

John: Probably the shot with the babies in the field of pods.
...

John: I was just in Poland in Warsaw a month ago and attended a Matrix DVD lodge party that was much cooler than any of the LA parties and hats off to the undergound kids on that side of the world. They know exactly what the vibe is.

John: Without giving anything away, I believe that visual effects will slowly become more and more used to visualize a character's perception of the world and applied in more subtle and subliminal ways as opposed to purely eye-catching and I intend to pursue all manner of perceptual trickery.
...

guest-DHoberer says: I loved the scene at the end where Neo flies into the Agent and the Agent explodes. How'd you do that?

John: Basically by rebuilding the Agent as a 3D form and mapping the image of his performance upon that form and then using some particle system dynamics simulation, we create the breakage of that image and that 3D form.

guest-mlscs says: The biggest question I've always had, and I don't know if you guys can answer it or not, is why does Neo fly at the end of the movie?

John: Because he is self-actualized.

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March 30
Matrix Within Matrix Within Matrix
by Gene Poole with Neo and Jerry

NEO: Speaking of The Matrix, there is one line that has always puzzled me. Help anyone? In the subway Trinity says

"Everything that the Oracle told me has come true except this."

This was not followed up on. I can think of several explanations but none really fit.

JERRY: Maybe there's no direct answer. Maybe the idea is to not look so hard or take things so literally. Maybe the Oracle is a Matrix within a Matrix. Maybe the reality that tells us what the Matrix is, is itself a Matrix. Is there really any Maybe about it? Isn't it what neti-neti is all about?

GENE: " A discontinuity is perceived, where none was expected".

It strikes me that this sounds a lot like the I Ching. Maybe MARCIA can give us the text of the hexagram which most sounds like this?

Similar concepts: The 'Interval', the 'crack in the cosmic egg', 'Purgatorio', 'ambivalence'.

Remember... that while in the MATRIX, 'deja vu' is indicative of 'something about to happen'. Neo saw the black cat twice in quick succession, and was about to dismiss it as 'a trick of his mind', but it turned out to be a very special 'interMATRIX symptom' of events about to transpire.

Similarly, in 'real life' situations, surprising turns of events occur, unpredicted and unexpected. Possibly the most recent major event of this sort, was the unexpected BLESSING of the 'Y2K' worldwide party. Many, many people, hunkering in their bunkers, were completely blown away by the powerful demonstrations of love, caring, and joy that showed up to take the place of the predicted breakdown of global networks and commerce. Rather than fulfill the nightmares of the paranoid, 'Y2K' was a rosy dawn of new faith in our ability to 'get along' with each other.

Humanity slides into a default-position of 'resigned and cynical'; that is the 'norm', and is where so many people live and come from, all expectations funneled into 'more of the same'.

Trinity's comment reveals that she was experiencing the premonitory tickle of unexpected turns of events; her 'expectations' of perpetual slavery to the machine of the MATRIX were being challenged.

There is 'great safety' in the space of 'resigned and cynical'. By adhering to this 'party line of the world-dream', you will be safely shielded from the attacks of the majority, cynics every one. By adopting this 'protective coloration', this camouflage of the mass-mind, you are not singled out for punishment for being 'different'. And this disguise is very troublesome, for like any mantra, if you say it to yourself often enough, it becomes true. The 'disguise' becomes a veritable skin, a protective boundary, which itself then shapes the world around you. In this way, 'resigned and cynical' rules the world of every person who subscribes to it.

JERRY: Perhaps the kicker in Matrix 2 will be that what we thought was reality is also Matrix. That'll be revealed in the end and will lead to nicely to the Matrix 3, which will be the best of the three. Perhaps the line Trinity utters is the doorway, the flaw through which one enters deeper reality.

GENE: MATRIX within MATRIX within MATRIX... do we someday, get to experience the 'true source'?

Or could it be... that the 'way that it is' is actually, exactly just how the 'true source' behaves?

Could it be... that by practiced abiding, that every MATRIX which comprises the matrices of all matrices, will orthogonally rotate into alignment, providing simultaneous knowing experience of everything, all at once? And if that were to occur for you... could your 'conventional mind' take it? I think not.

The 'dilemma of the seeker' is just this, the disguise donned to prevent the shattering of the conventional mind.

"Understanding is not understanding"

The disguise of 'resigned and cynical' provides the safety of world-dream validation, but itself creates a hell with a population of one.

If one removes the asbestos suit needed to live in hell, one is immediately cremated, but this is a rare event. Avoiding is not only a waste of a perfectly fine hellfire, but also for fear of making an ash of oneself.

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March 31
Cafe Writings
by David Hodges

I first got started writing in cafe's inspired by Natalie Goldberg's "Writing Down the Bones", a wonderful book about writing and Zen, as is her other book, "Long Quiet Highway", about Zen and writing.

My favorite cafe for writing in is Muddy Waters, in Burlington, Vermont- great atmosphere, friendly people, lots of other people writing. My second favorite is Cafe Trieste in North Beach of San Francicsco, a place where you can almost feel the shadow of Jack Kerouac passing by. (Not that I get to either of these places very often!)

But most of the time I visit my four favorites, two in Madison, Connecticut, and two in New Haven. Each one has its own personality. For example, at Willoughby's in New Haven, some ALWAYS spills something each time I am there. The first time I was there, a Snapple hit the ground. Other times, coffee. Last time, a guy came in for an iced mocha to go and he lost it right in the doorway. It seemed to leave his hands on its own volition, leap in the air, flip over, and splash on the floor. The woman behind the counter said cheerfully, "Oh, that's okay. We do have a policy though: the customer cleans it up!" You could probably make something cosmic or karmic out of that statement.

I find it easier to concentrate in an atmosphere of moderate activity than in total silence and solitude. I don't know why this is. My writing consists of this discipline (from Natalie Goldberg): "Keep Your Hand Moving". You keep writing, following your thoughts. This requires a meditator's witness attitude towards thought in order to avoid censoring or interfering with the thought stream. And it induces the witness attitude towards your thoughts and a resulting deepening of consciousness.

On Sunday mornings I like to stop by a sidewalk cafe in Madison to view the weekly passage of a group of bikers who stop for their capucchino's, chai's, and lattes before roaring off again. I imagine that in weekly life these middle-aged people are investment bankers and stock brokers from Greenwich or Darien, because there has never been a better dressed, better outfitted bunch than these. Their bikes are all late model, shiny Harley's with all the accessories. Their clothes are the finest biker gear, including lots of black leather uncontaminated by the slightest hint of grease or dirt. The women wear these black leather chaps over their tight jeans, and carefully knotted bandanas around their necks. They are well made up and occasionally speak to mysterious others on their cell phones
while waiting for the guys. Then the group mounts up and takes off down the road again.

Let's see. Got nothing to do tonight, got no one to be with. So I went to the video store and didn't find any video I wanted to see tonight. So I went to the cafe and wrote in my journal and drank a latte. Then I figured I'd go to the LARGE video store. Then I thought, nah. Then I came home. Then I meditated. Then I noticed that SHE had been trying to get my attention all along. SHE was physically located in my chest. In consciousness she was just - inside. When my attention would wander she would pull me back. My impulse was to praise her or worship her but she wanted me to be quiet. Then my impulse was to figure her out, relate her to theories and ideas and myths but she wanted me to be quiet. SO - I just stayed there with HER for a while. I continued to do nothing. But I wasn't alone.

Now I'm writing this to you folks.
Now I'm not.

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April 1
Untitled
by Bernadette Roberts

There is a silence within,
a silence that descends from without;
a silence that stills existence
and a silence that engulfs the entire universe.
There is a silence of the self
and its faculties of will, thought, memory, and emotions.
There is a silence in which there is nothing,
a silence in which there is something;
and finally, there is the silence of no-self
and the silence of God.

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April 2
On The Pile With Kevin Costner and A Couple of Other Guys
by O.H.

Hello dears:
Been away fixing up pile for awhile. Anything interestin' happen while i was gone? ,^))

Someone quoted Rumi, "Out beyond right and wrong, there is a field, I will meet you there." (or somethin' like that). Wanted to say, i been to that field once, met Kevin Costner there, tossed a few balls......dreamin' again, old women do that a lot.

Cleaning up papers, found this poem darlin' xan sent once. Thought maybe worth a repeat.

Free and Easy:

A spontaneous song of indestructible wisdom by Gen'dŁn Rinpoche

Happiness is not to be found through great effort and willpower.
It is already present in open relaxation and letting go.

Don't strain.
There's nothing to do or to undo.
Whatever momentarily and adventitiously arises in body-mind has no real import at all - has very little reality at all.

Why identify with it and become attached to it, passing judgement on it and on yourself and others?

Far better simply to just let the entire game happen on its own, springing up and falling back again like waves, without 'rectifying' or manipulating things, just noticing how everything vanishes and then magically reappears, again and again and again time without end.

It's only our searching for happiness that prevents us from seeing it, like a vivid rainbow one runs after but can never catch or a dog chasing its own tail.

Though peace and happiness have no existence as some actual place or thing they are forever at hand - one's constant companion at every instant.

Just don't be taken in by the apparent reality of good and bad experiences.
They're like today's passing weather like rainbows in the sky.

Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain, but as soon as you open up and relax the tight fist of grasping, infinite space is right there - open, inviting, comfortable.

Use this spaciousness - this freedom and natural ease.

Don't look anywhere else.
Don't go off into the tangled jungle searching for the elephant of great awakenedness when he is already at home, quietly resting in front of your own hearth.

There's nothing to do or to undo nothing to force nothing you have to want nothing missing.

Emaho - how marvellous!!
Everything just happens of itself!!"

~~Emaho! That's what Kev said as old bones leaped in air and caught high pop-up with one glove inbetween rickety legs! He was always joshin' me cause i took the game so seriously, i wanted to "wine!" hoho..."win!" but he would jes laugh at my shenanigans, and pretty soon i'd forget and laugh too, especially when the wolves came and we started all that prancin' around. Emaho indeed!....but you ain't interested in an old woman's dreams, now anyway. ,^))

i am touched often by the utter preciousness of all of you,

love, oh

THE THREE ANSWERS:
Go Anywhere.
Do Nothing.
Love Everybody.

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April 3
Ah, So
by O.H.

"In doing good, avoid fame. In doing evil, avoid punishment. Thus, by pursuing the middle way, you may preserve your body, fulfill your life, look after your parents, and live out your years."

~~Ugh! Sounds really borrrring! This may be this guy's middle way but it sure doesn't sound like the Big Guy's Middle Way.

"In doing good, avoid fame." So you do good, fame comes. So? We just accept whatever, eh? I'm out there on the stage, playing my role to beat all heck, got that picture on the wall just right..,^)), and the audience stands and shouts bravo! So? maybe next night they boo...So?

In doing evil, avoid punishment. Wooeee...what's all this "avoiding" stuff? Not "The" Middle Way. The Big Golden Dear was visiting pile just last week (hey, i can talk to dead gurus, too, ya know!) and reminded its three things ketchin' us: the avoiding, the grabbing, and the staying neutral - they're the ones that keep us paddlin' on samsara's sea.

It's the acceptance of everything, just as it is, that shoots us plop! right over to the other shore! or at least a comfy sandbar. Letting go of grasping - hey, give me that Oscar! ok, Kristie dear, oh was up there once, too! before the talkies! ,^)) letting go of avoidance - hey, if I don't read Elbowfable's post, i might feel better - letting go of the whole show, even being neutral, the whole shebang of any movement towards or away...any fabication....of the mind and it's just like a beautiful eagle swoops down, picks you up by the scuff of yer neck - hey! i always wondered what a scuff was, anybody know? and flies you to the other shore and lets you go! kerplop! there you are!

lalala...when you wish upon a star...lalala

What did that Rinpoche say? "Far better simply to just let the entire game happen on its own springing up and falling back again like waves Without 'rectifying' or manipulating things just noticing how everything vanishes and then magically reappears, again and again and again time without end."

Quote says, "preserve your body" well, this body looks like it's been preserved - that's for sure, "fulfill your life" - all goals, all dreams, all ideas that there is a life to fulfill down the shoot too! "look after your parents," hoho..big bow to gentleman from China, for him this important! nothing to look after afraid, nothing at all. "and live out your years." egad...who would want to die out their years...no meaning that i can see...living to be an ancient one is not all its cracked up to be. ,^)) And i hate purple!!! hoho

Remember the story about the monk who said Ah, so? He lived by himself in a small temple just outside of town, and one day some parents of a young girl come to see him, all irate and everything. They say their daughter is pregnant and she has said the monk is the father. Monk says, Ah, so. Then girl has baby, her parents come to monk with baby, say, here, you raise it! Monk says, Ah, so. Takes baby, has women who comes in to clean and cook help him raise baby. Three years later, parents come again, Oh, we very sorry, dear monk, daughter has confessed that you are not the father. It's the blacksmith's son, Brucesan...,^)).

Monk says, Ah,so. Parents say, So now we take baby. Monk hands over baby and says....Oh, but I raised the little tyke and he is like my own son, and....oh, ok, he says, Ah, so.

Well, to tell you the truth, that little story guided me for years. It was my dream to one day be able to look at everything that "happened" and react spontaneously with an ah, so. Only when the blessing of realizing that this "everything" was coming from oh's own feeble mind!!!! no where else!!! was i able to even begin to let go. To see, as dearest xan has been saying so brilliantly, "If you are not constantly living as silent beingness/ love, and if that is what you want, it becomes your task to ruthlessly look at whatever appears in your personal self that is anything else."...why am i even bothering with this dribble when she has said it all?

and so old bones continues to dribble, comes with the cane and bib...,^))

...to see that there twern't anything to do except look at that mind, and lo and behold! it was avoiding and grasping or trying to stay neutral, Shining that ole flashlight of awareness on just that and everything just dropped away.....just dropped away...Amazing Grace!...and i lost sometimes....and i found sometimes...but nothing "mattered" anymore...the whole world had become one big ah, so.

Sometimes the simplest solution is "doing" nothing, and letting Him have Her Way with ya..

The middle way is looking straight ahead and accepting whatever appears on the road, even the "unacceptable," especially the unacceptable, accept it all...well, i am repeatin' myself...(mercifully not goin' to turn that into a senior joke! hoho)..and goin' on a bit,..sorry. You all know all this already, i know.

take care dears.
i am sure enjoying all the swirling of joy and wisdom abounding on list today - like everyone found the key to their handcuffs all at once A ball of brilliance - that's for sure!
love, oh _______________________________________

THE THREE ANSWERS:
Go Anywhere.
Do Nothing.
Love Everybody.

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April 4
The Nisargadatta Song of I Am
being excerpts from I Am That
edited by Jerry Katz

Part One

Go deep into the sense of 'I am' and you will find.

...focus your mind on 'I am', which is pure and simple being.

Take the first step first. All blessings come from within. Turn within. 'I am' you know. Be with it all the time you can spare, until you revert to it spontaneously. There is no simpler and easier way.

Before all beginnings, after all ending -- I am. All has its being in me, in the 'I am', that shines in every living being.

On a deeper level my experience is your experience. Dive deep within yourself and you will find it easily and simply. Go in the direction of 'I am'.

Part Two

When I met my Guru, he told me: "You are not what you take yourself to be. Find out what you are. Watch the sense 'I am', find your real Self." I obeyed him, because I trusted him. I did as he told me. All my spare time I would spend looking at myself in silence. And what a difference it made, and how soon!

My teacher told me to hold on to the sense 'I am' tenaciously and not to swerve from it even for a moment. I did my best to follow his advice and in a comparatively short time I realized within myself the truth of his teaching. All I did was to remember his teaching, his face, his words constantly. This brought an end to the mind; in the stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am -- unbound.

I simply followed (my teacher's) instruction which was to focus the mind on pure being 'I am', and stay in it. I used to sit for hours together, with nothing but the 'I am' in my mind and soon peace and joy and a deep all-embracing love became my normal state. In it all disappeared -- myself, my Guru, the life I lived, the world around me. Only peace remained and unfathomable silence.

My Guru ordered me to attend to the sense 'I am' and to give attention to nothing else. I just obeyed. I did not follow any particular course of breathing, or meditation, or study of scriptures. Whatever happened, I would turn away my attention from it and remain with the sense 'I am', it may look too simple, even crude. My only reason for doing it was that my Guru told me so. Yet it worked! Obedience is a powerful solvent of all desires and fears.

There is no sense of purpose in my doing anything. Things happen as they happen -- not because I make them happen, but it is because I am that they happen. In reality nothing ever happens. When the mind is restless, it makes Shiva dance, like the restless waters of the lake make the moon dance. It is all appearance, due to wrong ideas.

...in whatever role I may appear and whatever function I may perform -- I remain what I am: the 'I am' immovable, unshakable, independent.

When I say 'I am', I do not mean a separate entity with a body as its nucleus. I mean the totality of being, the ocean of consciousness, the entire universe of all that is and knows. I have nothing to desire for I am complete forever.

Words betray their hollowness. The real cannot be described, it must be experienced. I cannot find better words for what I know. What I say may sound ridiculous. But what the words try to convey is the highest truth. All is one, however much we quibble. And all is done to please the one source and goal of every desire, whom we all know as the 'I am'.

Just like the sun is reflected in a billion dew drops, so is the timeless endlessly repeated. When I repeat: 'I am, I am', I merely assert and re-assert an ever-present fact. You get tired of my words because you do not see the living truth behind them. Contact it and you will find the full meaning of words and of silence -- both.

...I trusted my Guru. What he told me to do, I did. He told me to concentrate on 'I am' -- I did. He told me that I am beyond all perceivables and conceivables -- I believed. ... You may choose any way that suits you; your earnestness will determine the rate of progress.

for the rest of this work, click here

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April 5
Self-Knowledge - a short essay
by Tim Gerchmez

Self-knowledge does not consist of knowing what you are. What you are, you are already. Rather, it consists of *knowing what you are not*. Eliminating self-delusion clears the way for *what you are* to manifest.

In other words, if you know what you are not, you are free to *be what you are*. There is no way to state what you are in positive terms, except perhaps as simple Being: "I Am." The fact that you *are* is obvious. What you are cannot be known - you can only *be it*. And until all mental confusion is undone, until you know what you are not, you cannot really be what you are (please excuse the implied paradox). You are caught in a mental trap, a trap of delusive ideas about yourself.

There can be no quality of genuineness in life until you know all that you are not. This process of elimination, often termed "discrimination" or "self-enquiry" (sanskrit: viveka) clears the way for vidya (often translated as "knowledge," but not really translatable into English) to manifest. It is the spiritual practice recommended by both Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj, in the form of the question "Who am I?" RM states that it is best to put the question only once, and then begin to enquire. NM states that to turn the focus of attention to the "I AM," the pure and simple state of being, is also a method of enquiry. The discovery is that the question "Who am I?" has no answer except in the negative. One can *know* only what one is not... and this knowledge is imperative. What one knows, one is free of. When you know what you are not, you are free of what you are not... and what remains is simply what you are.

At the same time, to constantly dwell on the temporality and impermanence of all perceivables and conceivables is vairagya (dispassion). Viveka and vairagya go hand-in-hand. When the body, the mind and the world are known deeply to be temporal, impermanent, momentary and dreamlike, there is no longer any need to either do or not do anything. In other words, there is (at first) freedom from the compulsion to satisfy desires, and finally freedom from desire itself. The deeper the realization of impermanence goes, the more it can be seen that there is nothing to build, nothing to do, nowhere to go. Nothing lasts. The death of the body/mind is an absolute guarantee. Without viveka, this could result in a nihilistic viewpoint, but when combined with viveka, it can easily result in what is often called self-realization or enlightenment (a couple of really lousy terms that mean something different to everyone).

To conclude, there is really nothing that can be known about oneself. The reality of what we are is mystery beyond mystery to the mind. The mind can only progressively eliminate confusion and incorrect views, until it becomes utterly still in complete bafflement, and the mind is at last transcended.

What is it that transcends the mind? How could the mind possibly know?

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April 6
Considering Papaji and Enlighenment on Nonduality

NEO

According to Gangaji, her teacher Papaji traveled all over India to find an Enlightened teacher. He found many that said they were and who turned out not to be. His search stopped when he found Ramana. A number of years ago I started a similar search in N. America. Although I met a number of wise teachers, none appeared, to me, to be enlightened. So when a member here said they were, I needed to check it out.

***

Don't let anyone fool you, there are not any enlightened ones here.

***

Again, there are not any here. From my observations it is a very hard road to travel but the rewards are beyond imagination.

JAN BARENDRECHT

ROTFL... Prove you are familiar with those rewards - otherwise you are but fantasizing or parroting :)

GREG GOODE, Ph.D.

Is part of your definition of "enlightened one" that such a one "does not subscribe to Internet lists"?

ROGER ISAACS

Neo attacks authority. Yet, the result of this attack ultimately promotes Neo as the authority.

A brilliant red sign flashes and a deafening electronic buzzer blares:
!!!CONTRADICTION!!!

How do you know, Neo, that there are no enlightened ones here? All of us should accept you as an authority on this question? Please supply the grand evidence supporting your conclusion, something more substantial than egoic delusion, please.

You are very entertaining, Neo. You chase you own tail and invite us to join in your egoic celebration of self.

NORA

who knows whether anybody on this list is enlightened?
who the hell cares? why are we spinning our wheels about it?
as for so called "enlightened ones" only zen roshis and gurus and people like that there are allowed to slap people around--and only their followers who signed on board..... and i personally doubt their enlightenment too..

XAN, WITH NEO AND MELODY

NEO: According to Gangaji, her teacher Papaji traveled all over India to find an Enlightened teacher. He found many that said they were and who turned out not to be. His search stopped when he found Ramana.

MELODY: Did Papaji happen to say why he searched for an enlightened teacher?

Does he attribute his own enlightenment to having found an enlightened teacher?

I have heard it stated here many times that only an enlightened being can recognize another. This seems to me to be nonsense, although I find the term 'enlightened being' a rather silly one.

I know Stillness and Presence when it touches 'me'.
I wonder if this is what Papaji meant, as well?

XAN: Melody, I'm glad you asked. These are excerpts from Papaji's biography, written before his death, with his supervision, and called, Nothing Ever Happened:

When Papaji was 6 years old he had a spontaneous event of samadhi which lasted for 2 days, in which he was "consumed and engulfed by an experience that made me so peaceful and happy." and "was so overwhelming, it had effectively paralyzed my ability to respond to any external stimuli."

Years passed, he attended school and served in the Indian army but, "I wanted God, and I wanted Him more than anything else in the world. I also wanted to find a real Guru who could help me in my search." Throughout his 20's he visited most of the saints and swamis he heard about in India, asking each of them ,"Have you seen God? and if you have, can you show me God?"

Each of these would laugh at him or tell him to stay with them or do some practice. "They would say, 'You can't see God without meditating on Him for some time.' I wasn't satisfied with this answer. I thought 'God is like the sun. I don't need practice to see Him. I just need someone who can point my head in the right direction, or someone who can remove the cateract from my eyes so that He becomes immediately becomes apparent to me. My God is all love, all grace, all majesty. Why should He hide Himself from me?'"

There is an unusual story of how he came learn of Ramana and to meet him in l944, which is too long to be told here. At first meeting he asked his two questions - Have you seen God? and Can you show me God? "Ramana answered, 'No, I cannot show you God because God is not an object to be seen. God is the subject. He is the seer. Don't concern yourself with objects that can be seen. Find out who the seer is.' He also added, 'You alone are God.'"

Papaji described himself as hard headed and he did not like this answer, but as Ramana gazed at him he had an exerience of` shakti energy and "...became aware of the spiritual Heart, the source and support of all that exists. Within the Heart I saw or felt something like a closed bud. With the Maharashi looking at me, and with myself in a state of inner silence ... the Heart opened and bloomed."

Still with a critical and mistrusting mind, Papaji continued the intense spiritual practices he had been doing. He returned to Ramana a few times in the next months to ask specific questions about his spiritual progress.

On one of these occasions, "Then he looked at me intently. I could feel that my whole body and mind and being washed with waves of purity. They were being washed by his silent gaze. I could feel him looking into my Heart. ... A process of transformation was going on ... Then, suddenly, I understood. I knew that this man who had spoken to me was, in reality, what I already was, what I had always been. There was a sudden impact of recognition as I became aware of the Self. ... I knew, unerringly, that this was the same state of peace and happiness that I had been emersed in as a six-year-old boy ... I knew that my spiritual quest had definitely ended, but the source of that knowledge will always remain indescribable."

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April 7
"I and my Father are One" is the same statement as the Vedanta of "This Atman is That Brahman"
by Pieter Schoonheim Samara

After hearing (sravana) the Truth that the "I"-conceit (i.e., that the "I" is the basis of an identity to thought images and impressions) is based on the primordial evil Ignorance and that this Ignorance is due solely to the non-enquiry into the nature and source of the "I" sense, there begins to dawn within the mode of the mind the idea that the "I" sense may be the substratum of the thoughts and images focused on and is not the basis of an identity with these changing images.

The reflection that arises in the mind (manana) as a result of the ability of the mind to now discriminate between the sense of "I" as the subject from the appearing images, acts like a beacon that seeks out, dissolves and outshines every thought that arises in the mind, leaving over the sense of the single "I," which the mind is now able to reflect with greater and greater clarity and purity.

While this sense involves a profound and continuous deepening and sense of deeper knowledge, insight and abidance in the Truth, it is still a reflection of the Truth (flashing forth from the Heart [Hrdayam]).

The realization that Atman is the eternal Witness of the waking dreaming and deep sleep states as well as all modes of mind and planes of consciousness, does not in itself convert the individual to that Witness, which is the all pervasive Brahman. In other words, the awakening to the Christ Consciousness does not also mean that one is One with the Father.

The key to the final realization of the Truth is in the unique and formless objectiveless meditation, which is called "abiding." Explaining how His Truth is in fact the Truth of all, Christ states in John Ch 15:

"Abide in me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. (verse 4)

"I am the vine, you are the branches...apart from me you can do nothing."
(verse 5)
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By continuously hearing that the "I" sense, that which gives the feeling of realness to everything, is actually a reflection of the Universal All-Pervasive Consciousness (the Father), and by shifting the mind's attention from the use of this "I" sense from focusing on this and that to formulate an identity, to beginning a new formulation to sort out this apparently new concept that the "I" mode of the mind, which carries with it that "I am this and that" may in fact be single and only a reflection of something much greater and more profound, results in what appears to be a flashing forth or pulsation of the "I."

The "I" sense, which was formerly always thought of as being the basis for one's sense of identity to the body and impressions and images filling the mind, begins to be drawn into its source, giving the sense of absorption and enquiry, an enquiry into a sense of such single importance that it begins to overcome all other pursuits of the mind, as though they are trivial by comparison.

At some point this absorption is recognized as "abiding" in and as one's own Self and the reflected consciousness that formerly denoted an "I" in the mind is outshined, Pure Being Consciousness flashes forth and one abides as that Center, that Ground, in which there is no time, no space, yet space-like. The fictitious "I"is Transfigured.

This abiding (niddidyasana) is the meditation of "I and my Father are One."
John 10:30.

The "I" conceit, i.e., that the "I" is in identity with anything focused on in the mind, dissolves completely, and what remains is beyond duality, oneness and non-duality.

In Revelations, Ch I: 8, Christ tells John:

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending" sayeth the Lord, "which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."

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April 8
Might we just once listen to the children....
presented by Gloria Lee

The poems may be read all together at the webpage

http://www.nonduality.com/terezin.htm

SONGS OF CHILDREN

This collection of nine poems written by children while interned at Terezin
Concentration Camp were selected as the lyrics for a cantata composed by Robert Convery in memory of all children who perished in the Holocaust. It was first performed in NYC, April of 1991.

3. ON A SUNNY EVENING

On a purple, sun-shot evening
Under wide-flowering chestnut trees
Upon the threshold full of dust
Yesterday, today, the days are all like these.

Trees flower forth in beauty,
Lovely too their very wood all gnarled and old
That I am half afraid to peer
Into their crowns of green and gold.

The sun has made a veil of gold
So lovely that my body aches.
Above, the heavens shriek with blue
Convinced I've smiled by some mistake.
The world's abloom and seems to smile.
I want to fly but where, how high?
If in barbed wire, things can bloom
Why couldn't I? I will not die!

Michael Flack, 1944


8. BIRDSONG

He doesn't know the world at all
Who stays in his nest and doesn't go out.
He doesn't know what birds know best
Nor what I want to sing about,
That the world is full of loveliness.

When dewdrops sparkle in the grass
And earth's aflood with morning light,
A blackbird sings upon a bush
To greet the dawning after night.
Then I know how fine it is to live.

Hey, try to open up your heart
To beauty; go to the woods someday
And weave a wreath of memory there.
Then if the tears obscure your way
You'll know how wonderful it is
To be alive.

Anonymous, 1941

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April 9
Mipham's Beacon Of Certainty
by John Whitney Pettit
(a selection submitted by Larry Biddenger)

The Great Perfection [Dzogchen] teaches that reality is not an object of verbal expression or conceptual analysis. Reality and enlightenment are identical; in the final analysis "being" and "knowing" are the same. If one truly knows, there is no need to discuss or analyze philosophically how one knows, or what one knows. Great Perfection meditation is described as effortless, free of concepts and subtle distortions; in this way it conforms to the radical immanence of ultimate reality taught in Vajrayana ["the pervasive, unfabricated presence of divine form, divine sound, and gnosis-awareness"]. In the "Beacon" and elsewhere Mipham argues that all philosophical views, including the Great Perfection, are resolved in the principal of coalesence. Though coalescence is defined in different ways in different philosophical contexts, in essence it is the nonduality of conventional and ultimate realities. Coalescence is the immanence of ultimate reality, which in Madyamaka [Middle Way] philosophy is known as the inseparability of samsara and nirvana.

In advocating nonconceptual meditation the Great Perfection might seem to contradict the Madyamika method of discerning reality through critical analysis and the contemplative enhancement of rational certainty that analysis makes possible. The Great Perfection (and certain other traditions which have been practiced in Tibet, including Ch'an) has often been criticized by Tibetan scholars who thought it utterly incompatible with the critical philosophical approach of Madyamaka. This perceived incompatibility is based on the assumption that the very different philosophical views and practical methods that typify the subitist [immediate] approach of the Great Perfection and the gradualist approach of the Madyamaka cannot both access ultimate meaning. Mipham's writings suggest that this perceived contradiction reflects a one-sided or impoverished understanding of the Madyamika philosophical view. In the "Beacon", certainty mediates the causal connection between theory and gnostic vision, and between soteric [salvational] methods and the ultimate reality that those methods reveal. Thus, the "Beacon" teaches that certainty belongs to both reason and experience, to ordinary consciousness and sublime gnosis, and to Madyamaka as well as the Great Perfection.

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April 10
God, the Great Thief
by Gene Poole

In a scenario reversed of the 'Wizard of Oz, the seeker takes what is most treasured, on the royal road to meet God.

In this version, the one who has a 'brain', takes that 'brain', as a great treasure, on the way to meet God.

The one who has 'courage' also takes this 'courage', as a great treasure, on the way to meet God.

The one who has 'heart', takes this 'heart', as a great treasure, on the way to meet God.

The bringer and carrier of these magnificent treasures, sets out on the path of the seeker, on the way to meet God.

In The Wizard of Oz, the Wizard 'gifts' each supplicant with what they most desire; it is apparent to the viewer of the movie, that what actually happened, was that each supplicant 'on the way to meet the Wizard', endured trials which themselves developed those very gifts which were then officially 'bestowed' and validated by the Wizard, at the end of the story.

In our new version, each who carries the great treasure of mind, courage, and heart, is 'ripped off' of these treasures; at the end of this new version, each seeker arrives to meet with god, denuded of the 'great treasures' with which they began their journeys.

The one with the 'brain' arrives, a drooling idiot; the one with 'courage' arrives, a quivering coward; and the one with 'heart', arrives to meet with God, devoid of love.

At this point, God reveals that it has been 'He', God, who had appeared as the forces and entities which challenged 'brain, courage, and heart', disintegrating the assumptions and expectations of each seeker.

It had been God, who appeared as the riddler who baffled 'brain'; it had been God, who had appeared as the monster, who had shattered 'courage'; and it had been God, who had appeared as the Being who enticed, tempted, and betrayed 'heart'.

Now, the trio of seekers is facing God, empty handed. And now, these seekers are facing the fullness of the emptiness which they themselves are. They are facing what they could not know, see, or feel,as long as they treasured their special qualities; now devoid of these special qualities, they see without attachment or compensation.

Devoid of tools, the seeker cannot fix; devoid of false image, the seeker cannot pretend; and devoid of anaesthetic, the seeker cannot help but feel.

Unable to fix, unable to pretend, and doomed to actually feel, the seekers now face their true, uncompensated nature; unable to turn away, they now are able to see, know, and feel God...

Surprise!

Happy Birthday!

Cracklin' good,

==Gene Poole==

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April 11
Only INTENTIONAL Action or Action with VOLITION Bears a Fruit or a Result
by KKT

Dear everybody,

The storm was over, and the sun shines again :-)) Life goes on and on after so much emotion on the list :-))

But precisely I like [NDS] because it is a non-moderated list. And I think this is the strength of [NDS] :-) I think [NDS] has a life by itself :-)

Thereupon, I am not against the "harsh" methods used by some people on the list. I myself is a fan of Gurdjieff who is the best master in the art of "shock" treatments :-))

According to Gurdjieff's teachings, the Fourth Way, and considering the actual "level" of mankind, the appropriate work for a possible transformation of man's consciousness is not the work on the intellectual center but the one on the emotional center :-))

Do you notice the enormous energy released during every tumultuous occasion?
:-))

Therefore, being harsh or nice, it doesn't matter :-))

What matters, what is important is the *INTENTION* behind the words. And to illustrate this point I will use a Buddhist doctrine, the doctrine of Karma.

Karma means 'action', 'doing'. An action could be physical, verbal or mental. And an action, good or bad, would produce a good or bad effect. "You reap what you sow." This is the general meaning of karma as believed by the Hindus with its corollary that is the doctrine of reincarnation.

But according to Buddhism, "VOLITION IS KARMA".

This is a very important point. It means that only INTENTIONAL action or action with VOLITION bears a fruit or a result. This point is very important because it means that an unintentional action or an action without volition bears no fruit, no result. As an example found in the book "The Way to Nirvana" by L. De La Vallee Poussin:

"By giving gold, while intending to give a stone, a gift of gold is indeed made; but, as it has not been premeditated or willed, the act is as if it were not done . It is not 'appropriated': it is not 'stored up' (upacita); it will bear no fruit. In the same way, if a man kills his mother when striking at what is believed to be a pumpkin, there is no matricide, there is no murder, there is only destruction of a fruit."

To illustrate this point, it is interesting to contrast with the Jainist doctrine of Karma . According to Jainism, an action, either intentional or unintentional, bears the same fruit. The man who commits murder, or who harms in any way a living being, without intent, is no less guilty than the one who commits murder with intent. It means that Jainism gives importance to the bodily and verbal karma .

But with Buddhism, when you give "fuel" to your thoughts, when you have intention, volition, even if you have not yet expressed it in a concretely physical or verbal action, there is already karma! :-))

Thus the importance of having GOOD intention.

And what is a *GOOD* INTENTION?

I think the answer is evident. It must be LOVE :-)) Yes, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE .... :-)) Please, have LOVE in your heart :-))

So whatever is the use of your words or your "methods" on the list, harsh or nice, please have LOVE in your heart :-))

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April 12
Meditations on My True Nature: How the Goose Came Out of the Bottle--Part I
By Helga Schleiter Smith

The following passages are the beginning of a series of meditations I applied during the years 1988 and 1989 in order to come to the Realization of my True Nature. The notes were discovered in this very abbreviated, sketchy diary form just recently, and I would like to offer them as inspiration to all seekers on the path of Non-duality.

Everybody experiences a variety of different situations and encounters in daily life, but the common thread in all situations is the inherent potential for deep meditation and knowledge of one's True Self. Allow yourself to experience your life as such: an opportunity to understand who you really are. Allow yourself to be inspired by your mind's potential to see clearly and deeply into Truth, and enjoy the resulting freedom and joy which is yours to begin with.

In the following months "Reflections" you will see in these diary entries that not all meditations are purely joyful, peaceful and serene, but also many times depicting an urgency, a deep need to find a resolve and a way out of imagined bondage. This imagined bondage seems so very real and its unreality can only be seen by intense, focused inquiry into the nature of Self. Nevertheless, the moment of intense, total commitment to Truth, born out of the desperate need to become free from illusion, is in its essence as perfect as the most joyful and serene contemplation on the nature of Mind itself.

And that is the beauty and perfection of spiritual practice: that the beginning, the middle and the end are made up of the same essence, the essence of Mind itself and that nothing was ever wrong or missing in one's True Nature. But, a word of caution from the wise to the wise: YOU have to discover this truth for yourself because nobody can do it for you and you really would not want to miss this most amazing adventure life has to offer.

The following is a reprint of this personal diary and is followed by a brief commentary when clarification or expansion on a point is in order.

Life is an expression of LOVE. Take down the walls, it is not difficult when there is Love, Unity, Joy, Peace, Closeness, Oneness, Happiness.

Forthright, open, honest communication. Leave all shyness behind, push for the right things. Be ruthless on yourself (ego) and loving towards others.

No judgement. Love-Energy-Consciousness

Attunement to that which is holiness, that which is ancient, that which is reflected in symmetry, that which is the true usefulness in all holy objects. Experience versus inspiration - speaking from my heart according to my experience.

Self-judgement is a filter between the true feelings in my heart and the outer communication. Tear down all walls, even the small ones.

Openness, directness, honesty are important spiritual qualities. Let the love shine in your heart and let your life be an expression of your love, always.

More desire is needed, whole hearted application of practice. There is still more than 100% - and I'll try.

In order to experience life as it really is we need to destroy the invisible walls we have constructed around us. These walls were supposed to protect us from others who might see how incomplete we really are, but is this really so? To open up to love, unity, peace, joy, closeness, oneness and happiness makes it so easy to let go of defenses and the walls seem to have no longer any use, because there is no need to hide something that is made up of the same substance as life itself. The division between the inner (which is mistaken as flawed) and the outer (which is seen now as beautiful and filled with love) disappears and imaginary walls dissolve.

Without forthrightness true communication cannot be established. One has to be open and honest, overcoming personality attributes such as shyness, in order to get to the core of the really important questions in life. By being absolutely unforgiving and ruthless with one's ego and loving toward others we enter into a true communion where there is no difference between self and others. When judgement of self and others is destroyed, the flow from love into energy into consciousness is established.

At the time of this entry I still believed that spiritual forms, symbols and rituals were an important avenue into meditation, and that in order to see into my True Nature the outer circumstances had to be "right" and only a certain "holy" atmosphere was conducive to this inward turning of the mind. Later, during the course of my practice, I realized that this artificial division between the sacred and the mundane, as an important prerequisite for meditation, of course only prevented me from taking all situations as an opportunity for spiritual practice.

All things in life can teach lessons and offer opportunity for meditation. When I learned to look at life from an ever deepening view, I noticed that Reality was reflected in so many ways. I became attuned to this view and the sacredness of life itself opened up like a flower in spring, and everyday life was transformed. I let myself be inspired by things which were meant to be pointers into a true depth, and then allowed my heart to open to the direct experience of this depth and speak from there rather than an intellectual analysis of spirituality.

"How do I look when I speak about this? What will he/she/they think if I talk about this feeling or thought? What will happen if I use the wrong spiritual terms to express my meditations? Etc., etc., etc...." All these self-judgments are standing in the way of true and honest communication. They do not allow the true feelings in the heart to come forth and be expressed, and they just add another layer of bricks to the wall.

The desire for Liberation is one of the most important qualities a seeker can bring to the Teaching of Non-duality. You do not have to be smart, well-read, carry a huge backpack of past spiritual knowledge or be a special person in any other way, but if you have the desire and intent to find out who you really are, you are well on the way to experiencing a deeply rewarding life that is lived more and more consciously every day. This desire will help you to see through imagined limitations and will give you the strength to go through trying times in practice, when old concepts seem just too overwhelming. The desire for freedom is your best friend, so hold on to your best friend on your path.

In my meditations, I would usually spend a moment of reflection on how much I had applied myself to my spiritual practice during the day and how much more I could give of myself tomorrow. And if I felt that it had been a good day of meditation and I had given a 100% of my energy I would promise myself that tomorrow it would be 110%. That way I was living in a universe of expansion, and less and less limitations I previously had imposed on my mind. And that is a wonderful way to live life!

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April 13
The Witness - A Short Essay
by Tim Gerchmez

What is the Witness? It is that (in us) which is detached and observing all phenomena, simply registering events (input through the five senses, thought, emotions, everything). The Witness simply observes, and usually the observation gets stored in memory - thus, it serves the function of observing/recording, like a video camera or tape recorder. Even remembering something from the past is witnessed and stored as a memory, the memory of recalling memories.

In every state there is witnessing, but it is normally confused with the
person (= memory = thought = time). It is possible for the identity of the person with the Witness to break, and this has occurred to me at least once. One time I remember clearly -- it was a most curious sensation. I was brushing my teeth at the time. Suddenly I was observing the body as it went through the motions of tooth-brushing. It was like the body was moving by itself, and I was watching - "I" was not doing anything but watching as the body faithfully performed as it was supposed to. It was most unusual, as if watching a puppet perform, but not at all disconcerting. As emotions are a form of thought and arise from memory, there was no emotion connected with the event.

At other times, I have experienced a most peculiar phenomenon, where I can "feel" what others are feeling (as physical sensation). For example, seeing someone grip the steering wheel in a car, I can feel the sensation in their hands as they grip it (it is not felt in "my hands" but is simply felt). This is so disconcerting that it can be immensely disturbing. It's possible that so-called "depersonalization" experiences (where a person sees themselves but does not recognize who they are seeing, or simply has a dramatic (but usually temporary) sensation of not knowing who they are) are experiences where the Witness is temporarily dis-identified with "the
person" (again, the person = memory).

Most depend on the Witness regularly, but are unaware of it. Anyone who has driven home from work in a deep daydream or half asleep, and is startled to "come to" suddenly and find themselves arriving home safely, has been guided by the Witness. Some people have driven a car dead drunk for miles, yet somehow managed to get home. The Witness obviously serves a vital function, yet when confused with remembered events, appears as "the person."

Being universal (as consciousness), the Witness is not limited in perspective as the eyes and other senses are. It can observe and register from "above" the body, or to any side, similar to a movable camera. This has been routinely observed in past-life regression therapy, where the person observing themselves in their past life sometimes sees out their own eyes, and sometimes from an "external" or third-person perspective (this has puzzled some past-life regression hypnotists). It can also be observed in near death experiences (NDE's), when the body is seen from above, being
worked on by doctors, and in so-called "out of body experiences."

It seems there is in reality only one universal Witness. Could this
account for so-called "ESP" or "mind-reading?" How about those times when a person KNOWS something has happened to someone they are close to (despite any supporting evidence) and it turns out to be true? It seems likely that all minds are linked as the universal Witness. A lot of conclusions can be drawn from this idea, and it certainly explains many unusual things that are otherwise unexplainable.

The Witness is the bridge between the Absolute and the person. When the Witness ceases to register "external" or "internal" events (for whatever reason) and begins to witness ITSELF, the bridge is crossed. Since the Witness is really the Self, if the Witness witnesses itself (sometimes referred to as "awareness of awareness" or "awareness attending to itself," the Self is seen. This does *not* get recorded in memory, since there is nothing to record (the Self is not an object of perception). Rather, a radical change in perspective occurs. The Witness "becomes" the Self (Reality, Absolute, Brahman) and is no more. It seems that this can be either permanent or temporary, and that there is the illusion (created by the mind) that this dissolution it is a process, taking time. I suspect that it is really instantaneous (timeless) but the person (thought-memory) perceives it as a process taking time to complete. The habit of perceiving everything as process is a difficult one to break.

As the Absolute, identity remains. Transcendence does not mean
destruction. The body is really the mind (and vice-versa,) and to separate the two is a falsehood. As long as the body-mind continues, identity continues, although not memory-based personality. Some have said that a sort of "shell" of an ego is left behind, but filled with Divinity (= Void = Total Fullness) rather than memories and habits. When the body of a "realized" person finally dies, the last of the identity dies with it, leaving only the Absolute and nothing to be reborn as another body.

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