|What Am I? Galen Sharp
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#3102 - Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
THE MYSTIQUE OF ENLIGHTENMENT: The
Radical Ideas of U.G. Krishnamurti
by U.G. Krishnamurti
Reviewed by Rodney Stevens Deftly edited by Rodney Arms, this volume's conversations (which occured in India and Switzerland between 1972 and 1980) are gathered in four bounteous chapters: U.G. (which contains a wealth of autobiographical material), The Mystique of Enlightenment, No Power Outside of Man, and Betwixt Bewilderment and Understanding.
What most spiritual writers call "enlightenment" U.G. Krishnamurti calls "the natural state." He says that this non-state becomes apparent to us (we don't attain it, for it is already there) when we are "completely free of culture, conditioning, religious thinking, and intellect." Further--and how unequivocal, this--"it is a state in which the questioning has stopped."
People who have not read the late-author closely purport that he claims that there are no ready means to discern your natural state, that you simply have to hope it will happen. Not so. For instance, U.G. winningly tells one questioner that "so-called self-realization is the discovery for yourself and by yourself that there is no self to discover." All there is, he says, is awareness/ consciousness, and "you are not separate from that consciousness." Reflecting upon such nondual pointers--as well as speaking with an awakened person--are certainly easy and viable ways to open yourself to your Self.
U.G.'s trademark humor teems throughout this ripe and refreshing work. Concerning spiritual renunciants who opt for poverty and misery, the author cautions: "The natural needs of a human being are basic: food, clothing, and shelter. You must either work for them or be given them by someone. To deny yourself the basic needs is not a sign of spiritually...but a neurotic state of mind."
Sentient Publications has produced a beautiful edition of this spiritual classic. (Ditto their production of the sage's MIND IS A MYTH.) The pages are sturdy, the text is easy on the eyes, the book fits holdably in the hand, and U.G.'s rakishly-handsome color photos adorn both the front and the back covers.
THE MYSTIQUE OF ENLIGHTENMENT can be ordered directly from the publisher (http://www.sentientpublications.com/catalog/mystique.php) or at the following Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Mystique-Enlightenment-Radical-Ideas-Krishnamurti/dp/0971078610
Rodney Stevens--who lives in Columbia, South Carolina--awakened to the presence of his true nature through the works of John Wheeler. Stevens can be contacted for talks and workshops at: email@example.com
"If you have the courage to touch life for the first time, you will never know what hit you. Everything man has thought, felt and experienced is gone, and nothing is put in its place."
There is a new web site - http://urbangurucafe.com. The web site will give people access to free
podcasts on nonduality. There are currently two podcasts on the
site. it is my intention to present the clearest of 'teachers' on
the site as well as general interest radio stories related to
The first one is on people putting themselves up as gurus when they are not pointing directly at all. That program features Bob Adamson, Tony Parsons, Gilbert Schultz talking not being gurus. The second program is on Bob's pointer of 'You are already that' and i tie this together with Nigargadatta's suggestion to stay with the 'I am.' A lot of production time goes into each of the programs in selecting appropriate excerpts, organising them and then putting in music snippets. The response to the programs has been highly favorable so far.
Eric Chaffee sent the following to Nondual Bible Verses: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nondualbibleverses
The essay below is by the late Neil Millar, from his 1981 book Shards of Light:
Moderation in Some Things
I have no moderate views on
moderation. When it means tolerance and patience, I honor it
recklessly. When it means the moderate effort that produces mediocrity, I detest it.
"Moderation in all
things" is a creed that binds our highest impulses as
tightly as our lower ones
-- a restriction which produces mediocre lives in a mediocre society. Humanity deserves -- and is
-- vastly better than that.
My respect for humanity is
immoderate. We are born into a world of mental earthquakes and
hurricanes; and we're subjected to pressures that no one should be required to bear. Day after day
our world tells us how small we are, how feeble, prosaic, tired, stupid -- and yet we walk bravely,
poetically, energetically, even wisely. In spite of mankind's pettiness and cruelties, lusts and
lunacies, we are magnificent.
Civilization, that tumultuous
unfinished work of art, is built on sacrifices which moderation
neither make nor require. Sill and sublime, civilization exists because countless people have
dedicated their thinking to it. This thinking has no known counterpart in the universe; therefore I
believe that humanity is not just magnificent: it is uniquely magnificent.
Most of us, most of the time,
are a credit to humanity, a fact which is inexplicable by human
reasoning. Where does our astonishing quality come from?
Where does our astonishing
tolerance for mediocrity come from? what we are, in general, is
marvelous. What we do is often marvelous. What we tolerate is often venal, fatuous, or tenth-rate.
I think such toleration is charity run to seed.
Of course this little essay of
mine may be once more mediocrity to tolerate; but if so,that is
because I have not succeeded in writing a great essay. I aim high enough. My aspirations are wholly
immoderate. If I don't achieve them -- well, I would rather aim high and fail, than aim low and
succeed. Besides: I have inherited the ages; why should I not aspire toward greatness? Why should I
despair if I miss my aim? There are always more splendors to pursue tomorrow.
So I shall go on trying to
write greatly, regardless of the risks. This is the safest
all the arts, nothing is more dangerous than the refusal to take risks.
Great art is miracle and
exultation. The artist has grasped the wind or nailed the thunder
he has smiled at a rock and the rock has laughed. Or she has cupped a sorrow in her hands, warmed
it, and let it fly away. This kind of magic dies in the common sense of moderation.
Of all the arts, none is
greater than friendship. That glorious and immoderate bonding is
tethered to its own convenience; it plunges or soars. It feels most blessed when it blesses most.
No task is too menial for its high pride, no goal too lofty for its royal humility. Its essence is
never common sense.
In general, I admire common
sense. It restrains and balances; it allows the human world to
more or less predictably, more of less efficiently, against heavy odds. It establishes every
establishment -- and ultimately traduces every tradition; and these are no small accomplishments.
But it also urges us to conform to the norm and accept the unacceptable. If love makes the world go
round, common sense makes the world go square.
Square is not a bad thing to
be, if one is two-dimensional. It means predictable on all sides,
stable, but with no depth. It means something less than full humanity; it means moderation in all
Some things are ruined by
moderation. Compassion is one of them; let it have no boundaries.
is a second quality in which moderation should never come to flower; and purity is a third. A
moderate purity is impurity; a moderate honesty includes dishonesty. Moderate compassion belongs in
institutions rather than in families; and humanity is a family,not an institution.
Lastly, in the ultimate
affections -- love of sheer goodness, of the perfect, the divine
moderation is deadly. "I know thy works," says the Book of Revelation, "that thou art neither cold
nor hot; I would that thou wert cold or hot." In those immaculate and shadowless passions, I pray
that I may never be lukewarm.
In lesser matters, however, let me judge moderation soberly, by its effects.
And then let me loathe it or live it.
From SHARDS OF LIGHT:
Fables, Essays, Sonnets & Humor, by Neil Millar.
Foursquare Press, Cambridge
MA, 1981 [out of print, but still found online thru used book lists such as http://www.abebooks.com
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