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Highlights #415

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I died by a pond
After the heron
(electric blue sizzle)
And after tethered ride
Through the M band
(look of surprise tracking along for awhile)
Seemed to snap back on elastic
I don't know where i went
Or how I returned.
I want to die by a pond.

(that's why I chose that spot, Beloved)

--Mark Otter

___________________________________________________________________

CHRISTIANA DURANCZYK

Last night I asked Greg (and all of you) if you'd help me
see how human death is perceived from this understanding,
spoken of here, as nondual. I suppose that asking to
explore what death means from a nondual perspective,
appears as a bit of an oxymoron.

So, I'm entering an inquiry here, with the awareness that
this is tricky territory in terms of arriving at agreement
of perspectives, as well as it being fundamentally a mute
question, from the perspective that self is a bounded
construct, which as David so clearly articulated, does not
appear when the vector (nagual) shifts.

As I more and more find spans of space without objects, I
recognize the proximity of this collapse of *thingness* of
self. When I underwent the profound shock of sitting with
my mother's dead body, it was quite evident that no one was
there. What is not as evident for me is the understanding
that no one is here when our bodies are alive. If no one is
here, then no one dies. Does this negate concepts of karma
or dimentional lifetimes?

So, while most traditions have some teachings about the
transition of soul beyond the body, I don't know what an
Advaitan understanding of this is. Is death merely a return
of form to the Void? Is there any essential soulness of
being which remains within Consciousness?

I sense these are naive questions, yet they move in me to
ask them.

*****

DAVID HODGES

I don't know what the Advaitan line is, but I did happen to
be reading the following in Ramesh Balsekar's "Pointers
from Nisargadatta Maharaj":

"When the body 'dies', consciousness disappears like a
flame when the fuel is exhausted. Indeed, consciousness is
duration, without which an object would not last long
enough to be manifested and perceived. What then, are
'you'? So long as the body exists, you are this conscious
presence within, the perceiving principle; when the body
dies, 'you' are the Absolute Awareness into which the
temporary consciousness merges. And there is no longer the
sense of being present. Remember, therefore, that no 'one'
is born and no 'one' dies, because all the forms (that
appear, remain for the duration, and then disappear) are
your expression, your mirrorization."

*****

DAN BERKOW

Christiana, These strike me as useful questions to address,
not "naive" in the sense of irrelevant or superficial. Your
questions move me to look with you at what happens when we
formulate theory. I share what has proved useful for me -
if it's not useful for you, disregard ;-)

It is not that theory is bad or wrong, it definitely has
its uses. It's just that there is always a limitation
involved when we formulate theory. Being aware of how this
limitation is involved in theorizing, we then use theory
with awareness (which is useful in day to day situations
that involve thought, memory, language, communication).

In the example you provide, we might involve ourselves in
formulating at theory "there is no one here," and then try
to see what this means in terms of dying. This theory might
have some utility, but it might also serve as a limitation,
particularly if we take this theory about reality to be
"true".

Taking our theory to be "truth", we then naturally want to
continue it and build upon it, perhaps by seeing what the
"true concept" that "there is no one here while the body is
alive," means in terms of karma and multidimensional
lifetimes.

Next, we elaborate our theory by seeing death might mean
return to the Void.

All of this is fine, except that there is limiation
involved to whatever extent there is identification with
the theory-maintaining and theory-building process itself.
There is also limitation if we take our speculation about
reality as a means to understand what reality *is*.

It seems potentially useful here to assess the extent of
our identification with thought, even in the process of
pondering presumably useful constructs. Perhaps there is a
possibility here, not just to investigate theory, but in
this present moment, to dis-identify from thought
constructs as believed-in mediators for reality-experience.
If we do this, thought opens to its own "emptiness", which
as seen here, is a very useful awareness.

"what is" has never, will never, be fit into a theory, nor
will a theory ever substitute for immediate awareness *as*
"what is" (beyond the word/construct "immediate
awareness").

If seen clearly, one will find that words, although they
have a structured way for being presented coherently or
noncoherently, actually *refer to nothing*. The self or
"me", believed-to-be using thought to understand reality,
disappears the instant there is disidentification with
thought, seeing the essential illusion involved in thought,
memory, and the perception linked with thought and memory.

My "self" or "me" can be seen as an imaginary reference
point for the continuation of the thought process as a
developing structure over time. No investment in
continuation no self to affirm or negate. If there is an
agenda of continuation, an investment in continuity of
thought, of the self-process, it doesn't matter whether you
are affirming that there is no self, affirming that there
is a self, or negating a self. The energy being "attached"
to the continuation of that thought process is thus useful
to notice, regardless of the presumed "insight" expressed
in the content of the thought process.

The reality "out there" to which the theory/thought process
is to be applied (be it death, life, a building, a tree)
turns out not to be "out there" - as "out there" turns out
to be a thought construction. I can realize this and still
use thought, still use theory, but I realize that the
question of death isn't so much something to which the
theory will be applied, as it is involved in questioning
that very process (attempt to continue moment to moment)
itself. It is in questioning that "tendency to want to
continue" inherent in the thought-process itself that I
notice the Reality that *is* as discontinuity (as seen from
thought's perspective - in and of itself, it is neither
continuing nor discontinuous).

The important thing, as seen here, is not the theory that
"no one is here while the body is living", but the actual
inquiry into "who am I that believe myself to be
formulating a theory about whether or not someone is here
while the body is living?".

If there is mental activity involved in "carrying forward"
the construct of "no one being here while the body is
alive" ... the very mental activity is the attempt to
maintain a sense of continuity for "me" - it doesn't matter
that this sense of continuity occurs through maintaining a
theory that "no one is here".

This is similar to the theory that "All is One" which, if
brought forward as a believed-to-be-true construct, becomes
continuity for the mental activity of "bringing forward" a
construct that is applied to experiencing.

The reality of "nothing to bring" and "no one to bring it"
is the reality of dying as living. It isn't a theoretical
proposition. The Void is exactly "this", not something to
be encountered at a future piont in time, not a subject for
speculation. One could say we return to the Void, but that
raises the question of "who left the Void", when and how
could such leaving take place?

The "body" is actually a construct, a theory, and the death
of the body is the loss of the basis for continuing that
construct built around experiences such as "feeling,"
"breathing," and "eating". Certainly the "body" resists its
demise, and "we" attach to that resistance, and attach to
others' bodies in the process. Yet, all of this activity is
conceptual, not Reality.

The fact that we address these constructs in day to day
life and perception tends to hide from us the fact that
they are, indeed, constructs, and not Reality (which *is*
beyond the constructs "life" and "death," "is" and "is
not").

*****

ED ARRONS

No theory, but some thoughts...first being that sometimes
there is no "me" in the body, but often there is, and that
seems to be the case with others. This begs the question:
how is this so and what does this have to do with dying?

The next thought arising in awareness is: it all has to do
with thoughts rising in awareness, and with the intensity
of those thoughts. When the thoughts are intense,
identification with them and their content seems to
follow...along with the strong *feeling* of "me" in the
body as the thinker of those thoughts. When the thoughts
are passing peacefully through awareness like clouds in the
sky, identification is with *awareness* and the "me" seems
not to be in the body.

When "me" is in the body, karma might apply, when not, when
there is inner peace, this could indicate the lifting of
karma. Most "mes" die while in the body and then exit to
wherever. The enlightened are already there.

So be at peace and live as if already dead. Or, enjoy the
passage of time....timelessly Ed.

______________________________________________________________________________

MELODY ANDERSON

"What's your vision, dear?"

This dear one doesn't have one.

I don't know.....perhaps Osho was so clear he could see
into tomorrow.

Or maybe he was just appreciating how it was for
him.....and wanting everyone to have a taste of such a
childhood.

At this point, for me to offer a 'vision' would be for me
to say I want things to be different tomorrow than they are
today. And I don't. I really don't. I want to simply remain
witness to [without preference] whatever arises....trusting
the rhythm of life.

And some days that's easier than others.

Can you move forward from where Osho left off?

I've been thinking about Osho allot these days. I've come
to see that what I appreciate in him so much is his ability
to truly 'be the flute for God to sing thru'.

He does ( like other masters I have read) teach what he
knows from his own experience, yes.....he does some
'preaching' from his own life experience, just like others
do....

But Osho endears me in a way that only Jesus has before
him:

To these eyes he is a true bodhisattva in that he could
truly 'become a flute' to the masses.

What I find so awesome about Osho is that the words that
came thru him were spoken to those who are still trying to
simply 'survive' their own lives.... for whom 'peace' is
still a pie in the sky dream... and yet in whom there is a
stirring...a craving.... for communion.

It is easy for one with the childhood of an Osho to become
enlightened. It is clear that for him, there was never a
question of 'would he' become enlightened. It was not a
challenge for him. There was no 'dark night'.

He simply chose the life that made his realization as easy
and natural as learning to tie ones shoes.

And what he offered the world did not come from his life
'experience'. It did not come from his challenges with
suffering, with psychological torment, and such.

And yet he speaks to those who have those very challenges,

to those who have felt obliterated and twisted by life.

What he offered was simply what had not yet been given (at
least not as he offered it).

He was not a priest preaching to a priesthood.

He was a vessel thru which Existence could sing a song to
the masses....to a community who craved communion, but
doesn't necessarily realize it yet.

He came for no other reason than to assist others thru
their 'dark nights'.

To me that's epitomizes a 'bodhisattva.

When I first began reading about Osho's personal story, I
was a little uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable in that it
became even clearer that Osho was like the rest of us in
that he has quirks, a very definite and strong personality,
and such.....in short he is human in every sense of the
way. And yet he's not. Never had been. And he shows us
....no matter where we find ourselves... no matter what
'walk' we take - how we can begin to see that *we're* not,
either. And never have been.

__________________________________________________________________________

DAVE/MANCHINE

Recently, I've been translating some of the insights that
go on here for presentation to "everyday people" with an
interest in enlightenment.

I find a real nice piece here which seems just right, and I
start to put it down on paper. "Nope, can't say that", I
say, "they don't know what that means yet, I have to expand
that area". In expanding that area, I find I must expand
areas within those areas. Finally, it gets put onto paper.
Re-reading it, the poetry is gone, the subtlness is lost...
but to the reader, a completely new world is opened,
something he's never imagined. :-o

I mention this here, because in going through the process
of translation, I realized how tangled up, how deeply
buried we are as humans in this illusion. A simple one
paragraph comment required 20 more just to scratch the
surface. All detail and paraphanalia, making transitions
that show that time is an illusion and that truth is
realtive etc. etc. and finally just to make his imagination
soar.

Isn't that the root of the problem? Why make his
imagination soar? We've come to learn that all of this that
we think we see is imagination. But until one starts
imagining, one's never going to see that that is what one's
doing.

So there's the other problem. One can get far enough as to
imagine that LOTS of this is imagination. Ah, what relief,
we can put some things in the imagination box, but we have
our responsibilities!

We were born into a physical world, original sin if you
will. As simple as that. Consciousness became filled up
with stuff! What else could we do but try to understand it?

What I translated yesterday... What have we had more of,
empty consciousness or full consciousness? That's a toughy.
Seems like there's been more "full consciousness", but if
you think about it, there's has to have been more "empty
consciousness". WRONG. Empty consciousness, like deep
sleep, passes instantly, Only the full consciousness has
time. As consciousness expands, it becomes more evident
that time is an illusion; it is always NOW. So in fact
empty consciousness and full consiousness coexist. Without
time, there is no locality, no separatedness, just being.

So how do you deal with your responsibilities? First
believe!!!!! If you don't understand, believe in those that
do. Apply the principles to everything. Trust that the pain
is the touch of Self directed at you, as something to work
with. Don't fall prey to it, help those that are falling
prey to it. If you are a pile of flesh on the ground, how
can you help. That simple act of being a conductor will
change everything. Then you will see what it is! Then you
will see that your sacrifice is the sacrifice of Self
itself, then you will know the meaning of the word Love.

____________________________________________________________________

MICHAEL READ

Marcia asked: "Can you honestly say that you are living in
the Self?"

Yes! And so are you! All IS THE SELF.

So, pardon 'me' if I shout out with joy! Hail hail the the
Gang's all One!

Marcia, I didn't 'do' it. It is 'doing' the illusion of
'me' and of 'you'.

The when and the how of realization Turns on Grace And
dropping of expectations!

Tis only the Self Being 'stubborn' Clinging to the
illusion.

Why? Because, that's why! :-))

Yahoo! And Yippee!

So, enjoy 'your' story, but dwell in the truth of the Self.

HAHAHAH and HOHOHO!

Peace - Everlasting Joy - Michael

________________________________________________________________________________\


JODY ON THE RETREAT

A bushel of One.

Seeing these photos makes me wish I was there. What a nice
looking group. I feel I know you all much better now,
despite my recent stepping out of the discussion.

I hope you'll do it again next year, when I can haul my ass
out there and be with you.

Pranams to the organizers of this affair.

*****

GLORIA LEE -- MORE RETREAT PHOTOS

Be sure to see the Kuan Yin drawing..had no flash on this
camera.

http://www.egroups.com/files/NondualitySalon/Retreat+Photos/

______________________________________________________________________________

GLORIA LEE

We are experiencing a very rare phenomenon in July 2000.
During this one month we will have three Eclipses. There
will be two Solar Eclipses, one on July 1st and one on July
30th, and a Lunar Eclipse on July 16th. The last time three
Eclipses happened in one month was in December 1694, and
that unusual Celestial occurrence will not happen again
until December 2848, according to Blum's Almanac. That is
pretty awesome, isn't it?

______________________________________________________________________________

ALLEN CRIDER (forwarded from USENET by Bruce Morgen)

Sure, you can believe in polka-dotted zebras. And you can
believe they are that way, as long as you aren't forced to
interact with their reality. If you are forced to inertact
with their reality, will you hide behind your belief, or
will you accept your new experience of striped zebras?

Mystical experiences work best when they cause us to
examine our perceptions, but when they cause us to
construct belief systems based on the experiences, then is
when we have built a separation from the divine.

Say you have experienced a polka-dotted zebra while in a
meditation or perhaps in a dream. The zebra tells you that
he is going to be the new messiah. You somehow find that
others have experienced the same thing, and have formed an
(tax-free) organization to promote the manifestation of the
zebra on this planet as the new messiah.

Look at the situation now: All you really experienced was a
mystical interlude involving a zebra. What you have thown
into the experience is a separation from that zebra --
you're expecting to have additional zebra experiences as
the zebra manifests and becomes the messiah. You've
constructed a belief system around that one little zebra
experience, and as a result are now not whole, and can not
be whole, until the universe somehow manifests the zebra in
accordance with your belief system.

But zebra or no zebra, messiah or no messiah, you and this
entire planet is already whole. It is only your zebra
expectations that have separated you from perception of
that whole.

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