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Highlights #573

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Christmas Eve, Sunday 12/24/00


Hi Folks,

Happy Holidays all. Needless to say, there was not a great deal of
activity on Christmas Eve, but there was some.

Jerry's call to nondual activism continues to resonate, and Ed wrote:
Jerry,

Thanks for the links; they were quite interesting.

I think we both know there is only one nonduality. And I suspect that
Nonduality Salon-A may just turn out to be that one. Your brief
description of the black hole drawing people to the root of nonduality
sounds like what happens to people in Nondual Dialog. In dialog the
respondents move attention from each other's words to each other's
attentional energy (being mutually projected). There is a mirroring
effect and resonance that draws them through the still point (your black
hole?) into the pure light of awareness. I like the symmetry and
balance of the dark and light. Both movements also seem complementary
and balanced in terms of the horizontal (social) and vertical
(individual).

Ed

Then Jerry took his activism to the streets:

If anyone doubts that they're nondual by nature, try taking the quiz
below.

http://www.beliefnet.com/section/quiz/index.asp?sectionID=&surveyID=27

I believe the guy who started this website was named one of the great
religious innovators of the year by Time magazine. Yet nothing comes up
in the search engine under 'nonduality'. The quizzes in no way provide
nondual options. What are we to do? Is it that the quizzes are poorly
designed (admittedly they're for entertainment purposes only), or are we
such a small group that we remain virtually unknown?

Our numbers aren't that small. We're just not organized. We need a white
bread website like Belief.net. Nondualist just wanna have fun! They
do! In any case, a visit to Belief.net gives me a better appreciation
for the work we're doing on the lists. There's a lot more reality in one
page of a website like Tim's than in all of Belief.net. There's no soul
in that website. If there is, I haven't found it.

What's my point? I suppose that a visit to Belief.net reassures me that
the work -- or play -- we are all involved in is very grassroots and
needed. We remain unorganized and largely unknown. Our activism has led
to greater awareness of nonduality on the internet. That activism could
be extended to the larger religious/spiritual community. It will take
time and intentional effort.

Jerry

Beth contributed:

In my opinion, it is because the webpage is trying to appeal to
everyone, every faith, every way of spiritual expression... and thus
reports, but doesn't feel. Once they espouse any one belief, they will
lose all the others who do not believe in that particular belief. So it
is more a reporting vehicle than a spiritual one.

My score was 42...right about where I am, but a little too close to 39
which is spiritual dabbling...gotta work on that. I love quizzes!

So? How does non-duality become a viable belief for everyone? I
stumbled into it, and now I cannot imagine being without it...and there
is still so much I do not know. Some of the emails here, from those of
you who have been practicing for years and years, are so far over my
head as to be almost unintelligible ...which...please...is MY lack.
This is NOT a criticism. It looks like I have to stop being concerned
about the fact that I might look stupid, and start asking questions
doesn't it?

My feeling is that Non-duality is the only way to true unconditional
love, and as I have stated many times...not the pink marshmallow
romantic type of love...oh no...but a strong white column of light that
cuts through all the foolishness that we manufacture for ourselves. And
it is also my belief is that if we don't pick up some steam here, there
will be no future.

Only my opinions...please be gentle. :o) And may I please have the URL
for Tim's page?

beth

Being the silly one, I asked:

Hi Jerry,

I don't mean to be premature, but should we have uniforms? (I'm
thinking with some sort of nautical theme, as I'm hoping to get a boat
for Christmas, but as I say, I may be a wee bit premature...) Well,
gotta head back to the incubator.

Love, Mark

Being clever and staying relevant, Jerry responded:

Yes, Mark! In the seventies Rajneesh had all his Sanyassins wear orange
robes with a mala around their neck. The mala held a photo of Rajneesh.
I worked in a restaurant at the time and I thought the uniforms made a
powerful statement. I was also able to see how the uniforms changed
according to Rajneesh's instruction. They went from orange robes to
reddish orange-purple shirts and pants, and always the mala around the
neck.

Our activism could definitely influence the world of fashion. All we
need is a nondual designer. Those guys are always looking for a theme to
hook on to. We haven't been discovered yet! Does anyone design clothes?

Jerry

Jerry also responded to Beth:

Hi Beth,

Tim's website is http://coresite.cjb.net

I agree with what you say about Belief.net being valuable in the way of
reporting. Sometimes my criticism is a little harsh; it's only my way of
making a point; I appreciate what everyone is doing.

You already know the essence of nonduality. What else is there to do
except live your life and be around people who share your kind of
awareness?

And Gloria put the activism thing into perspective:

Dear Jerry and others who wrote on this,

You asked for some reflections on list history a day or two ago, and I
went shopping instead. Ok, a few other matters that shall go
unmentioned. (Ed. note - this is what makes this stuff great
literature, leaving as it does, so much to the imagination...)

What it was like then is no different from now. (Well, your website was
a lot smaller.) Just as back then, there was no grandiose plan to create
a huge mega list, or to change anyone's life, or to set anyone free from
their teachers and shackles. There was no plan other than the magnetic
sort of attraction of birds of a feather refusing to be caged. There is
only a recognition of what already is true, a seeing of what takes place
when limitations are not accepted or believed to matter. Hence the
inclusiveness of the marginalized, etc. Yet this never needed to be made
an explicit policy, it was just understood. The lack of strategic
planning and mission statements. (Ha! how to convey how casually this
all came about?)

So it doesn't have to mean that the word activism implies having an
agenda or specific stated beliefs, allowing this activism to be so wide
open might perhaps be what qualifies it for the nondual adjective. Yet
the whole paradigm of the guru, teacher/disciple, adherence to a
religion or philosophy - just collapses- into something like the black
hole you mentioned. There are no celebrities or authorities here, the
usual models need not apply.

As I am quite consumed by preparations for family Christmas and
houseguests arriving the day after, I will grab for the easy and obvious
examples. The way I hear you Jerry, you are hinting at something so
subtle, one may not even know oneself that one is "being an activist."
But one obvious parallel may be drawn with parenting. I am struck dumb
by parents who ask IF they should teach their children any specific
values. IF? There needs to be a recognition of how they already ARE,
how it is inescapable, with every breath, in how that child is seen and
heard, just as any and every interaction has implicit values. So one
might look at the how and what and become more conscious, but that does
NOT mean sitting down to "teach" little lists of values or rules to
them, its more about looking at oneself.

Who I am speaks without a word being said. Just being who you are
changes the gestalt of the whole. There is no contradiction between you
standing free and being part of this list family here, or the larger
"felt group" that for you may include Buddha and the Beatles and the
Beat poets. Just as these are not mutually exclusive possiblities,
change can and does occur without any intention to create or cause any
specific change in others.

In this redefinition of activism is included an awareness of active as
meaning wide awake to the flux of the now moment, the creative
possibility. How can one "plan" for what is known to be unknown? A
truth which can include the mystery, a knowing of openness, and not an
agenda to control life or the future? So the fact that nondual activism
seems a paradox and an oxymoron is to me all the more reason it seems to
be on track. Certainly a track worth exploring. The deep listening of
nondual dialogue seems a good start. Stay tuned....

Jerry already has the one indispensable ability of a true subversive, in
that he may appear to be quite ordinary. Yet what is being undermined
here? What doors and windows are being opened?

Love and merry holy days,
Gloria

And of course, Gloria also managed to appeal to my economic concerns...

P. S. Mark, I don't know when we might be ready for uniforms or sailor
suits, but hang onto your retreat T-shirt. These rare artifacts may one
day be like Mickey Mantle baseball cards. LOL

And if Gloria's attempt to put nondual activism in perspective wasn't
sufficient, Sarlo offered:

Sarlo: Nonduality will never be part of any mainstream, which is the
only thing BeliefNet is interested in. Mystics, even founders of what
are now major religions, are/were outside the mainstreams, because
realization means leaving all beliefs behind, even those about
nonduality, and religions trade in beliefs.

Jerry: Our numbers aren't that small. We're just not organized.

Sarlo: And in non-organization is our truth.

Jerry: We need a white bread website like Belief.net. Nondualist just
wanna have fun! They do! In any case, a visit to Belief.net gives me a
better appreciation for the work we're doing on the lists. There's a lot
more reality in one page of a website like Tim's than in all of
Belief.net. There's no soul in that website. If there is, I haven't
found it. What's my point? I suppose that a visit to Belief.net
reassures me that the work -- or play -- we are all involved in is very
grassroots and needed. We remain unorganized and largely unknown.

Sarlo: And PTFL!* (see below if you don't want to bother figuring this
out)

Jerry: Our activism has led to greater awareness of nonduality on the
internet. That activism could be extended to the larger
religious/spiritual community. It will take time and intentional effort.

Sarlo: Can nondual politics be far away?

The dinosaurs disappeared not because mammals were more organized but
because mammals were better equipped to look out for their own interests
in challenging times. To organize, beyond a certain "local" level, eg
relating directly as self-respecting individuals, or maintaining
playgrounds such as this, is to make a contract with the devil. Let's
communicate, share and all that, but to attempt to assist the demise of
the dinosaurs by adopting their ways is to become dinosaurs.

Love, Sarlo

* see further below
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* = praise the fucking lord!


In other news, a real highlight of the day was this continuation of a
conversation between John and Dave:

Hello again Dave. You took the much appreciated time to write:

D:
Funny that you should say that! I was noticing how interaction here,
sort of flowed into "regular" life, where here it may be words on a
screen, "out there" it turns into real action and in an interesting way.
Here, we openly discuss these things, whereas "out there" these things
are not foreground topics nor tolerated as such by very many. I find
myself working the conversations in the background. Wonderful experience
an value. A "great battery charge" as you say.

J: So very true and appropriate. Astounding, is it not, the resolution
of external events into this backdrop.

D:
In my previous post, perhaps for me there are a few central points, one
is centered around the word "intent". The other centers around that as
well, but more in relation to the "critical" relation that choice has to
responsibility.

J: Point taken here. But, I would say that choice does not necessarily
have to carry with it 'criticality'. For instance, I observe a
situation with apparent 'choice'. Using Gene's programming imagery, a
branching routine is invoked. Alternatives present themselves along
with apparent (and imagined) consequences of selection of the
alternatives.

Now, this process, in and of itself, is an indication of sleep. Except,
perhaps, if one of the alternatives presented is 'You are asleep,
thinking you are making a choice.' This tends to invalidate the
currently operant 'DO CASE' or 'IF-THEN-ELSE' routine. Invoking, in
turn, a new branching routine with 'higher' alternatives. One of which,
potentially, is what you characterize here as 'intent'.

D: Summing it up, I would tend to say that "nothing happens by
accident", it may only appear that way. In a timeless existence, all
just IS, and the part of it which we see at any given point in time is
directed by our focus. A narrow focus leads one to beleive that they are
an individual running around sequencially in time following the most
"interesting" or "preocupying" stimulus in the vicinity.

J: This is observed.

D: Conversely of course, an infinitely expanded focus would permit a
better view of "intent". I do use intent as a word which means more than
that which is usually attatched to it. If you will, I use it more in
the sense of "purpose of life".

My goal is to be in touch with "intent". Such a wonderful thing this
intent! It seems boundless in its nature, yet as fixed and solid as any
physical law that we can find to describe. Intent speaks when one is
prepared to listen.

J: So then, to 'intent' in the 'alternatives table'. And agreeing,
wonderful indeed - and with those properties you mention. The question,
though, non-dually, is who is speaking and who is listening. It can be
just one, or, as is implied by your use of language, big I and little i.

I am not a creature of logic, I am a creature that employs logic.
Understanding then, that I define my being as experiences, more
specifically emotions, it is clear that from an emotional basis
[intellectual] logic must be dispensed with, or be seen as 'not the full
measure of things' pretty early on.

Emotions have their own logic, quite distinct from the intellectual
type. Our challenge [and usual downfall] is using the intellectual
apparatus to transmit to one another how we 'feel' about things. That
is, the product of our emotional logic. This, as was quickly glimpsed
earlier, puts the intellect on shifting ground.

At one point in one's experiences this is a big, unsettling, deal. At
another point it not such a big deal, and is, in fact a quite common
occurrence and an experience for which one is thankful. Significant
freedom in fact.

D: So, as our 'vision' narrows, we tend to chase around more after
stimulus. All of a sudden there is cause and effect, and choice.

J: 'Cause and effect' was intended [in my usage here] to transmit the
idea of 'Karma', not necessarily causality. It is also understood that
the two cannot be effectively separated. Karma, in the context of
'tenor of our interactions' has, at least from my observations, the
flavor of 'being able to see', or 'having learned through experience'
about this concept. A certain energy, internally, is also needed to see
these things.

D: Basically we choose how to see things, and therefore have tremendous
desires to react in one way or another and now we have expectations etc.
etc.

J: Who is 'we' in this context? In the cosmological frame I am familiar
with [and as you say, it is 'no accident' I am familiar with it] there
is support for both Self and self, co-existing. In this model, self,
takes its being, from, and is created by Self. The [self] realization of
Self is the alignment of self to those impulses of Self. To be sure,
this includes the destruction, annihilation or dissolving of what we
term 'identity' or 'personality', included within that evaporation are
such things as 'personal choice' and 'free will'.

One can look at this process as the reduction of a three dimensional
figure to point in the presence of a six dimensional awareness. The
other three dimensions being those of time. Time relating roughly and
imprecisely to your use of the word 'narrow'. Or, a geometric point in
relations to a cubic solid. Point, then, is relegated to the role of
concept only, having no real existence in the solid. Yet the solid is
constructed of points. Point does not exist without solid to give it
being.

D: Perhaps it may be clearer "what drives our tenor in interactions with
others?" For those that have narrower focus, it is perhaps more an issue
of 'living up to expectations'.

J: I see this is an accurate statement insofar as mechanics are
concerned.

D: For those with wider focus, it is perhaps more an issue of merely
expanding awareness.

J: Just so.

D: It seems to me that all of this is put here with Intent. The rules of
Intent are as completely open as they are fixed. Like, it's here to be
seen if you want to see it, and you can see it how you wish, but in the
end, what it IS is unchanging.

J: Nice characterization.

D: This enjoining to BEing is Intent, don't think there's really a
choice... although it may not "happen" with everyone.

J: Also nicely put.

D: Well, given that one's own interpretation of "as well as one can play
it" is only meaningful to that individual, what other choice is there?

J: Given that we are speaking of levels here, there are many
alternatives. Do as 'i' want, that is, small, imaginary self-interest.
Within the same deluded context, one could also do the opposite of 'as
well as one can play it'. 'Playing' seen as analogous to your use of
the word intent. One may also do 'nothing', seeing things as being done
already or 'done for one' in the unfolding of time. One may also simply
Be the Intent, hence 'well as one can play it'.

D: The responsibility come in just seeing... being. Knowing Intent.

J: Exactly!

D: Yes, I like the sound of "art".

Thanks,
Dave

J: Thank you, Dave, for your time, effort and attention.

Aiming for Art.

Warm regards,
John

Jerry invited us to enjoy David Hodge's journal:

I enjoy all of David Hodges journal entries. The most recent one, A
Christmas Eve Story, is worth mentioning on Christmas Eve!

http://www.livejournal.com/users/wandertheearth

Jerry

Gill responded:

I have spent most of this Christmas Eve in tears anyway, and reading
this made me cry some more. Today my husband has been listening to the
Moody Blues, and my favourite track came on, 'Question'. I told him I
loved that one and he told me that he thought my song was 'Watching and
Waiting' from 'To Our Children's, Children's, Children'. Asked me to put
it on and play it, which I did...


*Watching And Waiting*

Watching and waiting
For a friend to play with.
Why have I been alone so long?
Mole he is burrowing
His way to the sunlight,
He knows there's someone there so strong.

'Cos here there's lots of room for doing
The things you've always been denied.
So look and gather all you want to,
There's no one here to stop you trying.

Soon you will see me
'Cos I'll be all around you
But where I come from I can't tell.

Don't be alarmed
By my fields and my forests
They're here for only you to share.

'Cos here there's lots of room for doing
The things you've always been denied.
So look and gather all you want to,
There's no one here to stop you trying.

Watching and waiting
For someone to understand me.
I hope it won't be very long.

Andrew contributed:

"What one cannot breathe through breathing,
by which breathing itself is drawn forth--
Learn that that alone is brahman,
and not what they here venerate."

Kena Upanishad

Andrew also posted this gem:

Genuine light
- the kind that provides light for everyone -
was coming into the world.
Although it was in the world,
and the world came about through its agency,
the world did not recognize it.
It came to its own place,
but its own people were not receptive to it.
But to all who did embrace it,
to those who believed in it,
it gave the right to become children of God.

John 1:9-12 SV

And with that, I wish you a Merry Christmas, and or a Happy Holiday of
your choice.

Love, Mark

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