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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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Nonduality.org blog

Jerry Katz has been writing in a blog lately, which he has installed at http://nonduality.org. The short, pointed articles on various but specific topics in nonduality are easy to access and provide deep insight when read.

A few of my favourites include Shift in consciousness, which first contextualizes Eckhart Tolle's writings within nonduality, and then lays forth a progressive list of the typical shifts in consciousness that are experienced by the spiritual seeker (and/or The Thoughtful/Insight-seeking Person?). An entry he calls Nonduality for the people is also a good read; a concise description of what a religion-free, non-academic and "non-ashramic" nonduality looks like. It's a surprisingly clean definition that might gain purchase with certain people.

Another recent article called Bernadette Roberts: nondual or not? links to some recent debate incited by a California university professor of Comparative Religions named Joseph Conti. Conti presents himself as an expert on Ms. Roberts, herself a popular self-help guru, and he maintains strongly that she is purely Christian, and not nondual in any substantive way. From this position, he argues against Katz's nondual contextualization of Bernadette Roberts' work in Katz's 2007 book, One: Essential Writings on Nonduality.

Very nice layout and content on that blog so far. I'm heavily biased, of course, since I'm such close friends with Jerry personally and we live in the same city. But my observations are still accurate nonetheless!

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umbada June 25th, 2008
Thanks for pointing to the blog. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with you in person and through the recent lj entries.


Bernadette Roberts

(Anonymous) July 13th, 2008
Hi Dustin,
Just for the record, I asked Jerry to remove the label "expert" on Bernadette Roberts, as inappropriate, from his text he wrote describing the dialogue. Jerry thoughtfully complied immediately (he was, all around, a hospitable host.)
Also: your description of Bernadette as a "self-help guru" is not correct. She is not a "guru"-- I was a student of a swami for eight years and, trust me, I know "gurus"...and she is not one! Here's what she wrote on a site http://www.bernadettesfriends.blogspot.com/

"From Bernadette
Dear Friend,

Thank you for your interest in my books and taking the time to visit this site. Please understand that apart from meeting people at the annual retreat I offer, I do not see people individually, talk on the phone, or carry on correspondences. I am not a spiritual director, counselor or teacher—have never had any talent or interest in this area. Apart from this, however, my busy family life would make it impossible to accommodate all the good people who would like to visit, talk or correspond. I recommend, however, that you find some group or persons with whom you can share your contemplative journey. For this, you might inquire at some monastery, retreat center or church. With this note comes a prayer God will send you whatever help, grace or insight you might need at this time.

Thank you again. God Bless!"

Also, Dustin (on the "self-help guru" label): may I point out, with all due respect, that Bernadette's Christian paradigm of the spiritual journey certainly is not about "self-help". The beginning of spiritiual journey is grace (God's transforming life in us), the Sacraments are the great help along the way, and the final grace of heaven is sheer grace. Certainly we cooperate with God's grace through self-disciplined love for God. But grace is the Way, in Bernadette's Christian paradigm.

Thanks, Dustin, for allowing me to clarify these points.
All the best to you!

Just wanted to say

(Anonymous) August 3rd, 2008
Thanks for the post

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