Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression



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Dr. Robert Puff



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Nonduality Salon (/ \)

issue number two - October, 2000

Nonduality Salon Magazine



by Gene Poole

It is the seeing of something wrong, of something out of place, which prompts certain actions.

Only in the 'world' of the world-dream (call it what you will, if you can see it) is there the possibility to see something 'wrong' or out of place.

If one gives attention to the details of the world-dream, there are two possibilities:

* In one case, a person assumes that there is really something wrong, and moves to fix it.

* In the other case, it is seen that the assumption that there is something wrong, is occurring only in the aspect of the person which is able to see the dream. In this case, we are seeing not only the dream and what is apparently 'wrong', but we are also looking at our own (hidden?) mechanism which is able to read and interpret the information which is the world-dream itself.

The ability to see the dream, does not imply that the seer is dreaming. It is possible to be awake and to see and contemplate the intricate workings of the dream-world. It is possible to understand what is of the dream and what is not of the dream.

We know or have heard or at least have suspected, that the world-dream 'exists' as the only world, for a great many people. This is to say, that it is a popular (in certain circles) to proclaim or to hold to be true, that many people are unwittingly taking a dream to be 'real'. And we assume this to be to their own detriment, and by extension, to the detriment of everyone.

It is also 'true' that the one who is 0bserving the dream is actually awake, but is making a fundamental error, in the act of identifying oneself to be a character in the dream. It is this identified character who is assuming that here is something wrong, and is moving to fix it. It is this character in the dream who stands to either profit or lose by acts taken or not taken.

It is at this point that we may ask fundamental questions, such as:

* At what point does one take the dream to be real? What are the 'serious hooks' which draw one into the activity which is apparently 'going on' and ongoing?

* Why do these 'serious hooks' attach one to the events of the dream, as though it is real? Is it anything other than the assumption of either profit or loss, as possibilities to be dealt with?

* Why is it, that a person is unaware of the difference between automatic and 'unconscious' (unwitting) participation in a body of information (the world-dream) and Being as Self? Clearly, we are all able to have either 'reality' (automatic dream OR conscious awareness), or even both, at the same time.

* Why is it difficult to differentiate between the fundamental act which is Nature of Being itself, and the acts which ramify (secondarily, epi-phenomenally) from that basis? It is possible to have both at once (everyone does), but is it possible to have Being conscious primary, observing secondary (projected, reactive) apparent events? If this is possible, is it ever spoken of in the first-person?

* Is it 'ethical' to speak as though the events perceived in the body of information which is the world-dream, are 'real'? This is a major question to contemplate, and it is addressed infrequently. Buddhism studies state that a Buddha speaks only of what is real (Dharma), thus not validating as real what is only information.

* If one is speaking to those who take the world-dream information as their 'reality', is it wise or desirable to argue points of contention which apply only within the logic-systems which persistently arise within the dream-information? If one does so argue, the possibility of greater attachment must be taken into consideration. On the other hand, if one is speaking to those who take the dream as reality, what can be said, that will NOT stimulate a reaction of attachment?

* Is it possible to recognize that what is argued in the context of the information of the world-dream, applies only to the dream itself, and thus to those who take it as 'real'? Is it possible to maintain a position of being 'In the world, but not of it'?

* What is it, to be of service to those who take the dream-information as real? It is assumed that the best service is to 'awaken' those others, but what means are ethical? There are at least two approaches to this putative task of service: The so-called 'direct' way, which is to essentially say "wake up and stop suffering", which includes such (presumed to be) shocking statements as "there is no I", "All of what you see are projections of ego-activities", and etc. Another way is simply to live and act as one who is able to see in conscious awareness. This may include speaking or writing or not.

* Given the predictable reactions of those who take the information of the world-dream to be real, is it ethical to effectively 'trap' those dream-dwellers in the faulty logic of their own assumptions? This is a major question to contemplate. Certain 'teachers' have exampled this 'way of awakening', and have been both praised and condemned for their acts.

** The example of the professor or pundit who is able to defeat 'anyone' in argument, by resorting to higher or subtle logic, has been carried over to the field of 'spiritual awareness', and thus we would be led to assume that this argument of 'breaking the hold of ignorance' is actually a profound service. Is it indeed a service at all, or does it merely carry forward a method which provokes attachment to systems of 'logic' and thus attachment to dream-reality?

** The pundit or sage who is indeed able to defeat any dream-logic, may be of service, by destroying attachment to dream-logic, and thus show there there is no salvation in logic or systems. To do this in a compassionate way seems to be what is the answer to the question of ethics, but what we must remember in this issue, is that there is no time-frame but the one imposed by those in the dream. The effective and compassionate sage abides Being in time-frames, but is able to understand the urgency of the sufferer in the dream, and to gently invite the sufferer to leave the context of suffering, by stepping away from the dramas of the information of the world-dream.

* The question of ethics arises here and now, for this reason; it is seen that the entire process of abiding, is to somehow come into a neutral reaction (not no-reaction) to elements of information which stimulate movement. Movement in this context is stimulated by reaction to what is perceived (inwardly or outwardly) to be 'desirable' or 'undesirable'. Movement then, is either toward (desire) or away (aversion).

Given the above, if one is allowing the information of the world-dream to choreograph spontaneous movement, one is effectively in the dream. The question of ethics is a selfish one, because it has to do with the 'how' of not being in the dream. If one is in the dream, one is suffering (profit and loss, the drama thereof). The end of suffering profit and loss, is to abide the buffeting of the dream, by adopting a neutral reaction to that buffeting.

The question of ethics is an unselfish one, in that one who is able to example abiding, is of service.

One can literally 'back out of the dream', by simply disengaging reaction. It is that simple. But to stay out of the dream, to maintain conscious awareness, and to be able to observe the world-dream in its glory and folly, and to understand the information of the dream in conscious awareness, is the putative goal. Our ethical considerations actually form guidelines which if respected, maintain the distinction between dream and conscious awareness. Violation of the ethics of this case, are harmful only to oneself. It is up to each person to find the dynamic balance of abiding; to see the dream, and to be consciously aware, of being conscious awareness.

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