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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #151

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ANDREW

"Christ" means the anointed one, and Jesus's message to me
is that all who accept his (nondual) teaching become the
Christ. Baptism (Christening) is the symbolic
representation of this.


------------------

GLO

The other side of this coin, is that God first ended that
separation, and demonstrated the oneness of God with man
thru the appearance and life of Jesus. Baptism is symbolic
of our awareness of what is is already so!!


Jesus message to me was that HE so identified himself with
US that "whatsoever you do unto the least of one of these,
you do unto me." That's anyone and everyone..who is excluded
here? Very little depends on our awareness or acceptance of
this way of becoming the Christ, ...what is flowing down
from the hierarchy is lowliness and humility, mercy and
love.
"Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count
equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied
himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the
likeness of men."

__________________________________________________________________

THE OLDE FART

A few days ago, someone mentioned Master Hui Hai in a post.
Many years ago, with no focus to my attention and practice
of spirituality, I adopted Hui Hai as my principal teacher,
for lack of a real live guide.
Among others, here is something he has to say of dualities.


Q. What do you mean by wisdom?


A. "The knowledge that by realizing the voidness of all
opposites, deliverance is assured and that, without this
realization, you will never gain deliverance. ...
Concerning the unreality of opposites, it is the wisdom
inherent in the 'substance' which makes it known that to
realize their voidness means liberation and that there can
be no more doubt about it. ... In speaking thus of the
unreality of opposites, we refer to the nonexistence of
relativities such as 'is' and 'is not', 'good' and 'evil',
'love' and 'aversion', and so on." (Ch'an Master Hui Hai,
c. 775 AD)

____________________________________________________________________

PETROS

Attended another satsang with Neelam (www.neelam.org) in
Ojai on this very hot and sunny Sunday morning. This took
place in the same home that Arjuna spoke in a couple of
weeks ago. It was a very peaceful and intimate setting,
with only about fifteen people sitting in a circle, so one
didn't feel quite so lost in a crowd.


Since today is Halloween, Neelam decided to play a short
taped message of Papaji telling a "ghost story" as it were.
It wasn't too scary, actually, since the ghost he spoke of
was the ego. (I dunno, that could be scary, I suppose.)


During question time, I made a comment about boredom and the
search; how I "knew who I was" but returned to seeking out
of general intellectual boredom. Neelam hit this one right
on the head by indicating that this search, however
ostensibly playful it may seem to be, is still a running
away from simply "being boredom," getting into it fully and
finding out exactly what really is there. She said, just
make a decision to be there fully. And it may not "feel"
like one is capable of "making a decision," yet somehow, she
said, this takes place, and ultimately it is seen that it is
not oneself making this decision.


There was some silent transmission going on here too.

I asked her, afterward, if it was true that she was giving
up teaching as I had heard. In fact, this does not seem to
be the case and she will shortly be sending out an e-mail to
everyone on her mailing list in order to dispel this rumor.


I spoke a little bit with a friend of mine who had been
rooming with Neelam and her husband, and who is leaving
shortly to be with John DeRuiter in Canada. He spoke very
highly of John and the charismatic energy he seems to exude,
and really felt that this was going to be a move toward
greater evolution for himself.

_________________________________________________________________
An
OVERVIEW OF NONDUALITY - by Tim Gerchmez

Let's take a look at nonduality, and how it is viewed by the
various religions, teachers and individuals who hold the
perspective. Note that the word "man" used here is used to
mean "mankind" or "humankind," and is certainly not intended
to leave out women.


Traditional Judeo-Christian religion teaches that man has a
body, a mind and a soul, and that the soul is more important
than the body or mind.
This is partially true, and is a great step in the right
direction. We cannot afford to denigrate the viewpoints of
these "dualistic" religions - anything containing even a
small measure of truth has great value.


Buddhism has several sects, essentially divided into two
different viewpoints. One view maintains that man has
neither body, mind, nor soul, is in fact empty of qualities
or attributes altogether (Shunyata). This view is entirely
nondual, and is not nihilism, although it seems to come
close at times. The rest of Buddhism is very similar in
perspective to Advaita Vedanta (which we will examine in a
moment). Despite seeming differences, we'll see how looking
at the Absolute in its "empty aspect"
and looking at it in its "full aspect" agree completely.


Advaita Vedanta also believes that man has neither body or
mind, but does believe that man has a soul (or rather, IS a
soul), and that soul is not an "individual soul" (jiva), but
is in fact the Absolute (Brahman, God without attributes).
Advaita Vedanta looks at the Absolute in both its full and
empty "aspects" equally, and knows that these are simply
differing perspectives of the mind, while the Reality itself
is the same. Advaita Vedanta is also generally considered
to be a theistic perspective, as it acknowledges the
existence of Saguna Brahman (God with Attributes, Creator
God), or Ishvara, on the relative plane, whereas Buddhism is
considered to be agnostic in perspective. We must remember,
however, that each person is going to view things
differently, and these statements made here are simply
generalizations. Religions are meant for people, not people
for religions.


So, which is truth? Is man lacking body, mind, and soul
(completely empty), or does man have a soul, which is in
fact the Absolute (timeless, attributeless Fact)? If you
think about it, you'll see that both of these viewpoints are
saying precisely the same thing. The difference is simply
in focus. In fact, Buddhism (all of it) and Advaita Vedanta
agree completely, when the minor quibbles are examined in
the bright light of knowledge. Buddhist "awakening" or
"nirvana" and Vedantic "realization"
are precisely the same thing (and in Zen, "Buddha-Nature" is
the same as the Vedantic "Atman/Brahman"), yet each mind
will perceive awakening in the light of the conditioning it
has absorbed. If all conditioning is taken away, all
teachings are set aside, the fact remains that awakening is
awakening, and is the same always. Truth cannot differ,
does not differ.
All these viewpoints are human minds looking at a mountain
from different angles.


In nonduality even the most major paradoxes are resolved (in
fact, seen to never have existed). I've also pointed out
that even the Judeo-Christian religions and "new age"
beliefs are paths heading in the right direction, although
there are a few "new-age" belief systems that tend to lead
toward further darkness and ignorance.


A natural human tendency is to assume that a person's own
path, their own conditioning, is the only way to
"enlightenment," as if the Absolute can be limited by the
pitiful thoughts or experiences of a particular person or
persons. This tendency exists in the Judeo-Christian
religions as well (in fact, is especially prevalent there).
If a careful look is taken, it will be seen that all Advaita
(nonduality) is looking at the same mountain, but from
different angles. The mind is always limited, limited,
limited. It is limited by its own conditioning, and falls
prey to that conditioning again and again, surprisingly even
in the greatest teachers. The mind tends toward ignorance;
ignorance is its nature, and that ignorance generates
disagreement. So all disagreement is ignorance, because
there is only one truth.


Most modern teachers or gurus teach a personal variation of
either Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, or a "personal mixture."
The benefit of modern teachers is that they express the
ancient discoveries in a way that the modern mind can grasp
much more easily. Teachers like J. Krishnamurti and Sri
Nisargadatta Maharaj bring their own brilliant yogas to "the
scene,"
offering further richness and further pointings to truth.
However, ultimately, each person must pave their own path;
set out into the world-forest with nothing but a scythe and
perhaps a guide. Reading about nonduality, discussing
nonduality, arguing nonduality has nothing to do with
nonduality. Everything depends on experience and practice.
Everyone has to find the correct way for them, even if that
way is a mixture of ways, or is no way at all -- then set
out to cross the ocean of the world.
Some will drown in this lifetime. Others will reach the
farther shore. It does not matter, because all these paths
are doing is getting rid of ignorance, cleaning the glass so
we do not "see through it darkly" anymore.


Eventually, ignorance (duality) will fall away from all
creation, and creation will return to its source. Until
then, it is worthwhile to pursue truth for its own sake, and
for no other. If nonduality does not make sense to you,
discard it! Follow what you see as truth, and it can only
lead to truth. This is not to say that it's not worthwhile
to explore the teachings of others. Find those teachers or
gurus who seem wise to you, and follow them. Follow more
than one, if you wish. Follow all of them.
Or follow only the Self, that still, small voice within.
Dare to follow truth, even if it leads into hell, because
there is nothing else but truth.
To chase phantoms is childish. Let us always be brave and
strong enough to pursue only truth.


----- "Words are only a mode of mind acting on mind."


"Who makes us ignorant? We ourselves. We put our hands
over our eyes and weep that it is dark."


"We should be brave to open the doors to receive all
available light from outside. Let rays of light come in, in
sharp-driving showers from the four quarters of the Earth."


"Truth is infinitely more weighty than untruth; so is
goodness. If you possess these, they will make their way by
sheer gravity."


... Swami Vivekananda
____________________________________________________________________

From Pathway of Nonduality:


Q. Can avidya (ignorance) be considered absolute, real and
permanent?


A. If it were real-absolute we could never eliminate it.
Therefore we would be obliged to remain in
incompleteness-ignorance; we would always remain in error
without any hope of escape.


Dan Responds:


There is nothing to escape, nothing that needs to be
eliminated. Ignorance is the "bounded region" of Truth.
Seeing what is beyond definition, the defined no longer
appears to be a prison. There cannot be a "defined"
separate from the "undefined" - thus there has never been
any error separate from Truth, and no one placed in bondage.
____________________________________________________________________

DAN

I view memory as the definable aspect/portion of sensory
awareness.
This portion, in terms of attention, necessarily is less
than "full present awareness" (i.e., the "whole enchilada,"
"beyond the distinction of conscious and unconsious
awareness") In this view, memory doesn't need to be
abolished - merely "placed in perspective". Memory (and its
cohort conceptual thought) is/are not, can't be the basis
for reality in "fullness".
As you suggest, memory and thought necessarily "snip"
awareness, partialize being, construct beginnings and ends
where there are none. To me, this is fascinating - seeing
all these beginnings and endings where there are none --
using the "conceptual mind" in a reality that is instantly,
momentarily, and momentously beyond concepts
-- with love --

______________________________________________________________________

The Pathway of Nonduality

by Raphael

Chapter 8

Experiencer and Experienced Object

Q. What are the experiencer and the experienced object? Is
there something besides this duality? What can they mean
from a metaphysical point of view?


A. By looking at man's behaviour one can infer that his
movements and decisions are characterized by the
'eperimentation' factor. It is commonly accepted that the
individual is here on this plane of life to feel and
experience 'sensations'. Even some spiritualist currents
propose 'experience' as the aim and purpose of spirituality,
holding that experience produces knowledge and realization.


We should therefore conclude, on the basis of this concept,
that the human being detemines himself, develops, knows,
etc., through experience.


Experience as such is the result of a movement of qualities
(gunas) requiring expression. Feeling, desire, instinct,
self-assertion, creative energy, etc., are human qualities
that lead to experience. These qualities, when expressed
and manifested, improve the individual's faculties, develop
his specific crafts, thereby broadening his sphere of
action.


But who is making experience? Who needs to make experience?


Experience requires an object to be experienced, a quality
that tends to express itself, to create activity or to
experience and a subject that is the enjoyer of the
experience. Who then is the experiencer?


In psychological terms we may answer that this is the 'ego'.
The ego seeks experience through qualities to be expressed,
so as to feel gratified and complete.


When we fulfill a desire, expressed through a quality, the
ego enjoys it, but it may not feel satisfied and may even
feel frustrated if the object of its desire is removed or no
longer present. This means that experience is not always
pleasant or gratifying.


Someone may well advance the hypothesis that such a dual
condition of frustration and gratification (in other words,
pleasure-pain) might represent the ego's growth factor. At
this point we should try to better understand what this ego,
in search of experience, or of gratification-frustration, or
experienceing dualism, is.


All traditional branches consider being, in its totality, as
made of three aspects: Spirit, soul and body. In Vedantic
terms these three are called atman, jiva and sthula. Which
is, then, the aspect of being that seeks experiences or
gratification-frustration?


The atman of pure Spirit, being the Absolute in us, cannot
seek experience because it is not subject to the law of
necessity. The complete-in-itself cannot be in need of
anything. The sun does not need or desire light seeing that
it is itself light. In the same way, the knower cannot
desire knowledge if he himself is knowledge.


Therefore, the experiencer cannot be the pure Spirit, the
atman. In order to find the experiencer we have to go below
the level of Spirit and on to other existential levels,
where the Soul or the jivatman manifests itself.


The Soul -- the Spirit's reflection of consciousness, or a
ray of the atman's fire -- expresses itself on three
existential levels: the one called gross, the one called
subtle or universal and the principial-noetic one. These
are the three levels of manifestation mentioned by all
branches of tradition.


The Soul, on the upper subtle and principial plane does not
experience sensorially but is 'contemplation', while the
ahamkara, or the 'sense of ego', having fallen and finding
itself on the lower subtle and gross planes (lower taijasa
and visva), acts, is spurred to produce, to create activity,
to move outside itself so as to be able to make experience.


We should now make a distinction between the
'action-without-action' of which the Gita speaks, and simple
doing or the promotion of interested and finalized activism;
and according to the Western Mysteric Tradition, between
theoria and poiesis.

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