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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #223

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a conversation between DAN and Terry:

Dan:
Transcendence, in the view presented here, isn't the ending of
thought, discrimination, time, or awareness of events having
consequences. It is the ending of any identification with temporal
realities, and the nondependence on thought for one's sense of
"true" reality and identity. Events can still be viewed in terms
of consequences, one can view from a position in time, at the same
instant that eternity is seen, that the beginning is in the end,
that all is one seamless Whole.

Terry:
Events can be viewed as events, as discrete, individual happenings.
This is the basis of the typical naive phenomenal view in the east, and the
fundamental scientific materialist view of the west. There are many
practical reasons for doing so. We are a tool-making, task-oriented
species. Step on the gas and the car goes. We can divide space into
latitude and longitude, time into hours and minutes. But in reality there
are no lines on the earth, no divisions in time, these are purely
conveniences. I sign my name to my timesheet and tell them how many hours
I worked, and then I get paid, very practical, useful, necessary. But I
*know* the seamless whole and the eternal now are the True reality. I can
make arrangements to meet you at the airport next thursday; but I *know*
there is no real separation between us now.
The doctor can tell you how your tendons work, he can make crude
repairs, but his ideas and skills can't begin to enable you to dance or
make love. A knowledge of 'events and their consequences' has practical
value on a daily basis, but we can dwell in the kingdom of god,
effortlessly practicing non-action.
Maybe we are saying the same thing here; I'm not sure if your words
were intended as disagreement or not. If there is a difference between our
views, it perhaps involves this idea of simultaneously discriminating and
transcending. Do events have their consequences? Or are there no events,
and no consequences? Does time really exist, or is it true that there is
no time, only the unfoldment of Now? Is there simultaneously a phenomenal
world and an absolute, essential world, or is the absolute world the True
one, and the phenomenal world a convenient illusion which is used by the
enlightened and uses the unenlightened? I can't make out your view from
what you are saying here.
The Buddha, when pressed, would say that the self neither exists nor
does not exist, the phenomenal world neither exists nor does not exist. At
other times he would flatly say that the self is an illusion. I can say to
you that karma neither exists nor does not exist. *In essence*, there are
no actual discrete events that may be truely abstracted from the flow of
universal energy; on the other hand, *in practice* it is useful to regard
certain inputs as being causally related to certain outputs. I can also
say that karma, like ego, is a genuine illusion, a self-created prison for
many people who constantly punish themselves for imagined sins, and keep
themselves down.
If one truly knows the absolute truth, does one really need to view
things in terms of cause and effect, or personality? Is the enlightened
view ('transcendence') a dual awareness of both seamless whole and events
with consequences, as you appear to claim?
I don't think so, dan. I can sign that paycheck, I can press down on
the accelerator and make it on down to the airport to pick you up, without
ever varying my continuous awareness that reality is a seamless whole and
Now is the only time. I may appear to 'others' as an Actor performing an
Action, but may myself only be aware of everything happening
interdependently with everything else in an utterly choiceless unfolding.

Dan:
This then is the ending of any perceived
separation between timelessness and time, of the transcendent and
the relative. It is love "operating" to bring itself to itself
within itself, to help itself to remember itself, to use rememberance
to act in the realm of "forgottenness", and to see that the
entire realm of "forgottenness" is not other than oneself, and is
the result of one's own actions to and within oneself. Karma is
interactive, is not the result of one person's seeing, is impossible
to avoid in the "realm of interaction".

Terry:
I'm not sure that you are not kind of mushing together the absolute
and the relative into a meaningless hash (recall the rumi poem I posted).
We may have an intellectual grasp of the philosophical advantages of monism
while personally actually experiencing ourselves as individual egos. If
you experience "one person's seeing" as "interactive karma" in a really
existent "'realm of interaction'"; in other words simultaneously
experiencing personal ego and intellectual knowledge of some notion of
universality, then we might be sounding similar but actually be worlds
apart.
Again, the reality of 'karma' is a psychological sense of justice, or
sin-and-its-consequences, which is almost universal at a certain stage of
human development. Just as people powerfully feel that criminals should be
punished for their actions, they similarly judge and punish themselves,
using their own unconscious behavior to modify their own conscious
behavior. The 'unenlightened' are not consciously aware that they are
doing the best they can for the sake of all sentient beings, though in
actual fact they are. When they become aware that they are actually doing
their best for all beings, that they are infallibly designed that way and
can't do anything else, any inner need for self-punishment falls away and
'karma' as a psychological reality no longer applies. Just as ego is
transcended and realized to be an illusion, so the sense of oneself as a
sinner in need of punishment is realized to be an illusion as well.
Continuing to maintain these illusions once they are realized to be such is
delusion.


Dan:
If there were not awareness of karma, the enlightened would, without
any discrimination about repercussions, do whatever they felt like doing -
and I >agree with you, "they" don't do this.

Terry:
Yes "they" do! :-) They have no awareness of karma at all, and do
whatever pops into their minds, without thinking. This is why *siddhis*
operate, because without any thought, with any breaking of the connection
with the infinite, the enlightened spontaneously reflect the harmony of the
cosmos.
Rinzai says ('The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-chi,' trans Burton
Watson, p44):

"Followers of the Way, you take the words that come out of the mouths
of a bunch of old teachers to be a description of the true Way. You think,
'This is a most wonderful teacher and friend. I have only the mind of a
common mortal, I would never try to fathom such venerableness.' Blind
idiots! You go through life with this kind of understanding, betraying
your own two eyes, cringing and faltering like a donkey on an icy road,
saying, 'I would never dare speak ill of such a good friend, I'd be afraid
of making mouth karma!'
"Followers of the Way, the really good friend is someone who dares to
speak ill of the Buddha, speak ill of the patriarchs, pass judgment on
anyone in the world, throw away the *Tripitaka*, revile those little
children, and in the midst of opposition and assent search out the real
person. So for the past twelve years, though I've looked for this thing
called karma, I've never found so much as a particle of it the size of a
mustard seed."


Dan:
Without
awareness of karma, they wouldn't care about
any apparent beings being hurt (or any apparent beings learning
anything either) because they would see no existing beings. So,
why do they teach, and why do they interact compassionately? Because
they see karma, at the same time they see no entities suffering
from karma.

Terry:

They see the illusion of ego, and the consequent operation of 'karma'
as a psychological effect, a delusion. Very real to the suffering being,
yes; this 'cannot be obscured.' But entities and karma canot be separated,
they go together as causes and effects do; if there are causes, there must
be effects. If there are no entities to have karma, there is no karma to
have.

Dan:
Transcendence is to see that from the first not a thing is, and yet,
simultaneously see that "this is". To see that there is no cause
and effect, and simultaneously, actions have repercussions.

Terry:
Pardon me, my friend, but this just sounds like nonsense. What is a
'repercussion' but an 'effect'?

Dan:
There is no "me", yet the perception of a "me" is real to "him"
and to "her," and how they see "me" behave (and experience "me"
to behave, will affect "him" or "her"). This is true even
though there is no "him" or "her". All is perception, there is
no perceiver and no perceived object, and love functions in this
perception with awareness of the ripple-effect of actions.
My inferred conclusion as I read your perceptive and thoughtful
writing is that sometimes the actions of one who is aware may
appear paradoxical, yet the reason for the paradox is that the
love expressed is transcendent of norms, not confined by norms,
but comes from recognition of the entirety of karma as a whole,
from being the entire pond, all of the ripples, and yet expressing
simultaneously as a particular ripple interacting with other
particular ripples.


Terry:
The whole pond with all its ripples is the universe of dependent
origination, where everything depends on every other thing, where a kingdom
may be lost for the want of a horseshoe nail, and a typhoon in the sea of
japan may be traced back to the flapping of a butterfly's wing in the
amazon river basin.
In practice, however, I do not deny that if you go out and shoot
someone, you are likely to get busted. But even then, to apply single
causes to single outcomes is simplistic. Confucius comments on the first
line of the second hexagram of the I Ching:

"A house that heaps good upon good is sure to have an
abundance of blessings. A house that heaps evil upon
evil is sure to have an abundance of ills. Where a
servant murders his master, where a son murders
his father, the causes do not lie between the morning
and evening of one day. It took a long time for
things to go so far. It came about because things that
should have been stopped were not stopped soon
enough."


Dan:
There's no way around it: how this can occur
is a great mystery!

Terry:
I suppose you could say that our intuitive, natural abilities to be in
harmony with the universe, which are similar to those of every other aspect
of creation, living and non-living, are a 'mystery.' But only to the
logic-chopping, practical, imaginary false self.


Dan:
It transcends logic without destroying logic,
just as it transcends karma without destroying karma. Karma and logic
are the same thing: awareness of cause and effect perspectives.
Karma and logic continue to function, are used when their
framework is useful, and simultaneously are seen in no way to define
the nature of "ultimate reality".

Terry:
As you wind it up here I quite agree, and could have stated it in
practically the same terms as you have. It just doesn't seem mysterious to
me. Our practical, task-oriented, tool-using skills coexist with our
intuitive, natural identity with the universe. I guess my perspective
differs in that I regard the latter as Real and the former as an illusion
at best and a delusion causing great suffering at worst.

To see the phenomenal and the absolute as equal or in some sort of
harmonious balance is a dangerous view, tantamount to regarding god and the
devil as equal powers and granting negativity equal say in what you do. It
is just this granting of autonomy to the ego which is the essence of
delusion and the cause of suffering.
Consider light and darkness. You can turn on a light, and darkness
instantly vanishes. But darkness has no powers of its own, you can't turn
on the dark, the dark is simply the absence of light, it has no qualities
of its own. This is what nonduality is all about, there are "not two"
substances in the world, it is a world of light only. The Absolute is
True, and phenomena are a convenient illusion, to be used but never given
power over us.
Jesus, the great nondualist, explicitly rejected karma, considered
absolute by the rabbis, and embraced forgiveness. How could we be forgiven
if karma were absolutely true? Taoism embraces forgiveness, and buddhism
does as well. Karma is a fetter, and justice may be tempered by mercy.
Logic won't get you to heaven.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
from PRABHU:

That moment that occurred.
This moment this occurred.
Every moment this or that is occurring.
These occurrings is my living

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dan: Thanks for your recent commentary on Osho and Adi Da, Petros.
Insightful as always, you are.
The following quote you posted from Da is a true gem.
It gives new meaning to the words "Me Generation".
It put me in a poetic mood, and I provide my poem below.

Adi Da:
"This Specific Form
(or Fullest Right Form)
Of Ruchira Avatara Bhakti Yoga
Is To Be Practiced
(Upon always current, or then present-time,
formal Ruchira Sannyasin Order Approval)
Only
By Each and All
Of My Formally Acknowledged
First or Second Congregation
Devotees
Who Really and Truly Recognize (or Know) Me,
...

and who,
By All Of This
Me-Receiving,
and Me-Understanding,
and Me-Enjoying,
and Me-Praising,
and Me-Invoking,
and Me-Feeling,
and Me-Finding,
and Me-Experiencing,
and Me-Beholding,
and Me-Recognizing,
Really,
and Truly,
and Happily,
and Sanely Certainly,
and,
Altogether,
Well-beingly
Know *Who* I *Am*."

Dan: *Me Generation*

I generate me
I not only celebrate and sing me
I devote myself to being me
and bringing me to you
through the glory of being me

I simply radiate me-ness
How wonderful for me this is
And how wonderful for you
What a blessed event is me
Wait, that sounds funny -
a few capitals should help -
What a blessed event is Me
The radiant splendor of Me
Radiating Me-ness everywhere
even where you are -
Me, Me, Me
Oh Solo Me-o

The Rapsody of Me is being Sung
The Chorus Resounds
Emanating from Me

Okay - this may sound a bit funny, but just remember-
Where you were, Me shall be.


HARSHA responds:

Yes! The True Form of Me is Me Alone and Only Me. And This Me is Me! And you
cannot come to Me except through Me
and Me Alone! That is the Truth. The Truth of Me! The Only Truth Is Me! Only
Who Truly Know Me can practice this
Truth! They will know the Meaning of Me-Ness. That's the way it is pal!
:--).

We bow to to the form of Adi Dan! Hail to Adi Dan! Long live Adi Dan. Our
buddy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

JAN and DAN:

Jan:
who would bother to understand Silence when it can be enjoyed? The
mind has this tenacious tendency, wanting to describe and teach what is
beyond its reach. No Silence to enjoy while this tendency is lasting...

Dan:
An excellent point, Jan. Mainstream American society found ways
to "co-opt" some of the concerns voiced by the counter-culture
during the 60's and 70's. Thus, the mainstream focus on consumerism
and materialism continued unabated, while companies arranged to make
profits from organic teas, tie-dye tee shirts, drug paraphernalia,
"underground" music, etc., etc. In a similar way, "the mind" strives
to co-opt that which expresses from beyond the mind. If "the mind"
can claim understanding (and describing and teaching may be ways
to validate such a claim), the "mind games" can continue, and the
"self" of the mind remains in its artificial and illusory position
of supremacy. However, if "the mind" is honest with itself, its
own limitations are exposed even through its own descriptions
and teaching attempts. Thus, description and teaching can undermine
erroneous beliefs (such as a "me" in the mind, or an existing entity
called "mind", or descriptions as realities) if awareness is alert
to the very process of self-deception that occurs as "mind" protects
its investment in self. Then, a "no-mind mind" is - a still mind,
a noncomparing mind - not invested in thoughts, descriptions, experiences,
or teachings.

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