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Nonduality Salon (/\)

Highlights #320

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Essence of Saadhanaa

by Saadhu Om Swamigal, a Great
Monk Disciple of Bhagawan Sri
Ramana Maharshi

translation by Shankar



Mary and neo, compassion/undoing beliefs;

Hi Neo, you responded to my post re beliefs and I appreciate your
invitation to respond to yours.

Yes, people should be kind to one another. Because many or most are
not does not change this. People should not murder each other. Because
some do does not change this.

Perhaps the problem lies more in the strong attachment to the belief

This is the crux of the matter...this attachment to the belief. I,
myself, am attached to so many because in my mind people and things
should be a certain way and I suffer when they are not. I'm slowly
undoing this bondage of mine through Byron and ACIM. Anyway, here it

How attached are you to your belief that people should be kind? How
do you think and behave around people when they are not kind and you
believe that they should be kind? Are you judging them, trying to
change them, feeling sorry for them, feeling superior to them because
you practice kindness? Are you frustrated when your efforts to
change their behavior meet resistance? (The Course, by the way, says
that there is nothing you can do to change the world; the script has
already been written.) Are you not being unkind in your mind when
you judge people as unkind? (rhetorical questions, just for your

And who would you be, Neo, if you did not hold that belief that
people should be kind when they are not? What would you be like?
More peaceful, less frustrated, less disappointed, more accepting and
loving, more kind perhaps? I think that that is how I would be if I
drop my belief that people should be kind and I clearly see that is
not the case in this world .

or perhaps the belief that we should force people to be kind to one
another. If they do not want to then I suppose that is their free

Yes, if they choose to be unkind, do you really accept that? It's
their free will.

The emotions you
mentioned are not there if someone is unkind.

Isn't the above just another belief?

What do you extend to someone when he extends love to you?
the Course says an attack (unkindness) is a call for love.
What do you extend to someone calling for love?
Seems like you can't get around love.

Byron Katie says if you want others to be kind, be kind yourself.
You do it. Stay out of their business. She says there are three
kinds of business: yours, theirs, and God's.

What is there is
compassion for both the attacked and the attacker as they both suffer.
It does give an opportunity to point out how attack is harmful to both
and to all.

When you point out to someone else his shortcomings, you are
attacking. If you want attacks to stop, you stop. You be the

Actually my answer would be yes. It is an opportunity to love and be

Again I would have to say no. Kindness flows naturally from love.

Who I am is independent of any beliefs.

And who is it that holds these belief that people should be kind?

It seems I have answered all your questions the opposite of what you
expected which I find interesting.

I posed Byron's question in my previous post:

"Can you think of one good reason that is not stressful (or another
negative emotion) to hold on to the belief that people should be kind when
they are

Are you telling me that it does not bother you in the least that
people are unkind when you believe that they should be?

Would appreciate your further thoughts.

Thank you for the opportunity, Neo.

Neo, I used the belief- People should be kind- just as an example.
But you can do the same inquiry about any belief. examples: I
should have gone to college. Nondualists should be thoughtful, kind,
spiritual. My father should have been more supportive. and look at
all the beliefs that we had as we talked?


Dan, attacking personality;

When I attack my own personality,
it attacks me back by returning
to haunt me.

When I get tired of my personality
winning, I attack others' personalities.
That distracts me from my own personality,
and allows me to believe I'm enlightened
or whatever.

It doesn't matter if I'm a guru or
a list member, the activity
of attacking personality can
be seen for exactly the distraction
that it is.

When living beyond personality,
there is nothing to attack.
There is only That beyond description.
Living as That, there is nothing

Nothing said on this list will
change that fact, one way or



Karma happens now. As I attack I am being attack.
As I love I am being love.



neo and Tim, Who am I;

...It has been said that this entire area of religion and spirituality is
a mass delusion that we create because we cannot handle death, total
non existence.

I really do not know what we are.

Your honesty stands out like a sparkling gem, and I love you for it.

I do not know what I am either. For a long time, I tried to figure out
what I was. Then suddenly it hit me... IT DOESN'T MAKE A BIT OF DIFFERENCE

The fact that *you are* is utterly indisputable. Also, the fact that
*whatever you might be, that is precisely what you are* (silly though it
may sound at first) is also totally indisputable. It doesn't matter *what*
you are, it matters only *that* you are.

Anyone who claims to know what they are is lying. Fancy-schmantzy
verbalizations like "what we are is beyond the mind" are unnecessary, and
heap yet more unnecessary garbage upon the simple and indisputable fact

Can you see the beauty in this simple thing? I AM EXACTLY WHAT I AM. Can
you see how trying to *define* what you are immediately obscures the simple
beauty of that fact?




You are the One, Neo.
You are the one defining deep sleep
and consciousness.
You imagine yourself as someone who
is subject to deep sleep, someone
who notices consciousness in one
situation and not in another.
Who is the one who defines
deep sleep, consciousness,
and the "subject" who experiences
different states?
That One is not in any state or
Know/be the One that thou art.
There is only That.
That is not something that
is in one state and not
in another.
Within That, all states and
conditions arise.
That itself has not a state
and is conditionless.
That art Thou.
All this is That.
There is no That
to be seen or understood
Not to be seen or comprehended,
no where known,
That is self-nature,
self-evident but ignored
when caught up in ideas,
states, and things.



Tim, I am That I am;

I have always been what I am, I am what I am now, and I will always be what
I am.

Defining what I am is of no importance. I do not know what I am, I cannot
know what I am, nor do I care to know what I am. It is enough to know that
I am.

Certain sages tell me it is important to know what I am not. But how can I
know what I am not, when I do not (and cannot) know what I am? These are
only opposite sides of the same coin. Since I do not know what I am, I do
not know what I am not, either.

I only know *THAT* I am. I know that I have always been what I am. I know
that I am *now* what I am. And I know that I will always be what I am.

There is no more wish to try to figure out what I am. Why waste time in
frivolous pursuits such as this? Nor is there a desire to find out what I
am not. Knowing what I am not makes sense only in the context of knowing
what I am, and I do not and cannot know what I am.

Again, I am what I am, I have always been what I am, and I will always be
what I am.

What more need be known?

Love to All,


Greetings Tim...

Well said! And well calculated. Well thought-out. Well-realized!

It is my observation that 'intellect' is not necessarily the dry well
that it is often characterized as being. Your present shared
deductions show this brilliantly.

I see that there are essentially two _assumptions_ which are
operative in the realm of Being, as it is observed by individual
self-awareness; this is how I categorize these two realms:

Catagory _1: (The most common, and socially rewarded assumption) "I
am... hypothetical". This living as a 'hypothetical' leaves open the
possibility to always 'become' something better. Seekers take pride
in positioning themselves in this category; there are several reasons
why this category is attractive.

Living as a 'hypothetical' is seen as surrender to the judgements and
values of other people; essentially, by 'not knowing' what one is,
yet expecting to discover 'what one is', one is denying that they are
'anything' which would offend others. "I am nothing" is intuited to
be the highest position to take, by those who carry the value which
states that self-deprecation is the same as humility.

Only if humility is valued over arrogance, will one establish oneself
in humility. It is obvious that this dichotomy is a 'duality',
carrying an either/or choice to be made. Thus, one who devalues
arrogance, will value humility, and seek to appear humble. That game,
if it is being played, is obvious to everyone except the one who
seeks to gain social acceptance or fame, by playing that game.


Catagory _2: "I am real" (as opposed to 'I am hypothetical'). "I am
real" is a great gift to give yourself or to anyone. "I am real" is
the first step toward self-responsibility; "I am real" gifts one with
the actual fruits of wisdom AND folly. "I am real" allows
accumulation of wisdom from both study and error.

The 'hypothetical' leaves open the back-door of endless calculation,
as an escape-route from having to bear the consequences of acts
committed. Every changing condition redefines 'who' the hypothetical
is; not only that, but every inner mood or 'state' of the
hypothetical is in service to this same endless racket of
rationalization. 'Letting oneself off the hook' is not the same as
having compassion for oneself; it is instead, a way of staying free
of both responsibility AND wisdom.


Several wise persons have observed: "We learn only by suffering".
What is not understood is that the word 'suffer' is synonymous with
the word 'experience'. The wise persons actually observed, "We learn
only from experience". I will point out that only a 'real' person can
have experience; the 'hypothetical' has only the experience which the
current 'version' is having, and all that it takes to avoid wisdom,
is to switch 'identities' in midstream. "I was doing so well until
you said that", means that identity of 'on the way to attainment'
becomes 'failure BECAUSE OF' a changing condition.

The ability to switch identities mid-course is the escape-route from
actual self-awareness, as well as from having to identify as a
self-made failure. This identifies the root of the 'blame-game' and
shows how resentment is _in service of_ remaining in the category of

It is interesting to observe how escape from embarrassment, is also
certain escape from actual self-awareness.

Tim, your statements, as you have posted them, reveal the true
comfort which comes from actually not knowing, and knowing that there
is 'zero likelihood' of every having this (nonexistent) knowledge.
I applaud your generosity and courage in sharing this with me. It is
my opinion that you have shared true knowing.

Awareness is, awareness continues.

If you have no face, who can say that what they see, is a mask?

==Gene Poole==


Mary and Dan;

...as I intellectually understand it, to the ego there is death, so
yes it fears non-existence. In Reality there is no birth or death.
I'm no help because I cannot speak with authority (experience). That
is why the Course is my path right now. It slowly, gently is helping
me to let go of fears, big and small, so I can be open to the
experience of peace.

It's interesting to note that a few years ago, my friends and I
picked up the Ouja board (sp?) and after some yes-no questions and
answers, I asked what am I supposed to do in order to learn to love
unconditionally. What was spelled out was LET GO FEAR NOW. It
freaked me out.

Hi Mary.
I offer a question about the
approach you describe.
My question is simply posed
as a possible way to view this,
and if it doesn't fit for you,
please disregard it.
The question I have here is
whether taking the Course
as an authority about the nature
of Reality really can lead to Reality.
What results is a position
about reality that is
accepted on faith, rather
than coming from One's
own awareness and experience.
I question whether there can be
a position about Reality, because
for me Reality is self-evident
and positionless. I do hear in
what you say some indication that
you see this in the same way, which
is why I'm raising this question.

As I see it, the essential thing
is beginning from who one is,
from the truth one is.
So, for me, making a course into
an authority runs the risk of
diverting from the truth One knows
"in One's bones," that is, One's own
self-evident nature.
Following belief is inevitable
when taking a Course as a means to the truth,
including the belief that the Course can help
you end belief and that this will be good.
So, if you're right that ending belief is useful,
the only place to begin is now and here - and
that would seem to include ending the belief
that a course can be constructed to take you
from here to there.

Rather than accepting the idea that Reality
is no-birth, no-death, one might question
what is birth, what is death. Who is it
that understands self as having been born
and going through death? These kinds of
questions, in my humble opinion, are answered
by the One who formulates the view of reality.
That One isn't given by a course, isn't
presented by written material, although
written material may serve as a pointer.

I hear you saying you feel pointed in a direction.
When, except now, where, except here, is that
direction fulfilled? Beyond the assumption of
a here and now, what is timelessness?

For me, these questions have been fruitful.
I certainly respect your own ability to
provide the light to steer your own course.


neo, Gloria and Kristi, loss of beliefs;

... I wonder if all spiritual belief
systems are a form of mass psychosis to ease the fear of death.

A change occurred with me this morning related to some conversations
on belief systems. My belief system now is in disarray. The only truth
I know is that I exist. I see no way out of this position and am not
going to adopt a belief system because it is happy.

Does this make sense?

Yes, of course. How does it feel to drop all your beliefs?

Dear Glo:

I don't know about Neo, but this has been on my mind much of late and so I'm
going to intrude. I found that it is possible to give up all beliefs in a
quite pernicious way....I have been living with what amounts to a no-belief
system for quite some time...and I find it frightening, confusing and quite
horrible actually. I make a distinction between the no-belief awareness that
arises from centeredness and at-peaceness and the garden variety of "I don't
know what I believe, I don't know how to evaluate this situation, I don't
know what to do!!!" that is pure hell. I hope this is a phase I am moving
through....like molasses, and fortunately it gives way from time to time,
and reveals the other no-belief state that is heaven. (Seems to me to be
heavily mediated by hormones, PMS sort of stuff too.)

I was once a very clear person, knew exactly what I believed and had a
principled belief system that rarely let me down, i.e., I also "knew" what
to do....that didn't mean it always worked out, but I didn't suffer from
confusion. Confusion, primal confusion, is HELL.

Maybe this hell is the fear I've heard described that accompanies the
surrender of non-useful belief systems. Or maybe, as someone posted from the
Dalai Lama, surrender without giving up your values. I have found this a
tricky path. I'm not talking hear about basic values, like honesty or truth
or decency, yada, yada....or maybe I am. I work in an environment that is
VERY political and everyone has an agenda that is never clearly on the table
and it NEVER has to do with the project or the work....it always has to do
with jockeying for position relative to some person in power in the
political structure of the Tribe. I find this a very trying environment to
work in. Previously, I would have just said this is no place for me! But, in
my situation it's the only job around.....the Tribe is the only employer
around.......so I have to try to cope if I want to stay near my children.

So, if anyone wants to talk about belief systems....or giving them up...and
has had experience with confusion and doubt that accompanies this....I'd
sure like to hear about your experience and how you handled it......

For ACIM people, maybe you can help me out here.....I have discovered that
in some environments accomodation, kindness, helpfulness, etc. is
interpreted as weakness and NOT respected. The ability to wheel and deal is
highly respected...and the capacity to take a stand and play the game and
"destroy" whatever is in your way gains currency and commands respect and
attention. Without those two commodities, respect and attention, you are
disposable duff, to be used up and cast aside at will.....laughable matter.
I am struggling with ACIM lessons in this environment. (For those indisposed
to ACIM substitute whatever terms you like.)

Non-dual thought patterns or interactivity predicated on decency, direct
communication, honesty, sensitivity...etc. the hallmarks of honor to
me....simply don't work in some environments where the values are on
secrecy, position, status, etc. Or rather I would say....they do work....but
they take implementation in such a fantastically patient way, and the
ability to ride out so many waves that are so threatening, like losing your
job. I think I have picked a path that may be beyond me. Sometimes I wish I
could just employ what I know is in me....the ability to wheel and deal and
slice and dice.....but when I get to that point, I just can't go through
with it. I suppose it's fair to say the struggle is with energies within
me.....and my external life is simply symbolic of that.....but I am finding
it very difficult today.

I encountered many of the same issues in my divorce and custody
situation....but I found, ultimately, that retiring attack as a mode...or
even disposing of the belief that attack had any value...eventually
worked...although I watched alot of things happen around my children that
were intolerable and unacceptable. Accepting the unacceptable....and being
only trusting......even when there was little cause to trust.....has laid a
foundation in which I believe my ex will not interrupt my contact with my
kids. (BTW: for those of you have followed some of this "story", my ex went
to jail last month for battering his current wife. He spent his 50th
birthday in an orange jumpsuit. Oh Happy Days! Down, girl! I positively
delighted in my own delight....shame on me.....LOL....and I had the kids for
a whole week...it was Wonderful!!!! and the powers that be, school etc, got
to see that the kids do much better when they're with me......maybe I will
win this "battle" in the long run, through infinite patience.......but I
think a few lawyers and some thousands of dollars would be quicker.......but
what would my kids learn if I "destroyed" their father????? Questions for
sages. I will never know if I have done the right or the wrong thing. True
to form my ex plea bargained down to disturbing the peace. I don't think he
will ever get it that he has a problem)

And part of my problem may be that I just don't have good sense of when to
turn the other cheek and when to fight. Is there ever a time to fight? ACIM
folks, what say you here?

Having NO belief system, or switching back and forth between them, is NOT
the way! I don't think anyone actually lives without a belief system. Living
in Awareness and in the present moment is to transcent belief systems....but
it does not suggest the absence of a belief system....it does suggest a
belief system that is supple, responsive, and naturally adapted to the
personality that abides through it....

Love, Kristi

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