What is Nonduality
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#1922 - Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - Editor: Jerry
This issue features an excerpt from a newly published book, The Nature of Man According to the Vedanta, by John Levy. This series will constitute the first lengthy quotation of Levy on the internet; there is virtually nothing at present. Also there are quotations from the thoughtful Alpha World list. And there is an installment of In Nonduality Salon.
The Nature of Man According to the Vedanta
by John Levy
from Chapter V: Sensory Perception and the Notion of Objects
At this stage I must define reality, since the term has just now been introduced. Reality I define as that which transcends change... . Analysis of dreamless sleep, in the third chapter, showed this immutable reality to be the self, the self being that single consciousness in which the many and various aspects of objective experience come and go. Now it is true that 'our sensations are the mere masks and symbols of reality.' But having defined reality, I would add that we cannot have an objective knowledge of reality, which for us is identical with non-duality.
How the Notion of a World Arises
Objects as such are not perceived: they exist only as notions, that is to say, they exist when they are thought of and not otherwise. Now we cannot have more than a single thought at a time, although the rapidity with which thoughts succeed one another makes plain men believe the contrary. It follows that the simultaneous existence of objects is an impossibility. But we remember our past notions and it is memory therefore that makes us believe in the coexistence of objects. The illusion of the simultaneous and independent existence of objects gives rise to the notion of a world. In this connection, I would refer the reader to my remarks about abstract thought and generalization...: the notion of a world is a generalization and nothing more.
Conclusion: Sensations as the Words of a Sensory Language
When there is no objectification of consciousness, when in other words there is no sensory perception, what seemed to be an object loses both its sensory and intellectual attributes, remaining as the principle of consciousness in which it seemed to appear. It cannot then be called an object; nor, in reality, was there ever one, for in itself it transcended name and form. I do not mean to say that when a something is cognized, nothing whatsoever is present. When a something is cognized, a something does certainly exist, but not as it appears, for the appearance is determined solely by the percipient and not by the thing in itself. The senses are like so many languages, which express in their own idiom the unobjectified being that is beyond the domain of expression.
You have considered yourself to be a separate
"self" only because of having regarded a
"solid" object with a name, that is the body, as yourself. But in fact the body itself is
nothing but an insignificant, vastly intricate complex of electrical wave-patterns, a
series of rhythmic functions, a throbbing field of energy, and emptiness. What you
actually are, then, is what everybody else is: sentience itself. Therefore, instead of
being a puny self by way of an object, you are indeed everything.
Ramesh S. Balsekar
~ ~ ~
"My life has been one great big joke, a dance that's
walked a song that's spoke, I laugh
so hard I almost choke when I think about myself."
~ ~ ~
"Above the cloud with its shadow is the star with its
light. Above all things reverence
~ ~ ~
) And what greater source of guilt could there be
than the guilt that arises from
finally trying to decide if what you want to do - which seems momentarily and
superficially selfish - is also the right thing to do? How can you tell if youre really
being honest or just trying to talk yourself into dealing with the situation in a way
that meets with your own desires?
(Inspector Lynley) Elizabeth George, For the sake of Elena.
~ ~ ~
"Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any
means at his disposal. Drugs,
alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and
inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort."
In Nonduality Salon
The Highlights of the Nonduality Salon list from between August, 1998 and May, 1999, the period of time prior to the creation of The Highlights.
~ ~ ~
The following was sent to me by someone who came upon the Nisargadatta
portion of my website. I have not included this person's name.
Five years ago, I chanced upon two red, cloth-bound volumes of
That", in a box on the floor in a shabby second-hand bookshop on a
back street in Manchester. At the time, I was looking for "spiritual
food" and had just started investigating Eastern religions.
"I am That" riveted me. I must have read it for
half-on-hour on the
floor before I finally got up with aching knees and went an bought it!
For the next 2 or 3 years, I could not leave this book alone.
use it like a bible, picking it up when I needed reassurance, randomly
picking an interview to read. I would later reflect on the words, and
marvel at the simple and intelligent logic. I would also think a lot
about Sri Nissargadatta, who he was, where he lived, and whether he was
still alive. I photocopied & enlarged his picture from the frontispiece,
and put it up in my room. I treated his books with a reverance, always
keeping them in a special place, washing my hands before touching them.
I had not, until this evening, found any other reference to
Nissargadatta in any encycolopedia or book, and had not discovered
anyone else who had heard of him. Because of this, I feel like I have
had a special relationship with Sri Nissargadatta, like he was been
watching over just me and helping me. The rational part of me of course
explains this as a projection of the inner-guru archetype, but it is
non-the-less real. Now I have discovered him on the internet, this spell is broken.
Can you tell me what became of Sri Nissargadatta after his
book? I have
Do you follow the nath path?
~ ~ ~
Pray Some More
Pray some more for utter oneness with God
Beauty lies in both the Sun and the Setting
Love profound requires not the condition of two
In this union lovers are lost and in letting
the torrential nectar absorb their essence
become mute in the springing Presence.
Can you say anything about this Silence?
Who remains now to pray for utter oneness with God.
Harsha, 1/19/1999 (inspired by one of Tukaram's poems)
~ ~ ~
Thoughts moving with Jerry
I am continuously moved by the authentic ways in which you
express your various internal lenses. At once wise and innocent. It is
good to have such models, and I thank you.
On Alan's list I mentioned the fact that just last weekend
while deep in
an inquiry about "nonduality", "Noosphere" and "Christ consciousness, I
had remembered Bernadette Roberts (whom I had read many years ago). I
had just begun reading her book, when on Monday you began your postings
about her. Isn't Life wonderful!
I am not sure that I'll have much to add to this discussion,
now I am in an amplified listening mode. Still, I wanted you to know
that I am here amongst you, grateful for your and other's inquiry and
I also want to say.. your tribute to your heart-friend-wife is
grace-filled... and your questions are poignant. I am below quoting from
two of your posts. I am wondering if they don't on some level interface.
Perhaps, when the memory.. or the contraction of idea-structure around a
particular identity.. eases, it allows us to commune with the essence of
Love which was and is the *juice* of the relationship. And perhaps, it
is the Awareness of our perpetual resting in that *juice* (as Teilhard
says.. being a cell in the body of God) which is the true communion or
Eucharist (or Home) which the force or intelligence or Consciousness or
Being we might call Christ, is here to awaken and assemble. If resting
in the love, which you and Dolores shared, opens you to an Awareness of
the background of Love we all share.. you have, indeed, been graced with
community of (communion with) no-self. Perhaps, the *paradox of
Just some thoughts..
Christiana (from Jerry)
"After a person dies, their memory remains. When the memory of them
passes, then what? I'm wondering if maybe then, maybe that's when we
truly exist as the no-self. Even then, their subtle influences could be
pushed forth, their genes expressed. We're re-made into later universes.
Wait a minute: suddenly I feel the need for a fifteen minute break of
the nondual kind!"
"Roberts says in 'What is Self?': "As the Eucharist, Christ remains
among us until every human being has been gathered into the divine. As
the All and Everywhere, we do not know where Christ is not, but as the
incarnate Christ we know where Christ IS, and this is the Eucharist."
~ ~ ~
Jan Barendrecht responds to a poem by Melody
> What will be left
> when I give up this search?
> what will I do?
> Who will I be?
Being the witness of all, ever self-absorbed.
Who I am, no one can tell.
> What will be left
> when the seeker's no more?
> How does one live?
> How does one breathe?
There was never a seeker.
It is like forgetting to live in a new house,
not knowing to find the way to the bathroom at night
when there is a power-cut.
Living and breathing pertain to the body.
It is done even while being unconscious.
> What will be left
> when the fear is no more?
> I know what they tell me,
> but how can *I* know?
What will be left is what now seems to be hidden,
Among others because of the fear.
No way of knowing unless you persevere...
> What will be left
> when my body's laid down?
> Will "I" then arise?
> Will some of me remain?
What is independent of body and mind
Cannot be called "I"
"I" looses its meaning when there is no "you"
How can something arise that never was?
> God help me.
> I'm afraid.
> I'm falling away from myself.
> And I don't know where that is.
But I know.
The fear is dependent on one's clinging to life.
The fear is connected to the (unfounded) feeling of loosing.
This is why Lord Yama makes such an excellent company :)
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