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#1923 - Thursday, September 16, 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
Chapter VIII: Common Sense and the Testimony of Others
The Limitations of Common Sense
Common sense relies upon the testimony of other living beings, or of man-made adjuncts to the sensory faculty, in order to prove the independent existence of objects. It takes for granted, moreover, the independent existence of the living beings, or the mechanical devices, upon whose testimony it relies. Against the commonplace view, in total opposition, stands the metaphysical, according to which the idea that objects exist independently of their being perceived, whether they be animate or inanimate, is illusory.
Now we need not, and indeed we cannot, disregard the canons of common sense in the purely human situations to which they apply. But if, as this Method postulates, we would become centered in the immutable self instead of living on a periphery and falling prey to whatever affects our person, we must adopt a position that will enable us to view with complete objectivity all the aspects of our experience: in this way alone can we discriminate between its transient and its imperishable sides. Such a view is not to be had excepting from the vantage-point of consciousness.
The Attribution of Life to Other Bodies
I have just now made a passing reference to animate and inanimate bodies, between which no certain distinction can always be made. The senses as such meet solely with insentient matter; and the principle of life and the consciousness can never be the object of perception.
Other embodied beings seem to exist only when we ourselves seem to be embodied. Embodiment is experienced in that states of waking and dreaming. These staes are not permanent: they come and go in consciousness. The experience of the one corresponds exactly to the experience of the other, both being the products of mind. If the imaginary bodies we encounter in dreams are endowed with life and consciousness by the dreaming subject, so also, by the waking subject, are those we encounter in the waking-state. Thus the habit of attributing life to bodies goes hand in hand with extroversion; and the notion of a living organism is nothing but an objectification of the principle of life in terms of the senses.
Conclusion: A Means to Rising above the Commonsense Outlook
Just as we cannot gauge the exact color of objects if we alway wear tinted spectacles, we cannot know the true nature of our individual experience if we persist in viewing it from the standpoint of individuality. Thus the commonsense outlook must be surpassed if we would understand our individual experience aright. Common sense, in truth, is synonymous with ignorance: and ingnorance breeds doubt. As a practical measure, therefore, we would do well to seek the motive of every philosophical question. If its purpose was to elicit an answer tending to establish the validity of the common sense, waking, point of view, we should reconsider the whole problem from the standpoint of consciousness, when it can be seen in its proper perspective, or else it may vanish. Something in us is sure to set up a clamor of "yes, but...," "all the same...," and the rest of its artillery, but that will not deter us: our motive is the quest for truth.
"The great renewal of the world will perhaps consist in
this, that man and maid, freed of
all false feelings and reluctances, will seek each other not as opposites, but as brother
and sister, as neighbors, and will come together as human beings."
Rainer Maria Rilke
~ ~ ~
"Since boredom advances and boredom is the root of all
evil, no wonder, then, that the
world goes backwards, that evil spreads. This can be traced back to the very beginning of
the world. The gods were bored; therefore they created human beings."
~ ~ ~
"In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in
the human kingdom, define or be
~ ~ ~
If all of us acted in unison as I act individually there
would be no wars and no
poverty. I have made myself personally responsible for the fate of every human being who
has come my way.
~ ~ ~
I am neither spurred on by excessive optimism nor in
love with high ideals, but am
merely concerned with the fate of the individual human being - that infinitesimal unit on
whom a world depends, and in whom, if we read the meaning of the Christian message
aright, even God seeks his goal.
Carl G. Jung.
~ ~ ~
"A few great minds are enough to endow humanity with
monstrous power, but a few great
hearts are not enough to make us worthy of using it."
ICQ # 238728919
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 seeking of no-change
Arises out of the seasons whilst
The seeking of change
Arises out of the dull of all else
'til seasons and dull pangs Reveal their common pulse. --Jerry Katz
~ ~ ~
From the obscure book entitled: ____"Go I know Not
Where, Bring Back I know Not What"____ By George
Mills, copyright 1961
When life shouts its great shout, it jars loose one's mask.
I shall never forget how disturbed I was to discover that the universe
makes sense but has no meaning.
Not made for men, the universe makes them.
A subway crowd suggests that the fall of man was horizontal.
I live at the bottom of a well and see the stars by day.
Because God speaks through inspired men, and men through imagined gods, it
is impossible to know who is talking.
One part of the will, a dumpy piece of iron, holds open the door.
Art is a moment of truth, physics a truth of the moment.
The first danger is that man will insult the universe by pretending to
understand it, the second that he will hate it because he doesn't.
Narcissus sums up the history of the gods; today a deity, tomorrow a disease.
There are exercises in which the weight of spirit is used to strengthen the
One is free to believe, but beliefs are never free.
No sensuality equals that of the naked spirit.
Eternity is the working hypothesis of time, time the playful hypothesis of
Science is an Eden from which God was expelled.
Mind can criticize faith only by affirming faith, and faith can criticize
mind only by plagiarizing mind.
Unless reason were something other than reason, it would never accept the
conditions of being human.
A new religion might rise from each agony in each garden.
The lover is wayward, the way of love being its goal.
Man embodies the truth, but does not know it.
Let the sword of Damocles, fighting by itself, wage your battles.
I have shortened my worries from being good to being.
Do not lose today looking for yesterday to excuse tomorrow.
Saluting the perfect, we pledge allegiance to the imperfect.
Life is a treasure spent hour by hour though it remains buried.
There is a greater difference between one and two than between two and the
highest imaginable number.
In tragedy, each part is a pose, the whole real; in life the part is real,
the whole in doubt.
The Bible lacks humor; God, like a gentleman, does not laugh at his own jokes.
Accept what is beyond you, and you will have something to fall back on when
Man, the physician of Being, ruins his career by making love to his patient.
One skepticism pays homage to man's genius for doubt, the other to the
universe's genius for being doubted.
On the shore of Being, all are beachcombers.
As women wear clothes to enhance their nakedness, so saints wear flesh.
As we argued about the universe, I saw it for the first time, out of the
corner of my eye, waiting in the sunlight.
Worship of God the Creator and God the Preserver is two thirds of religion.
Experience is a succession of facts held together by a repetition of values.
Half understanding the universe, one may restore balance by doubling love.
Guilt is a bruise from the inside out.
Find the sanity with which every philosophy must be applied, and it doesn't
mater which philosophy you hold.
Knowing they may take nothing, the religious spend their lives packing for
If every question has two sides, it has one edge, and with that edge I
shave every morning.
One can no more judge the nature of God from what is found upon the shore
of experience than one can the nature of the sea from what is washed upon a
To enjoy doing nothing is to succeed before you start.
Teach students to learn what cannot be taught.
Self-pity is pitiless.
Science is the fiction of nature, fiction the science of values.
A word has no choice but to believe in what it represents; so one comes to
believe in himself.
I am, therefore I think.
The scholar is acquainted with every viewpoint but his own.
Life cannot be taken seriously until the ego that yearns to be its center
is quieted; this is done by not taking life seriously.
Everyone should provide their own parody.
Retirement is being of the world but not in it.
To savor speed, stand still and let the world go by.
Growth suggests that it is better to be sorry than safe.
Leaders are led by their followers.
Society is careful to provide selfish rewards for unselfish devotion to its
The animal that unconsciously invented society to transcend animalness has
discovered that to become human he must transcend socieity.
Society, being parental, gives good grades for poor performance.
I am consoled by the thought that one cannot be tortured beyond what one
I acknowledge God because only more-than-human genius could keep so many
men with so much intelligence confused for such a long time.
Life is held together by conversations to which no one listens.
In the afterlife we shall go on explaining the motives we no longer have.
I get out certain memories like cancelled checks to prove that I have paid
Science is a translation, and we wish we had the original; art is an
original, and we keep asking for a translation.
Words are switches for a train that takes both tracks at once.
~ ~ ~
Meditative Dialog...with G-d
Hello G-d, I'm sitting in front of this computer you invented,
getting my self ready to visit with you. At the moment I am
very aware of my self and various sensations and thoughts running
through my mind, trusting that in some moments I will experience your
Supreme Presence...or some indication of it.
I become aware of my breathing and begin to bring it to a
cadence, so comfortable that it becomes unnoticeable. I sense a
self-clearing happening that allows energy to build up inside me and
my awareness shifts to the environment and all the 'things' that
surround me. Its as if the energy begins to radiate from my being
and becomes the awareness with which I now observe things...as if
my limited sensory perception has converted to a total-self
As I observe the things around me in this greater awareness
begin to lose their thingness. I experience a momentary anxiety,
feeling that the world I was so familiar with is gone. I experience
an infinite emptiness, a void where once there was 'reality'.
I abide in this emptiness knowing what lies beyond, knowing
'emptiness' is the last remaining vestige of sensory perception and
the object/subject nature of duality. I go through this void and
'magically' the "I" and the emptiness disappear. There is only the Allness.
~ ~ ~
The following was posted to the newsgroup,
Gene Poole has spoken of the nonduality of P.K. Dick, as have David
Hodges and Gloria Lee.
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 04:59:30 GMT
From: [email protected]
"The One was and was-not, combined, and desired to separate the
was-not from the was. So it generated a diploid sac which contained,
like an eggshell, a pair of twins, each an androgyny, spinning in
opposite directions (the Yin and the Yang of Taoism, with the One as
the Tao). The plan of the One was that both twins would emerge into
being (wasness) simultaneously; however, motivated by a desire to be
(which the One had implanted in both twins), the counter-clockwise
twin broke through the sac and separated prematurely; i.e. before
full term. This was the dark or Yin twin. Therefore it was defective.
At full term the wiser twin emerged. Each twin formed a unitary
entelechy, a single living organism made of *psyche* and *soma*,
still rotating in opposite directions to each other. The full term
twin, called Form I by Parmenides, advanced correctly through its
growth stages, but the prematurely born twin, called Form II,
"The next step in the One's plan was that the Two would become the
Many, through their dialectic interaction. From them as
hyperuniverses they projected a hologram-like interface, which is
the pluriform universe we creatures inhabit. The two sources were
to intermingle equally in maintaining our universe, but Form II
continued to languish toward illness, madness and disorder. These
aspects she projected into our universe.
"It was the One's purpose for our hologramatic universe to serve as
a teaching instrument by which a variety of new lives advanced until
ultimately they would be isomorphic with the One. However, the decaying
condition of hyperuniverse II introduced malfactors which damaged our
hologramatic universe. This is the origin of entropy, undeserved
suffering, chaos and death, as well as the Empire, the Black Iron
Prison; in essence, the aborting of the proper health and growth of
the life forms within the hologramatic universe. Also the teaching
function was grossly impaired, since only the signal from the
hyperuniverse I was information-rich; that from II had become noise.
"The psych of hyperuniverse I sent a micro-form of itself into
hyperuniverse II to attempt to heal it. The micro-form was apparent
in our hologramatic universe as Jesus Christ. However,
hyperuniverse II, being deranged, at once tormented, humiliated,
rejected and finally killed the micro-form of the healing *psyche*
of her healthy twin. After that, hyperuniverse II continued to decay
into blind, mechanical, purposeless causal processes. It then became
the task of Christ (more properly the Holy Spirit) to either rescue
the life forms in the hologramatic universe, or abolish all influences
on it emanating from II. Approaching its task with caution, it prepared
to kill the deranged twin, since she cannot be healed; i.e. she will
not allow herself to be healed because she does not understand that
she is sick. This illness and madness pervades us and makes us idiots
living in private, unreal worlds. The original plan of the One can only
be realized now by the division of hyperuniverse I into two healthy
hyperuniverses, which will transform the hologramatic universe into the
successful teaching machine it was designed to be. We will experience
this as the "Kingdom of God."
"Within time, hyperuniverse II remains alive: "The Empire never
ended." But in eternity, where the hyperuniverses exist, she has
been killed - of necessity - by the healthy twin of hyperuniverse I,
who is our champion. The One grieves for this death, since the One
loved both twins; therefore the information of the Mind consists of
a tragic tale of the death of a woman, the undertones of which
generate anguish into all the creatures of the hologramatic universe
without their knowing why. This grief will depart when the healthy twin
undergoes mitosis and the "Kingdom of God" arrives. The machinery for
this transformation - the procession within time from the Age of Iron
to the Age of Gold - is at work now; in eternity it is already
"VALIS", Phillip K. Dick, Vintage Books, New York, 1991, pp. 91 - 93.
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