Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression




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#2456 - Friday, April 25, 2006 - Editor: Jerry Katz


Here are a few diverse selections: a link to an interesting book, an excerpt from another book, and a letter sent to an email list. I think the common theme is, as Jeroen says, "We are nature."      

I also want to contribute this quotation from one of my favorite authors, the architect Christopher Alexander: "This is, perhaps, the central mystery of the universe: that as things become more unified, less separate, so also they become most individual, and most precious."    


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Read an excerpt from TO BEE OR NOT TO BEE, by John Penberthy, Illustrated by Laurie Barrows. A quality kids/adults book. A generous, colorful excerpt is available in .pdf at http://www.tobeebook.com/pdf/ToBeeBook_ch1-3.pdf    


Acceptance  

by Peter Cajander   f

rom the book FRAGMENTS OF REALITY, described at http://www.fragmentsofreality.com/index.htm

We often desire acceptance from others. We are insecure about ourself and need confirmation from other people. We want to know what others might think about us. To be more specific, we are looking for acceptance from others by pondering what others may think about us. In most of the cases, the truth is that others are not thinking about us at all. Why is it so hard to rely on ourself? Why do we continuously worry about how we are perceived by others?

Going after illusions is difficult. Attempting to please others by finding out what they might like or think is just as hard. Our society is full of images and “role models” that describe and broadcast how we should be and what is “in” at the moment. The media carefully follows the young, beautiful, and rich and reports on their every move. People consume these illusions in great numbers.

Everybody wants to get his or her share of the “better” life. We want to be associated with and be part of the success—or the illusion—of the greater life. Still, the happiest people are those who find their own way and follow their unique vision. These are the people who set new rules and break the old habits. They create something that has not been done before. They are not afraid to stick out from the crowd.

Following our instinct and finding the inner self is not easy. Since our childhood, we have been raised in the middle of different paradigms, customs, habits, and social expectations. We are expected to behave a certain way and become just like the other people (e.g., successful, famous, etc.). It is hard to realize what it is to be ourself and what we personally want and believe in. René Descartes, one of the most famous Western philosophers, did not accept anything per se. He reconstructed his own perception and understanding of his existence from real metaphysical fact—he might have doubted everything else, but he could not doubt that he existed. From this basis, Descartes started to build his own view of the world, and he only accepted things that he could rationally accept and prove by his own methodology and thinking.

Most of us may not want to be as thorough as Descartes was, but still it is worthwhile to consider and question things around us. Why is a good question to ask for almost everything we do. Often we take things for granted and accept everything at face value. As a result, we have year after year pored over someone else’s thoughts and ideas, and we are filled with those; we cannot distinguish ourselves from other people’s expectations and points of view. Standing on our own feet and being able to know and live in a way that we really feel is the right way is a wonderful thing. When we get the right choices and answers from within, there is no need to look for acceptance from the outside. It is enough to be satisfied by ourself. Doing the right thing from our own point of view is enough. We can do nothing more than our best in all circumstances. And it is enough, provided that we are honest with ourselves. It does not matter how the others perceive or think about us anymore.

When we start to know ourself, we start to appreciate more of our own actions and life. We are thus happier and can also share the happiness together with other people in our lives. Accepting ourselves and being content with our own lives are the first and the most important steps in our existence. We have to take the first step and do the hard work, but then we can also enjoy the rewards, like Descartes in the seventeenth century.

 


 

Nothing but Nature

by Jeroen

Dear all,

I think this enlightenment and spirituality-business is dangerous and
destructive. It leads us away from and destroys what is of vital
importance to ourselves, that is, nature.

What I mean is that anything we experience, is an experience of nature
(or the cosmos). In short, all there is, is nature. Nature is not some
external thing. As you are never separate from nature, nature and you
are one: it is impossible to say where a human 'ends' and
nature/cosmos 'begins'. To ignore/destroy nature is to ignore/destroy
humans, to straightjacket nature is to straightjacket yourself, and
vice versa. Nature is one.

Nature is a (comm)unity and everything that occurs in nature (f.e. a
human being) is a form of that (comm)unity.

So it's not Shiva, Shakti, (para)Brahma(n), God, Allah, Buddha-nature
or whatever other spiritual, mystical, or transcendental concept/path
that was, is or will be making your day: it all is, has been and will
be nature. Hence there is no high and mighty plain of Detachment,
Happiness and Bliss where the Enlightened dwell: every one of us is
here, in/with nature, as nature. And I assure you, we all suffer
tremendously from the wars that are being waged on nature.

So instead of searching for ((y)our) Happiness and ((y)our)
Enlightenment, we/you should better start minding and fighting for
what we are and what we were from the very beginning, viz. nature and
her (comm)unity.

Notice that, I, that is, nature, am being destroyed while you are
searching for Enlightenment. In other words, the search for a Higher
State of Being (Enlightenment, Liberation, Extinction) is one of the
terrors of the contemporary world. We do not need Enlightenment, we
need nature, and we need it now!

Other terrors that haunt our world are the terrorism of the Higher
Being (cfr. Abrahamic God), the terrorism of the Higher
Community/Leader(s) (cfr. states, kingdoms), and the terrorism of the
Higher Reason (cfr. Western Enlightened Reason).

The terrorism of the Higher Being (God) turns humans into creatures of
this Being on a mission to spread His Message and Love. This is a very
tough terrorism as it is purely rooted in the belief in this Being,
whose existence can not be proven or disproven.


The terrorism of the Higher Reason (cfr. Western Enlightened Reason)
turns humans into civilised, developed people who (are made to)
believe in the High/Developed value of democratic states, science,
industry,.. with all the political, economic, industrial,
(neo)colonial, social, cultural, ecological consequences thereof.


The terrorism of the Higher Community/Leader(s) (states, kingdoms)
turns people into subjects, civilians or followers who (are made to)
believe that this Higher Community/Leader(s) is more important than
their own natural (comm)unity.


The terrorism of the Higher State of Being (Enlightenment) turns human
beings into seekers of spirituality/enlightenment who (are made to)
believe that (people with) this Higher State of Being is(are) more
important/valuable than (people with) other states of being.

All these searches for Higher Goals terrorise/straightjacket human
beings. Being ignorant that nature is one, these straightjackets tear
nature into pieces (creatures, civilised/developed people, ..) and
destroy the (comm)unity of nature.

Let's face it: we are not really creatures, civilised/developed
people, labour-units, subjects, civilians, followers or
spiritual/enlightenment seekers. Let's stop terrorising and
straightjacketing ourselves: we are nature!!

The goal of nature is not to be holy/divine, civilised, obedient or
enlightened, but to live and enjoy her/our (comm)unity/ies.

Therefore, we must (learn to) support, conserve and live in/as/with
our natural (comm)unity/ies with love and wisdom, and help stopping
the denial, straightjacketing and destruction of nature/ourself in the
name of some Higher Goal.

The only energy/power humans need is not nuclear or electromagnetic,
but energy/power that is naturally available. The fusion humans need
is not a nuclear fusion, but a fusion of natural/human energies.

I wish us the best of luck!

Greetings,

Jeroen

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