What is Nonduality
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contributed by Ben Hassine
The unitive and no-self states, nonduality culture, and ego crap
from the notebooks of Jerry Katz
The unitive state is the state of oneness
with our true self. It can be achieved. The no-self
condition is known when the unitive state is seen as the final drama and it falls away leaving
nothing. There is no bridge from the unitive to the no-self state. No practice gets us there.
Whenever a teaching sounds like instruction
or gives you something to do, such as
Nisargadatta's "follow the I am," or Ramana's, "find out who questions," these come from the
unitive state and help a person achieve the unitive state. A minute later Nisargadatta may say to
someone else that there is no "I am." Or Ramana may say there is nothing to question. Those
statements come from the no-self disposition. The unitive state can be achieved and taught through
inquiry. But the no-self condition can't really be spoken about; the master can only function, that
is, be who they are, or say a few meaningless words, or point to the no-self condition.
~ ~ ~
Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry
water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. The
rituals would now be understood in a new way. Bernadette Roberts said that in the end all she was
left with was Eucharist, the recognition that there is only Christ: Christ is wine, Christ is
bread. Christ is everything. She continued to go to church. Rituals are continued even after the
no-self condition becomes known. It is a matter of living life in a way that is agreeable.
~ ~ ~
The true Tao is beyond experience. It is the
no-self. The Tao that can be spoken is the unitive
state tao. There are things we can experience, gain, attain, teach, and talk about. That's all
unitive state stuff. Beyond that we can't talk or know, because the talker and knower are gone.
~ ~ ~
Some people have tremendous gifts of
communication and influence. Those gifts are separate from
realization. There must be all kinds of tremendously wise realized people who never speak of their
knowings. They're not teachers, gurus, artists, or poets.
People are in awe of genius and probably
should be, but to be in awe of realization or
enlightenment is a hindrance. For example, you can be in awe of someone who is a hyped-up,
dazzling, charming speaker on the subject of getting rich in real estate, but it's a hindrance to
be in awe of the reality that you can buy a house and make a profit from it. There has to be
separation between the speaker and what they're talking about. Buy the steak, not the sizzle, is
what I'm saying.
~ ~ ~
I think it does boil down to being alone in
our rooms and dealing with who we are. Reading all
these nondual people is interesting and important but secondary, in my opinion. It's not good to
get swept away in the culture of nonduality/Advaita with all the personalities and the things
they're doing. The culture consists of a lot of intelligent people with strong personalities. Big
deal. The only way to survive the culture is, like I said, to focus on the steak, the meat, and not the sizzle
or the flambe or whatever. The meat is what you know about yourself to be true.
~ ~ ~
I don't think the ego crap ever goes away:
the reactivities, the heartbreaks, the anger, the
problems that were never dealt with, the psychological knots never undone, the fears and anxieties,
the need for approval, and all that crap. I don't think it goes away once and for all. It arises.
Like a surfer on your board you see it arising like a distant wave and you call, "Outside!" Like an
experienced surfer you know the wave and let it rise, roll, and turn into foam on the shore.
Sometimes you ride the wave for awhile, feeling joy or pain, and sometimes the wave goes by you
leaving you sitting on your board. And sometimes you wipe out badly and need help getting back
on your board. If someone says they feel absolutely no emotion, no reactivities, absolutely no
arisings at all, why did they even bother to tell you? Something must have arisen, for chrissakes.
~ ~ ~
The only way for me to sit in my room and
deal with who I am, is to allow everything to be and to
spend as little time as possible trying to figure out what's wrong or what went wrong. I really
don't have a technique. Just try to see the problem.
~ ~ ~
--from the notebooks of Jerry Katz
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