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The Nondual Highlights
Read the new book inspired by The Highlights: One: Essential Writings on Nonduality.
Now at your local Borders bookstore, and through Amazon.com or Sentient Publications:
Sentient Publications: http://sentientpublications.com
"This book weaves the desire for nonduality, the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, self-realization confessions from major traditions, and the nondual perspectives of psychotherapy, education, art, and the movie The Matrix, to present a sweeping introduction to the teaching of nonduality. Diverse, sparkling, classic writings make-up this compilation, which might serve as a foundation to a collection of nonduality books."
by Gary Crowley
In the book, From Here To Here: Turning Toward Enlightenment, a very strong
distinction is made between a me, which is an identity bound by the illusion
of conscious will, and an I, which is the impersonal experiencing of
One analogy given in the book is the following:
There is a scene in the
movie, The Bear, where a little bear cub is about to be
attacked by a mountain lion. The little cub stands on its hind legs in an
attempt to look intimidating. He is very impressed with himself when the
mountain lion turns and runs away. What the little cub does not see is his
10-foot tall, 1200-pound father standing upright behind him.
As in this movie scene,
the same event can have many different stories attached
to it, depending on which perspective it is viewed from. Most human beings move
through the world viewing themselves and everyone around them as a me with
conscious will. It is a world of bear cubs all deluding themselves about the
actuality of their experiencing. The real formative force (the 1200-pound bear)
standing behind each of us is the sum of our inherited genetic and conditioned
tendencies, none of which are within our conscious control.
The natural human
tendency is to ignore all but the most recent and obvious
links in the chain of cause and effect as we encounter each life situation. The
illusion of conscious will is so compelling that it often prevents us from
turning to see the absurdity of our limited view. With a slightly wider
perspective, it becomes quite clear that each event is merely the most recent
link in the chain of cause and effect. It is the culmination of your inherited
and conditioned neurology meeting a life situation.
With understanding, the
larger chain of cause and effect becomes dominant, and
the illusionary me effortlessly fades. All that is required is a few steps
backward and the spiritual seeker can then begin to understand that external
circumstances dont change with an awakening to enlightenment, only the way
that things are seen changes. The mountain lion still runs away, but what
changes is the understanding as to why it ran away.
The awakened might say to
the spiritual seeker, I recognize the weight of the
entire chain of cause and effect that bears on each moment; you recognize only
one link. The awakened recognizes the totality of lifes karma, (karma
literally translates as cause and effect). They have seen through the karma
of tit for tat, this for that, which could only manifest through the lens of
separateness known as the illusion of conscious will.
The more wisdom there is
about the immense weight of the chain of cause and
effect, the less of an illusionary me there is left to block the experiencing
of your already enlightened being.
Have you seen through the
world of the imaginary mes flexing their
illusionary conscious wills? Is there a sense of the entire impersonal karmic
chain of cause and effect, which far outweighs any illusionary me? Is there a
wisdom of lifes inertia that flavors the experiencing of this-here-now in a
way that allows all the illusionary mes to fade into the distance?
Once you turn and see the
1200-pound bear standing in the background of each
moment, the illusionary me, though cute when standing on its hind legs, is
seen for what it is: an illusionary player in the chain of cause and effect.
And then you are free as the experiencing of this-here-now.
~ ~ ~
To read Jerry Katzs review of the book from Nonduality Highlight #2711, please
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