What is Nonduality
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Thanks to all who took the time to respond, especially considering the length of the "not just a book review".
Seems to me that he is simply trying to
manipulate what is,
trying to be mr nice guy. The whole point of nonduality is
that there is no one here that CAN do anything. All we can
do is watch as creation unfolds/is happening. Creation is not only trees
rocks, etc. but thoughts, actions, emotions, et al....
we have no power over any of it. We just like to think we do.....and that we can cause the effect.
''Believing there is a separate entity who needs to do something about his experience, and trying to change the experience is at the root of suffering"
Stephen Wingate...from his book...
..." Dogs, Cats,and Dreams of Spiritual Awakening"
Just a few thoughts,
With smiles and love,
David Carse addresses this issue so beautifully
in his book, "Clear Brilliant Stillness". Highly
recommended for those who dare!
Well, I agree with Tom Huston and I've read
all the advaitic books and teachers ad nauseum and know what they
are saying yet I STILL want to strangle George Bush and Dick
Cheney!!!! Now what???
VERY interesting topic today. It's what my life has
been about for a couple of decades now -- trying to define
Thanks for YOUR writings. I look forward to them as
Thanks for Tom Huston's review of Arjuna's new book - The Translucent Revolution. Before commenting on Huston's remarks, I wish to add my thoughts concerning the content of Arjuna's work. His contention that " we are in an age of spiritual awakening" and that millions from all over the globe are experiencing this. I can best do this by contributing a small bit about my own understanding of this evolutionary phenomenom.
In l980 I experienced a profound alteration in consciousness following a year of deep despair and a sense of disenchantment with life as it had turned out - in spite of the fact that I had been a "successful achiever" and seemingly had acquired the toys that life was alleged to be about (by conditioned mind). I had no previous experience with meditation nor Eastern mysticism but I had had a lifelong - meaning since early childhood - to "know the truth". At that time I had been a licensed psychotherapist for 7 years yet the experience was a switch in polarity which was experienced both physically and mentally. I almost immediately found myself meditating hours daily. Within another few years I was gifted with clairaudiance and began to hear the voice of a seeming disembodied intelligence (as best as I could describe it to myself at the time). A very early message said this:
"If you observe what has come to pass you will see that a Devine Manifestation is being
produced in the space occupied by the so-called "I". It appears to have little relation
to to the identity of 'Jenny" as she sees herself as it is in actuality a World Consciousness -
a Universal or Christ Consciousness which will appear in the collectives of those who can
receive it. It will be a multiple manifestation in many of what previously was manifested in
only a few of the great teachers/masters.
"The individual life will give way to the Universal, so to speak, although in outward
appearances, the individual person remains the same ."
Many other similar messages were given and I commend Arjuna, Tony, Katie and all the others who have tried to "word" the experience. I've been trying that for the last few years and everytime I get about 100 pages, I re-read the stuff - am dissatisfied with how I've said it - and start over. After about 5 start-ups, I decided to just put it off until it comes through with less ego-I still clinging to it.
Regarding the term: Neo-Advaitins and Translucent - part of the problem of trying to "word it" so that others will understand is in the very act of wording - or materializing it so the lower thought system will understand. When the event occurs - the lower thought disappears except where needed in everyday tasks. There is simply a large body of "Knowing" which is the "Self" usually spoken about which is "Information Mass" or the totality of each soul's experience in all it's various lives. Also the lower thought or the flux of the mind-stream is collective and we are all part (as well as total) of that. We are each a devine thoughtform or idea put into manifestation by this Creation Mass and IT has It's own agenda.
At the time of 911 I was told "The events of 9/11 are the beginnings of an era where many souls will move into a higher consciousness range and continue with their process of evolution ---while many more will stay on this plane of the collective as a majority mass hasn't evolved enough yet to handle the current conflict other than in the past ways - i.e. hate with hate, etc. Yet an era of 25,000 years is ending and evolution will transport into the Spiritual 4th Dimension where sanity will rule via profound changes such as........"
So I would say - let's disregard the philosophic debate over labels for various activity for that is simply problems again with "the wording". The term "Translucent" is really pretty great because it is extremely difficult to know (and particularly accept) the fact that in recent years I have begun to just hate having to go out into the public because people actually stare at and oftentimes move too close to me or follow me around in the grocery store and when shopping.
I was told and understood that I now contained a higher vibration and others were picking this up. That eased the problem a little and gave me the understanding that I was "here to serve only and not take any of this too personally"
On page 3, Huston speaks of the "postmodern citizen" as a "sensitive self"...easily offended...frequently victimized...and in constant need of affirmation to boost his or her self-esteem". I would like to suggest that this may be true in many; yet it seems to go with the new territory. It has taken a heap of courage to face the notion that the little i thing now is expected to tell the truth in all circumstances (previously we were burned at the stake for this); and live the truths we have been given. I think Arjuna expresses this in his statement where he asks himself if his new understanding follows into his everyday world of relations, work, etc. Well, I think we who have been gifted with the new awakening are all asking ourselves that question continually. I personally recommend the various 12-Step Programs for they (the steps) are devinely inspired to give us the tools for doing just that. And that one simple program alone is turning out many, many individuals who are awakening to this new evolution in consciousness.
Jenny Munday LCSW
"That may be true, but given what I now know of translucency, I think it's only fair to share a fourth vision of the future that seems the most attuned to the facts at hand."
Potentially habitable planet found
Dear Ones! For
the first time since the recent reception of those rude and
annoying transmissions intermittently beamed our way from somewhere in the
indeterminate vastness, astronomers have finally managed to track down the
strange signal, and found it originating from a gorgeous sand and surf planet in a
system just a bit outside our galactic quadrant and yes -- it is potentially
habitable for us, a discovery those on the Population Council also hale as a big step
in the ongoing search for "Nice places -- not just to visit, but to proudly call
Home!" As some may recall, this Council was formed one day when it was perceived
that there was suddenly more than one of us.
down-side of this thrilling news, however, is that the resident
life-forms on this world are apparently involved in an increasingly accelerated
campaign to render the lovely place uninhabitable, a nuisance that can readily be
neutralized (if we act fast) by the efficient Agents from Stellar Pest & Climate
Control Division. An easily engineered adjustment in planet temperature, for
example, would raise the oceanic water levels temporarily and wash away the land
detritus in no time at all. Once the waters recede during the subsequent mop-up
operation, we would have the whole globe to ourselves.
Dear Ones! This
planet seems to be just the right size for our much-planned and
discussed interstellar expansion, its not too far away for our transports, and
wouldnt it be a shame to let it go to waste? Who knows when another such
opportunity will present itself?
sent by Bob O'Hearn
Nicely written piece. One thing I extracted
from this piece is that
in the march to that actively peaceful and compassionate place of
being non-dual, the revolution of demystification hasn't so much to
do with burning the wise writings of old but with personally
becoming "it" if its relevant. And that is entirely a matter of
personal choices. Personally, I feel that when one lives in a state
of non-duality, then much of those ancient texts (and not so ancient)
can transform from a subject-object relation to one of simply peeling
one's personal onion skins away. Many of those ancient texts can
thus be seen as autobiographical. I've often seen, in my own writing
also, that the walk into being non-dual is always primed for the ego
trap of reinventing yet more duality, often even in the form of what
can be seen as fundamentalist. What is neo in this moment is dated
by the end of this sentence. Reformation is often a moment in time,
which some moments later become re-entrenched in what
the "protestants" rebelled against. What is gorgeous with the vedas
that elucidate non-dualism are their descriptions of the endless
layers of ego's onion skins... and that just like we in the sensory
dimensions of duality compassionately reach out a hand to our fellow
person in hurt, so too are there spiritual dimensions, where "hands"
reach out also. The point of advaitism is to eventually become
those "hands" that are often taken on faith alone if one is an
adherent to a particular religion. Hence, there really is no issue
with a non-dual to the advaitic perspective. The only issue exists
within the ego as it struggles to acknowledge the duality illusion it
has constructed for itself, and many of the Vedas and what sits at
the roots of most religions takes one, step by step, from duality to
non-duality. Most surviving religions and even science have the same
layers of that onion skin as one's personal ego. Einstein often
talked of the fundamental difficulty he had to describe relativity
since his perspective of it grew beyond the classical understanding
of his contemporaries. And then he himself fell into the trap he
criticised others for having, when he encountered the arguments of
Bohr and others plumbing the newer non-classic mechanics of the
uncertainty principle etc. It's not a matter of denying the old
onion skins that were but of going beyond them. Newtonian mechanics
work fine if one wants to drive from
extra-solar sojourn, one would need to go beyond
though without rejecting all that.
There are times in my life where deep devotion to what many might
judge as a fundamentalist. But what I have always noticed is that
when I honestly plunge into that mystery, then I am simply peeling
the onion skins back to where there is very little I and very
much "neti neti," and here there exists no mystery.
I really enjoyed the part of this article that
describes "judgement." If one at the same moment points out
another's entrapment in some space of duality with acknowledging
one's own equal entrapment, then one is not only helping another but
at the same moment reducing one's own ego fixation on duality. In a
sense, this is Christ's teaching also. To love one's neighbor as one
self... to be selfless... cultivates those inner qualities that lead
to the jnana understanding of non-duality.
In the above,
where I wrote "Personally, I feel that when one lives
in a state of non-duality, then much of those ancient texts (and not
so ancient) can transform from a subject-object relation to one of
simply peeling one's personal onion skins away," I'd change "when one
lives..." to "when one wants to live..." Because when one lives in a
state of non-duality, the only point of anything where others or
a "subject-object paradox" are involved has to do with the reduction
of suffering that duality triggers, so that the one entrapped can
truly unravel his or her own mystery. The big problem with
understanding this is often time. An action here... a thought
there... Often, it is difficult to see how one's behavior, even if
considered transluscent, is but another, albeit subtle, cubby hole of
duality. I know a few people, and I include myself in this, who come
upon a stable plateau of something relatively close to non-duality,
only to be bit blind to my own entrapment when relating non-duality
with others. I know many who have found their place of comfort and
instantly criticize any voice which confronts that comfort slightly.
This is often why I feel personally that if neo non-dualism can't
integrate advaitism, then its just another "ism" of one's ego
fixation on duality. There is such a wealth of wisdom in the Vedas
and other texts, if we'd just get beyond the personality issues.
Ashoka, posted on Nonduality Salon
You can't take it too seriously when they put people into groups like translucents, neo-advaitins.
Basically you have an individual sitting at a computer, or at the store, or at work. No one's thinking, "I'm a translucent." When you're on the toilet are you thinking, "I'm a neo-Advaitin"? If your girlfriend just threw you out, you might think, "I'm a jerk." That would be a lot more useful thing to ponder.
These groupings and associated gimmicks, such as testing for levels of consciousness, recognizing that someone is radiating an inner light, judging how often someone uses the word "I", are out of the 60s. They are the mood rings we wear at 54.
You have to like all the packagings of nonduality, though. Me, I'm part of the Neo-Nondualist movement. It consists of everyone in the world and exactly whatever they're doing right now.
Jerry, on Nonduality Salon
I have a few comments about this article. It appears to me that Ken Wilber and some of those who are associated with him enjoy criticizing those who have different opinions and/or ways of experiencing reality. Many of the disciplines that they criticize are not as *intellectual* as Ken and his crew and they especially seem to enjoy attacking those who have not articulated and defined everything that they experience and know intuitively. Wilber's group seems to espouse the strongly held belief that one will not "evolve" to higher "levels" without criticism, fighting, opposition, and judgement unless they are goaded to grow--As if we don't expand our awareness from a sense of inspiration or love or intuition. In my own personal experience, it has always been curiosity, love, and inpiration that have moved me along and motivated me to discover more of who I am.
Concerning Huston's argument that neo-advaitins are all relativists who are "calling back" all criticism and judgement...
"By immediately calling back all criticisms or judgments, the nondual relativist virtually guarantees that he or she abides perpetually in flatland, the spiritual ice rink of the sensitive selves. Liberated from the responsibility of ever having to challenge another, the nondual relativist revels in human relationships that remain smoothly uninspiring. Any impulses to rise up, to change and grow to a higher level of spiritual integrity, are happily nullified on the spot."
I don't believe this is really happening. I believe that many spiritual teachers and those who are aware of the nondual ground of being are very *aware* of all of their judgements and oppositions and they don't attempt to suppress them. It is my experience that awareness of judgement and simultaneous awareness of the absolute automatically takes some of the charge away from the judgements and opposition. Awareness naturally diminishes opposition and brings more and more peace into all situations. I can only think of Ramana Maharshi, who lovingly spoke to each person in a language that he/she could understand, and whose calm, peaceful, and loving example inspired so many of us (including Ken Wilber.) As I said before, impulses to "rise up, change, and grow" come from inspiration, love, curiosity. For me, they never come from being lambasted by someone who believes he is "higher level" than I am.
I honestly don't know what is inside each individual who is "neo-advaita". I know that I have gained different inspirations from many of them, and I also know from my own personal and direct experience that the more I integrate the nondual ground of awareness in each moment of my life experience, the more peaceful and content I become. With that peace and contentment, I seem to have more natural energy and more love towards others. It just seems to grow organically without me "trying" to be loving. The only real effort that I make is to bring more of that "nondual awareness" into more and more moments of my daily life--while typing, washing dishes, speaking with others. If I'm judging another or even lambasting them, I observe myself doing that without trying to manipulate it or drive it away. Awareness itself always changes things and brings more peace into every situation, and the "change" is real, genuine. And, I am sensitive and empathic towards others. That happened naturally too.
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