Nonduality: What is Nonduality

What is Nonduality

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#2893 - Monday, August 6, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

Nondual Highlights    

Can a statement of radical nonduality refer to God?    

Ibn 'Arabi said, "Tradition has left us only words; it is up to us to find out what they mean." He also said, "The wise man will not allow himself to be be tied to one form of belief." A large point of view is a priceless gift, to be strived for and celebrated.  

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate, and Him we ask for aid: Praise be to God before whose oneness there was not a before, unless the before were He, and after whose singleness there is not an after, except the after be He. He is, and there is with Him no after nor before, nor above nor below, nor far nor near, nor union nor division, nor how nor where nor when, nor times nor moment nor age, nor being nor place. And He is now as He was. He is the One without oneness, and the single without singleness. He is not composed of name and named, for His name is He and His named is He. So there is no name other than He, nor named. And so He is the Name and the Named. He is the first without firstness, and the last without lastness. He is the outward without outwardness, and the inward without inwardness. I mean that He is the very existence of the First and the very existence of the Last, and the very existence of the Outward and the very existence ofthe Inward. So that there is no first nor last, nor outward nor inward, except Him, without these becoming Him or His becoming them.  

Understand, therefore, in order that thou mayest not fall into the error of the Hululis: He is not in a thing nor a thing in Him, whether entering in or proceeding forth. It is necessary that thou know Him after this fashion, not by knowledge ('ilm), nor by intellect, nor by understanding, nor by imagination, nor by sense, nor by the outward eye, nor by the inward eye, nor by perception. There does not see Him, save Himself; nor perceive Him, save Himself. By Himself He sees Himself, and by Himself He knows Himself. None sees Him other than He, and none perceives Him other than He. His veil is (only a part of) His oneness; nothing veils other than He. His veil is (only) the concealment of His existence in His oneness, without any quality. None sees Him other than He - no sent prophet, nor saint made perfect, nor angel brought nigh knows Him. His Prophet is He, and His sending is He, and His word is He. He sent Himself with Himself to Himself. There was no mediator nor any means other than He. There is no difference between the Sender and the thing sent, and the person sent and the person to whom he is sent. The very existence of the prophetic message is His existence. There is no other, and there is no existence to other, than He, nor to its ceasing to be (fana'), nor to its name, nor to its named.  

posted  by Tom to GardenMystics  



"I follow the Way of Love,
and where Love's caravan takes its path,
there is my religion, my faith."

Ibn 'Arabi

"Saints and mystics throughout history have adorned their
realisations with different names and given them different faces and
interpretations, but what they are all fundamentally experiencing is
the essential nature of the mind."

Sogyal Rinpoche

Sogyal Rinpoche, in his work The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
(1992), quotes from many of the world's Great Wisdom Traditions.
Given the richness and radical insight of both Dzogchen and Sufism
it is understandable that he chose to quote the Sufi mystic poet
Jalaluddin Rumi: "O love, O pure deep love, be here, be now! Be all;
worlds dissolve into your stainless endless radiance" (1992, p364).
Like Dzogchen, Sufism uses exquisitely rich metaphors which Dzogchen
practitioners may find both beautiful and insightful as they study
the View. Through a sample of the ecstatic poetry from
Fakhruddin 'Araqi's work, Divine Flashes (Lama'at), we hope such an
opportunity is afforded. Both Dzogchen and Sufism are diamond-like
Wisdom Teachings grounded in the Radical Primordial Reality. The
goal of Sufism is to become the perfect mirror of the Formless
through the purification of the heart. "In Sufism, as in most other
authentic traditions, it is possible to become aware of the
metaphysical transparency of forms and to be able to contemplate the
One in the multifaceted manifold."

"Fakhruddin 'Araqi was contemporary with other giants of Sufism such
as Ibn 'Arabi, Jalaluddin Rumi and Sadruddin Qunawi, men whose
teachings dominate Sufi spirituality to this day. He himself was a
leading light in a period so luminous that its brilliance still
dazzles the eye some seven centuries later.
'Araqi was a Gnostic who spoke the language of love. For him, as for
Sufism in general, love is not juxtaposed to knowledge. It is
realised knowledge. The Truth, which is like a crystal or a shining
star in the mind, becomes wine when it is lived and realised. It
inundates the whole of man's being, plucking the roots of his
profane consciousness from this world of impermanence and bringing
about an inebriation that must of necessity result from the contact
between the heart of man and the Infinite... Thus 'Araqi sees the
phenomenal world not as a veil but rather as a mirror reflecting the
infinite noble qualities and possibilities of Radiant Perfect

The Divine Flashes is especially beautiful as it intersperses poetry
with lyrical prose, often with the former an ecstatic rendering of
the latter. Furthermore, there is a sense in which the Divine
Flashes is a union of the Western and Eastern Schools of Sufism. The
Divine Flashes was inspired by one of Ibn 'Arabi's major works The
Bezels of Wisdom. Born in Spain, Ibn 'Arabi is considered by many
Sufis to be the greatest of all Masters and his writings are revered
as great treasures. Fakhruddin 'Araqi was one of the most preeminent
figures of the Eastern School, which was especially regarded for its
musical and poetic expressions and was enriched by the great
spiritual jewels of the East, including both Hinduism and
Buddhism. "'Araqi was at once a metaphysician of the Ibn 'Arabi
school of Sufism and an exceptional artist of the Persian school of
Sufism (which was to culminate with Jalaluddin Rumi)." Hence in the
treasure, which is the Divine Flashes, we have the infinite vision
of Ibn 'Arabi rendered into the most exquisite Persian poetry,
written in the language of love by the master poet of this
genre, 'Araqi.

Sufi poets in general, and 'Araqi in particular, often choose to
speak of Reality in terms of Love, the Beloved and the lover. In
this usage, Love refers to the Absolute or Essence, the Ground of
Being (Rigpa), whilst lover and Beloved refer to seeker and Sought,
person and God, creation and Creator, etc., respectively.

 Eternally, "there is but One Reality: Love or Sheer Being, which
manifests Itself in two forms, the lover and the Beloved ". The
lover is cast as masculine, the Beloved as feminine. This casting
can be changed at will as the subject matter radically transcends
such differentiation.

Essential dissolution of subject and object, and indeed all
polarities, into a state of union or non-duality is the experience
which is evoked by such poetry, and furthermore, is the goal and
essence of Dzogchen practice, as beautifully revealed in The Six
Vajra Verses, said to be a perfect résumé of Dzogchen Teachings:
'Although apparent phenomena manifest as diversity ---
yet this diversity is non-dual.
And of all the multiplicity
of individual things that exist,
none can be confined in a limited concept.
Staying free from the trap of any attempt
to say 'it's like this', or 'like that',
it becomes clear that all manifested forms are
aspects of the infinite formless,
and, indivisible from it,
are self-perfected.
Seeing that everything is self-perfected
from the very beginning,
the disease of striving for any achievement
is surrendered,
and just remaining in the natural state
as it is,
the presence of non-dual contemplation
continuously spontaneously arises."

The Six Vajra Verses (Quoted in Namkhai Norbu's The Crystal and the
Way of Light)
With such non-dual contemplation arises a clarity of View, as
attested by Sogyal Rinpoche (1992, pp 152-153): "To see directly the
absolute state, the Ground of our being, is the View;....... It is
nothing less than seeing the actual state of things as they are; it
is knowing that the true nature of mind is the true nature of
everything; and it is realising the true nature of our mind is the
absolute truth. Dudjom Rinpoche says: 'The View is the comprehension
of the naked awareness, within which everything is contained:
sensory perception and phenomenal existence, samsara and nirvana.
This awareness has two aspects: 'emptiness' as the absolute, and
appearances or perception as the relative'. What this means is that
the entire range of all possible appearances, whether samsara or
nirvana, all of these without exception have always been and will
always be perfect and complete, within the vast and boundless
expanse of the nature of mind. Yet even though the essence of
everything is empty and 'pure from the very beginning', its nature
is rich in noble qualities, pregnant with every possibility, a
limitless, incessantly and dynamically creative field that is always
spontaneously perfect."
The following collage has been rendered from Fakhruddin 'Iraqi -
Divine Flashes, translated by W. Chittick and P. Wilson, 1982 SPCK.
The authors of this article profoundly thank the translators for
this exquisite work in English, "a close reading of which cannot but
bring the reader to the words of 'Araqi himself:
Before this there was one heart
but a thousand thoughts
Now all is reduced to
There is no love but Love."

The poetry that follows is like an exquisite wine, which benefits
from being consciously tasted and savoured, with a natural pause
between sips
DIVINE FLASHES (Lama'at) - Fakhruddin 'Araqi

The Morning of Manifestation sighed,
the breeze of Grace breathed gently,
ripples stirred
upon the sea of Generosity.
The clouds of Abundance poured down the rain
upon the soil of preparedness;
so much rain that the earth shone with Light.

The lover, then, nourished with the water of life, awoke from the
slumber of non-existence, put on the cloak of being and tied around
his brow the turban of contemplation; he clinched the belt of desire
about his waist and set forth with the foot of sincerity upon the
path of the Search.
The lover desires to see the Beloved with Certainty's Eye, and
wanders a bewildered lifetime in this aspiration. Then suddenly with
his heart's ear he hears a voice;

"The magic spring
that gives eternal Life,
is in your own heart
but you have blocked the flow."

Then the Eye of Certainty opens, and staring inwardly at himself,
the lover finds himself lost, vanished. But ... he finds the
Beloved; and when he looks still deeper, realises the Beloved is
himself. He exclaims,
"Beloved, I sought you
here and there,
asked for news of you
from all I met;
then saw you through myself
and found we were identical.
Now I blush to think I ever
searched for signs of you."

Everyone with eyes sees just such a vision ... but remains ignorant
of what he perceives. Every ant which leaves its nest and goes to
the desert will see the sun, but not know what it sees. What irony!
Everyone perceives Divine Beauty with Certainty's Eye, for in
reality nothing exists but Transcendent Unity;
They look, they see, but do not comprehend.
They take no pleasure in the View,
For to enjoy it one must know
through the Truth of Certainty
What he is seeing,
through Whom, and why.

And so, the lover seeks the Vision in order that he might pass away
from existence; he knocks on the door of non-existence, for there he
was once at peace. There he was both seer and seen, Both viewer and
viewed ... Because nothing in himself. When awakening from that
peace and coming to be, he became the veil of his own sight and was
deprived of Vision.

Know yourself: a cloud
drifting before your sun.
Cut yourself off from your senses
and behold your sun of intimacy.
If this screen ... which is you ... is struck from before your eyes,
the Beloved will find the Beloved, and you will be entirely lost.

 Then you will say:
"By day I praised You
but never knew it;
by night slept with You
without realising;
fancying myself
to be myself;
but no, I was You
and never knew it."

With the Eye of the Heart the lover now sees ---
The Beloved's Loveliness owns
a hundred thousand faces;
gaze upon a different fair one
in every atom;
for She needs must show
to every separate thing
a different aspect
of Her beauty.
Gazing from every angle
on that precious countenance
in Thy face we see our own ---
hence the infinitude of descriptions.

Thus it is that every lover gives a different sign of the Beloved
and every Gnostic a different explanation; every realised one seems
to point to something different, yet each of them declares,
"Expressions are many
but Thy loveliness is one;
Each of us refers
to that single Beauty."

All quotations not otherwise attributed and the collage (Divine
Flashes 2,25,27,5) are drawn from Chittick and Wilson's wonderful
translation and commentaries, in which they have
transliterated 'Araqi's name as 'Iraqi (in other works the
spelling 'Eraqi has been noted). Should anyone wish to pursue
further the topic of this article, the authors, Phil & Ian Brown,
can be contacted through Rigpa Canberra. We wish to thank Lisse
Stutchbury for her valuable comments during the finalisation of this

posted by Bob O'Hearn to GardenMystics

Saturday Night Rapture with Rumi & Orchids ~ by Mazie Lane

"Look at love,
how it tangles
with the one fallen in love.

Look at spirit,
how it fuses with earth,
giving it new life.



Why are you so busy
with this or that, or good or bad?
Pay attention to how things blend.

Why talk about all
the known and the unknown?
See how the unknown merges into the known.



Why think seperately
of this life and the next
when one is born from the last?

Look at your heart and tongue:
One feels but deaf and dumb,
the other speaks in words and signs.



Look at water and fire,
earth and wind,
enemies and friends all at once.

The wolf and the lamb,
the lion and the deer,
far away yet together.



Look at the unity of this
spring and winter
manifested in the equinox.

You too must mingle my friends,
since the earth and the sky
are mingled just for you and me.

Be like sugarcane,
sweet, yet silent.
Don't get mixed up with bitter words.

My beloved grows
right out of my own heart!
How much more union can there be?"

~ Rumi


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