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#3165 - Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
In this issue a book review by Rodney Stevens, a response from Edward Plotkin regarding the interview with Ken Wilber printed in issue 3161: http://nonduality.com/hl3161.htm; hsing-Shang quotes Andrew Cohen on ego and provides useful comments.
ASK THE AWAKENED: The Negative Way
by Wei Wu Wei
Reviewed by Rodney Stevens
Wei Wu Wei--a Taoist term which translates as "action that is non-action"--was the pen name for Terence Gray, who was born to a prominent Irish family in 1865. He died in 1986, having written eight books in fairly quick succession. Ask the Awakened is a sterling introduction to the author and his works.
Like most of his tomes, this one is a pithy hodgepodge of poems, essays, paragraphs, and commentaries. He draws from such sundry sources as Taoism (particularly the teachings of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu), Buddhism (The Diamond and Lankavatra Sutras), and Zen Buddhism (as taught by Hui Neng, Hui Hai, and the marvelous Huang Po).
The book takes its theme from Hui Neng: "From the beginning, not a thing is." For Wei Wu Wei, everything--your thoughts, your coffee cup, the manifested universe, etc-- are nothing less than sheer awareness. Some other names that he uses are "suchness," "impersonal subjectively," and "Consciousness itself."
Wei Wu Wei's prose can be hard going; for he had a succinct and quizzical way of expressing himself. But rarely is his writing impenetrable. A repeated reading of some phraise or observation will likely provide any sincere reader will superb insights. And more often than not, the author is radiantly clear, e.g., "Realization is a matter of being conscious of that which is already realized," "All comparison is based on memory," and "As long as anyone tacitly accepts Time either as really existing, or even as the basis of consideration, he is only concerning himself with objectivity."
Kudos to Sentient Publications for producing such a fine edition of this trade paperback. The spine is strong, the text is crisp, and the layout is inviting. Note: Sentient also has published Wei Wu Wei's The Tenth Man: The Great Joke, another penetrating assemblage of essays, epigrams, and commentary. Alas, the the printing isn't as sharp and as uniform as the reviewed work.
ASK THE AWAKENED can be ordered directly from the publisher (http://www.sentientpublications.com/catalog/ask_the_awakened.php) or at the following Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Ask-Awakened-Negative-Wei-Wu/dp/0971078645
Rodney Stevens lives in Columbia, South Carolina, and realized his true nature through the works of John Wheeler. Stevens can be contacted for talks and workshops at: [email protected]
Edward Plotkin responds to a Q and A between Salon.com and Ken Wilber"
Jerry, perhaps Ken Wilber is confused, too!
(Salon.com)What do you think of the New Age writers who see a
link between mysticism and the weirdness of quantum physics?
There have been popular books, like "The Tao of
Physics" and "The Dancing Wu Li Masters," as well
as the hit film "What the Bleep Do We Know." They point
out that reality at the quantum level is inherently
probabilistic. And they say that the act of observing a quantum
phenomenon plays a critical role in actually creating that
phenomenon. The lesson they draw is that consciousness itself can
shape physical reality.
Ken Wilber: They
are confused. Even people like Deepak Chopra say this. These are
good people; I know them. But when they say consciousness can act
to create matter, whose consciousness? Yours or mine? They never
get to that. It's a very narcissistic view.
author, The Four Yogas Of Enlightenment: The question regarding
physical reality is flawed in the sense that nowhere,
nor ever, has anyone found or discovered reality.
What could reality or matter be, independent of an
That which we
call matter or reality is 'made concrete' by consciousness. What matter
is prior to consciousness is unknowable. Consciousness precedes
matter. Nondual awareness occurs when we no longer divide our
consciousness into subject and object, and perceive inner
projections as outer reality. Reality has no existence
apart from consciousness, nor can consciousness itself be
Chapter 2 extract, The Four Yogas Of
Words are representations constructed in consciousness in an attempt to impose order on perceptions, and not some immutable sound represented reality. For instance when we say the word chocolate, the sound is only a representation in consciousness of chocolate, and not the substance itself. Various languages represent chocolate with different sound units, with no one language having priority, and neither the sound nor the spelling are an inherent aspect of the substance chocolate. The experience of chocolate is assembled by the senses in union with appearance and emptiness. The experience is empty because it cannot be ascertained that that which is assembled in consciousness is identical with the object from its own side.
All of our representations occur
within a closed system of perceptions received and interpreted by
the senses. Waves of bounced radiation from the world of external
objects are received, analyzed and reconstructed by
consciousness. After this process is repeated innumerable times,
consciousness forgets that these reconstructed reflected waves
are not the external objects themselves! In a relative sense we
can perceive the external world; in the ultimate sense we cannot
know exactly what the external world is.
Chapter 3 extract, The Four Yogas Of
From the point of view of the meditator reality does not arise independent of consciousness. The bright light of consciousness does not arise within the body or mind. The body-mind and apparent world arise within consciousness. It is not that you as the egoic person are suspended in time and space apart from the divine, or God as some sort of miraculous, but separate, non-spiritual, animated conglomeration of physical matter. It is not that you are merely viewing the world; you are being the world, as well. When discursive reasoning comes to an absolute standstill and awareness no longer moves from the well of infinite stillness, you will experience for yourself the nature of the truth of your own being. That which is witnessed is the subjective point of view projected as though it were outside of, or beyond the consciousness of the viewer, or witness of consciousness. When consciousness no longer divides itself into apparent subject and object, consciousness resides as the witness of apparent reality.
You as the witness of consciousness never really capture reality unmediated by your particular perceptive apparatus and beyond the confines of your unique vantage point. What is erected within the confines of the skull and consciousness is perceived and witnessed within consciousness as both internal and external reality.
Chapter 5 extract, The Four Yogas Of Enlightenment ©
We are never truly functionally attached to the objects,
conceptions and perceptions in consciousness. The
egoic self arises as a feeling of separation or difference in
consciousness. When we falsely perceive separation or difference
between consciousness and the objects, conceptions and
perceptions in consciousness, we recoil into dualism. We believe
we are really looking out at reality, rather than being that in
which apparent reality arises. The illusory separation in
consciousness, of consciousness into apparent subject and object,
is the root cause of suffering.
Mahamudra: The Quintessence of Mind And
The first Bhavanakrama elaborates on the nature of self.
Meditate upon the nonselfhood of all things, which are comprised of the five psychological aggregates, the twelve sense formations, and the eighteen realms of elements. Ultimately, apart from being manifestations of the mind, these aggregates, sense formations, and elements do not have an independent reality. No object of attachment can exist, as the essence of reality itself is non-existent. Their reduction to particles and finally to infinitesimal proportions will show this. Determining reality in this manner, one should contemplate that from phenomena, childish sentient beings have mistaken the mind's manifestations for external reality in much the same way as a dreamer holds his dreams to be true. Ultimately, all these are but manifestations of the mind.
foregoing may be of little benefit to those who have not
experienced nondual awareness, hopefully it will be of interest
to many on the path who have experienced satori.
The Four Yogas Of Enlightenment:
Guide to Don Juans Nagualism and Esoteric Buddhism ©
There is a profound contrast between the
enlightened perspective, which is the absolute, universal, and
impersonal view of the Authentic Self, and the unenlightened
perspective, which is the relative, separate, and personal view
of the narcissistic ego. It is literally the difference between
heaven and hell.
When I speak about ego, I am not using the
term in the psychological sense, which usually refers to what we
could call a self-organizing function in the psyche. In an
enlightenment context, the word ego refers to something else
altogether. Ego is the deeply ingrained, compulsive need to
remain separate and superior at all times, in all places, under
all circumstances. In contrast to the inherent freedom of the
Self Absolute and the fearless passion of the Authentic Self, ego
is experienced as an emotional quagmire of fear and attachment.
It is the part of you that has no interest whatsoever in freedom,
feels victimized by life, avoids anything that contradicts its
self-image, is thoroughly invested in its personal fears and
desires, and lives only for itself. Ego is an anti-evolutionary
force of powerful inertia in human natureattached to the
past, terrified of change, and seeking only to preserve the
Ego is the one and only one obstacle to
enlightenment. If we want to be free, if we want
to be enlightened, we have to pay the price. The great wisdom
traditions have always told us that the price is ego death, and
in evolutionary enlightenment it is no different: if the
Authentic Self is going to act through us as the uninhibited
expression of evolution in action, then our attachment to ego must
- Andrew Cohen
Regardless of the man, -Andrew Cohen- what
has been said "hits the nail on the head". The core of
the ego is Uniqueness. Man need not to do anything to become
enlightened except to abandon comparisons -with others or with
his changing conditions. If this happens, the way is wide
open to enlightenment and everything follows automatically.
The article discussed two aspects; the first is SEPARATE the
second is SUPERIOR. Why these two aspects? Separate, means that
man is alone, he has to depend on himself to survive, earn a
living and function, so he depends on his qualities i.e. his
intelligence, resourcefulness, health, money, power,
relations and so forth; forgetting totally that Man is connected
and is being cared for. The second aspect is Superior, which
means that man has to be better that others in order to survive,
from which springs ambition - even to continue living is
considered an ambition- and competitiveness - even for a
drop of water to drink- with its struggle.
Why I said this article "hits the
nail on the head"? I said this because, to become
enlightened or ego less or no-mind or surrendered does not
mean that you will live stagnantly, like a moron or a zombie or
headless. This is the major objections by all seekers for
truth when they say "How can I live and continue to
function without my ego?"
The main defect in the article is he never mentions "HOW", show a way out, a path a road; or it might not be a defect, because every man has his own way to follow, according to his own make up. All paths concern "HOW", if one does not accept the basic premise - the ego has to go, and the ego rests on Superiority and Separateness- and recognizes it as absolutely true fact, then all man's endeavors are futile and useless.
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