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#3213 - Monday, June 30, 2008 - Editor: Gloria Lee
Nonduality Highlights


(inspired by Hughes Mearns’ famous verse)


As I was walking up the stair
I met a non-dualist who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today—
I wish, I wish he’d go away.

He looked at me with eyes so clear,
And said, “I cannot disappear,
For I am THAT, the ALL IN ALL--
The stairs, the janitor, the wall…

I am the ocean and the drop,
I am the cleaner and the mop,
I am the bell-boy and the bell,
I am pussy and the well…

I am the toaster and the toast,
And though I do not like to boast—
I am the saucer and the Source
Of ALL THAT IS – right NOW, of course…

I hope I’ve made it very clear,
That you’re the one who isn’t here.
So when we meet along the way,
Don’t even try to say G’day!”

~ Ann Faraday


The July issue of the TAT Forum is now on-line at .  


This Month's Contents: Becoming Your Own Authority by Art Ticknor | Poetry by Corina Bardasuc | Why The Notion That You Cannot Become What You Already Are is Such Bullshit by Daniel Ingram | Words of Wisdom | Humor  


Becoming Your Own Authority , by Art Ticknor

I heard a similar message from two good friends recently. One is an older fellow who has been at this business of self-inquiry for a couple decades, who wrote:

I wish … I could pinpoint the reason I departed from a course of action…. I continue to see it as a major reaction to going along with programs and philosophies that inspired me, but should not have infiltrated my thinking to the extent they did. I blame myself, not the sources of inspiration. That doesn't mean I won't or can't ask for help from others, which I know I need, but I want to intuit better a course that arises from personal history and experience. To find your own voice, as they say.

The other is a younger fellow who has been trying to answer the big questions for six or seven years. Referring to a situation he and another mutual friend find themselves in, he wrote:

Both of us had picked up a message … that felt stifling because we weren't our own authorities and felt we had to be a certain way.

Any genuine teacher in the field of self-realization will tell the student that he has to do the truth facing for himself, has to look for himself and see the truth for himself. The sentiment of becoming our own authority is a valid and worthy one. And yet I have the feeling that both of these friends are employing that sentiment as a wall to hide behind.

Personality is a mask we wear. Belief in individuality is identification with a mask. A self-professed individual is a belief-state – a paradigm or model that is trying to validate itself as reality while masking reality.

Life threatens that mask, and death may ultimately triumph over it. The truth seeker is looking for an answer while living, but the personality is constructed to avoid unmasking. Whenever an affliction to the personality occurs, we tend to quickly focus away from the truth by reactions such as rationalization, distraction and procrastination. Facing the truth is looking back at what we're looking out from, and when we do that we "see" silence and non-movement. To the personality, silence and non-movement represent death. Thus the belief in personality or individuality cannot be reconciled with the truth of what we see when we look inward at what we really are.

In order to face the final contradiction of what we see we are versus what we believe ourselves to be, there are outer layers of self-belief that need to be peeled away. That challenging of beliefs is painful, so we hide from it as much as possible.

All men should strive to learn before they die,
what they are running from,
and to, and why.
~ James Thurber

Questions we can ask ourselves:
1. What am I running from, and to, and why?
2. Have I honestly admitted to myself what I want most from life? Or am I trying to juggle multiple number-one priorities?
3. Am I avoiding situations that remind me of my lack of determining what's most important to me or of my lack of action toward its accomplishment?

The role of the friend or teacher is to help the truth seeker find out what he really wants since the truth seeker often encounters an inner resistance to answering the question for himself. That resistance takes the form of fears. For example, we might fear missing out on other pleasures, or we might fear that we won't have the courage to face possible challenges. Many fears remain unarticulated, as if expressing them even to ourselves would be like opening a door that may let out a monster. Our basic psychological fears, such as fear of rejection or failure, go back to the fear of annihilation. Seeking the truth about our self is in large part facing these psychological fears.

Becoming our own authority does not imply thinking for ourself – which is wishful thinking, since all thoughts and feelings are reactions – but looking for ourself. Looking for oneself implies a certain objective detachment from our thoughts and feelings rather than being caught up in them. Becoming our own authority thus challenges the validity of our conclusions and beliefs, undermining the ground upon which our individuality stands.

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