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#3679 - Thursday, October 8, 2009 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights

NEW--The Limitation of Language, An Inquiry

by Scott Kiloby

These questions aren't meant to be analyzed. They are inviting you to see that your true identity is not found in thought. There is a natural resting as awareness that is available when you no longer look to thought for answers to the big questions like "Who am I," and "What is Life all about?" In seeing the limitation of thought, there can be a direct recognition of awareness. All questions appear and disappear in that awareness. In this seeing, thought is no longer seen as a problem. It no longer creates problems. It is seen as much like a hologram creating the appearance of duality, while there is a deep inner knowing that, in reality, there are 'not two.'

The Questions

Is there anything outside of (prior to, or beyond) a thought?

If so, could a thought actually reveal it?

Don't most thoughts actually refer or point only to other thoughts? For example, if the question is, "What is a dog?," the answer is most often just another thought such as, "a mammal." You then have to define "mammal." Yet the dictionary will only point to other thoughts to provide that definition. This is an endless game. Do you see that? Even if you began to define or identify the dog by breaking it into parts (e.g., tail, legs, fur), each of the parts are thoughts that need to be defined.

If the thought "dog" or any other thought appears, is it pointing to something "out there" that is not that thought? If so, can what is "out there" be identified without using a thought? If it cannot be identified or named, can it be known as an independently existing object?

What is the relationship, if any, between a thought and what it seems to be pointing to, between the thought "dog" and the apparently separate thing barking in front of you?

The thought "dog" seems to be pointing to an independently existing object "out there." But when the thought "dog" is dropped, is there still an independently existing object "out there" called dog? Can you know that for certain?

Doesn't the thought "dog" appear simultaneously with the object dog?

When the thought "dog" is not appearing, is there any way to know or identity anything "out there" as a dog that exists independently?

Can you experience, right now, this moment, without any thought about what it is?

That experiencing, which is prior to or beyond thought, is awareness itself. The word "awareness" is a thought. Do you see that?

When the word "awareness" is dropped, what is left? Can that ever be stated? Can it ever be known as on object?

Doesn't the notion that there is awareness separate from something else (e.g., thought) appear only when awareness is made into a thought?

Is there a knowing of any kind that is available when no thoughts are arising?

Did you insert a thought as an answer to the previous question? If so, then you missed the question. The question asks whether there is a knowing that is available when no thoughts are appearing. There is no way to describe that knowing except through thoughts.

Did you insert a thought as an answer to the question, "What is left when the word awareness is dropped?"

Is there any way to answer that without referring to another thought?

Are you starting to see why people seek and never seem to find the answer to life's bigger questions like "Who am I?" and "What is life?" Words only point to other words. Language is a finite set of words and each word points merely to other words within the finite set of words.

Does awareness ever appear by itself, separate and apart from a thought? If so, can that ever be communicated?

Take a moment again and find out what is here that is not a thought.

Is there any thought that can capture that? Do you see that, no matter what thought you place on that question, it places 'you' back in the finite set of words called dualistic language?

Do you see the limitation of thought?

What do thoughts appear to provide? Only conceptual understanding right?

Can a thought provide freedom?



Are the thoughts "freedom," "peace," and "love" merely more thoughts within the loop of language or do they point to an actuality prior to or beyond themselves?

Does the word "awareness" point to something which is not a thought?

Do you see that no matter what thought is appearing, actual awareness is still here?

Do you see that awareness is here whether there is thinking or not thinking?

What is a thought? Can that ever be answered without resorting to another thought?

Again, what does that say about whether a thought exists independently of awareness itself?

Can anything in the world be named or identified without resorting to thought?

Do you see that, the moment a thought arises, it makes it appear as if there is an object that exists independently of the rest of life? For example, the moment the word "dog" appears, the notion of an independently existing dog appears with it. There may be a feature "out there" that has fur, and a tongue, and wags its tail, but is that feature existing independently of the rest of life? Do you see that only thought provides the notion that a dog exists separately from air, or a couch, or a banana? These are all thoughts...creating the appearance of objects that exist independently.

So isn't thought creating duality and separation?

What does this say about the inseparability of the "universe?"

Does the word "awareness" point to something which is not merely a temporary idea, experience, sensation, state, or any other temporary appearance?

As a thought is appearing, does it have any existence that is independent of actual (non-conceptual) awareness?

Did you answer that last question with a thought?

If so, you have forgotten what has been seen in this inquiry, which is that only thought gives the appearance of duality.

If only thought gives the appearance of separate things, what proof do you have that there is, in fact, an actual split between what we call awareness and what is appearing in awareness (i.e., thought)?

What is this revealing about the relationship between awareness and thought...between emptiness and form...between nothingness and everything?

The dividing line between those ideas is merely conceptual.

Does a thought ever touch the direct experience of actual life in this moment?

What is the word "touch" referring to?

Do you see that the word "touch" presupposes independently existing things? So, the word implies that thought is somehow separate from awareness, that form is somehow separate from formlessness.

Do you see how thought creates the appearance of separation and then seeks to find out how to find non-duality? It is impossible to recognize non-duality by merely thinking and believing that the separation created by thinking is real.

And the strange paradox is that thought itself does not exist independent of life. Thought is life. It is none other than the energy of life itself. It is the energy of awareness. It does not exist independently of awareness.

So what is there to get rid of? Who is going to get rid of it? What is there to find? Who would find it? The moment some thought pops up to answer those questions, the apparent dilemna is created. Thought gives the appearance of separate things so it cannot ever recognize non-separation. The moment it is truly believed that there is an "I" that exists independently, this belief brings about illusory separation. With an "I" as subject, the object is automatically created in relation to the subject. The object may be God, happiness, love, nonduality, or enlightenment. The point is that only concepts create this illusory separation between a subject and an object. The moment you go looking for love, you have moved away from it in the dream of thought. The moment you seek Oneness, you buy into the fact that it is separate from what you are. So a separate person can never realize Oneness. To even believe there is something called a person separate from Oneness creates the problem. So the mechanism that created the separation--thought--will not solve the problem. It will only solidify the belief that there is a subject who is missing or lacking an object.

This little game gets even more subtle as there is a direct recognition of present awareness. There is a tendency to believe that there is an actual split between awareness and what appears in awareness (namely thought, but it could be any appearance including emotions, sensations etc). There is only awareness and whatever thought is appearing inseparably in awareness right now. Inseparably is the key word. We can certainly use all of these concepts to point. We can say that awareness is the vast unmoving basic cognizing space prior to thought. We can say that thought is what appears to move within that space. But to actually believe that anything in the universe exists totally independent of anything else is the fundamental error. That is true for these subtle distinctions between awareness and that which appears in awareness.

This inquiry is revealing that there is no separation between what we are calling non-conceptual and conceptual. Aren't those concepts themselves creating the apparent split or duality? Is that split actual? Is it real?

All of this may seem purely philosophical, until one looks into his or her direct experience. Look for the actual boundary lines between apparently separate things? Where are the boundary lines? Don't they exist in thought only?

Is there any way to prove this without resorting to more dualistic language?

If there is no way to prove it, then non-duality is not a philosophy. It is not a religion. It is not just another mental position being taken.

Is there any such thing as non-duality that can be expressed? The moment we begin speaking about it, we have entered this illusory realm of duality.

Wouldn't it be much simpler to just rest as awareness and enjoy the pure love of seeing that whatever appears to awareness has no independent nature. That really is the key to freedom, isn't? Emphasizing thoughts about awareness (or God, or whatever you call it) creates the appearance of two. To even emphasize God sets God apart from what you are, which results in the false notion that you must find some union with him. It would only be a concept finding union with another concept. In the natural and perfect rest of actual awareness, that duality and all other dualities are seen to be not ultimately real. Emphasizing thoughts even about non-duality (without a direct recognition of actual awareness) creates the appearance that the thoughts are real, that there is a separate person who can reach some other separate concept called "non-dual realization," or that there is awareness here totally independent of thought. These are good stories but are they true?

No wonder people argue about spirituality all the time. There is a belief that dualistic words express it or that one can own it to the exclusion of others.

It is so tempting to use words of finality, words that appear to sum up "truth" or "reality" in a final sense, such as Oneness, consciousness, God, the Tao, Nirvana, enlightenment, non-duality, peace, love, freedom, or awareness. But the rest we have been looking for is not found in any of those thoughts, nor is it found in any thoughts about a personal self with a past, present, and future. This rest is already here in the unnamable actuality to which all of those "final words" are pointing. And that actuality does not, in any way, exclude any of those thoughts. Nothing in the universe opposes or sets itself apart from anything else in the universe. There is only an appearance of opposition or separation when thoughts are believed to be referring to independently existing objects.

Thoughts themselves are harmless. They are the energy of awareness itself. And so if resting as awareness is the key to freedom, recognizing inseparability is the key to love. The inseparability of awareness and thoughts that appear in awareness is love. The inseparability of the universe is love. Although duality appears everywhere, the actual boundary between apparent things can never be found. The universe is seamlessness. Everything is drenched in love. Only that seeing is needed. No other effort need be applied. That seeing is the rest. It is the finality. It is the end of the search for something more than what is presently here. It is the realization that whatever is presently here and happening is the truth.

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