#4967 - July 7-9,
2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/
GIANT TRIPLE ISSUE!!!!
Three views of reality are featured: that there is
one reality, that there are three aspects of the
one reality, and that no such realities can be
It makes me want to take a couple tylenols and lay
Self-knowledge cannot be attained by study of the
By: Santthoshkumaar Kumaar
on Jul 08, 2013
Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana
cannot be attained by study of the Vedas and
intellectual understanding or by bookish
knowledge. Therefore,there is no use of studying
the Vedas and other scriptures in order to acquire
the non-dual wisdom. That is why Buddha rejected
the scriptures, and even Sri, Sankara indicated
that, the ultimate truth lies beyond religion,
concept of God and scriptures.
There is only one Reality to be known, the same
for all seekers, but the ways to it, are hidden by
the religion. Self-discovery is the only way,
towards non-dual Absolute without any religious
doctrines, which will help the seekers to unfold
the mystery of the illusion in which we all are
searching the truth of our true existence.
The beliefs of god, religion, yoga are based on
the false self, is nothing to do with the mental
The religious, rituals, worships, prayers god and
guru glorification may be useful in the practical
life within the practical world, for those who
believes in the birth, life, death and the world
as reality, but they are not useful tools in
realizing the ultimate truth. On the base of
consciousness [soul] as self, everything other
than the consciousness is a mere mirage. Thus, man
and his experience of the world and his belief of
god and religion are part and parcel of the mirage
created out of consciousness.
When Sri,Sankara says the world is an illusion, it
includes birth, life and death, which happens
within the world. Thus seekers main aim is to
mentally trace the formless substance of the
illusion, which is also the witness of the
illusion. The formless substance and witness of
the illusion [world] is the Ataman, and this
Ataman itself is Brahman. This Brahman cannot be
attained by indulging in egocentric religious
orthodoxies. The knower of Brahman is Brahmin not
the Brahmin who indulges in priest craft, which
leads one to utter darkness as per Yajur Veda.
Brahmin is the one who has realized the Brahman
[ultimate truth] and helps fellow seekers towards
inner path. The one who knows Brahman knows his
body and his experience of the world are mere
illusion and also he knows his body and his
experience of the world are also as the soul,which
is present in the form of consciousness, which is
Brahman. Thus, the religious orthodoxy which
crafted the body based theories will lead one to
hallucinated Moksha. But real Moksha or freedom is
possible only through nondual wisdom.
Thus it is necessary to follow the path of Brahman
not the path of the orthodoxy. Only by dropping
all the accumulated orthodox crafted baggage, one
has to move forward to reach the non-dual
destination in lesser time and effort.
A summary of the teachings of Aziz Kristof
According to Aziz Kristof, that which we refer to
by the phrase Гўв¬ЕI AMГўв¬Вќ consists of three
basic aspects. These three basic aspects are:
3. The Heart
And that which we refer to by the word
Гўв¬ЕEnlightenmentГўв¬Вќ is the shifting of the
center of identity to one of the three basic
aspects of I AM.
From the above follows that there are three forms
of Enlightenment. These are:
1. Enlightenment to the State of Presence.
Гўв¬вЂњ This occurs when the center of identity
shifts to consciousness.
2. Enlightenment to the Absolute State.
Гўв¬вЂњ This occurs when the center of identity
shifts to Being.
3. Enlightenment to the Heart.
Гўв¬вЂњ This occurs when the center of identity
shifts to the Heart.
Until now, no spiritual tradition has made a clear
distinction between these three types of
Enlightenment. And so after millennia of spiritual
teachings, the spiritual path remains uncharted
Let us now look at the three types of
Enlightenment in more detail, beginning with
Enlightenment to the State of Presence.
We start out on the spiritual path unaware of our
true nature. The Гўв¬ЛњimageГўв¬вў we have of
ourselves is what we identify with as being
Гўв¬ЛњMe.Гўв¬вў This identification with the
self-concept is a natural and necessary step in
the evolution of consciousness. The evolution of
consciousness is an evolution which is conscious
of itself. The self-concept serves as a bridge
between the subconscious animal state and the
fully conscious state. First we need to develop
self-referring intelligence, which is the ego,
before we are able to take the next step.
Otherwise we would not want to know, nor be able
to appreciate, who we are in a deeper sense.
If an animal would suddenly get an ego, this would
be an Enlightenment experience for the animal.
That would be the first shift for the animal from
its subconscious state to becoming aware of
itself. The subconscious state is like a dream
state. In a dream, there is no clear
self-awareness; the subjectГўв¬вўs awareness is
completely objectified into the dream story.
Humans, in their semi-conscious state, are on the
one hand conscious enough to have a sense of self,
while on the other hand not conscious enough to
realize what is behind this sense of self. This
causes us to search for our true identity.
Some spiritual traditions only teach discovering
the Гўв¬Лњno-self,Гўв¬вў and therefore portray
the ego as something negative. The spiritual path,
however, is about self-awareness. So essentially
the ego plays a positive role on the spiritual
path. However, because we completely identify with
this self-concept, we become imprisoned in our
egocentric concepts and beliefs.
But there is a way to free ourselves from this
prison of the mind. The mind has in its very
essence the ability to create a self-conscious
impulse. Thanks to this self-conscious impulse we
are able to briefly return from being lost in the
mind to being aware in the now. We use this
ability as a pathway from the mind to pure
We have to cultivate these self-conscious impulses
so that they become a steady flow of attention. By
adhering to our task of continuously maintaining
this awareness, we begin the process of
crystallizing attention. When attention is
crystallized, awareness experiences itself beyond
thoughts and concepts. This is why most spiritual
traditions work with the cultivation of
In our practice we have to focus on the original
point where the self-conscious impulse is not yet
experienced as an object outside of ourselves, but
is experienced in itself. The most direct and
powerful way to practice this is through
self-remembrance. We practice self-remembrance by
continuously looking inward, turning our attention
to the center of attention itself, in the middle
of the head, as if we are looking inward with our
eyes at the back of the skull. In this way we
energetically anchor ourselves in the now.
Once we experience the self-conscious impulse as
subject and not object, consciousness becomes
awakened. At this point mindfulness experiences
itself without any object. Attention which is
crystallized becomes self-aware. It becomes one
Now we have a real center of awareness and we are
not lost in the mind anymore. We have (partly)
awakened to our true nature; we recognized the
essence of consciousness. We experience that every
phenomenon appears and disappears in
consciousness. And we are consciousness.
Everything is recognized as the self.
When the State of Presence is stabilized, it loses
its crystallized character. It becomes like a
space of awareness. Without holding on to it, one
simply remains in this field of pure
The State of Presence is referred to by some
teachers in Advaita Vedanta by the slogan
Гўв¬ЕConsciousness is all there is and I am
THAT.Гўв¬Вќ In Hinduism they call the State of
Presence Гўв¬ЛњAtman.Гўв¬вў In Zen Buddhism the
ox (in the ox herding pictures) symbolizes the
State of Presence.
In contemporary Tibetan Buddhism the State of
Presence is referred to as Гўв¬ЛњRigpa,Гўв¬вў
and they depict it as something that endures after
the death of the body. The State of Presence does
not endure after death, because consciousness
manifests through brain activity; it needs a
physical body to manifest. This is the reason why
there is no consciousness in the deep sleep state,
when there is almost no brain activity. The
natural location of the State of Presence is in
the middle of the headspace, behind the
Every type of Enlightenment normally has three
phases; first the shift into the State, then the
stabilization of the State and then integration of
the State. The first shift is sudden, the other
phases are gradual. It very seldom occurs that the
first shift is accompanied by sudden
LetГўв¬вўs now move on to the second type of
Enlightenment: Enlightenment to the Absolute
As we have just seen, consciousness plays a key
role in the Enlightenment process. But is
consciousness truly Гўв¬Лњall there is?Гўв¬вў
According to Buddhism, consciousness is one of the
five skandhas. These skandhas are supposed to be
five (impermanent) aggregates that constitute all
individual experience. And suffering arises when
one completely identifies with (one of) these
skandhas, because clinging to anything impermanent
is essentially suffering.
It is true that consciousness is impermanent -- it
can vanish. It vanishes every night when we get
into the deep sleep state. So what is Nirvana,
which is beyond suffering, really about? It cannot
only be about consciousness! The Nirvana that the
Buddha realized must exist beyond consciousness,
according to his own teachings.
When the mind awakens to its true nature, the
State of Presence is realized. But when one
awakens to the true nature of Presence itself, the
Unmanifested is realized. The Unmanifested is also
called Гўв¬ЕBeingГўв¬Вќ or Гўв¬Еthe
Absolute.Гўв¬Вќ Being is the source from which
Presence arises and is prior to Presence. In
Buddhism the term Гўв¬ЕEmptinessГўв¬Вќ is used
Some teachers call Гўв¬Лњpure consciousness
without contentГўв¬вў Emptiness, as if it were
equivalent to what is meant by Emptiness in
authentic Zen Buddhism. This is another example of
the confusion caused by ignorance about the
different forms of Enlightenment.
Before consciousness arises, there already is a
Гўв¬Лњpresence.Гўв¬вў What is present is the
absence of consciousness. The term absence does
not mean there is nothing present.
Гўв¬ЛњNothingГўв¬вў is just a concept. In truth
Гўв¬ЛњnothingГўв¬вў does not exist, because
Гўв¬Лњthe absence of consciousnessГўв¬вў is
always present. What is conceptualized as
Гўв¬ЛњnothingГўв¬вў is uncreated energy, which
is pure Гўв¬Лњis-ness.Гўв¬вў ThatГўв¬вўs why
we call it Гўв¬ЛњBeing,Гўв¬вў because it IS
beyond Гўв¬ЛњisГўв¬вў or Гўв¬Лњis not.Гўв¬вў
The only way to enter the Absolute is through
surrendering. Unlike the active-will practice that
leads to the State of Presence, realizing the
Absolute takes surrendering. One must let go of
the center of Presence into the non-Presence of
the Absolute, which has no center.
The practice of Shikantaza (sitting meditation),
breathing into the belly where one drops Presence
to the hara area (lower belly area), serves this
purpose. The center of Presence is in the
headspace, but the hara is the gateway to the
Absolute. One can only really do Shikantaza after
having attained the State of Presence, otherwise
it would be difficult staying fully present when
coming to the precipice of the non-Presence.
After exerting ourselves fully in trying to cast
off the will (inherent in Presence), we become
ready to receive Grace, which responds to our
surrender. Only by way of Grace (because the will
cannot transcend itself) can we shift into the
Absolute State. Grace which comes in the form of
transmission. This transmission can come from an
Enlightened teacher who is in the Absolute State
or directly from the Beyond.
In the shift to the Absolute, consciousness
becomes absorbed into that which is prior to
consciousness. This is the realization the Buddha
experienced, which he named reaching Nirvana. This
experience is like getting into a deep sleep state
while staying completely awake. One is completely
present and completely absent. There is no
movement, only absolute stillness exists in this
State. Absolute stillness, which is the presence
of Being. And the presence of Being is the absence
Through the conscious letting go of our presence
into the Absolute (which is the absence of
consciousness) we become absent, in other words,
absorbed in reality; One with the Universe. After
this shift there is no longer any center; we
experience Гўв¬Лњnon-abidance.Гўв¬вў In the
Absolute State all is finally embraced. Few
seekers actually reach the Absolute State, for it
is the Ultimate.
Because Advaita Vedanta is the tradition of Grace,
some Advaita teachers donГўв¬вўt emphasize or
even discourage spiritual practices. This is
because their tradition is based on transmission,
where a seeker who is ripe for it gets shifted
into another State by the energy of a Master who
is in that State himself, or receives Grace
directly from the Beyond. In an effort after
meaning for what happens in their tradition, they
conclude that practice is unnecessary and all
happens only through Grace.
The theoretical framework behind their extreme,
non-dualistic view is formed by applying linear
logic to the experience of the dimensions beyond
the ego; the Гўв¬Еno selfГўв¬Вќ experience.
Because they realized Гўв¬Еno self,Гўв¬Вќ they
believe there is no Гўв¬Лњpersonal doerГўв¬вў
and so one cannot do anything oneself to reach
Enlightenment. Reality itself, however, is beyond
linear logic. The multi-dimensional reality of I
AM holds the possibility for the reality of the
personal within the heart of the universal.
Now we will look at the third form of
Enlightenment; Enlightenment to the Heart.
After we have stabilized the Absolute State, the
wisdom of the Unmanifested will not let us stay
forever in the detached state of
disidentification. The Unmanifested has to
encounter the reality of its own manifestation.
This encounter takes place when the heart opens.
Opening the center of the Heart entails energy
work into the heart area, placing your hands on
your heart and deeply connecting with it. Prayer
is also an important part of connecting with the
When we shift to the Heart, we reach a place
beyond identification and disidentification.
Гўв¬ЛњHeartГўв¬вў means Гўв¬Лњcentral
point.Гўв¬вў The Heart is the middle point where
the two polarities, the manifested (the self) and
the Unmanifested (the no-self), meet and we
experience true wholeness. This meeting can take
place in the Heart, because the Heart rises above
these polarities, for the Heart is part of the
The Ultimate, which is God, exists as a union of
the Absolute and the Heart. The Being side of God
is the Absolute and the Divine side of God is the
Heart. The Divine is the heart of Emptiness. The
Heart is the dimension of Love and Grace.
Now we come to the final part of our spiritual
seeking. That which has been searching for its
true self can now be discovered.
The spiritual traditions of the past do not depict
all sides of reality accurately. The teaching of
no-self is not a dogma. The idea that
Гўв¬ЛњnobodyГўв¬вў becomes Enlightened is true
from one perspective but false from another
perspective. Enlightenment is beyond the concept
of Гўв¬ЛњselfГўв¬вў and Гўв¬Лњno-self.Гўв¬вў
What is the true answer to the question: Who am I?
Is the answer: the ego? Or consciousness? Or
Emptiness? Searching for our true self we come
across different dimensions of what we are. But
who is the one who is experiencing these
dimensions, who is the one searching for its true
self? Hidden within all of what we are is the
essence of our unique identity. Aziz calls it the
Soul. Consciousness and Emptiness are impersonal
and universal, but the Soul is personal.
The Soul exists in the Heart, and can only
recognize itself in a clear way after the
realization of Presence and the Absolute. Some
mystics have gone directly to the Heart without
first realizing Presence and the Absolute, but
although they experienced the Soul, their
realization lacked the clarity that one who
already realized Presence and the Absolute would
have had. Only when water is still can it clearly
mirror your true face.
Now that the Heart center is open, we experience
that the most direct and personal experience of
the self is in the Heart. We become aware of the
Soul. Inherent in the Soul is a profound
sensitivity which comes from the Heart. The Heart
is universal, but extends into an individual
expression which we call the Soul. Because of this
we are one with I AM but also separate from I AM.
The Soul is what experiences oneness and
separation. Experiencing oneness is only
accessible if one can also experience separation.
The Soul is not the I AM. The Soul is the I AM
seeing itself as a Soul. Through this seeing, a
separation between the I AM and itself arises. I
AM meets itself through seeing itself as a Soul.
And every Soul is a unique angle of perception of
Although each Soul has its own unique destiny in
relation to its own (genetic) blueprint, some
self-determining energy is inherent in each Soul.
The universe creates a human being and the human
being responds to the universe; it is a living,
interactive process. Quantum physics discovered
that when a particle is perceived by us, the
particle is changed by that very observation.
Perception is an energy which changes the reality
of that which is perceived. The perceiver and the
perceived both affect each other. In the same way
the Soul co-operates with
I AM in the realization of I AM.
This summary is a description of the teachings of
Aziz Kristof in my own words.
ГВ© Steven van der Hut
The following is from Greg Goode's Emptiness group
Greetings to all the new members of the Emptiness
You may or may not be familiar with the emptiness
teachings. They are a kind of nondual approach
that doesn't reduce everything to sameness or any
single substance that supports everything.
You can use these teachings with or without
Buddhism. The powerful emptiness meditations and
realizations can be used with a wide variety of
spiritual paths. We define "emptiness" in a very
broad way as "essencelessness" or
"naturelessness." This happens to allow Buddhist
and non-Buddhist approaches. Everything from
Theravada Buddhism to literary criticism to modern
physics can be a teaching. This variety is
represented in the gallery above! (See the About
page and the Files section too.)
According to these approaches, emptiness is not
the same thing as Consciousness or Awareness or
Being or any other underlying global basis for
things. In the emptiness approaches, we look for
any such underlying support or basis of things, we
simply do not find it. There is a wonderful
lightness and freedom in this.
Even a simple apple cannot be found apart from
pieces, parts, labels, concepts, or relations to
other things. An apple simply has no nature. Its
"no nature" is its mode of existence.
The emptiness teachings are fond of paradox,
irony, humor, and surprising reversals. This is
why it's sometimes said that this very lack of
nature is the nature of things. This
naturelessness cannot be pinned down, yet it has
the flavor of openness, love, joy, care, richness,
enthusiasm, and engagement with the delightful
variety of things and sentient beings.
Here are some links to readings and a few videos.
It is a huge field, and variety is one of its
So sit back, read, learn, discuss, realize and
FROM A BUDDHIST PERSPECTIVE:
Intro to the Emptiness Teachings:
If you are more used to the Awareness teachings:
From the Dalai Lama:
From the Encyclopedia Britannica:
Five Good Buddhist Books (in our Files section):
WESTERN CRITIQUES OF ESSENCE:
Death and Furniture (in our Files section):
Five Good Western Books (in our Files section):
Pyrrho and Pyrrhonism (from the Stanford
Encyclopedia of Philosophy):
VIDEOS (Buddhist and Western):
Jeffrey Hopkins on Subtle Impermanence:
Richard Rorty on Truth:
Robert Anton Wilson on "is"
Robert Anton Wilson freestyling: