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The Rotten Root
by Drew Hempel

It is now, only under the severe crisis of postmodern late-capitalist globalization, that access to experiential nondualistic knowledge is finally beginning to be recognized by the globalized West.

Introduction: The Root Problem

This investigation is based on the assumption that there is a severe global crisis of injustice and ecological damage that primarily stems from the elite-controlled institutional policies of western culture. Working from that premise the issue at hand is how to overcome the root of the problem that drives the interlocking oppressions symptomatic of westernization. Since the root problem has been analyzed at length in the past, I provide simply a brief presentation and then focus on the facets of implementing the solution the subject of my experiential applied research and what I contend to be dialectically transcending nondualism. In terms of format, because of the very broad and untraditional nature of my project, the introduction references are contained in my thesis and the sources for my applied research are listed at the end of the text.

Whether it's the Dalai Lama or, Hanne Strong, one of the organizers of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (the Earth Summit) or, Charles Mills, author of The Racial Contract -- there can be found a focus on one common underlying problem for all levels of oppression. For theorists it is described as an inaccurate "naturalized" hierarchy: There is a repression of the self, a projection of that repression on to others -- call it an externality or a prejudice -- and then the denial of others' rights as justified through that projection. In the history of the West, this Self/Other oppressive dynamic has been traced back to Plato and Aristotle by their concept of dualistic, materialistic and rationalistic "natural law." Thus as people were labeled subhumans, natural slaves, and savages, they, along with the Muses, were devalued (i.e. destructively controlled and killed through indoctrination, slavery, disease, starvation, and organized slaughter)
and an elite linear, imperial "utopia" was envisioned -- this is the beginning, the root concept, of western culture. From that primary definitive vision of the West, this root crisis has become globally encompassing today: The Great Chain of Being, the witchhunts, the enclosure acts, the papal decree of "territorius nullius," Manifest Destiny, the "natural" efficiency of the homo economicus, corporate personhood, and the World Trade Organization.

Just before the beginning of the West there was an ecologically and socially just culture of nondualism (definition below) that taught integration and balance of knowledge through self-discipline, concentration and wisdom. The recent Oxford graduate, Dr. Peter Kingsley, documents that this Pythagorean culture was stripped down and driven out as the definitive years study in Egypt, combined with many excursions into eastern areas, the knowledge of Pythagoras became very fertile fodder for the materialistic elite. A great imbalance of power was thereby established. Pythagoras taught orally and his knowledge was integrated via experiential theory -- as compared to the reified and closed, dualistic and linear, symbolic knowledge system of "the West." Ironically the latest in scientific findings describe the universe as one great multidimensional, yet connected harmonic string of energy-knowledge (nondualism) -- literally the same scientific principles as Pythagoras. Unfortunately current western scientific "progress" continues to be based on externally forcing nature (and those cultures living close to nature) to reveal internal truths, thereby creating the great global sufferings via the same root of limited and inaccurate unbalanced methodology.

As Kingsley and others have documented Pythagoras was a powerful healer who knew of his past lives, and had the power to experience life after death. Not only was he a spiritual leader, similar to Jesus Christ, but he taught a system for realizing this knowledge -- the same essential system as the laws and practices of the Buddha, those contained in the ancient Vedas of Hinduism or those found in the hundreds of endangered indigenous shaman practices found worldwide. Through extensive research and my broad background in music theory, philosophy, and global development policy, I have reconstructed the scientific harmonic principles of the teachings of Pythagoras (as described in my masters thesis). These principles are the basis for understanding transcendent dialectical mind-body dynamics, group social power dynamics, and the transcendent dialectical means for analyzing and organizing technology and social institutions. Nondualist principles have been intuitively grasped in piecemeal by previous western cultural producers and were subsequently systematically rediscovered during the western social upheaval in the 1960s, developing into the potential of New Paradigm Science (again as described in my masters thesis). It is now, only under the severe crisis of postmodern late-capitalist globalization, that access to experiential nondualistic knowledge is finally beginning to be recognized by the globalized West. A truly transcending global dialectic is being visualized -- one that addresses the root of the mass global suffering and goes beyond the traditional dualistic schisms systematic to western power relations threatening the future of the planet and humanity.

The Systematic Principles of Nondualistic Direct Knowledge or Immediate Awareness

The scholar David Loy, in his Yale University publication Nondualism: A comparative philosophy, analyzes the nonwestern systems of thought and documents their successful universal application. The systems that Loy investigates reveal a transcendent means of knowledge derived from principles of organization that are accessible to all of humanity. But intellectually describing these systems is one thing, as I did with Pythagorean thought in my thesis -- actually realizing the power of nondualism is another a process that I will describe in this investigation. Once that power is established or stabilized it is much easier to truly pass that direct knowledge or immediate awareness on to others. To realize or actualize the power of nondualism, great self-discipline, concentration, and wisdom is required. The common principles found in all systems of nondualism (whether it's from the Vedas, Buddhism, Taoism, shamanism, or Pythagoreanism) are the following:

1) The whole universe comes from the void or absolute nothingness that is the original form of universal energy. Total Emptiness equals Total Energy this is ONENESS/NOTHINGNESS (nondualism).

2) This Universal Energy (nondualism) divides into connected harmonic principles of organization. Complimentary opposites, through their mutually excluding logical extremes, reveal their common underlying transcendent ONENESS/NOTHINGNESS and evolve into (and evolve via) this third transcendent truth-state.

3) From this Third transcendent state All Myriad Things of the Universe are further formed (i.e. modeled by the synthesis or the third stage of the complimentary opposites). All these myriad things/processes or forces are derived from the first FIVE SYNTHETIC SETS OF HARMONIC COMPLEMENTARY OPPOSITES (These five sets or categories are grouped by matching elements, directions, color, frequency, animal, planet, etc. and all five are direct manifestations of ONENESS/NOTHINGNESS).


These principles of nondualism need to be further applied in detail (as will be done below) for them to be utilized and more accessible as a means of achievement. Although westerners are intellectually taught the golden rule (treat others as you would treat yourself) this ethical basis for developing western knowledge and science is, because of the limitations of dualistic materialism, replaced by actions of "the end justifies the means" or literally "he who has the gold rules." But it is exactly this principle of humanity -- the pervasive and recognized existence of suffering, the knowledge of delusion, or the limit of ignorance -- that provides such an excellent motivation for achieving the harmonic means of transcendent dialectical problem-solving.

Because of the recent unique position of China as a location of ancient nonwestern civilization and rapid industrialization after the institution of scientific materialism, there have been hundreds of scientific studies documenting the details of achieving nondualism and the applications of nondualism. These applications have become known as qi gong or "energy work" but come from ancient Taoism. Their usage has been documented to be over 7,000 years old. Although it has been integrated with Buddhism and Confucianism, the nondualism of China or the Tao is considered the most ancient true way of organizing society.

The thirteenth-century taoist adept Chang-chun, the Master of Eternal Spring and originator of the Dragon Gate branch of Complete Reality Taoism, was of such power that Genghis Khan requested he be the personal advisor on preserving the ancient civilization of China. By the abilities and wisdom of Chang-chun, millions of lives were saved in China. He is known as a spiritual immortal by Taoist tradition and until just a few years ago his lineage and skills were passed down, in secret, through a process of intensive, exclusive training, generation after generation. The Harvard Ph.D. in East Asian studies and translator of numerous ancient texts, Thomas Cleary, recently published Opening the Dragon Gate: The Making of a Modern Taoist Wizard by Chen Kaiguo and Zheng Shunchao. Opening the Dragon Gate is the authorized biography of Master Wang Liping and Master Wang is an eighteenth-generation Transmitter of the Dragon Gate branch of Complete Reality Taoism.

Just like the Kogi, who for hundreds of years have kept secret an ancient civilized system in the unattainable wilderness of the Andes, the Dragon Gate Transmission of Complete Reality Taoism has now come public with its powerful esoteric knowledge. This dramatic change of approach was due to the modern spiritual revolution of "energetics" or qi gong in China that started in the early 1980s. Everyday in China qi gong is now practiced by the equivalent of the whole population of the United States. Master Wang explains that powerful Taoist nondualist energy-knowledge is also now being presented because of the current westernized crisis of the planet and humanity.

Opening the Dragon Gate distinguishes three types of government for humanity. The first is by law, the second is by principle and the third is "Government by the Tao, or the Way".... As the book states:

Government by the Tao, or the Way, is on an even higher level, nurturing the people by means of the Way, returning to naturalness and going back to reality, assimilating humanity to heaven and earth, taking no artificial law as law, but being orderly without being managed. Lao-tzu said, 'The sage says, Since I contrive nothing, the people are spontaneously civilized. Since I like calm, the people are spontaneously upright. Since I have no interests, the people spontaneously prosper. Since I have no desires, the people are spontaneously innocent. Government without artificiality is government by the Way. This is the highest level of social development, and the highest attainment of government.

Described in detail in Opening the Dragon Gate, the training and accomplishments of Master Wang Liping are extraordinary to say the least and since he has come public he is conducting extensive training and healing in China.

As the concise and powerful Taoist teaching, considered to be authored by an all-powerful immortal Taoist adept, The Secret of the Golden Flower, states, "When you keep presence of mind, only then do you have autonomy. When you have autonomy, only then can you manage affairs.... However, presence of mind is easily interrupted. Practice it for a long time, though, and it will naturally become unbroken.... Ordinarily, once people let their eyes and ears pursue things, they get stirred up, only to stop when things are gone. This activity and rest are all subjects, but the sovereign ruler becomes their slave. This is 'always living with ghosts.'"

"The conscious mind is like a violent general of a strong fiefdom controlling things from a distance, until the sword is turned around. Now steadily keep to the chamber of origin, turning the light around to look back, and this is like having a heroic leader on top with great ministers helping. Once the inner government is orderly, the strong and violent naturally become tame."

For an example of another powerful Master of the Way (of nondualism), one can attend the upcoming free public information sessions conducted by Master Chunyi Lin, a taoist teacher who lives in the Twin Cities and teaches through Anoka Ramsey Community College. His motto is "A Healer in Every Family, A World without Pain."

Master Lin continues to heal many people of severe cancer (lymphoma, breast, lung, etc.) and of Parkinson's Disease and many other severe health conditions. He is doing research at the University of Minnesota Medical School and has been contacted by several other interested research hospitals that have become familiar with his success. He treats people from all over the world by sending energy focused via the telephone and other high technology. Master Lin, by drawing in universal energy, treats twenty to thirty people a day, has a four month waiting list for appointments and he only needs to sleep three to four hours a night. He meditates four to five hours a day and teaches almost every night. Master Lin recently brought the Coon Rapids City Council to China for a sister city educational exchange program that focuses on qi gong.

For endorsements and testimonials (i.e. a doctor from the Mayo Clinic) see

The Development of Nondualistic Direct Knowledge or Immediate Awareness

Just in the past ten years there has finally been translated many of the ancient meditation texts of Taoist Yoga and Taoist meditation has been the subject of much academic research. The principles of nondualism are achieved through various techniques found throughout the world: Mantras can be repeated in order to focus in the mind and create energy resonance that purifies the person. Another approach is to use self-enquiry a question that turns the attention of the mind back onto itself. For instance "Who Am I?" -- repeating this question with true doubt, while meditating, will cause the investigator to contact the living nondualist energy that is the source of their thoughts. Taoist Yoga focuses on a more accessible approach. In qi gong people are taught basic, very simple active exercises that use posture, breath and mental focus to open up the energy channels of the body. By using certain breath, hand and foot movements based on the knowledge of complimentary opposite energies of the mind/body, a person can enter a stage of deep relaxation and focus that will cause the living energy-knowledge -- nondualism, to be activated. Once activated the
energy is further developed through still meditation.

Taoism teaches that when a person is conceived great universal energy/knowledge is focused. Not only is the genetic energy passed on from the parents but the energy of Heaven and Earth is passed on as well. While the baby is being developed as a fetus in the womb, this energy is balanced it enters through the umbilical cord and circles up the back and down the front of the body. The baby naturally holds its tongue up to the roof of its mouth and this acts as the switch that connects the front and back energy channels of the person. After birth the energy of the person slowly begins to separate, settle and become unbalanced: The lower half of the body is associated with Earth energy and the upper half is associated with Heaven energy. As the person undergoes puberty and further development the energy of the body is continuously dissipated through emotional stress, pollution and environmental stress, unbalanced nutrition, and normal hormonal and reproductive processes.

Taoist yoga teaches a person how to perform "needleless acupuncture, whereby the practitioner consciously recognizes and activates the subtle energy of the mind/body, balances that energy, and then uses resonance to take in more energy and consciously connect with higher energy levels. This is the process of going back to the root of a person's existence, of mind-body awareness of understanding the power dynamics of not only the self, but also the interactions of the self with the outside environment. Under nondualism it is known that humans represent a microcosm, a holograph, of the universe and that the universe is a hologram with each part containing the energy of the whole -- another way of describing nondualism.

In the beginning of the practice a person will feel great heat being generated in the energy centers (the Earth center, the Heaven Center and their combined Center in the Heart-Mind). As the practice develops the energy will surge, like high-pressured water through a hose, up the back and down the front of the body. The person will experience different internal organs of the body become very hot the kidneys, the thyroid. This is the subtle energy resonating and opening up the subtle energy channels of those organs. Many hormones will be stimulated during this process and there will be a feeling of great energy, serenity, bliss, and lucidity. As the practice develops the energy will be experienced as electrical and magnetic fields that actually move the body. Ailments of the body will be healed. The person will have the ability to send out energy to heal others and the person will need less sleep, less food, and will not have normal cravings.

As the body energy channels continue to resonate, higher levels of energy will be activated eventually leading to the opening of the Heaven center or the Third Eye of the person. This is beginning of spiritual cultivation and the beginning of samadhi in yoga. At this point all the energy channels of the body will be open. When meditating the person will not feel their body at all it will become one with its surroundings. The mind's thoughts will stop on one point of focus. The breathing of the person will slow down to such an extent that for all purposes it comes to a stop. The person will experience a bright light when the eyes are closed and when they are open as well. The person will develop psychic abilities and will process the thoughts and emotions of others as direct energy vibrations. The person will
experience their aura, their subtle energy field, extending out around them and interacting with/processing the conditions of those around them.

This experience is the development of direct knowledge or immediate awareness. Unfortunately it is very common to develop "over-exuberant heroics," meaning that a person becomes very excited about their new exalted state, they become attached to the powers and lose focus of the nondualist principles that the powers are derived from. At this stage the person wants to tell everyone about their "awakening" experience and wants to act out on their powers when instead this is the time of the greatest need for continuing to focus on the nondualism source, to focus on the macrocosm within. Also at this stage, beside the problem of getting too excited and out of balance from attachment to the powers, it is also very easy to become scared. To literally not feel your body, or too literally feel your pituitary gland in the middle of your brain become heated up and charged full of energy is a bizarre experience to say the least. To literally experience psychic powers as the norm of processing reality, to experience ones aura extending out -- a field of energy vibrations rippling and processing the thoughts and emotions of others before those thoughts or emotions are communicated through words or body language these can be intimidating experiences. Also to literally not need to eat food or drink water because one can rely directly on the subtle energy as a means to create protein or to have one's thoughts stop and one's breath stop all this can be startling to say the least.

As a practitioner of Spring Forest Qigong, taught at Anorak Ramose Community College, I practiced for four hours a day over a three month period and I began to experience some of these symptoms of the beginning of samadhi or what is called "the emptiness" in qi gong. I didn't see the bright light and I didnt have my body disappear or my breathing stop. I did develop psychic powers, have my aura extend, have no need for food, need less sleep, and feel my pituitary gland become charged up. I did conduct very successful external energy treatments (no touch) of others whereby they had their symptoms disappear after feeling heaviness leave their bodies, intense heat, electrical shocks, internal movement. Although I fell back into the other extreme of normal reality, I experienced enough to get a taste of "the otherside" -- the nondualistic source.

The Otherside or the Nondualistic Source

In Taoist Yoga, once "the emptiness" is obtained and stabilized then a person's power of healing and power of wisdom is greatly increased. Because Taoism focuses on balancing the mind and body with all other levels of energy, longevity or immortality is also obtainable and explainable in Taoist Yoga. Not only is there an ability to project the energy of the person across space-time dimensions but as the energy is continued to be developed then the power of physical replication and transformation is also possible. In the final stages a person is able to literally dematerialize the body and to finally exist in a cosmic form that is "at-one" with the universe. This person is considered a "celestial immortal" by Taoist standards, meaning they can exist outside the space-time continuum and have achieved the Tao -- nondualism.

To the "normal" westerner this all seems ludicrous but the academic book published by SUNY, Taoist Meditation, actually gives the explanations of how this state is achieved in methodology. The principles are the same as the nondualist principles stated above -- it is just a matter of deepening the practice. After the initial levels of samadhi or emptiness, direct knowledge or immediate awareness can not be captured by the normal means of communication and is essentially impossible to explain except through direct experience. The ultimate nondualist state is beyond any form, any concept, any sensation, any limitation of time and space, any source of mind and matter.

Of direct consequence for modern western culture are solutions to psychoanalysis, to social and economic conflict, to health issues, and to realizing the effects and potential of technology. Without this basic knowledge of nondualism power relations can not be understood very well, an accurate model of reality can not be maintained and a sense of unfulfilled desire will lead to an unbalance of power. Many elite societies of leaders in the West have attempted, as a means of maintaining an unhealthy, imbalance of material power, to keep secret and utilize this nondualist knowledge that Pythagoras once taught. This extreme of Western control, since it relies on maintaining ignorance of nondualism and utilizing it for limited, inaccurate development, can not last. The motivation to externally control the environment and people around you through destructive superficial means simply does not last when one can truly stabilize direct knowledge or wisdom through nondualist means.


U of M Master of Liberal Studies thesis: Epicenters of Justice: Music Theory, Sound-current Nondualism and Radical Ecology by Drew Hempel
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China-Qigong by Charles McGee, Effie Poy Yew Chow (June 1994) Medipress; Chi Gong: The Ancient Chinese Way to Health by Paul Dong, Aristide H. Esser (Contributor) (January 1995) Marlowe & Co; Encounters With Qi: Exploring Chinese Medicine by David Eisenberg, Thomas Lee Wright (Contributor) (August 1995) W.W. Norton & Company; Raja-Yoga by Swami Vivekananda (June 1980) Ramakrishna Vivekanada Center; Mysterious Samadhi by Surath Chakravarti (April 1984) South Asia Books; The Summits of God-Life: Samadhi and Siddhi: Liberation, Enlightenment, Nirvana and Realisation by Sri Chinmov (June 1984); Ch'an and Zen Teaching by Kuan Yu Lu, Charles Luk (December 1993) Samuel Weiser.

The Ampersand

Copyright 2001 Drew Hempel. All rights reserved.

Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: