We begin with a repeat of a piece composed by John Metzger
and mistakenly attributed to Thomas Merton. My apologies to
John. Hey, Tom never looked so good!
solitude, land of evening, declines and departs. the abyss
of solitude's absence is its advent, its arrival.
solitude's claim to presence is not a form or outer
appearance but a persistence, an insistence-on. solitude is
a realm, a domain that shelters, secures, conceals.
solitude is self-revealing and self-concealing.
Picasso remarked he had made himself an "unsuspected
solitude".its continuance is not tied to usage, need, or
custom. to brook solitude is to think. solitude is for
thinking, not singing. solitude is expressly to collect
unique disclosure along the lines of Being, of
Appropriation. the dawn of solitude comes to pass in events
of order/disorder, of jointure/disjunction. solitude joins
but never conjoins.
its expanse is calls and gestures, belongings,hearings,
attunements, something spoken,conversation. a
historiography of solitude is absurd except in relation to
destiny, destining, Fate. solitude is an aspect of the
destining of Being. the ground of solitude is a brilliant
abyss in which what lingers for a while can stay for the
time being or emerge much later.
it is not for protection. its gathering is the one that
clears and shelters. one's standard of solitude is one's
proximity to it, one's place in it. for those whose abode
is solitude, it is a riddle and enigma, an enigmatic
keyword, a right, a justice, a wrong, an injustice.
it is reckless and considerate. to dispatch oneself toward
solitude is never fitting. there are no vocational skills
to acquire in solitude. solitude, the fateful itself, is a
dispensation to beings to be Being.
solitude is the Same in beings, language, sayings. to
translate solitude is to cross over, to go down, to set the
never-setting of unconcealment/concealment.
solitude is the surmounting of the oblivion of Being, the
perception of something at hand which appears to be not
representational thought but Being coming to the fore,
coming into view. to preserve solitude is to hold sway,
reign, rule, dominate.
solitude occurs essentially in a belonging together, an
apportionment or allotment, of Being and beings, in the
unfolding of this twofold
This came from a Christian list - a friend sent it to me....
I asked God to take away my pain.
God said, No.
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No.
Her spirit was whole, her body was only temporary.
I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No.
Patience is a by-product of tribulations; it isn't
granted, it is earned.
I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No.
I give you blessings. Happiness is up to you.
I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings
you closer to me.
I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No.
You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No.
I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.
I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as he loves me.
God said... Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.
"I,I" - a freeform poem
I glow from within, lit by my own radiance.
The body, the mind, they are not mine.
Through ignorance I have become associated
with form, substance, dream. I am not that.
There is nothing to describe me, no words.
No thoughts, no symbols.. I wear no clothing.
Nothing but Eternal peace and bliss, this,
One very moment... there is no other but I.
I, the reality, clothed in disguise...
OM, the bridge across forever.
I am the clear light of emptiness.
OM, the bow of the soul, empty of all
but what is real.
In me there are no distinctions,
no past-present-future, no here or there.
I am everywhere and nowhere, the light
that shines bright across the heart of Eternity.
In me is all that ever was, all that has ever been,
all that ever will be, in one eternal instant devoid of
I cannot be described, nor thought of, nor dreamed of.
I cannot be imagined, nor felt, nor seen, nor heard.
The single timeless Eternal Fact I AM...
Devoid of form, of time, of causation.
Cross the bridge of OM to reach me,
the bridge across the ocean of dream.
Chant me, the no-chant OM, until
the dream ends. Until the Reality begins.
Satchidananda I am, forever bliss-being-love.
Nowhere and everywhere I am, and you cannot see me.
You can only be me.
Whenever it's thought of, there it is. I say this entity is
a mythical being, because it's a myth or a story, the entity
'andrew' is the ongoing story of a life. Does a character
in a novel exist when the book is sitting on the shelf? In
a way yes, in a way no. There is the realization that a
story is all it is but I live in the story, the story lives
Because I am aware of this, self aware, I write my story,
'andrew' can be the person he wants to be, the hero of his
own story. If I am not aware, then 'andrew' is not a
conscious being, he is more like an automaton, or an animal
operating on instinct.
I hear you speaking from the 'interval', Andrew. The
'neither this nor that' interval. It's as though you've
split the Red Sea yet still like to surf once in a while, or
cast a line in. The enlightenment 'experience' or
'happening' or 'event' (no word is correct) is something
like the constant appearance of that interval.
Pathway of Nonduality, by Raphael
Non-dualism, Dualism and Monism
Every philosophical or cosmological vision which affirms two
opposing and irreducible principles to explain Reality is a
Philosophical dualism is an answer to the problem of Being,
which is considered double, being made of matter and spirit,
of ego and non-ego, eternally in opposition and independent
of one another.
Religious dualism, on the other hand, opposes two
priniciples in eternal conflict and 'antinomia'. It
explains the presence of evil in the world and existence of
the world itself as the outcome of the constant struggle
between two eternal philosophies, the one called Good, the
other Evil. These two opposing principles are often
personified as God and Satan... .
Every dualistic concept -- whether philosophical or
religious -- recognizes, in other words, two distinct
causes, or two independent 'substances', to use the words of
Aristotle, which due to their very nature can never meet,
never relate or resolve themselves. This implies that -- at
the manifest level -- all contradictions, all antinomies,
which arise and exist, can never be resolved. Two parallel
lines, however much they are drawn out, can never meet.
Evil, being an absolute Reality, just like Good, can never
be overcome gy Good, and vice-versa.
Dualism presents from the onset contradictions that cannot
be solved or supported.
Philosophical, religious or cosmological monism conceives
the multiplicity of manifestations as the effect of a sole
'substance'. It is obviously opposed to both dualism and
pluralism. For pluralism Reality is made not of two but of
Monism can be compared to the mathematical one from which
all numbers derive. The multiplicity of numbers is simply
the multiplication of the one.
There is the materialistic monism for which only one
'substance' exists; matter, and all other categories,
including spirit and even consciousness, are the
epiphenomena of the one material 'substance'. And there is
-- in total opposition to the former theory --
spiritualistic monism, for which all can be traced back to a
single 'substance' which is the Spirit.
For monism every existing element - of any type and at any
level whatsoever -- is real, because it represents the
emanation from or multiplication of the one sole Reality.
>From this standpoint we might say that monism is
pantheistic. Thus, within the field of monism we have to
include Spinoza's pantheism which states the oneness of
'substance' and the identity of God and nature.
In realistic pantheism all antinomies, like good and evil
for example, although they go back to the original unity,
must be considered real and therefore they cannot -- on the
plane of manifestation -- dissolve or transcend. Evil,
ignorance, unhappiness, limit, etc., are universal realities
about which nothing can be done by man, because they are
consubstantial with the One. We can say the the One
contains within Itself the dialectics of opposites. All
manifested effects, polar or dual as they may be, are
contained in the First Cause. This means, naturally,
attributing the good-evil principle itself to the
Q: What is monotheism?
Monotheism -- typical of religion -- affirms the existence
of a sole Divinity. It is the opposite of polytheism and
Some religions admit of a number of gods to control the laws
of the universe as second principles. However, as they are
made to derive from a sole supreme God who includes them
all, these religions may be considered to be fundamentally
Here too emerges the impossibility of overcoming
consciential, psychological and formal dualism because this
is emanated, or created, by the One God.
If the world is Real, then it is not possible to change,
transform or redeem it. It will never be possible to
rectify or redeem what really is.
Next: What is Non-dualism? Maya. Excerpt from Plotinus.
Reprinted from one year ago today. Submitted by Gloria.
WHAT ARE THE DEGREES OF RELATIONSHIP WITHIN THE NONDUAL
J: The first degree of relationship is Intuition. One
intuits that his or her real nature is one with all that is.
The second degree of relationship is Recognition. One has
"seen" nondual reality.
The third degree of relationship is Stability. One "walks
in" nondual reality.
These three degrees: Intuition, Recognition, and Stability
exist in relation to each of the three nondual perspectives
considered in the first question. One can intuit,
recognize, gain stability with nondual reality, whether via
Word Nondualism, Process Nondualism, or Ultimate
Nondualism. In the following discussion I am using the I AM
as the name for the reality the nondual perspective would
GP:That is an acceptable practice...convenient and
efficient, but it has to be noted as such, as an expedient
to getting the job of communication 'done'.
J: Some people approach the nondual perspective from the
disposition of Intuition. They have a real feeling for what
the I AM is. They know a part of them is pure spirit,
unchanging, perhaps that it is a portion of God.
The intuition would be strong enough to bring the person to
a spiritual path, to help guide a person. Part of having
that intuition is that one's values are directed toward
enjoying silence and quiet being. They are different from
many other people's values.
-- >>It is possible that the one who intuits I AM, still has
to live as though 'other people's values' are their own<<--.
GP:Yes...this is a challenge, a major challenge. For me, it
has been somewhat like trying to succeed at working one of
those puzzles, a flat box with two little balls, which has
to be tilted in such a way, that each ball rolls to opposite
sides of the box at the same time. It seems impossible,
when I am trying to do it. I know that this personal/social
integration is a boggling proposition for a great many. One
may succeed in bringing I Am to the forefront, where it
fills and shines, and cleanses and heals, but then when
social reality dawns once again, it may seem that I Am
becomes a flat, rusty remanant of something once-glorious.
The tendency to quickly assume that 'others' have caused
this regression is something to be aware of, and to
overcome. Patience...and abiding, are called for. A
history of hurt feelings and residual grief are like a foul
monkey upon one's back, spoiling the party. Blame follows
resentment, and blame hammers boundaries into existence,
defining one as different from those other jerks.
J:> The one who intuits, knows the I AM from a distance. As
something to be strived for. As a retreat to visit from
time to time. One's life may be colored by that intuition,
but that coloring hasn't penetrated life as yet. It hasn't
GP:In my life, this intuition occurs (has occured) like the
sudden awareness of a powerful presence, which was unseen
until just now, and then recognized immediately as always
having been 'there' or 'here'. Immediately intuited also,
is the realization that I was too distracted by my personal
dramas ("hey...nobody has showed up to change my diapers!"),
too busy doing important 'problem-solving' activities, to
pay attention to _Simply What Is_.
GP:For me (and this seems unusual...I mean, it seems rare),
the contrast between the 'realized' state and the
simultaneous realization of my own self-distraction, is very
clear. In fact, it is shocking, jarring. I have tried
(naively) to abolish the distracted/distracting state, to
disqualify the power of the noise and drama, for the purpose
of having ONLY the 'realized' state, 'purely that'. But I
have learned a better way. As long as the 'distracted
state' is available, also available is the _contrast_.
Now I need merely "look for" the contrast to also find the
powerful presence of I Am. I now know that I am a native of
this place/state/experience. This may seem (to certain
purists) like a confession of weakness, but it is what works
for me. I have also taught it to others. The momentary
jarring is a bit like passing through the 'sound
barrier'...a 'boom' of silence and then a 'bloom' of
sweetness and sweet irony, and laughter. It tickles. There
J:> A second relationship is Recognition. This is an
intimate awareness of I AM or nondual reality. Not merely
an intuition, the stage of Recognition allows one to see
existence as the I AM. It may come as a full-blown mystical
experience or a flash of insight, a vision flash. It is a
time when the colors of Intuition saturate and drip off all
that is, all existence.
GP:Well stated! I love this poetic vision. And it is here,
that I seem to diverge from the 'majority' of those who
write/talk about this stuff. I don't really know, though.
Feedback is welcomed.
For me, the 'recognition' phase that you point out, is an
opening to a richness which I cannot describe in practical
terms. It is "like" having the doors thrown open to a huge,
infinite 'feast-hall'. If I look, what I see multiplies in
richness and delightful complexity, and it is like feeling
the most beautiful music. Each 'thing' which occurs, upon
even the lightest examination, 'morphs' into such beautiful
complexity, that I can barely stand it, in its intensity of
revealed beauty and...meaning. There is no static state of
Being here in this place, and I realize that I am That. It
just keeps expanding, until the sun itself sings an
unbearably beautiful song of Being. Words do not suffice.
Rumi resonates here.
Finally, it comes back upon itself, and explodes into a
statement of I Am, which is "like" the entire Universe in
Orgasm, glory Being. It is when this occurs, that my vision
of 'others' with their heads held low, in fear and
suspicion, elicits such compassion, that only my heart
J:> Whereas one can live a stable existence from the
perspective of Intuition, the one who has recognized, who
has looked into the eyes of God, so to speak, will have a
hard time forgetting that. A person has to deal with it.
For the nature of Recognition is instability. It is an
insight and then a distancing from insight. A failure to
stably retain insight. So it is by nature unstable.
GP:You speak truely. I abide this instability. It is the
source of Holy Contrast which is the difference which leads
to No Difference. It is good. I feel fortunate to have
found this instability. I am joyed when another finds
(recognizes) this precious instability.
J:> The one whose relationship with nondual reality is one
of Recognition can speak very knowingly of the nature of
nondual reality, because he or she has seen. The one who
still only Intuits, may feel distant from such reports.
GP:This may be true, but even so, it does not stop one from
describing experience. "Is this it?" is frequently asked,
in hope, still searching for an imagined stability.
Stability is imagined to be realization, itself, which it is
not. If it were, any fundamentalist idealist would be
totally realized, in accord with their total certainty and
J:> Yet the one who but Intuits, may be better favored by
Grace. The relationship that Recognition offers can be
difficult and frustrating. A person firmly stabilized
within the relationship of Intuition and who is taught to
value that, will return to it after Recognition.
GP:Yes. It is 'getting one's sea-legs', yes? The pitch and
yaw of the ship is a constant occurance, although
unpredictable in detail. Each circumstance of movement can
induce unbalance, yet there is a 'way of Being' which
automatically takes all movement into account. Being able
to give attention during both calm and storm is 'stability',
if I understand what you are saying here. And the gaining
of the 'sealegs' is the habituation to the constant of
change, and also the giving-up of the assumption that the
ship will ever dock in a 'better place' and discharge its
passengers onto stable land...an imagined state of
always-the-sameness. (Although the 'possibility' of a
noncontrast state of Being is defined by some as
'Nirvanna'. This is the "infinite regress" of the
"realization of no realizer" and the paradox that it brings,
like a wad of gum that one has to finally spit out. Or
swallow, as the case may be.)
J:> The relationship of Stability is desired. It is the
stage where one is in unceasing Recognition of the nondual
reality, the I AM. For example, one would progress from
Intuition, to Recognition, back to Intuition, and then to
Stability, with other journeys to Recognition along the way.
GP:Yes, although my personal take on this is that stability
is dynamic rather than static.
J:> The one whose relationship is Recognition and who is
overcome by arrogance to return to mere Intuition, is bound
to suffer and wonder why he or she has not been favored by
Grace to win Stability. Often these people negotiate that
seeming unfairness in positive ways through creative works,
or in negative ways through unacceptable escapes, or in both
positive and negative ways. The key, though, is to return
to Intuition. In this case, you can go back. A person just
needs to be told they can go back.
GP:Absolutely!!! Well said. After all, it is only One
Day. We have all the time we need :).
J:> When the relationship with nondual reality is one of
stability, then one is "walking in" a reality that is
nondual.The one who has achieved stability can recognize the
relationships of Intuition and Recognition. The one who
knows stability acts as anyone else does. They may or may
not reveal the relationship they know. They may pretend it
is just Intuition, or just Recognition. It just depends on
whom they are communicating with.
GP:Yes. This is revealed most excellently by you, O
CyberGuru. I mean this quite sincerely. You are breaking
new ground, in the linguistic approach to Nondualism. Your
approach reveals your excellent sea-legs, your resiliant
dynamic balance. It reveals one who has tired of the sound
of rigid structure cracking, and who has found the bending
of Grace far preferable.
Grace in movement...moves grace in others. Amazing, is it
not, that 'textfile' can speak so?
J:> Spiritual life is the attentional work that it takes to
win that stability and then to grow within and beyond it.
GP:Yes. One the 'habit' is acquired, it attends to
reprocess all experience to the essence of emptiness. It is
a miracle watching that happen.
I say it, and because I say, I am it. No there is not
continuity there is now, even the memory, the myth is