#4968 - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/
The following was the introduction to the previous Highlights issue:
>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 found.
> It makes me want to take a couple tylenols and lay down.
I received several interesting comments. One of them, posted to Nonduality Salon, follows:
T: JEEZUz !
Jerry my good man!
Fer Kerist's Sake.
I feel for you.
You might even smoke a bowl.
Now I know why they burnt the library in Alexandria all those years ago.
And why Socrates never wanted to write anything down.
Its a effing stinking swamp!
I cut the rest without so much as a by your leave.
Huge Snipperage of ordure!
Any time you want a pillow.
Colin Drake revisits Alain de Botton's "10 commandments for virtuous atheists" from the viewpoint of awareness...
Awakening and Ethics
by Colin Drake
‘And He who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage’
--Kahlil Gibran from the chapter on religion in The Prophet.
‘Once The Way is lost then virtue (needs to be cultivated) ,
Virtue lost then compassion, after that morality,
When lost there’s etiquette, the husk of all good faith.’
--Tao Te Ching verse 38.
‘The Way brings forth virtue’ (v.51)
‘Cultivate The Way and your virtue will be genuine’ (v.54)
All religions try to impose a moral code on their followers, some with the aim of preventing them from ‘sinning’ and others as aids to awakening. The religions ‘of the book’ have the ten commandments plus injunctions from the Torah, Jesus and Mohammed. Hinduism has the various rules from the Vedas, plus the Yamas and Niyamas - the ethical precepts set forth in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras as the first and second of the eight limbs of yoga, and various other rules stipulated by the many different sects. Whereas, Buddhism suggests the Noble Eightfold Path as the means to attain Nirvana. Now the writer, philosopher and pillar of the Fourth Estate, Alain de Botton, has just published a set of 10 commandments for virtuous atheists, which are designed to make for a more humane society. His list is as follows:
1. Resilience: Keeping going even when things are looking dark.
2. Empathy: The capacity to connect imaginatively with the sufferings and unique experiences of another person.
3. Patience: We should grow calmer and more forgiving by being more realistic about how things actually happen.
4. Sacrifice: We won't ever manage to raise a family, love someone else or save the planet if we don't keep up with the art of sacrifice.
5. Politeness: Politeness is closely linked to tolerance, -the capacity to live alongside people whom one will never agree with, but at the same time, cannot avoid.
6. Humour: Like anger, humour springs from disappointment, but it is disappointment optimally channelled.
7. Self-awareness: To know oneself is to try not to blame others for one's troubles and moods; to have a sense of what's going on inside oneself, and what actually belongs to the world.
8. Forgiveness: It's recognising that living with others is not possible without excusing errors.
9. Hope: Pessimism is not necessarily deep, nor optimism shallow.
10. Confidence: Confidence is not arrogance - rather, it is based on a constant awareness of how short life is and how little we will ultimately lose from risking everything.1
Whilst this is a very worthy list is it actually possible to develop these attributes by force of will alone? And if one attempts this how does this affect one’s spontaneity and joie de vivre? It seems to me that, while certain rules are obviously necessary to maintain a civilized society, to actually attempt to create the ‘virtuous man’ without some degree of awakening taking place is an impossible task.
This is especially true if one defines oneself as a separate object in a universe of such, for then one tends to treat others as objects (for that is what one thinks they are!), the results of which we can see quite clearly in the world around us. Whereas, if one discovers the constant conscious subjective presence, Pure Awareness, that we all are then this problem vanishes. This is easy to do by directly investigating our moment-to-moment experience, see the appendix, after which we see others as of the same essence as ourselves. This directly leads to treating all alike and greatly enhances our ability to manifest the ‘virtues’:
1. Resilience: Pure Awareness is unaffected by its environment and thus no resilience is required, or you could say resilience comes naturally.
2. Empathy: One can only display true empathy when one sees the other as oneself.
3. Patience: When one is identified with Pure Awareness then there is no separate self to become impatient.
4. Sacrifice: Who is sacrificing what? We are all manifestations of the one Consciousness and thus any thing done for ‘another’ is done for ourselves.
5. Politeness: Politeness is natural as we are not dealing with ‘others’. It is true that most will not share our viewpoint, but this leads to compassion for their unnecessary mental suffering caused by misidentifying themselves as separate objects in a universe of such.
6. Humour: Is natural when the universe is seen to be the play of Consciousness, of which we are expressions acting in the play.
7. Self-awareness: To know that one is Pure Awareness is to be aware of The Self.
8. Forgiveness: Most errors are caused by ignorance (misidentification), or lack of awareness, which is natural as this is the state of the majority of humanity. So when one is identified as Pure Awareness these errors elucidate compassion rather than blaming or judging. In this case no forgiveness is necessary.
9. Hope: When identified with Pure Awareness no hope is required, as This never needs anything to be different…
10. Confidence: When one is identified with The Self then Self-confidence is the outcome, not confidence in the imaginary small limited self but confidence in the true Self – Pure Awareness.
Thus these attributes are the outcomes of awakening, and not the prerequisites for it. This is also true for most of the rules and injunctions that are prescribed by the many different spiritual paths. So I urge you all to awaken, and to remain awake by repeated investigation, when no list of prescribed rules or codes will be necessary. Then your ‘song-bird’ can fly freely for your conduct will not be defined by ethics but by the spontaneity of The Self.
Colin Drake's books are available at http://nonduality.com/colindrake.htm