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3823#3823 - Tuesday, March 2, 2010 - Editor: Jerry Katz

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  • Jerry Katz
    Mar 2, 2010
      #3823 - Tuesday, March 2, 2010 - Editor: Jerry Katz
      The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights

      Stanley Sobottka summarizes his view on quantum theory and nonduality given on Open Awareness Study Group
      Dear Friends,

      As my tenure on the OASG comes to a close, I would like to summarize,
      and perhaps correct, what I have said about quantum theory and nonduality.

      Physics in general, and quantum theory in particular, began as the study
      of objective reality, i.e., a reality that exists whether or not it is
      being observed. Classical physics had no problem with this approach.
      When classical physics proved inadequate to the task of explaining the
      results of certain experiments, quantum theory arose. It was
      spectacularly successful in explaining these results and many more, too.
      Then a few physicists began to ask, is this all that quantum theory
      means--the explanation of experimental results? Does it have any
      ontological value, i.e., can it tell us what objective reality _is_, not
      just what it _does_? This is what an _interpretation _of quantum theory
      is supposed to do, to describe what objective reality is. So a few
      physicists worked very hard to come up with an interpretation in terms
      of an objective reality....and failed. But the failure was that there
      were too many contenders, not too few, and there was no way to determine
      which one, if any, was correct. Furthermore, most of them pretend that
      the quantum wavefunction, which is a probability wave rather than a
      physical wave, is an objectively real object rather than being simply
      the mathematical formula that it is. However, rather than this being
      cause for despair, it actually can liberate us from the prison of
      objective reality. As long as we believe that objects are real, we will
      find it difficult to escape the belief that we are objects, and
      consequently to feel separate from all other objects. The failure of
      physicists to find an objective interpretation of quantum theory has the
      potential to liberate us from this fatal belief in separation.

      So now that we don't have to believe in the existence of separation,
      what is left? We are free to believe in the absence of separation.
      Better still, we don't have to leave it to mere belief, we can _see
      _that there is no separation. This is where the teaching of nonduality
      comes in. There are many statements of nonduality, e.g., consciousness
      is all there is, love is all there is, there are not two, there is only
      oneness, etc. These are useful to begin with but the statements
      themselves don't take us very far. To believe the statements is to make
      nonduality into a religion rather than accepting it as a teaching.
      Instead of belief, what is necessary is a clear, direct seeing of truth.
      The essence of direct seeing is to see that there is no separate me. If
      there is no separate me, there is no separation.

      How do we see that there is no me? Simply speaking, we just look for the
      me. If we don't find it, then we look for what-it-is that sees that
      there is no me. We might think that then is the true me. In that case,
      we just take another step back and look for what-it-is that sees that.
      We might think that we will have to keep on stepping back forever but
      that proves not to be the case. Once we see that there is no me, the
      next step, the step of seeing the witness of no-me, is likely to be the
      last one because the seeing of the witness likely dissolves the witness,
      and then there is only pure awareness.

      What if we find a me in the first step? The process is the same as
      above. We step back and see what-it-is that sees the me. If we find the
      witness of the me, we take another step back and see what-it-is that
      sees the witness of the me. That seeing will likely dissolve the
      witness, leaving pure awareness.

      Even if we can find no me and no witness of no-me, we might still feel
      that our awareness is confined to the skull. In that case, we look for
      what-it-is that sees that awareness is confined to the skull. If we see
      an awareness that is confined to the skull, we immediately see that what
      seems to be confined awareness cannot be true awareness. Again, as we
      step back and look for what sees this, we might find a witness of
      no-confined- awareness. Once again, we step back to see what-it-is that
      sees the witness. In so doing, the witness again dissolves into pure

      Once we see that there is no me, no witness of no-me, and
      no-confinement, all separation dissolves. This seeing might have to be
      repeated many times for it to be a continuing awareness of no
      separation. It is very helpful to realize that both the apparent me and
      apparent confinement are just arisings. Since all arisings rapidly come
      and go, the me and confinement are never permanent, even for a short
      time. There are many times when there is no me and no confinement but we
      are not aware of it because we are not at the moment suffering from
      separation. Consequently, we can save our practice times for the times
      that we are suffering.

      Love, Stanley