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Highlights, Sat., Oct. 2

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  • umbada@xx.xxxxxxxxx.xxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx)
    These are some of the highlights from messages posted Saturday, October 2, to the Nonduality Salon mailing list. Hi. I hope nobody minds the rather dry but
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 1999
      These are some of the highlights from messages posted
      Saturday, October 2, to the Nonduality Salon mailing list.

      Hi. I hope nobody minds the rather dry but informative
      selections from Pathway of Nonduality. I feel it reads like
      a textbook on nondualism, and it has its place in that kind
      of way.

      Dan has been writing commentaries on the book, such as

      Jerry (quoting Raphael): "...the Supreme Reality always
      identical to itself."

      Dan: This is the point -- it is always identical to Itself,
      and It is always all that is. So what then does it mean for
      something to be nonidentical to Itself? Even when it is
      (appearing to be) nonidentical to Itself, it is identical to
      Itself. There is nothing to be solved (no need to "solve"
      maya), nothing to be seen through, no problem at all -- That
      *is* "seeing through"...

      All his commentaries will appear on the web pages on which
      the excerpted book will appear.


      Pathway of Nonduality

      By Raphael

      Chapter One: Nondualism, Dualism, and Monism (continued)

      Q. What is Nondualism then?

      Nondualism is neither monism nor monotheism and, of course,
      it is not dualism.

      Since monism might be compared to the mathematical one and
      the latter to multiplicity, in order to avoid
      misunderstandings the term 'nondual' is used. In other
      words, the unity that is not multipliable, which does not
      generate or is not mathematical is called nondual. This
      nondual unity may be considered as belonging to the
      metaphysical order.

      >From the mathematical one, which is the generating principle
      of the total series of numbers, we arrive at the
      metaphysical One which is beyond all possible numerical

      If for monism and dualism the universe-object is created by
      or emanates from the First Cause, for nondualism the
      universe-object is neither creation nor emanation, but a
      simple maya-phenomenon shown upon the screen of the universe
      or of the individual by the projecting power of what we call
      'mind'. Thus, for example, our dreams or imagination --
      whether sleeping or waking -- are simply mayika projections
      that have no absolute reality and therefore may dissolve at
      any moment. The universe is a continuum-discontinuum that
      can be resolved and transcended. It is not, therefore, a
      creation -- in the sense generally given to this term --
      because the Supreme Reality, being complete in itself, does
      not need to create. Nor is it an emanation because the
      Supreme Reality does not exhaust itself in the manifest, nor
      does it transform itself to become other than what it is.

      An individual, planetary or cosmic body-form is the effect
      of a movement which, were it to cease, would cause the form
      to disappear.

      The universe is a 'dream' (but this term must not be taken
      literally). We have a body and we are moving, because we
      are dreaming. If we wish to emerge from all consciential,
      psychological and formal dualism, we must wake up and stop
      the movement. It is not Reality in itself that causes
      dualism, but it is the 'movement' of the jiva (the living
      soul) which in turn is a projection of the Absolute Self.
      Likewise, when we are in a train it is not the landscape
      outside that moves but the train and we, and because of maya
      we attribute the movement to trees and the fields. From
      this point of view, the mathematical one and dualism are not
      absolute realities for nondualism. They are not
      'substances' but 'appearances' and as such they can be
      transcended and solved. 'Evil', but also 'good'. is not a
      reality in itself, it is not 'substance' but 'appearance', a
      particular movement, but it can be solved and transcended.
      The universe of names and forms is not something in itself,
      it is not a reality that lives by its own life, it is not
      Being, it is simply movement (apparent if seen from the
      point of view of the Absolute Reality) which causes
      non-substantial event-things. Our nightly dreams are not
      absolute realities, are not eternal, are not 'substantial',
      have no origin and nowhere to go. They are only phenomena
      projected by the mind upon the immobile screen of our
      being. To say that a dream Is the individual himself or
      that the individual exhausts himself in the dream, or again,
      that the dream is eternal and immortal means pushing things
      too far. What cause the vital 'appearance', these worlds --
      apparently solid and immortal - is maya.

      Between the Real and non-real (which appears real) stands
      maya. It is sufficient to eliminate maya to discover a sole
      'substance', that is, the Supreme Reality always identical
      to itself.)

      Pathway of Nonduality

      By Raphael

      Chapter One: Nondualism, Dualism, and Monism (concluded)

      Q. But can maya be studied empirically and consciously?

      When we want to study our dreams consciously an unexpected
      event occurs: we awaken and wakefulness dispels our dream as
      if by magic. The ego and the non-ego of the dream (duality)

      When we wish to examine empirically the snake we have seen
      insted of a rope, the snake disappears and we are left with
      the rope.

      When we try to examine maya consciously, this disappears
      taking with it all dualism and antinomia, and in its place
      we find Being, Reality and the Absolute Constant.

      Maya cannot be observed or analyzed empirically because it
      is not reality.

      Wanting to 'see' or 'trace' maya is like looking in the air
      for the trace left by a passing bird, says Samkara. Though
      not seen, it can be resolved and transcended by means of
      vidya, metaphysical knowledge.

      We ascribe reality and truth to things because we believe
      them to be real and true, capable of granting satisfaction
      and fulfillment. In doing so we become alienated as our
      completeness and happiness are dependent on something other
      than ourselves. But the 'other' is a mere fancy, a
      non-substance unable, for its particular nature, to grant
      pax profunda. For nonduality the basic error is believing
      in things that, all considered, are not. In order to
      eliminate this error, due to avidya or invalid knowledge, we
      need vidya or noetic knowledge.

      Q. We might say that the world of names and form can be
      transcended and solved by the power of Knowledge (vidya),
      might we not?

      As long as the 'snake' is seen and perpetuated by the
      projective power of the mind, it is considered as existing,
      real and substantial. Only when we awaken and recognize the
      true 'rope-being', the 'snake' disappears without leaving a
      trace. Thus, for nondualism the world of names and forms is
      real and non-real, depending upon the point of view from
      which it is observed and considered.

      Q. Has the metaphysical One been seen and pointed out only
      by the Vedic Tradition?

      The Vedic Tradition is only a branch of the One Tradition.
      The Tradition of the Sacred Mysteries of ancient Greece --
      above all the Orphic Tradition -- recognized the
      metaphysical One, even though this truth was revealed only
      at the very last levels of the Great Mysteries.

      It is sufficient to go back to Plotinus, who took up and
      gave new life to the ancient Mysteric Tradition. He says:

      "...the One must be without form. But if it is without form
      it is not a substance, for a substance must be something
      particular, something, that is, defined and limited; but it
      is impossible to apprehend the One as a particular thing,
      for then it would not be a principle, but only that
      particular thing which you said it was. But if all things
      are in that which is generated [from the One], which of the
      things in it are you going to say that the One is? Since it
      is none of them, it can only be said to be beyond them. But
      these things are beings, and being: so it is 'beyond being'.

      This phrase 'beyond being' does not mean that it is a
      particular thing -- for it makes no positive statement about
      it -- and it does not say its name, but all it implies is
      that it is 'not this'. But if this is what the phrase does,
      it in no way comprehends the One. It would be absurd to
      seek to comprehend that boundless nature, for anyone who
      wants to do this has to put himself out of the way of
      following at all, even the least distance, in its traces;
      but just as he who wishes to see the intelligible nature
      will contemplate what is beyond the the perceptible if he
      has no mental image of the perceptible, so he who wishes to
      contemplate what is beyond the intelligible will contemplate
      it when he has let all the intelligible go. He will learn
      that it is by means of the intelligible, but what it is like
      by letting the intelligible go. But this 'what it is like'
      must indicate that it is 'not like', for there is no 'being
      like' in what is not a 'something'. But we in our travail
      do not know what we ought to say, and are speaking of what
      cannot be spoken, and give it a name because we want to
      indicate it to ourselves as best we can."

      "...but that has no shape, not even intelligible shape...
      It is not therefore something or qualified or quantitative
      or intellect or soul; it is not in movement or at rest, not
      in place, not in time, but 'itself by itself of single
      form', or rather formless, being before all form, before
      movement and before rest, for these pertain to being and are
      what make it many .
      ...'One' must be understood in a larger sense than that in
      which a unity and point are unified....And it must be
      understood as infinite not because its size and number
      cannot be measured or counted but because its power cannot
      be comprehended. For when you think of it as Intellect or
      God, it is more." (Enneads: V, 5, vi; VI,
      Pathway of Nonduality

      by Raphael

      Chapter 2

      Real and Non-Real

      Q. What is meant by real and non-real in Samkara's Advaita
      and Gaudapada's Asparsavada?

      A. The problem of real and non-real, of Being and non-being
      is very complex, therefore one gets different answers
      depending upon the point of view from which one looks at the
      question. ...

      Let us take a body-form, a cloud in the sky, for example.
      Is it real or non-real? Is a dream real or non-real? Some
      hold that it is real, others hold that it is not, and still
      others that it is both real and non-real. It all depends
      upon one's point of view, on one's own position of
      consciousness or the particular system of coordinates which
      one is using to analyze things.

      Those who hold that a cloud in the sky ... is real, trust
      in a knowledge of an empirical, perceptive-sensory kind, in
      knowledge by means of the five senses. If an object can be
      seen, touched, tasted they say then it cannot be held to be
      unreal or an illusion. What can be touched and seen is
      there, it occupies a place, it lasts in time and can be
      observed and experienced by all.

      Those who hold that things do not exist conceive reality as
      non-sensory, non-material and non-substantial. For them ...
      ontological reality is exclusively ideal. Things enjoy no
      reality of their own and the Spirit-Being cannot be the
      object of sensorial knowledge, because it is beyond the
      senses. There pure Being exists while all that is not Being
      is unreality.

      Those who maintain that things are real and unreal --
      synthesizing the other two points of view -- have a
      particular conception of reality which must be examined
      because it is not as superficial and reductive as the first
      two concepts.

      ...If our senses see, touch and perceive we cannot obviously
      say that they touch and see 'nothing'. Nothing -- like the
      horns of a hare or a barren's woman child -- cannot be
      perceived, touched or seen by any of the senses, however
      perfect they may be. Therefore we cannot support the theory
      of those who hold that the senses perceive 'nothing' or that
      things do not exist. However, at this stage we must get
      into the matter more and make a number of points.

      To think that nothing exists beyond objectivity because the
      senses or figurative thinking cannot perceive it means
      either being absolutist or onesided or else it mean refusing
      to investigate and find a solution to the problem. Things
      -- a cloud in the sky -- appear and disappear, they are and
      they are not, they come and go, they are born and they die.
      In other words, they change continually. The senses
      themselves that see and touch soon cease to touch and see
      because the objects disappear.

      On the other hand, it is legitimate to ask: what do our eyes
      really see? What our retina perceives as an image is a
      series of luminous vibrations which come from things outside
      us. When our senses see or touch things, they are not
      seeing-touching the things in themselves but rather their
      images given to the retina or to the tactile organs by their

      The mind -- as the sixth sense -- translates and interprets
      the images obtained by the retina but not the thing in
      itself. Our truth springs from the interpretation or
      translation of a sensorial image.

      Besides -- as we have already mentioned -- the vibrations
      caused by things are not constant, are not absolute, because
      they are subject to endless, vibratory modifications and the
      image we perceive, as a result, is altered too. Matter
      undergoes continuous change, it is a force-field and
      therefore it is impossible to grasp the thing itself.

      >From this point of view then, a cloud in the sky certainly
      is perceived, but a moment later one must admit that it is
      no longer perceived. This is a matter fact, this is

      It is an empirical fact of experience. Therefore, how can
      we say that things are real and absolute? A true and
      genuine reality must always be seen, perceived and found,
      within and outside of time, and in every place. If the said
      reality appears to our senses and then disappears like a
      flash or a mirage, to what extent can we say that it is

      To consider absolute-real what appears and disappears
      inevitably means wanting to force matters. On the other
      hand, the empiricists do not accept dreams as real, and yet
      dreams are perceived by the senses just like any other

      We err when we say we know things because ... we only know
      the image we have of things. And we even know that this
      image is subject to alteration and change in time and space.

      Reality, fragmented into indefinable and fleeting phenomena,
      does not guarantee the stability and certainty of knowledge,
      but leaves it a prey to gnawing relativism, incapable of
      determination. Thought dies in anguish, losing itself in
      frustrating aporias and contradictions.

      We must also say that the empiricists recognize all this,
      but as they do not wish to arrive at the point reached by
      the pure idealists, and as they are attached to their own
      point of view, they are obliged to make the following
      paradoxical statement: Reality is appearance, relativity and
      change. But this statement does not seem to be reasonable
      for the simple reason that if everything is relative and
      changing then even the statement 'all is relative' is

      If an entity is relative and not constant, how can it state
      an absolute reality or a reality of any other order and
      dimension? In other words, a relative entity can only state
      relative truths. Thus, what the empiricist sees and touches
      sensorially is not Reality with a capital R, but a simple
      phenomenon that appears and disappears. However, a
      phenomenon is not pure nothing, it is the effect of a
      particular movement which determines the apparition of a
      body-form, of an event that is not 'substance'. This
      movement, in turn, is an effect because its existence is the
      outcome of relation.

      If the empiricist is obliged to consider all as relative and
      non-permanent, then his idea coincides, in part, with the
      Advaita point of view, that is, with a point of view which
      is apparently the very opposite of his own. Opposites meet
      when one tries to really understand them.

      (to be continued)

      From: "Petros"


      by Craig Chalquist, M.S.

      Some Symptoms or Contributing Factors of Transpersonal

      1.Pompous, abstract, high-flown verbiage that sounds deep
      but says little ("We are entering a new era of tremendous
      growth potential and/or utilization of

      2.Excessive use of New Age-style clich�s; lack of concrete
      personal self-references;

      3.Use of spiritual experiences for self-intoxication and
      mood-altering (usually accompanied by brief but intense
      compensatory periods of sadness or depression);

      4.Seeing the unconscious or the spiritual realm as a
      personal possession requiring conquest, invasion, or
      penetration, perhaps accompanied by dreams of committing
      theft or being exiled;

      5.Fantasies of one's extraordinary historical significance;

      6.Denial of human, all-too-human states of mind like anger,
      frustration, ignorance, or confusion accompanied by a
      certainty of having worked through or evolved beyond them
      (may be accompanied by shadow attack nightmares);

      7.A cold-eyed charisma combined with impenetrable
      impersonality and a lecturing tone;

      8.Excessive or stilted displays of "humility" or "modesty";

      9.Emotional isolation; an absence of grounded, real, warm,
      fun relationships;

      10.Preoccupation with "deep" matters to the detriment of
      everyday demands (e.g., leaving bills unpaid, ignoring
      friends or family, neglect of health or personal

      (etc. see site.)

      There is nothing to realize, except that which is already
      so. To me, that was the great surprise!
      Wow! What have I been thinking all this time? What was I
      so busy understanding all the time?
      A blow big enough to kill whatever you thought you were.
      But such comfort to embrace yourself in that which you were
      all the time anyway........
      Indeed, just pay attention...... What more can be said?


      Add Ishmael and Queequeg (to list of Nondual People):


      ISHMAEL AND AHAB: An Introduction to Moby Dick

      by Alfred Kazin

      (Introduction to Houghton Mifflin 'Riverside' edition of

      "...It is Ishmael who, in the wonderful chapter on the
      masthead, embodies for us man as a thinker, whose reveries
      transcend space and time as he stands watch high above the
      seas. And of course it is Ishmael, both actually and as the
      symbol of man, who is the one survivor of the voyage. Yet
      utterly alone as he is at the end of the book, floating on
      the Pacific Ocean, he manages, buoyed up on a coffin that
      magically serves as his life-buoy, to give us the impression
      that life itself can be honestly confronted only in the
      loneliness of each human heart. Always it is this emphasis
      on Ishmael's personal vision, on the richness and ambiguity
      of all events as the sceptical, fervent, experience-scarred
      mind of Ishmael feels and thinks them, that gives us, from
      the beginning, the new kind of book that Moby-Dick is. It
      is a book which is neither a saga, though it deals in large
      natural forces nor a classical epic, for we feel too
      strongly the individual who wrote it. It is a book that is
      at once primitive, fatalistic, and merciless, like the very
      oldest books, and yet peculiarly personal, like so many
      twentieth-century novels, in its significant emphasis on the
      subjective individual consciousness. The book grows out of
      a single word, 'I', and expands until the soul's voyage of
      this 'I' comes to include a great many things that are
      unseen and unsuspected by most of us.
      And this material is always tied to Ishmael, who is not
      merely a witness to the story�someone who happens to be on
      board the Pequod�but the living and germinating mind who
      grasps the world in the tentacles of his thought.

      ... As his name indicates, he is an estranged and solitary
      man; his only friend is Queequeg, a despised heathen from
      the South Seas. Queequeg, a fellow 'isolato' in the smug
      world of white middle-class Christians, is the only man who
      offers Ishmael friendship, thanks to Queequeg, 'no longer my
      splintered heart and maddened hand were turned against the
      wolfish world. This soothing savage had redeemed it'."

      --contributed by Andrew


      "..."Why, thou monkey," said a harpooneer to one
      of these lads, "we've been cruising now hard upon
      three years, and thou hast
      not raised a whale yet. Whales are scarce as hen's
      teeth whenever thou art up here." Perhaps they
      were; or perhaps there might
      have been shoals of them in the far horizon; but
      lulled into such an opium-like listlessness of
      vacant, unconscious reverie is this
      absent-minded youth by the blending cadence of
      waves with thoughts, that at last he loses his
      identity; takes the mystic
      ocean at his feet for the visible image of that
      deep, blue, bottomless soul, pervading mankind and
      nature; and every strange,
      half-seen, gliding, beautiful thing that eludes
      him; every dimly- discovered, uprising fin of some
      undiscernible form, seems to him
      the embodiment of those elusive thoughts that only
      people the soul by continually flitting through
      it. In this enchanted mood, thy
      spirit ebbs away to whence it came; becomes
      diffused through time and space; like Cranmer's
      sprinkled Pantheistic ashes,
      forming at last a part of every shore the round
      globe over.

      There is no life in thee, now, except that rocking
      life imparted by a gently rolling ship; by her,
      borrowed from the sea; by the
      sea, from the inscrutable tides of God. But while
      this sleep, this dream is on ye, move your foot or
      hand an inch; slip your hold
      at all; and your identity comes back in horror.
      Over Descartian vortices you hover. And perhaps,
      at mid-day, in the fairest
      weather, with one half-throttled shriek you drop
      through that transparent air into the summer sea,
      no more to rise for ever.
      Heed it well, ye Pantheists!"

      Moby Dick, from Chap. xxxv (THE MASTHEAD)

      --contributed by Andrew

      From: "Petros" <xristos@...>

      A couple of selections from _Teachings of the Prophet Joseph
      Smith_, just in time for General Conference.

      "All the fools and learned and wise men from the beginning
      of creation who say that the spirit of man had a beginning,
      prove that it must have an end; and if that doctrine is
      true, then the doctrine of annihilation is true; but if I am
      right, I might with boldness proclaim from the housetops
      that God never had the power to create the spirit of man at
      all; God himself could not create himself; intelligence is
      eternal, and exists upon a self-existent principle; it is a
      spirit from age to age, and there is no creation about it.
      The mind or intelligence which man possesses is co-equal
      with God himself. I know that my testimony is true."

      "Here then is eternal life: To know the only wise and true
      God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves,
      and to become Kings and Priests unto God, the same as all
      Gods have done before you; namely, by going from one small
      degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one;
      from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until
      you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to
      dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do
      those who sit enthroned in power."

      "If you do not believe it, you do not believe the Bible; the
      Scriptures say it, and I defy all the learning and wisdom
      and all the combined powers of earth and hell together to
      refute it. I defy all the world to destroy the work of God;
      and I prophesy that they will never have power to kill me
      till my work is accomplished and I am ready to die."

      What could be the "secondary effects" of a natural, nondual
      state? A quiet, cool state of bliss (not caused by
      hormones), independent of vicissitudes? No longer being
      burdened by questions and the always unsatisfactory
      answers? A clear mind that no longer knows the meaning of
      blaming and forgiving, "I" and "mine"? How about feelings
      that will only arise when appropriate, without these
      feelings carrying expectations or the result of past
      experiences, whether "good" or "bad"? How about a memory
      that will only supply data when addressed to do so? Not to
      forget the peace of being, having nowhere to go, nowhere to
      hide and nowhere to stay. The absence of motives living a
      "life of their own", causing one to be dragged hither and
      tither by them, like a mandarin by his 9 wives :)

      Enjoying the above "secondary effects" for about 30 years,
      whether or not they have anything to do with nonduality, has
      become utterly irrelevant :)))


      Just a note - at a Francis Lucille talk last night in NYC, I
      saw Becky and Nora and a very nice getleman named Lou (sp?),
      who announced himself as an NDS lurker. Nora actually had
      an NDS T-shirt on (and all this time I thought you guys were
      joking about them!)

      Taking the ball into my own hands totally un-asked - let me
      voice something that we all spoke briefly about.

      1. Nora lives in Philadelphia and would like to gather in
      some form or fashion with others. The perfume of love,
      gratitude and friendship is great when this happens (we've
      been doing teacherless satsangs weekly in NYC for 2 years).
      She's thinking of inviting a travelling teacher there - or
      maybe there are other NDS-ers who live in the area. I
      volunteered to travel out there to help get things going.

      2. Lou lives in Long Island and is having a meeting in the
      near future along the lines of Douglas Harding's teachings.
      I think (correct me here Lou if I got it wrong) that he was
      interested in more folks coming.

      Whaddya all say?




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