Highlights, Sat., Oct. 2
- 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
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
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
>From the mathematical one, which is the generating principleof 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
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
Pathway of Nonduality
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
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
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
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
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
...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 certainlyis 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)
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
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,
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
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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