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#1915 - Wednesday, September 8, 2004 - Editor: Jerry
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~ ~ ~
This issue features an excerpt from a newly published
book, The Nature of Man According to the Vedanta,
by John Levy. This series will constitute the first lengthy quotation
of Levy on the internet; there is virtually nothing at
present. Also there are quotations from the
thoughtful Alpha World list. And there is an installment
of In Nonduality Salon.
The Nature of Man According to the Vedanta
About the Author
John Levy was a wealthy English mystic, teacher, musician, and artist who
was an expert in Asian folk music and hosted a radio program about this subject
on the BBC. At one point in his life, Levy decided to give away his entire
fortune and go to live for a time in India with nothing. He spent many years
there with his guru, Krishna Menon, assisting him with the English translations
of his guru's books Atma Darshan and Atma Niviriti.
Levy then brought his knowledge of Advaita Vedanta to the west in an
accessible form through his teaching work and the publication of his books. He
died in London in 1976.
from Preface, A Life in Retrospect
It was in Paris that my real education began. I was nineteen when I went
there to be a draughtsman-apprentice to the architect Auguste Perret. He
received me in person and at first I was rather awed by his presence, with his
bearded dignity, his proud stance to which high heels discreetly lent support,
and his manner of speaking like an oracle, full of the consciousness of his
achievement. He was, in fact, one of the foremost architects of his time and the
first, I believe, to make use of reinforced concrete logically and unashamedly,
some will say for good and others for bad. At all events, logic and audacity are
in themselves qualities to be admired, and he did much to rid the world of
nineteenth-century sham: for that, all lovers of honest building must be
grateful. Monsieur Auguste, as we called him, used to sit in his chair facing a
photograph of the Parthenon. The remarkable thing was that every design which
bore his name could not have come from any other source, although he was never
seen to make a single drawing and he left all the details to be worked out by
draftsmen, many of whom, like myself, were young men from foreign countries who
thought it an honor to be able to work under his direction. Moreover, since he
was his own contractor and employed his own engineers, one had the unique
experience of making the architectural designs, the structural drawings and of
supervising the work in progress on the building-yards, a combination which gave
me my first real insight into the underlying unity of all things. That is why I
said my real education began in Paris.
I began to study medieval music, and especially the music of Guillaume de
Machaut, for he seemed to be more consciously concerned than his successors with
metaphysics. I looked into the symbolism of ancient art and poetry. I also began
reading a great many books in the hope of discovering the truth, whatever it
be. I read Greek philosophy in all its variety and found it to be quite
unrelated to any present practical possibilities. Occultism and theosophy, both
products of our time, while expressing a certain aspiration, lapsed in the end
into wistful obscurity, when not into intellectual snobbery; as did also the
many other untraditional schools of thought with which the world abounds. I read
the works of Ouspensky and was taken to see him: though his writings helped me
then, I found later that he only travestied some quite genuine teachings and
methods of the East. And then, at last, I was introduced to the writings of Rene
Guenon. I owe to Guenon the sudden understanding that I and the universe are one
and that this essential unity can be realized. Now I find much to criticize in
his attitude: and, in particular, his statement of Vedanta is often misleading.
But his writings opened my eyes then and gave me a foretaste of the truth. His
expression, 'the Supreme Identity,' by which he referred to this essential
oneness of the individual soul and the universal soul, struck the deepest chord
in my being.
~ ~ ~
The Nature of Man According to the Vedanta
“Pleasure is continually disappointed, reduced, deflated, in favour of
values: Truth, Death, Progress, Struggle, Joy, etc. Its
victorious rival is Desire, we
are always being told about Desire, never
Roland Barthes (1915 – 1980), French semiologist: “The Pleasure of the
~ ~ ~
"The most exquisite pleasure is giving pleasure to others."
Jean de La Bruyere
~ ~ ~
“Mental pleasures never cloy; unlike those of the body, they are increased
approved by reflection, and strengthened by enjoyment.”
~ ~ ~
“”Who was Barbara?” asked Harriet quickly.
“Oh, a girl. I owe her quite a lot, really,” replied Winsey, musingly.
“When she married
the other fellow, I took up sleuthing as a cure for
wounded feelings, and it’s really
been great fun, take it all in all. Dear
me, yes - I was very much bowled over that time.
I even took a special
course in logic for her sake.”
“For the pleasure of repeating ‘Barbara celarent darii ferio baralipton.’
There was a
kind of mysterious romantic lilt about the thing which was
somehow expressive of passion.
Many a moonlight have I murmured it to the
nightingales which haunt the gardens of St.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison.
~ ~ ~
"Lies are essential to humanity. They are perhaps as important as the
pursuit of pleasure
and moreover are dictated by that pursuit."
"Beware of over-great pleasure in being popular or even beloved."
In Nonduality Salon
The Highlights of the Nonduality Salon list from between August, 1998 and
May, 1999, the period of time prior to the creation of The
Me1: Life IS a dream man. Maybe you are just dreaming we are on that
Your name appears man but you just ain't there, know what I mean,
Me2: Maybe you haven't said anything worth responding to. Or maybe they
just too busy jacking each other off, you know, in their non-dual way so
speak. Or maybe man, you're just not part of the tribe, you know, not
of the shared common ground of time and place, you know, all those
experiencial bonding stuffings in the brain cells of
Me3: Shit. Common friendly at your neighborhood bar, even if
exclusion predominated, would be more non-dual, would it not?
Me2: Don't ask me…life is but a mystery…but I think more than
enlightened beings in any group is a waste of time…
Me1: …because life is but a dream.
Me3: Jesus. So, Me2, you think this group is a waste of your time?"
Me2: Well, there are already too many e-mails to read. Already too many
answers or responses. Already too much cleverness et al; too much ego
as non-dual knowing…
Me3: And what was that?
Me1: Life is but a dream…
Me2: I really must go.
Me3: I think I already left.
Me1: Why don't you start your own group like this here and you can talk
yourselves. That's all your're really doin' anyway; you know…
Me1:M2:Me3: Life is but a dream!
Love to you all, and to all a goodnight, wherever you are.
~ ~ ~
December 25, 1998
It is three days past the death of the old!
is time for each... the 'Christ' to behold.
Look into the eyes of one that
behold, the 'Christ', the true gift from 'above'.
not... which prophet we follow!
It matters not... in which creed we
These are the 'mind prisons' of mortal men,
who, the meaning of
*Love*, just will not ken.
~ ~ ~
Recognition is the final refuge of the ego. I have found that my
for recognition as this or that has outweighed my desire to
available. I claim, as others claim, to have the truth, to
enlightened and wish to be called: sage, mystic, master, teacher,
savior, messiah, Christ, Buddha etc.
I take refuge in the fact that Ajja, Ramesh Balsekar, Swami
Saraswati, Dr. Vijai Shankar, His Holiness the Dali Lama, Jesus,
and others have echoed my words, thoughts, feelings and
and it is here that I will stand.
I find it humorous that you all seek and when you find you kill
messenger. I laugh because the “truth” that you seek is in every
thing. It is alive in all forms of existence and nonexistence. I
at the meandering and rubbish that displays itself as this or that.
encourage those that would mock my words. At least these have taken
side. The path to pure light and the path to pure darkness is the
path. At least those that argue within the context are heading in
right direction. Those of you, however, that sit and watch, and cry
don’t understand you must be wrong”. For you I say the only
question is the one not asked. These are serious matters and you
Enlightenment is a process. Awakening, Symbolism, Duality,
Understanding, Acceptance, Advaita. It is simple. You my friends
so. You are complicated. You need qualification. You need
You need recognition. You need.
You need others to do the thinking for you. You see? Isn’t that
You seek to think for yourselves and yet you allow others do
thinking for you. Is it any wonder you can not see? Yet, rather
think for yourself, you choose to read the words of others. This is
however, whether you ridicule my words, or just refuse to absorb
practice the words of the “masters” you cannot define for me
In order to accept and kill the need for recognition, I accept the
that I am the last of all beings to become enlightened. I am the guy
was the stupidest, lamest, wrong pathed, embodiment of all that is
enlightened and in doing so have achieved that which I have desired.
only question that remains now is the anger that I feel for all of
masters. Why did you let me wander so long? Why did you not show
guide me, direct me and assist me? And why now do you not
that which I posses?
If you can answer these questions for me, then you will know
what I mean and I have done my job. The truth is not in the answers
the answers are always there. The truth is in the questions.
~ ~ ~
This is not a Salon
The following is adapted by Jerry Katz from Thomas
"This is not a Nonduality Salon -- it is an electronic mailing
('Who was that Nonduality Salon I seen you with last night?') What
relate are electronic impulses. What I do is live. How I meditate
relate to all this stuff, is breathe. Who said Nonduality? Wash
mouth out if you said Nonduality. If you see a quote by Nisargadatta
by, shoot it. Who said 'Love'? Love is in the movies. (You have
The spiritual life is something that people worry about when they are
busy with soemthing else they think they ought to be
Spiritual life is guilt. Out here is seen the Avadhuta Gita, the
Testament, the Lankavatara Sutra, every link on the Nonduality
website: that is to say, the wind comes through the trees and
breathe it. Is it supposed to be clear? I am not inviting anybody to
it. Or suggesting that one day the message will come saying NOW. That
none of my business."
---adapted from Thomas Merton for the Nonduality Salon