#3609 - Thursday, July 30, 2009 - Editor: Jerry Katz
- #3609 - Thursday, July 30, 2009 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlightsThe Myth of Seeing, by ceehttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1601458452?ie=UTF8&tag=nondualitysal-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1601458452Review by Jerry KatzThe Myth of Seeing is not merely nondual and instructional, but artful, literary, and interesting. It is about the world of the Guru and the world of fretting students, the dream world and the waking world, and the fine lines between them that stand as both stumbling blocks and awareness itself.
What is the myth of seeing? The throwaway explanation, as any dilettante of nonduality knows, is that there is no seer. Cee's revelation is poetic and authoritative:
Don't get me wrong I love to look
It's just that I stumbled in the vicinity
Of a Guru
Suddenly my eyes failed me
The dream world is the vehicle for this teaching. "There is a very fine line between your dream life and your waking life. Your true identity is hidden in that fine line," Celeste declares to the attendees of her Dream Workshop.
The line is thin but it stands out enough to stumble upon. The theme of this book is stumbling into truth. It's the only way to go. There's no horizontal walk to truth in which you can stop for popsicle on the way. It's a hard stumbling upon something:
Suddenly my eyes failed me
Falling to my knees and weeping for joy my
Head touched the floor
The investigation of what you stumble upon may have a linear process of day to day practice, but no one begins a practice unless they've stumbled ... upon the reality of what one is ... the Guru ... the sense that something isn't right ... the world inside out ... unalterable love ... Truth ... the lie that their life is.
Besides the Guru Celeste (based upon the life of Cee), there are three other main characters who are students of Celeste. While Celeste, her sister Janet, and Celeste's Guru all come to life by virtue of Celeste's love, the three main students are thinly developed, with their pasts and personas sketched out just enough to give Celeste something to push against in order for the story to unfold.
Each of the students, each fearful and contracted in his or her own way, undergoes some degree of character development, eventually stumbling in the direction of self-realization. However we don't care so much. Why? Perhaps the author intended to keep the relationship with the students impersonal. About her own Guru, Cee (Celeste) says, "He really didn't care about me at all, as a person. ... He didn't care about my story. He was the imageless mirror that reflected my own truth, the truth of us all. ... He didn't treat me nice." Perhaps the reader is expected to regard the three main students in the same way and to somehow assume the bearing of the free and imageless Guru.
There is no character development of Celeste, nor should there be. In her own words, Celeste confesses that she is "out of time," "here," "always already fulfilled," "pleasure unbounded," "birthless and deathless." Her everyday life is full of events as simple as going through a hardware store or as involved as helping her sister die which Celeleste says is "the hardest thing I've ever done." Celeste experiences most intensely because there is no character to develop, no character to get in the way of pure experience.
What I enjoyed most about this book are Celeste's (Cee's) stories about her life, from her girlhood "devouring of beauty," to meetings with her teacher, her secret spirit, her stumblings upon her Guru's specific words, the moment when everything changed when she was driving a bus, her poems about truth. I liked hearing about Celeste and Janet and Celeste's Guru. Those people are real.
This is a fine book about the Guru and the seeker and depicts the impersonal kind of relationship between teacher and devotee. It is artistic and memorable. What is remembered is the Guru.
Waking up from the book's dreamworld, its supporting characters, and their stumbling, what remains is the Guru inviting you and showing you where and how to look. Waking up from the Guru's pointing, all that's left is the Truth. From the lips of the Guru, Celeste or Cee, Truth is all this book could be about. The Myth of Seeing is an exquisite and unique form in which to receive the confession of Truth.
For the pursuit of nonduality, I highly recommend The Myth of Seeing and Cee's previous book, The Way of Knowledge, which will teach you how to do self-inquiry and includes a chapter on dream work.~ ~ ~