Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

#3790 - Thursday, January 28, 2010 - Editor: Gloria Lee

Expand Messages
  • Gloria Lee
    #3790 - Thursday, January 28, 2010 - Editor: Gloria Lee The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights In a sense, this is beyond
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 28, 2010
    • 0 Attachment

      #3790 - Thursday, January 28, 2010 - Editor: Gloria Lee
      The Nonduality Highlights -
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
       
       
       
      In a sense, this is beyond illusion v. reality, real v. unreal, existence v. nonexistence, self v. no self, and beyond v. not beyond. These are all points of view that are important at various parts of the investigation. They all get their meaning in relation to their opposites. 

      One could say that the word non-duality is pointing to the unlearning of the idea that language is delivering truth. 
       
      -Scott Kiloby
      ______________________________
      From the mailer:

      Hi Scott: I've enjoyed your writings this month, good job!

       

      I would ask you to look at a couple of questions; if you think they might be interesting to anyone feel free to post to the OAS group site.

       

      1.       The Advaita "greats" like Ramana Maharshi, H.L. Poonja, Nisargadatta and Robert Adams all say that ultimately awareness itself is non-existent; that which arises is illusion and the consciousness/awareness from which it arises is also an illusion.  NOTHING exists!  (I of course have no idea what that means, but..)  So in your view does "consciousness/awareness" in some sense "exist"?

       

      2.       All of these individuals and countless others have had that moment in time when their apparent self was annihilated once and for all, their unity state fully revealed and their entire path in life on earth utterly transformed.  (an "awakening" experience)   What happened at that moment? Was that event a body/mind/brain event accessible by "practice" and measurable by MRI scans, or  was it a random "something" no one understands yet?   Is this important?

       

      3.       All of the individuals above say the same thing: there is nothing to do, nowhere to go, no practice, no teaching, etc.  They all say the key thing is to be quiet!  The mind is an impediment.  Thus (apparently) my thinking about this/asking these questions is not a good idea.  Is that true?

       

      4.       Of course, they are saying "there is nothing to do" AFTER they have had the "awakening" experience.  Apparently one needs the awakening experience to realize there is nothing to do.  Thus a "realized" person trying to tell a non-realized person "there is nothing to do" is really spinning his wheels, I would think.

       

      I have been living with this simple conundrum for many decades; it seems to me realization of truth is all a matter of luck/karma and is not to be pursued.  So I just live, be quiet as best I can, stay in the present, etc.   Is that not the best one can do?

       

      I appreciate your time and effort this month.   John D.



      From Scott

      Yes, that is about it.  Stay in the present.  Or realize that there is always and already present awareness within which everything appears, including thoughts of past and future.  There is, in a real sense, no way to not be present.  There is only presence.  However, I know that this is not always recognized.  The invitation, and this is really the only invitation, that I give to people is to recognize present awareness in all situations and, without moving to manipulate appearances, see that the appearances are not separate from awareness.  I won't go into great detail again about this invitation but if you go and look at my many posts throughout this forum, you will see that I have explained this from many different angles. 

      Let's go back to your first question.  You asked:

      1.       The Advaita "greats" like Ramana Maharshi, H.L. Poonja, Nisargadatta and Robert Adams all say that ultimately awareness itself is non-existent; that which arises is illusion and the consciousness/awareness from which it arises is also an illusion.  NOTHING exists!  (I of course have no idea what that means, but..)  So in your view does "consciousness/awareness" in some sense "exist"?


      I don't know what "nothing exists" means either, because, although that insight arose and arises, there is no sense here that language is delivering truth or that there is some last and final word that we land on and BOOM we are there.  "Nothing exists" to me is simply a description of a seeing that what was taken to be real--objects, things--are really just appearances within awareness.  They are thoughts really.  And so nothing exists is a phrase describing the "end result" of having started with the idea that things exist in and of themselves, and through the recognition of awareness, having come to see that "things" are really thoughts and so they are not things in and of themselves at all. They are conceptual perceptions.  There is no way to know what a tree is without concepts.  In nonconceptual awareness, there is no tree.  One could describe features like brown and green seamlessly bleeding into each other as one looks at a tree, but even that is saying too much.  In non-conceptual awareness, there are no separate objects.  Objects appear as apparently separate things only as concepts appear.  So even saying "brown" and "green" relies on concepts.  Nothing exists is a phrase describing the inability to know an object as a thing in and of itself, outside of the concept used to describe and know it, and outside of awareness, so to speak. 

      But nothing exists is not a final truth.  Language doesn't deliver final truths (including any truth in that last sentence).  In fact, "nothing" is itself just another concept.  And it gets its meaning in our language in part by what it is not.  It is not "something."  "Nothing" does not exist in and of itself as anything we can know in the universe.  It's an idea.  A symbol.  And it has absolutely no meaning to the mind without reference to other concepts, other symbols, namely "something" or "everything."  So although it is a good enough pointer to say "nothing exists," if taken to be bedrock truth (which it's not) it can lead to nilihism and arrogance.   The so-called ego loves to latch onto an idea, pretending that because it has landed somewhere, it has somehow captured truth.  It hasn't.  It only has another idea.  And none of these words here are intended to convey bedrock truth either.  Pretending that some words are delivering ultimate truth over other words is like pitting space against space.  It's futile.  A game of mind.

      Words are merely pointing.  So to the extent that "Nothing exists" is merely being used as a pointer to a seeing that happens along the way, it is fine.  As truth, it's half the story at best.  There is the fullness of everything also.  The fullness of appearances and of relationship.  There is the fullness of watching your kids play in the yard.  Yes, your kids, those individual, separate little creatures with the big smiles and warm hearts.  What fullness there is in that.  And this line between nothing and everything is merely conceptual anyway.  There is a seamlessness in life that words never convey. So this line between non-duality and duality is still a mind play. 

      I would agree that awareness does not exist in and of itself either. That is really what I'm saying above as I deconstruct the concept of "nothing."  Nothing=awareness.   Again, awareness is yet another symbol.  It is great as a pointer.  But the word itself is empty of inherent existence or meaning.  The word "awareness" does not stand alone in the universe conveying some bedrock truth in and of itself.  It belongs to a vast web of language. It gets its meaning in relation to other words.  That which the word awareness is pointing to is essentially indescribable.  It isn't a thing.  It is more like a seeing or a realization.  And I've never heard a single word capture that.  In a sense, every word is that.  Every word is perfection.  Only the self likes to claim that truth is only in a certain word.  When the self is seen to be toast, its insights vanish.  There is nothing to hold onto, no point of reference, so everything is allowed.

      In a sense, this is beyond illusion v. reality, real v. unreal, existence v. nonexistence, self v. no self, and beyond v. not beyond. These are all points of view that are important at various parts of the investigation. They all get their meaning in relation to their opposites. 

      One could say that the word non-duality is pointing to the unlearning of the idea that language is delivering truth.  There is inherent freedom, play, and joy in that.  There is also peace because conflict comes from clinging to one of a pair of opposites and making an enemy out of the opposite and anyone who stands for that opposite.  If I believe my insights are true, what are my insights?  They can only be known and expressed as individual insights in thought.  And words always appear within a dualistic language.  And all words have opposites.

      So non-duality, in a way, is no longer looking to thought for a sense of self or reality.  And that includes all thought, including the thought "nothing exists."  Yet it doesn't exclude thought.  This is the collapse of all opposites, even the line between non-conceptual and conceptual. 

      Simple presence, as you say, is a good enough word.  I don't want to write in a way that confuses, but sometimes it is good to hear a pointing like this so that, if there is any sense in you that one word or phrase conveys bedrock truth, you can notice that word or phrase slip away.  Then you find yourself eating a twinkie in the next moment and that is just as much truth as a fancy non-dual insight.  I'm being serious.  IF there is such a thing as freedom, it is freedom even from one's own insights.  That is a kind of bondage in and of itself, to believe "I" have the truth and others don't.  It's an ego game, through and through. 

      This is why sages have these greater than thou images.  We project those images upon them, believing that they carried something special.  We can honor these teachers and teachings without projecting ego stuff on them.  After all, the greatest teacher will only desire to point you to what you are.  What you are is what the teacher is.  There is no one who stands separate and apart from that, who can claim it to the exclusion of others.  So those who play with this line of nothing v. everything can very easily fall into the trap of trying to own something by landing on one opposite over the other.  I've seen it in myself.  I've seen a swell of arrogance in me as I proclaim some dualistic conclusion to be the final truth.  It's silly.  It's language.  And language is beautiful.  Stories and thoughts are great.  I love them!!!  But with the dawning of the recognition of awareness, these kinds of ego games easily appear.   

      Here is your second question:

      2.       All of these individuals and countless others have had that moment in time when their apparent self was annihilated once and for all, their unity state fully revealed and their entire path in life on earth utterly transformed.  (an "awakening" experience)   What happened at that moment? Was that event a body/mind/brain event accessible by "practice" and measurable by MRI scans, or  was it a random "something" no one understands yet?   Is this important?

      Again, there is truth in what they are saying.  It certainly is a transformation to recognize timeless awareness.  But it is only a transformation when compared to being a separate self that lives in time.  There is another duality.  You see, it is only transformation within the story.  There is no way to know that something is transformed without looking to how that appeared in an earlier time.  And to do that, thought, and therefore story, is necessary.  We must consult the past in which we lived as a separate self in order to feel that our current state is transformed--moved in form.  When the story of transformation is not being told, non-duality is very simple and ordinary, like eating an apple during lunch.  Nothing more.

      And although spiritual experiences can appear to bring that about, many report it happening in a not so sudden way, like waking up one morning and realizing that the seeking is gone.  No bells and whistles just a sense of well-being that doesn't leave.  What happens is the seeing through of separation.  An MRI might be able to measure something in the brain.  But this is really an interior awareness thing.  I don't believe in the random enlightenment model.  That is a perfect way to distance ourselves from the very awareness that is looking from our eyes right now.  It's like telling a drop of water that it is rare and random that it will never know wetness. 

      Your next question:

      3.       All of the individuals above say the same thing: there is nothing to do, nowhere to go, no practice, no teaching, etc.  They all say the key thing is to be quiet!  The mind is an impediment.  Thus (apparently) my thinking about this/asking these questions is not a good idea.  Is that true?

      They are speaking from the recognition of timeless awareness.  If your experience right now is as a separate self living in time with choice, then utilize that choice.  Find teachings that give clear injunctions to investigate your present experience.  Use whatever works.  Heck, if what works is to listen to a teacher just say, "All there is, is this," then use that.  It's a pointer too.  Yes, it can appear, especially to a noisy mind, that this is about quietness.  But quietness is just another state.  Awareness is like nothing in that it is featureless.  It is what you are regardless of whether there is extreme quietness or an atomic bomb going off.  However, yes, noticing the quietness and stillness can be a kind of portal to recognizing awareness.  Again, use it if it works.  And the mind is not an impediment in any ultimate sense.  Again, words aren't delivering truth.  The mind is only an impediment when thought is believed.  When thought is seen to be empty, mind (i.e., thought) is great.  It's fun. Harmless.  It is none other than awareness.  Thought is the energy of awareness. 

      Last question:


      4.       Of course, they are saying "there is nothing to do" AFTER they have had the "awakening" experience.  Apparently one needs the awakening experience to realize there is nothing to do.  Thus a "realized" person trying to tell a non-realized person "there is nothing to do" is really spinning his wheels, I would think.

      Yes, that was what I was saying.  :)

      Scott

      posted to:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OAStudyGroup/


    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.