- Nondual Digest - for Wednesday, July 7, 1999:
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<< The ego as form
>is an attempt to hold onto form---
>so it is not the same form
>as discussed in "form is emptiness"
It seems to me from my internal
view of my mind, that ego is just
the tendency of identity to maintain
Ivan: It could be said, yes. I also feel
that it is the *point-that-pretends-to-be-in-the-dark*.
In this way it can feign to be the observer.
Toon: Purified ego would be identity w/out the tendency to maintain.
Identity is no problem as long as it's ever-changing.
Has this happened to you?
It has happened to me.
Literally in a twinkling of
my eye, consciousness
shifted to the Everything.
At various times on these lists I've confessed that a
question would be given to me and that I might spend years
with it, and then one day Everything is the answer.
What drives that? Is it questioning and doubt? Is it Grace
coming at the invite of stillness and quiet? Is it both? Or
may that shift arise out of just living an ordinary life
with no apparent effort? I think all those possibilities
exist. Sometimes growth comes only with great effort and
even suffering, and in other cases with less effort and a
relatively painless period of acclimation. Some may bring
Karma into the picture at this point.
Certainly a hunger to want to penetrate and go beyond
wherever a person is 'at' will drive growth.
>>Yes, it seems odd that the one supporting Adi Da would also write ChapterGreg:
>>12 of THE EYE OF SPIRIT, which has become quite beloved in advaita circles.
>Did anything in particular emerge for you from "EYE"?
Like a beautiful meditative concerto, gently and lovingly saying what I
been feeling. My first hearing of it was one evening at a wonderful
retreat in a rustic house in the woods above Ontario, Canada. That chapter
had been copied from the book, passed around among friends in the U.S., and
at this retreat read aloud by a friend, a British schoolteacher with great
diction, great accent.
It was, after all, the last chapter in the book. Its profundity, as though
nothing more need be said, relegated anything else in the book (and his
other books on similar subjects) to the realm of transpersonal psychology.
In my view,
the body indeed partakes of the freedom.
leads to the body-resolution.
The body is the seat of the
thus, the dilemmas of thought,
return awareness to the body.
The body's freedom arises
when itself as process is revealed
changing and moving
moment to moment --
the body dies,
but through its death
the eternal shines...
The Bodhi Tree is really a wonderful store, isn't it?
I could spend hours just in the advaita section. I
saw an interesting three-volume biography of Poonjaji
there called _Nothing Ever Happened_ by David
Godman. I'm learning about beings I never heard of
before, like Sunyata, a Norwegian pilgrim who was
enlightened by a short meeting with Ramana Maharshi.
I've been spending some time lately browsing through
a couple of books by Jean Klein such as _I Am_ and
_Living Truth_. (But what are the bestselling books
at the Bodhi Tree? _Conversations With God Vol III_,
__The Celestine Prophecy_, and Jerry Brown's
_Dialogues_. Also something by Chopra. People come to
Bodhi Tree for these?)
Spent some time meditating at the crypt of
Paramahansa Yogananda today at Forest Lawn. There is
a bit of a scandal going on as the SRF is trying to
get his tomb moved up to its headquarters on Mount
Washington, and the neighbors are raising a ruckus.
Next week: Sant Thakar Singh in Santa Barbara (a
Master of the Sant Mat tradition), then yet another
Poonjaji disciple (!), Yusishtara, again at the Bodhi
Hello Petros, Wherever You Are:
(Heck, for that matter where's anyone on this list?
Thank you for your 'between Satsangs' letter. You mention
Sunyata, the little known Norwegian, whose name is sometimes
spelled Shunyata. Funny, he was mentioned in a recent and
ongoing thread on androgyny. The thread is being stretched
to include members of marginalized society. Shunyata, though
he is known for his silence, did write something called
Memory, which I happen to have. The portion I'm quoting
below, at length, is an important contribution to the
androgyny thread. Nonduality, as it may exist as a
'movement', is open to increasing understanding of and
welcoming those living their lives on the society's margin,
and that apparently includes those whose sexual orientation
is not strictly heterosexual, but of one of any number of
Before the excerpt from Memory, please note that there is a
link on my website to a Sunyata page:
Father never asserted nor preached in words. He was a
wordless mystic, who simply was. In regard to the rightness
of fellow-pilgrims who vibrated in a different and even
contrary rhythm, he lived his truth with the least possible
fuss and interference. Mother both talked and asserted her
feminine truth, and the usual subtly willful shakti-business
in her rhythm, but it was neither vicious nor persistent.
She could also be clear and silent and still.
The feminine elements happened to be the most vocal and most
playful on the surface of things in my childhood setting.
The women vibrated noisily and I came to accept them and
learned their language, which is spoken and lived by half of
our humanity. Two grown up sisters, 12 and 14 years older in
body than I, wer not 'remembered' until I was about7, though
they must have been an unconscious influence. There was the
managing mother and a succession of servant-girls (farmers'
daughters and considered by my mother our 'equals'). As I
was not very conscious of sexual differences, for me there
was no war of the sexes.
In Viking land, there was co-education and sex equality in
sharing, play, and work. Although the males were rarely
found to be rearing children, preparing meals, or serving
food, and the women joined the miniature army only as
healers and nurses, there was widespread sex equality. So
from childhood, the feminine rhythm was no more strange to
me than was the masculine one, different in quality but not
in kind, and each individual rhythm varied. I saw each
person as a beautifully different variation of the same
life. At school we all shared in games and in lessons, and
at home we shared in work and in leisure. At one time a
neighboring girl (also a late and lonely child) was often my
play-fellow, and for years a city-boy was my intimate
companion on the farm.
And so it happened that I was not conscious of any great
difference between the male and the female rhtythms, which
in other lands seems not only to be different in degree, but
also of kind and species. There were no clashes in the
household because Father did not react impatiently or
violently, and was not easily provoked; he was easy in
humoring whims, yet firm and steadfast in hiw own Self when
essential and important decisions had to be made. He had the
generosity of strength, and rarely fought and argued; are
not most of our squabbles due to weakness and ignorance of
It did not occur to me that there is a feminine truth,
complementary, but often contrating and seemingly at war
with the masculine truth. The division was not clear in my
consciousness. Truly, I felt that the girls and women around
me were often more noisy with their tongues and desires than
were the boys and men, more emotional, more volatile, more
silly, but also more gentle, sensitive and feeling.
Vicariously I lived in their feminine rhythms, vibrating
with them in unitive, direct, and un-mental harmonies. I was
no stranger to their subtly willful passive waiting --
similar to a cat lying in wait for a mouse -- nor to their
seemingly insincere play and poses, the flutter and
wordiness, which often hides their true purpose and meaning.
Intuitively and vibrationally, I came to 'know' the feminine
language of being, though I myself had no desire to speak
Is not the highest type of manhood really that which
includes womanhood? Are not the feminine and masculine
rhythms complementary? When the complementary opposite
rhythms are harmonized and functioning at ease within, the
individual can be calmly aware of his Individuum. As the
Bible says: '...and they shall again become one flesh.'
In the ancient garden of pure consciousness, two falls
occurred: the first was when man was divided and woman
formed from his lost rib; and this caused and conditioned
the second -- when both became self-critical and 'saw that
they were naked' and divided, and so descended into the play
of opposites. Good and evil for what?
Aesthetically the hermaphrodite is a type of perfection, an
idea or truth, which has haunted the imagination of men like
Michaelangelo, Shelley, and Whitman. Physiologically we all
still have the rudiments of the other sex, we have developed
from some hermaphroditic organism in the dim past, and it
may be that we are being carried along to some
hermaphroditic fulfillment in the not too far-off future.
Meanwhile, those among us to whom the time-scale is not of
supreme importance, can have glimpses and sensations of
these past and future states in the present, the Eternal
Now. Perhaps we cannot stay calm and balanced in unitive
modes of experiencing unless that harmonious, hermaphroditic
Wholeness is achieved within. We meet physically
hermaphroditic types among fellow pilgrims. Are they
reversions, freaks, or hints of future perfection? Even
though now they are often pitied, soo they may be envied.
... The hermaphroditic psyche seems to be the one thing most
necessary for inner peace. How easy it would be to avoid the
war of the sexes and the agonies of readjustment if our
psyches were whole and did not need to flutter in search of
their other halves, their lost integral Wholeness! How easy
to eliminate fears and jealousies, the efforts to bind and
possess -- if only the individual could find within himSelf
or herSelf that pearl of great prize: the memory of what and
of who we really Are!
The rhythm of inner psychic wholeness is what egos would
term 'andorgynous.' When the male and female truths function
in a complementary harmony within one psyche, the body (as a
tool) will remain male or female, but the psyche will aware
the harmonious wholeness of itSelf, freely functioning in
the unitive mode of experiencing.
Only in the Light of the Whole can memory emerge freely,
simply, and purely; and is not the (conscious or
unconscious) aim and purpose, meaning and goal of all of our
strivings, all our shakti-antics, and all our yoga practices
to be aware and to remain aware of our integral Wholeness,
the hermaphrodite androgyne, the mystically united twin
within our Self? The magic force in the golden unitive
thread of intuitive memory reveals to us our Self, and leads
and draws us onward with dharmic speed to the Beyond (which
is within) of Eternity's ever-present Sunrise.
>It holds onto things that are moving, imagines itself as a "holder on,"Greg writes:
>tries to fix things that are not, in reality fixed, attempts to be an
>"identifier," which can't, in this situation, actually
>be accomplished. The ego, in this way of defining it, is "resistance to
>emptiness," rather than a form which is itself emptiness.
This way of defining the ego is perhaps a useful tool in psychology, where
(a la Wilbur) it helps someone develop a healthy basis from which to view
the dissolution of the ego.
But after that, when it comes to the dissolution process itself, the
enterprise becomes what's usually denoted as spiritual. And part of the
spiritual enterprise of this dissolution (especially in this non-dual
approach like jnana yoga) is opening to other definitions of the terms,
other ways of seeing the "entities" or theoretical constructs, etc.
Loosening of seeing IS the dissolution. So maybe other ways of thinking
about the notion seemingly covered by "ego" is a good idea. There are lots
of alternatives. Eastern paths explain human functionality without such a
well-developed ego-concept. Several Western philosophical theories account
for most of our observations of human phenomena without positing a central
ego-like operator. Not that any of these other theories should be believed
or taken literally. But seeing things in one way lessens the tendency to
rely-on or believe other ways of seeing. It sort of de-rigidifies the
seeing/believing, which can be said to be a way of lessening the attachment
to intellectual processes.
>> Your post re: borders, separation, wars, etc.., isTim:
>> certainly on target. Yet life is founded upon moral
>> consequences; what we sow, we reap.
>Only life on the "dualistic plane." Shall we place our attention there?John:
>Has ANYTHING mankind ever done helped?
Many people, of myriad religious (and non-aligned) communities,
have devoted their lives to helping others in need; helping
the earth to breath; helping themselves to grow into more
compassionate and vital forces for human harmony.
So, I would offer an emphatic YES: there are many things mankind
has done to help this planet and those who dwell upon it. And
doesn't this point to the reality of darkness and light? Or
are compassionate actions and destructive actions irrelevant
to the cause of non-duality?
>We are as or more barbaric than weJL:
>were a thousand years ago. Now we can kill all life on the planet by
>pushing a single red button.
I doubt that we're any more or less barbaric than at any
time in human history -- we've simply evolved more sublime
methods for expression. Like ==Gene Poole=='s recent allegory
on the Princess and Pea; we seem to have this persistent
seed that, no matter how many mattresses we use to hide it, it
>> If one action leads toTim:
>> greater unity (less duality),
>Less duality? There is either duality, or no duality. I didn't knowJL:
>duality came in "degrees."
A good question. I don't know, either, but I think most religions
would tell us that there are indeed degrees towards unity with
one's beloved goal, e.g., that one is "closer" to one's goal (in time)
than before. This might be expressed by a Hindu as greater degrees
of Karmic freedom, by a Bdst as taking rebirth in a higher realm, etc..
>> and the other to greaterTim:
>> dis-unity, doesn't this imply objectively a "right path"
>> and a "wrong path?"
>Focus on opposites like "right" and "wrong," and you are lost.JL:
Fail to heed the distinctions of right and wrong and
you are dead.
I respect your idealic position, Tim, and know where
you're coming from (I believe), but valid ideals (any ideals)
are true always. Find an example where an ideal contradicts
and you're back to the drawing board (or the journal, or the
pillow, or the lab, or wherever you go when a new paradigm
> This isJL:
>Dvaita (duality). Nothing is objective, and nothing that "I" can see here
>implies that duality ("right, wrong, good, evil, rich, poor.........") is
>the "true" perspective.
Yet, we use the sense of right and wrong in every
life choice, from the most mundane, to the most
sublime. Even these email posts are saturated with
the choice of right versus wrong.
How does one transcend duality with dualistic tools?
JL, I liked your question a lot, so I hope you don't
mind me offering an observation.
Transcending duality through duality
doesn't seem possible to me - I think this is an excellent point.
So if dualistic tools won't do it, this includes the tool of "choice."
With all dualistic tools eliminated, this seems to me to leave
only choiceless awareness, unfragmented,
as the "transcendent."
"I don't exist," we say, existentially.
The world of form is not real, we realize.
Non-duality is all there is we argue.
There is no one here to know, we learn.
Objects are fictional, we objectify.
There is no 'here and there', we send.
"Silence is all there is!", we shout.
"Words have no meaning," we say meaningfully.
"I am free of desires," we wish.
I plan to be completely spontaneous.
Tomorrow I will be here and now.
I am completely independent, I breathe.
I am aware that awareness cannot be aware of itself.
If you meet the Buddha, kill him.
If you meet the Buddha, let him kill you.
If you meet Budha, you are dead.
<I should like to hear more about the no 'I' as it relates to the unique
experiences and circumstances of perceived existence.
My first response to this intriguing point:
My personal experience is there is less and less density in my body/mind
location, and thoughts and feelings seem less and
less like Mine. As the holding aspect of ego-self (that other thread)
softens and melts, stuff moves through my window of awareness more flowingly
and always in the context of the background/foreground of Silent Presence.
I raised a question about "I" in your dream becuase as I recall you asked
something like "Was I really there?" Well, obviously you were not Not there
because it is in your memory and in no one
else's. I should have asked, and ask now, What did you mean
I may as well mention the out-of-body issue that was mentioned by a few
people. As for me I have had considerable OBE but I have no understanding
yet of what goes out of the body. It would seem to indicate an
individualized awareness unit that can travel. I know that non-dualists
generally do not like the idea of an individual soul, but the question is
still open as far as I am concerned. Some people I talk to say there is only
this body/mind fictional existence and the real, undifferentiated Self.
I've been aware of many dimensions of existence between those. I believe not
all the information is in but I don't think about it much. I just welcome
understandings when they ambush me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~here are some words
re: masks/ and those things we do-- i bow to the
poet/philosopher. methinks, i should like to be shakespeare's fool in this
court. . .
i had buried myself
in grief again.
but from my tomb
recognized that even there,
all was filled with sky.
and in that instant the
was infinately real.
perceived attacks on my person
were no more than phantoms
stepping on my shadows. smoke.
symbolic burning of old ways & words
was a mere spark. . .
ritualistic burial of companions and
my soul's mates a flicker. nothing, nothing. . .
when all the books and records are told,
and buried beyond capture--
when grief gazes at itself and
that grief dissolves into itself--
i am free to hold rapt attention to the sky
and to what is truly burning.
reduced to ash.
good morning blessings,
from morning on the left coast!
At first everything was "out there". Then I learned
about projection and everything became "in here".
That is still duality. Then one day Gene said something
about a "nondual living observer". Now Gene may not
have meant this at all but I "saw" that it is the observer
which/who is nondual not what is being looked at.
Last night I was walking my dog. We walked for a long,
long time out in the state park by our house. It was nearing
dusk. I was struggling with a question I have. He was
sniffing and doing a marvelous job of being a dog.
Suddenly everything seemed so alive and what I was looking
at was looking back at me. The trees, the land, the air and so
forth. I was struggling with the idea that there isn't any subject
or object. I said I am looking out at this stuff and it is looking
back at me. The thought of identification entered my mind.
I said well maybe it isn't that there isn't any me or you but that
the identification is the issues. I mean consciousness touches
down through an individual awareness. Then I remembered
my experience of my friend and I peeping through a peephole
and seeing ourselves. I realized that where we were peeping
from was the same and what we were peeping at was the same
but we were looking through our own peephole not the same
peephole. God has an infinite number of eyes and each one of
us is One. Make sense?
For a short definition, I like Wayne Dyer's -- the ego is
just an idea we have of ourselves. So the well-entrenched Western concept
of ego might create more problems than it solves, because it rigidifies the
idea we have of ourselves. The Buddhist notion is lots lighter.
One Buddhist concept I really is that of the lifestream. When it comes to
re-indentifying it over time, it is neither the same thing at time T-one as
it was at time T-zero, nor is it different.
>Question: is there a psichologicalGreg:
>difference between a mind/body that have had several insights
>(simply speaking here), and another that never had one?
What does it matter? It is usually said that after insights there is more
phenomenal peace and tranquility. More harmonious vibrations, more theta
waves (or whatever range) in the brain area. Swami Rama of the Himalayan
Institute underwent some physiological tests and it was found that his
various waves were this way.
But can you ever find a one-to-one, rigid correspondence between certain
physiological descriptions and the history of insights? This will never
happen. Let's say you find a really chilled-out person. Is there a
guarantee that that person had insights? Or, can you mimic the effect of
insights if you somehow bring upon yourself the physiological states? No.
On the other side: let's say you find a person with lots of wisdom, lots
of experiences. He might appear very agitated. Nisargadatta, have you
seen the video of him?
So what does it matter?
Also, one of the insights is that there is no one to have insights, so the
very basis of comparison sort of disappears under our feet...
When there is an experience of "becoming" something or being something
other than oneself (and the "me" is absent), this is the state called
samadhi, or "ecstatic absorption." It is not moksha, but when samadhi
begins to appear more and more often, it can be said that ignorance
(duality) is thinning out rapidly.