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#4421 - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - Editor: Jerry Katz

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  • Jerry Katz
    #4421 - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - Editor: Jerry Katz The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights From Dr. Robert Froum
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 9, 2011
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      #4421 - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - Editor: Jerry Katz
       
      The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
       
       
       
       
       From Dr. Robert Froum
       http://robert.ismouton.org/topic/1238  

      Hexi:  On the main stage we have the ego of the egoless doctor who has had a full life and now tells others to not live theirs.
       
      Dr. Robert: I never claimed that Robert has no ego. And I never told anyone not to live fully. That is all in your mind.
       
       What I said is that an "entity"—myself—which is a do-er of actions is imaginary. Only the DOING is real. For example, if I give you a cup of water and you take a drink, you know immediately if the water is cool or warm. You do not have to ask yourself if it is cool or warm. You do not have to try to decide if it is cool or warm. You just KNOW. That knowing IS "you." There is no doing of knowing, so there is no doer of it. Knowing just happens. The idea of a "person" apart from what is known, seen, heard, felt, thought, etc. is just another thought—a repetitive one—one of millions in a sea of unchosen thoughts which you have been conditioned to call "me."
       
       No one can deny that "I exist," That is the one observation which is undeniably true. But even if one does not remember to think "I exist," existence continues. In other words, no one has to TRY to exist. You just know you exist. Even when the thought "I exist" is not present, the knowing is still present. The knowing is always there no matter what you think.
       
       You don't try to breathe. The body will keep breathing whether you remember to do it or not. Your don't walk around all day intentionally digesting your food, etc. That is why I say the body is not you. The body has its own agenda and is almost entirely beyond any conscious control. Thoughts just arise unbidden, so they cannot be "you" either. So if you are not body, and not thoughts, what are you? I say you are simply knowing or awareness. It was there when you were a child, and it is here now. Along the way, you were taught to identify "myself" as body, and thoughts, but I have just shown you that there is not much sense in that. It is an illusion. A popular one, to be sure, but that does not make it true, only popular.
       
       If this way of seeing things doesn't appeal to you, fine with me. I have nothing to sell. You might understand me better if you could drop the strident cynicism and simply listen and comprehend. You may need it as a self-defense tactic under some circumstances, but not with me. I mean you absolutely no harm.
       

       Dhanya Ji:

       Hi Robert, Been thinking about your nice post above. This pretty much mirrors the Vedantic method of negation and positive assertion, i.e. neti neti (not this, not this, not this body, not this mind, not these thoughts), then the positive assertion to 'this,' the awareness which one is.
       
       But then we end up with two things, (1) everything awareness is not, and (2) my being, my self, my true nature, i.e. awareness.
       
       But that's not the end of the road according to Vedanta, for the end of the road is the recognition that in reality all that was previously negated as 'not I,'--including thoughts, and anything having to do with the body/mind--everything is 'I;' and that's everything, not only thoughts, the body, and the mind, but also objects, like chairs, and table, and trees, and flowers, everything has as its bottom line reality that awareness or being which I am. Arriving at that understanding is the understanding of advaita or nonduality.
       
       So do you have a way to talk about that? Because what you've said is great, but it leaves us with two things.
       
       Robert Saltzman:

       Hi, Dhanya Ji-
       Well, I was not thinking about Vedanta when I wrote this. As usual, I was just responding to a question from my own experience and trying to find words for that. As you know, I don't rely upon received doctrine of any kind when discussing these matters. This, as you and I have discussed, has the advantage of authenticity, but the possible disadvantage of leaving me searching for ways to evoke my experience. It also means that anything I say takes on the nature of personal confession, which is why I avoided it all these years. For me, 2011 has been the year of "coming out" (for my sins).
       
       I have heard you discuss this question using an analogy of objects made of clay, saying that there could be a pot, a cup, a plate, etc., but, although appearing as different forms, essentially they are identical—all clay. I suppose the point of that analogy is that all apparent forms are essentially of one essence—consciousness—and that is how the apparent duality is resolved.
       
       That may be a useful analogy, but it does not prove anything. It states an idea which can either be accepted and believed or not. Nisargadatta used the same analogy—in his, the objects were a bracelet, a necklace, and a ring, all gold—but I could not buy that one either. From my perspective, I do not KNOW what perceived objects are. With no reliance upon doctrine or method, the true nature of the world of apparent objects is mysterious, and inexplicable. I know that any perception of them—any KNOWING of them—arises in awareness, so in that sense they are "only awareness" (as far as "I" know). But what they "really" are, I CANNOT know. Whether something besides consciousness exists, I cannot know. But I can be sure that whatever objects may appear to be, they are certainly NOT the apparently solid structures which we normally perceive. Modern physics tells us that all apparent objects are really only patterns of energy or so-called "probability waves," and, since this agrees also with the ancient points of view, I see no reason to doubt it.
       
       Now, I can almost hear you saying, "But that is still dualistic, isn't it?" Frankly, I don’t know, and I don't care. I never think about non-duality unless someone asks me about it. In fact, until John LeKay asked me about it a few months ago, I had never really heard that term, and had no idea that this entire world of "non-dual" seeking even existed. I was never a seeker. After that interview, I spent a couple of months catching up. Got to know you, John Troy, Gilbert Schultz, et. al. personally, and others via books. I am still a bit amazed at the faddishness and intensity of it (no offence intended towards anyone in this group).
       
       Here is why for me dualism/non-dualism is not even an issue. In my true experience, there is only NOW. I have no past (yes, memory, but that is in the NOW), and no future. All knowing is known NOW. All I am, I am NOW. There no separation from anything or anyone. There is nothing but NOW and the absolutely seamless world of myself, objects, other people, etc, which is how NOW appears. There are no questions, no fears, and no desires. All I "have" is NOW, and I cannot even "have" that, as it won't "stay still" long enough to get a grip on it. The Diamond Sutra says, "Past mind, future mind and present mind cannot be grasped," and, for me, this is not a matter of belief, but is my actual moment to moment experience.
       
       All apparent objects, including "myself" arise in pure knowing in the NOW. The "paradox" that I hear spoken of so often for me does not exist. That imagined "paradox" is only a misunderstanding. Paradox and mystery are not the same, and should not be conflated. In this NOW, there is mystery, but no paradox. There is only THIS.
       
       Probably this does not answer your question. I said that I speak only from personal experience, and not from doctrine, and personal experience has few answers if any.
       
       Recently, Wayne Ferguson sent me a quotation from the Mundaka Upanishad, and asked me to comment on it:
       
       "Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the selfsame tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes. The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his glory, he grieves no more."
       
       This, of course, is Advaita doctrine. Here is my reply to Wayne, however, it is not a reply from knowledge, but from intuition, an intuition which occurred to me years ago, and which stays with me even now. In other words, it is only personal confession, and I can't prove it (or teach it):
       
       The sense of "individual self" is illusory. There is only one bird on that branch which has no form and no limitations. The second apparent (mithya) bird is the result the confusion of form with substance. All apparent forms are entirely empty and without substance other than disturbances in the stillness of consciousness. Only that which is invisible and without form has any actual substance.
       <https://www.facebook.com/groups/110039809107425/?ref=nf>



      Dhanya Ji https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1691329357  
       
      Hi Robert,  Thanks for answering.  That was very nice.  I liked the whole thing.
       
       Instead of using the clay and gold analogies, which I agree don't actually prove that reality is nondual, one way to look at objects is just through the use of verbs.  
       
       Tree is, sky is, squirrel is, computer is.  Everything is when it is.  You is.  I is.  So the isness is the common denominator.  
       
       That one works for me.  Take objects apart, molecule is, atom is, particle is.  Whatever you get to, it's is, or isness.
       
       Then one can also introduce known, which kind of seems to me to be what you do.  Known known known.  Is is is.  Is known.  Those two words in Sanskrit are sat and chit.  sat/is  chit/known.  That's the baseline reality.  All things come and go in is/known, which is the baseline reality.  Does that make sense?   
       
       I do have a further question regarding this sentence of yours above: "All I "have" is NOW, and I cannot even "have" that, as it won't "stay still" long enough to get a grip on it."
       
       Don't you find that everything takes place in Now?  And even though things change in the Now, the Now itself never changes?
       
       So actually, in terms of 'staying still' wouldn't you say the Now itself is still?  Isn't it always still, just as it is always silent, just as it is always present, and unchangingly so?  Or do you not find that to be the case?




      Robert Saltzman https://www.facebook.com/robert.saltzman  
       
      Thanks, Dhanya Ji <https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1691329357> . Perfect.
       
       "All things come and go in is/known, which is the baseline reality. Does that make sense?"
       
       Yes, of course it makes sense. It is simply another way to say what I have been saying, and why I never even think about non-duality or any of the rest of this unless asked.
       
       "Don't you find that everything takes place in Now? And even though things change in the Now, the Now itself never changes?"
       
       Yes. I often use this little story:
       
       Two monks meet in the road. "Where are you, Brother?" asks the first.
       
       "I'm in the place where nothing ever changes," comes the reply.
       
       "But I thought everything was always changing."
       
       "Yes, that never changes either."
       
       I like the line from the Diamond Sutra because it gets at the mysterious nature of mind--no one can get a grip on any of it. For me, that understanding--perhaps "surrender" is a good word for it--is the basis of the unexcelled freedom of THIS. I never have to TRY to "do" anything, not even try to understand. Always only THIS.
       Yes, of course it makes sense. It is simply another way to say what I have been saying, and why I never even think about non-duality or any of the rest of this unless asked.
       
       "Don't you find that everything takes place in Now? And even though things change in the Now, the Now itself never changes?"
       
       Yes. I often use this little story:
       
       Two monks meet in the road. "Where are you, Brother?" asks the first.
       
       "I'm in the place where nothing ever changes," comes the reply.
       
       "But I thought everything was always changing."
       
       "Yes, that never changes either."
       
       I like the line from the Diamond Sutra because it gets at the mysterious nature of mind--no one can get a grip on any of it. For me, that understanding--perhaps "surrender" is a good word for it--is the basis of the unexcelled freedom of THIS. I never have to TRY to "do" anything, not even try to understand. Always only THIS.
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