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Digest: Saturday, July 17

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  • umbada@xx.xxxxxxxxx.xxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx)
    Here is a sampling from the Saturday, July 17, Non-duality Salon. There were a few lengthy exchanges that have not been included. Let s start with Gene Poole.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 18, 1999
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      Here is a sampling from the Saturday, July 17, Non-duality
      Salon. There were a few lengthy exchanges that have not been
      included.


      Let's start with Gene Poole.


      > "Dear Gene,
      >
      > Have you ever considered the possibility that this longing for an
      > "objective center" (as you call it) is not just a "meme" but an innate
      > inner drive in mankind, and therefore may have validity? I know you "take
      > the perspective" of anatman, but perhaps you might consider that the
      > Atman/Brahman connection is very effective in filling that drive for the
      > changeless and immutable, and thus the perspective of Atman might indeed be
      > valid and truthful?
      >
      > Just a thought to ponder,
      >
      > With Love,
      >
      > Tim"

      Gene: Yes, indeed I have given that many years of seriously
      dedicated and
      'practical' effort. That, what you express, has been my
      impression... that
      the 'longing' or 'searching' was indeed there, as a real
      thing to react to,
      a guide and a clue, both.

      Now, however, since the time of two years ago in March, I
      have seen deeper.
      I have finally 'grokked' what Buddha was 'really saying'
      when he stated
      'anatman'. Buddha stated, quite clearly, that it is the
      movement towards (a
      real OR imagined) object of desire, which is evidence of
      what is called in
      Pali, "dukkha", or (as varioiusly translated) 'lack of
      integrity', 'lack of
      wholeness', 'incompleteness', or simply the usual western
      _mistranslation_
      of "dukkha", that being 'suffering'.

      The difficulty I had, was first in attempting to understand
      Buddha via the
      agency of translation. To resolve this, I virtually lived in
      the Hilo,
      Hawaii public library, which has a huge room of many
      hundreds of Buddhist
      texts and teachings, in many translations. I finally found
      the 'real
      meaning' of the original spoken Pali word "dukkha". There is
      no literal
      english translation, but 'suffering' is as far as you can
      get from from a
      literal translation.

      How "dukkha" has been (logically) misunderstood as
      'suffering' is this;
      dukkha _leads_ to suffering.

      It is the _being led to suffering_ which is the path; at the
      end of the
      path lies atman or Brahman. Suffering is the path, and the
      longing begins
      the search. What begins the longing? Is there actual
      separation, and thus a
      goal, and a path to it?

      The upshot or deeper understanding is this; one who suffers,
      suffers
      because of that very drive to seek, to know, to find, to
      achieve, to
      attain... what? What they assume that they do not have, is
      what is thus
      being sought. Thus the search; thus the longing. The longing
      reveals the
      searching, NOT the other way around. The longing, what you
      refer to as
      'innate inner drive', was seen by Buddha as being caused by
      'dukkha'. As
      long as that drive lasts, there is suffering.

      "What is sought by the seeker is the one who is seeking"...
      (ala' Dorothy's
      ruby slippers).

      Buddha said, that if we posit an 'atman', that we make our
      'dukkha' a
      permanent state. Thus, the 'religions' which posit 'soul' or
      'atman', have
      essentially institutionalized suffering, as a permanent way
      of being.
      Another way of saying this is to say, that as long as there
      is a goal,
      there is activity of movement toward that goal. That
      movement is
      symptomatic of the suffering, and the suffering is
      symptomatic of 'dukkha',
      and 'dukkha' is gifted to us by (the memes of) traditional
      human
      culture,that which is called 'dualism'.

      But Buddha did empahtically NOT say that 'there is no
      atman'. He said
      'anatman', and there is a HUGE difference. 'Anatman' is the
      same as the Zen
      (Buddhist) 'no-self'.

      Buddha refused to debate the issue of the reality of the
      'atman'. For him,
      it was a totally moot point, because his thrust was to
      illustrate how the
      whole system works; either FOR itself, or AGAINST itself.

      His 'anatman' is a brilliant way for Buddha to be saying,
      what has been
      said later by (Zen) Buddhists, which is, "If you meet the
      Buddha on the
      road, kill him". That is exactly the same as saying
      'anatman'.

      The issue of 'real' objective 'atman' or soul is indeed
      moot; it is the
      suffering living Being who is the issue, not the reality or
      the hypothesis
      of atman.

      If you can see what I am saying here... that it does not
      matter 'if' there
      is or is not 'atman', whether atman is pie in the sky or
      rock solid real...
      what matters is that 'dukkha' is the 'normal conditioned of
      the human
      Being', and that the 'longing' and the 'search' are the
      symptoms of assumed
      'disintegrity' (dukkha).

      Humans have always looked for 'somebody bigger to save
      them', and have
      invented (many versions) of 'God'. Death is a scary thing,
      and thus humans
      have invented 'afterlife' and 'heaven' to compensate, IE, to
      cool the fear
      of death. Buddha saw that suffering humans did not suffer
      because of
      suffering... he saw that they suffer because of _assumed_
      incompleteness.

      Further, and of utmost importance, Buddha saw that human
      _religions_
      institutionalize dukkha as a given, necessary way of being,
      and that
      religions use that ('born in sin') (born unrealized) (born
      incomplete) as a
      goad to cause movement in those who are attracted to
      religion. Buddha
      essentially freed everyone from the search, in a way that is
      quite similar
      to (but spoken differently) the Christian redemption. Buddha
      burned ALL
      idols/graven images, leaving only 'nothing', and 'He is
      That'.

      "Nothing has Buddha-Nature"

      That is why I point to atman/soul as 'meme'; it is the meme
      of 'something
      greater/better/purer than me', which is the assumption (the
      putting-on of)
      'dukkha'. It is the _contagion_ of duality which is the
      meme. That is why,
      when one is observed to point to 'atman' or 'Bramhan' as
      'another
      possibility' or as 'the ultimate reality', we can know, with
      great
      certainty, that this one who is thus pointing, is lacking
      the insight to
      know their own nature, and thus can only see it (themself)
      as a projection.
      It is as though the seeker, is seeking their own spirit,
      which they already
      are (that spirit). The meme which validates the concept of
      incompleteness,
      is the "gift of dukkha". Taking-on that gift of assumed
      incompletness in
      any circumstance is a Very Bad Agreement to be making, ever.

      I feel that it is important to continue the essential
      core-teachings of
      Buddha, in whatever words may apply. To continue to refine
      our definitons
      of the 'divine' to the 'ultimate causeless cause' is just
      fine, but what of
      the one who takes the work of defining, as literal work of
      attaining? This
      is the classical trap of the seeker; "it is always somewhere
      else".

      Now, as far as I am concerned, if I am or have a soul, that
      is fine. If I
      am Atma or Brahma, if I am the Ultimate spirit of the Living
      Universe, or
      if I am the Arcturian Flame Being, that is fine. I am still
      either stuck
      with one state of functioning or the other; as I said above;
      I am either
      working _for_ myself or _against_ myself. It is the quality
      of my life that
      matters to me, and I want to be working for myself, not
      suffering, but
      instead enjoying. I am a gift of me, from nowhere, here
      having fun on the
      Urth. it was not always that way for me.

      "I do not search" for "what I am" because "I am That" which
      I am.Whatever I
      am, I am this. I am not incomplete, not do I need a special
      name or
      definition; I am neither validated nor invalidated by any
      name or
      definition.

      It has 'taken me many years' to realize all of this, and to
      experience the
      actual practical benefits of my realization. The work has
      been the cutting
      through, the parsing, of the mass and density of
      superstition, which is the
      burden of humanity. I bow to the one who came before me, and
      who did this
      so well, that I can see my way that much the better. Buddha,
      Nagarjuna,
      Jesus, Socrates, Ramana, one voice saying to me, "You
      already have what you
      want, if you will be still, and know".

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      > Dan: For me, this paragraph gets to one of the core issues here. I've
      > addressed this core issue above to the best of my ability. To make a
      > comment on your last question, the way to end this hell is to end
      > fragmentation and division of "what is." The way to do this is to *see*
      > that there is no fragmentation in "what is," no division in "what is." The
      > moment you see this, it is so. This is the ending of conflict and
      > division. It is seen that there is no basis for conflict, thus no
      > conflict. This occurs in awareness.

      Yes.

      Awareness is.

      What occurs in awareness, is what occurs in awareness. This
      is so, and it
      must be understood.

      Now you state the conclusion of this knowldge/awareness;

      > Heaven is awareness as it is, hell is
      > awareness trying to be what it is not. There is nothing to go for. Only
      > resting in what is... Nothing to get out of, only letting go of the notion
      > that there is someone or something separate who can get out!
      >
      > Peace, Dan

      Yes. If we can 'let go' of that (erroneous) awareness, we
      are free. But
      this does not mean, to let go of awareness. The risk in the
      'belief that
      letting go will make one free', is that it is a conclusion
      of (thought or)
      awareness. Resting in conclusion, is not resting in
      awareness; therein lies
      the rub...

      Letting go of the need to understand the roots of suffering,
      could involve
      letting go of the understanding that what happens in
      awareness, is
      happening in awareness. It is not accurate to say that 'what
      is happening
      is happening ONLY in awareness'; rather, it is correct to
      say that 'what is
      happening, is happening in awareness'. There is a crucial
      difference there,
      in the inclusion of 'only' as a qualifier. Thus, the events
      which cause
      grief (death, violence, etc) must *first* be seen to be
      _events of
      awareness_, and then perhaps as 'actual events', if an
      examination of
      awareness reveals such events to be 'really happening'.

      The 'spititual way' instructs us to _first_ examine our
      awareness, and to
      only then, conclude that events are 'real', if it is useful
      to do so.

      The practice of 'resting in what is', as you name what I
      call 'abiding', is
      that practice of being aware of awareness first and always.
      This does not
      exclude a 'real world'; instead, it purifies that 'real
      world' of the
      errors of assumption which are the product of unexamined
      awareness.

      My world is a better world, if I admit that it is my world,
      my own world of
      my own awareness.

      I am then responsible for the actions which I commit which
      are the products
      of my (concluding) awareness. In reality, there are no
      conclusions; any
      conclusion is the conclusion (ending or finishing) of my
      awareness. By not
      concluding, I continue; by not concluding, awareness
      continues.

      It is the searching for the 'correct' which is the search
      for the end of
      awareness, eg, the return to the sleep of the innocent, at
      the conclusion
      of awareness.

      Human search for 'truth' is the search for the original
      sleep-bed of
      conclusion. The bed of conclusion is not the ground of
      Being, it is the
      void of awareness. Awareness of void, is awareness of the
      state of
      nonawareness, but nonawarness is by definition not aware of
      this; thus the
      process of dissection, to find the ground of awareness. The
      danger is in
      finding it, not in not finding it. Those who 'find it', lose
      awareness, in
      their conclusion (finish) of the task of awareness.

      Taskless awareness is abiding awareness.


      >From the workless wordshop of

      ==Gene Poole==

      _________________________________________________________________________


      Xan spoke:

      The sense of his presence is like a flavor of him in pure
      awareness. There
      is no relationship in oneness. Yet just as I have
      relationships here in the
      earth plane I have a relationship with Papaji. How it all
      works is beyond
      me. All I know is that his presence is priceless to me in
      the return of my
      awareness to Being.


      ___________________________________________________________________________


      Glo responds to Ivan:

      Ivan: The brain is terribly unconfortable without
      conclusions --
      to start of.
      Thought is the turning away from conclusion-less-awarenss.
      Thought is the filing of the gap awareness-conclusion.
      Without the gap -- where is thought?
      Thought, the gauge of illusion.
      Fear of the precipice.
      No escape.
      This is
      That

      ---------------------------

      Dear Ivan,

      FEAR?? Did I hear this right?? Please clarify this, and one
      more
      question I have for you.

      Did it ever occur to you that even defining "that" as must
      be fear
      of unknown. ..no escape..is also a way of coming to a
      conclusion
      of sorts? You may think it is necessary to 'exclude thought'
      and
      all, but you are coming to that conclusion by a thought
      process,
      yes? It is a well-thought out and if I may add seemingly
      very
      subtle and complex way you have of getting to this state of
      having
      no center. I honestly do not have the time to go over all
      this
      ground you covered with Dan, I did read it carefully tho. My
      main
      objection to it all is that it seems to imply that the
      moment you
      have any "everyday awareness of what is commonly called
      ordinary
      reality, you seem to be saying you are "out of it"..out of
      touch
      or sync with "that", the real beingness awareness. Well, it
      has
      sounded kinda an either/or..on or off. If I am mistaken,
      please
      clarify this for me.

      I think we are not so much afraid of the unknown itself per
      se,
      as afraid of what we suspect may be in the unknown. It is
      quite
      possible to be on friendly terms and at ease with "the
      unknown" as
      well. If I can be said to have any position here, it would
      have to
      be called a nondual ordinariness. To me its ok to let your
      mind
      have its little everday reality conclusions and preferences,
      otherwise one can hardly decide how to get dressed in the
      morning.
      That is not the same as coming to conclusions about "The
      Ultimate
      Nature Of Reality." To me, you sound almost painfully
      determined
      to never allow the thinker to have any thoughts, tho
      obviously you
      do allow the mind may keep some basic how to function and
      navigate
      around in ordinary reality. My sense of freedom includes a
      real
      enjoyment of ordinariness, the everyday reality of life that
      goes
      on. I do not "lose anything" by doing this..do you see what
      I
      mean? Is this "No thinking allowed" sign really a "Keep out,
      no
      trespassing" sign sign?? You can be a thinker without
      attaching
      all these ultimate conclusions or an ego/identity to the
      process
      itself.


      _________________________________________________________________


      Phil Burton confessed:

      I have been through a doubting spell like the one described
      by Tim G. a while back, in which I
      cannot seem to connect to the truth of nonduality. It seems
      that reading this text has
      awakened that connection anew.

      After I read it, I went off to do something else, and all of
      a sudden it just opened up, and
      it was realized that I am That Awareness that underlies
      everything else that appears and
      disappears within Awareness. From Francis I came to be
      aware that the body and mind, being IN
      Awareness, are also modes and manifestings of That.

      "I am. I am not the body or the mind." There is a great
      subtlety in that. It means: I Am
      That; and I am not body or intellect because body and
      intellect are also That. When this
      connection is made it can blow you away. There is nothing
      that is not That Awareness, and
      aside from You nothing exists.

      Thoughts which occur are not owned or possessed by an "ego"
      because the "ego" itself is
      nothing but thought. It is as ridiculous to say "I think" or
      "I do" as it is to say, "I reside
      94,000,000 miles from earth and give light and heat to the
      surrounding planets." This is
      because thoughts and actions are natural phenomena like
      sunlight, clouds, and rain. These are
      not identified with any ego, so why thoughts and actions?

      I think it was Lao Tzu that said something like "The way
      forward seems like the way back."
      Real attainment seems like loss, yet nothing real is lost.
      There is a moment when the
      body-mind complex just relaxes, opens up, and lets in the
      Light, and it seems like falling
      with nothing to hold on to. And that is wonderful!


      ________________________________________________________________________________


      Dan offered:

      The more intellectual
      gymnastics we do, the more we privilege extraordinary
      states of awareness, the more danger we are in exluding the
      Reality of nondual ordinariness. Many Zen paintings speak
      to me
      of this nondual ordinariness, and their contrast with the
      ornate
      Hindu imagery (which I also love) is pronounced.
      For me, your statement has a lot to do
      with the human tendency to want to be "perfect" (which makes
      total sense to me that we would want). The question is,
      what
      does it mean to be perfect? To be perfectly aware, to be
      perfectly
      still, and/or to be perfectly ordinary?
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