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    Nondual Digest - June 5, 1999: To join the Nonduality Salon please go to Welcome to all members. In this
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6, 1999
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      Nondual Digest - June 5, 1999:

      To join the Nonduality Salon please go to

      Welcome to all members. In this brief digest, we include a quote or two
      from the Advaitin and Harshasatsangh lists. On the Nonduality Salon
      there were many postings relating the results of a personality test. It
      was fun and the results intriguing, and perhaps a good summary statement
      will be appear in tomorrow's digest. Also not reported in this digest
      are the full exchanges between a few of the ladies, rich, intimate
      material, of which a few lines have been extracted. And superb nondual
      quotes have also not been relayed. We hope that what is reported is
      solid and diverse. Please post your responses, if any, to the
      appropriate list. Hope you all had a nice weekend, wherever you are!


      There are some who maintain there is nothing to learn, but to unlearn.
      Many of the practices are tools to remove conditioning. Conditioning is
      evidenced by trivialities like reading. Who is able to see just scribble
      instead of the meaning? The most effective tools for unlearning are:

      1. going through the process of dying
      2. coming at an absolute dead end in one's life
      3. the loss of loved ones and everything one cares about.

      These three categories are the so called eye-openers that often lead to
      spontaneous (K.) awakening or sudden enlightenment. Another tool is
      extreme frustration, to the point of "nothing goes anymore". There are
      some funny Zen-stories about this.

      What happens to the "average" child? It becomes drilled in order to
      perform and obey rules, whether these are understood or not. Creativity,
      inventivity, spontaneity, boundless energy, to name a few properties,
      are buried by education and upbringing. Not to mention cases where
      things are worsened by authoritative or abusive behavior of adults.
      Aren't these "buried qualities of the child" the ones that become
      apparent in realized ones?

      The classical way of unlearning is by more and different drilling. This
      works, it takes a lot of effort so one might wonder if it is effective.
      According to (old) motivation theory, there are some who will be easily
      motivated by mere authority. For them, drilling comes natural. Then
      there are some who are intellectually motivated and they will pick up
      study. The third category is result-motivated. They work to arrive at
      results irrespective of what it takes. One might ask, would one's
      "motivational class" be reflected in one's way to express the
      inexpressible and the description of "the road thereto" ?:)



      >If Yogi Berra were asked, "Can you apply neti-neti to the game of
      >baseball?", how might he respond? Any suggestions?

      The game is not the bat, nor is it the ball, nor the crowd, nor the
      bases, nor the field, nor the word "baseball" or the concept of
      baseball. There is no perceivable game being played. Rather, something
      else underlying the nature of reality is projecting all these things.
      That something else is and is not baseball. The ball does not fly
      through the air; rather, it is the mind that flies. Thus, baseball is

      ---Tim Gerchmez


      There is no winner nor a looser
      Just a perceiving happy boozer
      Comments the Zen-dog in disguise
      And he's a dog that's very wise.
      By looking at that funny game
      He sees what really makes the fame
      There's neither fame nor a disgrace
      All players have a dollar face.
      Zen-dog says "love children's play
      Their mind is fluid, doesn't stay.
      It moves like water, like a flow
      And where their mind is, there they go"



      Pretty soon, as with the question Who Am I? the words fall away and
      there is only This everywhere.


      That's the ticket!
      Amazing isn't it?
      And nothing changes.
      The eye of the cyclone.
      Interesting view point isn't it?
      Ever ask yourself now what??
      I don't have a clue.



      ...many teachers liken the experience of awakening to literal "death."
      In primitive cultures, people can literally sicken and die if cut off
      from social contact with their tribe or clan. It seems that ego-death
      and physical death can be closely linked. For us, awakening more often
      means ego-death (i.e. mask-death or role-death) while remaining within
      society. Not always a pleasant experience.



      'Spiritual emergence' or realisation triggers the survival reflex in
      chromosome 38 and the 'reptilian fight/flight' reflex in the neuro
      cortex. The moving 'kundalini' transforms the function of these as well
      as the adrenal glands, as well as stimulating and changing other
      reflexes in the body. It brings up the remembering that for many in the
      past of our ancestors, full enlightenment comes only with the death of
      the physical. This is the experience of life/death choice during a
      spiritual awakening. These things I remember from understanding of my
      own experience.

      ---Christopher Wynter


      ...if someone wants to awaken they need to understand right from the
      get-go that it costs, no one rides for free here. And just because you
      awaken doesn't mean that you still don't pay. No one is perfect,
      everyone here is human, we all have desires and attachments, I assume.
      And if they don't, keep them away from me. :-) Because they would be
      less than human, not more than human. This is the trip to be on right
      here. I kid you not. We are all very lucky. Consider yourself blessed.
      We are all in each others good company. And *that* is the trip.
      Relationship - Love. If God wanted you to be in a universe all by
      yourself, that's where you would be, but you're not. Welcome to God's
      party. Like Hafiz says, What a table God sets! Truly, what a table it



      ...you start to see that inclusion and neti-neti are not mutually
      exclusive opposites, not even different ways to the same end, not even
      ways to any end...just a part of "whatever works".. huh??



      Here's a game for you:

      Take some emptiness

      Now try to divide it into two parts
      One real, one unreal
      One good, one bad
      One you, one not you

      Did you succeed?
      Where could we view your success?
      Where could we celebrate your failure?



      You did it! The dance of lila, the dream of Shiva, the Cosmic
      Game--emptiness reigns and the pairs of opposites melt in the Void (as
      The Fugs used to say--remember them?). This is non-duality. This is
      the Cosmic Joke. I salute you! I thank you.

      Laughing all the way to oblivion,


      Awhile back a friend asked me a question. I am now prepared to answer
      it. The question was had I ever observed myself working on myself. At
      the time he asked me this question I was very perplexed as to what that
      could possibly mean.

      Last night I was discussing self observation with a number of people. We
      had been discussing it for awhile. Perhaps it was the subject matter but
      somehow my awareness rose above a certain threshold and I became aware
      of myself discussing very intently the subject of self observation. I
      became aware that I was discussing very intently the subject of self
      observation as if I actually knew what I was talking about and this
      awareness was the first observation I had made that evening.

      I have come to realize that self observation is a much rarer occurrence
      than I ever realized. I have been reading work books and talking the
      work for over twenty-five years and work talk has become habitual.

      Another thing I have come to realize is that it is very difficult for me
      to self observe directly. By this I mean if I say I am going to self
      observe without giving myself any other task to do then I almost always
      fall immediately back asleep. If I give myself some task to do then
      observations result as a byproduct. For example if I give myself the
      task of observing myself from one stop sign to the next I invariably
      fail but if I give myself the task of counting from one to fifty and
      back down again from one stop sign to the next even though I may not
      successfully complete the task I am left with observations.


      ...I am plugged into something here much much bigger. And don't look at
      me funny and blame me for it. I can't help it. It's just the way it
      turned out for me and the way it is. What can I say? Not much. In fact
      when you get right down to it, I can't really say anything at all. It's
      that big. But, on the other hand, I cannot help but speak about it,
      because it is so big. I think for someone to come into this and not say
      anything they got to have a screw loose. So, yes, thank God for the ones
      that speak. I've said this before and it's absolutely true. This world
      would truly be a hell without them. And anyone who comes into
      enlightenment and talks, I'm the first one to be kissing their feet. And
      if you think that enlightenment is just a little change, you've got a
      big surprise coming. A real big surprise. :-)



      >From the Advaitin List, June 5, 1999, in which Jan Barendrecht responds
      to Kathi's invitation for a response:

      > I received a mail from a friend regarding the arguments of Sri
      > Ramanujacharya against the fundamental tenets of Advaita. I've quoted the
      > summary from the mail below. I am very interested to know Advaita's
      > position regarding the views stated. Could the learned members
      > state their
      > views to make this 7 impossible tenets possible, please? :-) Regards.
      > Om Shanti
      > Kathi

      > Ramanuja picks out what he sees as seven fundamental flaws in the
      > Advaita philosophy for special attack: he sees them as so fundamental
      > to the Advaita position that if he is right in identifying them as
      > involving doctrinal contradictions, then Shankara's entire system
      > collapses. He argues:
      > I. The nature of Avidya. Avidya must be either real or unreal; there
      > is no other possibility. But neither of these is possible. If Avidya
      > is real, non-dualism collapses into dualism. If it is unreal, we are
      > driven to self-contradiction or infinite regress.

      Avidya has no nature. Avidya is a conclusion that only exists in the
      thinking mind, so it is neither real nor unreal.

      > II. The incomprehensibility of Avidya. Advaitins claim that Avidya is
      > neither real nor unreal but incomprehensible, {anirvacaniya.} All
      > cognition is either of the real or the unreal: the Advaitin claim
      > flies in the face of experience, and accepting it would call into
      > question all cognition and render it unsafe.

      According to the dictionary: cog�ni�tion
      1.The mental process or faculty of knowing, including aspects such as
      awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.
      2.That which comes to be known, as through perception, reasoning, or
      intuition; knowledge.

      This means cognition is a process consisting of different parts.
      Knowing, awareness and perception are possible without interpreting (no
      reasoning or judging). +Knowing+ Brahman, perceiving a blue sky are the
      parts of cognition that are unquestionable. The parts called reasoning
      and judgment are questionable as they require manipulating the content
      of mind and no two minds are the same in this respect.

      > III. The grounds of knowledge of Avidya. No pramana can establish
      > Avidya in the sense the Advaitin requires. Advaita philosophy presents
      > Avidya not as a mere lack of knowledge, as something purely negative,
      > but as an obscuring layer which covers Brahman and is removed by true
      > Brahma-vidya. Avidya is positive nescience not mere ignorance.
      > Ramanuja argues that positive nescience is established neither by
      > perception, nor by inference, nor by scriptural testimony. On the
      > contrary, Ramanuja argues, all cognition is of the real.

      I would argue that cognition is conditioned, because of the content of
      the mind of the cognizer.
      > IV. The locus of Avidya. Where is the Avidya that gives rise to the
      > (false) impression of the reality of the perceived world? There are
      > two possibilities; it could be Brahman's Avidya or the individual
      > soul's {jiva.} Neither is possible. Brahman is knowledge; Avidya
      > cannot co-exist as an attribute with a nature utterly incompatible
      > with it. Nor can the individual soul be the locus of Avidya: the
      > existence of the individual soul is due to Avidya; this would lead to
      > a vicious circle.

      There is a third possibility; that on realization of Brahman, Avidya
      vanishes from perception in the same way as a dream vanishes on waking
      up. So one can no longer say anything about it as the dream only remains
      as content of memory.

      > V. Avidya's obscuration of the nature of Brahman. Shankara would have
      > us believe that the true nature of Brahman is somehow covered-over or
      > obscured by Avidya. Ramanuja regards this as an absurdity: given that
      > Advaita claims that Brahman is pure self-luminous consciousness,
      > obscuration must mean either preventing the origination of this
      > (impossible since Brahman is eternal) or the destruction of it -
      > equally absurd.

      The basis of perception is difference. That without a difference cannot
      be perceived - it can only be known as the subject of subject. Coming
      from a perspective where the differences were interpreted as real, That
      without a difference seems to be covered but coming from That without a
      difference, self-luminousness is apparent and the differences appear
      never to have existed.

      > VI. The removal of Avidya by Brahma-vidya. Advaita claims that Avidya
      > has no beginning, but it is terminated and removed by Brahma-vidya,
      > the intuition of the reality of Brahman as pure, undifferentiated
      > consciousness. But Ramanuja denies the existence of undifferentiated
      > {nirguna} Brahman, arguing that whatever exists has attributes:
      > Brahman has infinite auspicious attributes. Liberation is a matter of
      > Divine Grace: no amount of learning or wisdom will deliver us.

      Pure, undifferentiated consciousness is what remains in nirvikalpa
      samadhi. In moksha / nirvana, all differences erode and pure,
      undifferentiated consciousness is seen as the basis of everything.
      Brahman with attributes is one way of saying that. Liberation cannot be
      the result of anything; if so it would be conditioned. Stating it to be
      a matter of Divine Grace results from the insight that Liberation is
      "attained" despite one's (wrong?) views, opinions and limitations.

      > VII. The removal of Avidya. For the Advaitin, the bondage in which we
      > dwell before the attainment of Moksa is caused by Maya and Avidya;
      > knowledge of reality (Brahma-vidya) releases us. Ramanuja, however,
      > asserts that bondage is real. No kind of knowledge can remove what is
      > real. On the contrary, knowledge discloses the real; it does not
      > destroy it. And what exactly is the saving knowledge that delivers us
      > from bondage to Maya? If it is real then non-duality collapses into
      > duality; if it is unreal, then we face an utter absurdity.

      In reality, nothing releases us as both bondage and liberation only
      exist in the mind of the believer. Both gentlemen forget the power of
      the mind, interpreting one thing as bondage and another thing as real.
      Recognition of what remains when the mind (temporarily) halts
      interpretation could be called enlightenment or "seeing what IS",
      recognition of what remains when the mind (temporarily) halts
      interpretation, thinking and perceiving could be called nirvikalpa
      samadhi and in moksha / nirvana, the "what remains" has become
      self-absorbed consciousness without content so one is no longer
      affected by the functioning of mind. Then, the absence of both bondage
      and liberation is "real".



      >From HarshaSatsangh, June 5, 1999:

      If my therapy practice has been any indicator, lots of people, maybe
      even the majority, have had glimpses of truth. The transformation
      seems to be about recognizing what one has seen and learning how to see
      all the time. I happen to believe the transformation is propelled by
      grace as well. The effort, at least for me, has been in surrender.
      Those who fit well and excel in the pedestrian world don't tend to come
      into therapy until midlife when the whisper of mortality throws them
      into panic.
      I don't believe Grace is stingy with opportunities to wake up, we just
      disbelieve our experience. Your good point about spiritually mature
      non-mystics reminds me of the Jewish midrash of the 36 righteous people
      who are on earth at any give time to keep the universe intact -- any one
      of us could be one and not know it.

      ---Holly N. Barrett, Ph.D.


      I think we all too often glamorize mystical experience....
      There are those who never have experienced so-called mystical states yet
      with their kindness & humility have teach what spiritual maturity is
      truly about.

      ---David Bozzi

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