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Thursday, March 22

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  • umbada@ns.sympatico.ca
    CEE nonduality is not duality there is no combining them or trying to make them both fit nonduality is not two not sometimes not ever in his book on modern
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 23, 2001
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      nonduality is not duality
      there is no combining them
      or trying to make them both fit
      nonduality is not two
      not sometimes
      not ever

      in his book on modern spitituality "After the Ecstacy, the
      Laundry" Jack Kornfield asserts that there is no permanent
      enlightenment. that's bullshit. once the snake is known to be a
      rope, you never mistake it for a snake again! awakening has no
      "me" and "you" and no parts within it.

      many of the teachers at inner directions were also proclaiming a
      kind of "qualified nonduality" where you have an awakening
      experience and then 'come back' to embrace humanity. it may
      appear that way to someone who has not understood. but, once you
      awaken from the dream, the dream does not exist.

      the trouble with "what is" is that many people take it to be
      their ordinary waking experience, and don't enquire any further.
      the truth is far far vaster than the ordinary waking experience,
      where one is still a perceiver.

      all i'm saying is go all the way

      love, cee



      True, nonduality is not duality... but nonduality is still an
      idea, a sort of philosophy, and *as direct experience* really
      can't be called either duality or nonduality. It's something
      like 'present nonexistence..." -- nonexistence can't include the
      existence of something called 'nonduality' any more than it can
      include the existence of something called 'duality' (if that
      makes any sense).

      Put another way, "nonduality" and "duality" are sort of
      opposites, and there can't be such a (real) thing as opposites.
      If there is nothing but nonduality, how can it be said there is
      duality? ... and if there is *nothing but* nonduality, it's the
      default... and the default doesn't need to be called anything at
      all! :-)..

      Funny, I was thinking this morning how the term "Un-duality" is
      almost better. You know how vampires are "undead" -- they are
      really dead but still appear to be walking around somehow?

      Well, as 'the manifested' is not excluded from 'what is' by any
      means, I was thinking the term "unduality" sounds good! It
      doesn't assert so strongly as *non* -- while still leaving a
      place for the apparent manifest universe.

      "Nonduality" does not deny the world, but demonstrates it as
      appearance only, like a shadow, or a movie on a movie screen. As
      a movie, a movie is real... and as the world, the world is
      real... only it depends utterly on consciousness, which depends
      in turn on awareness. An appearance still appears, despite being
      an appearance.

      Anyway, I am sort of rambling, so I'll bring this to a close. In
      conclusion, it isn't important to me whether I 'agree' or
      'disagree' with you when looking at this through the mirror of
      words. "You" and "I" are the same Awareness. Thoughts always
      seem to differ, and the joyous thing is it just doesn't matter
      -- Reality is the same everywhere.



      I was at a party in Los Angeles and a woman asked me what
      nonduality was. I said it meant that all is God or
      Consciousness. She said, 'Well I could argue that vehemently.'
      She proceeded to tell me about the God of Abraham and the Truth
      as she knew it and as it could only be. Then she tore a deposit
      slip out of her check book, pointed to the address printed on
      it, and demanded I come to her house for dinner. I envisioned
      myself listening to her and then, about half way through
      dessert, asking, Who is it that put forth these beliefs for the
      last hour? I lied and told her I was busy and never went to the
      dinner. I went to Krispie Kreme donuts instead. They were
      miraculously warm, light, soft. One doesn't eat a Krispie Kreme.
      One merges with it.


      What a beautiful, funny and poetic understatement! It made me
      laugh, while also conjuring distinct images of LA, where I used
      to live. That was in the 70's, before Krispy Kremes were there.
      So I made do with Hostess Twinkies and A&W Root Beer. At that
      time, all I knew of any of this, was an occasional magazine ad
      for the Rosicrucians.


      JB: I am a new member here. My knowledge of Advaita is quite
      limitted, so I am actually a dualist, in daily life.

      GENE: As daily life now appears to you On surface levels of

      JB: There is the talk of an 'empty mind'. What's that and how
      does one discover it ?

      GENE: All thinking is actually done externally The mind is
      naturally empty Only when empty can it receive accurate

      JB: And has anyone here, seen first hand, the end of suffering ?

      GENE: Sufering ends upon full participation, conducted without

      JB: Also 'What is indecision' ? It can drain one of energy
      apparently.. like: 'should I move in with my girlfriend or not

      GENE: Indecision is also known as ambiguity Caught between two
      poles The essence of duality

      JB: And does it matter at all (in the context of 'Truth') _what_
      decision one takes ?

      GENE: Truth is found only in language



      There is no final way to say what reality is. We can only be a
      creature presenting a limited point of view. An ant might
      describe reality a different way, yet the ant's view is true
      from the ant's perspective. Certainly, there is not one Buddhist
      perspective on the nature of "mind" or "awareness" -- one of the
      reasons for "competing" Buddhist sects.

      I imagine every buddhist has their own individual opinion. My
      view as presented was not meant to be especially buddhist, I
      mentioned the scriptures in passing and also mentioned other
      religions. But I think the basic point I was making, about
      consciousness (or awareness, same thing), insofar as it
      conflicts with your views (which you don't state here, only
      claiming mine to be of 'early buddhist' variety), could be
      readily extracted from the Platform Sutra, that definer of
      orthodoxy. Hui-neng was an illiterate who was enlightened while
      listening to a sutra. He joined the local Zen sect, where the
      fifth patriarch was holding a competition, the writer of the
      best stanza would be appointed the sixth patriarch. Since all
      the monks knew that Shen Hsiu was the number one monk after the
      old abbot, they waited to see what he would write. After great
      deliberation and anxiety, Shen Hsiu finally wrote:

      Our body is the Bodhi-tree, And our mind a mirror bright.
      Carefully we wipe them hour by hour, And let no dust alight.

      Hui-neng was brought to the wall where the stanza was written,
      and had it read to him. He thought it was all wrong, and had the
      boy write the following stanza for him, which won the prize:

      There is no Bodhi-tree, Nor stand of a mirror bright. Since all
      is Void, Where can the dust alight?

      The first stanza contains the error of regarding the 'mirror' of
      consciousness as being the true self, and the working out of
      enlightenment being the effort to polish (purify) the mirror
      (Mind) of dust (defilements, 'sins'). The second stanza
      (Hui-neng's) indicates that to work at purifying mind is to miss
      the true realization that all is perfectly pure already, that
      all efforts to gain spiritual progress are merely the working
      out of ego (limited) desires. Later, Shen Hsiu and Hui-neng both
      ran large monasteries with many disciples, but Hui-neng was the
      patriarch of the Zen sect, and the arbiter of orthodoxy. His
      sect, the 'Southern School' was known as the immediate
      enlightenment sect, while Shen's was the gradual enlightenment
      sect. Hui-neng taught of an 'immediate transmission outside of
      the scriptures,' while the Northern school believed that they
      would gradually develop through practice. While the schools were
      on good terms, as their leaders wuld not allow them to argue,
      both abbots regarded the Southern school as the orthodox one,
      and Zen proceeded to develop along the lines laid down by
      Hui-neng. "Our Mind is a mirror bright" refers to Mind as being
      Consciousness. Orthodox zen regards Mind as Buddha-nature, as
      Void, as Empty. Consider how this is explained by Dogen, another
      very orthodox Zen Master:

      "When the truth doesn't fill our body and mind, we think we have
      had enough. When the truth fills our body and mind, we realize
      that something is missing. For example, when we look at the
      ocean from a boat, with no land in sight, it seems circular and
      nothing else. But the ocean is neither round nor square, and its
      features are infinite in variety. It is like a palace. It is
      like a jewel. Only to our eyes, only for a moment, does it seem
      circular. All things are like this. Although there are
      numberless aspects to all things, we see only as far as our
      vision can reach. And in our vision of all things, we must
      appreciate that although they may look round or square, the
      other aspects of oceans or mountains are infinite in variety,
      and that universes lie all around us. It is like this
      everywhere, right here, in the tiniest drop of water."

      So, "When the truth fills our mind and body" refers to the
      action of being conscious, being aware, totally. But even in
      this total awareness we run into the limitations of the six
      senses, including the limits of conceptualization, and dogen
      illustrates this with the idea of a raft in the middle of the
      ocean, seeing the ocean as circular. The 'bright mirror'
      reflects only what is in front of it, not all that there is.
      Dogen goes on:

      "When a fish swims, it swims on and on, and there is no end to
      the water. When a bird flies, it flies on and on, and there is
      no end to the sky. There was never a fish that swam out of the
      water, or a bird that flew out of the sky. When they need a
      little water or sky, they use just a little; when they need a
      lot, they use a lot. Thus, they use all of it at every moment,
      and in every place they have perfect freedom. "But if there were
      a bird that first wanted to examine the size of the sky, or a
      fish that first wanted to examine the extent of the water, and
      then try to fly or swim, it would never find its way. When we
      find where we are at this moment, then our everyday life is
      itself the manifestation of the truth. For the place, the way,
      is neither large nor small, neither self nor other. It has never
      existed before, and it is not coming into existence now. It is
      simply as it is. "Thus in our practice of Buddhism, when we
      master one truth, we master all truths; and when we complete one
      activity, we complete all activities. The place is here; the way
      leads everywhere. So understanding is not easy, because it is
      simultaneous with the complete attainment of the Buddha's
      teaching. Even though we have already attained supreme
      enlightenment, we may not realize it. Some may and some may

      What dogen is getting at is that we have *enough* consciousness
      to be aware of 'suchness' or of being in ourselves 'the
      manifestation of truth.' We have the infinite earth available to
      us, in any direction we care to go, but at any given moment we
      are using only that few square inches which lies under our feet.
      Implied in these statements is that we may have total freedom,
      as the fish and the birds do, without needing to know the size
      of the sky or the extent of the water. It is not great
      consciousness that gives us our freedom, it is our nature to be
      free, conscious or not. Dogen says, and it bears repeating:

      "Even though we have already attained supreme enlightenment, we
      may not realize it. Some may and some may not."

      It really doesn't take very much consciousness to realize that
      we are already free. Some may realize it, and some may not.
      Those who don't realize it will continue competing and trying to
      gain personal advantage, while those who do realize it will
      share it as best they can and be content if they can't.
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