NDhighlights for Saturday 24-Mar-01
- Future of Nonduality
This letter speaks about trends in nonduality, about the
future of nonduality, and about the future of Nonduality Salon.
I detect a trend in the evolution of nonduality email lists.
There is a movement toward specialization. I predict that
in the coming year there will an explosion in the number
of nonduality lists as people migrate to the ones that
appeal to their specific interests and to the moderators
that are most appealing to them.
My vision since May of '98, when the I AM list was started,
has been to see so many email communities created that
no one would be able to keep up with everything. That vision
came to pass a good year or so ago. For example, I subscribe
to about 60 nonduality email lists; true, some are
dead or half-dead, but I barely scan the rest of them.
Now there seems to be another wave of nonduality email
list formation on the horizon. I call it the wave of nondual
specialization. It's going to bring in a flood of new people
and its going to create distance between some of us who
are very close right now. Like they say: it's all good.
I predict this trend will precipitate more in-person retreats
and more community interaction. In fact, we are already
seeing more of that. In time, this combination of internet
and in-person mingling of nondual people will influence
the consciousness of the world.
How much time will pass before nondual perspective is
as well-known and understood (if not always applied in life)
as something like the Golden Rule? Probably 400-500
years from now. The reason it will take so long
is that the nonduality phenomenon is largely generational.
Most of us are Baby Boomers. If one accepts that Baby
Boomers are those born between 1937 and 1962,
it would include well over 90% of the members on this list.
The work we do may not be matched in intensity or in
the number of people involved, for generations. Our entire
generation is setting groundwork for this millenium, and
nonduality is simply the cap upon this spiritual generation.
We have to acknowledge everyone from Timothy Leary to
Krishnamurti, from Elvis to Da Free John, from Jack Kerouac to
Gene Poole, from John Coltrane to Byron Katie. This is our
generation, man. I haven't even mentioned anyone yet.
I don't think there will be too many future generations as
intense and powerful as ours. A few generations, a hundred
years or so, may pass before another generation takes
up the torch we now carry. They will make an impression
upon the world. Then another few complacent generations
will come to pass before another generation of nonduality is
I am also quite sure that the nonduality movement in our
generation has only just begun and we have a long way to go.
Our generation will be around for another 50 years or so, and
we will, and are, influencing many from the upcoming generations.
However, nonduality will never burn as brightly as it is in these
days and in the next 50 years during which time the flame will
continue to intensify and climb.
In time, nonduality will be commonly known and there will
even be a world religion known as nondualism. What that
means is that these are the best of times, because we're not
caught up in the -ism. These are the best of times. And in the
days of nondualism as religion, there will still be small groups
like ours and they will talk of the days at the
beginning of the millenium when there was no -ism and
everyone was naive and so celebratory of our simple,
And so, this is a long roundabout way of saying that I
am in the process of creating a few specialty lists.
The first one is called NDS-Guru Talk. I invite anyone
and everyone to join. Here's the description:
This is a place to send reports of Satsang/Guru experiences, and
to announce upcoming Satsangs, retreats, workshops, intensives,
gatherings, discussion groups.
Also, let us know of any 'new', or little-known nondual
Also, if you would simply like to make yourself available to
meet other nondual type people, feel free to let it be known
Subscribe at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDSgurutalk/join
There will also be lists on activism, nondual perspectives, The Matrix,
nonduality and marginalization, guiding your children toward the
nondual, and other areas. I invite anyone to start lists on these
subjects before I get to it. The more variety of moderators, the better.
Or start your own list on your own specialty. If you need help starting
a list, let me know!
Please don't worry about there being too many lists. Don't hold back.
Give your all. Everything will look after itself. Structures and
organization will form in ways we can't see right now. This may all
sound like noise, but I prefer to see these points of activity as lights
that draw all varieties of moths. And I have not lost sight of the
purpose of those lights, which is to burn the moths to death.
Thanks for your message Jerry. Advaita (Nonduality) is
revitalized in every generation by the Sages who live
You speculated that Nonduality at some point would
become a religion. It might be true but Advaita
(Nonduality as practiced in India) has never been
really a religion, although it has that religious orientation.
Advaita is essentially viewed as one of the philosophical
systems within the Hindu religion that has its origins
in the Vedas (Upanishads) which according to
historical accounts were written about 3000 to 4000
The themes of Nonduality can also be found in Buddhism
and even in Christianity in a variety of ways and although
I am not a religious scholar many experienced people
say that this unifying orientation is present in all
Advaita (Nonduality) as a philosophical system has
never shown any interest in influencing the world, etc.
as all such things exist only in relationship to the observer,
the actor. Hence the main focus has been to enquire into
the existence and nature of the observer itself who perceives
the world. When the observer disappears, along with it
goes the world as well. as something separate from the
Hi Jerry and Harsha,
I've been enjoying your conversation about nonduality
and movement. I find the paradox of movement within
I'm slowly reading Christopher Bache's recent book
Dark Night, Early Dawn, inspired by his experiences
in nonordinary states of consciousness (holotropic
breathwork being one of the techniques for accessing
these states). He suggests that the species mind is
going through a dark night of the soul analogous to that
of the many individuals who have done so and thereby
become those sages of which Harsha writes. It's an interesting
argument, and I see it dove-tailing with Jerry's intuition of
nonduality as a movement. (a movement not away from
something, but towards something) Anyway, Bache writes:
"The paradox of transpersonal development is also the paradox of
human evolution. It takes a strong individuality to surrender the ego
and to endure the impact of transcendence without fragmenting. The
forging of this strong center has been the patriarchal project for four
thousand years. The trajectory of this phase of our cultural evolution
has been to form us into highly differentiated, self-critical,
self-empowered individuals - individuals who can evaluate and set aside
centuries of tradition if we see fit, who can outgrow and remake
ourselves at an unbelievable pace, jumping from the sand dunes of Kitty
Hawk to the moon in less than seventy years. Only now as this phase is
concluding do we begin to glimpse the larger arch (sic) that this
patriarchal segment is part of. In our long isolation from the Goddess,
under the tutelage of our many Father-Gods, there has been gestating
within us a strength of form that will allow humanity to withstand the
assault of such unitive splendor as few can imagine. Ahead lies a
degree of incarnation of the Divine Impulse that would have shattered us
at an earlier stage in our evolutionary development.
I believe that this divine marriage of Individuality and Essential
Ground, of the Masculine and Feminine, of samsara and nirvana is the
dawn that humanity's dark night is driving toward. This is the dawn
that, if successfully navigated, will unite humankind and elevate us
into a form that has never before walked this Earth: a humanity healed
of the scars of history, its ancient partitions reabsorbed; a people
with new capacities born in the chaos of near-extinction. Only when we
have made this pivot, when our long labor has birthed this future Child,
only then will we understand what we have accomplished. And when this
moment finally comes, I deeply believe that, like all mothers before us,
we will count our pain a small price. This birth is our gift to the
So that is Bache's take on this time in history. For me, the same thing
is being said by Nisargadatta in I Am That:
"To know itself, the self must be faced with its opposite - the
not-self. Desire leads to experience. Experience leads to
discrimination, detachment, self-knowledge - liberation. And what is
liberation after all? To know that you are beyond birth and death. By
forgetting who you are and imagining yourself a mortal creature, you
created so much trouble for yourself that you have to wake up, like from
a bad dream."
So, I see Jerry speaking of the waking up and Harsha reminding us of the
ever-presence of wakefulness. Thank you both.
Thank you for presenting
this lucid expression of
your view of nonduality.
I appreciate your offering this.
You didn't mention Judaism --
but I have found deep expressions
of nonduality in Qabalistic Judaism.
This is the "hidden" side of Judaism,
which wasn't provided for mass-consumption,
on the theory that it would shake people
up too much, be confusing for most,
not assist them to live harmoniously
in their day to day lives,
possibly be seen as "blasphemous".
In many ways, Jesus appears to have
elucidated the "core" of Qabala, without
the trappings of mysteriousness, in
a very open, honest, and embodied way.
Qabalistically interpreted, Jesus opened
and presented "light", didn't come
to found another system of thought
to be imposed as historical content
(which of course it became),
history with direct revelation of
atemporal truth (for those who "see").
Of course, there is nonduality in the first commandment,
which warns against taking any image of reality
to be defining of reality, and this is what Jesus
I agree with you that if there is not misperception,
the perceiver and that which is perceived are
not-two. How then would there be violence
in which self acts to hurt self -- such can
only be misperception.
However, when nonviolence is imposed as a principle
of thought, there is duality between the imposed and that
upon which it is imposed. We have seen how this
imposition leads to tension, repression, manipulation,
and dishonesty in human societies.
I find that it is when ways of "right thinking" are imposed,
that this very imposition is where religions and teachings go
astray -- they become a thought-form which is
taken as a necessary belief-system,
a way of making meaning, and an institutionalization
of what is correct and incorrect.
From here, nonduality is to be dropped, to whatever extent
there has been the impression that nonduality involves
certain ways of thinking, certain positions.
Nonduality is nothing new, it has always and only
been the direct revelation of atemporal "light".
How this can be a movement, as if it's a matter
of believing the correct nondual thoughts, or
promoting the appropriate position is beyond me.
I continue to perceive such nonduality as just
another "meme" or "meaning making tool" to
be carried and promoted as if that would
be "good" for humanity.
From here, nonduality which is not thought-based,
is transcendence of human memory and image,
isn't a matter of promoting information, isn't
involved with the processing of information.
Reality is when the imposition of thought is not,
and this is the limitation of philosophies, religions,
movements, and injunctions about how to think, do, or be.
Ron:\Dear friends, given my poor health (heart condition,
etc.),it occurs to me that I could drop dead at any time
and so I thought to make my page available. It is an uneven
effort but it represents somewhat the rapid melting away of
identities I have experienced over the last few months. I
offer it in the hope that it will bring a rueful smile to those
who have been through anything similar. Love Ron
blossoms in the nonduality salon
I am That
Consumed by the flame
Ramana Maharshi's gift to the world was not that
he realized the Self. Many people have had a deep
realization of the Self. Ramana's real gift
was that he embodied that realization so thoroughly.
It is one thing to realize the Self; it is something else
altogether to embody that realization to the extent that
there is no gap between inner revelation and its outer
expression. Many have glimpsed the realization of
Oneness; few consistently express that realization
through their humanness. It is one thing to touch a
flame and know it is hot, but quite another to jump
into that flame and be consumed by it.
“The disciple, after realizing the all-shining, unitary,
unbroken state of Being_Knowledge_Bliss
surrendered himself to the Master and humbly prayed
to know how he could repay the Masters Grace.
The Master said:
“My reward consists in your permanent unbroken Bliss,
do not slip away from it”
(The Cream of Emancipation)
Are you there?
No - I'm nowhere :)
I knew it! :)
Of course - you can always find me there :)
And I do :)
Yes - in "nowhere" one cannot hide :)
The "nowhere" can't hide ahywhere... :)
Exactly - and that makes it so difficult to find it -
because it isn't hidden :)
Right under one's nose :)
Yes - and in the hole of a tooth :)
But this is somewhere! :)
Yes - when nowhere is hiding somewhere,
it won't be found :)
'Cause nobody suspects it can be somewhere? :)
Exactly - nowhere is beyond suspicion :))