Wednesday, June 6
- Jan Barendrecht
photo and poem:
Enlightenment an involuntary action?
Try to go to sleep consciously and you will become an
insomniac, try to urinate or defecate consciously and again
you will fail. This is because all these are involuntary
actions. They just happen when the conditions are right.
Perhaps even enlightenment is also an involuntary happening.
Make the conditions right for it to occur, but get out of the
way before it can happen. [Just like reading a magazine in
the toilet to take your mind off the act - getting yourself
out of the way!]
Like walking, or driving/racing or playing sports ... If you
do it consciously the results are mediocre. However if you
get into the rhythm, into the 'zone', you do wonders.
Crudely put, I know. But possibly there is something
Oh YES! YES! YES! Sports is a quite the exact metaphor too.
If you would read Herrigel's little book on Zen in the Art of
Archery, archery was taught as a way of turning off the mind
in order to shoot without conscious thought interfering.
Every creative artist learns how when he is not present, the
poetry writes itself, the music composes itself, the painting
Yes, we do get ourselves into binds, don't we?
When noticing that our voluntary actions arose
involuntarily, we see there is no real meaning
outside of social convention to the terms
'voluntary' and 'involuntary'.
Seeing this, enlightenment and
ignorance arise simultaneously
from the same non-place.
"you" cannot do anything to get enlightened. It is "in the
cards" so to speak, but perhaps not this lifetime. "you"
cannot make it happen, give up, surrender, let go. "You"
cannot get "yourself" out of the way though. I don'think one
can make the conditions right for it to happen, cause we
don't know what those conditions are. But you can prepare the
vessel so that when conditions are right (which we have no
say in) that shift of context from self-reference to god or
other reference can be integrated.
Yes to the general theme of the thread here.
There is a place for 'right understanding' as pointed out by
the theme of this thread.
While I cannot know 'Who am I?' there can be the
understanding of what one is not, and the 'vibration' of
'what is' can be pointed to when there is a certain precision
in the words and their timing.
The Truth cannot be known and yet it has a 'vibration' that
is recognized- it is its own knowing.
So subtle, it is beyond sight or sound.
So loud, its roar is greater than all the oceans.
Nondual Think Tank, continued...
I did not really have in mind such a formal approach, at
least not for the beginning of the 'project', which I shall
call NDDB (for NonDualDataBase) for now.
After more than two years of participation in NDS and other,
related lists and discussions, I can make some general
observations. It is these observations* which have prompted
the idea of taking into account, all accessible concepts,
terms, and definitions which apply to nonduality.
This is for the purpose of setting up a grid, into which one
could insert oneself, to discover where their understanding
places them, in the extant arena of nondual concepts.
In one sense, this proposal, if made workable through careful
contribution and refinement, could be compared to a test
which when taken, reveals the state of knowledge and
proficiency of a student who is challenging an academic
course. Often, the assumption of the student is dispelled,
when the test scores reveal a level of knowledge which is far
below the offerings of the course in question.
Of course, here in NDS we are not supposing to actually
formally test anyone, but much of the content of NDS has
turned out to be 'challenge and defense', a process which
continues even now. And there is nothing wrong with that.
I propose, to test the concepts and terms themselves, thus to
place them in an array of related concepts and terms. This is
the 'grid' I allude to above. If any person so desires, they
can enter the grid, armed with their own version of
nonduality, and thus by comparison see the attached relative
meanings (and values) to which their own 'beliefs and
assumptions' naturally and logically relate.
I know that this will seem like a rather dry and potentially
boring task, at least to some. That is why I suggest that we
simply make this option available to anyone who wishes to
participate. The inclusion in header or text of the acronym
"NDDB" will signify a contribution or challenge to a previous
contribution. By careful comparison and logging, all such
contributions (as Greg has given in his letter above) and
challenges can eventually be placed into a relational grid of
The outcome (if it is ever deemed to be 'finished', a
doubtful prospect!) would be, a potentially useful
"Historical/Semantic Map/Grid" of nondual concepts and terms.
Personally, I already have a (rather vague in certain places)
similar grid, into which all contributors to NDS tacitly
place themselves, with each word they say on the topic. This
is of course, simply a mental construct, which has been
'growing itself' for many years.
* Now on to my observations, which have led to my NDDB
Humans have the peculiar habit of literally confusing meaning
and value. Meaning is a universe unto itself, an array of
definitions which are strictly interpreted, and can be traced
back to their origins, the 'seed' or 'sems' of each word, the
root of 'semantic'. Meaning can be misunderstood. It can
change and shift and take on new connotation, but
essentially, it is the province of arbitration by group
consensus. Meaning, in itself, can be decided by discussion
and agreement. Each meaning so processed, is added to the
huge lexicon of terms and definitions which we all use,
albeit in either deliberate or casual/careless ways.
Not so, the universe of value, and this is the rub, when it
comes to navigating the universe of semantics/meaning.
As we attempt to make our way through the complex universe of
interrelated meaning, we are deflected in our attempt, by the
existence of values, which have become attached to or
imbedded to nodes of meaning. For this reason, it is
particularly difficult to remain in the 'realm of pure
meaning', as we grapple (or not!) with the 'value-added'
aspect of a given meaning.
Value, in itself, is composed of nothing but cues. What one
does in response to these cues, is an entire topic of
discussion in itself, but for now, suffice it to say, that
such cues prompt either of two reactions, which are; to move
toward, or, to move away. In our 'NDDB', this may be referred
to as 'desire' VS 'aversion'.
If you do not understand the above cue (Fnord!), you have
missed the experience of reading "The Illuminatus Trilogy", a
fine series of books written by Wilson and Shae, in the late
'70's. The "Fnord!" word was, in the reality offered in those
books, a strong cue of 'aversion'. Interestingly, the
populace of this literary reality had been conditioned to the
extent, that even though "Fnord!" was plainly printed in
popular periodicals, the word was invisible to the perception
of the (conditioned) reader.
The "Fnord!" aversion-cue was typically place in and around
articles which if understood, would have led to predictable
changes in the status-quo of the social systems which govern
(control) the lives and options of the populace. And it was
the secret society of the Illuminati, of course, who was
responsible for placing the 'aversion-cues' in and around
We are faced with a similar situation here, in NDS. Value is
implied in, as, and especially by the use of, any particular
word or phrase. And the disagreements and disputes which
arise around this event, common as it is, evoke even more
value-cuing, designed to lead to a state of rest in a
proffered 'value-system'. There is considerable undefined
confusion around this phenomenon, and this confusion is
unfortunately, 'state-of-the-art' in the larger,
world-at-large. But it need not go unseen here in NDS, where
'we nondualists' have the opportunity to patiently and
skillfully illuminate both meaning and any attached value, as
we speak and listen.
[To Be Continued... ]
Thanks for listening and considering, more in my next letter.
cee and ***mira:
perhaps it is high time to be done
with consorts of all kinds.
for how many lifetimes have you been searching
for the beloved?
***No idea... can't seem to remember...
yearning for that perfect lover. rejoice at finding them
for a moment and then alas
their body turns to rotting putrid flesh
and where have they gone?
***The Beloved comes from nowhere, is nowhere and goes nowhere...
doesn't matter how many lovers pass by to celebrate its longing for itself.
or the boredom of day to day life makes you want
to flee and find a new perfect lover.
***Ah so true!! Just wrap up the same old thing in a
different piece of paper, and its all brand new and exciting
fleshy lovers, dream lovers, where is the one who will love you perfectly?
***Everyone of them. They are no other than perfection itself.
where is the one you can perfectly love?
***Right now?? I think in his car on his way to the post office...
as long as you make yourself into a somebody
you will make an other, many others
***Ah YES!!! Don't you love the game? It is so amazing that this
is possible!!! No one of us is another, yet we make ourselves
into others.... excruciatingly wonderful play!!! I adore it,
this is an endless round of duality and suffering
***:-) booooh.... hell is waiting for me around the corner!! Beware
of the duality monster!!!
be done with an individuated identity
***No... too much fun pretending!
be done with the round of yearning for union
***No... too much fun unifying that which is not two!
be done with the round of birth and death
***No... can't do it... I AM birth and death... do not stand apart from it!
But then... I AM NOT birth and death as well.... now how am I going to be done with that?
bright ones, eternal one, know this well
you alone exist!
***YEP!!! So what have I got to fear? :-)))