Sunday, March 3, 2002
The Nondual Highlights
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Sunday, March 3, 2002
The 992nd Edition
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JAN SULTAN contributes:
Franklin Merrell-Wolff's fundamental realizations
First Fundamental Recognition: Realization of Self,
The first of Wolff's two fundamental Realizations
took place on August 6, 1936. In contrast with the
prior insights, which retained objective elements
in his own consciousness and thus fell short of
genuine identification, the fundamental
Realizations unequivocally transcended the
subject-object or relative consciousness. Just
prior to the first Realization, Wolff had been
meditating upon the teachings of Shankara,
particularly the discussion of Liberation. Upon
meditative reflection, he realized that his efforts
to attain Liberation involved a seeking after a
subtle object of experience. But any new object of
experience, no matter how subtle, was something
other than the objectless transcendent
consciousness. Thus, Liberation does not
necessarily involve any new object of experience or
change in the content of consciousness. To seek
such a new object or experience, therefore, is a
mistake. Genuine Realization, therefore, is a
recognition of Nothing -- but a Nothing that is
absolutely Substantial and identical with the SELF.
The result of this profound realization was the
complete and instant cessation of expectation of
having any new experience or relative form of
knowledge arise. The light of consciousness then
turned back upon itself, toward its source, and the
pure Atman was realized as absolute fullness and as
identical with himself. This Recognition was not an
experience of any new content in consciousness, but
a Re-Cognition of a Truth that is, was, and always
will be. It is a nondual knowledge of identity that
transcends space and time. Nevertheless, there were
various effects experienced within the relative
consciousness, that may be considered expressions
of the Recognition. Because the Recognition is not
the recognition of any particular effects or
phenomena, they should not be confused with the
Recognition itself. Some of the effects Wolff
experienced were: (1) A shift in the base of
reference in consciousness, transplanting the roots
of identity from the relative to the transcendent,
(2) a transformation of the meaning of self from a
point-like principle opposed to objects of
experience to a space-like identity with the entire
field of consciousness and all its contents, (3) a
sense of penetrating knowledge into the depths of
reality, (4) a transcendence of space, time, and
causality, (4) complete freedom and liberation from
all bondage. Also experienced were qualities of
joy, felicity, serenity, peace, and benevolence.
Second Fundamental Recognition: High Indifference,
Although Wolff's first fundamental Realization was
an unequivocal transcendence of the subject-object
consciousness, for a period of approximately 33
days there remained certain unresolved tensions
preventing it from being a full state of
equilibrium. This tension consisted in the contrast
in valuation between the superlative Joy, Peace,
Rest, Freedom and Knowledge of the Transcendent and
the emptiness of the relative world. There was a
distinction between being bound to embodied
consciousness and not being so bound, with a subtle
attachment to being not bound. Counter-acting this
subtle attachment, however, was Wolff's prior
acceptance of the bodhisattva vow, a commitment to
the value of relative manifestation and embodiment,
motivated by compassion for all sentient beings.
With this motivation, Wolff resisted his strong
inclination to retreat into the transcendent bliss
of nirvanic consciousness. Instead, he sacrificed
his strictly personal enjoyment of those
transcendent values in order to maintain a relative
embodiment and help liberate all sentient beings.
This act of compassion and ultimate renunciation
led to an unexpected second fundamental Recognition
that resolved the residual tensions between the
universe and nirvana. The Realization represented a
complete Equilibrium, not only a relative
equilibrium between objects, but also an ultimate
Equilibrium between relative and absolute levels of
consciousness. Because this realization does not
give any more valuation to nirvana than to the
universe, and recognizes no ultimate difference
between the two, Wolff called it the High
Indifference. It is the complete resolution of
tension between all opposites, the complete
transcendence of all distinctions, including the
distinction between the transcendent and the
relative. At this profoundly deep level of
Recognition, all self-identity, both in the highest
sense of the transcendental Self and the lower
sense of the ego self, was no more. In Wolff's
words, "I was no more and God was no more, but only
the ETERNAL which sustains all Gods and Selves."
The Nameless - Franklin Merrell-Wolff
Above, below, to right, to left, all-encompassing,
Before and after and all between,
Within and without, at once everywhere,
Transforming and stable, ceaselessly;
Uncaused, while fathering all causes,
The Reason behind all reasoning,
Needing nought, yet ever supplying,
The One and Only, sustaining all variety,
The Source of all qualities, possessing no attributes,
Ever continuous, appearing discrete,
Inexpressible, the base of all expression,
Without number, making possible all number,
Containing the lover and the beloved as one,
Doing nought, remaining the Field of all action
The actor and the action not different
Indifferent in utter completion;
Diffused through all space, yet in the Point concentrated,
Beyond time, containing all time,
Without bounds, making bounds possible,
Knowing no change;
Inconceivable, yet through It all conceiving becoming;
Nameless ever and unmastered;
THAT am I, and so art Thou.
Whether 'free' or 'bound' depends on the
definitions given: thoughts determine that. Pain
plus mental turmoil is called suffering, without
the turmoil 'just' pain and some will define that
as 'free'. Yet, when the pain exceeds a threshold,
fainting occurs which shows, that kind of freedom
is relative too and numerous are the accounts of
disease ridden saints who were visibly in pain
despite saying 'i am not the body' which of course
is true but for some, not very convincing. The
potential to feel pain destroyed, whatever pertains
to the mind-body is but sight and sound. For a few,
only that defines as 'freedom' and it doesn't need
a qualifier, both mind and body having become
transparent like empty space. Please note the
difference with a newborn, filled up to the brim
with feelings :)
so i was taking a walk a few days ago
and i ran into a guy i run into about once a year
knowing he runs an ashram
i asked him how the enlightenment business was
everyone's enlightened, he said cheerfully,
only they don't know it
where had i heard that before?
we gabbed for awhile
and then i mentioned i had a website
and that he was listed as a spiritual teacher.
he said he never uses the internet
but that a year ago a woman found his name listed
on a website
she was attracted by a quote attached to the listing.
he quoted the quote and i recognized the listing
from my website.
that woman had traveled a long distance
to be with this teacher, based on the quote.
now they had lived together for one year
and he seemed happy about it.
i thought it was interesting and all that.
compassion is being and allowing.
so he seemed quite happy to make the connection
and i went on my way.
a week later i happened to meet him again.
that morning his woman told him she 'needed space'
and their relationship was about to end.
but he thought maybe my presence was a good sign
and that she'd change her mind.
oh well. whatever. nothing i could do about it.
i hung around him a little while
and it was revealed that there was a person
in his ashram
with vampire tendencies
who was drawing people away from his main group
he didn't know how to extract this vampire.
seems there are landlord/tenant legalities involved.
so what does a guru do?
he seemed puzzled and mentioned that he was fearful.
what does a guru do?
what can he do except all he can
then relax and let it all be?
so the vampire takes all his followers.
so his woman leaves.
he's a guru for chrissakes.
so his world falls apart.
the entire world is a catastrophe
because of a single thing not known.
know that thing
and what is there
and what is there not?
not even that knowing.
so things can be pretty rough for people.
other (unwanted) guests spontaneously leave when
enveloped by a strong, positive space charge. A
similar application is that of subsonic waves:
likely to cause anxiety about 'family & home'.
Long ago i came across a rare booklet, translated
from Sanskrit into English, at a time it was
thought, the restless Westerners could be benefited
by studying the science of emotions. Knowing and
applying prevents the build up of situations glued
together with compromises, the sum of which sooner
or later develops into a stranglehold.
It boils down to this:
The mind-body is like a sail boat driven by the
wind, the emotions. The emotional memory is the
automatic rudder, so the course of the boat is
entirely out of control, but not random.
The operation described was to cut down the mast
and start rowing! Then, the rudder loses most of
its influence and eventually, a powerful engine can
be assembled, adjusting the rudder manually for
"the other shore".
When i read the book, it was a nice 'deja-vu'.
As a newbie at NDS, I confess I was not expecting
to find such a colorful, spirited and gutsy give
and take as the discussion of sexual identity which
flared up on this list just as I signed on. We seem
on the other side of most of the fireworks, and
hopefully the better for it. It seems we have come
to a rounding of the circle. Early on Gene said
that "Root Being carries identity in its back
pocket, like a driver's license", and just a few
posts ago, Eric expressed the same thought saying:
"no matter how you slice it, sexual identity is
just another form of identification, and must
finally go if Self Realization is the goal." I
would guess that sexual identity may not have to be
completely given up. Seeing through it and
re-cognizing it may be sufficient, but when I get
closer to the goal, I'll have another look.
At the center of our understanding of nondualism
are questions of identity. "Who am I?" being, of
course, the primary issue. It would seem that we
students of nonduality would have an easier time
than most in seeing just what identification
amounts to and understanding its blandishments and
It appears that both our stalwarts have overstated
their cases. On the one hand, it seems clear that
any claim to an identity, be that as a man or
woman, or white or black, or Jew or Christian, or
handsome or ugly, has only a restricted
application. And that obsessive rigidity in tying
ourselves up in such identities can be limiting in
obvious ways. On the other hand, it seems equally
clear that someone who bases an identity on a
recognition of the actualities of his life, as for
example, sexual feelings and personal sensibilities
as he experiences them, is not in the same category
of self-delusion as someone who takes himself to be
a rusty paper clip or the second coming of God
Almighty. We don't want to insist that all members
of the Hibernian Order of the Sacred Cross need to
be locked up until they repent of their limited
On this lazy Sunday morning, my thoughts are
focused on other concerns. Not least of which is
the fact that, as some of you may know, our
brother, friend, and teacher, Sandeep, last known
to have been close to the scene of carnage in
India, has not been heard from for a disquieting
Sandeep mentioned that he had made some "noises" on
the subject at issue which were not appreciated by
some of the parties concerned. For a while, we on
the Yearnings list consoled ourselves in the
thought that he was in Bombay, far away from the
center of agitation. And then we got a bombshell.
An Indian friend of his told us that Sandeep was
not in Bombay, but in Godhra, which is indeed in
the center of these current events, and actually
mentioned in today's New York Times coverage. What
is more, Sandeep's friend reported that none of
Sandeep's acquaintances who he was familiar with,
knew where Sandeep might be. The posts on Yearning
are painful to read. I am still hopeful -
unfortunately without anything to go on - that we
haven't heard the last of him.
...............just keep thinking you are free,
think it all day long, chant it, make it your
mantra, say it 10,000 times an hour, post notes on
your refrigerator, bathroom mirror and your front
door, wear t-shirts that proclaim it, and bumper
stickers that announce it, tell everyone you know,
write it in your journal, and on all the elists you
belong to and just keep on suffering baby. Thinking
one is free has never and will never change the
fact of suffering (bondage), will never bring about
People who crusade for peace, love,
justice and 'goodness'
often carry some of the heaviest,
One need only listen to the news for
5 minutes to bare this out.
It may be worth a ponder.
SU GANDOLF contributes
A poem by Jaan Kaplinski
Once I got a postcard from the Fiji Islands
with a picture of sugar cane harvest. Then I realized
that nothing at all is exotic in itself.
There is no difference between digging potatoes in our
and sugar cane harvesting in Viti Levu.
Everything that is very ordinary
or, rather, neither ordinary nor strange.
Far-off lands and foreign peoples are a dream,
a dreaming with open eyes
somebody does not wake from.
It's the same with poetry seen from afar
it's something special, mysterious, festive.
No, poetry is even less
special than a sugar cane plantation or potato field.
Poetry is like sawdust coming from under the saw
or soft yellowish shavings from a plane.
Poetry is washing hands in the evening
or a clean handkerchief that my late aunt
never forgot to put in my pocket.
Love, Knowledge and Freedom
Being Is Freedom.
Desire is desire, love is love, hatred is hatred,
anger is anger, sadness is sadness, rage is rage,
and bliss is bliss. What of it?
There is no mystery here. If you truly accept the
totality of what is, then where is the need to
But you should improve yourself, if you feel you
have to. Don't go against your natural feeling. It
just creates additional conflicts.
In the long run, forget about overcoming your
conditioning. That itself is another type of
conditioning. Just layer upon layer upon layers of
conditioning constitute our identity. You may as
well become an enormous and huge Chocolate Cake at
a wedding! You will have fewer layers to contend
with and you will taste better to your friends!
There is no end to this nonsense about
self-improvement and if you have the energy to
pursue, it will continue in one form or another.
Forget permanent and impermanent. Forget freedom
and bondage. Forget Samsara and Moksha. Remain as
you are. That is actually the only thing anyone can
do really well.
You don't need lessons!
If you know in your bones that there is absolutely
nothing you can do, you will See that there is
absolutely nothing you need to do!
To See Is To Be. To Be is to See.
These are Not Two!
If you love Truth enough, you will see that You are
You and Truth.
These are not Two!
If you Love Truth enough, you will see that You are
You and Love.
These are not Two!
Keep it in sight You will be all right!
Be Seeing You (:-).
One who is Awake, in the spiritual sense, is
expressing Light, is Rapture itself, ecstatic,
blissful. Such a one is like a pulsating moment or
event of Radiance, filling all corners of the
universes. Such a one is Love itself, present to
shine on any and all who will recognize this
benediction. And shining on all who won't recognize
this benediction, as a silent and profound
encouragement towards recognition. Surrender to the
Will of God, or Slavery to the Law in every moment,
allows one to be or exist as perfect sympathy to
the Divine Process and to the Divine Essence, which
is itself Light, Love, Power , Glory, Compassion,
and Mercy. Such a one loses personification(in the
Real sense, not in the apparent sense) in bending
to the needs of everyman, and even to the endless
worlds of creation in every form. Even this concept
is mindlessly unimagineable, even unthinkable to
one who thinks or percieves from the posture or
context or disposition of survival, separation from
God, and the need to sustain this human form
immortally. For one who does not see God as the
Father and Source of all, including that one's very
existence, any consideration of the Truth of
Awakening is conceptually impossible. Loving God,
however, is quite different from, essentially
distinct from, Awakened existence, function, and
surrender even though it must arise from the
context of Awakening. Loving God, which is pure
Gift, literally the only Grace, is a condition (not
a gesture, posture, or a positional meditation) in
which the entire Radiance or expression of
universal Light, impersonally breathed in every
moment and to everyone/everything, is limited to
one channel or beam of direction which is God in
Personal Form. Being Awake and therefore
surrendered to the Law, Sacrificed to the Great
Process of Divine Evolution, is being a reflector
of God, bathing all beings in this outward
reflection or radiance. Loving God is reflecting
God only back to Himself. Loving God is a
reflection of God to God. Being Awake is a
reflection of God's Reality to reality. Loving God
is being turned only in the direction of God,
melting in every moment in the heat and passion of
ones love for God, in all God's glory and beauty,
in His completely whimsical Being. Being, Love on
the other hand, which is the condition of
Enlightenment, is expressing this Love outward as
God with outwardly no distinction as to the object
of this reflection and with no reflection of God.