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Re: [Wisdom-l] Re:the mirror analogy and nondual realization

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  • Bhanu Padmo
    (The Mirror-Metaphor)   The confusion about mirror-analogies may be narrowed down to a tipping point that would also establish non-duality quite decisively.
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 22, 2013


      confusion about mirror-analogies may be narrowed down to a tipping point that
      would also establish non-duality quite decisively. This tipping point is where
      all thinkers of all ages have been tottering. And indeed, this tipping point
      beyond which lies the world of non-duality is the seminal mirror-ness, the
      maiden mirror-ness. The world of non-duality is reachable only if this maiden
      mirror-ness is transcended. Otherwise, not. So, let*s concentrate on the nature
      of the tipping point and the slippery approach to it – with the objective of
      transcending it.


      tipping point is the epistemic contingency about existence.


      the existence know that it exists? Should the existence know how it exists?
      Should the existence know how much it exists? Should the existence know why it


      Should existence simply continue to exist without even knowing that it exists?
      Would such ignorance solve the purpose of existing?


      would existence know that it exists? What would be the components of
      post-existence knowing? Is self-knowledge (knowledge about own existence only)
      sufficient? Or, is it to be complemented by peri-knowledge (knowledge of the
      neighboring/ surrounding existences)? The latter component becomes a necessity
      if unity is inherent in creation.


      answers are obvious and this subjective obviousness is the proof of
      absoluteness and eternality of these truths (obvious answers). The primordial
      absolute-and-eternal truths may be laid down accordingly as :


      must know itself. Existence must know itself through its epistemic organ.


      non-dual aspect of ontology of maiden existence in the form of the primordial
      particle would call for coincidence/ superimposition of epistemic organ and the
      whole body (when the whole body is the epistemic organ).


      the body grows into a conglomerate of organs first and then, into a hierarchy
      of organs and organic constituents, the epistemic organ occupies respectively
      the central or the apical body-point to be in control. The epistemic ability of
      the entity (existence) gives it self-control.


      ability may be thus divided into two broad divisions : ontic and epistemic. The
      *parallel genesis* of the epistemic ability out of the ontology of existence
      brings in the notion of *mirror*. This metaphorical mirror is an integral part
      of existence (entity*s body) that generates epistemic ability in the generic
      form of *feeling*.


      metaphorical mirror may be analogized to truck-driver*s hind-surveying convex
      mirror. Thus body*s epistemic organ may be seen metaphorically as an *internal
      convexity* that portrays own existence as *feeling*. As a sprawling palace hall
      fitted appropriately with a tiny internal convex mirror on its wall reflects
      upon its surface the entire internal space for a visitor, the epistemic organ
      reflects emotively existence*s worth for the subject.


      of the ontic and epistemic parallels of existence while still preserving
      primacy of the former is ultimate origin of non-duality. In other words,
      non-duality is identification and appreciation of mirror-ness of emotive
      attribute of epistemic organ which is as *real* as the ordinary mirror.


      the epistemic organ itself became first a conglomerate and then a hierarchy, the
      metaphorical subjective mirror became very complex indeed. And yet mirror-ness
      can be sensed at any epistemic constituent of the epistemic hierarchy.


      example, the optic organ (eye-feeling) may be deemed to be endowed with the
      metaphorical internal convexity to act as an internal emotive mirror to emanate
      *feeling* (eye-feeling, sight-feeling) out of an optic exercise called optic


      peak deduction about aforesaid non-duality arrives over the issue of apical
      epistemic organ (apex of the hierarchy of epistemic organs). The eye-analogy
      leads us to propose and differentiate *soul-organ* and *soul-feeling* and
      leaves before us no other option but to take the *apical epistemic organ* as the
      soul-organ. This soul-organ is the *mother mirror* that reflects emotively (as
      feelings) own life and interfaced creation.


      different mirror-analogies that emerged down the ages are depictions of
      surmises about the-then perplexing questions of emotive life and apparent
      duality/ multiplicity.


      isn*t perplexing any longer. Not after the discovery of (the reality of)
      soul-organ, the soul-organ/soul-feeling parallelism and primacy of the former
      over the latter. 

      (Bhanu Padmo)


      may reply this thread upon http://in.groups.yahoo.com/group/greenlogic/%c2%a0
      as well

      or consign a copy to greenlogic@...   for extended discussions.

      --- On Mon, 2/18/13, Peter Holleran <ptrholl@...> wrote:

      From: Peter Holleran <ptrholl@...>
      Subject: Re: [Wisdom-l] Re:the mirror analogy and nondual realization
      To: Wisdom-l@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Monday, February 18, 2013, 11:59 PM


      No apologies and no offense. I, too,am just trying to understand, and was hoping maybe someone else could offer clarity.  This is a problem talking about the 'mirror' - exactly that different teachers speak of it in different ways, and maybe sometimes referring to different things.- Peter
      --- On Sun, 2/17/13, dgallagher@... <dgallagher@...> wrote:

      From: dgallagher@... <dgallagher@...>
      Subject: Re: [Wisdom-l] Re:the mirror analogy and nondual realization
      To: Wisdom-l@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Sunday, February 17, 2013, 11:06 AM


      This is all far too complex for me..  Words are necessary for dialog,
      of course, yet do we understand each other's intended meanings?  You cite
      schools and teachers, and I do too, although, I feel, in a far more limited
      range than you.  Schools and teachers adopt their own distinctive
      vocabularies.  That alone, for me, presents a formidable challenge to
      understanding.  Speaking in the vernacular, are we ever on the same
      With apologies, and hopefully not giving offense,

      In a message dated 2/17/2013 9:57:49 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
      ptrholl@... writes:


      What comes to my mind is that the mirror analogy is spoken of
      in different ways, A traditional 'lila' way is that the world is a mirror for
      the Self to know itself in. I think we can reject that one right off the bat,
      as it posits 'meaning' to the absolute. anadi, on the otherhand, has a novel
      way of saying that the 'soul' knows herself in the light of consciousness -
      but apparently is not defined itself by just conscious per se. He says in
      another of his books, "after all, what does the mirror reflect - the mirror?"
      (Now I know in Ch'an there was the famous face-off whereby Hui neng won the
      master's staff by writing 'the mind is not a mirror bright,' , etc., but let's
      not go there as yet). The question, then, is what does anadi mean by the soul?
      I am thinking it comes down to no words are adequate to describe what we are
      talking about. Which includes 'conscious is all', or is 'what we are', etc..

      For example, in Dzogchen, according to Namkhai Norbu in The Crystal
      and the Way of Light, he explains that they talk about the Base, the Path, and
      the Fruit. What is relevent right now is the Base. The base of rigpa is
      described in three aspects: Essence, Nature, and Energy. The Essence is pure
      space-like unconditioned mind with the potential to reflect and manifest; its
      Nature then is to reflect, and what it reflects is Energy (which includes
      forms). It is kind of strange, don't you think, to speak of a mirror that
      reflects its own inherent reflections or manifestations? What is it reflecting
      them to - itself? Why? He concludes what should be obvious by now that these
      three aspects are interdependent and inseparable and only a way of talking
      about this in language. He says:

      "Although in order to explain the base
      we may artificially separate its Essence, Nature, and Energy, the example of
      the mirror shows that these three aspects are interdependent and cannot be
      separated from each other. In fact, a mirror's primordial voidness, its clear
      capacity to reflect and the reflections that arise in it are inseparable and
      are all essential to the existence of what is known as a 'mirror'."

      it were not empty, the mirror would not reflect, it if did not have a clear
      capacity to reflect, how could it manifest reflections? And if it could not
      manifest reflections, how could we say it was a mirror?" (p.

      Isn't this interesting: the mirror itself is manifesting
      reflections in its own mirrorness? This certainly backs us into the nondual
      position totally. We can't then just call 'consciousness' the primary datum so
      glibly. It seems to me that maybe we need to go back to a Trinity model of
      sorts to more accurately reflect the nature of reality, as opposed to just
      consciousness at rest and conscious-energy. We might posit Brahman/Nirguna/
      Tao, whatever - realizing theat are uncharacterizable, and then two
      principles, perhaps siva-shakti, purusha-prakriti, or
      consciousness-manifestation, and reflections on down the line. Within this
      model we find room for all sorts of things like souls, and God, for instance,
      understood hopefully nondually. Then we will acknowledge that speaking of
      consciousness, and adding superlatives like 'universal consciousness', 'pure
      consciousness', or 'awareness' , 'universal awareness', and 'pure awareness',
      or 'prior to consciousness', etc., are just meaningless words. Knowing and
      intelligence have a different feel, but probably even these will face the same
      difficulty. But how do we know that it is awareness that 'knows' whatever it
      is we know? Just because awareness is always there is not proof. That is still
      a word after all.

      For another instance, how does anyone know that
      'things' manifest out of consciousness? Damiani says no one ever 'sees' that,
      that you can only know that by hard dialectical reasoning. But it is generally
      assumed by most teachers. Certainly the two always occur together, and not

      This relates, imo, to the very nature of nondual realization
      and the questions of selfhood. Better perhaps to simply say, as Jack Kornfield
      and some other teachers are now saying, that we go beyond all notions of a
      'separate-self', rather than 'beyond all notions of self', as Adya tends to
      say. Because just because we feel an impersonal realization doesnlt mean there
      is no 'self' there; it may just be too subtle for us to perceive, or our
      experience is colored by our expectation. By simply using 'no-separate self' -
      and on this point I agree with Colin Drake - then we are not needing to assume
      anything about 'self' other than its ever deepening mystery. Because in a
      nondual world self and other are intertwined and inseparable. And 'who'
      realizes non-duality? Some kind of self or individuality. Nondual realization
      excludes nothing. Non-dual realization or nirvana, as well as samsara, are
      both in Relativity and known to some kind of self. That self becomes ever more
      interconnected and non-separate, but it still is there, otherwise who could
      become liberated? Saying it is the Infinite, the Self, emptiness,
      enlightenment that realizes these same things is not much help, and can lead
      to misunderstanding of the scope and nature of Relativity. Samsara and
      Relativity are not the same, imho. Samsara is bondage in Relativity. Nondual
      realization, occuring within relativity, is the realization that samsara and
      nirvana are not separate, and it includes both a realization or perception of
      the existence of the Nondual Ground (which can not be said to be either
      realized or not realized, it is beyond all such concepts), but also of the
      implications of that nondual realization for us within Relativity, and this
      latter could go on almost indefinitely - including the post-enlightenment
      increasing of relative 'merit and wisdom' (understanding of impermanence,
      dukkha, increase of compassion, power, skillfulness, etc.) that began long
      before one realized non-duality, according to certain teachings.. And I think
      this is what PB points to in the many quotes where he talks about this thing
      taking along time, even though it is simple in essence. We can find nondual
      realization to varying degrees while we are still increasing in relative
      'merit and wisdom', as the Tibetans say, and even after more complete, direct
      realization of non-duality, the relative wisdom is now seen as
      interpenetrating and mutually influencing the absolute wisdom. Relative wisdom
      generally does emerge first and forms the foundation of spiritual development
      which eventually prepares one for direct nondual insight, but at a deeper
      level they come to be seen as fundamentally inseparable, two aspects of one
      primordial wisdom. Just some thoughts - Peter

      --- In Wisdom-l@yahoogroups.com,
      dgallagher@... wrote:
      > Peter,
      > Not confusing in
      the light of Plotinus's doctrine of integral omnipresence,
      > while
      bearing in mind that the light "appears" out of the
      thrice-unknown-darkness (according to the Orphic tradition which seems to have
      > embraced by Plato -- at least according to Proclus). Plato too
      uses the mirror
      > analogy.
      > David

      > In a message dated 2/15/2013 11:51:59 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,

      > ptrholl@... writes:
      > Mark:

      > This could be just more words, but anadi says that
      consciousness or
      > presence as the light of cognition is the 'mirror'
      in which the soul awakens to
      > herself. Thus he says one first needs,
      generally, to awaken to the state of
      > presence or awareness, (as well,
      in his view, to the feeling of being) , in
      > order to know the soul;
      also implying, rather uniquely, that consciousness
      > or awareness is
      not the same or 'higher' than the soul. Interesting but
      > somewhat
      confusing take on the 'mirror' analogy often found in consciousness
      teachings. - Peter
      > --- On Wed, 2/13/13, Mark Scorelle
      > From: Mark Scorelle
      > Subject: Re:
      [Wisdom-l] anadi - The ego and self-enquiry
      > To: Wisdom-l@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 9:38 AM

      > Hi Christi,
      > Yesterday I came across this interesting posting
      on Facebook.
      > The Ego ages... the Soul evolves...
      > and
      to the Awareness,
      > nothing happened.
      > To me it seems
      like alot of the discussions here take place between the
      > Soul stance
      and Awareness stance. There are allot of shades between, some
      > more in
      evolution of the soul, some more of a stance of the absolute. That
      one uses inquiry to refer to an insight gained truth, such as one's
      essential emptiness, is slightly more on the being side of things, whereas if
      > engages in inquiry to gain that insight is slightly more on the
      > evolution side. But obviously both are within the souls movement
      waking up.
      > For example time, time is a reality in the soul's
      evolution, incarnations,
      > aeonic time cycles, etc. but is not to the
      Awareness view, there is only
      > the present Now and time is
      manufactured within and by the mind to
      > experience the world.

      > Mark

      > On Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 5:22 PM, Christi Cox
      > (mip://0bb89458/mc/compose?to=christicox@...)
      > wrote:
      > Hey
      > I took this slightly differently. I
      thought--per his final sentence--that
      > inquiry would help create the
      conditions in which an initial awakening
      > could happen, and that once
      that awakeness was there, inquiry could than be a
      > pathway back to
      > --Christi
      > From: Mark Scorelle
      > (mip://0bb89458/mc/compose?to=mark.scorelle@...)
      > To: wisdom-l _wisdom-l@yahoogroups.com_

      > (mip://0bb89458/mc/compose?to=wisdom-l@yahoogroups.com)
      > Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 12:46 PM
      Subject: [Wisdom-l] anadi - The ego and self-enquiry

      > The ego and
      > Self-enquiry can be described as the ego’s
      existential effort to reveal
      > our eternal self hidden beneath the
      layers of our human personality.
      > Self-enquiry, the awakening question
      of our true identity, link the intelligence
      > that seeks its true
      identity to the awakened answer, the soul herself.
      > Because it points
      beyond the mind, self-enquiry must transcend mental effort
      > to
      illuminate the direct experience to our essential self.
      > The
      main point of confusion on the path of self-enquiry relates to the
      false assumption that through the power of enquiry we can instantaneously

      > access the ever-present self that remains unrealized only due to
      ignorance. The
      > reality is that our true self cannot be recognized
      prior to first being
      > awakened and actualized. Self-enquiry is not
      limited to seeking and seeing
      > who we are in the present now; it
      actually opens the space of intelligence
      > and being within which the
      soul can finally remember and awaken her
      > timeless essence.

      > (This quote seems to be saying that sudden enlightenment has
      it place and
      > that self-enquiry is only effective after spontaneous
      self-recognition has
      > happened in other words inquiry is similar to
      the remembrance short path
      > exercise. See the Jackson Peterson quote
      on rigpa. When openness and
      > clarity, emptiness of self has been
      established in being, not merely
      > intellectually, then a pathway is
      open for the heart center, oneness, soul waking up to
      > herself to
      occur. ~Mark)
      > anadi
      > the book of
      > 151-2

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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