Friday, 23 December 2011

Non-duality and Facebook groups ..

Friday, 23rd December 2011


Facebook becomes the arena in which some of my thinking/seeing of this thing gets worked out .. e.g. the following exerpts ..

1) In "Unleashed" group:
O.K. guys, I see there is a problem with the Self (capital S) as used here .. Maybe I spent so long around the whole Hindu / Advaita / Self-Enquiry thing that it isn't a problem for me .. It is equivalent to the impersonal Absolute or impersonal God of the Hindus or Brahman .. (that which is in everything and everything is in it) .. it also expresses non-dual awareness .. It is the That in I am That (tat tvam asi) .. What else can I say ? I (small self, individual body/mind percieving) am (being living here now) That (non-dual awareness ..that which is in everything & everything is in it) The individual consciousness finds itself to be one with all just happening right here right now presently unfolding .. I & It are one .. Atman is Brahman .. soul is none other than God ..

 There are so many ways to express it .. in Liberation (3rd stage as I might say or 3rd gear as Mark pointed to) self & no-self are found to be one .. the self is 'noughted ' & reality is found ..

 In general it would be better not to use self and Self perhaps but other expressions can get a bit clunky ..

Dualistic awareness = living in & as the illusory self

Non-dual awareness = living in & as the no-self ...


 If we say it is beyond words and fall silent that is O.K. .. but then how to help someone who is confused after the gate ?

 Of course everyone's experience of everything is ultimately very individual .. but a common terminology could be useful that didn't cause everyone to jump on any word and misinterpret it .. so that there might be some clarity .. especially after the gate ..

 It is obvious that people catch a glimpse of it .. & have understood it intellectually & when they are truly seen to "surrender" in a one on one to this understanding they are then confirmed .. However this is not always a lasting experience for everyone .. so just saying "What's seen cannot be unseen." doesn't help at that point either ...

John W Hooper is another classic case right now .. expressing this self same thing .. What to do and how to help if there is a) no common language and b) no general recognition of a very real problem ? Just leave people to 'work it out for themselves' ? Doesn't seem too bright. Or find some common ground and techniques or mechanisms to help the deepening .. falling away .. or extension in the present of this very interesting and useful phenomenon ?

 Is it not possible to not get hung up on words because they appear in some way 'uncool' .. & not 'no-selfish' enough ?

 Let's just be honest here .. is there a problem for many people after the gate with remaining in no-self as a permanent lived state or isn't there ? I say there is and it is regularly seen .. So how to help with that ?

2) In "Unleashed" group:
Mark .. I see exactly what you are saying in your original piece at the head of the thread .. Without following the thread too much I am reminded of something in flamenco which is known as "El duende" .. it is that moment which perhaps is the goal of most artists wether they know it or not .. when the self is not present and the music is played through them or the picture is painted through them or the dance is danced through them .. when the artist becomes an instrument in the hands of God (or whatever) as it has been expressed. Garcia Lorca wrote an essay on this and there is a story about a typical flamenco get-together at around 4 .a.m in the morning when El Duende most often descends .. Music playing .. guitar .. singer .. hand claps .. & a very old lady gets up .. dances nothing more than a few steps .. and .. it's all over ... Everyone recognises that that was it .. all has been said in just those few steps .. El Duende arrived .. was expressed & left ... They all pack up and go home .. nothing more to be said.

 One might say this is closely allied to the no-self thing .. & is found at times in all art & is generally recognisable (at least by sensitive souls !)

Perhaps what you are talking about here is how no-self is lived and expressed in art and how that unitary state could be extended so that art and its execution are a living expression of that. (In this sense life becomes art and art becomes life also.)

Is this what you are getting at ?

3) In "Practical Enlightenment" group:
Mmm .. I pop around quite a few groups and start or enter threads .. In general I share and enjoy & enter into debate .. but words can sometimes get in the way .. On the Unleashed group (around pointing to no-self) they get upset about using self and Self (as in western communication of advaita) .. it causes confusion and even antagonism .. though Self points to the same thing as no-self .. Here there is a problem with the word God and I am not one to simply reject its use 'a la Tolle' because of its connections with many negative connotations ..

However it has also been called The Common Source of All .. & in this sense (at least) I would like to share with Ray rather than be antagonistic ..

 Two things come up .. Am I trying to foist my idea of God on him ? and Have I even tried to distinguish what my idea or perception of God is ?

Is it the same as non-dual awareness & if so are our ideas or experiences of that different ?

 It is endless but I have to try to look at my motivation .. I know I want to share and I know I am looking for a universal understanding ..

God is unique and beyond that which can be expressed in words and so is non-duality .. Is that enough ? Is the non-dual the same as God ? For me I would say that in His unitary aspect yes .. However I still see God as greater than that (or anything) and also The First Cause (not necessarily as the beginning of a chain as in Newtonian physics but as an ever present cause of all with no second .. as in Ghazzali's famous example of the match and the cotton .. attempting to show that it is not the flame which causes the cotton to light but all things are separate immediate events coming from one ever present cause .. the match the flame the heat .. the burning etc etc ) .. non-duality generally is not interested in a First Cause & does not generally account for the existence of anything .. in Buddhism it is generally seen a eveything mutually arising .. but I am still curious about what was before the Big Bang .. (if it indeed it did happen like that) .. & so we go on ..

 So should I try to elucidate my understanding of God to Ray .. ? I don't think he's be interested .. but it is not really solely a sufi Muslim God (though that may be the nearest in Ibn al Arabi .. Ghazzali .. Abdl Qadr Gilani etc .. to name a few evocations ) .. but also perhaps near to Brahman or an impersonal Absolute (though that may be none other than the sufi "dhat" or essence of Allah which, interestingly, it is forbidden to think about in sharia law) ..

"If on the other hand they are uncomfortable that the non-theists "missed something" that they may need to be aware of, which they feel compelled to share, then there may be a problem. "

I suppose there is a problem then .. I wonder why ? & can I overcome it .. You may say .. Why bother ? .. I don't know .. but I am uncomfortable until I have either reached an understanding with Ray .. or agreed that we can't understand each other .. but that would seem like a 'fail' to me ..

Hmmmm ...

I wonder if it is better to start 'from the other end' & see if we agree that anything exists at all and then if so .. how perception of it works ?

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