Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Ongoing War Between Dualism and Non-dualism

I don't know if anyone has been following my long dialog with friend about non-dualism. Most of it has been going on in the comments section of my posts, and though I've occasionally brought some of my replies to the top as a full posting, most of them have taken place down below. It's gotten pretty heated at times, and I thought it had cooled down a bit, until I got his most recent reply to my last set of comments. I decided to make a pretty lengthy reply this time, and I must admit I kind of blew off some steam in the process. Nothing Wyatt Earpish, mind you, but I did get a little strong. I thought I'd post it up here on the top, in part to show my rough side, but also because it does get into some fairly important issues in regard to non-dualism.

Because I can't easily link to individual comments, I'll post Friend's comments first, and then my own. If you want to see the thread, go to this post, and look at both the comments section and the previous links. If you just want to skip down to my reply, it's at the end of the indented paragraphs.

Friend's last comment to me:

I think this last post of yours is either a sign of a distracted mind or a slippery one, perhaps both. Perhaps its slippery because it's distracted and I wouldn't be surprised because you obviously have a lot on your plate at the moment and I think it may all be more than you can handle.

As a result, you seem to be sort of cruising in auto-pilot to a fair degree at least in this reply to me. But it's sort of interesting to see how your mind operates at the automatic level. For one thing its modus operandi is more obvious. First it denies, then it rationalizes. Usually you at least consider what has been said at a bit more depth and so the response is more sophisticated than this last, relatively thoughtless post. Here I se you as basically sidestepping my points in sort of a slippery non-substantive manner.

Secondly, your unexamined assumptions are more obvious. Some of them make me shiver.

I'll take your last one as my first example of this. You misrepresent my position and then argue against that. You have a serious misunderstanding of my position if, after all this time conversing, you actually think I'm trying to "affirm the reality of duality" or "imply that the lower notion of experience and duality is actually true and real". Far from it. I assume you must be thoughtlessly arguing with some straw man there, probably a composite of other people you have been arguing with, or you are just on auto-pilot.

My point with Ramana's quote is twofold. The first is that it demonstrates that it is not necessary to eradicate the relative world in order for realization to be the case. Ramana said that it was only necessary to point out the unreality of the conditional world to seekers who had lost sight of themselves. Once they had realized their status as conscious being they then understood their correct relationship to the world.

Ramana: “When a man forgets that he is a Brahman, who is real, permanent and omnipresent, and deludes himself into thinking that he is a body in the universe which is filled with bodies that are transitory, and labours under that delusion, you have got to remind him that the world is unreal and a delusion. Why? Because his vision which has forgotten its own Self is dwelling in the external, material universe. It will not turn inwards into introspection unless you impress on him that all this external material universe is unreal. When once he realises his own Self he will know that there is nothing other than his own Self and he will come to look upon the whole universe as Brahman.”

So it is clearly not necessary to eradicate the world to see reality. You are just using that condition as an excuse to hang on to duality yourself.

The second point is that Ramana actually does mean that he has no preferences, or there are no preferences, while you do express very clear and sharp preferences continuously, again with particular regard to the presence of what you insist on calling duality. Your avoidance of these points is another instance of what I mean by your slipperiness in this post.

I am not the one insisting on the reality of duality as you suggest. Quite the opposite. If you would just look a little more closely you'll see that it's actually you who are insisting on the reality of duality and that that is what is supposedly preventing your realization, according to your own assessment.

I am in total agreement with Ramana's endorsement of the vedantic principle of Ajata Vada, which has to do with the absence of causality regarding "Being". It is a great insight. The only real difference between us on this point is that you seem to see it as only a theory, or perhaps just a remote future attainment while I see it as present actuality. Here you leap on the word "now" and try to rationalize the whole idea away as some complicated issue while simply avoiding the actual point of my comment, another reason I refer to your replies in this post as slippery.

My point again is that you cannot claim to be pursuing such things as "...unconditional freedom, which is what desire really wants." or say, "I don't see that desire can be quenched any other way than to fall into unconditional happiness." and yet remain entirely conditional in your stance, as you do continuously. That is a dualistic position. That's the point that I am asking you to face and not simply ignore it. Can you even see that this might be a possibility? You constantly assume that what you call duality prevents or belies your enlightenment. So who believes in the reality of duality or the conditional world? Clearly it’s you and not me as you suggest. I hope you’ll stop projecting your vision onto me and then criticizing me for what you yourself espouse.

Other assumptions of yours that make me shiver are:

“Only the source, the source of the “I”-thought, is infinite. And that is not found in our present situation.”

- The notion that our source is missing, that we are separated from our source, is a typical atheistic assumption. I know this because I was once an atheist too. Even if you don’t consider yourself an atheist now, this assumption is a hangover from that period of your life. You need to allow yourself to see that this ‘missingness’ is simply a learned and arbitrary, unwarranted and unnecessary assumption. It is not true.

“We can't find ourselves in this present situation either….”

-We can only not find our subjective self objectively. No one has any problem finding themselves subjectively, and not as an entity of course, or a thought or an image, since those would still be objective, but as totally obvious conscious being (and not A conscious being, nor any entity BTW).

“Where we actually are is not known to us. This is not a good thing”

- There is no “where”. Place is a relative concept. In the absolute, Being is its own place, as well as its own time.

“When realizers talk this way, there are not talking about “our present situation”, they are talking about a transcendental present, not merely the present moment in time, but the now that is beyond time”.

- The now that is beyond time is the present moment to which I am referring. But this present moment in time is not actually separate from that, as you seem to want to insist.

“We can only experience a part of whatever there is, and we can't ever demonstrate that it is infinite at all.”

- Infinity is part of our present situation even in the conditional world. I know you know the sky never ends. That’s real infinity. The two aspects of reality infuse every aspect of existence: the unlimited and the limited, the time-bound and the eternal, the relative and the absolute, the objective and the subjective, the changeable and the unchanging, multiplicity and singularity, and so on. They are all the case at the same time. They do not deny or nullify each other as you keep wanting to insist. It’s not one or the other. This is infinity, literally.

“… desire wants what is infinite, what is real, what is transcendental. It's problem is that it cannot perceive the transcendental and infinite…”

- The transcendental, the absolute, is not objective or relative so it cannot be perceived objectively. That is the only ‘problem’. But that does not mean that what is infinite, real and transcendental is somehow missing or unavailable That is again another unwarranted assumption based on thinking that the absolute should appear in relative terms. Desire is rooted in the assumption or insistence that the real is presently missing. But the real is not missing at all. It simply is not defined, and cannot be identified in what is limited and conditional, even though people casually do assume so on an everyday basis (And please note, I do not assume that.) No one has a problem realizing reality. People generally make the mistake of thinking that the absolute should be objective or relative like everything else they know. Once one gets over that misunderstanding there is no problem.

If you understand what I am saying here you’ll see that, overall, there is actually very little difference between your position and mine. You are hardly alone in arguing for “higher notion of unity” as you say. It’s no wonder you continue to misrepresent my position if you still don’t understand this. It would help this conversation considerably if you would.

The only difference is that you are saying non-duality is not presently the case while I am pointing out that it already is. And that is the all the difference between us in a nutshell. That’s the reason I refer to your present position as one of duality and that’s what I was asking you to confront in yourself in my last post and what I consider you to have missed or sidestepped in your reply. You say this is not that. I say this is that, and not in any theoretical, conceptual sense, but actually so. I am not merely trying to make you wrong. I am just trying to demonstrate to you that nothing really stands between you and enlightenment as you seem to insist. Unless this is the non-dual, there is no non-dual. This is that. Any other fixed position is nothing but an insistence on duality.

And now my reply to Friend:


Friend,

No need to slipslide into insults and accusations - but since you have, I may get a litle direct and personal with you. If I misunderstand you, it's not intentional. Many of your statements are not clear at all, and self-contradictory, and I am limited in my ability to infer what you mean from what you say. I'm sure in your own mind you see no contradictions are inconsistencies, but that's the problem. You seem to have trouble seeing yourself from other people's point of view, and instead simply dismiss and say derogatory things about points of view, such as mine, that disagree with yours. I hardly find that a sign of your being in a state of genuine knowledge of the Self and having brought your search to an end. I'm not trying to be insulting, but you seem to have a fair number of rather ordinary social problems and are getting rather emotionally reactive here, in the way that these things often get on the internet. Not that there's anything terribly wrong there, it just doesn't seem like you actually live what you preach, or have really understood what you claim to understand. I don't mind that you haven't realized the Self, but I do mind that you put me down in a rather insipid way as being someone who is purely dualistic and who therefore couldn't possibly understand your arguments, unless of course I think the way you think, and then I will be fine.

As for my last post, I think it was fine. It doesn't misrepresent my views and it's not slippery, but quite clear. Implying that I can't handle this conversation is not the kind of thing someone who is awake to their true being would say, it's a kind of passive-aggressive insult, don't you think? Accusing me of operating on automatic, while you can deftly observe me from the position of true being, is a very sophomoric and ad hominem way of arguing, not worthy of you or the non-dual rhetoric you espouse. It's pretty dualistic if you ask me. You accuse me of not recognizing “this” as Divine and Infinite, and yet you treat me like a very finite and unenlightened nabob. How is that? Am I not part of “this”?

You accuse me of denying, and then rationalizing, but give no examples. I don't see any in my post. Please point them out to me. It's not good manners to accuse someone of such things without providing justification. You seem to be sinking into personal insults, which is a sign of a failed argument, and certainly not a sign of living the non-dual life as you claim to be. Quite honestly, I think you have simply run out of arguments, and are reduced to insults and bald assertions like “this is that” which mean nothing more than a kindergardener saying “is so”. When pressed, you merely say that unless I agree with you that “this is that”, I am just stuck in duality and defending duality. I disagree. I have put forth a lot of very sound and grounded arguments why “this” is not “that”, arguments that are found in the traditions of realizers around the world, and you simply ignore them and accuse me of ignorance and a fixation on unenlightenment. That is your presumption about me, and it has nothing to do with how I actually live or think. You don't seem to care that many non-dual teachings contradict you, I suppose you think they are all stuck in duality also.

“You misrepresent my position and then argue against that. You have a serious misunderstanding of my position if, after all this time conversing, you actually think I'm trying to "affirm the reality of duality" or "imply that the lower notion of experience and duality is actually true and real". Far from it. I assume you must be thoughtlessly arguing with some straw man there, probably a composite of other people you have been arguing with, or you are just on auto-pilot.”

If you examine my post a little more carefully, I simply said that if you were using Ramana's quote to affirm the reality of duality, then you were using it wrongly. Now you assert that you were not using it for that purpose. Fine. But later on you not only assert “this is that”, but, “This is infinity, literally” This is precisely what I mean by asserting the reality of duality, that this dualistic world, as it is, is actually infinite and non-dual. So I'm not misinterpreting you at all. You literally believe that this world is literally non-dual and infinite. You give the false rationale that the sky is infinite. But of course it isn't. As anyone with a little education knows, the universe has only been around for about 13 billion years, not an infinite length of time, and according to Einstein's theory of relativity, a beam of light shooting into the sky will curve through the entire universe and come back from the opposite direction, in about 13 billion years (or would that be 26 billion years, I'm not sure?).

In any case, the sky is very big, but not infinite. Nothing in this universe is infinite, it is all finite, every last drop of it. Give me one example of any “thing” in this universe that is infinite. You won't be able to. So then, how can this finite world be infinite? It can't be, certainly not in any sense that exists within this world. It can only be infinite in a sense that does not exist in this world itself, that sees that this world is not reality, but only a dualistic reduction of reality to a limited and finite illusion. The infinite and eternal nature of the Self is not found in this world, where everything is finite, changing, and mortal. You are mortal, my friend, even if you think you have achieved some kind of eternal consciousness. You haven't. What you have understood will die and be scattered to the winds, because it is finite knowledge, not infinite and eternal and unending knowledge. I think that ought to be obvious. That it is not obvious to you may simply be due to the same cause that you think the sky is infinite – a lack of understanding of the details of these matters.

You simply like the idea, the concept, that ”this is that”. You haven't realized it, you haven't worked it through, you simply feel some basic sense that it's true, and that's enough for you. You see no need to actually examine this idea critically. Instead you just attack anyone who suggests you might be wrong. That's how the ego responds to criticism, not how non-dual being responds. So are you the ego arguing with me, or non-dual being? Or is your view that since “this is that”, your ego is actually non-dual being, and so it's okay, that your egoic reactions are just more non-dual being doing its thing? In other words, do you have any sense of conscience that tells you when you are being an egoic ass, and when you are being self-surrendering, or do you just think its all one non-dual being? I'm being a bit facetious here, but that's where you seem to be heading with this. If you are going to make me and my personae an element of this argument, then you have to make yours an element also. So what's with you for real? Are you free of egoity and dualism or not?

“My point with Ramana's quote is twofold. The first is that it demonstrates that it is not necessary to eradicate the relative world in order for realization to be the case.”

I never claimed that it was necessary to eradicate the relative world in order for realization to be the case. I did say that it was necessary to eradicate the dualistic mind, and that if the dualistic mind was eradicated, the world would vanish also, since the world is dependent upon the dualistic mind for its existence. Without the mind, there is no world, no this or that, no identity, no difference at all. Nothing is seen, nothing is perceived, because the one who previously perceived is gone. Without a perceiving mind, how can there be a world perceived? So no effort is needed to eradicate the world. One only needs to eradicate the mind, the dualistic ego which creates worlds and places and pretends to percieve them and see them as God even, as non-dual even, all of which is just the mind playing tricks with itself. The end of such tricks ends the whole game of the ego that perceives a world.

You argue as if the world exists outside of the mind, as if there really is some infinite dimension to this world that makes it non-dual, and that when the mind is gone, then we see the world as non-dual also. I argue otherwise, that without the mind there is no world to see, and no perceiver to see it. Who is it who sees the world as infinite when the Self is realized? The Self isn't a being in the world, who perceives the world, just more clearly. When the snake is gone and the rope is seen, there is no one to see it. The snake is the world itself, the mind, the fragmentation of reality into self and world. When that fragmentation vanishes, there is no self or world. The Self is not the Witness. That, again, is just a way of understanding the direction of Self-Realization, not the actual nature of the Self. The Self witnesses nothing, experiences nothing. It is only from the point of view of dualism that we speak of things that way, because it gives us some way to relate to these matters. And similarly with Ramana's quote. He is not describing the actual state of the realizer, that is indescribable. He is only describing how the jnani relates to others within the viewpoint of the dualistic mind. As you acknowledge, the Ajata Vada is his real perspective.

“Ramana said that it was only necessary to point out the unreality of the conditional world to seekers who had lost sight of themselves. Once they had realized their status as conscious being they then understood their correct relationship to the world.”

Ramana did stress the unreality of the world to seekers, but not because they were too immature to see the world as real. He said that it was unreal because it was a creation of mind, but he cautioned that people shouldn't try to adopt that as an attitude towards life in any kind of practical sense. Instead, he said they should find out the truth of this for themselves through self-enquiry. He pointed out that the world was not the Self, and that one should direct attention to the self-position, not outwards into the world. Still, in discussing self-enquiry in the context of everything else, he would clearly point out that the world was unreal. He never said that once anyone had “realized their status as conscious being” that they would understand their true relationship to the world, and see it as real. He never spoke about any “realization of conscious being” at all. That is your concept, and your teaching, not Ramana's. He spoke of Self-realization, and clearly stated that in Self-realization the jnani transcends any notion of having a relationship to the world. The world is seen as the Self, and the Self has no relationship to the Self, it is the Self. He not only sees no differences, he sees no world. He sees that nothing is happening at all, and never has happened. I refer you to the quote I posted in this recent post from Lakshmana Swami, one of Ramana's realized devotees.

Now, the point you make that is valid is that Ramana felt it was important to seekers to know that the world was an illusion, that dualistic object-consciousness was false, and that one should direct attention to the true self, rather than to the false world. Since I am a seeker, it is of course fully appropriate for me to see the world as an illusion, and to deepen that sense through self-enquiry. Even you here admit that this is good advice. So why then do you constantly berate me for affirming this, when it is exactly what someone like me should be affirming? I understand the argument about whether the jnani sees the dualistic world as real or not is contentious, but there really should be no contentiousness about whether I, a seeker, should see the world as unreal.

As you here freely admit, Ramana felt that it was important for seekers to see the world as unreal. Well, that's me. And yet you constantly decry that I don't see that “this is that”, and tell me I am clinging to unenlightenment by doing so. This seems completely contradictory, and evidence that you are confused and disturbed by this notion, rather than living in the clear certainty of "conscious being". If you really were speaking from “conscious being” to me, wouldn't you likewise encourage me to see the world as an illusion in order to faciitate my realization of “conscious being”, so that I could then see the true, non-dual nature of the world as you do? Well, the problem is obvious. You don't really see the non-dual nature of the world or reality. You simply have a concept about it in your mind, and you cling to that concept, and defend that concept, and berate anyone who contradicts that concept. If you knew yourself to be the Self, you wouldn't feel threatened by my assertions that the world is unreal, and you would even encourage me to take that all the way to realization. But instead you do the opposite.

Let's look at a few things Ramana said about this:

M. Only that which lies beyond name and form is Reality.
____________________

Q. What is reality?

M. Reality must always be real It is not with names and forms. That which underlies these is the Reality. It underlies limitations, being itself limitless. It is not bound. It underlies unrealities, itself being real. Reality is that which is, It is as it is. It transcends speech, beyond the expressions, e.g., existence, non-existence, etc.
_____________________

Q. I understand the concept of unity in variety, but do not realize it.

M. Because you are in variety, you say you understand unity – that you have flashes, etc., remember things, etc.,; you consider this variety to be real. On the other hand, Unity is the reality, and variety is false. The variety must go before unity reveals itself – its reality. It is always real. It does not send flashes of its being in this false variety. One the contrary, variety obstructs the truth.
_____________________

Q. Is the seen world real?

M. It is true in the same degree as the seer. Subject, object and perception form the triad. There is a reality beyond these three. These appear and disappear, whereas the truth is eternal.

Q. These three are only temporal?

M. Yes, if one recognizes the Self these will be found to be non-existent even in temporal matters, inseparate from the Self; and they will be going on at the same time.
_____________________

M. Where are you, that you ask these questions? Are you in the world, or is the world within you? You must admit that the world is not perceived in your sleep although you cannot deny your existence then. The world appears when you wake up. So where is it? Clearly the world is your thoughts. Thoughts are your projections. The “I” is first created and then the world. The world is created by the “I” which in turn rises up from the Self. The riddle of the creation of the world is thus solved if you solve the creation of the “I”. So I say, find your Self.

Again, does the world come and ask you “Why do “I” exist? How was “I” created?” It is you who ask the question. The questioner must establish the relationship between the world and himself. He must admit that the world is his own imagination. Who imagines it? Let him find the “I” and then the Self.

Moreover, all the scientific and theological explanations do not harmonize. The diversities in such theories clearly show the uselessness of seeking such explanations. Such explanations are purely mental or intellectual and nothing more. Still, all of them are true according to the standpoint of the individual. There is no creation in the state of realization. When one sees the world, one does not see oneself. When one sees the Self, the world is not seen. So see the Self and realize that there has been no creation.


I think these instructions are fairly clear about the nature of the world. Yes, when the Self is realized, only Brahman is seen, but that is only a figure of speech. There is no “I” to see Brahman, and no Brahman to be seen. There is only Brahman. This paradoxical state could be said to be consistent with the statement “Brahman is the world”, but we must face up to the reality that is a statement which destroys the very concept of a “world”. And not just this world, but any world which could be seen. If the world is Brahman, it is infinite. Clearly the world we see is not infinite, nor is any world that could be seen, so it is not “this” world that is Brahman. The world that is seen in realization is a Brahman World, an infinite world, a world without any limitation or karma or aspects - clearly not “this” world. Everything about such a world is infinite. There is nothing “in” it that is finite, since every part of Brahman is also Brahman, and thus infinite. The table in front of me is not infinite. It is not a “part” of Brahman, because everything in Brahman is infinite. What I see as a table is just a projection of my dualistic mind. If I were realized, I would not see a table, I would see infinity. Though using the word “see” would of course be contradictory, because there is no seer, seeing, or seen in Brahman.

In other words, you are operating under false concepts, based on your presumption that you have resolved the issue of your Self, and that your search has come to an end. You see “this” as “that”, but who sees "this"? The ego does. Your ego has simply latched onto ideas of non-dualism and created a personal reality out of them. It holds onto those ideas in the face of all opposition. This is what the ego does. We should all be aware of this. You think you have no ego, no belief in a personal self. But who thinks this, who knows this? The ego does. You cling to the notion that the world is real because your ego needs the world to be real in order to protect itself. That is the whole point of projecting a world around us. It is a protective measure for the ego. And the ego simply will not let go of the world. Instead, it divinizes the world if it can, it eternalizes it, it says “this world is that”. This is the trap you are in. I don't think I can state it any more clearly. If you cannot begin to suspect yourself of this error, I probably can't do anything more for you.

Ramana: “When a man forgets that he is a Brahman, who is real, permanent and omnipresent, and deludes himself into thinking that he is a body in the universe which is filled with bodies that are transitory, and labours under that delusion, you have got to remind him that the world is unreal and a delusion. Why? Because his vision which has forgotten its own Self is dwelling in the external, material universe. It will not turn inwards into introspection unless you impress on him that all this external material universe is unreal. When once he realises his own Self he will know that there is nothing other than his own Self and he will come to look upon the whole universe as Brahman.”


Friend: “So it is clearly not necessary to eradicate the world to see reality. You are just using that condition as an excuse to hang on to duality yourself.”

I never said that one has to eradicate the world, only the mind. Ramana clearly states that in realization the jnani knows nothing other than the Self. But again, this view of the world as Brahman is not the Ajata Vada, it is simply a paradox of dualistic language. There is no one there to see the world as Brahman, so how can the jnani view the world at all, even as Brahman? In saying that the world is Brahman, you are stressing the “world” side of the equation. I say Ramana is stressing the “Brahman” side of the equation, such that the meaning here is that there is no world, only Brahman.

“The second point is that Ramana actually does mean that he has no preferences, or there are no preferences, while you do express very clear and sharp preferences continuously, again with particular regard to the presence of what you insist on calling duality. Your avoidance of these points is another instance of what I mean by your slipperiness in this post.”

Of course I have preferences. I'm not realized. I have no problem expressing my preferences. I don't feel the need to hide my preferences in order to pretend that I have no search, or have resolved the issue of self. I haven't avoided these points one bit. I've been very clear in stating that I see duality all the time, and yet also intuit something about the non-dual nature of reality. I just don't equate this world with non-duality, as you do, nor do I think that is an error. I actually think it is a virtue to not equate this world with non-duality. I think it is a vice of yours to do the opposite, to equate this dualistic world with non-duality. I think it not only leads you into error, it is a symptom of an even bigger error on your part – that of taking your own spiritual state to be non-dual consciousness.

“I am not the one insisting on the reality of duality as you suggest. Quite the opposite. If you would just look a little more closely you'll see that it's actually you who are insisting on the reality of duality and that that is what is supposedly preventing your realization, according to your own assessment.”


You are the one who is insisting that “this is that”. You claim that this dualistic world is, in reality, infinite and real. I do not insist that duality is real. I do not see “duality” as something “out there” which “prevents” my realization. Duality is simply the nature of non-realization. It neither causes nor is caused by non-realization. In reality, there is no duality, no self and no world, no seer, no seen, and no seeing. What is preventing my realization? My ego, that's all. My conviction that I am this “I”. This is not inflicted upon me from without. It is me. There is no cause. There is simply ignorance. I don't know where you came up with these ideas about what I think, but it wasn't from me.

“I am in total agreement with Ramana's endorsement of the vedantic principle of Ajata Vada, which has to do with the absence of causality regarding "Being".


Apparently you are not in total agreement with the Ajata Vada, which is far more than a notion that causality is absent from “Being”. It is the doctrine of no-creation, no world, no self, that only Self exists, that no world was ever created, and no jivas, no “beings” at all. As Papaji summarized it, "Nothing Ever Happened".

“It is a great insight. The only real difference between us on this point is that you seem to see it as only a theory, or perhaps just a remote future attainment while I see it as present actuality.”


But you don't actually see it as your present reality, you only conceive of it that way, and then only in an abbreviated form it seems that only negates causality. I conceive of the Ajata Vada as the nature of reality, but not something I see directly and truly. I have had glimpses of this, but I cannot say that it is what I know. I understand that it is not an attainment, but the way things are. As Ramana says, sadhana is not about attaining reality, it is about removing ignorance. So no, I don't see things the way you presume I do. Nor do you see things the way you presume you do. And frankly, that is pretty obvious from the way you are conducting yourself. It's very clear that you are egoic like all the rest of us, and are just posing as a realizer of “conscious being” for reasons that I wouldn't imagine I'll ever know the answer to.

“Here you leap on the word "now" and try to rationalize the whole idea away as some complicated issue while simply avoiding the actual point of my comment, another reason I refer to your replies in this post as slippery.”

No, I don't. I simply try to make it clear that this issue isn't so simple as you would like to make it out to be. It is you who refer to the “now” as “this”, and yet also claim that “this is that” and “this is literally infinite”, when literally it is not, but is literally finite in every observable respect. That's what I call slippery and avoiding responsibility for what you say. I also make it clear that “now” can refer to a transcendental view, but when it does, it doesn't refer to “this” at all, which exists in time and space, and is not transcendental in nature, but finite and conditional. The word I focus on is not even “now”, but your phrase “the present situation”, which I think clearly refers to this conditional appearance, since “situation” is clearly a reference to both appearances and conditions. I didn't choose that phrase, you did, and I think it accurately reflects what you mean, even if you always go back and try to redefine everything you say in transcendentalist terms, as if you are Adi Da adding capital letters to all your words. That's what I call slippery and evasive. You never actually say something that definitively reflects your views, but always find some way to weasel out of it if I call you on it. To this day, I don't even know what your real position is, because you evade responsibility for the words you use and the references you make.

“My point again is that you cannot claim to be pursuing such things as "...unconditional freedom, which is what desire really wants." or say, "I don't see that desire can be quenched any other way than to fall into unconditional happiness." and yet remain entirely conditional in your stance, as you do continuously. That is a dualistic position. That's the point that I am asking you to face and not simply ignore it.”

Is that actually the point of all your posts? Your point is that I am entirely conditional in my stance? Are you really sure about that? Entirely conditional? That's a pretty extreme statement. You might have a case if you said that I am being partially conditional in my stance, or not understanding the true nature of non-dualism and unconditional reality, but entirely conditional? You are just freaking out of your mind, friend. This is the equivalent of a Christian announcing that I am utterly possessed by the Devil, and that's the reason I don't understand how right you are. Well of course we have so much conflict. You, the guy who claims to see that “this is that”, that this is infinite, that everything is unconditional, somehow see me as entirely stuck in conditional views. What kind of bullshit is that? Am I the only aspect of “this” that is not “that”? You certainly seem to think so. Now, I'd suggest that is a dualistic position, and it's yours, not mine. What is it about me that makes it impossible for you to see me as even just a teensy weensy bit awake to the non-dual? It couldn't be your ego, could it?

“Can you even see that this might be a possibility?”


No, not really. I don't see that anyone can be entirely dualistic. I don't see you that way. I just think you are deluded to some degree. Not totally deluded, not entirely dualistic, just partially so. Like me. You just seem more attached than I am to a self-image of being free of all that.

“You constantly assume that what you call duality prevents or belies your enlightenment.”


I have never said that at all. That's your interpretation of what I say. I have never used the word “prevent” in that context that I am aware of. So you are just making things up. Dualism doesn't prevent enlightenment, it is unenlightenment. The notion that there is no such thing as unenlightenment is identical to the notion that there is no duality, that there is no world, no creation, no conditional existence at all. The world does not prevent our enlightenment, because there is no world. We are already enlightened, because there is no world, no mind, no self to prevent it. But as long as we think there is a world, a mind, and a self, we will not know this. It is not those things which prevent us from being enlightened, but only our belief in them, just as our belief in the snake prevents us from seeing the rope. The snake does not prevent us from seeing the rope, because there is no snake.

“So who believes in the reality of duality or the conditional world? Clearly it’s you and not me as you suggest.”


Wrong. We both believe in the reality of duality or the conditional world. I am questioning my beliefs, I admit that I have been enmeshed in samsara and am questioning my way out of those beliefs, but you have tried to solve the situation by pretending that you no longer believe in duality, and instead see the non-dual nature of everything. This simply doesn't work. It hasn't made you enlightened, and it never will. Its just your mind telling you your search is over so it can stay safe and unthreatened. The difference between you and me is that I question and doubt my own beliefs, but you don't. You simply affirm and defend them.

“I hope you’ll stop projecting your vision onto me and then criticizing me for what you yourself espouse.”


Practice what you preach, friend! Stop trying to slip out of what you say by claiming that you actually said something else.

“Other assumptions of yours that make me shiver are:”


First, it's very creepy that you “shiver” at what I say. And this is not egoic on your part?

BY: “Only the source, the source of the “I”-thought, is infinite. And that is not found in our present situation.”


Friend: "The notion that our source is missing, that we are separated from our source, is a typical atheistic assumption. I know this because I was once an atheist too.


That's called projecting, Friend. Just because you thought certain things when you were an athiest doesn't mean that's what I'm basing my views on. What's really weird about your analysis here is that I of course don't say in the above quote, or anywhere else in my posts, that our source is missing from this “transcendental now” if you will. I merely say that it isn't in “our present situation.” The difference is that “present situation” refers to this conditional appearance, which is devoid of the source. That doesn't mean the source is missing at all, it merely means you are looking for it in the wrong place if you look for it in the present situation. We are not in this present situation, we merely observe it. Our source is found in the witness, not in the situation we observe. So it is not missing at all, it is only that we look for it outward, in the world of objects, conditions, and situations. So when I say the Beloved is not in this world, I do not mean that the Beloved is missing, as much as you insist that I do. I have denied this at every opportunity, and you continue to assert it, in complete bad faith. I explain clearly that the Beloved is transcendentally present, but not present in the world, except as the Goddess Power, which is the Guru. Even the Guru is not in the world, but is the Self-Power in the heart.


“Even if you don’t consider yourself an atheist now, this assumption is a hangover from that period of your life. You need to allow yourself to see that this ‘missingness’ is simply a learned and arbitrary, unwarranted and unnecessary assumption. It is not true.”

To the degree that athiests see the world as lacking God, they are right, more right than religious believers. I was an athiest until I first glimpsed the transcendental nature of consciousness at the age of 12. I never became a religious believer, and doubt I ever will. The athiest is at least honest in not presuming a God that does not exist within the conditional worlds. God only exists in the transcendence of the mind, and the worlds which mind creates. That isn't an athiestic view, that's a reality view. That you seem incapable of grasping that doesn't say much for your supposed realization of conscious being.

“We can only not find our subjective self objectively. No one has any problem finding themselves subjectively, and not as an entity of course, or a thought or an image, since those would still be objective, but as totally obvious conscious being (and not A conscious being, nor any entity BTW).


Pardon me, but I think everyone who is not a completely realized jnani is having trouble finding themselves. You seem to be having more trouble than most. Yes, everyone knows they are conscious, and that seems to be the extent of your knowledge of yourself. But very few know who they are. You certainly don't, regardless of what you imagine. Most people don't delude themselves into thinking that simply being aware that they are conscious is some kind of transcendent realization of non-duality. It takes a particularly deranged kind of mind to imagine that. Most people are much humbler than that, and freely admit they don't ultimately know who they are. Hell, even I'm at least that humble.

“There is no “where”. Place is a relative concept. In the absolute, Being is its own place, as well as its own time.”


Yes there is a “where” in transcendental realization. It's called the Heart. If you don't know the Heart, you don't know where you are. Ramana always described realization as being seated in the Heart. How come you don't know this?

“The now that is beyond time is the present moment to which I am referring.”

No it isn't. You have already said that what you are referring to is this world, where the sky is. The sky exists in time and space. The world exists in time and space. And all these exist only in mind. All of that is conditional, is dualistic in nature. The sky does not exist outside of time and space. It exists within it, and in a limited fashion.

“But this present moment in time is not actually separate from that, as you seem to want to insist.”


It isn't separate from it, because it doesn't even exist. It is simply mind, concept, thought. This present moment in time can't be separate, because it can't be found. Try to nail it down as a thing. Not there. Unknown. Mystery is all one can say about it, even conditionally. And notice how now you are talking about this present moment in time, not beyond time. Are you saying that both are unconditional? How can time be unconditional? It can't, because it isn't. Time is the epitome of conditions. It keeps everything past and future separate from the now.

“- Infinity is part of our present situation even in the conditional world. I know you know the sky never ends. That’s real infinity.”

As mentioned above, this is pure blandersdash. The sky does end. It goes in circles. The universe is finite. Big, but finite. There is no real infinity in this world, just some very large numbers. But every large number is still an infinite distance away from infinity. It's all the same, in other words, from the point of view of infinity.

“The two aspects of reality infuse every aspect of existence: the unlimited and the limited, the time-bound and the eternal, the relative and the absolute, the objective and the subjective, the changeable and the unchanging, multiplicity and singularity, and so on.

Then you are saying that reality is dualistic! If there are two aspects to reality, that is a dualistic view of reality, or more properly, the view that reality is dual in nature. This is what I have been trying to point out to you since the beginning. You aren't a non-dualist at all, you are a dualist. You are Dvaitist, not Advaitist. No big deal. There's a long and respectable tradition for dualism in Vedanta and elsewhere. I don't see why you don't embrace it, since that is how you see the world. You cling to non-dualism for reasons I can't begin to fathom, but I think it has something to do with egoic pride. Dvaitists have always debated Advaitists, often with arguments similar to your own, but they don't pretend to be non-dualists, and accuse non-dualists of being dualists. That's what so fucking crazy about your arguments. You believe there are two aspects to reality, and yet you believe that this is the true non-dual view of reality. Could you be any slipperier than that? I don't think it's possible. Not even I could top that.

What you are saying is the epitome of the dualist view: that even the unlimited coexists with the limited. That both exist and are real aspects of one reality. You might as well throw in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Religion is full of dualistic views of reality, that try to combine the infinite and the finite. That's what makes them dualistic. Non-dual views don't try to make that marriage. They argue that there is only One, not two. If you don't like that approach, you should consider yourself a dualist, and stop trying to make non-dualism fit your dualistic view. Oppose non-dualism outright. At least then we would each openly know where we stand and could carry on a meaningful argument, rather being in this absurd position of having you, who do not even believe in non-dualism, but actively believe in its opposite, acting as if you are the protector of the true non-dualist view. Gives me whiplash, know what I mean?

“They are all the case at the same time. They do not deny or nullify each other as you keep wanting to insist. It’s not one or the other. This is infinity, literally.”


Yes, you are a dualist, literally. Your literal belief in all this makes you a dualist. Your literal refusal to see the contradictions in your arguments makes you a dualist. Your belief that you are not a dualist makes you a dualist. Dualism and non-dualism can't literally be the case at the same time. This is true even definitionally. You have not met the burden of proof necessary to show otherwise. You have not offered any proof at all, just assertions that it is so. If it were literally true that this is infinity, wouldn't all us literal-minded people see it? All we'd have to do is look at something, and we'd see infinity. So it must not literally be infinity.

“- The transcendental, the absolute, is not objective or relative so it cannot be perceived objectively.”


Wait, but you said this is literally infinity. If it is not objectively infinity, then in what way is it infinity? The world is full of objects, and nothing more. If you take away objectivity, you take away the entire world. What's left that is literally infinite? If only the transcendental is infinite, then what about "this"? You said this was infinite. Now you are going back on that?

“But that does not mean that what is infinite, real and transcendental is somehow missing or unavailable”


Okay, but where is it? Is it literally in this world, this world that you say is literally infinite? If so, where? If not, why not, and where is it?

“That is again another unwarranted assumption based on thinking that the absolute should appear in relative terms.”

I never said the absolute should appear in relative terms. I said the exact opposite, that it never appears in relative terms. It is you who say that this is literally infinite, is "that". Which side of this argument are you on?

“Desire is rooted in the assumption or insistence that the real is presently missing.”


I can agree with that. But as I said, the problem is that desire thinks the real is missing precisely because it is looking in the world for it, where it is not to be found. Desire must turn towards its source, the self, and find what it seeks there. That is where the infinite is finally to be located, not in the world. Desire will find that the real is present if it only looks for it in the right place.

“If you understand what I am saying here you’ll see that, overall, there is actually very little difference between your position and mine.”

What?!?!? If you can see that there is very little difference between our positions, then what the fuck was all the bullshit about me being entirely situated in a conditional stance? And what was your entire rabid argument against me about? I for one think there really is a big difference between us. You are essentially presenting a dualistic view of reality as being composed of two aspects, the dual and the non-dual, while I am saying that it is not, that the dual is an illusion, and the non-dual is reality. I think that's a major difference, and we shouldn't pretend otherwise. Nothing to spill one's tea over, to be sure, but a major discrepancy all the same.

“You are hardly alone in arguing for “higher notion of unity” as you say. It’s no wonder you continue to misrepresent my position if you still don’t understand this. It would help this conversation considerably if you would.”

I think you've done a remarkable job of misrepresenting yourself all by yourself. You hardly need my help. You are not arguing for a higher notion of unity, you are arguing for a higher notion of duality. That's where we differ. I am arguing for non-duality, and you don't seem to comprehend what it means, and how it differs from duality, even your “higher notion” of duality. You think that by including non-duality in your notion of duality, you have achieved a higher form of unity. This is false. All you have done is debauch non-duality, and make it duality's lapdog. Bugt non-duality will have no part of your efforts. Non-dualism stands Alone. It admits no second.

“The only difference is that you are saying non-duality is not presently the case while I am pointing out that it already is.”


No, I am pointing out that what is already the case is not found in what is merely the case. What is merely the case in the present, by which we mean “this”, is not non-dual. What is non-dual is not found in “this”, but only in what already is. “This” is not already here. It is only here in time and space, in this present moment. It was not here a moment ago, and it won't be here a moment later. It will have changed. What already is, does not change. It does not appear, and it does not disappear. It isn't even an “it”. It is not absent in the midst of appearances, but it is not present in them either. It is transcendental in nature.

“And that is the all the difference between us in a nutshell.”


Yes, it is. You do not comprehend the distinction between what already is, and what is merely and presently the case. You think they are the same. I don't. Viva le differance!

“That’s the reason I refer to your present position as one of duality and that’s what I was asking you to confront in yourself in my last post and what I consider you to have missed or sidestepped in your reply.”


I hope I have made myself more clear this time around. I have tried not to sidestep anything, and I hope you will not either.

“You say this is not that. I say this is that, and not in any theoretical, conceptual sense, but actually so.”

Yes, you have made that very clear. I still don't believe that you have made any convincing arguments that this is so. Nor do I see any evidence that you have actually seen or realized this spiritually, or in any but a conceptually based manner. You have simply become a fundamentalist preacher of this message, without examining or questioning yourself, and seem impervious to questioning from others. I see little difference between you and a fundamentalist Christian parading his views of the Trinity around the block. You have a quick dismissal of all arguments, and no real arguments for yourself, just assertions of personal certainty. This does not come over very well, contrary to what you may think. It comes off as very egoic in nature, and it pisses me off, as I'm sure you can tell.

“I am not merely trying to make you wrong. I am just trying to demonstrate to you that nothing really stands between you and enlightenment as you seem to insist. Unless this is the non-dual, there is no non-dual. This is that. Any other fixed position is nothing but an insistence on duality.”


You are doing a very poor job of helping me to see what you want me to see. All you are doing is preaching and proselytizing, and that doesn't work. You have to step off your pedestal of certainty and pious understanding, and get real. Stop telling me there is nothing standing between me and enlightenment until you yourself are enlightened and can demonstrate that non-separation in this conversation at the very least. All you are doing is insisting that you know reality, and I am a sinner who is insisting on living an unenlightened existence. You dress it up in pious messages, but it comes down to the same obnoxious stance that all well-meaning fundamentalists take. Your insistance that “any other fixed position is nothing but an insistence on duality” is precisely the way fumdamentalists think. They imagine that any viewpoint other than their own must be “fixed”, and it must be false. Have you no insight into how fixed and false your own views are?

I'm afraid not. Unless you can show some sliver of self-questioning, I think this dialog is virtually at an end. I can't waste my time trying to crack a fundamentalist egg. It's been good to get down to this point at least, but if you want to go further, I 'm going to need to see some sign of vulnerability on your part, some openness to the possibility that you are at least a little bit wrong, rather than my coming round to your view that I am entirely conditional in my stance. As I've said, I have plenty of dualism left in me, I make no bones about it. How about you? Can you admit the same, and explain how?

11 comments:

kang said...

Well, BY, you will have to thank Google for the free bandwidth. But who is going to read all that, especially when coming up on so many obvious fallacies right away (in your post I'm talking about now)? If you take a drink of water, you can immediately tell if it's salty or brackish or unfit for drinking in some other way and it isn't required of anyone to drink the whole glass to prove it. I am inclined to think that friend has it all over you, at least based on the comment of his that you posted here.

For one thing, you continue to use the idiotic rhetorical device of calling someone "realized" or "enlightened" before quoting them, apparently believing that anyone who happens to click on your blog must be such a moron that they haven't the wit to evaluate the words on their own merits. Of course, this may be true, especially for those who accidently come here looking for porn. If Lakshmana Swami is realized, then he's pulling your dick, because most of what he said in that quote is condom-worthy and disposable.

Then here, in answer to friend, saying "this is the infinite, if it is not here it's nowhere," you post this:

The sky is very big, but not infinite. Nothing in this universe is infinite, it is all finite, every last drop of it. Give me one example of any “thing” in this universe that is infinite. You won't be able to. So then, how can this finite world be infinite?

Do you not even know the meaning of the words finite and infinite? Finite means "measurable." Now please tell us, with what are you going to measure the universe? A Black & Decker Universe-Sized Contractor Grade Yardstick? Or do you mean that theoretically the universe is measurable, but of course, actually it is not? Well, it is a kindness to ascribe any meaning to your words at all. They have none.

Again, your verbal construction is demented. Friend says you deny and then rationalize, but you also assert and then rationalize. "Give me one example of any 'thing' in this universe that is infinite?" How is it that you have come to perceive an object as "thing" separate from the totality in the first place? Because your mind has already taken a measure and identified it as so. Then you say, "See!" Ridiculous in the extreme.

With what are you going to measure the totality? Some other totality? No, there is none. The "other" totality with which you are pretending to measure this one and calling it finite, is one of your thoughts, and nothing more than that.

Infinity is here and now, just as friend says. Where else could it be. You actually believe more in duality than anything else, which is clearly shown by your words. You're like a fundamentalist obsessed with converting Jesus believers in order to cover up his own doubts. You're far from a nondualist, except in that ignorant believer's sense.

You are, unfortunately, unqualified to play in this field of inquiry. That's at least one of the reasons for shortening your blog posts. It would be kind. Kindness is a virtue. Was blogspot built for this? But of course, the internet is an incubator for dementia of every kind. I will not be here for your replies. Thank you.

friend said...

Hi BY,
Sorry you took my post so negatively. I didn't intend it that way, at all. I don't have the time to reply in full at the moment but I did want to acknowledge your reply and actually thank you for being so gentle in your apparent outrage. The misunderstanding is astounding to me. And I am not saying it is your fault. One absolutely true statement you made, not to suggest it was the only one, was "You are doing a very poor job of helping me to see what you want me to see." That's absolutely correct and I will certainly ponder over it. Speak to you later. All the best.

Broken Yogi said...

Kang,

In case you do come back to check replies, I think it's pretty clear that you are unable to engage these matters without sinking into ad hominem attacks. That's the sign of someone who simply can't think straight and clear, and can't counter an argument intelligently. It's a sign that "I have it all over you", my friend.

Your counterargument about this world being infinte contradicts your own previous view. You're the one who pointed out here and elsewhere that Maya means "to measure", Hence, Maya, or "this" as Friend calls it (his argument is essentially that Maya and Brahman are the same) is measurable. And sure enough, it is. Of course the universe is measurable. Scientists use more sophisticated tools than yardsticks, but they have been able to measure the size of the universe. All appearances are measurable. One can argue about the actual measurements, how accurate they are, but it is all finite, and thus measurable. The sky, the galaxies, the time since the big bang, etc., is all measurable. Any appearance is measurable. Only what does not appear is immeasurable. You used to understand this. Now you seem to have forgotten. What gives?

As for my qualifications to conduc this kind of enquiry, I wasn't aware that I needed any. But if I do, are you sure you are qualified to participate? It seems like you have just said no, you aren't. Too bad. And sorry my posts are too long. I've always had that problem. I'm not expecitng a mass audience, you know. I"m not actually expecting any audience. As my profile says, I am just shouting into the wind. Not proselytizing.

And you should check out Lakshaman, he might have something you need to understand. Yes, I think he's enlightened, as do most of the Ramanashram people who know of him, but its certainly for people to decide for themselves. Most people don't know who he is. He's not after a mass audience either.

jimsun said...

Well, this is still an interesting exchange

I still hold out hope that there may be good, useful things being presented by both parties, but that you are talking about different aspects of reality and spirituality

Let's take 'non-duality' which seems to be a key phrase

Taken as simple english, non-duality can mean any number of things, based on what duality means to one.
It's important to keep this in mind, rather than assuming the other person is using a particular textual or traditional meaning.
Even if both reference the same book, the words may have resonated differently, and spoken to useful, but different aspects

A very easy to understand meaning of duality is indeed the ability to measure and thus to find boundaries which define and separate things.
If you believe those boundaries are actually there, you are in a dualistic mode, according to this meaning of the word.
So, you simply then examine, carefully and consciously, if the boundary you are assuming, is actually there.
This general approach is also used in Buddhism, via Madhyamaka, which has sophisticated means of examination.
Still, you can always do a simple, primitive, crude examination ...
Where does your body stop and the air start?
Where does your body stop and the table you are touching start?
What about as your hand in the air gradually approaches the table ... at what point does contact take place?
Even science would give a vague answer here ... at some point the concentration of cells or atoms 'belonging' to one object is greater that the concentration belonging to the other, although both concentrations are actually mixed in the area of contact.
You can split an atom, a particle
You can get down to a simple + or - charge, is that a thing?
What is a thing, anyway?
What is a position, etc

The same can be done with ideas, views, positions
There are systems which guide you through challenging and inverting your positions, uncovering all that is hidden behind them
Beyond the hardened walls used to build a safe ego-world, is tasted some larger, boundary-less space

If you look into this, at some point these ideas burst and you have just being
The ideas may arise, but they don't have the investment anymore, they come and go
You still understand how to touch a table, write with a pen, you can function
But you no longer believe in the idea of separation like you did

Every part of you can be examined, and all kinds of hiding places of holding on are opened
You gradually begin to wonder what is real, after all
You might wonder lots of things, like 'where is now?'
You look into that because of bare, naked curiosity, not because a book or master said you should or because you will go to heaven or 'enlightenment' if you do

That sort of journey leads to a more natural way of being, that some call 'non-duality'
Because it truly laughs, with a laughter of the heart, at the investment in duality by which much living occurs
And that laughter invites all to find the heart
Then the heart becomes master and leads the rest of the way, naturally, free from a sense of searching or getting or doing, more a sense of surrender and opening

There are other uses of the phrase 'non-duality' than this sort of journey, however
For one thing, there have been great masters who, at the point we know about them, have already gone very deep and very thoroughly into the matter
For another, they make very clear and precise what the journey is about, how it works technically, which one who is experiencing some aspect of it, might not have enough distance from, to actually talk about or elucidate
Also, there are plenty of teachings on false deviations, seductions along the way
And the speaker is often quite clear as a person, quite free of personality distortions
So, if you hear about 'non-duality' from this kind of source, and follow that, you might have a very different experience and style with the whole thing

So, in reference to this latter, precision-oriented usage of 'non-duality', is the former discovery actually non-dual? If not, what is it and is it important or necessary?
'Duality' in many traditions refers not only to belief in boundaries and separation, but also to subtle forms of dullness, avoidance, dissociation, distortion.
These don't necessarily reveal themselves even as ideas, yet they are in an ultimate sense still positions or views, since they hold reality in a particular way and buy into that
'Duality' also is about tendencies of all kinds and about experience itself
In our everyday language in the West, we don't have an easy way to address such issues, because they are mostly not the focus of our fields of inquiry.
One of the reasons for elaborate forms of meditation and purification in the East, is to give a field of inquiry where subtle issues become obvious and consciously known, repeatable, etc.

Still, though these subtle aspects of duality remain, it does seem to be the case that one needs to be in the field to begin with in order for such to be relevant and addressable.
Hard-clinging to primitive duality and dualistic attitudes about everyday things, life, ideas, feelings, etc, would seem to have to be addressed first.
Unfortunately, making 'enlightenment' too big of a deal, too separate of a thing, can lead to a hardening of relationship to the life, the aliveness right here, now.
Whether it is via formal inquiry or any other way, this, here, now, must still be the gateway.

In the end, it's probably hard to 'prove' that these ways are mutually exclusive, or that they are the same.
One could simply say, one way or another, you fall into some kind of a transformative journey.
When that is going on, the living reality of it is much more primary and significant, than the verbal description of it that one might be able to muster
Yet, in the end, and speaking about it, clarifying it for others, for example, it will be presented more simply and sharply; there is something precious and a desire to give the least distorted or potentially confusing presentation

Jumping in the water is good, just get in
Appreciating the true essence of the water is good, be honest
Have fun

friend said...

Hi BY,
Sorry, I didn’t mean to insult you. I really did think you had fallen asleep at the wheel since, as far as it seemed to me, your response had so little sign of recognition of what we were talking about. I thought I had actually caught you napping. But if you honestly say you weren’t, then I will accept that? Sorry I suggested it.

Your latest post here only dug the trenches deeper and opened a whole new group of misunderstandings that would probably take an eternity to settle between us at the rate we've been going. I’ve thought about various replies but none seem adequate or they could all equally be taken the wrong way, so I agree it’s a good time to call it quits for now on this conversation. Obviously things are getting testy and that’s not conducive to productive conversation. I know I didn’t put my position across adequately for you and I am not sure that’s possible. As I don’t think I can do any better right now, it’s probably better left as is. Perhaps we’ll meet again on a less contentious issue. In the meantime, have a good blog and all the best.

Broken Yogi said...

Friend,

Yes, I think that's for the best. Good wishes to you in everything.

Russellji said...

I've just read through, as best I could, this dialouge. Most of it, as I see it, is a "mind fuck", from all perspectives. Enjoyable, fun and interesting, but nothing to get heated about. For me, it's about the experience. I try and write about it and I add a bit of scriptue to try and validate it. But really, it does not matter whether anyone agrees with what I expereince; I just know it is better than the main stream, as I see it.

Having been to Arunachala on several occassions and spent some time at Ramana's Ashram, I can honestly say, you could speak to all 400 Westerners there and get 400 different answers to the question "Who AM I" - let alone the Indians.

The problem has been and always will be, the need to understand. Jnana, or self enquiry needs bhakta or surrender to be successful, and vice versa. Jnana withour heart leads to the "Advaitic Cave". Bhakta without discernment leads to blind faith.

As regards to the world; what world? There is no duallity, no oneness and no nilhism. That is why they call it Advaita - not two - as every other explanation fails.

Ther comes a time to put away the books - Experience is the key.

Yet it is fun to talk about it.

Broken Yogi said...

Russellji,

My condolences to you for reading through all these posts! I'm sure I will pay dearly for having inflicted such suffering on you. Yes, mindfuck it is, but somehow we enjoy getting fucked.

Btw, I've read a lot of your blog of your trip to Ramanashram, and really enjoyed it (I recognize your picture). Found it very imformative about the scene there. Did you ever meet or talk with David Godman while there? I had a long correspondence with him also before starting this blog. Maybe I should post some of it here. I find it very interesting that there are so many different views about practice and self-enquiry among Ramana's devotees, and no central authority passing judgement on it all. I like that. David certainly has his views about it all. most of which I agree with, but he admits it goes only so far over there.

I agree totally with about bhakt and surrender. Self-enquiry is about the heart, not the mind.

And yeah, Advaita is not-two. I don't see what's so hard about that. Of course, there are strong reasons to try to hold onto one's dreams. We all of our fears and desires.

Are you headed back to Ramanashram any time soon? I was thinking of going for my first visit next February or thereabout, maybe for Sivaratri. We'll see.

Thanks again, and sorry for fucking with your mind.

Russellji said...

BY,

I have met David Godman once, but only briefly. Kamdeva, who often appears on my blog, has met him many times and sat with Papaji with him. I have read many of David's books and have had no real issue with anything that he has written.

My mind was fucked before I got to your site, so no worries.

As for going to India again, it really is in the lap of the Gods. Finances and health are an issue. I don't think I can go over as "rough" as I have done in the past. A hotel room with good food would suffice.

Russellji

Victoria said...

Why waste time with all this bullshit, Conrad? You had a Guru once who is as True as they come. That he was/is a difficult man of undeniable complexity and contradiction does not make his Realization less than True. All the condescending remarks you make about Adi Da-or anyone else who makes such remarks-are just a sign of immaturity and immersion in your own self-importance. Like Ken W, your are angry that some actual Great Realizer didn't coddle you along. You guys all work so hard to prove with words and books and websites just how smart you are and how wrong God was to not see it.[Whether that is Adi Da, Papaji, Sri Lakshmana or the God in your dreams at night.] I don't need a PhD to see the charade... it is visible for all to see via the interminable lengths to which you go to defend your personal beliefs and ideas. Not just you, Conrad, but all the middle-aged ex-devotees of someone or other, who seem to NEED to express themselves on the internet. It's tragic that you are not bored with it all yet. I remember when you first came to the Community...you were rather innocently self-possessed then...young and overly impressed with your own intellectual intelligence. [Like a lot of guys were at the time.] You aren't so young now, nor is there anything remotely innocent about your self-possession. These forums are just another form of porn, Conrad. It's like jerking off in public again and again. Because there is no shame and no recognition of the Beloved--just an endless driven search for release. All of you guys just wagging your dicks at one another, pretending to be tolerant and forgiving. I'd rather see a good fist-fight. It would be far more honest and real considering where you are really at. You failed. You failed to REALLY fall in Love with God. You failed to go beyond your own tendencies...all the ones that keep you painfully identified with a personal self. You still espouse them vociferously in your writings. No one is really going to understand you, Conrad. No one really cares. I don't say this to be mean...it is simply the truth. The One you seek is on the other side of everything you are now commited to doing to justify your life and existence. All of these words and endless diatribes are just a symptom of your illness...ALL OF YOU, who go on and on, living in your heads but blah-bla-blahing about your hearts. You are all angry and insulted that God did not somehow recognize little old you and give you The Great Gift. You pretend humility...bull-shit again. If life had truly made you a humble man, you would not be wasting your time writing all this crap and think that quoting some Realizer, whom you never met,legitimizes your dumb ideas. Instead, you would be giving everything you've got to stoking the fire of your love for God. Even if it was only a little bit...a baby-step as it were. You would not care that the fire burns your precious personal identity. You would see that it is not the world that humiliates you, but that the real humiliation comes from watching the years go by and still refusing to let go of all the endless thinking and posturing. It's your own pain that keeps you going here and this blog epitomizes evrything you do to keep from feeling that pain. IT IS NOT THE TRUTH. You can write yourself into the grave, IT WILL NEVER BE THE TRUTH!!! You cling mightily to the very tendencies that prevent you from seeing this machine of suffering from the other side of the fence. I have not been a formal devotee of Adi Da's for 15 yrs...and yet the spiritual relationship never ended. It only got stronger over the years. He gave me Everything...again and again and again...he showed me what love is. He showed me that even the greatest blisses must be sacrificed in love. He showed me the great secret of being ordinary. The Fire still burns...I ain't done cookin yet. But I can tell you, you must find the joy in the utter ruination of all that you identify with as Conrad. There is such a freedom in just that much. It is not the final Realization, but it is the beginning of real sadhana and Self-respect. It is also a release from all the spriritual romanticism that has grown out of the ready availability of esoteric teachings in our generation. Stop all the mental masturbation. Figure out why you gave up the real fight. Good luck.

Love from another Victoria

vkk1_hypno said...

Six Steps to Success
Throughout the centuries history tells of men and women with the midas touch, who achieved greatness against what seemed insurmountable odds. To some their successes appeared to be the result of blind luck, to others the reward for hard work, but the truth about the successes of men such as Andrew Carnagie and Henry Ford is much more interesting.

Success is a state of mind to which all people should aspire. Like many others you can unlock te gate to achievement and the fulfilment of yor personal desires. With the six steps outlined below anyone can arrive at a set destination, with the added advantage of renewed self-confidence and secure in the knowledge that every goal is attainable.
Step 1. Desire
The key factor involved in the process of achieving any desire lies in the response of one's mind to the objective. If a complacent attitude is apparent then there will be a lack of enthusiasm leading to failure or only half-success.
If a goal is to be reached determination is needed to carry set plans through to a successful conclusion. This determination must have enough mental 'weight' behind it to propel you forward onto the road of achievement. This mental state can only be instilled by one thing - desire!
As can be easily seen, when we look around us, it is this desire-force that has launched mankind on his frenzied zest for ever-new knowledge and has enabled him to push back the boundaries of science to never dreamed of achievement.

It is this same desire-force that must be used in our business and personal affairs if the success we seek is to materialize. It is not very hard to develop this kind of desire for all you have to do is go after what you really want - its that simple. With this desire you will have all the persistence you need to accomplish your goal. There is a great saying "you never fail until you give up"!
Take heed of what Napoleon Bonaparte said "What we ardently and constantly desire, we always get".

Step 2. Goals
If success is to come your must realise what is expected to materialize. This statement may seem obvious at first but if careful thought is given its meaning takes on deeper significance.
Many people fail to gain satisfactory results from their endeavours because they did not know what they wanted to accomplish in the first place. Your objective must not be hazy or incomplete. Before you reach your goal you must be able to identify how your life will be different when you achieve it. You must know exactly what it is that you want to achieve. How will your life be better/different? How will you feel? What way will you look? What situations will you find yourself in? Will other people in your life be effected and if so how will they react? You need a clear definite picture in your mind of what the attainment of your goal will mean to you.

Step 3. Belief
Belief is the back-up system of desire. It keep the fires of enthusiasm burning and makes us continually strive to get nearer the goal attainment. Faith can truly move mountains; the mountains of fear, inferiority, worry and low self esteem - 'the success killers'!
Once a goal is firmly fixed in mind and our desire-force is hurtling us toward seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the firm belief that we can gain a favourable outcome can spur us on to victory. When the mind has been manipulated to reflect this state, wonderful physical results can ensue, producing symptoms of success in our lives in every area imaginable.
Although many can attest to the power of belief and to the wondrous accomplishments that were achieved through nothing else except faith, it still remains that many individuals find it hard to believe that a positive outcome will be forthcoming when they are faced with momentous opposition. Whether the opposition is mental or physical the fact that nothing seems to be going right and everything seems to be wrong is enough for even the strongest of us to 'throw in the towel'. But it is in these very situations that faith can conquer all. Faith in yourself, what you are doing and belief that that your objective will be reached.
There are some who bemoan "easier said than done". This is exactly the kind of mental attitude that sustains the problems that they are trying to eradicate. If your belief power is not apparent, take hope for it can be acquired.
Each morning and night recite your intentions from a written list of your goals. Voice your belief in your own abilities. Tell yourself that in due course you will be successful. As you go about your daily affairs reflect as often as possible on your goals and affirm that they are yours now. Fool your mind into believing it and you will see your world reflect it!

Step 4. Plan
Having decided upon your goal and being determined to build your faith you need to give your desire-force a 'vehicle' through which it may materialize. This 'vehicle' will take the form of a definite plan of action.
Do you need to acquire certain skills? Do you need to know certain people or be in certain places to help you achieve your goal? Make a plan that will help you get closer to your end objective. Research your desires and get clear on what you need to do. Then do it!
Ensure that your plan is workable and realistic for you. Although your plan should remain flexible so that changes can be made when appropriate only make changes after careful consideration. Trial and error will eventually show the way to a good plan although you should be open to intuition also.
However, I should point out that, it is very likely your goal will materialize in a most unexpected way. The fact that you have set a plan for its accomplishment tends to set things in motion and like a chain reaction (or the butterfly effect) subtle changes made by you may cause dramatic changes elsewhere and your goal may come before your plan is completed.

Step 5. Visualization
Visualization is the art of creating mental movies of your completed goal. This has many beneficial effects upon your consciousness. Without going into the deeper esoteric benefits of using this art let me just say that you are truly designing your life when you use it. It has one other major benefit - it strengthens your desire and persistence because you momentarily experience the thrill of having achieved your goal!
Just form a mental picture of having achieved your goal. See what you will see. Feel how wonderful it will be. See how it effects everyone around you. Hear people congratulate you. When this state is experienced nothing will stop you in your quest for your objective and thus your belief-power will also be reinforced.

Step 6. The Subconscious Mind
It is within the subconscious part of your mind that you hold all th positive and negative beliefs about yourself - your self-image. These beliefs are reflected back to you in the form of attitudes. Therefore it is from the subconscious mind that the thought of failure or success comes.

Attitudes are just mental programs and so is your self-image. They can easily be changed (yes I said 'easily'). Any attitude or belief can be changed by using the formula outlined in this article - by combining affirmations with visualization. Henry Ford used it, as did Ralph Waldo Emerson and even Arnold Swatzeneger. It is reported in some circles that a similar technique was employed by Bill Gates to build his global empire. Andrew Carnegie used it exactly as described to attain and give away multi-millions even though he was an unschooled manual worker when he started it. Carnegie's legacy can still be seen today when you freely borrow a book from any Carnegie library of which there are thousands.
If you use these six steps there is nothing you cannot achieve. Luckily we have the advantage of living in the Twentieth Century with all its new technology and innovations such as hypnosis and subliminal programming. Use these steps in conjunction with your favourite personal development system and you are assured success. hypnosis