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June 01, 2009

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I think the problem with Buddhism like so many other religions is that its teachings often become distorted or splinter into seperate groups over time with ppl importing their own meanings onto these religions and their doctrines.

I understood that budhissm in fact has some quite varied branches, one being more science or reason-based, whereas others are far more religious in their outlook.

As an aside issue, i notice there is anothers sort of belief set out by oshorobbins in the form of a person P3. This worldview or belief system, for want of a better description that is sure to offend its adherents, appears to be supported by many on here such as osho, tAo, tucson, and perhaps even Brian himself. This belief in non-duality or nothing-ness. Is there a term that describes such a believer (or what they would call a recogniser), neo-platonists? but the neoplatonists kind of believe in One, not None.

George, I wouldn't call myself a non-dualist, so I really can't comment on what this philosophical position would be called. Buddhism basically is non-dualist, but often with a large (and rather incongruous) overlay of religious dualism.

The "One Taste" notion of Buddhism makes pretty good sense to me. But so does the bumper sticker'ish saying, "It Is What It Is." Either this is a marvelously profound idea, or circular gibberish. Could be both, of course -- which would be a non-dual way of looking at things.

It's hard to pin down Neoplatonism on the dual/non-dual front. I can find both philosophical positions in Plotinus, for example. My favorite Plotinus passages speak of the light of consciousness being the light that we seek, which sure sounds non-dual.

However, Plotinus also says that the soul/psyche isn't totally one with the One. There always is a bit of otherness, which makes sense. If one was One, that being wouldn't be -- it would be the All, not a separate entity.

Brian, yes I am probably adducing your spiritual beliefs from the article you wrote comparing science to religion, and you seemed to support a nothingness-type spiritual argument.

I realise my trying to pigeonhole such belief systems might appear somewhat crude, but that seems to be what we do to things like science and religion and RS, etc.

Its adherent will probably argue its not really a belief system or some other fundamental aspect of it has been misunderstood, which is common to many religious defenders, but if each of these concepts are to be critiqued fairly, then they all need to be scrutinized to the same degree.

The P3 person can't get off lightly, the evidence for non-duality is largely speculative and hardly scientific. There may be bits of science, but non-duality requires some sort of ethereal belief (or 'recognition) in nothingness, which would appear to be a formless nothingness that transcend both mind and matter.

There might very well be duality and indeed the sheer differentiation of forms in the universe would suggest duality is a very real possibility (albeit that P3 consider this to be of an illusory nature).

There's also a bit of a problem with this nothingness recognition. If there truly was nothing, why do our minds go to all this trouble of creating something?

On the question of oneness, if everything was all emanations from the one, again why are things manifested (albeit illusorily) in so many different forms, why not just nothing at all (regardless of what layer its percieved from)?

I mean if there is literally nothing, why are we have this conversation.

Rambling a bit, but its hard to pindown what these P3 beliefs are, sorry probably not really related to this article.

George, I took P3 in a bit different light than you did. Which, most likely, comes from my own way of looking at things -- as opposed to what OshoRobbins "really" meant (which can't be pinned down).

I see P3 as an embrace of mystery, a recognition that no matter how much we try to figure out the meaning of the cosmos, in whatever fashion we attempt to do this (mysticism, science, religion, etc.), there always will remain a great big question mark at the heart of reality.

Why? Because...

-- the eye can't see itself
-- we are a part of the reality we're trying to understand
-- the origin of everything can't be traced from within it
-- likely we don't even know the right questions to ask
-- questioning may be the problem, not the route to an answer
-- this moment could be all there is
-- whatever reality really is, it may not be knowable

Giving up the search for ultimate truth may not be a surrender to ignorance, but a wise recognition that searching is what leads us away from the closest we'll ever come to truth -- which is right here, right now, this!

George,

"there is anothers sort of belief set out by oshorobbins [...] This worldview or belief system [...] appears to be supported by many on here such as osho, tAo, tucson, and perhaps even Brian himself. This belief in non-duality or nothing-ness."

-- George, I don't "believe" in "nothing-ness". I don't believe in concepts. And as Tucson has mentioned many times, there is a significant difference between 'no-thingness', and your term "nothing-ness". Your use of ther term "nothing-ness" implies an empty void, a lifeless vacuum, a nothingness. On the othter hand, Tucson's term "no-thingness" indicates an absence of separateness and difference (imo). It doesn't mean a lifeless empty void of nothingness. It simply means an abscence of separate "things", an absence of mutiplicity and duality... not an empty void, not a "nothingness".

I also don't "believe" in non-duality, as a "belief". Non-duality is not a "nothing-ness". Non-duality is simply absence of duality. Non-duality does not derive from the duality of an observer and an observed, or from a knower and an object of knowledge. Non-duality (advaita) means NOT-TWO. It does not indicate a "nothing-ness" such as an empty void, or a lifeless absolute vacuum. Non-duality simply means not-twoness.

In Vedanta (such as Upanishads, etc etc) and in the Sanskrit language, advaita or 'not-two' or 'non-twoness" is used rather than concept of "the one" or "the oneness". The reason for this reversal is because when "the one" is used, it automatically implies one and then more than one... such as two, three, four, and so on. So in order to avoid that eventual multiplicity, 'not-two' or non-duality' (the opposit of "the one" is used.

For instance, similarly, in the case of the term "ananda" (which means "no-sorrow"). Instead of saying and using the word as the positive concept of "bliss", the reverse or negative is used ("no-sorrow"). So "ananda" actually simply means NO-sorrow, not "bliss".

"Is there a term that describes such a believer (or what they would call a recogniser), neo-platonists? but the neoplatonists kind of believe in One, not None."

-- I don't believe in "None". I don't believe in "nothing-ness". I don't "believe" period. And Non-duality is also not merely a belief in "None". Non-duality means the absence of multiplicity, and not merely a "nothing-ness". Non-duality is a Absolute Wholeness, not a "nothing-ness" as you have described. These are all just concepts anyway. I myself simply embrace Wholeness, or Totality.... which is an absolute unity (or non-duality) beyond all mutiplicity.

This recognition of non-duality (advaita)is best expressed by the Vedantic axiom in the Isa Upanishad:

AUM
PURNAMADAH
PURNAMIDAM
PURNAT PURNAM UDACHYATE
PURNASYA PURNAMADAYA
PURNAMEVA VASHISHYATE


...which means:

AUM
THAT IS THE WHOLE.
THIS IS THE WHOLE.
FROM WHOLENESS EMERGES WHOLENESS.
WHOLENESS COMING FROM WHOLENESS,
WHOLENESS STILL REMAINS.

Btw (so there won't be any confusion), I also totally embrace multiplicity - duality.

As in...

The ONE (non-dality) that is manifested (appears as) as the Many (duality)...

And the Many (duality) that are all none other than expressions of the ONE (non-duality).

tAo,

Very good clarification on the concept of 'nothingness' and its relation to 'non-duality'. Also, interesting discussion on the advaita.

However, there remain areas of your thinking which are not so clear-cut imo. For example you say "George, I don't "believe" in "nothing-ness". I don't believe in concepts" and later "I don't believe period";- which to me is wordplay really. imo you clearly do have beliefs, even if they are beliefs that someone else beliefs are wrong, the robust discussions on here are testament to that.

The nature of language itself requires categorisation. We may have a personal experience or direct recognition, but the only way to convey that to someone else and discuss it is by way of conceptualizing it using language, however limited it may be. so the concept represents the experience or recognition. One may only believe in the experience itself, but nevertheless a concept is used to represent that belief or recognition.

So for example, the P1 fella who believes in RS and the concept of 'shabd', also does not believe in the concept so much as the personal experience or direct recoginition that he/she has had. nevertheless shabd is a concept used to describe and form part of P1 belief system.

"Nothingness" may not be a void, it may be defined rather as an absense of seperateness. Nevertheless this remains a concept, however it is defined (in this case negatively).

To try undertstand and evaluate the belief systems or recognitions of others, we need to try define these concepts as cleanly as possible. If not, the P1 believer can merely argue that like P3, his is not a belief but a direct recognition which transcends language.

This is all fine and dandy, but since this is a blog involving communication and discussion about truth-seeking, and we are happy to use concepts and words to analyse P1 and P2, why is P3 not subjected to the same scrutiny?

Many RS believers on here provide alot of poetry and metaphorical language to express themselves, but are berated for such dogma. Yet, we've seen P3 do the same with vagueness, koans and metaphor (ex: streams and bubbles). Why is this not dogma?

I would dearly appreciate a well thought-out post where P3's 'recognitions' are pinned down and done so in a clear manner devoid of metaphor, vagueness, negative defintions or dogma (as is the argument levelled against P1).

George, someone who WRITES THROUGH THE CONTINGENCIES OF A LANGUAGE to say things that can be interpreted as "I am beyond the contingencies of languages and evolutionary biology", "I have no blindspot", and "I know (or decide?) what words 'truly' mean", etc is a person you can really trust or believe in!

The formation and processing of beliefs are aspects that begin in a very very early age, and are much more profound than any egotic and intentional stances or delusions we may entertain about them ... for anyone to pretend to have PURELY transcended them comes from 'the guy did not meant what he said and poorly expressed himself' or he is a bit 'out there'.

Even Niz, Ramana or Spinoza for whom the natural identification of "(un)knowning" with the body/mind had been severed, and with all that this entails, were still, at least for a while, body/mind/organims living and subject to the contingencies of life.

the elephant,

But can someone who writes through the contingencies of language really be trusted or believed in?

For one thing, it seems humans have a natural predisposition to believe in rhetoric (or be conditioned albeit uknowingly).

Secondly, I don't want to trust or believe in anyone.
What is wrong with trying to use one's own faculties of reason to try sift through all the varying beliefs and to constantly challenge their validity.

Surely te point of the church of the churchless is that nothing is sacred or above challenge, in which case P3 needs to be defined and scrutined much like P1 for consistency. I take Brian's interpreatation as P3 being defined in terms of being open to the mystery of it all, but they believe in certain things like non-duality, so its more than just mystery. If questioning is the problem for P3, this forum would seem largely worthless, much as the adherents of P1 supposedly believe.

George,

I was being sarcastic.

I agree with you when you say:

"For one thing, it seems humans have a natural predisposition to believe in rhetoric (or be conditioned albeit uknowingly).

Secondly, I don't want to trust or believe in anyone.
What is wrong with trying to use one's own faculties of reason to try sift through all the varying beliefs and to constantly challenge their validity."

Beyond that, a certain power of abstraction is a necessary condition for the human self-referential power or capacity to realize 'the false as the false'. However, this POWER of abstraction must never cease to be considered as an actuality and power (and not some contents or representations), and as such, as leading to expressions and unfoldings within activity.

As Niz once said:

"Truth can be expressed only by the denial of the false—in action. For this you must see the false as false (viveka) and reject it (vairagya). Renunciation of the false is liberating and energizing. It lays open the road to perfection."

the elephant,

nice comment, void the attack dog usual.

you referenced,

"Truth can be expressed only by the denial of the false—in action. For this you must see the false as false (viveka) and reject it (vairagya). Renunciation of the false is liberating and energizing. It lays open the road to perfection."

and you stated,

"Beyond that, a certain power of abstraction is a necessary condition for the human self-referential power or capacity to realize 'the false as the false'. However, this POWER of abstraction must never cease to be considered as an actuality and power (and not some contents or representations), and as such, as leading to expressions and unfoldings within activity."

---Could you give a specific example of a particualr "power" of abstraction?
---I can see the scientific method as a process to determine a false as false.
---Whatever method or power, One uses, why the need to journey down the road of perfection?
---If I were to accomplish such falsifiablity(sp?), why cann't I just get in my Ford pickup, and just journey to Home Depot, and get a bag of fertilizer?

Best wishes,
Keep up the nice comments...

Roger

George,

You said:

"there remain areas of your thinking which are not so clear-cut imo."

-- Then perhaps I can try to clarify...

"For example you say "George, I don't "believe" in "nothing-ness". I don't believe in concepts"

-- Yes, I do not believe in any so-called "nothingness". Because there is obviously a lot of something... a vast cosmos. And also, this "nothingness" is merely an idea, a concept.

"and later "I don't believe period" - which to me is wordplay really. imo you clearly do have beliefs, even if they are beliefs that someone else beliefs are wrong"

-- Well first, I don't necessarily 'believe' that other people's "beliefs are wrong". I also don't believe that I am always "right". When I said "I don't believe period", what I meant was that I don't hold any particular beliefs about life, existence, God, etc etc.

"The nature of language itself requires categorisation. We may have a personal experience or direct recognition, but the only way to convey that to someone else and discuss it is by way of conceptualizing it using language, however limited it may be."

-- Yes, I certainly agree... and I never said otherwise.

"One may only believe in the experience itself, but nevertheless a concept is used to represent that belief or recognition."

-- Yes, I understand that. However, I don't "believe" in experiences. Experiences are just experiences. I don't see any need to believe (or not believe) in them.

"Nothingness may not be a void, it may be defined rather as an absense of seperateness. Nevertheless this remains a concept, however it is defined"

-- Yes.

To try undertstand and evaluate the belief systems or recognitions of others, we need to try define these concepts as cleanly as possible.

-- Yes I agree.

"If not, the P1 believer can merely argue that like P3, his is not a belief but a direct recognition which transcends language."

-- But, the P1 is still only a believer, a follower of some doctrine. He has yet no "direct recognition". P1 only believes. He has only belief. On the other hand, P3 is not concerned with beliefs or with any need to believe. That is the difference.

"This is all fine and dandy, but [...] we are happy to use concepts and words to analyse P1 and P2, why is P3 not subjected to the same scrutiny?"

-- P3 is subject to the same. The same applies to all. But P3 is not touting any belief, nor claiming that some particular method will attain some particular goal.

"Many RS believers on here provide alot of poetry and metaphorical language to express themselves, but are berated for such dogma."

-- Its not the poetry or the metaphorical language that is the dogma, its the rigid adherence to beliefs and concepts about the nature of existence, the purpose of life, spiritual practices, the God issue, and so on that is the dogma.

"Yet, we've seen P3 do the same with vagueness, koans and metaphor (ex: streams and bubbles). Why is this not dogma?"

-- Because it is not held up as doctrine and belief and authority.

"I would dearly appreciate a well thought-out post where P3's 'recognitions' are pinned down and done so in a clear manner devoid of metaphor, vagueness, negative defintions or dogma (as is the argument levelled against P1)."

-- I have nothing to offer you that could be "pinned down". I don't see anything that can be pinned down. Its basically a mystery. But perhaps somone else has something more concrete for you.


tAo,

fair enough and well answered, or at least skillfully answered.

However, this comment by you strikes to the heart of my struggles:
"But, the P1 is still only a believer, a follower of some doctrine. He has yet no "direct recognition". P1 only believes. He has only belief. On the other hand, P3 is not concerned with beliefs or with any need to believe. That is the difference."

The P1 mystic's primary aim is the practical experience. For the RS P1 its the direct recognition of truth through his purported experience. This is P1's direct recognition. What exactly is P3 concerned with, since he always seems to be defined negatively, i.e. in contradistinction to P1, rather then setting out what his recognition are or how such were achieved.

I think most things can be pinned down and that is why i am trying to establish an ontology for this P3 archetype.

I think the concepts of 'nonduality' and 'voidness' are doctrinal cornerstones of a P3-type.
Also, to a lesser extent different P3 seem to be attracted to concepts like 'oneness', 'nothingness', 'dzogchen', etc.

I will research these areas and put together something for your inspection.

George, thank you for your response and commentary.

You have also said:

"The P1 mystic's primary aim is the practical experience."

-- That may be the primary aim of some mystics, but I am not sure if its the aim of all. In RS (especially), the aim is simply to do the meditation. Now as for the "practical experience"... in RS there is little or no experience, at least none reported. This is one of the things that Brian has pointed out many times before... that in RS there has been no reported "practical experience"... so the premise remains in the realm of belief. And even if some experience is achieved, it does nothing to prove the supposed goal of the RS path and method, which is for the so-called 'soul' to vacate the physical body and to ascend through inner subtle planes and beyond the mind to reach the imperishable spiritual realm of Sach Khand. That is the belief, yet none have reported achieving any degree of this purported goal.

"For the RS P1 its the direct recognition of truth through his purported experience. This is P1's direct recognition."

-- Well, you are assuming that the RS meditation actually produces "direct recognition of truth". But RS does not talk about any such "direct recognition of truth". It only talks only about inner cosmology, devotion to guru, meditation, etc. The few vague experiences that have been (rarely, if ever) reported (phenomena such as seeing glimmers of light or hearing bell sounds etc) do not amount to any "direct recognition of truth". And no RS satsangis (that I know of) have ever reported any such "direct recognition of truth". Its just not what the RS path and meditation is about. RS is all about having belief and faith that the guru will take you to Sach Khand. That's all. The RS path is not about gaining direct realization here and now. And so this is NOT as you said "P1's direct recognition".

"What exactly is P3 concerned with"(?)

-- P3 is not concerned with anything that I know of. P3 simply accepts reality/existence As It Is.

"what his recognition are or how such were achieved."

-- That would have to be answered personally by each individual. I can only speak for myself.

"I think the concepts of 'nonduality' and 'voidness' are doctrinal cornerstones of a P3-type."

-- I don't. Because those are really just merely words. This supposed P3 has no doctrine that I can see. P3 simply accepts life as it is, without trying to impose or achieve anything "spiritual".

"to a lesser extent different P3 seem to be attracted to concepts like 'oneness', 'nothingness', 'dzogchen', etc."

-- Again, these are also just words. In my way of thinking, P3 places no value on these words or related concepts. They are only used and communicated by some people as mere pointers. They are not "doctrinal cornerstones" because P3 adheres to no doctrine. And the approach of say Ch'an/Zen, is a bit different than that of Dzogchen, and Dzogchen is a bit different than Advaita Vedanta and jnana yoga, which in turn is a bit different than that of Saiva siddhanta, which in turn is very different than Vaishnavism and bhakti yoga.... and so on and on.


Yes, as tAo said non-duality and voidness are just words and mere pointers to something that is non-conceptual, nor can be defined in any way.

So, non-duality, voidness, the kernel of Buddhism, zen, ch'an, the Tao, etc. are not really things that you can set on the table in any way that resembles "doctrinal cornerstones" because they are not objects. They have no definition except the absence of such.

The term "void" can only imply THIS which is unobjectivisable because THIS is what does the objectivising.

Or to say it slightly differently... The "void" is what you can't see when you are looking for a self that isn't there because IT is what is looking.

Every objective description obscures whatever it attempts to reveal. Which is to say that all verbal communication of intuitional apprehension obscures rather than reveals what has been apperceived.

No 'Answer' will ever be revealed on this blog. only hinted at.

We can beat around the bush but the bush will never be known as such. "Ah, I think I found the bush!" No, you found its object. IT will never be found.

Isn't that a relief? Nothing to be done. IT is already the case.


tAo

no, i'm not convinced by that, sorry, but with that sort of thinking then P3 is also just a word and everything is just words, which means concepts like 'shabd' and 'Sach Khand' are also not open for scrutiny.

Also, there are many P1 types who claim to have had these direct recognitions or mystic experiences. The satgurus for one and many other satsangis. It may be that many satsangis have no such experience, but others do purport to have one. The point of these mystic traditions is to have the actual practical experience and ppl do claim to have it.

Whether these experiences are real or not is immaterial for this discussion, rather these experiences are conceptualised and described by words.

Similarly P3 has its own related set of concepts, which many of its adherents have in fact used repeatedly on this blog, such as non-duality and voidness. Moreover, these adherents recognise other P3 types on this blog through their language communciation, i.e. they agree with their beliefs or recognitions.

Tucson,

If something is non-conceptual, it means it is uknowable to the human mind, which means the P3 type is no closer to the truth then P1, since P3 claims nothing, there is nothing to know.

If that is the case, then surely discussions on this blog are irrelevant, whoch sounds very similar to a P1 or Ashy who claims that the intellect is irrelevant and cannot comprehend the uknowable.

If words like 'zen, ch'an, the Tao' exist, their very existence implies they are concepts created by the human mind in an attempt to convey a concept to others.

This is a fundamental problem with the P3 position.

Yet ppl still struggle to define concepts like 'nonduality' so carefully and precisely as to distinguish it from 'monism'.

Either P3 claims:
- to know nothing, which is fine but then he cannot categorise himself or assert he is different from P1 (which was done and agreed with by the P3 folk), since in order to do so P3 would need to assert WHY he is different from P1, not merely say he is different (that is dogman any way one cares to spin it).

- to know something, by recognition or otherwise. In that case, what is this recognition and how was this recognition achieved? This would then form an ontology for P3.

I never created P3, a P3 person created P3. Moreover, P3s seem to know an awful lot for a type that supposedly claims to know nothing.

One question, posed a number of months back, is there a "belief system" associated with Atheism?

Using a definition of Atheism, one can state that there is a lack of a belief system. On the other hand, another possible definition of Atheism, one could find a belief system residing in Atheism.

Finding or not finding is in the mind of the particular person, and how they choose to define.

Roger, as I've noted before, not believing in something because there isn't any evidence for it isn't a belief system. It is an absence of a belief system. Religious believers like to argue otherwise, but they're wrong.

Religious people are a... lots of things. Unless they're having an alcohol induced hallucination, they are apinkelephants, because they don't see any in their living room. They are agnomeists, if they don't see any mythical creatures romping in their garden.

So I don't understand why atheism gets such a bad rap. It just means a lack of belief in God, because there is no demonstrable evidence for God. Exactly the same as pink elephants and gnomes.

Brian,

I'm going to your new thread, meaning of life, to respond. You can delete this, if you choose.
Roger

George wrote: "If something is non-conceptual, it means it is uknowable to the human mind, which means the P3 type is no closer to the truth then P1, since P3 claims nothing, there is nothing to know."

--I think that is correct. It is not known, but rather recognized intuitively. P3 simply realizes there is no 'truth' to get closer to or farther away from. That is, this 'truth' is not any static thing that can be pinned down as an object known.

"If that is the case, then surely discussions on this blog are irrelevant, whoch sounds very similar to a P1 or Ashy who claims that the intellect is irrelevant and cannot comprehend the uknowable."

--I think that is correct as well. As I said above, no 'answer' will ever be revealed on this blog, in my opinion. The value of discussions such as we are having is that people may be given the opportunity to 'look' from a fresh perspective when certain preconceived notions are disposed of.

"If words like 'zen, ch'an, the Tao' exist, their very existence implies they are concepts created by the human mind in an attempt to convey a concept to others."

--In order to have a conversation some sort of terminology (symbolic representations) must be used otherwise this blog would be filled with blank pages which probably would be more accurate than anything we can say about this idea known as 'truth'. Maybe this is why many purported sages remain silent much of the time.

"This is a fundamental problem with the P3 position."

--This is only a problem if P3's 'position' is seen as a position, but P3 really has no position at all. It could be called a non-position, but even that is a position of sorts in that it is called something...a non-position.

"Yet ppl still struggle to define concepts like 'nonduality' so carefully and precisely as to distinguish it from 'monism'."

--Actually non-duality in the final analysis deconstructs all concepts, even itself.

"Either P3 claims:
- to know nothing, which is fine but then he cannot categorise himself or assert he is different from P1 (which was done and agreed with by the P3 folk), since in order to do so P3 would need to assert WHY he is different from P1, not merely say he is different (that is dogman any way one cares to spin it)."

--Again, P3 simply sees that truth is not some 'thing' that can be known conceptually. In realizing that, P3 actually sees no distinction between himself and P1 for the conceptual barrier that illusorily creates separation is seen as a phantom. However, for the sake of discussion, a difference or distinction has apparently been made.

"- to know something, by recognition or otherwise. In that case, what is this recognition and how was this recognition achieved? This would then form an ontology for P3."

--The recognition is void...that is it has no shape, boundary, dimension or 'thingness' but rather is an ineffable plenum of infinite possiblity. Here is where language falls especially short.

"I never created P3, a P3 person created P3. Moreover, P3s seem to know an awful lot for a type that supposedly claims to know nothing."

--If you will notice, P3 ultimately deconstructs itself to where there is neither knowing nor not-knowing. What remains is undefined ISNESS.


lol, crazy stuff Tucson, am afraid we seem to have well and truly dissapeared up our own fundaments.

Thank you for your answers, i can say that i have gained no-thing from them, but in this case, it sounds like thats a good thing...


George, you said:

"no, i'm not convinced by that, sorry, but with that sort of thinking then P3 is also just a word and everything is just words, which means concepts like 'shabd' and 'Sach Khand' are also not open for scrutiny. "

-- I was never trying to "convince" you of anything. And P3 is also just an idea. Moreover, I was not the one who created the P1, P2, P3 model, and I also don't see my self as being a P3 or a P2. Also, "Shabd and Sach Khand" are not my concepts ( I diod n ot originate them), but like all concepts, they ARE open to scrutiny. And I am also now not real sure what it is that you are attempting to challenge, or are trying to defend. You seem to be trying to equate a P3 with a P1. But there is an vast and critical difference between the two.

"Also, there are many P1 types who claim to have had these direct recognitions or mystic experiences."

-- No, none that I know of in RS has ever claimed that. No one has come forth with any evidence or even testimony. But maybe in other mystical traditions. And no one in RS has ever mentioned or claimed any so-called "direct recognition" that I know of. If you can produce someone who has, and an explantion of that claim, then you are welcome to do so. It seems that in this case you are making some unsubstantiated assumptions about RS.

"The satgurus for one and many other satsangis."

-- The satgurus have NOT made any such claims. They have not ever discussed their own mystical experiences. They have only repeated the standard teachings, the dogma. If you believe that they have, then please give some evidence of where it is that they "claim to have had these direct recognitions or mystic experiences".

I have read all of the main RS books and heard many talks, and I have never seen the RS sat-gurus claim any such thing. Nor have any satsangi/disciple followers claim that either... none that I have ever heard about or read about during the past 30 years. If you have, then you must have access to some info that I don't.

"It may be that many satsangis have no such experience, but others do purport to have one."

-- Then by all means, please show us the evidence of who, what, where, and when. You say that "others do purport to have". Well then, who purports that, and what exactly are they claiming?

"The point of these mystic traditions is to have the actual practical experience and ppl do claim to have it."

-- Well, this is the problem. You say that that they "have the actual practical experience". But WHAT IS this "practical experience" that you say that they have? Is it merely seeing a faint glimmer of light or visions, or hearing some sounds during meditation? Phenomena such as these happen to many many people (including non-RS meditators) during their meditations, but that sort of thing does not prove any of the fundamental claims and beliefs of Santmat.

"Whether these experiences are real or not is immaterial for this discussion, rather these experiences are conceptualised and described by words."

-- I don't know what you mean by "real". People have all sorts of experiences in life... and these experiences are real to those who have them. There is no doubt about that. And words are used to describe them as well. But so what? Mere descriptions of experiences (mystical or otherwise) don't prove anything. So what is the point?

"Similarly P3 has its own related set of concepts, which many of its adherents have in fact used repeatedly on this blog, such as non-duality and voidness."

-- I don't agree that P3 holds to a "set of concepts". Furthermore, non-duality is no doubt simply a word... a basic term that is used to signify the absence of any duality. And as a word, it is also represents a concept. But actual non-duality is not an object, and words have no bearing upon that.

"Moreover, these adherents recognise other P3 types on this blog through their language communciation, i.e. they agree with their beliefs or recognitions."

-- I don't agree with that either. I also reject being classified as a P3, or a "P" anything. Everyone is unique and different on this blog. You are trying to lump some folks together. That is not the case. I don't entertain the beliefs and ideas of others, and I don't necessarily think the way others do. I am not an "adherent" anything (such as P3). I don't adhere to any spiritual belief, except that of simply living my own unique life (which isn't a belief).


Dear Tao,
Could you explain how adhering to a belief, or perhaps having a belief, is 'not living [someone's] own life'? What is "the problem" with 'not living [someone's] own life'? How do you identify/distinguish between living and not living someone's own life?

Lets say someone puts an box in front of me and asks me to guess what is in the box? For some reasons I believe that there is an apple in the box but I am not sure. Am I 'not living my own life' by believing there is an apple in the box? What is the 'problem' with that?

Basically, the question is what does constitute for someone 'living' "not living their own unique life"?

Thank you.

the elephant,

I (tAo) had said previously (on June 04, 2009 at 03:44 PM):

"I don't adhere to any spiritual belief, except that of simply living my own unique life (which isn't a belief)."

the elephant then asked:

"Could you explain how adhering to a belief, or perhaps having a belief, is 'not living [someone's] own life'?

-- Well I did not say that adhering to a belief or having a belief "is not living [one's] own life". I simply said this: "I don't adhere to any spiritual belief...", and then I also said: "...except that of simply living my own unique life". Which means that I myself don't adhere to any particular spiritual beliefs, and in that way I just simply live my own unique life (even if you wish to call doing that a belief - or believing in my own life).

"What is "the problem" with 'not living [someone's] own life'?"

-- I don't know. I am not sure what you mean by: "not living [someone's] own life". However, I do know this: that everyone is living their own lives, but some people also choose to adhere to (believe in) particular beliefs, in this case spiritual or religios beliefs that dictate how they should and how they do live their lives.

"How do you identify/distinguish between living and not living someone's own life?"

-- I did not say (or imply) that others are not living their own lives. I was only speaking about myself.

"Lets say someone puts an box in front of me and asks me to guess what is in the box. For some reasons I believe that there is an apple in the box [...] Am I 'not living my own life' by believing there is an apple in the box?"

-- Yes of course you are living your own life. Why would think otherwise? I don't think otherwise. And I did not indicate that others are not living their own lives.

"What is the 'problem' with that?"

-- There is no problem. What makes you think there is any problem?

"Basically, the question is what does constitute for someone 'living' "not living their own unique life"?

-- Again, I did not say or imply that others are somehow not living their own unique lives. Everyone is. But some people also follow and incorporate particular beliefs (spiritual & religious beliefs) into their lives and they live their lives according to those beliefs. I don't do that. For myself, I just live my own life as I myself choose to, and not according to any particular spiritual belief or beliefs.

I hope this clarifies the matter, and resolves your questions.


tAo,

Since these concepts are so vague as to almost render them incomprehenible, i have tried to use a variety of words describing the same thing. So what some might call a mystical experience, others might call a direct recognition of the truth. The satugurus and many satsangis have claimed to have had such an experience of Truth.

Whether it is true or not is another matter.

Some gnostics like to define gnosis cleverly in terms of not being a 'belief' in something, but purportedly a direct recognition of truth.

The P3 types on here have spoken of a direct recognition (i cant remember where that P3 archive was), you may not have, but others have.

My observation is that i struggle to see the difference between P1's mystic experience or direct recognition and that of P3's direct reognition, in that both are of an unsupported nature and subjective, not objectively verifiable.

They are both mere subjective claims to knowledge.

We seem to be getting off topic.

The mystic traditions and gnostics have something in common, their aim is to have a direct expierence of ultimate reality (some sort of mystical experience). The path of getting there is not as important as the experience itself.

This experience has been described in many ways, in RS, concepts such as the 'shabd' have been used to describe it. The practical experience is the essence of these taditions.

Similarly gnosis distinguished between others 'belief' in the divine, as compared to their direct recognition of it having entered into some sort of enlightened or awakened state.

The basic difference between mystic traditions and main stream religions is the formers emphasis on direct experience or recognition of the truth, as compared to thru an intermediary source, for example scripture or revelation.

This direct experience of recognition of the truth, some satsangis in the RS tradition appear to have, while others do not.

It was a P3 person who first created this category to show differences, so my intention is to explore this more closely and work out how P3's direct experience or recognition differs from P1s.

George,

"what some might call a mystical experience, others might call a direct recognition of the truth."

-- You could say that.

"The satugurus and many satsangis have claimed to have had such an experience of Truth."

-- No, not the RS gurus, and definitely none of the RS satsangis have claimed that. I haven't seen or heard any evidence of that. So again, if you can point to where someone has, then please do. No RS gurus or satsangis that I know of have actually claimed to have attained to sach khand and thus realized the absolute truth or God realization. It is all only presented as a possible goal or achievement, but no one has actually made that specific claim themselves.

"Whether it is true or not is another matter."

-- Agreed.

"Some gnostics like to define gnosis cleverly in terms of not being a 'belief' in something, but purportedly a direct recognition of truth."

-- Well, what is commonly referred to as a direct "realization" or a "self-realization" or a "god-realization", is very different than simply the holding of a "belief". Realization is not the same as mere belief.

"The P3 types on here have spoken of a direct recognition (i cant remember where that P3 archive was), you may not have, but others have."

-- Again, even a so-called "direct recognition" is not the same as holding a belief.

"My observation is that i struggle to see the difference between P1's mystic experience or direct recognition"

-- As far as I can tell, in OshoRobbins model, P1 has not actually had any real "mystic experience". P1 is only just a believer, a follower and a practioner who has faith and belief in the teaching and the guru.

"both [P1 and P3] are of an unsupported nature and subjective, not objectively verifiable.They are both mere subjective claims to knowledge."

-- Yes, that does seem to be the case.

"The mystic traditions and gnostics have something in common, their aim is to have a direct expierence of ultimate reality (some sort of mystical experience)."

-- Well that is what is generally proposed. However, there can be a significant difference between having a "direct experience of ultimate reality" and just some sort of "mystical experience". All sorts of things can be and are often labeled as being "mytical experiences"... but they are certainly not all a "direct experience of ultimate reality".

"The path of getting there is not as important as the experience itself."

-- In many cases the path is really all there is. And the so-called experience or god-realization happens only to a very few.

"This experience has been described in many ways, in RS, concepts such as the 'shabd' have been used to describe it."

-- Well actually, the "shabda" is not an experience per se. The shabda is a term that refers to the resonance of God, or the divine creative energy vibration that is perceived in the form of light and sound. In the RS teachings, the mystical "experience" that is described is that of the soul traveling (or rather being drawn by the shabd) through and beyond the subtle planes, beyond the mental and causal plane to the transcendent spiritual realm of sach khand. So mere perception of the shabd is not at all the same as the full-on mystical experience, or god-realization, or the so-called direct recognition of truth. And in Sant Mat, the 'shabda' or divine resonance is simply the means to that end.

"The basic difference between mystic traditions and main stream religions is the formers emphasis on direct experience or recognition of the truth, as compared to thru an intermediary source, for example scripture or revelation."

-- Agreed.

"This "direct expierence of ultimate reality" some satsangis in the RS tradition appear to have, while others do not."

-- Well all I can tell you is that in my 30 years of involvement with RS and with numerous satsangis both the USA and at the RS colony in India, I have not heard of any RS satsangis who have ever reported, much less claimed, a "direct expierence of ultimate reality". And also hardly any who have reported even any fairly significant phenomena during meditation.

"my intention is to explore this more closely and work out how P3's direct experience or recognition differs from P1s."

-- That sounds reasonable to me.



Readers,

If I were to say that I have direct and immediate contact with God Almighty and that I have been sent by Him to liberate souls (yours in particular) from the cycle of rebirths in the physical realm and return them to their true home in the spiritual region Droz Chakaka, would you believe me dear reader?

Good. That seems to be a sensible reaction.

Why then do satsangis accept a similar claim from the RS master? On what basis can they rationally accept this? They would say that they just know, or it feels right, or the master is so wonderful, or they had a vision of him in a dream, or he has millions of followers and they can't all be wrong, etc., etc.

But if I told you that to get to Droz Chakaka you must follow MY instructions on MY promise that they will bear fruit you wouldn't do it would you?

What is the difference between me and Gurinder Singh? A private jet and a satsang ghar?

Why do satsangis submit themselves, on some guy's say so, to a lifetime of inquiring about the presence of eggs in muffins?


tAo, Tucson

"Realization is not the same as mere belief"

How so?

By what stnard of proof is a realization different from a belief? A person has the realisation that they are part of a non-dualistic universe, might just be holding onto a false belief. Another person has a realisation that they are part of a dualistic universe, which might also be holding onto a false belief. Another person has a realisation that he has connected with the Divine, which might also be holding onto a false belief.

My point here is not whether these realisation or beliefs or true or not, merely that they are linguistic concepts whose validity in terms of objective evidence is equally lacking, they are all subjective beliefs.

Since we can only percieve what our senses (brain) filters or allows, all is just a belief, with varying standards of evidence to support them.

Well its all because they don't eat eggs, which contain cholesterol, which feeds the brain, which then causes better brain function, which then increases their intelligence, which then allows for increased reasoning power, which then reveals the stupidity of not eating eggs, which then makes them realize that they have been duped by some guy's say so, which results in their ignoring that guy and his egg-shaped turban, which then leads to them going out to munch on some delicious Egg McMuffins.

Which is why McDonalds is seriously considering placing some beautiful tall Golden Arches just beyond the puny gates of the RSSB Dera.

Breaking News:
McDonalds stock rose to an all time high today due to skyrocketing sales of Egg McMuffins at their shops across India and Asia. However, Sach Khand stocks have just dropped to an all-time low as vast numbers of believers are gobbling up McMuffins by the millions along with their Chai and Chaurasi.


Hi George,

This is just parsing words but there is, I think, a difference between realization and belief although they both are subjective.

Belief is faith...a body of evidence suggests something to be true such as DNA at the crime scene indicates the culprit was there, or a holy book or guru says something is true, or the pilot of your plane is not on a suicide mission which all require varying degrees of faith though maybe not of the same kind.

Knowing is like seeing the moon in the sky. It is there as far as your senses are concerned. You could be hallucinating but it is reasonable to say you know the moon is visible in the sky. You don't believe the moon is in the sky, you know it.

Realization in the sense most often used on this blog is like knowing. Whether you realize it intellectually or intuitively you 'see' how something is. You are as certain of your perception as you are of seeing the moon in the sky. It is different from belief because you have perceived it directly. Even if someone says the moon is not in the sky you need no corroboration. The fire is burning your fingers, no doubt about it.

I thought I had a point to make but after reading what I just wrote it makes me want to delete it. It is like first grade. But what the hell...


Thanks to Tucson for giving George my answer.

There are two guys. One guy can see and the other guy is blind. The full moon is shining high in the sky.

One guy can see the moon quite clearly and easily.

The other guy who is blind cannot see the moon at all, but he has heard about the moon from various sources. So he believes that the moon is there. But still he cannot actually see the moon. He only has faith. He only believes.

REALIZATION is sort of like the first guy who can see the moon clearly and directly. His direct seeing is similar to realization. He has realization of the moon's existence.

BELIEF is like the blind man who cannot see the moon, but he believes that the moon is there. He has faith that there is a moon up there, even though he cannot actually see the moon. He does not know for sure (because at the present time he is unable to see for himself), so he only believes that the moon is there. He has belief in the moon's existence.


tAo and Tucson,

"Knowing is like seeing the moon in the sky. It is there as far as your senses are concerned. You could be hallucinating but it is reasonable to say you know the moon is visible in the sky. You don't believe the moon is in the sky, you know it."

- This 'knowing' (of the moon) is limited to that percieved by our senses as you indicated. The 'moon' is just a concept or word used to represent a phenomenon that is observable by a physical human sense.

The knowing, recognition or realization of 'non-duality' or 'shabd' is not knowing in the 'moon' sense. Although both concepts represent phenomena, neither is observable via physical human senses.

By what human sense is 'non-duality' or 'shabd' known or realized by?

- The person who knows or recognises (not merely believes) non-duality, will also know the moon is a hallucination of physical human senses since all forms, subjects and objects are illusions. His senses tell him there is a moon, but he 'knows' (not believes) otherwise.

There is a total breakdown in logic here.

- The shabd is a concept used by P1's to represent a purported observable phenomenon of "the resonance of God perceived in the form of light and sound" (from tAo above).

Thus, such a satsangi does not merely believe in 'shabd', but knows it. In fact, by your definition of knowing, it seems shabd appears more likely to be 'known' (as opposed to mere belief) than non-duality.

Hi George,
I have a joke for you.

"Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are going camping. They pitch their tent under the stars and go to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night Holmes wakes Watson up. Holmes: Watson, look up at the stars, and tell me what you deduce. WATSON: I see millions of stars, and if there are millions of stars, and if even a few of those have planets, it is quite likely that there are some planets like Earth, and if there are a few planets like Earth out there, there might also be life. HOLMES: Watson, you idiot, somebody stole our tent!"
Nothing profound meant here.Just thought you may enjoy it.If you did not know it before.
All the best
Obed

Obed,

LOL, thats a great one.
cheers

Obed - lol.

=====

[B] Brian
[J] Jayme
[W] Wikipedia
---
[J] I generally agree with the post topic comments with a couple exceptions.

[B] "All science does is put imaginings to reasonable tests, if they are held out as reflecting objective reality rather than a subjective thought, emotion, or perception."

[J] I would modify this statement to be:

[modified] All science does is put imaginings to reasonable tests, if they are held out as reflecting objective reality [that test] a subjective thought, emotion, or perception.

[B] "But in practice, I've found that groups claiming to practice an experimental "spiritual science" or "science of the soul" don't really follow the scientific method."

[W] This is an example of an algorithmic statement of the hypothetico-deductive method:

[W] 1. Gather data (observations about something that is unknown, unexplained, or new)

[J] Observe there are people claiming to have "spiritual experiences" which one does not personally experience or is unknown to one's self.

[W] 2. Hypothesize an explanation for those observations.

[J] Examine the literature and teachings of various knowledgeable people within the spiritual traditions and develop a believable idea that appears consistent with the observations that people claim spiritual experience.

[W] 3. Deduce a consequence of that explanation (a prediction).

[J] Deduce that if I follow a particular formula or practice, I will be able to experience at least some of what is claimed by these spritual nut cases and become more peaceful in my daily life - less bothered by the suffering around me.

[W] 4. Formulate an experiment to see if the predicted consequence is observed.

[J] Sit down, shut up, and meditate.

[W] 5. Wait for corroboration. If there is corroboration, go to step 3. If not, the hypothesis is falsified. Go to step 2.

[J] Talk with fellow spiritual adepts or if you decided that a teacher is necessary in this experiment, talk to your teacher to corroborate what you are experiencing. If there are issues with your technique, your patterns of behaviour in the world, reflect upon these. If there is absolutely no sense that the experiences you "believe" are what you seek in accordance to the stated experimental practices(i.e. greater peace of mind or a more smoothly functioning life), the school of thought is falsified (for you). Goto step 2 and explore another school of thought.

[J] I don't understand the statement that there is no "science of the soul." Science is only a method and as you see by the example provided, it applies to finding the religious dogma best suited to a person's spiritual quest as much as any line of technical argument. Of course any belief system can be modified given new data and new experiences. The scientific method can be useful in making life choices that are totally subjective but which can help to correct personal problems and guide one's life in a more sane fashion. "Science of the soul" has not been explicitly formalized like this (except here) but the implication that it can be formalized and that there is a practice and there are experiences is there. Any spiritual quest can use the scientific method to validate its subjective value to the individual. The problem with spiritual questing is that one is questing to find something and as such when a person finds an ideology that seems correct for a moment, they may hang on to that ideology as if real when in fact as long as one is looking for some absolute in this world, they should always be looking (exploring) and not satisfied with any fixation with objects like religious institutions, corporate institutions, political institutions, scholarly institutions. The scientific method is a dynamic process that never stops. Once a "truth" in any of these forms is found, it is dead, even if one finds truth in the method - imo.

"Science of the soul has not been explicitly formalized like this (except here) but the implication that it can be formalized and that there is a practice and there are experiences is there."

---So, where has the "science" of the soul been explicitly formalized here?
---If it has, what is the formalized implication?
---This "science" can be formally implied, however, where is it, here?

George wrote: "The knowing, recognition or realization of 'non-duality' or 'shabd' is not knowing in the 'moon' sense. Although both concepts represent phenomena, neither is observable via physical human senses.

By what human sense is 'non-duality' or 'shabd' known or realized by?

- The person who knows or recognises (not merely believes) non-duality, will also know the moon is a hallucination of physical human senses since all forms, subjects and objects are illusions. His senses tell him there is a moon, but he 'knows' (not believes) otherwise.

There is a total breakdown in logic here.

- The shabd is a concept used by P1's to represent a purported observable phenomenon of "the resonance of God perceived in the form of light and sound" (from tAo above).

Thus, such a satsangi does not merely believe in 'shabd', but knows it. In fact, by your definition of knowing, it seems shabd appears more likely to be 'known' (as opposed to mere belief) than non-duality."

end quote.

Here is my response to the above:

To me, there need be no other teaching or any other 'understanding' than the obvious...THIS what 'I' am here now is no object.

If 'I' am no objective 'thing' then 'I' am not a subject either because a subject is also an object.

Anything else but this direct 'understanding' implies an entity having conceptualizations.

Even THIS which 'I' am can be conceptual in which case 'I' become some objectivized 'thing'. But 'I' can't be thought because what 'I' am is necessarily unconscious of being conscious.

As a thought, conceptualized, 'I' see what 'I' am as that kind of object which is no-object. But what 'I' am is not 'a' no-object. 'I' am total objective absence which is total subjective presence unaware of its absence as well as its presence.

'I' therefore am not whereby 'I' am...'I' who am necessarily everything and no thing, and neither any nor no thing.

Do you get my drift? All conceptualizing of Truth, God, Self-knowledge, etc. is objectifying of subject where subject seeks to objectify itself. That is illusion and is the ONLY illusion and is what non-duality seeks to demonstrate.

"Absolute" is phenomenally negative.


Tucson,

I believe I have understood the concept of non-duality. That is not my line of questioning. Instead my questioning is directed at how ppl can say they 'know' (or realize) the universe is non-dualistic, as opposed to merely 'believing' it is so?

Nonduality is a concept imo. Were it not it would be impossible for us to have this conversation since the word would not exist. But it does exist and whats more we are trying to define it more accurately here, which means we are trying to conceptualise it better.

If nonduality cannot be conceptualised, it becomes even more difficult to see how it could be 'known' or recognised or understood. In any event, its not possible to recognise nonduality in the 'knowing' sense defined in your moon analogy (i.e. an obervable phenomenon by physical human senses).

So imo the question remains, how is such a nonduality known as opposed to merely believed?

Personally, I believe in Socratic Ignorance that us humans don't really 'know' much; we only believe, suspect and think.

The closest we come to knowing is how objetively verifiable a belief is, but this is far removed a sort of hazily-defined 'knowing' of nonduality.

As George writes "That is not my line of questioning."

Tucson keeps hammering with a point that no one denies--Truth (or Absolute or Reality or Non-duality or whatever) cannot be reduced to a concept. ... subject is not object ... No one rejects this view and its dichotomies. A problem is that Tucson seems to think that these claims somehow are equivalent, or at least support with an absolute necessity, other claims according to which, 'thought', or our power of self-referential knowing and tight self-reflexivity, are absolutely insufficient or flawed with respect to the 'matter' of non-duality.

But to use a popular expression lately, that is only 'his beliefs' . Not that Truth cannot be reduced to a representation but the other claims, about the functionality of 'thought', that he more or less meshes confusely with the former

I will like to offer a competing 'belief' (not written by me)

"Dogen offers what I would call the "realizational" view of language, in constrast to the "instrumental" veiw tha tis epitomized in the Zen adage "the finger pointing to the moon" (shigetsu). This view is derived from the assumption that language has no instrinsic place in the salvific process of Zen, and accordingly, serves only as an instrument for the sake of enlightenment. His view pinpoints language as discriminative thought, and yet, as possessing the capacity to liberate discriminative thought. Let me make just two points here: (1) Language has a dual function--one is limiting and the other liberating ... Dogen contends, is such that, inasmuch as language is the core of discriminative thought, it has the power--perhaps the only power there is--to liberate it.

p.62-63 Dogen on meditation and thinking: a reflection on his view of Zen by Hee-Jin Kim

The point made by Kim is very similar to the one I made about recognizing "the false as the false" from Niz.

I am not saying Dogen and Niz are right and Tucson is wrong or vice-versa. You can decide for yourself. What I reject however are naive narratives that confuse too many things all together, and which naivity and deceptions can be recognized as such (because we have that POWER), so is recognizing the false as the false after all. But again, this recognition is an intimate matter.
The power of high reflexivity of our knowing is ambiguous. Too many fail to recognize this twofold nature. Not Dogen or Niz however.

George wrote: " Instead my questioning is directed at how ppl can say they 'know' (or realize) the universe is non-dualistic, as opposed to merely 'believing' it is so?"

-- 'I' tucson don't 'know' the universe is non-dual, although intellectually it seems to me to be so. But that is only my conception, my idea of how things are. But, as what 'I' am when 'I' am absent everything else remains. However, when that happens there is no 'else'.

As far as what the Elephant said, if I understand correctly, I agree 100%. His view does not "compete" with mine but rather embellishes it. Thank you.


Roger,

[R] - attributed to Roger
[J] - attributed to Jayme
[G] - attributed to Google
[Y] - attributed to You Tube

[J] "Science of the soul has not been explicitly formalized like this (except here) but the implication that it can be formalized and that there is a practice and there are experiences is there."

[R] ---So, where has the "science" of the soul been explicitly formalized here?

[J] The scientific method is a commonly accepted method for acquiring and testing knowledge. It has been shown in my previous comment how it can be applied to any belief system (hypothesis) by the example provided.

[R] ---If it has, what is the formalized implication?

[J] The formalized implication is that as long as a person honestly seeks truth, facts and data (experiences) exist which remain unexplained in the set of theoretical concepts (religious or othewise) which describe these facts and data and inevitably result in a truth seeker continuing their truth seeking quest ad infinitum. In this formulation of truth seeking the seeker may be seeking a God or may be seeking some ideal theoretical abstraction of fundamental truth based upon an incomplete and ever changing set of facts and data.

[J] Unfortunately, most seekers are either not honest with themselves or don't believe the value of their own experiences. This leads many (perhaps most) of us (myself included) into a belief that institutionalized knowledge does in fact represent some form of objective truth (or consensus reality) which may not be personally known and may have little or no relevance to a particular individual's life. This can be alienating if one sits in a church that preaches a belief system that no longer meets their personal needs and makes no sense. In this case, according to the scientific method, one needs to return to step 2 (to which the concepts of atheism or agnosticism or churchlessness can be added as well).

[R] ---This "science" can be formally implied, however, where is it, here?

[J] The science (or knowledge) is in the observer having the subjective experience. This can be objectified through continued study of neural and biological sciences concerning the mental and physical mechanisms of the "spiritual experiences" that come from practice. By this definition, spiritual practice and experiences may be conceptualized and become known objectively because they exist within a conceptual presently unknown but eventually knowable domain.

=====

[J] The following two videos do provide some experimental results of these "spiritual experiences."

[G] Change your Mind Change your Brain: The Inner Conditions for Authentic Happiness - 59:28 - Mar 19, 2007
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1424079446171087119&hl=en

[Y] David Lynch: Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain - 1:49:23 - August 21, 2007
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8TFcLgu5Ow

George,

Please note: I had written the following reply much eariler today, but I was unable to complete it and post it at that time. Since then you and tucson have gone off in a bit of another direction. So the following response is not related to your subsequent discussion with tucson (except for the very last part which I have just added). It is primarily related to your post of: June 06, 2009 at 02:22 AM

First, you said: "The knowing, recognition or realization of 'non-duality' or 'shabd' is not knowing in the 'moon' sense. Although both concepts represent phenomena, neither is observable via physical human senses."

-- There are some critical errors in what you are presenting in the above statement, as well as in your subsequent statements (below).... which is probably why you think the analogy that was given (moon) is illogical.

So I will take each error in order:

A) Non-duality is not shabd. They are not two terms for the same thing. Non-duality is the unitary nature of the Absolute, of Totality. Shabd on the other hand, is the inner sound-current or vibration, which is perceived as sound and light (generally during, but not limited to, meditation).

B) Shabd is not a "knowing, recognition or realization". Shabd is the 'sound-current' that is actually perceived as sensory phenomena (as sounds & light) during meditation.

C) Thus the perception of the shabd is no different than, for instance, seeing the light of the moon or hearing the sound of bells or music. So, contrary to your assertion, shabd most definitely "is observable via physical human senses".

D) Non-duality is not a "phenomena" as you have wrongly assumed. Non-duality is not any kind of sensory perception. Non-duality is the unitary nature of the Absolute, of Totality.

E) Shabd IS "observable via physical human senses", and non-duality is NOT "observable via physical human senses".

You then said: "By what human sense is 'non-duality' or 'shabd' known or realized by?"

-- They each are different. Non-duality can (may) be understood or comprehended (known or realized) via intellect or higher mind (buddhi). Shabd, on the other hand, is perceived (known or realized) via direct sensory perception as sound and light.

You then said: "The person who knows or recognises (not merely believes) non-duality, will also know the moon is a hallucination of physical human senses since all forms, subjects and objects are illusions. His senses tell him there is a moon, but he 'knows' (not believes) otherwise."

-- That assumption is completely erroneous for several reasons. Here is why:

A) Recognition of non-duality in no way means or implies or asserts or demands that "the moon is a hallucination of physical human senses".

B) Recognition of non-duality in no way means or implies or asserts or demands that "all forms, subjects and objects are illusions".

C) The senses do perceive a moon, and non-duality does not contradict or dispute otherwise.

"There is a total breakdown in logic here."

-- There is no "breakdown in logic". The problem seems to be that of differeneces in definitions and understandings of both the shabd as well as non-duality. (refer to previous comments above.)

"The shabd is a concept used by P1's to represent a purported observable phenomenon of the resonance of God perceived in the form of light and sound".

-- Yes, that appears to be a reasonable and accurate statement.

"Thus, such a satsangi does not merely believe in 'shabd', but knows it."

-- No. This is where you are jumping to mistaken conclusions imo. The satsangi does not "know" it. The satsangi merely operates on the premise (or faith) of the existence and power of the shabd. The satsangi believes in the existence and power of the shabd, simply because that is what Santmat/RS teaches. But the satsangi does not "know" that to be true. The satsangi operates only on faith - faith that there is a shabd, and faith that the shabd will draw the soul up and beyond the material universe and reach the imperishable immortal realm of sach khand.

"In fact, by your definition of knowing, it seems shabd appears more likely to be 'known' (as opposed to mere belief) than non-duality."

-- It is presented in the teachings that shabd is perceived as inner sound and light. That IS a belief. On the other hand, non-duality is not such an object of perception, nor is non-duality itself a belief. Some people do 'believe' in the concept of non-duality, but that is irrelevant. Non-duality itself is not an object that is perceived by senses. Kind of like 'space' is not perceived by the senses. Non-duality is not an object. It is more like the prior unity of all multiplicity and opposites. In the end, non-duality is just a word. What IS, is simply THIS

-----------------------------------------

The following responses are related to your statements to Tucson that was posted on June 06, 2009 at 03:47 PM:

"my questioning is directed at how ppl can say they 'know' (or realize) the universe is non-dualistic, as opposed to merely 'believing' it is so?"

-- This is, in reality, actually quite profoundly simple. The universe is is not non-dualistic. The univere is duality. Non-duality is the Absolute, and vice-versa. How does someone "know" that? They don't "know" non-duality. Non-duality transcends all knowing and not-knowing. Non-duality is both prior as well as immanent. Non-duality cannot be conceived in the duality of mind. Becase mind is duality. The Absolute (Totality) is non-duality.

"Nonduality is a concept imo."

-- Yes, non-duality is also a concept, and a word.

"it [the conept of nonduality] does exist and whats more we are trying to define it more accurately here, which means we are trying to conceptualise it better."

-- Yes, that is true. But non-duality can never really be accurately conceptualized because concepts are of the mind and mind is duality. Non-duality transcends mind.

"If nonduality cannot be conceptualised, it becomes even more difficult to see how it could be 'known' or recognised or understood."

-- I understand your difficulty, but thats because non-duality can never be adequately conceptuallized. Non-duality is not "known" as an object of knowledge. In a sense, non-duality can only be known by itself, by non-duality. This is what is termed as "Self-knowledge". But that term can be misleading as well.

On this subject, I suggest that you read/study Sri Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta. That will give better understanding.

"In any event, its not possible to recognise nonduality in the 'knowing' sense defined in your moon analogy (i.e. an obervable phenomenon by physical human senses)."

-- That analogy was no meant to be taken literally. The point was simply that the moon is quite visible and can be seen directly, whereas the (blind) man who has not yet seen the moon only merely believes in the existence of the moon.

"So imo the question remains, how is such a nonduality known as opposed to merely believed?"

-- That is a good question. Non-duality is not "known" as an object of sense perception. Non-duality is obvious, but not via sense perception, nor via the duality of mind. Non-duality knows itself, by itself, as there is no OTHER (to know it).

"Personally, I believe in Socratic Ignorance that us humans don't really 'know' much; we only believe, suspect and think."

-- That may indeed be more or less true.

"The closest we come to knowing is how objectively verifiable a belief is, but this is far removed a sort of hazily-defined 'knowing' of nonduality."

-- It seems "hazily-defined" only because of the way in which you are approaching it. Non-duality can never be grasped by the mind... the mind which, by its very nature, is duality. The mind is all duallity. And duality cannot comprehend non-duality.

That probably sounds rather paradoxical to you, but thats the best I can explain it in words.... which is still rather poorly.

Sri Ramana and Nisargadatta will shed more light on this issue.

And better yet... I recommend reading Huang Po.

the elephant,

Seems you a zen follower, i'd like to pick your brain on this at some stage too.

Tucson,

I'm trying to establish why some concepts are supposedly capable of being 'known' as opposed to merely 'believed'.

Your moon analogy is supposed to represent the concept of 'direct seeing', by which nonduality is supposedly recognised or known. However, it involves an observable phenomena (i.e. the moon), just as the shabd is purportedly an obersevable phenomena. Nonduality is not a phenomena and thus is non-observable, which means it is not capable of being 'known' as per the moon analogy, while the shabd is.

If the moon analogy cannot be directly interpreted then its not much of an analogy, since it requires a subjective kind of interpretation, which is not very useful at simplifying something at all.

tAo,

A) I realise nonduality does not mean the same thing as shabd. Instead i am examining the proposition that nonduality can be 'known' as opposed to merely believed (like the shabd). I dispute this.

C) "So, contrary to your assertion, shabd most definitely is observable via physical human senses".
--- Fine. Exactly, so if shabd is a humanly observable phenomenon (lights or sounds) like the moon, it can be known; whereas nonduality cannot. Nonduality can only be conceptualised. The satsangis 'faith' in the 'power' of the shabd or other RS concepts is completely different from the actual phenomenonal experience itself, which you've said is humanly observable.

I struggle to see how statements like "Non-duality knows itself, by itself" are anything more then mere unsupported statements perilously close to dogma.

But I think buried amongst all the above is exactly the sort of substance i seek and its where you say:

"Non-duality can (may) be understood or comprehended (known or realized) via intellect or higher mind (buddhi)."

This goes to the heart and guts of it.
1) How does the intellect purport to know nonduality?
2) How does the buddhi purport to know nonduality?

Hi George,

I would not qualify myself as a Zen follower. I like and recognize some affinities with the narratives of Dogen and Hakuin. But I am highly critical of many aspects of the Zen tradition. In particular, the incapacity at the time, and the unwillingness afterwards of its western communauties to address clear flaws (like abuses of power whether related to sex or not) and insufficiencies during the coming of the Zen to the West. But that is to expected from any religious tradition.

Tucson: As far as what the Elephant said, if I understand correctly, I agree 100%. His view does not "compete" with mine but rather embellishes it. Thank you.

What the hell does that mean :) As I described earlier. Tucson rarely goes beyond the comfort of his few narratives. He simply disengages with a contrived nonchalance.

Jayme,

Nicely explained in your comment above especially as in: “The science (or knowledge) is in the observer having the subjective experience”.

Enjoyed watching “Change your mind Change your brain” with Matthieu Ricard, heard him speak when he visited a nearby Meditation Centre in May 2008. Liked what he said about being in the presence of someone who emanates peace and loving kindness being helpful and also good to be reminded of the fact of the training and cultivating aspect and how to be skillful which is necessary to change the habits of our mind. Also cultivating more spaciousness in the mind and instead of being so involved with self to concentrate on compassion and loving kindness which are the most positive of the emotions.

He also spoke of having the need to identify with something to accomplish in life to find a deep sense of fulfillment to what really matters and to find the way to do it.

Roger,

I’ve been thinking about the question you asked in a previous thread and what comes to mind is that much emphasis has been expressed here about Sant Mat being called a Science of the Soul.

This path is also called Surat Shabd Yoga. Quoting from my handy Sant Mat definitions book:

Surat means: soul; consciousness; inner attention. As consciousness in the body is due to the presence of the soul, hence the soul is also called surat.

Shabd: Audible life stream; sound current. The creative power, the source of all creation, which manifests as sound and light in the spiritual regions.

Yoga: Literally, union.

Surat Shabd Yoga: The practice of joining the Surat with the Shabd and merging with it; once the soul merges into the Shabd it is carried by the Shabd to its source.

I hope the current Master doesn’t mind me stating these things here but I think they are easily found anyway and in the Seekers’ Guide is says to “perhaps browse through ‘critics’ views’ on the Internet”, which I think is very open minded.

I have heard that he has people monitoring these sites so I’ll just say: Hi, hope I’m not doing anything wrong here, with love… :)

Hi Brian, you might get cross if you think its too preachy but you can always delete…

the elephant,

oh right, will try and read something on those two you have suggested.

tAo,

Those three sages (Ramana, Nisargadatta, Huang Po) appear to have in common is a recognition the importance of 'self-realization' and 'non-duality'.

This seems to be at the base of many mystic traditions including RS. Though the above all apear to shun guru teaching, they all appear to either have had masters or believed bhakti (devotional) yoga might help.

Forgetting about the mechanical tenets unique to each particlar path, I see huge overlaps in the fundamental underlying doctrines and I wonder if at base they are not merely all just manifestations of the same experience or recognition, but expressed differently.

George,

You say, “This seems to be at the base of many mystic traditions including RS. Though the above all apear to shun guru teaching, they all appear to either have had masters or believed bhakti (devotional) yoga might help.”

There has been an ongoing discussion on this forum as to whether RS is a “science”. In my comment above I used an alternative name for RS because it is also a yoga practice and sometimes called a path of bhakti (devotion).

Jen

Yes, i dont know if either the shabd or nonduality are scientific in that they would require objective evidence to be so.

Instead, the shabd and nonduality, appear to be different concepts, both of which are known subjectively (not objectively).

It was just that i read up on those sages tAo suggested and there seems to be alot of overlaps with other mystic traditions who place emphases on direct experience and self-realization and some sort of union or oneness. Tho these concepts are subtly differnt in each tradition or philosophy, one wonder if they are just slightly different manifestations of the same subjective experience some individuals have had and try to subsequently conceptualise imperfectly.

George

I think "spiritual science" is on par with a social science but it is a science. There are "spiritual facts" which are mostly subjective but do have some objective quality to them. However, I don't think these personal experiences are very meaningful to others except as interesting stories and it is a common mistake to get stuck taking the story of others for one's own experience - imo. I find that the occasional harshness of this blog can be cathartic in cracking bad ideas about ones indoctrination story versus ones own story tested through experience. Science is the same way. Any scientific theory (spiritual, social, physical, or otherwise) presented should be treated with healthy skepticism.

I see a lot of overlap between traditions too. I like the "here and now" story because it cuts through all the conceptual garbage.

Respects,

The elephant complained: "What the hell does that mean :) As I described earlier. Tucson rarely goes beyond the comfort of his few narratives. He simply disengages with a contrived nonchalance."

--Please tell me how do you know my nonchalance is contrived? Perhaps such an attitude would be a contrivance for you and thus you transfer this attitude to me? What's up with you? I finally agree with you and you're still not happy. You take me far too seriously considering that you insinuate I'm a naive idiot. Then why bother with me? How is a naive idiot ever to comprehend your lofty observations? It's a waste of time...you know, pearls before swine.

Look, I just try to explain what I experience, no big deal. Take it or leave it, but why take offence as you seem to do? Does this not reflect more poorly on you than me?

Unlike some commenters who speak based on the experience and authority of others, I actually experience what I try to describe or point to. This is not belief for me although it may seem to be hogwash to others. That's ok. I "see" as the unidentified, not in every moment, but often. This is really quite ordinary and nothing special. It is the natural state.

Dear tucson, take a long breath here my friend. I just briefly described your evasive reply and referencing it to something relevant I wrote previously ... Interesting and funny, this time the dynamic I outlined previously went the other way around.

"you dismissed me and my questionings by first, consistently going for the
personal jugular, and thereby avoiding the issues, and when it became clear
that your personal attacks were ineffective you simply dropped from the
exchanges on the pretense that 'it was getting too serious' and 'we needed
to chill out'." (The elephant, May 31, 2009 at 04:21 PM)

This time the order was reversed. First disengagement then character attacks. Was the reversal meant fool anybody? :) Still the same old same nonetheless ...

Tucson: Please tell me how do you know my nonchalance is contrived?

The elephant: I would say it is an educated opinion that has not deceived
me so far, and actually help me to forsee the nature of your responses with
great accuracy. I would be an idiot to let go of this view for yours: "OK.
I don't think I deliberately intended to go for the jugular or to avoid
issues." (Tucson May 31) Mine has worked just fine so far while your personal assessment of yourself would have led to more dissonances because of the apparent and profound disconnect between your stated intentions and your actual expressions ...

Tucson: Perhaps such an attitude would be a contrivance for you and thus
you transfer this attitude to me?
The elephant: Come on :) .. Are you 10 year old? I guess, based on your
naive logic, a jury who declares guilty someone accused of some crime must
be him/herself guilty of the same crime (whether the
accused is guilty or not) ... please ... Let us not go in these infantile
and new age circularities ... but I guess it is much easier to adopt such narrative than actualy discuss each others' comments.

Tucson: "What's up with you? I finally agree with you and you're still not happy."

The elephant: How do you agree with me? Some of the experiences and statements you have expressed on this blog are inconsistent with that of
based on the mapping offered by Kim. I was simply trying to explore the inconsistencies. But your reply
did not leave any room for that. And if you really cannot realize the
nature of these inconsistencies then perhaps after all you are an idiot,
nothing wrong with that. If you cannot take disagreement or discuss your
'experiences' (as opposed to blabber them ad infinitum) it is not my fault
...


Tucson: "This is not belief for me although it may seem to be hogwash to
others. That's ok. I "see" as the unidentified, not in every moment, but
often. This is really quite ordinary and nothing special. It is the natural
state. "

Again, this is not what my comments were about. Again, you fall back to your narratives although they were not immediately of concern. As I said, you rarely,
either with George or myself, leave the comfort of your opinions and
personal experiences. No wonder you believe in/cherish them with so much
conviction!

the elephant,

All I can say is that you seem to be reflecting yourself to yourself.

The first idea of 'I' illusorily colors everything that follows it. So, only the absolute apperception of being prior to the 'I' thought will remove all this BS. When reposing AS you are, prior to all and nothing, then concepts are annihilated, and all this pettiness with tucson and your imagined self, will be resolved.

The only thing that isn't conceptual is THIS. All I am saying is throw out concepts and ideas which only lead to more concepts and ideas. "Seeing" doesn't require an explanation of any sort except maybe the pointing to the very core and "seeing" that THIS is reality.

George said above that various sages seem to stress the importance of self-realization, but they probably don't think it is important because there is no self to realize. It is just that various imagined 'selves' go to sages thinking that it is important just so the sages can tell them that it isn't!

All this feuding about concepts in an attempt to create a 'true' concept is fruitless except as a mental game. It will never yield 'understanding'. The issue is what we ARE which doesn't require knowledge of how IT functions. IT just IS prior to all this.

Even though we want to improve or understand, the only 'seeing' is that there is not now, nor will there ever be, a way out of THIS. You can never become what you already are. There is no answer except THIS without a second.

We try to make it a process. There is no process. THIS is the real thing and was never touched by anything conceptual or anything sensorial because IT is prior to all that. We are what we always have been and the rest is just a skit.

In the absence of ideas, processes and goals one remains as they are, an emptiness in which we can't say we are or are not. We exist without an idea or perception of anything objective, yet we remain as we are even when the 'I' no longer exists. There's nothing more to say when this emptiness or void is the immediate and ideas are discarded.

Now back to setting up the monday morning pork belly trade.

I have to agree 100 percent with every word and point in Tucson's post of June 07, 2009 at 04:59 PM. I haven't else to say other than right-on.

The elephant... well you know, the elephant is merely playing intellectual mind and ego games (as always).... and that has been obvious for quite sometime.

On the other hand, George is honest and serious, and is sincerely seeking clarity and objectivity and intellectual rigor.

Now Brian, well he says that he doesn't comprehend non-duality... but then, no one does. Not teally. I certainly don't either. I deeply understand the concept, but there is no actual "knowing" of non-duality. There is no one apart from THAT (or THIS) who is able to know. There is no "knowing" of non-duality. Who is there to know? What is there to know? There can be, and there is, only being non-duality... only BEING.

And not only that, but I am much more of an 'achintya-beda-abeda-tattva' (inconceivable simultaneous oneness and difference) kinda guy anyway.

Listen... yes please listen to my old friend R.D., who says...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxtLbCtsADs

Jayme and Jen,

Thanks for your responses.

You stated,

"The science (or knowledge) is in the observer having the subjective experience. This can be objectified through continued study of neural and biological sciences concerning the mental and physical mechanisms of the "spiritual experiences" that come from practice. By this definition, spiritual practice and experiences may be conceptualized and become known objectively because they exist within a conceptual presently unknown but eventually knowable domain."

and

"Surat Shabd Yoga: The practice of joining the Surat with the Shabd and merging with it; once the soul merges into the Shabd it is carried by the Shabd to its source."

---Well, I was hoping for a simple description of the "Science" of the Soul.
However, I shall work with the statement, above by Jayme. Nothing wrong with the statement.
---Within, the "Surat Shabd" yoga, is there mention of the spiritual experiences being
"objectified" through continued study of neural and biological sciences concerning the mental and physical mechanisms of the "spiritual experiences" that come from practice?
---While I have no background in the SantMat teachings, is there mention of any objective study thru neural and biological sciences?

"By this definition, spiritual practice and experiences may be conceptualized and become known objectively because they exist within a conceptual presently unknown but eventually knowable domain."

---The "knowable" domain is domain of what? The brain? If so, there are examples of some satsangi that possess this knowledge, from the domain of their brain?
Thanks for a clarification.

"I have heard that he has people monitoring these sites so I’ll just say: Hi, hope I’m not doing anything wrong here, with love… :)"

---Jen, I LUV ya to death, but this statement is not good.

Best wishes,
Roger


Dear Jayme,
There is an excellent book on the brain and meditation.It is called
"The Blissful Brain by
Dr Shanida Nataraja".It would appear the areas of the brain involved in both active and passive meditation have been nicely documented.Out of interest sant mat meditation is both active and passive.Mantra meditation is considered active.Listening to the shabd could be passive.
After reading the book the question for me still remains viz.
if it is the brain initiating meditation or is there an awareness doing the initiating.Neuroscience today would say brain.I would say to our dear neuroscientists dont be to sure about that conclusion.Keep an open mind.
I would be happy to hear other peoples ideas about this
Regards
Obed

tAo, Ram Dass' words are poetic and appealing, but they don't have much substance behind them. Sure, it'd be nice if the mind -- mine and yours -- was eternal, uncreated, and all that.

But as I've noted before, every person who has made this claim has done so while using their physical human brain. The experience of empty vast luminosity occurs while embodied, alive as an animal of flesh and blood.

So absent evidence that human consciousness is separable from materiality, it's difficult to view poetic statements like the You Tube video, no matter how well stated they are, as reflecting reality.

Guess I don't see the difference between religions positing an immortal soul, and Ram Dass positing pretty much the same thing.

It's good advice to "look inside your own mind." But if what is experienced there is produced by the physical brain, as seems to be the case, Ram Dass' metaphysics lack a foundation in reality.

Hopefully, there is a Santmat description of what the "Science" of the Soul is.

Surat Shabd yoga could be a practice or tool used within this "Science" of the Soul.

If the "Soul" is the scientist, in the scientific exploration of the astral regions thru the sound current, this would be ok. Further, the "Soul" would engage in this scientific process through a non-conceptual non-mental process, agreed upon by Jen. The "Soul" is engaged in a spiritual (scientific) experience, originating from it's scientific journey. With this said, is there a way to explain the mechanism as to how this Soul scientific experience is objectified into One's domain of their brain? This domain of One's brain could be considered the human consciousness?

Thanks for any further clarifications.

Roger


Tucson: "All I can say is that you seem to be reflecting yourself to yourself."
Tucons: "Perhaps such an attitude would be a contrivance for you and thus you transfer this attitude to me?"

--Tucson, you have a great attitude, which can basically be summarized as: "When it fits me, I can always be right because every criticism I may receive is simply an insufficiency or inconsistency that pertains to and reflects who criticizes me."
Again, I guess if someone see the child of someone else throwing a fit -- (s)he must be projecting her/his own fit ... Very immature attitude ... I have seen it in many gurus and abusers ...

I guess if you would be right then tAo would have some soul searching to do as what he says here must reflect on him
" The elephant... well you know, the elephant is merely playing intellectual mind and ego games (as always).... and that has been obvious for quite sometime."


Tucson: "Some readers here have difficulty with my concept of no 'thing'. It seems to irritate them and elicits sarcastic responses."

--I did not make myself the distinction between realizational and instrumental views. And your rambling clearly reflects what Kim labeled instrumental. I just wanted to explore the differences between views. You are missing the points of my interventions big time ... but if your stories help you to navigate this board and sleep at night ... That is fine.

Tucson: "Now back to setting up the monday morning pork belly trade."
--As I said several times on this habit of yours, only 'uncool' kids need to tell others about how cool they are. Any EXPRESSED lack of concerns expresses a necessity which involves a certain concern.

--All the rambling in your previous post are claims pertaining to the "instrumental" view of discriminative thinking and language, I just wanted to explore this issue and constrast with "the realizational" view, nothing more. But you are obviously uninterested. Rambling is your only venue ... That is fine.


tAo: yesterday: "On the other hand, George is honest and serious, and is sincerely seeking clarity and objectivity and intellectual rigor."'

tAo only a few months back:
"And George (the individual who agrees with Ashy) is totally mistaken and mislead."
Posted by: tAo | April 01, 2009 at 03:28 AM

"So, for all your supposed great scientific knowledge, you really aren't very well informed."

"George, it is YOU who are the intolerant one. But you don't see that yet, because you are so full of yourself. You don't know anything about me George. "
"The bottom-line is: George, you are bringing a rather bad crappy vibe to this forum. Your personally derogatory remarks (especially towards me) are cheap and sleazy, and more importantly they have no basis in fact. And also, your continued irrational and unfounded defense and support of what is obvious fundamentalist rhetoric and dogma, indicates that you are probably another troll."
(Posted by: tAo | April 20, 2009 at 12:06 PM)

--We can all see that tAo is a great and consistent judge of character :) I need to be careful otherwise he may soon change his mind and decides that I am great ...

As alike as two fools in a pod ...


the elephant,

LOL, no need to bring that exchange up, we all said things that were just plain crap. I did go through a very intolerant deogatory period there, which i am not proud of.

This was a very interesting discussion for me, including your views, i believe there is something to all the mystic traditions and the most sophisticated of spiritual beliefs like advaita, but i would call all of them, including science, "belief systems".

I do not believe any human being knows or will ever know the absolute truth. There certainly is mystery in the gaps, to use Dawkins analogy, and it makes sense that this is where a god or something else ineffable would lie, nevertheless such is the sheer magnitude and complexity of the universe my belief is that there will always remain something beyond human comprehension.

Roger,

Just chuckling about my “not good statement”. Probably I am aware of the satsangis reading this blog and feel I need to be accurate and precise in what I say and also careful not to go too overboard with my comments. Hopefully people have a sense of humor and see where I am coming from which is probably more from the heart cause my knowledge of the brain is not that extensive! So… over to Jayme for a more thorough explanation to your questions… always interesting.

Brian,

I agree. I was not presenting that reading as any sort of substance or evidence or claim or as reflecting reality. I just threw that out as a bit of 'food for thought'. No big deal.

I quite agree that everything that we suppose or experience only "occurs while embodied, alive as an animal of flesh and blood".

It wasn't Ram Dass' words or Ram Dass' metaphysics. He was simply reading from The Book of the Great Liberation.

----------------------------------------

Roger,

You said: "Hopefully, there is a Santmat description of what the "Science" of the Soul is."

-- Well there is... its called the teaching of Santmat aka shabd yoga.

"Surat Shabd yoga could be a practice or tool used within this "Science" of the Soul."

-- I don't think you understand. This is a simple thing. For prposes of appealing to a wider western audience, RS now also refers to Santmat as "the Science of the Soul". Its just another cute label. There is really nothing "scientific" about it though.

"in the scientific exploration of the astral regions thru the sound current, this would be ok."

-- Again, there is no actual science in it at all. You have been suckered by hype.

"the "Soul" would engage in this scientific process through a non-conceptual non-mental process, agreed upon by Jen."

-- There is no actual "scientific process" to it at all. And Jen is but a believer in RS mysticism.

"The "Soul is engaged in a spiritual (scientific) experience"

-- Huh? A "spititual experience" is not a "scientific experience".

"from it's scientific journey"

-- There is no "scientific journey" there at all. The journey in Santmat mysticism is but a conjecture.

"is there a way to explain the mechanism as to how this Soul scientific experience is objectified into One's domain of their brain?"

-- It is not a "scientific experience" at all. And it is all in and of the brain as far as we know.

"This domain of One's brain could be considered the human consciousness?"

-- As far as we now know, as far as the evidence nows shows, consciousness is entirely of, and dependent upon, the brain. There is as yet no proof that consciousness is independent of the brain.


the elephnt,

You are clearly stuck in the past. You need to get up to speed. George and I have buried the hatchet some time ago, so why are YOU trying to dig it up again? You are just showing that my observation of you is quite true... your trip is all about playing intellectual mind and ego games. Its time to wake up, and give up that game.


tAo,

Don’t know about “Jen is but a believer in RS mysticism”… maybe just having a kind of ‘intuitive’ response to the mystical side of life?

the Elephant,

I am simply not going to continue with the personal stuff you have raised. Regarding philosophical matters, I have trouble understanding what you say sometimes and thus my responses are not very thorough or what you would like. It may be your phrasing or style, but sometimes you don't make sense. Could be my fault. Maybe your subtleties are are just too vague for me or something like that. I don't know. This is not a criticism. I am just trying to get on a more productive track.
In the future if you wish to address some of my remarks in simple terms I will try to respond as best I can.

OK Jen, fair enough... Just as long as we don't go assuming that your "intuitive" and/or "mystical" is somehow taken for being hard objective facts and substantial proof.... which unfortunately is what many so-called believers and intuiters (of mysticism) tend to want to do.

I, like you, have my own deeply intuitive side. I have experienced lots of especially profound mystical type stuff. But unlike believers, I don't go on to claim that those expereinces are solid evidence or proof of any of it being ultimately real and universal.

So in that perspective, I'm quite OK with your "intuitive response".


I know what you mean tAo and I like that you have an intuitive side and enjoy when you relate the experiences you have had. As you say intuitive and mystical experiences can’t be taken as solid evidence or proof and I don’t get too carried away, have to keep my feet on the ground so to speak.

George,

In reference to tAo's post concerning Egg McMuffins and McDonald's stock

Posted by: tAo | June 05, 2009 at 04:49 PM

I don't know. (buy low sell high)

However, I will relate an experiment I conducted on myself recently. I was following the vegetarian diet very closely for about 5+ years. I was not feeling right after a few years on the strict lacto-vegetarian diet. I'm not a good cook and perhaps there is a better way to go about achieving a good healthy lacto-vegetarian diet but I wanted to experiment. I think Roger offered the advice "go suck and egg" to someone else seeking church of the churchless advice at the time. Well, I tried it (eating, not sucking) and my sleep patterns changed. My dreams changed from a dark dreamless often restless but good sleep to a heavy restful sleep and eventually dreams started up again. Now my thinking has become very active. (Unfortunately, its the same mind I left before I went on the vegetarian diet. lol)

From this experiment, it has become clear to me that there is definitely a noticable difference in my brain function while eating a lacto-vegetarian diet versus a ovo-vegetarian diet.

(An interesting side note is that I also noticed that I started smelling wet chicken feathers when breathing through my nose.)

I am still primarily a lacto-vegetarian but in tAo's comment there is a very interesting point about what the brain does when not functioning "normally." (I am not certain that being "normal" is being right as foods do affect how one perceives the world.)

In case you haven't seen this - Brian has posted this about Jill Bolte Taylor on brain damage and the "spiritual experience."

http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html

Jen and Jayme,

So, would it be proper to state that there is no "Science" in the Science of the Soul?

Likewise, is Surat Shabd yoga a practice that involves no science?

Reply, in your own words, just looking for your understanding on this specific topic.

There is no need for me to be suckered into or out of anything. Understanding, someone's meaning or interpretation, is what I was after.

Roger

Roger,

If science is a system, technique or practice, then if we are given a method by which we do our own research and our own experiment we then, through whatever we experience in the inner regions of soul will either prove or disprove the hypotheses of experiencing observable phenomenon within.

In that science is a method of repetition conducted by many people there is the possibility of limitations. The scientific process requires the experiment to be repeated, however because an observer conducts the experiment, this observer can affect the experiment and it is possible but not probable that everyone will have exactly the same results.

The difficulty is that we are attempting to progress above our own limited minds and most people approach scientific observations using their mind. Science of the soul is not specifically a science of the mind and this is why people have problems and struggle with making any progress at times… myself included.

But that’s not to say that as one attunes oneself to this process that we can then start to understand the construction of our own particular reality beyond the physical and therefore it gives us strength of conviction to continue on what we feel is the right path.

Jen,

I really don't know very much about the brain at all except it does seem to have many practical uses :)
------------
Obed,

Thank you. I'll put "The Blissful Brain by Dr Shanida Nataraja" on my reading list. I believe you are correct but I still have much to unlearn.
-------------
Roger,

These are my opinions and do not reflect the RSSB literature which doesn't concern itself with proving anything objectively or materially outside the guru-disciple relationship. From this perspective, the surat shabd practice as supposedly practiced by RSSB cannot be a science applicable to those outside the guru-disciple relationship because it is not open to feedback. The scientific method simply includes feedback from others. I don't know if a single guru counts as a legitimate source of corrective feedback if there are thousands of disciples. However, this doesn't mean the sound current phenomena isn't available to a differnt school of thought that is more willing to participate in broadly accessible studies.

I don't think it is a yes and no answer. It depends on the perspective.

I think there is no individual Soul. Like the onion example - one can keep stripping away the layers but one never finds the core (soul).

A practitioner of Surat Shabd Yoga can apply the scientific method to the hypothesis of "guiding one's soul back home" but after stripping away the layers of ego, the practitioner dissolves (no spirit, no soul, no self, no home): nothing except this. It is all a fiction and so the theory, once realized through experience, is moot. So there is no science of the soul because there is no soul and no home to which it can go. But there IS a "science of the soul" if one continues seeking a hypothetical "soul" and a hypothetical "home" in which to put that soul. But, the individual soul and its home are fictions. For example - one can pose the hypothesis that the pineal gland is the seat of the soul. This may be testable as the core of our consciousness. One can pose that when the rational mind that is active throughout the higher brain centers is quieted through the surat shabd practice that the awareness "turns inward" away from the body and worldly thought centers in the brain and "returns home" to a lowest functioning non-thinking energy state within the brain which still has conscious awareness. Hypothetically this could be the pineal gland. I don't know that this is true but there may be ways of testing the inner experiences against outer data to establish some kind of theory.

For a subjective experience, the sound phenomena do appear to be loosely repeatable (though unpredictable) in arrival. I don't know if there have been any objective experiments conducted on a surat shabd yoga practitioner. Obed pointed out the book title that may offer some data about how these subjective experiences can produce objective data for scientific theory building. The video links I provide above provide some objective data about the meditative state.

Because I am not an adept, I can't speak to many of the experiences of surat shabd yoga but do think these may be similar to other hallucinatory states. Again, the objective of surat shabd yoga is not these experiences but that these are only guideposts to "peeling away the layers" to find that this (here and now) is all there is.

Because I think the sound and light are experienced through the brain, I think there are physical phenomena associated with them. I couldn't for the life of me tell you why anyone would think to switch off their brain in the first place. Perhaps this is what Obed is alluding to.

I have many opinions but after learning more about other ways of thinking about this problem of the "soul" I would recommend almost any you choose - even atheism if you wish.

Anyway, this is what I think today.

Regards,

Jen,

"In that science is a method of repetition conducted by many people there is the possibility of limitations. The scientific process requires the experiment to be repeated, however because an observer conducts the experiment, this observer can affect the experiment and it is possible but not probable that everyone will have exactly the same results."

---I can see the need to determine the reproduceablity of an experiment. The scientific method would require this, to validate the stated objective result or data. Repeating an experiment over and over, where the results are different, again and again, would not validate a particular experimental finding, result, etc. So, I would say reproduceability is the word, not repeatablity.


Jayme,

"A practitioner of Surat Shabd Yoga can apply the scientific method to the hypothesis of "guiding one's soul back home" but after stripping away the layers of ego, the practitioner dissolves (no spirit, no soul, no self, no home): nothing except this. It is all a fiction and so the theory, once realized through experience, is moot. So there is no science of the soul because there is no soul and no home to which it can go. But there IS a "science of the soul" if one continues seeking a hypothetical "soul" and a hypothetical "home" in which to put that soul. But, the individual soul and its home are fictions."

---So, there would be no astral planes and final Sach Kand for the Soul to transverse. In addition, no Soul is present, other than in One's mind. Jen, do you agree with this?

Thanks for your replies,
Roger

Roger,

Conceptually, yes, there would be no astral planes or Sach Khand because these are conceptual regions of experience - even if Sach Khand is imperishable. During the practice of stilling the mind, the mind is said to return to third spiritual region "above the astral region" (Trikuti). The Soul is said to lose individuated identity at the fourth region (Sohang), and dissolve in the fifth region (Sach Khand). I think there is nothing but Self once the "soul" identifies with everything. Sach Khand is the "end of the journey" in Sant Mat but in order to realize that there is no Sach Khand is beyond the claims of the Sant Mat teaching and cannot exist as a subject of scientific analysis.

I am not a master and so I don't know. These are only my concepts as best as I can piece them together from my small understanding.

Roger,

I suppose the soul, Sach Khand and the path are all concepts, just words used to describe the inner journey and we are probably quite limited by our brain in its understanding of such. If we are engaging within in a “science of things transcending what is physical or natural” it will be as a journey of discovery, slowly absorbing a different reality in many ways whilst still functioning here in our physical reality.

Yes I believe in soul, though my understanding is limited, just another word perhaps for light and sound, the creative energy that resides within all living beings. I think mind is more to do with consciousness and soul is more about awareness and life force and they are different energies working in conjunction while we are here in the physical form.

Just my thoughts...

Jen,

Your phrase "the inner journey" is yet another concept. It presumes that there really exists such a thing as an "inner journey".

In my view, I don't see that there is any such journey. Reality simply is as it is. There is no "inner" journey to anywhere. There is nowhere else to get to. Rather, I see it as simply waking up... waking up out of the dream, the illusion that any "journey" is needed. Reality is always here and now, not anywhere else.

This "journey" then, is really only as you call it "a journey of discovery". Which means that it is not an actual journey TO anywhere, but rather merely like a finding or a discovering or a waking up to what is always already the case, here and now.... THIS.

"slowly absorbing a different reality in many ways whilst still functioning here in our physical reality."

-- Im sorry but I don't believe in this idea that there is "a different reality"... somewhere apart, somewhere beyond, somewhere else.

"Yes I believe in soul" [...] just another word perhaps for light and sound, the creative energy that resides within all living beings."

-- Huh? Sonnds like you are confusing terms.

That which you describe as "light and sound, the creative energy that resides within all living beings" is referred to as the shabd/naam.

And the "soul" on the other hand, is generally referred to in eastern philosophy as the atman, or more specifically the jiva-atman - the individual soul.

"I think mind is more to do with consciousness and soul is more about awareness and life force"

-- That is not how it is generally differentiated. Awareness is simply pure cognition. Consciousness is more like awareness with content. And life force is prana - force or kinetic energy - and is associated with the breath.


tAo,

You say, “In my view, I don't see that there is any such journey. Reality simply is as it is. There is no "inner" journey to anywhere. There is nowhere else to get to. Rather, I see it as simply waking up... waking up out of the dream, the illusion that any "journey" is needed. Reality is always here and now, not anywhere else.”

It would be great to wake up out of the dream, the illusion and I am trying to get my head around this so-called “reality” as being all there is. I suppose you are talking about a direct connection, which I should imagine has to happen spontaneously and cannot be sought. I don’t think I can be happy with things as they are in this world, there is so much suffering, so maybe this is the reality I am avoiding.

Jen,

Your thoughts are OK. Think the way you feel most comfortable. You are living your life.

You stated,

"It would be great to wake up out of the dream, the illusion and I am trying to get my head around this so-called “reality” as being all there is."

---IMO, don't get caught up in terms like "waking up" or "getting my head around" something.
---Why spend time trying to find this so-called "reality" as "all" there is?
---Your life and your thoughts should be yours. Enjoy life and your daily awareness, there of. Believe in what you want to believe in.

Best wishes,
Roger

p.s. - Be careful believing in anything that is "my" opinion.

Jen,

"I am trying to get my head around this so-called “reality” as being all there is. I suppose you are talking about a direct connection, which I should imagine has to happen spontaneously and cannot be sought."

-- Not exactly. Awakening does seem to happen spontaneously. But there is nothing to "get my [your] head around". Reality is simply that which IS.... that which is always already the case. But perhaps the word "reality" is not the best term to use.

"I don’t think I can be happy with things as they are in this world, there is so much suffering, so maybe this is the reality I am avoiding."

-- You have misunderstood what I said. These "things as they are in this world" (ie: the realm of events, duality, samsara, and suffering) is not the "reality" that I had indicated. The "reality" simply means Existence or Being, and Consciousness... that which is always already the case. Not simply worldly events or phenomena or conditions.


Dear Roger and tAo,

I shall have to try to explain my own particular driving force in this life. I resonate very much with the Buddha’s story. I look around and see tremendous suffering, everything going through the cycle of being born, growing old, becoming ill and then dying. We come into the world, we learn and grow, we have families, children who be become so attached to and then we have to leave again, and then come back again and do it all over again (samsara).

For some people its about enjoying life, being happy and/or its about power, prestige, control and accumulation of possessions. For the very poor and suffering it’s a constant struggle for survival.

My strongest inner drive and essence is that somehow I know there is much more than this, I know I have experienced it and now have to learn the lessons of letting go so that I can become that again.

Many buddhists become recluses and go on meditation retreats for years and if there was nothing to gain why would they do it? In RS we are told not to run away to forests and caves and monasteries but to be in the world and not of the world. This is probably far more difficult because we abide in a jungle just as fierce contending with others who have an entirely different mindset, except for a few close loved ones.

--- tAo, you said “These "things as they are in this world" (ie: the realm of events, duality, samsara, and suffering) is not the "reality" that I had indicated. The "reality" simply means Existence or Being, and Consciousness... that which is always already the case. Not simply worldly events or phenomena or conditions.”

I understand the Oxherd story, where we do this chase after something elusive and eventually come back to where we originally started, but by then we have changed and can understand that which we are.

Where I am in this scenario? Still chasing maybe or had some glimpses, almost catching up and riding my power at times but still not quite there yet. Maybe just continuing on to struggle, to strive and to long for is where I am still right now and that’s okay. This realization of just being and knowing, this awakening will just happen when the time is right.

"Many buddhists become recluses and go on meditation retreats for years and if there was nothing to gain why would they do it?"

--Because they don't know any better?

... and I suppose tucson knows better?

Nothing wrong with it, but unnecessary. However, be a recluse if you like. By all means continue! What will be must be. So even though I'm right, I'm wrong because those who must formally meditate will formally meditate. But at some point it will be seen that they are meditation and there is no going to it or away from it.

thats okay tucson, you're a cool guy... no probs... we all do our own thing

to continue:

What appears disappears, but you're that within which everything appears and disappears. This is meditation for which no effort is needed. You don't have to make an effort to be what you are. Anything that requires special effort can't be it. What you are is simple and effortless. There is nothing to transform except the idea there is something to transform.

That which you are never made an effort and never will. Everything happens on its own. Whatever makes an effort is only appearance and not what you really are. Everything happens on its own, comes and goes on its own. Who, then can make an effort or has anything to do?

Hi tucson,

So, to continue… I wake up in the morning from an unconscious state, my mind starts to think, I observe the day and think to myself I don’t feel like meditating so have a coffee, switch on the computer and read the comments on this site.

Always been a bit Zen, so I understand impermanence because each day there seems to be a different kind of awakening consciousness, different feelings. I watch my mind and how it likes to think… perhaps it’s feeling a bit concerned, things to “do” not wanting to just “be”.

Isn’t this is where meditation is necessary? To find that inner still space and to get used to that different kind of consciousness? I also understand how you say that “no effort is needed” and then my mind says, but there also has to be an initial conscious effort… whilst meditation is supposedly an effortless effort… at the same time I now think maybe living in a heightened consciousness is also a kind of meditation.

I also like that “You don't have to make an effort to be what you are” and “There is nothing to transform except the idea there is something to transform”. Probably I’m too much of a fix things type of person, striving and working on myself, but will let this “just being” settle inside now… just allowing and not resisting. Each moment becomes the next so really the journey does continue.

quoting from june 04 10:51am posting by Tucson:

George wrote: "If something is non-conceptual, it means it is uknowable
to the human mind, which means the P3 type is no closer to the
truth than P1, since P3 claims nothing, there is nothing to know."

--I think that is correct. It is not known, but rather recognized intuitively.
P3 simply realizes there is no 'truth' to get closer to or farther away from.
That is, this 'truth' is not any static thing that can be pinned down as
an object known.

MY COMMENT:
P1 and P3 live in different worlds. If you miss this - you will miss the whole
point.

P1 BELIEVES. If he believes strongly he may CREATE his experience and think
it is objective and real. It is not - it cannot be. Why? because any
'experience' is UNREAL - it changes and it has a 'perceiver'.

'Enlightenment' (for want of a better word) is not an experience. There are
no dazzling lights - no Sat Purush to bow down to. No 'thing' to experience.

Understand P3: He does not DISBELIEVE.

BELIEVE and DISBELIEVE are both STATES OF MIND.

If you LIVE in the mind - you will BELIEVE/DIS-BELIEVE. That is all
you know. There is no other state of being.

Now enter P3:

P3 has no interest in BELIEF. Neither is he a believer, nor a
dis-believer.

Belief requires FAITH. A non-believer has no faith.

P3 has nothing to do with either.

P3 lives in a state BEYOND the mind. Hence the MIND (logic)
will not understand. It cannot - it is impossible.

The most the mind can do is understand that it cannot understand.

So then - what do we do? If we cannot understand - then what?

Then you GIVE UP even trying to understand. Give up EFFORT.

Give up seeking - give up the mind.

Now what happens?

Suddenly - in a split second - you realise that you have been
living a FALSE LIFE - INSIDE the MIND.

The MIND DROPS - and NIRVANA appears (don't get hung up on words).

NIRVANA is the ABSENCE of all mind-creations (incl beliefs).

It is a state BEYOND (1) TIME (2) SPACE (3) MIND and (4) EXPERIENCES.

It is not an ATTAINMENT - nothing has been achieved or attained.

Rather the opposite has happened. The desire to attain has disappeared.

Why? because there is nothing to attain or achieve. All attainments and
achievements are mind-creations.

In the state of NO-MIND (another word) there is nothing to DO or ATTAIN.

P3 will never be understood. Why? because it is not a MIND-STATE.

and everyone is trying to understand USING the mind.

Tucson states: No 'answer' will ever be revealed on this blog.

Notice the word 'ever'. It cannot happen because the 'mind' is
trying to understand and it will never happen.

Tucson says: non-duality deconstructs ALL CONCEPTS - EVEN ITSELF.

Understand this and you will get closer to the truth.

Non-Duality is NOT a concept. Nothingness is not a concept.

The mind is trying to grasp - what cannot be grasped.

The moment 'trying' stops - truth dawns.

The answer was here all the time.

Enlightenment is a journey - the destination of which is the realisation
that there was NO JOURNEY in the first place and NOBODY to undertake the
journey.

George goes on to reply:
Thank you for your answers. I can say I have gained no-thing from them,
but in this case, it sounds like a good thing...

If you have gained no-thing - you have gained the only thing worth gaining.

The Buddha himself said he FAILED to find - but in that failing - nirvana
revealed itself.

OshoRobbins,

"I think that is correct. It is not known, but rather recognized intuitively."

--- I take umbrage with 'recognised intuitively' or 'directly realised', etc as somehow implying something beyond mere subjective belief, which i cannot accept for the simple reason that none of these terms describe something which is objectively verifiable. And thus is the same as any subjective mystical experience irrespective of whether it is real or merely a hallucination of the human mind.

"Belief requires FAITH"
--- I believe these are slightly different concepts, but a belief is merely a subjective thought or claim of an individual. For example, P3 believing they've intuitively recognised some state beyond mind. They may well have, but there is no objective evidence to support this. Much like P1 or even adherents to faith-based religions, hence they both remain mere subjective beliefs until evidence to the contrary is provided.

"P3 lives in a state BEYOND the mind."
-- What evidence is there for this, other than a simple unsupported claim? So far as i know the only way humans have experiences, states or awareness of any kind (be it subjective or objective) is as percieved through the human mind, i.e. sensing, thinking or feeling.

The problem with P3 is the same as for P1, they simply have no objective evidence to support their subjective beliefs, whether they are termed as faith, direct realization, intuitive recognition or direct experience of the truth.

Now it might be that P3 is right, but it might alternatively be that P1 is right, or they may both be right or wrong; but none of that is the point. The point is there is no way of objectively judging the validity of any of these respetive beliefs, since they are all merely subjective.

George, you are absolutely correct.

There is no way to objectively come to a conclusion,
simply because you cannot take 'realisation' to a
scientific lab and experiment with it.

It is not a 'thing' and yes - it is subjective.

What 'proof' is there? - there is none.

All proof will require the mind - hence this is impossible.

Strangely enough, P1 will take the same stance.

P1 will say "You have to meditate and then you will get to
Sach Khand."

And if a P1 claims to have arrived, what can anyone else say?

30 years ago I used to follow Thakar Singh (sant mat master)
and I was at his ashram in delhi. Someone said they heard the
sound of bagpipes in meditation. Thakar Singh told him he has
reached Sach Khand.

Everyone just say sat there. Finally I spoke up. "But he cannot
have reached Sach Khand - he has not even left the body or gone
through any regions or met the radiant form within"

Thakar's reply: "It does not matter - part of his soul has
reached Sach Khand."

I could hardly believe my ears. This guy was serious? or was this
some joke. I looked around and everyone just believed him.

This was just total nonsense. What is 'part' of the soul?

This brings me to my point:

You can justify any position at all.

example 2: I had a mic discussion with the present guru
dude at haynes park.

He said: You cannot be realised because you are still in the body.

I was going to say "But so are you." but decided to be more diplomatic.

"You mean - as soon as you get enlightened - you will leave the body?"

"Yes - nothing can keep you here." was the reply.

"Well in that case - who will help the others to reach?" I said.

"They will just help each other." came the reply.

This is the point:

These 'masters' can talk such utter nonsense and nobody is going to say
a thing. They are under a 'spell'.

The 'spell' is called belief. The 'Master' has spoken and it is the truth.

They can no longer think for themselves.

He had just invalidated the fundamental principle of sant mat and nobody even
realised it.

The 'master' is supposed to be realised. Yet he had said that the moment
realization happens - you will die. So no master is really enlightened -
as he will die the moment enlightenment happens.

Sant mat says the master is needed. He had just said that the master is
not enlightened because he is in the body.

P2 lives in BELIEF. And the belief he has is nonsense. He just believes
blindly and hopes that one day it will happen.

Now we come the the fundamental difference between P1 and P3.

P3 does not wait for anything to happen. He is not seeking, waiting or
believing.

There is no 'future' to look forward to. No Sach Khand to reach.

He requires no beliefs, theories, practices, methods, techniques, moral
codes, prayers, meditations, or masters.

He has seen through all the nonsense and stands alone in the here and now.

Nothing to reach, strive for or attain. Just to call it something - I might
choose to call this 'enlightenment'.

It is just a label. But it describes a non-attainment.

Someone said to me recently - "You're not enlightened."

I said - "You are right - but you are speaking from ignorance, because
you think enlightenment is a stage you reach. In truth nobody is
enlightened - the words is just used as a teaching device. It is not
literally true. Some people choose to use it and some don't. It is personal.
Some use 'Nirvana' because nirvana means no-thing - the absence of all things."

You say - P1 might be right and P3 might be right.

I say that P1 cannot be right. Why? because he is dealing with duality.

P1 lives in the mind and mind-constructs - which is all illusion. You can
create any delusion you like within the mind.

P3 is not interested in any delusion - hence no interest in 'experience'.

P3 realises that anything within time and space is an illusion.

Any 'thing' is an illusion. Truth is beyond any 'thing'.

You cannot de-construct what P3 is saying because there is nothing to
de-construct.

P3 is not claiming anything. P3 is not claiming any 'thing'.

He is simply aware there is no 'thing'.

He has no 'spiritual attainment' has not arrived anywhere.

You cannot ask him to prove his claim as he only has a non-claim.

And non-claims do not require proof.


Osho,

Another excellant (above)comment.

"Non-Duality is NOT a concept. Nothingness is not a concept."

---I think we could agree that "Non-duality" or "Nothingness" can be dualistically conceptualized, the more we talk or lecture about the topic. All this talking, posting, commenting can mislead someone into creating a concept of Non-dualism. The more a person talks about Non-dualism, the more someone is going to label that talking person, a Nondualist.
---With that said, nothing wrong with talking, conversing, posting, blogging and any other form of dualistic communication.
---We might agree, a conceptualised discussion of Non-duality could be condensed to say, one fourth a page, single spaced type. Nothing more. Ok, ok, maybe one eighth of a page. Haha.....

Best wishes,
Roger

Osho says it well.

It all comes down to 'this'. 'This' disrobed of any concepts about it to the point where it isn't even an it. Who can show you 'this' or prove it? No one. Yet, here it is more obvious than our breath. See for yourself in between thoughts.

Many meditate to accomplish something something spiritually or to calm down and relax. Meditate if you like but I think it's fruitless. You can't make something better that is already absolutely healthy. Existence has never suffered any lack. You may think there is something in your life that needs improvement, but do you want to define yourself as some little ego that takes itself seriously, thus bringing itself suffering through this identification and who believes it has to endure the world and thus escape it? Meditation with this in mind only reinforces that which it is trying to improve or escape from.

See it as it is. Are you not that which is lightness and harmony when ideas and concepts are let go of?

Osho,

Yes, foregetting about the lab part, there is just no objective evidence for P3 recognition, and they are just as irrefutable (if judged solely on subjective grounds) as those various RS examples you give, which seem quite unreasonable.

"These masters can talk such utter nonsense and nobody is going to say a thing. They are under a spell. The spell is called belief. The Master has spoken and it is the truth."

Those are your subjective beliefs of the RS tradition, just as they subjectively believe their master speaks the truth and just as P3 claims to have an intuituve recognition, all are subjective.

So my problem is a logical one, which is if someone else's beliefs are nonsense, why is not the same standard applied to others subjectively considered to not be nonsense?

You say P3 requires no beliefs, not anthing, since he's simply seen through the nonsense? How has he done this and how do we know he has done this? Is he not just as deluded as the P3 examples you provide in their fundamental-like certainty?

I believe every human being lives in the mind. The only alternative is someone who is braindead and then totally unaware of his surroundings. Such ppl are not enlightended, but rather kept alive with machines.


"So my problem is a logical one, which is if someone else's beliefs are nonsense, why is not the same standard applied to others subjectively considered to not be nonsense?"

--What you say is correct. Teachings and teachers appear to show you differing perspectives, the possibility of it, but nobody can see for you. Only you can see it.. whatever it is or isn't.

In my opinion, which in light of this discussion isn't worth a damn, a good teacher doesn't give you anything but yourself. The teacher throws everything back at you to find out who you are, what reality is.

Don't trust dead masters. There aren't any living ones either except you.

I value your opinion Tucson and thank Osho for his/her viewpoint also. Just wanted to clarify the thinking on these various teachings.

To George:

OshoRobbins said: "It is not known, but rather recognized intuitively."

George replied: I take umbrage with 'recognised intuitively' or 'directly realised', etc as somehow implying something beyond mere subjective belief, which i cannot accept for the simple reason that none of these terms describe something which is objectively verifiable."

-- That is incorrect imo. The act of "recognised intuitively or directly realised" is subjective... but "recognised intuitively or directly realised" is not any sort of "belief". Perceptions, intuitions, recognitions, and realizations are subjective, but they are not beliefs. They may end up later on as memories and thus perhaps beliefs, but in the moment that they acctually occur, they are not beliefs.

"And thus is the same as any subjective mystical experience"

-- Again, similarly, "recognised intuitively or directly realised" is also notactually "mystical experience". You may chgoose to call it that, but as Oshos mentioned, a "direct realization" is not the same as an experience.

"a belief is merely a subjective thought or claim of an individual. For example, P3 believing they've intuitively recognised some state beyond mind. They may well have, but there is no objective evidence to support this."

-- That is not correct either. The issue in this case is not whether there is evidence. We are not arguing evidence here. Nor is it about a "state beyond mind". Nor is it about "P3 believing they've intuitively recognised". Intuitively recognised is not a belief, no matter what. It is irrelevant what is believed, and in this case a P3 does not hold any beliefs. The issue is that transceding the need for belief is simply NOT a belief. Period.

Much like P1 or even adherents to faith-based religions, hence they both remain mere subjective beliefs until evidence to the contrary is provided."

-- Incorrect. P3 does NOT hold any sort of beliefs (about any of this). P1 does. This is what you keep missing.

Osho said: "P3 lives in a state BEYOND the mind."

George replied: "What evidence is there for this, other than a simple unsupported claim?"

-- The question, in this case, is not about evidence. There is no evidence for either P1 or P3. That is already a given. So that is not the arguement. P3 is not making any claims either. P3 has nothing to claim. P1 is the one who holds beliefs and is making claims based upon those beliefs. P3 does not believe or disbelieve, nor is he claiming anything. He has abandoned the entire matter and effort.

"So far as i know the only way humans have experiences, states or awareness of any kind (be it subjective or objective) is as percieved through the human mind, i.e. sensing, thinking or feeling."

-- You are speaking about the brain, not the mind. You are confusing the distinction between the brain and its sense perceptions, with the mind. The mind is simply the realm of concepts, duality and intellect. Awzareness and consciousness can either be identified and involved in the duality of concepts beliefs etc which is the mind, or not.

"The problem with P3 is the same as for P1, they simply have no objective evidence to support their subjective beliefs..."

-- Again, P3 holds no such "beliefs". The question here is not about evidence. Neither has evidence. But P3 requires no evidence. P3 does not care whether you believe him. P3 does not believe or hold beliefs, and does not care about beliefs.


"...whether they are termed as faith, direct realization, intuitive recognition or direct experience of the truth."

-- Incorrect. There is a vast difference between mere "faith", and "direct experience".

"The point is there is no way of objectively judging the validity of any of these respective beliefs, since they are all merely subjective."

-- Yes, they are both subjective... but the difference is that P3's is not beliefs.


"there is just no objective evidence for P3 recognition"

-- But for P3, there is no "objective evidence" needed. P3 is not out to prove anything, and has no beliefs to prove. P3 is free of that.

"just as they [the P1 folks] subjectively believe their master speaks the truth and just as P3 claims to have an intuituve recognition, all are subjective."

-- There is no arguement about it being subjective. But P3 has no claim to make. He is free of bveliefs, and so is free of the need to claim anything.

"You say P3 requires no beliefs, not anthing, since he's simply seen through the nonsense?"

-- No, it is not that P3 "requires no beliefs". Rather, it is that P3 HAS no beliefs.

"How has he done this and how do we know he has done this?"

-- It is not a matter of "how". And yes, you don't know (that he has done this). But P3 is not asking you to believe that he has done anything.

"Is he not just as deluded as the P1"

-- He could be considered to be deluded (by a P1 believer), BUT... he is not deluded, simply because he does not hold on to anything for him (P3) to be deluded about.

"I believe every human being lives in the mind."

-- Yes and no. Everyone does "live" or rather function through the mind, but some have also seen or gone beyond the mind - they have also become free of the duality of the mind. Although that does not mean that they must be dead for that to happen. The mind is not life itself. The mind is merely thought, poncepts, duality.


George:
You quoted me:
"These masters can talk such utter nonsense and nobody is going to say a thing.
They are under a spell. The spell is called belief. The Master has spoken and
it is the truth."

and you wrote:

Those are your subjective beliefs of the RS tradition,
just as they subjectively believe their master speaks the truth
and just as P3 claims to have an intuituve recognition,
all are subjective.

How is this is case?

I gave two examples that clearly showed it was nonsense. In both cases what
the so-called masters had stated went against their own teachings.

This is not subjective. It shows they are making statements that do not make
sense even in the context of their own teachings.

You wrote:
You say P3 requires no beliefs, not anthing, since he's simply seen
through the nonsense? How has he done this and how do we know he has done this?
Is he not just as deluded as the P3 examples you provide in their
fundamental-like certainty?

P3 is not living in the world of beliefs.
He has not left one trap to fall into another.
He has not left the sant mat belief system and become a sikh or a muslim.
He has simply dropped following anything.
P3 does not follow anything or anyone.
He does not need to borrow knowledge from scriptures or teachers.
He has found his own truth - namely the absense of all teachings and beliefs.

P3 stands on his own feet. He does not lean on anyone.
P1 cannot understand because he always leans on others - seeks someone who knows.

p3 had done this by seeing through the delusion of beliefs.
How? by simply opening his eyes.

How do you know he has done this? You don't but you might get some idea if you
listen to what he is saying. You will never know until it you do it.

P3 cannot be deluded because in order to be deluded you must first have a belief.

You say: I believe every human being lives in the mind.

That is your BELIEF.

What if you met someone who lives in a state of no-mind?

Your belief might change. But how would you know? You might doubt.

Belief/doubt - these are mind states.

Beyond this is realisation. No mind is required. The mind does not realise
the truth. The mind will never know because the mind cannot 'know'.

The mind never 'knows' anything - it only creates concepts and lives in the
world of concepts. It cannot escape this world.

What we are doing in this blog is happening in the world of concepts.

However, a P3 does not live in this world.

You have to enter the next dimension in order to be like the P3.

Of course a P3 still has a mind - but is not trapped by it.

As Tucson stated: nobody can see for you.

Tao states it brilliantly:
Perceptions, intuitions, recognitions, and realizations are subjective,
but they are not beliefs.

Understand what a belief is.

It is your opinion. It is not truth - but it appears to be true.
Why? Because you have attached a label on which is written "It is TRUE".

Remove the label.

The label has been attached in error.

The 'belief' is not 'true' but you think it is.

When you remove all such labels - you enter the state of no-mind.

And you see the madness of those who live in the mind.

I consider this the beginning of awakening and true wisdom.

To a P1, the P3 person at this point will appear to have lost his faith
and fallen from the path. Actually the opposite is true.

You want to enter the world of P3?

Drop all labels of 'true' and 'untrue' as well as 'right' and 'wrong',
and see what happens.

The moment you notice a thought - realise it is not true or untrue
it is just a thought.

Stop valuing your own opinion. Your opinion and what you consider to be 'true'
is not 'true' at all. it just appears to be -to you.

How do you know what is true?

I mean really. How do you 'know' anything is true?

You examine the database in your mind and you look it up.

If it says 'true' next to the database entry - you repeat like a robot
"It is TRUE - I agree." The reaction is robotic and automatic.

You are just acting like a robot. You are unaware. You think you are
intelligent. You value the reply - you think it is the truth.

The moment you see that it is just your past programming - you can let it go.

Then you can truly say "I know nothing" and that is called dropping beliefs.

tAo

"Intuitively recognised is not a belief, no matter what. It is irrelevant what is believed, and in this case a P3 does not hold any beliefs. The issue is that transceding the need for belief is simply NOT a belief. Period."

--- I disagree. I use the word believe, since its what the mind (through the human brain) subjectively believes which is all important. It is simply not possible to escape the perceptive filter that is the human brain. If so, one would be braindead or in a vegetative state, i.e. not recognising, not aware, not thinking, not feeling, not functioning and most certainly not intuitive.

In other words, intuitive recognition is entirely subjective, i.e. the individual believes that he/she has intutively recognised something, but it remains a subjective belief. Such a person intutive recognition might be experience as if it were somehow direct, but it remains a process filtered through the mind and therefore could be illusory.

This direct intuition therefore remains only a subjective belief. Thus, P3 does hold a belief. His/her belief is that he/she has made an intuitive recognition.


"The issue in this case is not whether there is evidence. We are not arguing evidence here. Nor is it about a state beyond mind."

--- Disagree, in fact this is precisely the issue here, at least for me, which is to find out how the direct intuition of P3 differs from the purported direct experience of P1, when there is no evidence to support such a difference. The 'state of mind' idea was raised by Osho and its actually central to this discussion, since mind is subjective and capable of illusion and therefore so is any form of intuitive recognition that cannot exist independently of the mind.


Osho,

"I gave two examples that clearly showed it was nonsense. In both cases what
the so-called masters had stated went against their own teachings. This is not subjective. It shows they are making statements that do not make
sense even in the context of their own teachings."

--- You have no argument from me that your selected examples of RS appear illogical, but RS or the teachings of any other tradition, is of no relevance to my argument here. This is not the subjectivity i am reffering to.

Lets forget RS and put it more simply: why is P3's intuitive recognition differ from someone who intuively recognises he is Jesus Christ reincarnated?

Let me emphasize, I am not interested in 'what' is being intuitively recognised in each case (the one clearly posited as delusional), as opposed to trying to understand 'how' the intuitive recognition itself is different?

Osho,

"You want to enter the world of P3? Drop all labels of 'true' and 'untrue' as well as 'right' and 'wrong', and see what happens."

--- I do not wish to enter any world. I do not believe anything is absolutely true or right and therefore such labels would not apply.

However, i do believe in questioning things and to do so we often need to conceptualise things. Now i realise many spiritual traditions and religions have a great problem with this question and the intellect, but that is because they are often fundamentally flawed.

P3 has almost gone to utmost lengths to search for a spiritual tradition, which is not spiritual, which is not a tradition, which is not conceptual, which is a not a thing, etc, etc. Its gone to perverse lengths to define itself negatively, and yet there are ppl who have 'intuitively recognised' it and seem to agree with others description of it on a blog, which is only possible through conceptualisation in the form of words.

Its very flakey imo, but interesting nevertheless.

Dear George,
I praise your tenacity and your intellectual maturity which has prevented you thus far from being bullied by the habitual evasiveness and flakiness of some narratives espoused by some commentators.
If there are P3 individuals, and there is a distinction between P1 and P3, then I am afraid that perhaps only a authentic P3 individual would be able to offer some tentative explanations as opposed to dismissive ones. It has been held by many that such individuals are very rare ... but somehow it seems this forum has defied the odds and attracted a bunch of them, who are all more than willing to share their wisdom :) Somehow the emergence and functioning of the internet has led to the multiplication of the P3s (or perhaps wannabe) :) ...

If you wish some solid grasp and views on the paradoxes and ambiguities that the spiritual accounts of Meister Eckhart, Nissagardata, Dogen, Hakuin, etc all involve ... you may want to begin with the following book.

http://www.amazon.com/Origin-Human-Nature-Buddhist-Evolution/dp/1845192605/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244976118&sr=8-1

P.S. ':)' means that I am amused and being sarcastic ...

lol, the elephant, thank you, but am not trying to dismiss the views of Tucson, tAo and Osho - whom have been very patient in their explanations with me - instead i am sincerely trying to question the fundamentals, to play the ball rather than the man so to speak.

Thanks for the link, will have a read, already devoured so much. Some of those names constantly seem to be revered along with Ram Das and Maharashi. I watched some of Ram Das's videos on utube, some were particularly interesting and poignant, its just when he starts interweaving astrology that one gets quite dissapointed.

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