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February 02, 2010

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welll, for years i've been telling virtually the same simple message that this guy is now saying, but i didn't charge a penny for it, or feel any need to write a book, or make any videos. why? well because all of that... is part of the "crap".

it occured to me agin yesterday, as it has a zillion times, that there is a singular difference between all of the "crap" - 'the baggage' as i like to call it - and the thing itself. the 'thing itself' is simply life as it is happening in the present moment. the rest is all baggage. like religion, philosophy, spirituality, mysticism... and gurus and words and images and ideas and beliefs and practices, and all the other stuff and spiritual trappings and identities that people get into when they get into seeking spirituality or so-called 'enlightenment'. in other words, all the crap. and it is all "crap". all of the stuff thst people think is spiritual and mystical. and in so doing, they obscure an/or replace the very thing that they were originally seeking, with all of that extraneous baggage. so then baggage (the crap) becomes their spirituality.

its the same thing with every single spiritual trip. the goal is never reached because the supposed goal gets lost and forgotten under all the 'spiritual' crap.

and moreover, there really was no need for any search for a goal to begin with.

life itself is the trip. and no baggage was ever needed.


I may want to buy this book !
There are so many wonderful 'starting points' around, I'm feeling positive, energized and refreshed !

Well said Tao, life is THE trip !

Well said Tao. I don't need to buy the book, I can pick Brian's brain for any further details. Who needs all those baggage fees?

haha i am interested in looking into this at the moment and may do a blog.
As I see it there is a lot of BS surrounding the 'nonduality' trip. A real good book that exoses the phoniness of it is called The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power

They explain how 'nonduality' is a CONCEPT. And when it is bought by people you get people like him above and gurus etc claiming they are experiencing nondualistically when in actuality they are gettin away with freakin murder. But that is invisible to the wannabees- the needy to want the dimension of nonduality

Does this mean I am an theist? no. Dont believe in a soul filled and magical world and universe? NO

I would encourage understanding two things. There is duality and there is polarity. The former looks at reality, take dark and light, and they make a duality out of that. They CONCEPTUALIZE out 'parts' of what is a dyanmic whole, 'light' and 'dark', and from there usually will glorify one part and denigrate or explain away the other part

Polarity is seeing the relationship

Notice how all the time the guy in the video above is telling you your experiencing wrong. they always make out that there is this WAY to be that they have, and the call it nonduality..whatever THAT means

a definition of non-duality:

The absence of the concept of the absence of presence and absence.

Non-duality is no concept at all. Nothing can be said about it. Not even this.

There, that's settled. We can move on.

Who?


Of course discursive thinking and though cannot grasp the absolute. However, what it can do adequately, to some extent, is to recognize their own deceptions, contradictions and bullshit. 'Seeing the false as the false'. As well as those of others (would you trust everything that is on TV and Fox news?). It does not take much of the power of reason to see through the foolishnessof that sad Scott for instance.

In his narratives, and those of Tucson, paradoxes and dilemmas are used with the tacit guidance to end and stop inquiry ("that's settled") and striving. It never does: it only leaves the listener as confused or more, which will often be hidden with words like love and 'how what you said was so beautiful ..." Desires don't stop with a finger snap. Very unskillful as the Zen tradition would characterize ...
It is because up is down and down is up in their narratives. According to them, our experience of being 'seperated' is responsible for suffering. Could not be more wrong. According to the same logic, smoke is responsible for the fire :)
Instead, suffering has fostered and reinforced the conscious experience of ourselves as being seperated. ... here is not the place to explain the underlying forces and ramifications of that statement however ...

As said, paradoxes and dilemmas are used by these bozos with the tacit guidance to end and stop inquiry and striving. I prefer another approach, which does not confuse up and down and down and up, one that uses dilemmas and paradoxes as food for the inquiry ... It is only the beginning of a journey that will not lead to the elimination (dissolve) of the the striving but its exhaustion and realization, where it will eventually come to be known as an expression of the power of oneness and no more seen as an expression of lack (which is the normal perception when we are confused and fail to 'see' the necessity of all things).

But for those who like naive narratives please keep up the 'dissolving' of toughts and desires ... believing
it's settled' ... trivializing everything ... keeping snapping that finger ... you will eventually come to the realization of your foolishness ...

I thought I would respond to the Elephant...

Elephant: "Of course discursive thinking and though cannot grasp the absolute. However, what it can do adequately, to some extent, is to recognize their own deceptions, contradictions and bullshit."

--Yes.

Elephant: "'Seeing the false as the false'. As well as those of others (would you trust everything that is on TV and Fox news?). It does not take much of the power of reason to see through the foolishnessof that sad Scott for instance."

--In recognising foolishness one may realize what is true. It makes for a good contrast that aids clarification. So, it turns out even foolish pundits can be helpful.

Elephant: "In his narratives, and those of Tucson, paradoxes and dilemmas are used with the tacit guidance to end and stop inquiry ("that's settled") and striving. It never does: it only leaves the listener as confused or more,.."

--You are only confused when you inquire and strive. The idea is to come to the edge of a cliff where thought and reasoning can go no further and melt into the vastness beyond. Sounds sappy, but that's about how it is, for me anyway.

Elephant: " Desires don't stop with a finger snap. Very unskillful as the Zen tradition would characterize ..."

--I don't think desires need to stop. Maybe 'I'dentification with the desires is the source of difficulty. Watch them come and go like people in an airport. If the person hangs around, have a chat with them which may lead to what comes next.

Elephant: "It is because up is down and down is up in their narratives. According to them, our experience of being 'seperated' is responsible for suffering. Could not be more wrong. According to the same logic, smoke is responsible for the fire :)
Instead, suffering has fostered and reinforced the conscious experience of ourselves as being seperated. "

--I don't think the passage of suffering and enjoying ends. Again, it is the 'I'dentification with them and the resistance and clinging, respectively, to suffering and enjoying which is the source of difficulty.

Elephant: "As said, paradoxes and dilemmas are used by these bozos with the tacit guidance to end and stop inquiry and striving."

--Again, I think the intent of these bozos is to help one surrender to the moment and in that moment perhaps recognize how things really are.

"I prefer another approach, which does not confuse up and down and down and up, one that uses dilemmas and paradoxes as food for the inquiry ... It is only the beginning of a journey that will not lead to the elimination (dissolve) of the the striving but its exhaustion and realization, where it will eventually come to be known as an expression of the power of oneness and no more seen as an expression of lack (which is the normal perception when we are confused and fail to 'see' the necessity of all things)."

--If I understand you correctly, I agree.

"But for those who like naive narratives please keep up the 'dissolving' of toughts and desires ... believing
it's settled' ... trivializing everything ... keeping snapping that finger ... you will eventually come to the realization of your foolishness ..."

--In a moment of insight, a snap of the fingers, one may deeply recognize the futility of resistance to what IS and thus more easily go with the flow of of it. If your leg hurts, cry out. If the fruit is sweet, enjoy it.

Everybody has their favored way. Or "Way" with a capital "W" if it's super-favored.

My favorite way is recognizing that there's no favored way when it comes to subjective experience. We're all our own way-makers (one way "Tao" is translated).

It's entertaining to share our ways. Discuss our ways. Debate our ways. There's no end to this. Nor should there be. Nor can there be.

I agree that recognizing the relativity of ways relieves a lot of pressure from our psyches. The need to feel that we're right and others are wrong about matters outside of right/wrong.

My wife will ask me, "Why don't you like kale? It's so good for you." I'll say, "Why is a word that doesn't go well with like. I like what I like. Really, there's no why to it."

Same applies to our favored philosophical, spiritual, religious, or mystical views, our ways. We can make up reasons for why we like them, but the liking seems to precede and underly the why's.

what is the evidence for non-duality?

where does this awareness come from? is it some 6th as yet unknown sense?

Its an interesting idea, but for everything to be one surely there would need to be some basic absolute ground that pervades all forms, something like the Tao?

Still there remains no proof for this. Science sees particles and forces seperated by space.

Even if a person become enlightened and recongizes the connectedness of all, so what? Does such a person gain special insight into aspects of our reality, such as can he explain why the mutitude of forms is an illusion and/or what does such a non-dual enlightened view have to say about life after death? Presumably there is no life or death, and yet there are different levels of consciousness, why are we inundated with all these illusory forms?

My main problem is that their definition is so impossibly vague as to render it meaningless. What does non-dual even mean? does it mean everything is the same and one or that everything is connected? Is this connection physical or causual or what?
Surely if nonduality was reality, we would all mostly recognise it, rather than a few. What is the nondual explanation as to why the majority of human observation is that the universe is comprised of separated forms, of male and female, indeed genetic difference is key to the existence of our very own species.

George, great questions. Yes, a problem I have with non-duality, along with religions in general, is that it assumes a "fall" of some sort.

Meaning, somehow we humans aren't seeing reality correctly. Yet as you said, we're a product of nature, of evolution, of habituation to life on Earth.

We don't go around trying to fix the way dogs see things, how trees grow, or photosynthesis. Yet non-dualists, in common with preachers, gurus, and many other "thou must" types, tell us that our normal perceptions are somehow off-base, that we're missing a fundamentally truer way of viewing reality.

Maybe.

My own experience is that I have days, and times, when I feel more connected, more whole, more vibrant, more at peace. We all have ups and downs like this. But to call my "up" experiences non-dual is to apply a concept, a word, to something wordless (as tucson often points out).

Often non-dualists end up saying that everything in life is part of the non-dual vision. Ken Wilber, for example. So we think, feel, meditate, do yoga, read science books, have sex, cry, laugh, etc. etc. etc.

The end result is that non-duality is life. OK, but why not call life, life? Accepting it for what it is at every moment. Non-dualism can seem to me an unnecessary conceptual add-on.

George raises good points, but they have no absolute answers that can be objectively proven or shown TO someone. That someone, as Blogger B. says, must see for themselves imo.

I would suggest taking a break now and then from the analysis. Not that there's anything wrong with doing that. It's just that it wears you out after awile.

Instead, just sit quietly and observe without grasping at any thought or object. Just let them appear, disappear, change as they will. Standard meditation instructions. Personally, I like to sit where there is an expansive view where clouds, shadows and light change, and creatures come and go.

Our perception is like a plain plastic bag. Turn it inside out and it is the same yet entirely different.

Oh, my non-God! The paper bag turned inside out returns! It's a sign from... (I've got no clue). See:
http://hinessight.blogs.com/hinessight/2004/11/minisecret_of_u.html

Excerpt:
-----------------------
One moonless night in 1968 a friend and I were rolling rocks off the edge of a ravine in the Santa Cruz mountains, marveling at how long they took to noisily reach the bottom. Moving on to deeper questions, we then stood in the darkness, trying to grok with our mescaline-fueled minds what everything was all about.

We could feel it so clearly. But what was it that we were feeling? We struggled for words to express the plenitude of this psychedelic experience. “The universe is…” I’d say. “Yes, the universe is…” my companion would respond. We almost had it! One more try! “The universe is…” I said again. And then—I swear to god this is true—we simultaneously proclaimed: “a paper bag turned inside out!”

It was so right, so true, so perfect. What a relief! Finally, all the searching was over. No more pouring over the Tibetan Book of the Dead for clues to what lies beyond this veil of maya. It is the other side of this paper bag of a universe! In the morning, none of this made a whit of sense to either of us. Oh well, that’s cool.

Yes, again well put Brian, why is it that so few can recognize non-duality, yet it is not a goal to be achieved.

if it is not a goal to be achieved, then there is no path towards achieving it, which means mind training techniques and mystic traditions are not relevant. It is instead, they say, merely a simple recognition.

However, this recogition is only obtained by a select few who appear to be naturally gifted with some finer means of perception, which kicks in at a particular age.

I'm afraid if one is to be weary of religious claims, nondual claims fall into a very similar bracket, since their is no evidence to support them.

However, from a rationalistic viewpoint, the concept of an underlying oneness is interesting (albeit that this apparently misses the point) and has been voiced from the time of plato to modern science which tries to work towards a unifying theory of everything. It also does seem that the process of evolution generally moves from simplciity to complexity (i.e. more forms).

However, its one thing to say that all lifeforms on earth have a common ancestor, and quite another to view yourself as connected to your fellow man anymore than you are connected to a precambrian furry marmite. Its an indirect genetic connection, and sure we are all made of stardust where its believe the different elements making up the periodic table are all transmutated in the nuclear furnaces of sun's, but i dont think nondualist are talking about this sort of connectness.

I also dont think they are talking of an emotional feeling of connectedness such as some days one might feel more in tune with oneself or fellow human being, for example when off one's tits on ectacy, it may feel that way, but it does not make it real.

Instead, it would seem the non-dualists recognise or percieve without intellectual or emotional means. Is this awareness part of mind? Who knows, since apparently it involves no training.

is it like a plastic (tucson) or paper (brian) bag?

and is the bag transparent (clear), translucent (roughly see-thru) or opaque (not see-thru)?

Damn! You're right, George. These are the unsettled BIg Questions about ultimate reality being a bag turned inside out.

Since Oregon seems to be on the verge of banning plastic grocery bags, I'm going with paper. Plus, they're more natural.

This also answers the second question: opaque. Thus we (OK, I) have conclusively determined that really real reality is an opaque paper bag turned inside out.

Anyone who believes otherwise obviously is utterly and completely wrong. The heresy of transparent or translucent plastic bag'ness must be stamped out.

Whew! Glad that's settled. I think I'll take a nap now.

lol, i commented on your original article on the other blog - that mescalin experience must have been massively interesting in its own right.

As a writer you should try express your paper bag experience in even more lucid terms so that the rest of us can try appreciate it - tho you will probably never be satisfied with the description in the cold light of day.

while perusing that old archived blog post, there was an article on the 'Tao of Hilton' which seemed to attract a host of unusully profound commentators, who were'nt so much interested in the zen-like metaphor you were trying to get accross as opposed to 'cream pying her ass'.

LOL - some very funny customers around.

George, I have engaged in some further paper bag research and will be sharing my findings in a post later today. My preliminary conclusion is that I have indeed arrived at the Ultimate Truth of the Cosmos and all further speculation about this subject will be rendered meaningless once I reveal the results of my investigations.

George wrote: "Instead, it would seem the non-dualists recognise or percieve without intellectual or emotional means. Is this awareness part of mind? Who knows, since apparently it involves no training."

--The sages say this recognition or awakening is completely present and available now and could come over you at any moment, but usually it does happen after a period(s) of effort. After all soemthing has to change our habitual way of seeing things even if it is just to realize nothing needs to change.

The catalyst could be anything. It is interesting Brian came up with the same 'bag-turned-inside-out' analogy although his was paper and mine was plastic.(We differ in certain ways.) Maybe one should take mescaline instead of looking at sunsets and trees, or both?

I haven't taken any such drugs since the 60's when I did my share. This is a quick-fix method...a sugar high or band-aid, a quick way to break down habitual patterns and open you up to new things.

Early in Carlos Castaneda's saga his teacher Don Juan gave him drugs for this exact purpose. But once "Carlos" was broken up, the drugs were no longer necessary and his natural faculties were sufficient.

yes Tucson, many have said that, in fact huxley i believe wrote about mescalin as opening the doors to perception.

it certainly would seem to artificially expand the mind's thought processes and stimuli - but whether this offers a genuinely more accurate insight into reality is questionable. perhaps it does provide a breakthrough of sorts, but perhaps it creates mental delusions - the mind is such a complex powerful instrument, i think u either gotta be very brave or naive and foolhardy to mess around with it too much.

perhaps i go up dig up some mescalin.

i think its all largely psycholigical, that all these religious, mystical or non-dual experiences are episodes of the human psyche and that Jung's explanation deserves more attention. It seems Jung believed we all had an unconscious part of the mind containing mythical achetypes created and unconsicously passed down from the generations of the worlds cultures, and as such offer a good explanation for religious experences and the similarities thereof accross different cultures.

Re: “Present awareness is our real identity”. I know this means true inner awareness and I am trying to find balance now, but am finding this other belief I have of good and bad, positive and negative still persists. I have also become aware of mind control and programming which I think most followers of any form of belief system are induced into.

So because I have this enquiring mind I’ve been looking into this area of mind control and programming and when out of curiosity I also checked out Brian’s “The Tao of Paris Hilton” blog that George mentioned in one of his comments above, I then looked up the Hilton family which Brian is related to.

Here’s another “point of view” of the elite Hilton family and also how the elite families are heavily into the occult and the dangers of allowing oneself to be programmed and conditioned whether by wealth and fame or by self help new age gurus. This is the other non-spiritual side of life in the fast lane, which uses occult programming and conditioning to control people from birth.

http://pseudoccultmedia.blogspot.com/2009/07/hilton-hotel-one-night-in-paris.html

> Instead, just sit quietly and observe without grasping at any thought or object. Just let them appear, disappear, change as they will.

Regarding those who do just that ...
Experience and 'analysis' indicate that ...
if they are not so comfortable ... after 20/30 minutes their still body will start hecking and itching ...
whether comfortable or not ... after 40 minutes or one hour their thoughts won't be just appearing but screaming 'get up ... move ... and do something' ... Eventually they indulge ...

And there are back where they started, with their original inquiry and striving (which led them to listen to the suggestion in the first place). Some people will repeat these 'meditations' for decades, from day to day, from satsang to satsang, from retreat to retreat, feed elusive metaphors after elusive metaphors ... and in the end they will still be experiencing the same basic insastifaction ... They may have their 'moments' but ...

Why is it that they only perform such exercises for 20/30 minutes in many satsangs? Because after this period of time it becomes too incomfortable to enjoy, any sense of detachement was just a fluke ... A big business of deception ... Ramana Maharshi stayed for years in caves in silence ... now we are starting to talk real [although I don't recommend it :)]... not that kind of cheap tricks [20 minutes 'non-dual' moments :) or any induced 'samadhi' through drugs ] rich enough and comfortable dudes like to entertain themselves with ...

I would like to notice that the latest exchanges between Tucson, Brian and George implicitly assume that, for instance, the nature of what Nisargadatta referred to as his awakening is the same as that of the experiences and samadhis drugs may procur. It is a superficial belief or characterization some will disagree with. Nisargadatta would have probably disagreed, for the same reasons the author Albert Low also disagrees--see page 12 of the book:

http://www.amazon.com/Hakuin-Kensho-Four-Ways-Knowing/dp/1590303776/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265321341&sr=8-1#reader_1590303776

In the same vain, I'm not sure Castenada, as enjoyable as his writings are, is evidence or illustration of anything since in all likelihood he imagined and retold others' stories or just made the stuff up. Carlos credibility is about that of a Glenn Beck ...
> Early in Carlos Castaneda's saga his teacher Don Juan gave him drugs for this exact purpose. But once "Carlos" was broken up, the drugs were no longer necessary and his natural faculties were sufficient.

I suggested in a comment above: "Instead, just sit quietly and observe without grasping at any thought or object. Just let them appear, disappear, change as they will."

the Elephant indicated his general dissatisfaction with doing that as eventually one becomes restless and quits.

That's OK. Then it's time to get up. This is not a formal exercise (the way I do it) although I guess many people will have to set aside a time to do this in their hectic lives. But most of us can find a few moments here and there to just 'be' even in a busy office. There is no goal or intent other than to just sit and observe.

There is another element to this which I find hard to describe. It is expanding into the fullness of what is at that moment. This may sound like a new age cliche', but it's the best I can offer at the moment.

Anyway, there is no structure about it. When you feel like it, do it. If you don't, don't. It may be five minutes or several hours. Whatever. But the more you do it, the more you find yourself 'expanding into the fullness of the moment' in everyday activities.

the Elephant wrote: "I would like to notice that the latest exchanges between Tucson, Brian and George implicitly assume that, for instance, the nature of what Nisargadatta referred to as his awakening is the same as that of the experiences and samadhis drugs may procur."

--Speaking for myself I do not equate these experiences on drugs with anyone else's samadhi or awakening. I really have no way of knowing what they 'know'. Generally, I think drugs are dangerous, risky and do untold damage to the body, but sometimes there are good results which seem to be in the realm of what sages talk about...'seem' being the operative word here.

the Elephant wrote: "In the same vain, I'm not sure Castenada, as enjoyable as his writings are, is evidence or illustration of anything since in all likelihood he imagined and retold others' stories or just made the stuff up. Carlos credibility is about that of a Glenn Beck ..."

--I agree with what you said about Castaneda, but that doesn't change the impact his writings have had on many people. Words are at best just pointers anyway. His words led many to take that "leap into the abyss", not an abyss of darkness, but of light, so to speak.

I saw saw Castaneda at UCLA once by accident. I used to do a lot of running around the campus and he happened to be arriving. Someone said, "Hey there's Carlos Castaneda!" He was pretty fat and drove an expensive sports car. Not exactly the image of the lean, simple living brujo conjured up in his books as the character Don Juan.

Hey, I think Glenn Beck is funny. Did you know that he is the second most popular TV personality right now according to some poll like Rasmussen? No.1?...Opra.

the Elephant,

you always post some pretty interesting thuings, tho i dont always understand, may i ask whether you believe enlightenment oe awakening is possible and if so, the path or mystic tradition that you believe is the way forward.

definition (2) is the most succinct I think. better to focus attention there.

Hi George,
I will eventually come back to your questions and answer them. I relatively busy these weeks and I don't wish to answer them on the fly.

To understand non-duality, I suggest the teachings of Sri Bhagavan Maharshi.
You must experience effortless bliss spontaneously, in the now, do not postpone it or struggle towards it. It cannot be understood rationally. It must be felt and witnessed. Live life, fulfill your dharma, and constantly abide in the Self.
http://davidgodman.org/rteach/whoami1.shtml

This guy, and so many others just strike me as wannabes. They are still seeking.. Money and Fame! So many words... Just turning the purest pointers into a business. Anyone can have a website with a flashing DONATE button up in a day. I don't think it's love they're spreading... confusion maybe. Fortunately, there are a couple that don't deal in the bullshit.

we are human living in a 3 dimensional world having a dualistic experience as we engage with thought and interaction. when we peel the onion of our lives away and get to the core guess what, we are still human living in a 3 dimensional world having a dualistic experience as we engage with thought and action. you just can't escape this particular reality as hard as your brain attempts to translate the thought of non-duality. consciousness is duality.

Kittycat, I agree. If we were all one, each of us would be nothing. Non-duality is just another word for One, so far as I can tell. I used to think all that "not one, not two" stuff made some sense, but now it strikes me just as intellectual wordplay.

Yes, "one, without a second" is a hard concept for us to grasp, but that's just the way it is.

Enlightenment is a lot like a cosmic joke. When the joke is "understood" one tends to laugh. Did you ever try to explain a joke to someone who just doesn't get it? That is what these non-dual teachers are trying to do. But for most, they'll never "get it"

I am amazed at the consistency of all these teachers. They are all trying to point to abiding, non-dual awareness as what we really are. Scott points to the truth with a lot of heart.

We spend most of our lives trying to understand, explain and improve our selves, but the joke is on us since our "selves" are just a very common, widely held delusion -- we really do not exist as seperate selves.

Bottom line: don't take your self too seriously.

I read Avi's link from the topic:

It's possible to prove God does not exist November 27.

I then read this topic and watched the videos.

Great timing.

Gene

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/believing-bull/201106/pseudoprofundity

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