I'm reading a book about nonduality by David Loy that has a pleasingly appropriate title, "Nonduality." Loy is a Zen practitioner and a university professor.
I like his style. He thinks. He analyzes. He studies the relationship between substance philosophies like Vedanta (Self is real) and flux philosophies like Buddhism (nothing is immutable).
Loy is helping me to realize that nonduality really isn't about oneness. It is about the rather obvious fact that this requires a that. And light requires dark. And self requires non-self. And life requires death. And so on and so on and so on.
Oneness is a bunch of crap. There is no such thing.
Rather, if there was, no one would know about it. Because if everything was one thing, there wouldn't be (1) a knower of that thing, and (2) that thing. There'd just be a blob of One, clueless about itself, since it couldn't be aware of itself, being all One'y.
So nonduality fanatics who make it into some sort of Oneness thing, while speaking from the perspective of their decidedly dualistic self -- they're irritating.
I've started reading nonduality books, then gotten nauseated by the bullshit being crapped out. Fodder for Amazon resale. Loy's book is different. He doesn't sound like the annoying nondualist in The Advaita Trap. (I could only watch a few minutes of the video; reminded me of the books I've hated.)
More and more, I think Alan Watts had, and still has, the best take on nonduality.
You can get a pretty damn good feel for his perspective in this video. Kudos to whoever had the genius inspiration to use a Pink Panther cartoon as a backdrop for his words. On You Tube the uploader says:
A while back, I was sitting in a waiting room listening to an Alan Watts lecture on my iPod. Bored, I glanced up at the TV screen fixed to the wall above me. It was showing the classic Pink Panther episode "The Pink Phink". At that moment, something amazing happened; Watts' words became perfectly juxtaposed with the visual. The storyline of the cartoon was flawlessly in sync with Watt's wisdom.
So, here it is for your viewing pleasure: Pink Panther and his little friend teaching non-duality!
Why does nondualitynetwork.com provide an effective and (entertaining) explanation of why there's no such thing as non-duality? Is this how one goes about being non-dualistic? That is, if I can effectively argue that I don't exist, I can believe it.
Posted by: cc | September 05, 2013 at 09:56 AM
non-duality is a dualistic term. So, why do you need to argue that you don't exist?
You can exist and believe such.
Oneness and twoness could have some sort of existence. Making a big deal of it, could be fanatical, and then not.
that said, could I meet with a nonduality fanatic? We could talk about stuff.
" It is about the rather obvious fact that this requires a that. And light requires dark. And self requires non-self. And life requires death. And so on and so on and so on."
---none of the mentioned requirements are absolutely true.
Posted by: Roger | September 05, 2013 at 12:28 PM
[Willie R, sorry for the delay in publishing this comment. It went into the Typepad spam folder, where I just found it. Maybe it was your last paragraph that made the spam filter think this was an ad.]
Nonduality, as a mode of expression, is an attempt to convey the clearly unequivocal "nature" of whatever it is that is finally "real" via equivocation. (sic!)
It is obvious to most of us that everything that exists is simultaneous.
I live in New Jersey. To the west of New Jersey is Pennsylvania. The Delaware River notwithstanding, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are physically contiguous. They are "advaita" - not-two in Reality. The division defining the two states is entirely mental. Let's leave the definition of what "mental" is alone for now.
Quantum physics seems to legitimize the intuitive "hunch" that all of physical reality is ultimately contiguous. Space and time do not actually effect (not affect) real distinctions, but are merely intrinsic facets of a reality that is seamless and complete. (That is a mental opinion, but the ostensible distinction between "mental" and "physical" is not settled)
I would argue that nonduality does not describe a "oneness", but rather a "zeroness". Numerically, the number 1 is already a distinction between something and nothing.
In any case, nonduality and $1.89, together, will buy you a 16 ounce hot or cold beverage at the convenience store.
That's reality, no matter what you call it!
Posted by: Willie R. | September 05, 2013 at 08:01 PM
Using perceptions as a base for making positive concepts is the origin of ignorance.
See. I did just that. I must be ignorant.
Realizing that there is nothing to perceive is liberation.
There. I've done it again. Breaking these old habits is tough.
It really doesn't, but we are compelled to live as if something does matter even when it doesn't.
As Don Juan said (I'm paraphrasing big time here).. "Nothing matters so I live my life as controlled folly, knowing that nothing matters but acting as if it did. You can choose any path. You can do any thing. Or do nothing at all. I choose to follow a path with heart, that has meaning to me, even though it doesn't matter. That is my controlled folly."
Now don't get all depressed, folks, about nothing mattering. Go ahead and live and enjoy life, at least when it is enjoyable. And don't worry about it. It doesn't matter.
Posted by: tucson | September 05, 2013 at 10:16 PM
great pink panther video with Watts voice over.
Posted by: david lane | September 05, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Non duality guy from first video reminds me of the man tAo from this forum or at least he had many of many of his exact sentences but i dont have the time to copy them here.
Posted by: Tom | September 06, 2013 at 02:05 AM
Good message. No-thing does and doesn't matter.
"I choose to follow a path with heart, that has meaning to me, even though it doesn't matter. That is my controlled folly."
Posted by: Roger | September 06, 2013 at 09:46 AM
"non duality guy"
---Could someone introduce me to a non-duality gal? I live in Las Vegas, a sex friendly city.
Posted by: Roger | September 06, 2013 at 09:48 AM
[Willie R. as noted on the "screed," there was a third possibility: Typepad spam folder. Hey, I'd never reject your comments, especially since you have the good sense to call them screeds. Screeds can't be rejected -- too entertaining.]
Blogger Brian - did my screed get rejected or did it vaporize before receipt? If rejected, please reject this inquiry as well.
Posted by: Willie R. | September 06, 2013 at 06:20 PM
HOW can you be sitting listening to Alan Watts on your ipod in a waiting room...and be bored????!! WTF
Posted by: Jake | October 28, 2013 at 05:02 AM