Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Interpretation Is Duality

We don't need to look anywhere outside of this very moment. Looking for spiritual experiences will always lead to frustration - if they DON'T come then there is frustration. If they DO come they inevitably pass, then there is frustration.

Any experience will do. And what better experience than this one, right NOW?

So Nonduality means not-two. That doesn't mean that there IS two and then, through analysis and more mental acrobatics, the two is magically spliced together and then there is Oneness.

Not-Two is NOW. THIS. THIS is Nondual. Whatever THIS "appears" to be, whatever THIS is interpreted AS, doesn't change the inherent Oneness.

So THIS RIGHT NOW is called "reading a blog." Yet the assumption or interpretation is "I am reading a blog." Subject/object equation. Duality. The interpretation itself IS duality.

What do you know prior to ANY interpretation? What is obvious without any necessary concepts? You ARE. You KNOW you are. YOU are self-evident. No proof is necessary. No concepts are necessary to know.

But HOW do you know? Aren't you certain of your existence because of the activity of experiencing? Isn't what-you-are actually this present experiencing, that is going on RIGHT NOW? And IN this experiencing, experience comes and goes.

We might call this experiencing "Consciousness"... and we might see that Consciousness can never be separated from experience. In fact, Consciousness IS experience. No seer or seen.



Mark Ellis said...

Your pointing, Randall, has really helped to, if nothing else, slow things down a bit in the mind.

Randall Friend said...


It is this exclusive focus on the mind and what it's doing or not doing, that ensures we will forever miss the point.

What KNOWS the mind? Isn't the experience of mind contingent on the experiencing itself? Whether the mind is active or slow, whether thoughts are "good" or "bad", "spiritual" or "mundane", aren't they experiences known only because of your subjective presence?

And this presence of experiencing is the nature of ALL experience, no matter what the content is. Because ALL content is temporary - if mind got to a point where you interpreted it as PERFECT, then you would HAVE to hold on to that STATE forever, else conflict and frustration would come rushing back in.

So recognize the immediate and necessary presence/experiencing which isn't subject to WHAT the mind is doing, because it is precisely the condition necessary for experience called "mind" to arise.

love to you

lucy said...

Hi Randall

When you say Consciousness do you mean the Absolute? Sometimes these two terms are used interchaneably and I find that confusing.


amee said...

There is confusion arising here especially since reading that Nisargadatta has said that the body/mind is the food of consciousness.
When body/mind passes away so to does consciousness.If this is the case who or what is reading this blog, is it temporary consciousness.
As you say that consciousness can never be separated from experience can you say if consciousness is ever separated from being/awareness permanently as in dead and gone with no more experience or knowing that Iam.Thanks Randall for your comments.

Randall Friend said...


Both Consciousness and the Absolute are concepts. What they point to can never be captured with words.

Yet they are Reality. And if they are Reality they must be clear and obvious, right this very moment.

Nonduality simply says - what IS, is One. So if "we are seeing a world" then there must be a mistake of interpretation, not a mistake of perception. The "perception" is misinterpreted by mind.

So there is a concept of a "ME" SEEING a "world". "I am hearing a bird." This is our "normal" interpretation of what IS - Reality.

The ME or "I" in this case is a person, a separate entity abiding in the body-mind. This is an entirely conceptual creation of mind. This entity has never been found. It's a concept, just like "mind" is a word or concept for thoughts, memories, imagination... yet we conceptually create this "picture" of a "mind", like a little radio announcer's booth in the brain.

So this basic subject/object equation is our "template" through which we know Reality. Through which we know what IS.

But the body appears. Thoughts appear. Stripping away the conceptualization, the body is nothing more than a bundle of flowing sensations, same as thoughts. These sensations appear TO you. They are Objects.

So you must be the subject to EVERYTHING - yourself not another object, because if you were an object, if you were perceivable or conceivable, there would have to be another subject prior to you - objectifying you.

You have always been the immediate subjectivity - and we know this intimately as "I". Yet "I" is tied up with the body-mind in CONCEPT, in interpretation of experience..

So we say "I am hearing a bird." That's not at all what Reality IS. That's not at all what actual experience IS. There is immediate experience and then the mind TRANSLATES it as "I am hearing a bird". The mind breaks up immediacy, THIS, into parts - "I" and "bird". Then there is a relationship where "I" am hearing the "bird". It's all mind. It's the veil of concepts. Lila.

Direct Reality is just THIS. Right here and now. And THIS is nondual. One. The experience can never be separate, has never appeared, without the experiencing. And the experiencing IS that subjectivity. That "I" prior to the concept of "I".

The subject/object split is mind. Duality. But Reality is Nondual - Advaita - not-two. And there is nowhere outside of THIS right here and now to find it. Nowhere else to look. Nothing more needed to obtain, no more seeking can find it, no more spirituality can find it.

Where must you look to find THIS?


Randall Friend said...


What we "call" Reality is "identified Consciousness" - Consciousness, through the prism of mind, translating or interpreting ITSELF as subject/object.

And this "state" passes - we call that sleep. And when the body dies, this "state" will once again pass.

Pure Consciousness or awareness must be present prior to the coming and going of these "identified states", prior to this interpretation of mind of Oneness into "manyness".

Consciousness isn't a "state" - it is THAT IN WHICH all states come and go. But the coming and going isn't other than Consciousness itself. So Consciousness is interpreting ITSELF AS the world, AS the "waking state", AS "Amee".

When we go to sleep, this translation passes, this "waking" state passes, to be replaced by the "dream" state. What remains prior to, to receive these states? THAT is Consciousness.

And THAT isn't apart from the "states" - the "states" ARE Consciousness - only Consciousness is identifying with itself AS "Amee".

Consciousness never stopped being what it is due to the passing states. Reality is Nondual - One - Consciousness - God - whatever label you like.

So God is dreaming Himself AS Amee.


S said...


re:your response to Lucy.... thank you.


Josef said...

Thank you from me too for your responses!

Anonymous said...

love you Randall...thanks for your clear responses.