Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Wave cannot find Ocean

Does the wave need to wait to become Ocean?  Does the wave need a special experience to become or realize Ocean?  Is the wave "not there yet"?  Does the wave have just an intellectual understanding of Ocean?

It is only Ocean, taking itself to be just a wave, which leads to the notion that something must be done, some liberation must be found, to free itself from wave-ness.  Yet what can Ocean do, to become free of wave?

Ocean, in taking itself to be wave, searches for some special experience, some validating insight - it is searching for Ocean while all the while it IS already Ocean.

How to make the Ocean know itself AS Ocean?  

The only thing that can be done is for Ocean to give up the idea that it is wave.  To see through the relative perspective which has been given a name - "Wave".  To see through the form as Absolute.

We can only describe Ocean by pointing TO the wave - by pointing TO Ocean's expressions, it's manifestations.  Because Ocean cannot be defined any other way, except to say that it is the essence of all that appears.  It's then just another abstract concept.  Yet Ocean cannot be confined or defined by the name and form "Wave", however "Wave" IS Ocean in expression.

As such, YOU are that Oneness, that essence - yet in taking yourself to be just this limited expression, just this name and form, you limit yourself TO that expression, then look for a way out, look FOR that Oneness.  Just as the Wave, as this limited form you will never find what you are seeking.

Oneness or Essence can only give up that idea of "individuality".  But even if it doesn't, is it ever anything but that Oneness anyway?  Even if Ocean never gives up on the idea of itself as Wave, nothing is lost - nothing is wrong.  There is simply an incorrect idea about itself - due to taking itself to be the particular, the wave.

Either seriously question the idea of "individuality" or let that individuality be as it is.  The suffering is only due to this false idea - why make suffering worse because you believe "I'm not there yet"?

You ARE THERE - you have NEVER been anything but THAT - only you don't know it because you take yourself to be just a Wave.  Know it and be done.  Or don't.  Either way it's irrelevant, as the idea "Wave" cannot truly ever limit or bind Ocean.


Anonymous said...

Ah the old ocean metaphor. 'Tis a beautiful one.

I must take issue though with your neo-Advaita approach. Like all examples of that philosophy there is no concrete method. Due to this you find people doing hundreds of neo-Advaita satsands (and spending loads of money) because they just can't get anything out of the vague message you chaps offer.
Why? Simply because it is not powerful enough to cut through the old-thought patterns. 'You are there' is not something the intellect can get it's teeth into. Thought ultimately has to free itself through negation and that kind of vague acceptance is just not specific or sophisticated enough to do so.

No offense but all your posts say the same thing and none of them offer any technique or method. You must understand that all human endeavour is structured around thought. Even you waffling on about advaita is still just a natural unfolding of a particular conditioning, one that has assimilated advaita philosophical teaching. In this respect this is no better than a Bible reading.

What all these seekers are looking for is peace. Peace and quiet. An escape from mind-numbing, body-draining thoughts and the illusion of being the thinker. This can only be achieved by going into the processes of thought in a nitty-gritty, no-nonsense way, through rigorous inquiries. To 'give up the idea one is a wave' is just not good enough. It is weak and paltry and doesn't offer a direct insight into anything. Instead we should be looking at the way our thoughts develop, the actual mechanics involved employing concrete, no-nonsense techniques to really gain insights and properly achieve self-awareness and total negation of suffering.

Awareness is freedom but awareness is pure. Sure, it perceives thought and suffering just like anything else. But thought is where humans reside. Even when they say they are stepping back to awareness they are still stuck in thought. The aware man is only so because he has become aware of the problem of thought. He cannot possibly approximate the state of blissful awareness, he cannot become that. The 'he' is naturally limited to thought afterall. We must therefore use thought to negate thought...only then awareness become more evident, shall we say.

Thought must untangle itself for the light beneath to shine.

Don't get me wrong I admire your writings but I find them ineffectual in my own experience, which is all I have to go by. Perhaps others would disagree.

I'd love to hear your reply anyway...

Randall Friend said...


Hello my friend. Good to hear from you.

"Awareness is freedom but awareness is pure. Sure, it perceives thought and suffering just like anything else. But thought is where humans reside. Even when they say they are stepping back to awareness they are still stuck in thought. The aware man is only so because he has become aware of the problem of thought."

Are you a human in possession of awareness, or the awareness in which the human experience is known?

If the former, then discovering what is being pointed to is impossible. If the latter, there is nothing to discover.

Various techniques are effective as long as there is one to whom they apply.

"Thought must untangle itself for the light beneath to shine."

The light is already shining, my friend. You exist - that existence is the light itself. You know that you are - this knowledge of Being is itself Bliss.

Either you haven't read all the writings on the blog and only make assumptions, or you have not yet fully understood what is being pointed to. There is no sense pretending to know.

Either way, thank you for the comment.

love to you

Anonymous said...

Ah Randall, you reply like a true gentleman...wonderful. So many people are vituperative when their ideas come under attack. You are clearly convinced, your resolve unshakeable. A wonderful thing to have.

The problem is that while it is so convincing to you, the vague language with which you try to convey it to others does not elucidate much.

'Are you a human in possession of awareness, or the awareness in which the human experience is known?'

Of course I agree, no-one can be in possession of awareness. Awareness is there whether we like or not and it illuminates everything we experience. Of course, it is primary and nondual etc. We do not differ there.

'If the former, then discovering what is being pointed to is impossible. If the latter, there is nothing to discover.'

There is nothing to discover and yes of course that is blatantly true. However the realisation that there is nothing to discover transpires where? In thought. It is assimilated into thought. You cannot deny this. The message is transmitted and received and assimilated. All thought. To realise oneself as awareness you must deny everything else. This can only be done through negation. How can you negate beyond thought? Thought does it. Now don't get me wrong I don't believe in free will. I am staunchly convinced that akarma (nondoership) is the case. When I talk about thought I am talking about something that is totally haphazard and dependent on the wider, universal law of cause and effect, i.e. determinism. You cannot control it. But at the same time to deny its centrality is ludirous. Even the awareness you speak of is only a concept arising in thought, however truthful it is. The pointers are central. And where are the pointers? In thought. The concern of the guru should be in devising effective pointers...or not doing anything all. Afterall, the enlightened, self-realised man has no need to do anything, let alone try to convert others.

'The light is already shining, my friend. You exist - that existence is the light itself. You know that you are - this knowledge of Being is itself Bliss.'

Where is this 'message' registered? In thought. Why should it not? Like any other stimulus it is registered, stored and assimilated into the conditioned mind. The fact that you write about this is because the conditioned mind that is Randall is predisposed to do so. Even when you say such wondrous-sounding things, you are not saying them from awareness. Awareness does not speak. Awareness is undeniably true and I see what you are getting at, but you cannot side-step the irrefutable presence of thought in all human endeavours. In your blog, in my blog, in this very mini-debate we are having, thought is totally central. At this very moment, in essence there are just two thought processes interacting with one another. Both have different conditionings. Because they are different they are conflicting. You have corrected me. Correcting others is the essence of thought. 'My stance is truth, his is wrong - I must convert him'. In fact the whole creation of a blog to propagate 'the message' is so obviously a typical conditioned response that it's amusing really.

Now let's examine this properly. When you write on your blog, your thoughts are prompting such behaviour and it is carried out. Your mind probably feels certain that this philosophy of being awareness is totally irrefutable. Hence the propagation. Thought, thought thought.

To know awareness one can only do so through thought. Without thought there is no-one, there is no experience, no memory, nothing. Awareness cannot be perceived it can only be reflected in the pond of thought, once that pond has been rigorously cleaned through incisive self-inquiry...

Love to you back my friend!

Anonymous said...

Apologies for the double post!!! Got a bit carried away there :P

Randall Friend said...


By all means investigate, inquire. But do so completely. Inquire into the very nature of thought, of body. See if there is such a thing. For all you truly know is a pattern, a field of raw experience which has been given a name and committed to the banks of knowledge, to be called upon in memory. This relative and dubious reality is quite shaky and easily dispelled.

Finding no innate reality in the body or thought, even inquiry falls away as unnecessary and impossible.

You are only ever that capacity, that limitless joyful opening in which the "world, body and mind" play. As such there is no manipulation required, no right vs. wrong.

Both the traditional and so-called neo-advaita approaches are appropriate. It depends on the capacity of the seeker. There is nothing wrong with taking the seeker by the hand, starting from where they are and using thought, logic and negation to come to this understanding.

Therefore the neo-advaita approach is also correct - there is nothing to do, nothing to get and no one to get it.

Whatever resonates should be followed. The rest should be discarded. The best advise is to follow that which brought you here - it will take you where you need to go.


Triza said...

Life has always felt like a constant seeking to be something,to get something,to be something.Its no wonder that when i stumbled into Advaita i automatically took the role of a seeker needing to get "this thing" everyone is talking about.
But whose been seeking all along and for what exactly.who knows all these,the not knowing,the seeking?Where or in what does all this register?
It knows everything,is not sepaprate from anything and yet its not anything?

Anonymous said...

'This relative and dubious reality is quite shaky and easily dispelled' I really wish you guru chaps would be honest. You present yourselves as unearthly beings. You can't deny though that everything you are doing is the result of your conditioned, ego-mind. The language you use is totally derived from that. You use it to speak about these wonderful things. The impersonal tone you use has been adapted to create an effect. Be honest. Dishonesty bars progress.

The vagueries of your language are also dangerous to the seeker. You say 'finding no innate reality'. Who may I ask finds that? The whole process of finding is temporal and totally bound into thought. There is no seeking or finding in sleep. Inquiries are carried out by thought, not by awareness. Awareness illuminates inquiries by being conscious of them but it doesn't actually influence them. The thinker is not awareness, the thinker is thought!

'You are only ever that capacity, that limitless joyful opening in which the "world, body and mind" play. As such there is no manipulation required, no right vs. wrong.'

These are all concepts, images. If they weren't you couldn't talk about it. In fact talking about awareness and being a guru-figure is so totally ego-bound it's hilarious. If there truly were a man totally dissolved in awareness there would be no thought. The thinker, the person, is thought. That is where human life leads. Sleep is the death of the individual. How can you have sleep and awakeness at the same time? It's impossible. It's what gurus claim to have to make themselves feel enable them to sell loads of books and rip people off with endless satsangs. It's appalling. (from my conditioning it is). As you say, objectively, it is as it is. But thought can never be objective. Even that notion of objective is conditioned!

Of course yes, 'everyone has a path to follow' - that's called determinism. Most people never attain to total self-realisation though, (if such a thing even exists).

You cannot deny the centrality of thought, that is the only thing I am taking issue with. Awareness cannot be experienced it can only be accepted as a thought: 'I am awareness'. The stronger the acceptance the more peace is experiened. However, for some seekers it just isn't strong enough. Vague metaphors just don't help them. That's why they go to endless satsangs. Look at most of Mooji's videos for instance and you will see the same people there...people who have been there for years on end...always seeking and suffering.

A pointer must resonate in the mind of the individual. I feel that the more specific the pointer, the more scientific, more rigorous...the more it will necessarily resonate. I could call it 'scientific vicara' I suppose...

Anyway that's just my point of view. As you say different people require different techniques. I happen to believe the neo-advaita technique with its vague platitudes is totally ineffective and I really doubt it has brought lasting peace to anyone.

Thanks for your replies...hope to continue this further if you are that way inclined...

Randall Friend said...


Hello my friend.

Investigate the sense, feeling and idea of being a person. The one who is seeking. The one who wants to find. See if it has any real substance or if it is just an idea.

The substance is also relative - appearance - what it IS cannot be grasped through thought, ideas.

Will there be a point where appearance disappears and then the underlying singular reality is revealed? No - what IS is appearing AS the world. You call it world. You call it body. You call it thought. You call it ME.

Without calling it anything, you can say that it IS. That IS-ness is only THIS, just here and now. It's not found in the future.

There is only an incorrect translation - taking names and forms to be absolute reality, which really means separated reality. Investigate without needing it to be different. Just let it be as it is and remain as the observer.


Randall Friend said...


It's been interesting, however it's beginning to turn into a debate about nonduality. That's about the most asinine and boring endeavor you could imagine.

Good luck on your guru-killing mission.


Anonymous said...

The bitterness of your response proves my point, Randall.

Just be honest, stop pretending to be infallible. You gurus are obsessed with ultimate truths. How can there be ultimate truths when all human life is necessarily subjective?

As for the guru-killing mission, that's an excellent idea...

Peace and love to you (whatever that means...)


Kent said...

Thanks for another excellent post; it cuts straight through the bullshit.

Anonymous said...

It is refreshing to see some interesting discourse instead of accolades to the guru which seem to frequent the comments. In the end though how can anything definitive be said about what is said here. Any talk of truth is just another story. Whether there is such a thing as awakening (substitute your favorite word here) or whether someone has realized it or is interpreting it accurately is just another idea you create along with the infinitude of other stories that make up your private world. You read the words and ascribe your private meaning to them. You compare one story against another to judge it against a standard that you alone have invented. This has been going on for thousands of years. Look at what Jesus said, Buddha or, Lao Tzu, now we have Allan Watts, Nisargadatta, Randall Friend, Tony Parsons and who knows who all spinning stories that people take apart and debate thinking there is some truth to determine. You may accept or reject the stories but if you think they are more than that you are chasing your own tale. There is no one else here, just you arguing with yourself like a schizophrenic talking out loud down by the bus station. If there is such a thing as awakening, something totally beyond any experience that could be described how could anyone possibly tell about it in a story? How could anyone know if what they were saying was accurate let alone how it happened? It could be total bullshit they are making up. There is no way to verify anything. If there has been an awakening I don’t think you can talk about it. To talk about it is to invite argument. When you wake up in the morning can you tell someone how you did it or what the difference between being awake and being asleep is. Being asleep is defined by being awake and vice versa so discussion goes nowhere. Let’s say you have a lucid dream and in the dream world you tell the people that you are really awake and that they are no really individuals but part of a larger dream. Furthermore you tell them being awake is much better than being here in the dream. Most would think you are nuts, some might idolize you and want to know how they could wake up like you but none would really know what you are talking about. They could only make an idea about it from there dream experiences which of course is totally not it. If there is awakening it must be a frustration to the awakened to try and relate it.
I like reading the posts of Randall, Gilbert and others but I can’t say whether they are genuine or not. One thing that makes me think they are genuine is that comparatively there isn’t much profit or reward in pushing non duality. Aside from the odd book there isn’t anything for sale and the number of followers is small. It also takes some effort to maintain a site, make new posts every week and respond to comments. Why would someone do that? There doesn’t seem to be much payback so perhaps it is born genuine love and wanting to help others, but that’s just another story.

VIDA said...

Well at the end which is the beginning, life is experiencing it self trough "you, to me trough me to you and trough every body else".Ultimately Realization takes "us" to "that" space of Love remains towards it self and it´s unfolding creation.

Love~ IS

t said...

james swartz has some informed views on neo advaita.