Sunday, September 25, 2011

Two Possibilities

In spirituality, what we call "nonduality", you are basically seeking wholeness, the lack of separation.  So either wholeness is presently missing, or you just don't know wholeness is already the case.

In the first scenario, wholeness is missing.  If it is missing, what can we do to bring it about?  What action can bring about wholeness?  What force can superglue the universe of separate parts together?  Is that what you mean by wholeness?  A comglomeration of all the parts?  Not really.  You really are searching for the oneness of reality, yes?  So if it's presently divided, spiritual seeking isn't really going to get us anywhere.

The other scenario, really the only other possibility, is that wholeness is already the case only you don't know it.  In this case you take yourself to be an individual part, separate from all other parts, but that really isn't true.  In this case spirituality isn't trying to affect any change on reality but it is a search for truth, for knowledge, for certainty about reality.  It is trying to come to the truth about reality.  In this case, reality is whole.  Therefore spirituality is merely trying to eradicate ignorance about the nature of reality, about the nature of what-you-are, and come to realize that it is already whole and you are that wholeness.

So in the first case reality is split and there really isn't anything we can do about it.  Spirituality is useless as is any other activity in bringing what is inherently divided into oneness.  In this case the search is over because it is found to be a fantasy.

Yet we undertake the search as if we ARE separate and then trying to make it whole.  Do you see the nonsense of that?  The only activity which has any possibility of success is to inquire into the nature of reality, into the nature of your own self.  It isn't a practice to try to change anything - we need not manipulate thoughts or feelings.  It is diving into our ideas and trying to find out how we are coming to take reality as divided, how we are coming to take ourselves as divided - NOT trying to make ourselves whole or make reality whole.

What we call "enlightenment" is simply coming to the certain knowledge that you ARE the whole, not finding a new experience or state but the elimination of ignorance about your true nature.  

Shankara said - ultimately there is no difference between Brahman and Individual Self.  We must inquire into what we believe about ourselves and reality and if we're honest and earnest, most of our concepts will fall away as false - the root concept is the idea of separation.


No One In Particular said...

Succinct. Efficient. Concise. Logical. Magnificent pointers as usual Randall!

The verication word is "lessbooz" - sage advice.

electrosonic said...

Is it enough just to realise this, or can it be taken further?

Many people around the world (mostly in India though) seem to have attained a state of grace through the ability to side-step the mind altogether.

Which suggests that knowledge of oneness may just be the first step on the road to returning to the whole?

What do you think?
Great blog by the way.


Randall Friend said...

Hello my friend.

Experience of the Self is not enlightenment.

Reality is already whole - if that is true then all experience is already the Self. Any experience, from the mundane to the exotic or spiritual, is that Self. Therefore enlightenment is not any particular experience but the realization that reality is whole and I am that.

This is often accompanied by an experience but the experience is not the point. Any experiences or states by their very nature are temporary. The Self is not temporary.

How can something which does not ultimately exist, be sidestepped on the path toward reality? Wouldn't reality already be present? Isn't mind simply a word we use to talk about an experience? To categorize particular experiences?

In the spiritual search we are often fooled into seeking out experiences - yes experiences do happen and they can be wonderful yet they are never the point. True vedanta points out that if reality is non-dual then any experience is already an experience of wholeness. Waiting for particular states of grace is overlooking the obvious fact that you are that Brahman already.

What is often described as "states of grace" is the "shift" from the perspective of the individual to the perspective of the self, so to speak. In realizing that the individual was only ever a concept and the self is all there is, then this subtle "shift" is often misconstrued due to the constraints of language as an experience. It is only a change of perspective.

The real "indian gurus" of vedanta will also confirm this. Read Swami Dayananda.

Wanting it to be about experience is making it another self-help method, the ultimate "self-help". Enlightenment isn't about self-help but the annihilation of the idea of individual-self. The true Self needs no help. You are that Self already. This annihilation is a realization, not an experience. If experiences accompany it, they are also known to be nothing other than the Self which is already all there is.


electrosonic said...

Yes,reality is always present - but unfortunately it is encased in a wrapping of mind, topped off with a layer of physicality.

So yes you can go through this life telling yourself you are whole.
And yes you will be right.
But no, you will not ever experience it until you throw off the mind.

I have chosen to experience oneness as much as I can, purely because it happened once, and I know how exquisite it felt.

To me, going through life trying to convince myself that this is all I should expect, is cheating myself out of a great injustice.

Nevertheless, great blog. Tell me what you think :-)

Randall Friend said...

"reality is always present - but unfortunately it is encased in a wrapping of mind, topped off with a layer of physicality."

Are you certain of this? Have you investigated? What is mind after all but just a pattern we call mind. There is no such thing as mind - less is reality wrapped up in it. Mind is an appearance OF reality, a pattern or play OF Life.

Any experience is already an experience of wholeness. Self-realization is not an experience - it is the realization that I am immovable awareness, so to speak. Chasing experience is another spiritual addiction which must be overcome before we settle into a more mature search. Ultimately it is irrelevant because as you say you are the whole already.

Realize that and all experience is bliss. Peace is not an experience but the absence of conditions. The absence of conditions is the absence of requiring it to be about experience. All experience is a change - reality is that which does not change. Experience is appearance - pattern.

Remain with what is always present and detach from what seems to change, and you will be on the right track. After all, the only reality or truth you can ever find is your own Self. You can never negate your own Self.