Bindi

Differences between dualism and non-dualism

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10 minutes ago, Bindi said:


You used to have a tendency? 

Used to, yes. At least that’s my sense.

I talk about it in context and the insight is always there so no doubt it influences my comments, but I don’t think I shortcut discussion much, at least that’s not my intention. I feel like I avoid discussion more than shortcut in general. I could be wrong… 

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14 hours ago, liminal_luke said:

 

 

Luke, who never misses a chance to ridicule the antics of brilliant but incomprehensible nondualists, invites Natural out for a beer.  Do you like ranch sauce with your fries?

 

(Just kidding, @Apech.  You're quite comprehensible.  I just wanted an excuse to go to lunch with Natural.)

 

Sulking now!

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8 hours ago, steve said:

Whether we personally connect with nonduality directly, conceptually, or not at all science is already embracing it in several fields. For example, in biology and ecology there is no way to separate an organism from its environment, there simply is no such thing in existence. Organism-environment is a non-dual continuity and yet we can speak of properties of each. Both ways of looking at the system have merit and validity.

 

If we look at ourselves closely we can find no separation from our environment. We can move around and exist within a bag of skin which makes us feel separate but have never for an instant not been directly connected in a life or death fashion to everything around us. We are a specialization of our environment, a symptom as Alan Watts has said, we are its sensory apparatus and agency of “intentional” activity. 

 

In physics, a relatively recent theory of quantum mechanics, championed by Carlo Rovelli, called the relational theory, brings us to a non-dual foundation of reality. There are no discrete objects, all observations represent relationships and there is no boundary between observer and observed. Essentially for me this is a discovery of karma and dependent origination through the vehicle of quantum physics. 

 

I thoroughly enjoy reading this stuff, when I can follow it. Here are some things to check out if interested.

 

General overview:

https://www.science20.com/train_thought/blog/dualitynonduality_duality-75423

 

Biology, excellent series of articles, the first and last in particular:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10333975/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10333976/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10485609/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10885546/

 

Physics:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relational_quantum_mechanics

All the published articles I can find are too technical for me but Carlo Rovelli’s book Helgoland is a good layperson’s intro.

 

https://seop.illc.uva.nl/entries/qm-relational/

https://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/9609002.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the excellent resources @steve - I've skimmed a couple but these days I don't have the patience for this edgy science.  What strikes me though in terms of the trumpian non-dual is that to say an entity (like a single cell organism for instance) is entirely interdependent with its environment is just a truism.  Of course!  Even the homeostasis of the cell depends on osmotic pressure between inside and out or on a different scale we all need to breathe air to live!  Because we have dependencies doesn't say anything as far as I can tell about non-dual nature.  I think this goes back to the 'everything is one' kind of thinking which is what you get if you google non-dualism. 

 

There's two things I can reflect on here.  There is a state of self unification.  As a being, ordinarily, I am many.  Just as the physical body is a vast collection of entities, organs, cells, bacteria, viruses and so on.  It operates however as a single entity - healthily - provided it doesn't go to war with itself or take in unassimilable entities from outside.  However on a more psycho-spiritual level there is an inner integration where your being becomes whole ('If thine eye be single then your whole body will be filled with light').  What happens then (in my experience) is that a being unified in this way on regarding the outer vehicle (the objective world) sees unity reflected in it - 'as within so without'.  But not in the sense of it all becoming an amorphous mass but more that there is a sense of recognition of this unity in all things.

 

The other experience I can refer to, which might perhaps be what some call non-dual is that unity in the heart begets a kind of light and dark mixing (melding) and the sense then in terms of the outer vehicle is of a hollowness, almost as if everything is a 2D projection everything seems 'light' and interconnected - and perhaps as importantly purposeful - the sense that it is meant to be.  It is not something to be probed or analysed but simply felt or intuited.  Then you do get the feeling that 'it is as it is' and to accept.

 

In Gampopa (Jewel Ornament of Liberation) these kind of experiences are described as a stopping off point or 'a rest' - not to be overly dwelt upon or given too much weight or significance.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Michael Sternbach said:

 

Agreed. Shrinking people and putting them in a box is indeed not a nice thing to do.

 

5a3d7a62b0bcd5ab188b6ab7-jpeg.jpg

 

 

those little people reminded me of far smaller ones that were shrank along with being in a shrunk submarine that was then injected into a regular size persons bloodstream so they could  do medical work on him from the inside, the trick was getting out of that persons body before they and the sub returned to normal size!

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8 minutes ago, old3bob said:

 

those little people reminded me of far smaller ones that were shrank along with being in a shrunk submarine that was then injected into a regular size persons bloodstream so they could  do medical work on him from the inside, the trick was getting out of that persons body before they and the sub returned to normal size!

 

Fantastic Voyage!

 

 

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12 hours ago, steve said:

Definitely, I have a very close friend and confidante. We discuss deep matters often and I used to have a tendency to play the non-dual card. It would piss him off and he was very direct so I learned how irritating and unhelpful it can be through his feelings. I try to be sensitive to that.

It is fascinating to see how deeply ingrained and binary the blinkers are.
 

The “nondual card” is hardly a “trump card”. More often than not, people look with a glazed, confused look in their eyes. “What is this nondual thing? It’s much too laborious to explain to a layperson. It is even harder to explain to not-so-laypersons who’ve made up their minds to be obtuse about the subject 😜

 

Like it’s been said before — those who get it, are on their way to freedom. Those who don’t get it, are also on their way to freedom — just might have to take a few extra lifetimes. In any case, anyone who’s participated in this discussion (or any similar topics) are already chosen (to receive knowledge), whether they agree or not. :) 

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24 minutes ago, dwai said:

 In any case, anyone who’s participated in this discussion (or any similar topics) are already chosen (to receive knowledge), whether they agree or not. :) 

 

Informed consent...so 2021.

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3 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

 

Informed consent...so 2021.

bully for free will and volition :P 

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1 hour ago, dwai said:

The “nondual card” is hardly a “trump card”.

 

I think it can be, it can basically short-circuit any spiritual discussion. And I think it sometimes has the effect, intended or not, of invalidating others’ positions. I suspect this can come across as cold and arrogant. Not saying you are any of those things but I think non-dual speak can come across that way.

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本來非二元就不是用在思想上面的

而是用在二禪定進入三禪定的狀態

等於是二禪定進入三禪定的一個關鍵

 

Originally non-dual is not used in thinking

Instead, it is used in the state of the second jahna and the third jahna.

It is the key to entering the third jahna from the second jahna

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1 hour ago, awaken said:

本來非二元就不是用在思想上面的

而是用在二禪定進入三禪定的狀態

等於是二禪定進入三禪定的一個關鍵

 

Originally non-dual is not used in thinking

Instead, it is used in the state of the second jahna and the third jahna.

It is the key to entering the third jahna from the second jahna
 

 

In the Pali sermons, Gautama describes the third jhana as "the cessation of ease apart from equanimity (with respect to the multiplicity of the senses)".  So ease persists so long as equanimity with respect to the multiplicity of the senses exists.  Is that non-dual?  Guess so, sort of!

 

Gautama characterized the third state of concentration as follows:

 

… free from the fervor of zest, (one) enters and abides in the third musing; (one) steeps and drenches and fills and suffuses this body with a zestless ease so that there is not one particle of the body that is not pervaded by this zestless ease. … just as in a pond of blue, white, and red water-lillies, the plants are born in water, grow in water, come not out of the water, but, sunk in the depths, find nourishment, and from tip to root are steeped, drenched, filled and suffused with cold water so that not a part of them is not pervaded by cold water; even so, (one) steeps (one’s) body in zestless ease. 

 

(AN III 25-28, Pali Text Society Vol. III pg 18-19)

 

In my experience, the base of consciousness can shift to a location that reflects involuntary activity in the limbs and in the jaw and skull. The feeling for activity in the legs, the arms, and the skull is indeed like an awareness of three varieties of one plant grown entirely below a waterline. The experience does have an ease, does require equanimity with regard to the senses, and generally resembles a kind of waking sleep.

 

In many of his sermons, Gautama described the third concentration as a state wherein “(one) dwells with equanimity, attentive and clearly conscious and experiences in (one’s) person that ease of which the (noble ones) say: ‘In ease lives (the one) who has equanimity and is mindful'”.

 

The feeling of ease is nevertheless abandoned in the fourth concentration, as determinate thought in action of the body ceases.

 

(The Early Record)

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Michael Sternbach said:

 

I did my homework: The sounds that things make sound like they come from where those things that make those sounds are located.

 

How does this prove that my senses are empty, now?

 


Empty of an abiding self.  Shunryu Suzuki has a wonderful lecture about sound:

 

https://zenmudra.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Shunryu-Suzuki-Sound-and-Noise-Sandokai.mp4

 

The involuntary activity of the stretch necessary to ease at the moment can be the activity of the lotus posture, the activity of a slumber party, or just the ordinary activity of everyday life. Shunryu Suzuki said:

 

If you are not disturbed by the sound of the bluejay when you are reading something, the blue jay will come right into your heart, and you will be a bluejay, and the bluejay will be reading something.

 

To paraphrase his words: if you have equanimity when you hear the sound of the bluejay as you read, feeling is freed, consciousness is freed, and the sense of location in consciousness at the sound effects the stretch necessary to ease that reads.

(Shunryu Suzuki and the Zen of Ordinary Activity)

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, steve said:

Used to, yes. At least that’s my sense.

I talk about it in context and the insight is always there so no doubt it influences my comments, but I don’t think I shortcut discussion much, at least that’s not my intention. I feel like I avoid discussion more than shortcut in general. I could be wrong… 

😆

 

I think I know what you are talking about! Especially where your non-dualist perspective touches on common notions of right and wrong, or fairness, continuing a tranquil conversation can become impossible with some. 😅

 

new-can-of-worms.gif

Edited by Michael Sternbach
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2 hours ago, Mark Foote said:


Empty of an abiding self.  Shunryu Suzuki has a wonderful lecture about sound:

 

https://zenmudra.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Shunryu-Suzuki-Sound-and-Noise-Sandokai.mp4

 

The involuntary activity of the stretch necessary to ease at the moment can be the activity of the lotus posture, the activity of a slumber party, or just the ordinary activity of everyday life. Shunryu Suzuki said:

 

If you are not disturbed by the sound of the bluejay when you are reading something, the blue jay will come right into your heart, and you will be a bluejay, and the bluejay will be reading something.

 

To paraphrase his words: if you have equanimity when you hear the sound of the bluejay as you read, feeling is freed, consciousness is freed, and the sense of location in consciousness at the sound effects the stretch necessary to ease that reads.

(Shunryu Suzuki and the Zen of Ordinary Activity)

 

Nice! We don't have too many bluejays around here in Europe, but I'm getting the picture.

 

pr038b.jpg

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Some people claim a different number of jahnas. How many jahnas do you guys count?

I've seen anything from four to twenty-five.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, dawn90 said:


Some people claim a different number of jahnas. How many jahnas do you guys count?

I've seen anything from four to twenty-five.
 


Can't speak for Awaken. 

The Pali sermons reference four material jhanas, and four immaterial jhanas.  Story seems to vary a bit, as to whether "cessation of (volition in) perceiving and feeling" constitutes a jhana or the transcendence of the jhanas. 

I break 'em all down in The Early Record.  An important piece for me, for arriving at a description of the third jhana based on my experience, above. 

As opposed to, "shake 'em on down"...
 

 

Edited by Mark Foote
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I have no trouble accepting the reality of what the label ‘non-dual’ attempts to convey. It’s something I intuitively feel and have done so for a long time, well before I heard the label non-dual. That sense has continued to deepen ‘self-so’ with my ongoing cultivation practice. Yet, although it’s becoming increasingly palpable as a felt sense, it also reveals itself as a deeper and deeper mystery. I can well understand why a person who intuitively senses this would remain silent. Hence the saying from the Daodejing: “Those who speak do not know, those who know do not speak.”

 

My trouble with this discussion is the way I see ‘non-dual’ is being presented as a monism (by Dwai and Stirling in particular). And monism implies hidden dualism. Hence this discussion reveals plenty of dualism (duel-ism). In fact, it’s being energised by dualism.

 

For me the message that’s being shouted here by the most outspoken of those who label themselves as non-dualists, namely that the poor ignorant masses suffer terribly because they don’t know this amazing numinous truth of nondualism, is more to banish their own hidden doubts; doubts that they themselves are, in fact, far removed from this deep ineffable mystery.

 

What I’ve written so far enters me into the fray of duel-ism. I’m very much aware of that and it’s not a place I want to dwell. However, I am irritated by some of the ignorant assumptions that are being propagated here.   (Yet I’m also impressed by some of the deep thinking on the subject by most people and Apech in particular, not to mention Bindi’s ability to take on multiple opponents with seemingly undiminished energy).  

 

To my mind this discussion has now gone on long enough for each of us to express (or at least acknowledge privately to ourselves) our motives for participating. An obvious one for me is my need for connection. Another is to assert myself as a separate individual. Yet I also feel how we are all part of a whole. Even though I’m expressing disagreement with attitudes of some members, I like them as people, especially when they reveal something of their personal stories.  That is a truth and so is the truth of separation. Connection and separation; a yin-yang pair, both of which need to be honoured as vital constituents of the non-dual.

 

I rest my case. :) And conclude by acknowledging the importance of this forum to me as a place where I can express my thoughts on experiences central to my life and likewise read (and sometimes feel) those of other people. This is a great gift. 

 

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20 hours ago, Michael Sternbach said:

 

I did my homework: The sounds that things make sound like they come from where those things that make those sounds are located.


How does this prove that my senses are empty, now? (Apart from the obvious conclusion that, if my ears were clogged, I wouldn't be hearing anything. :D)

 

It's just a way to notice that the sound of things isn't sourced at the ears. It's an exercise in opening up the way we think about the senses.

 

Quote

How so? Please enlighten me! :)

 

I imagine you perceive the world as full of separate beings and things. This is an illusion it is possible to see through. 

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This may well be the case.

 

On the other hand, the conscious mind filters out MOST of the data the senses receive, as its processing capabilities are rather limited. Temporarily lifting the veil comes with an unforgettable shock, IME.

 

 

On this we agree. I'd be curious to hear about your experience of the veil lifting.

 

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Again, if you have any useful suggestions  to make how I could experience my the 'emptiness' of my senses - I'm all ears.

 

You can definitely play with the sense of proprioception, and I can imagine that it could be a way in. Working with panoramic seeing is one step - I think you mentioned that you are doing this. Practicing hearing sound and locating those sounds in the exterior environment is another. Imagining that all of your senses do not necessarily correspond to a body location might be another. 

 

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In other words, it requires that I would become a Buddhist.

 

Hey, guess what? Been there, done that! (Well, at least I gave it a fair try.)

 

 

Not at all! There are pointers to realities non-dual nature not only in most religions, but in science and your everyday experience happening all the time. I use the word remediation on purpose. We spend a lot of our time reinforcing our dualistic way of seeing. Dropping our story about how things are and just being present, as well as working to accept reality in this moment as it is are fantastic practices that do not require any story about a tradition. It's good to hold the story we build, including the one about our practices or religion, lightly, IMHO. 

Quote

 

Science indeed creates models and theories for explaining reality. And yes, the 'problem' with that is that a theory can never be rigorously proven right (though it may be possible to prove it wrong). You just never know what you don't know!

 

I fully agree that when scientists, in order to support a theory, must introduce too many additional assumptions, they end up with nothing but a fruitless act of mental masturbation.

 

 

I'm glad we have some common ground. :)

 

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Ironically, most of the arguments that non-dualists (especially of the Buddhist variety) make strike me as little more than that.

 

More ironically yet, they tend to go to great lengths defending their concepts as evident, even when it's quite clear that they are simply regurgitating what they learned from some teacher. But they never see themselves (perhaps because they have 'no self' in the first place :D)!

 

Any good "non-dualist" (whatever that is) or Buddhist will press you to meditate. Honestly, that's enough. The philosophical arguments don't really get anyone anywhere. What you need to know is experiential, and you can do that without arguing if you are curious. 

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The experience I made was neither a scientific nor a religious one.

 

For modern science, stars are hardly more than dumb gas balls with thermonuclear processes happening inside them. You seemed to consent, that's what incited me to tell you about my experience.

 

Since that's what it was, when I fortunately got a glimpse at the higher-dimensional 'mental' activity of the Sun: A perceptual experience taking place in an altered state of consciousness. It totally took me by surprise and was not conceptually based in any way.

 

 

A spiritual experience then? Either way, I would say that science is perfectly capable of inducing spiritual and religious experiences in people - and does. 

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Well, I didn't suggest that things exist independently - only that they can correctly be perceived as having boundaries.

 

And I already agreed that looking at them as parts of a continuum of interconnecting forces is possible too.

 

As I said, it's a matter of what aspect you would focus on. Both perspectives are viable in my view.

 

 

Mine too - only one of them is very obviously an illusion. I could trot out the common arguments for how the boundary of things is obviously artificial, but I'm guessing you've heard of that before. Just in case:

 

https://lafavephilosophy.x10host.com/The_Questions_of_King_Milinda.htm

 

Quote

Believe it or not, the things I am sharing on this board are not mere speculations, but based on my deep-felt personal experiences (unless I would expressly state otherwise, of course).

 

I have great respect for that! Are the insights you might have something you can experience in this moment? This, IMHO, is one of the most important questions. 

 

Thank you for your post, Mr. Sternbach. :)

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44 minutes ago, Yueya said:

My trouble with this discussion is the way I see ‘non-dual’ is being presented as a monism (by Dwai and Stirling in particular). And monism implies hidden dualism. Hence this discussion reveals plenty of dualism (duel-ism). In fact, it’s being energised by dualism.

I disagree :) 

Monism IS dualistic. Nonduality is, well, not dualistic, so can’t be monistic. Monism would say, “the absolute is the whole, the individual  is a part of the whole”.

 

Nonduality says, the individual IS the absolute, the whole, but only sees separateness due to ignorance (of one’s true nature). When it (true nature) is realized, it will be understood. 
 

A nondualist doesn’t have trouble with duality, because that is the standard condition of all humans. Subject-object duality is the bulwark of perception and conception (of theories and ideas). Duality takes hold very early in life (right when ideas start to take hold in the child’s mind). Indeed not. Even this discourse is dualistic.

 

But if you continue to stare at the fingers pointing at the moon, you will miss all the wondrous glory of the moon (channeling Bruce lee here). 
 

No matter what your “choice” is, your true nature was, is and will continue to be nondual. There is no choice there. No quarters will be given in that regard. Because there can be no parts of the indivisible whole. 

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Posted (edited)

 

I'd say the "true nature" of Brahman includes the first Prana springing forth from It,  as found in the Chandogya Upanishad and elsewhere, and also return.  The "true nature" of Siva (the Lord of Yoga) includes Shakti aka as Parvati...per Saivite schools (and whatever others?) with thousands of years of Self Realized lineage holders;  thus neither first Prana or Shakti  (different words for the same eternally connected and unbreakable force) can  be divorced from Brahman as not being inherent to It even if Brahman is also transcendent beyond categories. 

 

Ardhanarishvara

627f7c3a41949_SivaShakti.jpg.95c47400df9d4a8421c3fd2d9187e0ab.jpg

Edited by old3bob
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3 hours ago, old3bob said:

I'd say the "true nature" of Brahman includes the first Prana springing forth from It,

 

That sounds like a very Tantric, as opposed to Vedantic, take on in my mind. From an Advaita Vedanta POV, creation is usually characterized as the power of Maya wielded by saguna Brahman. Brahman would remain unaffected by the seeming change just as a rope remains unaffected by the imposition of a snake upon it. However, the Tantric point of view as I've come across it is much different, and the expressive nature is quite important. 

 

Interestingly, in both cases, there is a connection between ignorance and creation. Ignorance, which often in the dharmic religions plays the role of original sin--- the cause of all our problems. But in another sense, it is the expressive creative power responsible for all the glory of creation. 

 

This is one reason I like the Tantric Buddhist paradigm. The goal is not to escape samsara, but to take part in its expressive creativity as a Buddha. 

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13 hours ago, Yueya said:

....

What I’ve written so far enters me into the fray of duel-ism. I’m very much aware of that and it’s not a place I want to dwell. However, I am irritated by some of the ignorant assumptions that are being propagated here.   (Yet I’m also impressed by some of the deep thinking on the subject by most people and Apech in particular, not to mention Bindi’s ability to take on multiple opponents with seemingly undiminished energy).  

 ...

 

white-cat-4025572_1920-1024x683.thumb.jpeg.264e6bc21dc6cbd79e043891d7177d88.jpeg

 

100015.jpeg.0af550f977dd0bfa56aaf5e83e9c31fc.jpeg

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