Nonduality, oneness, and modern Advaita Vedanta quotes
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Explications from Various Authors and Teachers
Maharaj (from I Am That):
"When you go beyond awareness, there is a state of non-duality, in which
there is no cognition, only pure being. In the state of non-duality, all
"Nonduality" means, as the Upanishads put it, "to be freed of
the pairs." That is, the great liberation consists in being freed of the
pairs of opposites, freed of duality-and finding instead the nondual One
Taste that gives rise to both. This is liberation because we cease the
impossible, painful dream of spending our entire lives trying to find an up
without a down, an inside without an outside, a good without an evil, a
pleasure without its inevitable pain.
To awaken to the absolute view is profound and transformative,
but to awaken from all fixed points of view is the birth of true nonduality.
Enlightenment means the end of all division. It is not simply having an
occasional experience of unity beyond all division, it is actually being
undivided. This is what nonduality truly means. It means there is just One
Self, without a difference or gap between the profound revelation of Oneness
and the way it is perceived and lived every moment of life. Nonduality means
that the inner revelation and the outer expression of the personality are
one and the same. So few seem to be interested in the greater implication
contained within profound spiritual experiences, because it is the
contemplation of these implications which quickly brings to awareness the
inner divisions existing within most seekers.
Advaita means, "not-two" and reveals the truth that all objects are
expressions of unqualified Consciousness and always point back to Awareness,
our true nature, the unfathomable Vast-ness-that-we-are. Consciousness and
its objects are One, not two. This can never be conceptualized, only
intuitively realized. Yana is the pathless "path" we traverse as our
misperceptions of separation are healed. This path is not developmental.
Separateness is not a case of something that exists becoming non-existent.
Our 'self' never exists in the first place except conceptually. The path
reveals the non-existence of the 'self' that always was nonexistent. Yoga is
the means we utilize in realizing our non-separateness. We investigate all
that we take ourself to be (body, senses and mind), and understand That,
which we always are Be-ing-unqualified Presence. The body/mind is an
expression of Consciousness, and we are That unqualified Consciousness.
There is only Consciousness. Our yearning to understand comes from
Consciousness. The path we traverse unfolds in Consciousness. The means that
we utilize are the tools provided by Consciousness. And That, which we
realize is Consciousness. Therefore, the emphasis of Advaitayana Yoga from
the beginning, in the middle, and at the end is not on transformation but
upon seeing, listening, understanding and welcoming all that is. From the
non-dual perspective nothing needs to be changed in order for freedom to be
ex-perienced. It takes effort to live our separateness. It takes no effort
to be free. This is the final understanding of Advaitayana Yoga.
Bede Griffiths (1997):
"Advaita (nonduality) does not mean "one" in the sense of
eliminating all differences. The differences are present in the one in a
mysterious way. They are not separated anymore, and yet they are there."
from Andrew Harvey, in
"Dialogues With a Modern Mystic"
Andrew Harvey and Mark Matousek:
Advaita is not monism. Advaita means "not-two." We and the universe
are not "one": then all distinctions would be destroyed. We are "not-two,"
intricately interrelated with everything, both separate, unique *and*
united. The astonishment of this dance of "not-two" grows slowly as the mind
and heart open in divine love and wisdom. Imagine that there was a heap of
gold and a skillful smith. The smith made fir trees, geraniums, tables,
human beings, lamps. Every object had a different shape, a different purpose
and identity but was made of the same thing. Look at the sea. All waves are
rising and falling differently, in different rhythms, with different
volumes. Some catch the light some do not. You can see the separations
between the waves but what you also see quite clearly is that all the waves
are water. That is what the knowledge of "not-two" is like. Things retain
the separateness which the senses give them, which we use to negotiate this
reality, but the illumined mind knows that all things are Brahman, waves of
one infinite sea of light. You know, in other words, that you and everything
and the light that is at all times manifesting everything are "not-two," and
"you" come to exist normally on all levels of the divine creation, and meet
"yourself" in all states, events, conditions, beings. This is sahaja,
spontaneous negotiation of and union with all dimensions at all moments.
Nisargadatta Maharaj explains most lucidly the marvelous transitions to this
state: "When the I am myself goes, the I am all comes. When the I am all
goes, the I am comes. When even I am goes, Reality alone is and in it every
am is preserved and glorified."
It is wonderful that this the most ultimate and holy of all possible
experiences in this world, that of unity, of advaita, has to be enjoyed by
everyone in their own profound solitude, at that diamond point of solitude
at which everyone secretly joins and meets God and each other and all
things. This final experience kept for this most sacred and secret moment
and is too vast an precious to be ever completely communicated. This is the
moment when the created one returns to the source of creation the moment at
which all laws, dogmas and techniques that helped the mystic arrive at that
diamond point vanish in the silence of return to origin.
"Basically, non-duality is a continual correction of dualistic
conceptions as they arise. It's a spontaneous process which, without
judgment, playfully erases lines of division as they arise. You can't have a
map without lines of division, certainly. Celebrating non-duality is
pre-mapping or post-mapping. It doesn't negate mapping, because when you
have a good map, there's the paper right behind it, giving it vividness and
making it readable. How to get to this conscious state of being the paper?
We have to be extremely careful about the language we use here. There are no
energetics, no dynamics, no structures in non-duality. These come later. If
our structural social forms are consciously rooted in the celebration of
non-duality, they can be more energetic, more dynamic, more kind, more
Karen Osborne Pope discusses 'Ecofeminist
alternatives to interpreting the World'...
In a dualistic world view, you might have femininity/
Ecofeminist philosophers consider various alternative conceptualizations of
a relational, interdependent understanding of reality.
Charlene Spretnak defines her philosophical radical nonduality as "the
existence of unitive dimensions of being, a gestalt of a subtle, unitary
field of form, motion, space, and time."
Rationalism denies organicism: if you think you can't feel The self as
separate rejects the unitive notion of being "one with the universe"
According to Spretnak, nonduality "mean(s) a dynamic system of relations
wherein any particular manifestation functions simultaneously as a distinct
part AND the unbroken whole. The parts are not derivative of the whole, nor
vice versa. Each aspect constitutes the other. " Metaphors of a web or a net
are often used by nondualists, but they seem to me not quite dynamic enough
to convey subtle processes of wholeness and diversity, of nonduality and
T'ai Chi Chih and Non-Duality
"Advaita" in Sanskrit means "Non-Duality." This is
a difficult concept for most people as we look about us and see multiple
objects. But what we see are only transformations not permanent forms,
whether we are speaking of a chair, a tree, or a human being. Each exists
provisionally, but is certainly not lasting. One day the tree may become the
chair and the human body will be eaten by worms. The "I" that observes all
this may disappear and become another "I". To bank on permanence is to
promote suffering. When we perform T'ai Chi Chih properly we feel the
results. Since we are, essentially, a conflux of moving energies,
stimulating and balancing the Intrinsic Energy (CHI) affects our whole
being. The effects seem to be personal, but, in truth, they are widespread.
Just as our Enlightenment is "Saving All Beings", so does the balancing of
the Universal Energy affect both the outer and the inner. So many students
have written me about how their lives have changed with the practice of T'ai
Chi Chih! Those who truly practice note that their attitudes change--and
others notice it, too. We do not heal symptoms; we become "whole". So, to
practice regularly and sincerely is to promote the positive in this world;
we reap the benefits. This is "Advaita" in action.