29th May 2003
I must begin with two
disclaimers. First, everything I'm saying here applies only to the versions of
advaita that have become westernized and exoteric enough to be presented in
English to Americans. There may very well be Eastern esoteric versions of it
that are quite different and more integrated. Second, I have, on one level, very
little right to be writing this. I have never studied advaita deeply. I sat with
Ganga-ji three times and listened to many tapes of her satsangs. I have perused
the writings of her master, Papa-ji, briefly. I have read books and heard the
words of many other teachers of advaita. I have been with my wife, who, in some
ways, knows advaita intimately. I have worked with dozens of refugees from that
camp. I have not seen the whole picture,
Neither can a western mind apprehend Advaita, neither can an eastern mind apprehend Advaita.
Advaita is the end of the split-mind, a split-mind inferred by such notions of divisiveness.
Basically Mind cannot
Advaita, like the
premise of the illusory me-entity is a tool, a concept, a thorn, the deepest
possible, which is offered to the deepest misery of a disciple.
In his or her misery
the seeker beseeches the Master to say something about the final Reality and the
Upanashidic Master responded "Not-Two".
Knowing that in the
very utterance is the corruption.
"not-two" can only be relevant to an entity, can only hold relevance
in the framework of duality.
Not-Two has a meaning only in the gestalt of Two.
Keeping this is mind,
let's see what's the grouse against this tool.<s>
but I have seen more than enough, and I need to speak my mind about this. I have three things to say:
1. Teachers and realizers of the
advaitic awakening of consciousness have opened the way for consciousness
realization for thousands or even millions.
Whether none, one or 6 Billion, what difference it makes.
2. For many, advaita has provided an important platform of awakened or awakening consciousness that can be useful, especially when viewed as part of a process of further evolution and deepening (a view that, unfortunately, is usually missing).
Truth has not been
apperceived, if there continues to exists a notion of "a process of further
evolution and deepening".
Who is to evolve, who is to deepen?
The un-evolved state, the shallow/un-deepened state, has no existential reality to it.
If the un-evolved
state, the shallow/un-deepened state, has no existential reality to it, then the
"evolved state", the "deepened state" is as much a concept.
As much as the
notiona that you exist with an independent volition to evolve or not to evolve.
3. The practice and philosophy of advaita, as I have observed it, tends to kill life,
Only Life can kill
hinder realization beyond consciousness, and discourage a truly mature process of deepening and whole-Being integration.
These games are all
relevant to a "me-entity".
Please do not suppose
I am saying these games do not happen in phenomenality.
"A-dvaita", ironically meaning "non-dual", splits Being exactly in half for the sake of Realization of the Infinite half. It then unconsciously promotes a vigilant stance in that half of Being in order to hold an arm's-length the pain of the other half of Being. Advaita proposes that such a realization is the ultimate. This is not the truth.
This is one of the
hilarious understandings of Advaita, that I have come across.
Advaita does not split Reality or Being or whatever term you wish to use.
Advaita, points that the very notion of the split, is a notion.
and noumenality are not-Two.
That the "wave" in the Ocean and the Ocean are not-Two.
That the dance and the Dancer is not-Two.
Thus nothing of the
world is to be negated or affirmed, because neither is the world (phenomenality)
real or unreal.
Thus nothing to be craved or shunned.
Most practitioners of advaita who I have encountered live, on many levels, in denial of life, of pain, and of the realities of human challenges and discomforts. They tend to relate to the dark aspects of life, and indeed all manifestations of life, as mere objects of consciousness to be noticed, not followed, not embodied, and certainly not to be attached to or actually identified with (horrors!). After all, life is fundamentally unreal, so why chase after any part of it?
The question that should be posed to such "practitioners of adavita" is, to whom is Life unreal?
To that, to which
Life appears unreal, is that real?
If not, the notions, conclusions, the realizations, the experiences of a notion, of what import are they?
feeling, the held assumption of the availability of choice, to either chase or
not to chase, any part of Life, is a validation of the total lack of
apperception of Advaita.
If not-Two has been
apperceived, who is to chase OR not chase?
If chasing occurs,
whether for a blonde in a singles bar or for enlightenment, that is the chase of
If not, the cessation
of the chase, is also the cessation of that particular functioning, by That
The true apperception
of Advaita, is the apperception of the illusoriness of the sense of the entity,
not in need to cease functioning.
If the need to cease
functioning, to shun something, exists, the entity is still shining, in all it's
In any case, if you
do nothing, (don't chase), functioning does not stop.
Functioning is now,
in the form of stillness, when all of the "sense of chase" has ceased.
To do or not to do,
is not the issue.
issue is the belief, that you appear to hold so dearly , that you do the
it is once again it is you, which does the non-doing.
It is this belief to which "the need to evolve, to deepen, to
intregrate Being fully beyond Consciousness", etc etc are relevant.
Engaging in desires and reactions will only cause pain. Stay in consciousness, where you are eternally free from distress. where only the universal Self exists, and where life is beautiful all the time. My response to that philosophy is: Have fun. Stay as long as you can.
A 'you" cannot exist in the courtyard of Universality.
In the courtyard of
the Sun, can either Light or Darkness exist?
The "you" can also, not cease to exist.
cessation of existing, are relevant only to that which has an existential
That which does not
exist in the first place, cannot come to cease to exist.
Because it is unnatural for Being to remain split into a dualistic viewpoint, those who are caught in the seductive web of advaitic promises of ultimate freedom, are doomed to eventual - if not repeated - disappointment. Shiva and Shakti just can't stand being apart for that long, either within our own Being or in relationship with another. The few who (in my view, rather unfortunately) find a stable and powerful realization of consciousness in such schools are likely to be stuck for a very long time in a strange state of awakened denial of their own split. What holds them in that position is the temporary but real bliss of such disembodied relief from immersion in the chaos and messiness of embodied existence, combined with the dharmic idea (backed by the weight of thousands of years of tradition) that this realization is the end-point of the awakening process. The period between engaging in the dreams that such a state can or should be sustained, and the point of rotting out of its inevitable disappointment can span a day or many lifetimes. At the end of that period, there awaits a passage of great desolation we call The Rot. It is the final surrender of the last great hope that everything will turn out fine in the end and that there is a way out of all the pain.
Why are such promises of "liberation" doomed to create disappointment? Because, in the schools of advaita I have heard and read, it is suggested that one can and should attain a great "liberation" from the entire field of manifest phenomena.
Oh what a wonder of maya, that such schools of adavita exist and a "T" is manifested to refute them.
First of all who is that "one", who can and should attain a great liberation?
Would it not be by a "need" for such a liberation?
births the search, the seeking ,whether through the tenets of Advaita or X,Y,Z.
The existing of the
search, the seeking for liberation is the perpetuation of the apriori assumption
that one is bound in the first place.
In the very effort is
the assumption and the perpetuation of the assumption of bondage, isn't it?
objective for a liberation "from" something, is the apriori assumption
of the existential reality of that something, isn't it?.
The shackles around
my ankles, have to be assumed to be real, for me to jerk against them, in order
to be free from them.
In the jerking, is
the perpetuation of the belief that the shackles are real.
And thus, is it it
any different than, to be stamping on your shawdow, in order to get rid of it?
If you've studied my writings, you'll know that I don't believe this to be possible, at least for long. I say you cannot be released from the world because you ARE the world. Any such "freedom" from one part of your own Self must necessarily split your whole Self. The advaitic teachers say that consciousness is the True Self. I say that the bodymind and the world are ALSO parts of the True and TOTAL Self.
The objectivization of the Self, by the Self, is the personalized self.
The Self and the
personalized self are Not-Two
Thus the end of the
objectivization, can only be by the Self, not the personalized self.
Again, let it not be
construed that Self has become self.
The appearance of
phenomenality does not in any way alter the uncity of noumenality.
A horse, while
sleeping or awake, is always standing.
The sleeping state or the awakening state, in no way, alters the basic condition of the horse.
That is why, it is
said that phenomenality is the dream of the Dreamer, the dance of a Dancer.
Am---> I am T, .................has really not happened, just appears to have
The only way this could not be true is if consciousness was somehow divided from the world, which it is not. We believe in such a split for awhile (OK, billions of years), but only until the realization of non-separation dawns.
What most modern schools of advaita seem to be missing is the actual realization of Being as One Event. Yes, some say stuff like that. And, from the perspective of awakened consciousness, things can certainly appear that way. But transcendental consciousness is by definition transcending the world. If your True Self is transcending this world, what does that leave you to conclude about your worldly self? Obviously, that it is somehow not True, not Real, and ultimately not to be taken seriously.
That is why the
transcendence does not in any way affect the immanence.
The sage dreams and simultaneously witnesses the dreaming.
I say that this attitude deadens the vitality of the 3-D self, the animal body. It robs the animal of its sensuality, its grittiness, and its passion for life in the field of attachments, aversions, happiness, and sadness. It is through manifest form that the Divine plays and finds Itself. It is in the Divine play of Life that Love is manifest.
If you think we came here to figure out how to get out of here, think again. Maybe there is more.
Neither is there a 'you" which has come, nor is there a 'you" which gets out.
All comings and goings are in the field of entitification.