Does everyone need non-duality?

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Bismuth, modified 6 Months ago.

Does everyone need non-duality?

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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If you think non-duality is something you can choose whether or not to have, you haven't seen through self in the Buddhist sense. If you are okay with that, then maybe you don't need it. I'm just curious: If that's the case, then why are you asking, and why did you sign up for a forum like this? You are welcome here, of course. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be here. I'm just wondering what drove you here. Whether or not you choose to share that is entirely up to you. 

Personally, I wouldn't want to waste the opportunity for liberation. Most lives don't offer the conditions required for receiving the dharma. Being able to do so and to benefit from it is a mercy that I wish I had recognized earlier in life. That's me, though. I won't shove it down somebody else's throat. 

Best wishes for your wellbeing.
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Chris Marti, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Is there some fundamental improvement not related to suffering that would make it worthwhile to pursue?

The question isn't "Do I pursue non-duality?" but rather "Do I want to recognize the true nature of mind and existence?" My answer was always "Why yes, yes I do!"
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Chris Marti:
Is there some fundamental improvement not related to suffering that would make it worthwhile to pursue?

The question isn't "Do I pursue non-duality?" but rather "Do I want to recognize the true nature of mind and existence?" My answer was always "Why yes, yes I do!"
For me too. That and "Hell yeah!"
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Jim Smith, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Bismuth:
If I do not see myself as having "solid self" and do not feel any fundamental suffering caused by the "liquid" sense of self that I do have.
Is it possible that not everyone has the issue that is solved by 4th path?

Is there some fundamental improvement not related to suffering that would make it worthwhile to pursue?



"Does everyone need non-duality?"

No.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/bps-essay_27.html

Dhamma and Non-duality
by
Bhikkhu Bodhi

The teaching of the Buddha as found in the Pali canon does not endorse a philosophy of non-dualism of any variety, nor, I would add, can a non-dualistic perspective be found lying implicit within the Buddha's discourses.


Buddha only taught what he thought was helpful.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Jim Smith:
Bismuth:
If I do not see myself as having "solid self" and do not feel any fundamental suffering caused by the "liquid" sense of self that I do have.
Is it possible that not everyone has the issue that is solved by 4th path?

Is there some fundamental improvement not related to suffering that would make it worthwhile to pursue?



"Does everyone need non-duality?"

No.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/bps-essay_27.html

Dhamma and Non-duality
by
Bhikkhu Bodhi

The teaching of the Buddha as found in the Pali canon does not endorse a philosophy of non-dualism of any variety, nor, I would add, can a non-dualistic perspective be found lying implicit within the Buddha's discourses.


Buddha only taught what he thought was helpful.
I wonder what Bhikku Bodhi reads into non-dualism, then, because that's utter bullshit. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Debating connotations of words does not lead to liberation. Practice does. Why not just do the practice and see for yourself? You can call whetever you find "kdvsdfjgöowdrgLwerkg" for all I care. It really doesn't matter. emoticon
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Chris Marti, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Non-duality isn't something one "needs" or "wants." It's something we all have already. It's what the universe is. Its the way things are, whether we recognize it or not. No one "needs" to recognize it, but in recognizing it we're closer to the truth of things than when we don't.
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Chris Marti:
Non-duality isn't something one "needs" or "wants." It's something we all have already. It's what the universe is. Its the way things are, whether we recognize it or not. No one "needs" to recognize it, but in recognizing it we're closer to the truth of things than when we don't.
What Chris said. Why wouldn't you want to know the your true nature of reality? Isn't that why you meditate? It's not for new age stress reduction or fun, it's because I want the truth of all things.
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Bismuth, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Non-duality doesn't mean that there can't be a sense of self. It means lots of other stuff that need to be experienced because words are futile, and yet it is very simple. It's the simplest thing in the world and the most difficult, the most reolutionary thing ever and also the ultimate "Duh!". Believe me, you would only get pissed off if I tried to put it into words, because it sounds like utter nonsense. 

It doesn't really take away suffering, but shows the awakened quality of the suffering. I find that truly liberating. I intend to spend the rest of my life seeing the awakened quality of all kinds of suffering that show up for me. I look forward to it.
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Bismuth, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Bismuth:

I dislike suffering so much that I am ready to forego even liberated quality of it.

If that’s the case I’d say that there definitely is more to it left for you that you would benefit greatly from, but probably not in the way you think.


Qualities itself seem to be subject to the same rules of the suffering as eg. sense of self so if any experience has any quality and any of my action or tendencies cause me to hold on to experience of any quality for more than few moments then it will cause me to experience suffering. If quality is allowed to change and flow then it will change each moment and just like the liquid self it won't produce any suffering. Similar to sense of self any quality can be made to not be experienced by speeding up its flow beyond the point it is experienced.

The way you and Chris talk about non-duality suggest it is about some sort of strong cessation experience associated with each sensation. I tend to keep experiences calm and flowing and go for overall niceness rather than anything that would justify use of words "liberated" or "awakened". 
Huh? No, that's not what I'm saying. At least I don't think so.
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Chris Marti, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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The way you and Chris talk about non-duality suggest it is about some sort of strong cessation experience associated with each sensation. I tend to keep experiences calm and flowing and go for overall niceness rather than anything that would justify use of words "liberated" or "awakened". 

If that's what you're getting out of what I posted here then I'm a truly shitty communicator!  emoticon

Non-duality is a realization, a sort of lens through which we can see our moment to moment experience. It does not come from, or require, cessation. One can experience it in multiple forms and ways. If this sounds kind of nebulous and hard to "grok" then I'm getting it right. (Second smiley)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Chris Marti:
The way you and Chris talk about non-duality suggest it is about some sort of strong cessation experience associated with each sensation. I tend to keep experiences calm and flowing and go for overall niceness rather than anything that would justify use of words "liberated" or "awakened". 

If that's what you're getting out of what I posted here then I'm a truly shitty communicator!  emoticon

Non-duality is a realization, a sort of lens through which we can see our moment to moment experience. It does not come from, or require, cessation. One can experience it in multiple forms and ways. If this sounds kind of nebulous and hard to "grok" then I'm getting it right. (Second smiley)
Haha! This is sort of what I meant when I said that if I'd try to explain it people would just be pissed off. It's very to the point and yet it sounds like bullshit. 

I'm not claiming arahantship, just to be clear, but I'm starting to grok it. 
Ben Sulsky, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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It seems sort of perverse to me to claim that people not into awakening are gripped by some sort of suffering of which they're not aware.  

I don't know, it seems like an obvious shadow side to me to take up a worldview that chunks people up into the initiated and the uninitiated, and then goes further and says that the uninitiated are suffering from something they're too dense to notice is a problem.  

For me, a less judgemental view is to take people at their word and suppose that some are troubled by duality and some aren't.  People who are into spirituality typically are troubled by duality whether they're into God or what happens after death or what have you.  On the other hand, some people seem entirely comfortable living a human life and then dying and don't seem particularly troubled by reflecting on what happens to "them".  Who is the wiser?  I'm not sure!

An alternative view for which I have sympathy is that the brain can integrate with reality in a variety of ways.  For some the way it comes out of the box works comfortably, and for others tinkering is required.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Ben Sulsky:
It seems sort of perverse to me to claim that people not into awakening are gripped by some sort of suffering of which they're not aware.  


I agree. That’s why I didn’t claim that. Did it seem to you like I did? Or did you not intend to reply specifically to me? It’s sometimes confusing when people reply to a post when they mean to just adress the general thread.
Ben Sulsky, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Not replying to you in particular Linda.  I just hit 'Quick reply' which I find convenient and the forum outputs that as a reply to the last post in the thread.  Typically I'll quote a post if I want to reply to it in particular.  Sorry if you felt attacked.  

I'm mostly pointing out shadow sides which I find helpful.  I'm not even sure what my own view is on this issue at this time.  It definitely changes often.

"If you think non-duality is something you can choose whether or not to have, you haven't seen through self in the Buddhist sense. If you are okay with that, then maybe you don't need it. " -- I have a lot of sympathy for this view fwiw.  When I'm flying high on meditation in particular.  There's a temptation to think the post insight (of whatever degree) frame is better than the pre-insight one because the post insight meditator remembers the phenomenology of the pre insight times, and reflects how much better it is now than then.  For me at least this raises the question of generalizablity and it seems like an easy step to attribute to (some?  many? all?  most?) other humans the same series of insights and judgements if they only went through the same steps.  But then I come back to the humans I know who appear better integrated with the world than myself and seem to have better sila but not to have the same hangups as I do about the nature of perception and existence and the like.  So I donno, shrug!  Maybe some more pluralistic views about the sociology of awakening are appropriate ?  I kinda enjoy the tension between my enthusiasm for this stuff and the observation that maybe for different wired people it's a tremendous waste of time.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Thankyou for your reply! I very much agree. I didn't as much feel attacked as worried about unknowingly expressing myself in a way that would make people feel bad somehow. You never really know. emoticon I experience similar tensions as those you described, and most likely sometimes sound terribly narrowminded. I know that I now and then fall into the trap of getting defensive about the practice and/or about Buddhism or parts of it, as if that would do any good. 
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Bismuth, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Chris Marti, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Maybe when I am older I will be more concerned with dying...

You can die from many things besides old age. I suggest you rethink this  emoticon
shargrol, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Chris Marti:
Maybe when I am older I will be more concerned with dying...

You can die from many things besides old age. I suggest you rethink this  emoticon

Is there something happening in the world that I don't know about? emoticon
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Helen Pohl, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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I've been terrified of death since age 12 or thereabouts. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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I was terrified of death as a kid and probably still as a young adult. I remember mentally sending the question "Will I ever stop being so terrified by death?" to my older and hopefully wiser future self, which somehow gave me relief and faith. Somewhere down the line I stopped fearing death like that, and as I remembered sending that question, I imagined sending the reply to my younger self. I like the idea that maybe I'm the one sending that relief and faith. I think I was even more terrifyed by the idea of not dying, like in movies where people find ways to fool death. Can you imagine the apathy? I have stopped being terrified by that too. Still I think there are remaining layers of both fears. I'm in a process of welcoming all emotions into awareness, and wow, there are lots of them dwelling in the subconscious, bubbling up now. 
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Bismuth, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Jim Smith, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Bismuth:
Aren't people practicing meditation because they suffer and want/need to get better?
This is a very common reason. But some people meditate because they want to experience enlightenment because they want to "see things as they really are". Others do it because they think enlightenment will make them better than other people and they do it for egotistical reasons. In some traditions (for example Spiritualism) people meditate for psychic development including the ability to communicate with spirits.
Bismuth:

When someone spend many hours a day for few years and go to retreats it must be motivated by something strong. Isn't it strong persistent suffering they want to get rid of?

Buddhism talks about solid sense of self which I recognize and it can certainly lead to suffering.
Is there anything like "liquid sense of self" though? It is a kind of sense of self that moment to moment changes a little, slow enough to still appear as if I was doing everything and fast enough to after few moments sense of self felt like very similar but different self. I do not experience any suffering while using it and feel pretty normal with normal experience of reality.

I am Stream Enterer and other than entering the stream I can also do fruitions (change solid sense of self in-place which immediately stops suffering makes it easier to make it "flow") and experience no sense of self by makin the stream quite a bit faster and find it good for when I am alone becase sense of self feels like something needed for interaction with other people and when being alone having sense of self makes me want to have other people around and with no sense of self I am like whatever.
I have heard this before - someone saying their sense of self is needed is for interacting with other people. I think it was Henry wijaya but I don't remember which thread.

Bismuth:


I do not however feel the need to complely remove sense of self from myself and to never experience it ever again because it does not even feel like an issue to me...

So I wonder if there is maybe some issue that I do not have that others do have and they after experiencing no sense of self find it so important to somehow lock themselves in this kind of experience permanently and do it as soon as possible and without any remainder so that they decide to go through all these break neck many hours a day practices and go to retreats. I find myself to be rather prone to sense of self suffering ad this forced me to practice to get 1st path but maybe some peope are even more sensitive to it to the point that tactics which work for me do not work for them? Does that even make any sense?


A fluid sense of self is "normal" if you are paying attention.

https://www.dhammatalks.org/ebook_index.html#selvesnotself

https://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writings/Ebooks/SelvesAndNot-self_181215.pdf
Selves & Not-self: THE BUDDHIST TEACHING ON ANATTĀ
Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu
...
We have many different perceptions of self. Each sense of self is strategic, a means to an end. Each comes with a boundary, inside of which is “self” and outside of which is “not-self.” And so our sense of what’s self and what’s not-self keeps changing all of the time depending on our desires and what we see will lead to true happiness.

Take an example from your childhood. Suppose you have a younger sister, and someone down the street is threatening her. You want to protect her. At that moment she is very much your sister. She belongs to you, so you will do whatever you can to protect her. Then suppose that, when you’ve brought her home safely, she begins to play with your toy car and won’t give it back to you. Now she’s no longer your sister. She’s the Other. Your sense of your self, and of what is yours and not yours, has shifted. The boundary line between self and not-self has changed.

You’ve been doing this sort of thing—changing the boundaries of what’s self and not-self—all of the time. Think back on your life—or even for just a day—to see the many times your sense of self has changed from one role to another.


After full awakening, you don't consider self or not-self to be any kind of issue to pay attention to. Some people want to experience full awakening, others are satisfied with with less. 

...
Still, if possible, the Buddha does encourage you to try to go beyond the level of non-return and gain full awakening. This is where he brings in another teaching, another perception. In Pāli, the phrase is, “Sabbe dhammā anattā,” which means, “All phenomena are not-self [§33].” This applies both to fabricated phenomena and unfabricated phenomena. And it’s important to note here that this perception is part of the path, not the goal. In other words, it’s not the conclusion you come to when you arrive at awakening; it’s a perception you use to get beyond your last attachments.

As the above passage states, what keeps a non-returner from gaining total awakening is a type of passion and delight: passion for the deathless and delight in the deathless. “Passion-and-delight” is another term for clinging. Even when the mind lets go of its clinging and passion for the aggregates, there still is something it may cling to: the experience of the deathless that follows after letting go of the aggregates. The mind can regard its experience of the deathless as a phenomenon, as an object of the mind. Where there is an object, there is a subject—the knowing self, the sense of “I am” [§34]—and this provides a foothold for passion and delight to arise: You instinctively want to control whatever you like, and so you try to control the experience of the deathless, even though the idea of “control” here is superfluous—the deathless isn’t going to change on you—and counterproductive: The self created around this desire for control actually gets in the way of total freedom. To counter this tendency toward control, the Buddha here has you apply the perception that all phenomena are notself, even to the experience of the deathless. This is what gets rid of the “I” in “I am.”

There’s another passage relevant to this point where the Buddha says that when you see all phenomena arising and passing away—and this includes everything, including the path and your clinging to the deathless— when you watch everything arising, arising, arising, all the time, the idea of non-existence doesn’t occur to the mind. When you see these things passing away, passing away, passing away, the idea of existence doesn’t occur to the mind. At that point, the ideas of existence and non-existence are irrelevant to your experience. All you see is stress arising, stress passing away [§35].

This has several ramifications. If ideas of existence and non-existence don’t occur to you, then the question of whether the self exists or doesn’t exist wouldn’t occur to you, either. This gets rid of the “am” in “I am.” This also does away with your fear of going out of existence if things are let go, because the mind isn’t thinking in those terms.

At the same time, you’re reaching the higher stage of transcendent right view, with a higher and more refined level of duty. As you remember with the four noble truths, each of the truths has a duty, but in this case—when you see everything arising and passing away simply as stress—all the duties are reduced to one: You comprehend things to the point of dispassion. This means that you let go, let go, let go even of concentration, even of discernment, even of the act of clinging to the deathless. In the words of Ajaan Mun, all four noble truths are turned into one. They all carry the same duty, which is to let go of everything.

This allows the mind to experience nibbāna not as a phenomenon, but as a total experience. At this point, you’ve found total happiness, which no longer needs any protection, no longer needs to be maintained. There’s no longer any issue of control or non-control. There’s no need for the strategy of self to create this happiness, and no need for a sense of self to consume or experience it. Where you don’t draw a line to define self, there’s no line to define not-self. Where there’s no clinging, there’s no need for the strategy of not-self. So strategies of self or not-self are all put aside. Even the strategy of dispassion itself gets put aside. At this point, the mind no longer has need for any strategies at all because it has found a happiness that’s truly solid. It’s not a phenomenon, it’s a happiness. The Buddha calls it a special form of consciousness that doesn’t need to be experienced through the six senses, or what he calls “the all” [§36]. It’s directly experienced as total freedom. And at the moment of awakening, there’s no experience of the six senses.

However, after the moment of awakening, when the mind returns to the experience of the senses, this sense of freedom stays.
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Bismuth, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Derek2, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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We need to distinguish between (1) what the marketing says, (2) what anecdotal reports say, and (3) what quantitative evidence says.

So far as I know, there's no real hard evidence that could fit into category (3). We're left with (1) and (2).

But marketing (1) may not be reliable. In "The Scam of Nonduality," Scott Kiloby questions the honesty of the nonduality biz.

So now we're down to just anecdotal reports (2), from a handful of people, who may or may not be representative of the population as a whole.
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Bismuth, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Chris Marti, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Here's my take:

1. A person awakens
2. The person then realizes awakening doesn't make one super-human, or a robot-like entity: humanity remains, and can still be painful
3. The person begins to deal with and accommodate this truth - accepts their human-ness, continues to adapt and learn
4. The person returns to "teaching" to help others do the same thing (see #3)

YMMV
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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Derek2:
We need to distinguish between (1) what the marketing says, (2) what anecdotal reports say, and (3) what quantitative evidence says.

So far as I know, there's no real hard evidence that could fit into category (3). We're left with (1) and (2).

But marketing (1) may not be reliable. In "The Scam of Nonduality," Scott Kiloby questions the honesty of the nonduality biz.

So now we're down to just anecdotal reports (2), from a handful of people, who may or may not be representative of the population as a whole.

It's not like you or anyone else has to believe in it. We who provide the anecdotal information just do so because people ask for it. It's totally up to each and everyone to find out for themselves how to approach life and reality and whether or not the practice is worth doing. And those who think proof is important are welcome to search for that too. Personally I'd rather just practice than proving anything. I'm not trying to sell anything and it's really none of my business what you believe. However, the practice is about investigating, not about believing, so if you really want to know, practice just might be one way to find out. Totally optional. 
Martin, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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I just wanted to say that this is a great discussion. It's very interesting and I appreciate the time each of you has spent writing it. The religious mystery around attainments means that these very valid points are often left untouched. So, thank you.
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Bismuth, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Does everyone need non-duality?

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