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Non-duality

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Non-duality
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2/19/16 11:11 PM
I would be greatful to know if folks think what I have written below is correct or if there is any  misunderstanding.

Thanks in advance...

Without a mind to think, "this is a chair", "this is a car", "this is a tree", there is no duality, there is no multiplicity, there is just what is.

Suppose you have a room with a chair in it. "Chair" is a human word, a concept that does exist outside a mind. Without a mind to look in the room and perceive a chair, there is no "chair" anywhere. There is just the undifferentiated non-dual reality. The matter may exist in its form but "chair" does not exist until someone thinks "chair" or recognizes a chair. When a human looks into the room, the human sees what is in there and discerns there is a chair. The "chair" now exists. In that instant duality is created by the mind, for the mind, in the mind.

But consciousness cannot exist without anything to be conscious of. So the chair, giving the mind something to be conscious of, creates the mind.

The mind creates the chair and the chair creates the mind. Interdependent, without any firm foundation.

Self is just like that.

The mind sees and feels its body and creates "self" just like it created chair.

The mind perceives feelings, sights, sounds, tastes, smells, impulses, opinions, awareness, liking, disliking, wanting, not wanting, and creates "self" and other just like it created chair. Duality is created by the mind.

Understanding this is understanding non-duality.

Samadhi (a non-dual experience during meditation) is the experience of "the before thinking mind" ie. non-duality, undifferentiated reality, reality undifferentiated by mind. Samadhi is the experience of reality before the mind creates a multiplicity of things and self.

Without the experience of samadhi, the understanding of non-duality is superficial. Without the understanding of non-duality, the experience of samadhhi is meaningless.

In the undifferentiated reality, I and my friend are not different people and we are not the same person. Without mind to think "same" and "different" there is no same or different. There is just what is. Not two. Not one.

If a tree falls in the forest but no one is there, matter may move, but if there is no mind think "tree", "fall", "crash", then "tree" would not exist, "fall" would not happen, and "crash" would not sound.

RE: Non-duality
Answer
2/20/16 4:45 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Yeah kind of. But if it's "correct knowledge" then it's still a concept that someone knows. Not that it ultimately matters.

A chair is not really a chair but in the end any of the mundane thoughts can still go on. They don't affect the reality they are made of.

Btw. it's not that when there aren't any concepts or thoughts appearing that there isn't anything. Bankei called it the "unborn" which is the constant non-dual reality without the concept of it. Oh and there isn't a perceiving mind actually, that is also just a fleeting thought which doesn't really even exist as a separate thought (like the chair doesn't really exist as a chair independently from the immediate being that appears as everything). Or seen in another way thoughts are never present (they're always gone apparently) so in that sense too they can't be said to exist.

The separate self is a sense of contracted energy that feels like "me" and has boundaries within the body. The world-idea revolves around this core thought-contraction of "me". That's the root for the whole show of separation basically. I can't say if anything can be done about it. Because any doing just reinforces the belief of there being someone who can do something about it. But if doing is to happen it will happen and look like someone doing. Maybe the "mind" needs to be utilised to undo itself, although there will be a point when the apparent mind is still there and anything it does won't work anymore. Eventually it'll probably wear down and just drops for no apparent reason but nobody can say for sure how things will play out on that front, within the apparent life span of the body.

edit

Oh yeah, and a simple joy, ease, a sense of wellbeing, a deep silent peace and love are that "unborn" in actual experience when the contraction has been fully met in the form of beliefs and emotions and situations that have been feared and have been run away from. So if there is anything to do it is to stop and fully meet everything that has been tried to avoid out of discomfort and fear. And those things will be presented again and again until they are met openly without a story that whatever is appearing is wrong or difficult, unfair, too much to bear etc. Not saying that the body should be put in dangerous situations necessarily but to meet the beliefs and feelings that have remained "inside", so to speak.

RE: Non-duality
Answer
2/20/16 7:17 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
That was very, very nice. Thank you James M. Corrigan.

RE: Non-duality
Answer
2/21/16 10:22 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
I would be greatful to know if folks think what I have written below is correct or if there is any  misunderstanding.

Thanks in advance...

Without a mind to think, "this is a chair", "this is a car", "this is a tree", there is no duality, there is no multiplicity, there is just what is.

Suppose you have a room with a chair in it. "Chair" is a human word, a concept that does exist outside a mind. Without a mind to look in the room and perceive a chair, there is no "chair" anywhere.
You are trying to pick this apart with philosophy, instead of psychology, which is lots of fun but often misses the point, since it's an intellectual exercise and not an experiential thing.
Without a person there to experience a chair, there ain’t shit happening. This non crap state is not dual or nondual and the chair don’t give a crap either way. So we are not going to figure it out that way.
Lets start with a person looking at a chair and pick apart what's happening.

1) I see an object
2) I recognize the object as a chair
3) The recognition attribute has a quality to it I will call - knowing
4) The knowing of the chair continues as I stare at the chair
5a) DUALITY - The location of the knowing resides here, in its usual spot as its always been
5b) NON-DUAL - The location of the knowing shifts over to the chair. How odd that the chair knows itself where it is without a self, me, mind, consciousness, what have you, doing the knowing over there. Once this odd thing is expereinced it doesnt seem so odd. (though talking about it is to anyone who has not expereinced it)

The knowing of reality is always happening and you could in fact call this knowing feeling the self, if you wished. All the objects everywhere is creating a knowing that we assume is the subject, until there is no need for the subject.
This gets you a bit closer to whats happening.
hope that helps a bit.
Good luck,
~D

RE: Non-duality
Answer
2/22/16 6:11 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
re: Jim Smith (2/19/16 9:11 PM)

This all rings vaguely plausible, though something of a mind game, up to:

"Without the experience of samadhi, the understanding of non-duality is superficial. Without the understanding of non-duality, the experienceof samadhhi is meaningless."


Here it gets carried away. Samadhi (if you're including jhana) is not meaningless experience, with or without the understanding of non-duality. In my experience, the dual / non-dual framework is extraneous to the significance in actual practice (samadhi mutually enabling in partnership with vipassana).

"In the undifferentiated reality, I and my friend are not different people and we are not the same person. Without (mundane) mind to think "same" and "different" there is no same or different. There is just what is. Not two. Not one."

This makes sense with the qualifying addition (in red). As in Alexander Wynne's* analysis of the Upasiva-Sutta (SN 1069-1076) – "The conceptual framework upon which the dichotomies of existence and non-existence [Wynne includes elsewhere dual and non-dual] are based has ceased to function for the sage [liberated,unbound one]…"

What's the point of the dual / non-dual framework?

*The Origin of Buddhist Meditation (2007), pp.75-100

RE: Non-duality
Answer
2/22/16 9:31 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
5b) NON-DUAL - The location of the knowing shifts over to the chair. How odd that the chair knows itself where it is without a self, me, mind, consciousness, what have you, doing the knowing over there. Once this odd thing is expereinced it doesnt seem so odd. (though talking about it is to anyone who has not expereinced it)


Thanks for your reply (and thanks to everyone who replied). I would just point out that different people interpret the experience differently. Sometimes the self (along with the knowing) moves into the chair. I think they call that "oneness" rather than no-self. Both are types of non-duality.

I would be interested to know what happens when someone changes their understanding from oneness to no-self? How does that happen? What causes the change?

Thanks

RE: Non-duality
Answer
2/22/16 10:10 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:


Thanks for your reply (and thanks to everyone who replied). I would just point out that different people interpret the experience differently. Sometimes the self (along with the knowing) moves into the chair. I think they call that "oneness" rather than no-self. Both are types of non-duality.

I would be interested to know what happens when someone changes their understanding from oneness to no-self? How does that happen? What causes the change?

Thanks

Using your own words from the opening post:

"Without a mind to think, "this is a chair", "this is a car", this is a tree", there is no duality, there is no multiplicity, there is just what is."

So "what is" doesn't have a you in it or beyond it perceiving "what is". So those questions that refer to someone are meaningless. They don't actually refer to anyone. The self referral is just a mechanistic habit of apparent thought patterns. Btw. There's no non-duality either, that too is a concept. Nothing can really be said about what all these words supposedly seem to talk about.

RE: Non-duality
Answer
2/22/16 12:39 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
5b) NON-DUAL - The location of the knowing shifts over to the chair. How odd that the chair knows itself where it is without a self, me, mind, consciousness, what have you, doing the knowing over there. Once this odd thing is expereinced it doesnt seem so odd. (though talking about it is to anyone who has not expereinced it)


But the chair knows itself from the point of view of the person seeing it. So it must realize the knowing is attached to eyes that are a certain distance away and a certian height off the floor, and wouldn't it realize logically, that no matter what it felt like, the knowing must be associated with the mind in the person who has lost awareness of himself (his body)? I'm trying to understand why this is not interpreted as an unusual type of brain state, an anomoly, instead of an insight into the ultimate nature of reality.

RE: Non-duality
Answer
2/23/16 2:47 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim:

I'm trying to understand why this is not interpreted as an unusual type of brain state, an anomoly, instead of an insight into the ultimate nature of reality.


I think this idea is more about what happens when you get down to the direct experience of advanced practitioners, across traditions and belief systems.  Its a quality of awareness the develops called luminosity, and it arises due to the brain's newfound ability to process the entire visual field at once, rather than having to move attention's selection-mechanism around to dissect the field.  

The idea is that 'technical 4th path' would be the point when one has deep, intuitive knowledge of the degree of fabrication involved in the process of percetion.  However, there are levels of insight past this point, when one develops stabilized observing of the field of awareness that that process takes place within.  Processing the full sensorium as one continuous spectrum is the ultimate goal.  

Ha, I got these ideas from DreamWalker by the way!  But they make sense based on reports from other people I've had who have been farther along the path than I.  

RE: Non-duality
Answer
2/22/16 5:02 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
Sometimes the self (along with the knowing) moves into the chair.
It does? Please do tell more. What is this self that you refer to? Please speak from direct experiential sensations if you can please.
Jim Smith:
I think they call that "oneness" rather than no-self.
They do? Who is they? Have you experienced either?
Jim Smith:
Both are types of non-duality.
They are? According to who?

Jim Smith:
I would be interested to know what happens when someone changes their understanding from oneness to no-self? How does that happen? What causes the change?

Changes their understanding? Well, you might define each term first so that we can have a basis of understanding from which to change from and to.

RE: Non-duality
Answer
2/22/16 5:17 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
But the chair knows itself from the point of view of the person seeing it.
The chair does? Hmm, what a weird thing to say. Do your chairs talk to you too? emoticon (insert humor here)
Jim Smith:
So it must realize the knowing is attached to eyes that are a certain distance away and a certian height off the floor, and wouldn't it realize logically, that no matter what it felt like, the knowing must be associated with the mind in the person who has lost awareness of himself (his body)?
The person has lost awareness of himself? Really? How did that happen?
Jim Smith:
I'm trying to understand why this is not interpreted as an unusual type of brain state, an anomoly, instead of an insight into the ultimate nature of reality.
You have mentioned quite a few odd things here that I would definitely categorize as odd or an anomaly. What do you mean when you say "The ultimate nature of reality"

RE: Non-duality
Answer
2/23/16 3:54 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
Dream Walker:
5b) NON-DUAL - The location of the knowing shifts over to the chair. How odd that the chair knows itself where it is without a self, me, mind, consciousness, what have you, doing the knowing over there. Once this odd thing is expereinced it doesnt seem so odd. (though talking about it is to anyone who has not expereinced it)


But the chair knows itself from the point of view of the person seeing it. So it must realize the knowing is attached to eyes that are a certain distance away and a certian height off the floor, and wouldn't it realize logically, that no matter what it felt like, the knowing must be associated with the mind in the person who has lost awareness of himself (his body)? I'm trying to understand why this is not interpreted as an unusual type of brain state, an anomoly, instead of an insight into the ultimate nature of reality.


The person doesn't see. It is phenomenal like an animation character on the screen. Actually it's thoughts about a chooser associated with the body-thoughts and sensations. The knowing isn't attached to the eyes. That's another thought appearing. The "knowing", if you want to call it that, is prior to all the appearances, including the eyes and the notion of seeing. It's like a tv screen. The screen remains whether a movie is playing or not. And what happens on the screen in the movie doesn't really affect the screen in any way.

So there's an animation character seemingly wondering about chairs. Seemingly knowing things and trying to know more things. But there's an awareness of all of that going on. Something that is not being affected by any of it and is not involved with any of it either. Not saying that there are actual objects and a separate awareness from them but maybe it'll work as a pointer, or maybe not. But oh well.