The Advaita Trap

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Webwanderer
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Re: The Advaita Trap

Post by Webwanderer » Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:07 pm

But can a tree be beautiful? In my world it can. Is it a concept? Sure, but so long as I know it's a concept and that life is one, what is lost by enjoying a conceptual perspective? Can life be lost by the exploration of creative expression? I don't see how.

The problem comes when we don't recognize what we see as concept and develop a perspective of separateness from the observed - a 'not me' kind of relationship. To drone on about 'there is no me' and 'I don't exist', more often becomes a conceptual perspective in its own right. It seems lifeless and limiting. I submit that the concept of beauty exists for a reason (for that matter the existence of conceptual perspectives in general), and until we become experientially cognizant of the nature of creation, living from an 'I don't exist' core perspective is counter productive (or counter creative) and limits one's experience of being.

WW

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Re: The Advaita Trap

Post by Ralph » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:52 pm

When awake nothing makes any declaration about anything, draws no conclusion about anything.
.. just like what those kids are doing in the background of that video clip . Have you noticed them ?

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Re: The Advaita Trap

Post by runstrails » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:03 am

Hilarious video! Thanks, km.
WW wrote:To drone on about 'there is no me' and 'I don't exist', more often becomes a conceptual perspective in its own right. It seems lifeless and limiting. I submit that the concept of beauty exists for a reason (for that matter the existence of conceptual perspectives in general), and until we become experientially cognizant of the nature of creation, living from an 'I don't exist' core perspective is counter productive (or counter creative) and limits one's experience of being.
Well stated, WW.

In the end, awareness, separation, non-duality, oneness are all simply concepts too. Embrace the mystery, know that you don't really know anything :D
Mind just can't comprehend the mystery of life. It's truly liberating to accept that and that allows you to enjoy life, to really 'feel' life, rather than think about it constantly. Of course, thinking in moderation is fine (and necessary) too, just balance it with feeling, exploring and reveling, when possible!

Great thread!

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Re: The Advaita Trap

Post by enigma » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:11 am

Some great responses here. Not sure I have anything to add.
The paradox is that what needs to be said to loosen the identity with the separate self tends to dis-empower as long as that identification remains, and so we hear stuff like 'there's nothing I can do because there is no me to do it', and we sit around and wait for the grace of God to descend upon us, but the whole point is that you ARE God already.

This isn't often said because the identification will often latch onto that idea and declare itself God instead of surrendering the false identification. Maybe the cure is to clarify that what you are is impersonal, so you never get to start throwing lightning bolts or controlling anything.

However, at some point it's necessary to take this larger perspective so that stagnation doesn't happen.
To declare 'I have no free will' is as false as saying 'I do have free will'. Both refer to an illusory 'I'. The question of free will is misconceived.
Likewise, to say I do or don't have control over my thoughts is a misconception. Thoughts arise and are followed because of 'your' interest in them, and so deal with the interest instead of splitting the mind and trying to control something, or giving into the thoughts, as though it has nothing to do with you.

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Re: The Advaita Trap

Post by the key master » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:23 am

What a brilliant mind.

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Re: The Advaita Trap

Post by hanss » Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:29 pm

:D Thank you for the link. I also like this comment:

There is also no one kicking you in the balls. There is no foot and no balls and yet you're bent over groaning.

That is the reality for us unenlightened people, concept or not, dream or not 8)
"In today's rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being."
(Eckhart Tolle)

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Re: The Advaita Trap

Post by hanss » Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:31 pm

Ralph wrote:
When awake nothing makes any declaration about anything, draws no conclusion about anything.
.. just like what those kids are doing in the background of that video clip . Have you noticed them ?
Yes, they are doing what we are talking about. Being present, living in the moment and enjoying life :)
"In today's rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being."
(Eckhart Tolle)

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Re: The Advaita Trap

Post by Freespirit » Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:03 am

I loved this video. Good stuff.

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Re: The Advaita Trap

Post by mistral » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:06 pm

Yes, this cartoon is excellent-- a cartoon is a really good way to bring up this whole 'advaita boondogle' .

Many years ago my friend William Samuel was explaining this same thing --- it still holds true--

You will like this-- go see:


http://www.williamsamuel.com/06-10-09-cw-zentrap.htm

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Re: The Advaita Trap

Post by James » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:51 pm

Thanks for the cartoon Jason.

Mistral wrote:
a cartoon is a really good way to bring up this whole 'advaita boondogle' .
I would be careful not to paint all Advaita with a broad brush stroke, I don't think that was your intent here. The cartoon was posted by an Advaita teacher Jeff Foster, his point was to illustrate the potential trap of Advaita, not to dismiss the teaching entirely. I remember Jeff telling a story about how he was talking to his mother about a tree, his mother said isn't that a beautiful tree?, and Jeff went into a similar discourse about the tree existing only as a concept. Then later on he realized his hang up, and thought, I should have just said "yes Mom it is a beautiful tree".

The respected William Samuel was a friend to some well known Advaita teachers, one of whom I know was inspired by him.

The point is that all teachings have potential traps whether they be Advaita, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Eckhart Tolle, or whatever it is. It's helpful to know that each authentic realized teaching is just a facet of truth, but not the complete truth. It's one perspective of many, and the facets are not mutually exclusive, just as a Diamond has many facets, all existing as the reality and making up the larger truth that is Diamond. The mind likes to land itself on one facet and say this is it, this is the only truth, it takes the pointers literally rather than experiencing what they point too. Or if the mind does have an authentic realization of a facet of truth, it may get stuck there and not be able to see the big picture, because the facet seems so real or complete from that temporary perspective. That is the birth of fundamentalism and rigidity, that is the trap.
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

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Re: The Advaita Trap

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:37 pm

Well said James.

WW

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Re: The Advaita Trap

Post by mistral » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:53 pm

:D Yes James said it very well--- and I thought each and everyone had really bright and authentic responses to what the real message was behind the cartoon---

it's always my joy to share William Samuel's honest and brilliant take on these matters-- I think he had a very special way of conveying these 'inconceivable ideas' which brought many to the direct seeing within their own Heart--- He speaks to from the Heart to the Heart. He has a way with his words that can be quite liberating for those who might be caught up in the more intellectual 'semantics trap'.

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