insightful Q&A

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insightful Q&A

Postby runstrails » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:15 pm

about non-dualism (advaita) by someone called Denis Waite. It looks like you can send him questions by email and he'll post the answers on the Q&A

http://www.advaita.org.uk/discourses/q_ ... _and_a.htm
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Re: insightful Q&A

Postby Sighclone » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:22 am

Dennis is tireless and wonderful. His masterwork "Back to the Truth" is immense and inclusive. He doesn't think too much of the 'direct path' neo-Advaitists, and I tend to agree with him from a statistical perspective -- most folks need some customized help and/or traditional sadhanas. And his website is vast, also. Underappreciated, I feel -- thanks for reminding us.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: insightful Q&A

Postby runstrails » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:56 pm

Andy,

Would you mind describing what a neo-advaitist is? I had never encountered the term before reading his website (which as you say has immense information about the traditional advaita).

Would you say that Tolle, Adya and teachers and other teachers like them are neo-Advaitists since they advocate direct realization as opposed to practices from ancient scriptures?

I realize that these are just more labels which energize mind, but I'm curious now anyway. Thanks!
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Re: insightful Q&A

Postby Sighclone » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:36 pm

Dennis suggests that a relatively recent development in the discussion of Advaita Vedanta is the assertion that there is nothing that can be done to wake up, since "This is it." There is no-one to awaken, no practices to be done. This is the fundamental, simple message of the neo-Advaitist. Some examples of such teachers he lists are Tony Parsons, Nathan Gill and Roger Linden. Neo-Advaitists generally do not accept the following: Provisional acceptance of the world-appearance as real, provisional acceptance of existence of ignorance capable of being removed by knowledge, acceptance that man's purpose is to acheive realization, acceptance of the value of a guru, acceptance of the value of effort in a path to enlightenment, behavior of a realized one is relevant, acceptance that ancient scriptures have value, use of the concept of Brahman. Neo-Advaita denies the existence of levels of reality.

Probably better get a copy of his book "Back to the Truth" for a more extensive discussion. Eckhart is not a neo-Advaitist, neither is Adya, neither was Ramana. There are "direct-path" Advaitists who are somewhere between the traditional teachers like Shankara and the neo-Advaitists, and Ramana, Nisargadatta and probably Eckhart are in this group. Self-inquiry is an important element of the Direct Path.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: insightful Q&A

Postby Webwanderer » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:46 pm

Good question runstrails. Andy gave a good answer, but I feel inclined to add.

At its most basic, it's the difference between choice and no-choice. Both camps recognize fundamental awareness as essential nature, but the neo's perceive that because there is no one to choose there can be no choice. Everything just is, there is no doer, therefore there is nothing to be done.

The traditionalists hold that unique perspectives of Self exist, it's just not the ego identification created by attachment to conditioned thought. The pointers by Tolle, Adya and others, are intended to bring clarity to the essence of awareness as distinct from living through the identification with conceptual thought about a "me" - ego. Far too often a painful experience.

My take is that neo-advaita is an extremist position. It certainly flies in the face of actual experience (or maybe it's just the appearance of experience). In either case, I must be on safe ground with them in stating this, as if they are indeed right, I had no choice in writing this anyway. It just happened - that is of course if there was actually anyone actually present to write it in the first place.

So there you have it (if there is a you), can you actually make a choice to change your perspective on being? Or is it's success or failure just unavoidable happening? Is there anything to learn, or is it just the inexorable unfolding imagination of Infinite Being?

I've often wondered why a "neo" would bother to make a case for "no choice"? Who would actually care?

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Re: insightful Q&A

Postby runstrails » Sat May 01, 2010 3:13 am

Thanks Andy and WW for your replies. The 'neo's' do seem a little too radical to me.
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