ON APPEARANCES

‘Things appear’…’This appearance’…

…Appearance is a descriptive term. This is how things appear to be. To say something ‘is’ or ‘is not’ is to stray into the domain of concepts and beliefs. No need to go there.

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Jesus – ‘do not love the world’

Jesus walks water
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:15

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
James 4:4

…the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
1 John 5:19

…the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
John 1:5

Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.
John 18:36

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Matthew 6:24

Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.
1 John 3:13

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
John 15:18-19

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.
1 John 2:16

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
1 John 2:17

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
John 17:14

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Romans 8:13

Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
Luke 6:26

For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Jeremiah 2:13

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:27

The Ultimate or Highest Truth according to the Upanishads

There is a famous verse in the Upanishads that explicitly and specifically proclaims to hold the highest truth.

This verse was considered important enough that it was also incorporated into Shankara’s masterpiece Vivekachudamani and also Gaudapada’s main work, his commentary on the Mandukya Upanishad (the Mandukya Karika).

In fact it is the only verse that I know of that is repeated not only in more than one Upanishad, but is also repeated by the two greatest traditional exponents of Advaita Vedanta (ie. Shankara and Gaudapada) in their subsequent works.

Here is the verse:

There is neither destruction (Nirodha) nor creation (Utpatti), none in bondage (Bandha) and none practicing disciplines (Sadhaka). There is none seeking Liberation (Mumukshu) and none liberated (Mukta). This is the ultimate or highest truth (Paramartha).’

As I said above, this verse is found repeated in the Amritabindu Upanishad in verse 10, in the Atma Upanishad in verse 2.31. It was later incorporated by both Gaudapada (Mandukya Karika 2.32) and Shankara (Vivekachudamani verse 574) in their writings.

What do you think of this verse?

Q. Are we not an individual viewpoint of Cosmic Consciousness?

Q. We are all connected, like buds on a rosebush are all connected. And when a rosebud blooms, we do not state “there is no rosebud, there is no bloom.” And yet, you seem intent on denying the flowering of your own local focal point of consciousness. You are an individual viewpoint for the Cosmic Consciousness (aka Brahma). Like a rosebud, you have bloomed. 

I understand that awakening is unlike an academic or professional accomplishment. It’s not something that you have printed out on a sheepskin and get framed and hang on your wall. It’s not something to brag about. Its not something to check off on your spiritual “bucket list.” But to deny that the mind/body combination known as Tom Das has had his awakening to oneness makes as much sense as denying that a rosebud has opened and is in full bloom. Those Satsangs that you share with the world as part of your Sadhana are you sharing the fragrance of truth. What purpose does denying your awakening have?

Tom: I know it may appear that Tom Das has awakened, etc, but actually Tom Das is just an appearance, nothing. There is no-one here that knows anything, although it may appear that way within the waking dream. The ‘me’ identifies itself & believes itself to be a body-mind entity and projects that identity onto others, and so believes that Tom Das or whoever has ‘woken up’. But this is all part of the apparent dream. I agree there is no point denying the appearance (I do appear to be Tom Das), but it is empty and non-significant with respect to liberation/non-duality. The scriptures have tried to explain this in many ways, I will try to find you a few quotes…Namaste

Here are the quotes I later put together: Ramana Maharshi Quotes: Nobody here/ the jnani is not a person

Q. Are we not simultaneously a person AND everything?

Q. The thing here is… we (Brahma) incarnated on this planet as 7.4 billion people and countless animals and plants and the planet itself. Brahma chose to be us, in different bodies and different personalities and different life stories and ultimately, these bodies and personal identities will end, but while we are incarnated in our current forms, are we not looking for the “middle path” as we make our way through the world? We are individually and collectively Brahma and Atman simultaneously.

I understand and fully comprehend everything that Sri Ramana Maharishi is saying [in these quotes] . But I get the sense that you are inviting people to abandon their egoic sense of self (Atman) in favor of identifying as Brahma. The middle path IMHO is when one can hold both illusions (or ultimate truths depending upon your perspective) in mind simultaneously. When you are at work and a patient or coworker says “Dr. Tom Das” you don’t ignore them or say something confusing like “I am not this body, I am not this name, I am pure conscious awareness disguised in human form” you go ahead and answer to your name. You and other people who have experienced awakening and not ended up in a no-self dissociative state continue to have an ego. It’s how you and everyone else navigates this world. I don’t find it particularly useful to deny the continued existence of this ego.

You ARE Tom Das and simultaneously, you ARE everyone and everything and everywhere and everywhen. I don’t see the Atman / Brahman as an either/or decision. It’s NOT a case of mutually exclusive choices. We can and ideally are a mixture of both. Deny the existence of Tom Das all you want but you will still answer to your name and show up and fulfill your roles in life and at work. Repeated denials that you are Tom Das seem even sillier than an actor on the stage repeatedly telling the audience “I am not really Hamlet.”

Tom: I agree it is not about abandoning one view for another – that is more duality, more ego, more ‘me’. What you have written is also not the middle way, which is about not being attached to any conceptions of self, at least according to Nagarjuna.

The teachings, as I have explained before, are pointers that tend to aim at removing ignorance, not truths.

The view you are advocating is called Vashisthadvaita in the Vedic texts in which multiplicity is acknowledged to co-exist with Brahman, whereas the views coming from myself and Ramana in the above quotes are advaita (no multiplicity) at times and ajata (no creation) at other times.  Traditionally the non-dual teachings proceed from dvaita (duality) to vashisthadvaita, to advaita to ajata, so you will find all 4 types of expressions in the scriptures and from the sages.

Traditionally the non-dual teachings proceed from dvaita (duality) to vashisthadvaita, to advaita to ajata, so you will find all 4 types of expressions in the scriptures and from the sages.

The first 2 of the views (Dvaita and Vashisthadvaita) can be understood by the mind and seem to make sense within the subject-object reality that is imagined to be real by the ‘me’ or ‘ego’. The fact that they are understandable and they do somewhat relieve suffering makes them valuable teachings to the seeker (ego), whereas Advaita and Ajata cannot be comprehended by the mind and makes no sense to the mind which only  can think in terms of subject-object.

If everyone thinks an actor is only Hamlet, and they don’t realise he is an actor playing the role, the teaching ‘I am not Hamlet’ becomes more important, which is why these teachings tend to be emphasised. You could say I appear to be Tom Das, and there is no need to deny this, but in reality there is only the Inexpressible This.

What are you most proud of in life?

Questioner: Tom, what are you most proud of in life? ‘Being proud of’ suggests a possessive quality which pertains to a ‘me’ like ‘being sad because’ and hence, we both know that only a ‘me’ can be sad, but nonetheless, are you still proud of something?

Tom: There are probably some things I am glad I have done or achieved, but, as you state above, there is no me who can claim ownership, so no real pride in that sense.

Washing machines and Non-Duality

If your washing machine is broken, you can get it repaired. If your cut yourself, you can apply a plaster. If you have mental health issues, you can see a mental health professional.

This is all well and good, but has nothing to do with liberation.

Liberation already is. It is much simpler than getting your washing machine repaired or mending your body or mind! Nothing is required. Which doesn’t mean that you can’t fix your washing machine or see a mental health professional.

Just this, simply this, as it already is.

Online Liberation & Non-Duality Meeting this Thursday

Tom Das online satsang.png

Please join me for an ONLINE MEETING this week.

I’ll be online this Thursday 16th May at 8pm (UK time) to talk about all-things Non-Duality & Liberation. All are welcome to attend and it’s easy to join me if you have not done so before:

To join simply make a payment of £10 beforehand here. Then click here at the meeting time to join and just follow the instructions. If you have never used Zoom before it will prompt you to download the program onto your computer/phone/tablet.

(The full link to the meeting if you need it is here https://zoom.us/j/9409264979)

To find the time of the meeting in your timezone you can do so on this website.

I do not turn anyone away if the cost of the meeting is prohibitive, so please let me know if this is the case with you.

Details of all my events are posted here.

I look forward to meeting you soon.

Tom