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. This has been a source of confusion to me. If Brahman, Presence, whatever you want to call it is unconditioned, one without a second, then why do teachers go on to explain how it manifests the universe. Or, encloses itself in matter. Once an action takes place, it is no longer unconditioned…So then what is this dream, and why do so many non-dualists talk about it as though it is the Source wanting to know itself, or something like that. Thank you.
Tom: In my view, and also in the view of many of the traditional scriptures, nobody really understands Maya. It is mysterious. How can the unconditioned give rise to the conditioned? How can One appear to be many? It’s a mystery.
And why does it (appear to) happen? Again, it’s a mystery.
However, to please seekers of differing levels of understanding, different explanations are given, such as ‘consciousness wanting to know itself’, etc. The various theories are given to appease the seeker’s mind and stop the questions so that the seeker can then get on with the real work of turning inwards and keeping quiet.
That is what all the teachings are pointing to:
Be unconcerned with the world.
Be unattached and happy.
All is well.
No need to worry.
Best wishes and pranams
There are several problems with the teachings of what is called by its advocates ‘radical non-duality’, and by its detractors ‘neo-advaita’. Personally, I quite like these teachings, and ironically* I think they have great value to the apparent seeker of liberation, but there are some issues too, which if ironed out, in my view make the teachings more effective.
*ironic as, according to the dogma of radical nonduality, these teachings are not teachings, they have no value, and everything is meaningless
Neo-advaita myth: The ‘me’ is an energetic contraction
This is not true. Contraction or a contraction of energy is not the issue. A contraction doesn’t create the sense of ‘me’. A contraction is just a contraction, nothing more. It’s a phenomena that may arise and fall from time to time, and may even persist for a while. There is no problem in this. The issue is that thought/the mind interprets the contracted energy and labels it as ‘me’. Without thought wrongly interpreting perceptions, there can be no me. So the issue is not energy not being open enough, or something being wrong with what is, but a wrong interpretation of what is. And interpretations are mediated by thought, not by energy.
Q: How do I ‘turn within’ or ‘turn towards the Self’?
Tom: There is no turning within. Turning within is just a turn of phrase! Everywhere you turn is outside. You may think you are turning within, but wherever you focus is outside. Everything you focus on is actually a subtle object, and all objects are ‘outside’, meaning non-self. All objects are seen.
How can you turn towards the seer? The seer can never be seen. By that I mean the seer can never be seen as an object. The seer is the Subject. The Subject is you.
Self knowledge simple means knowing that you exist, knowing that you are.
Ignorance is identifying as this or as that, meaning identifying as one of the myriad objects that are seen.
So, how to turn within? Just don’t chase objects, and don’t identify as objects.
You could say ignorance has 2 steps:
Step 1: identifying as this or that. This creates a false notion of self, also known as ego or the jiva
Step 2: that ego/jiva then seeks pleasure and security in the world of objects.
In Step 1 we create the structure or form of the ego. Step 2 represents the movement or function of the ego. So we have described the ego’s form and function, its structure and movement. Step 1 is rectified by insight teachings, step 2 is resolved by purification teachings.
Most teachings attack either the ego-function or the ego-form, and ‘Turning within’ can attack either function, form or both.
So, be free and easy, be as you are
See this video for more on this:
Structured Teaching 6.4
This follows on from my previous post.
It is an observable fact that our direct experience alone does not provide us with sufficient evidence to say whether or not objects in the world arise solely from consciousness (ie. philosophical idealism), or whether consciousness is a product of the material word (eg. the human brain) which in turn perceives an image of that material world (ie. philosophical realism).
Not that these are the only two possibilities – there other theories that could also account for our present experience, and perhaps other explanations that our limited human minds are incapable of understanding – but for the purposes of this article we will not go into this.
The point is, from our direct experience alone, we do not know if what we call the body is solely an image that arises in our consciousness, or if that image is a representation of a real body somewhere outside our consciousness which in turn gives rise to consciousness.
To be continued here: Why does understanding the body matter?
To see how Jesus’s teachings relate to non-duality, see here: tomdas.com/2015/09/03/jesus-and-non-duality/