Monthly Archives: September 2008

The Stale Buzzwords of Nonduality, Like “Understanding.”

Whatever happened to “understanding”? Remember when that was a buzzword a few years ago? People were divided between those who had understanding and those who didn’t. I don’t think I had it because I talked about donuts a lot.

When I used to hang around the Muktananda ashram in Santa Monica in 1980, there were people who were “receiving the light” and those who weren’t. I know I wasn’t receiving the light because … because I wasn’t receiving a damn light, that’s why.

Another buzzword: “Are you free?” Someone asked me the other day whether I was free. I said, you mean do I have the time to go get a beer or something? He said, “No, are you FREE.”

“Oh, I got you,” I said. “I don’t know if I’m free or not. I don’t know if I have understanding. I don’t know if I’m receiving the light. I don’t know if I have clarity. But if you want to hang out for a few minutes, fine, If not, fine.”

Another popular thing is the ability to see what’s obvious and to recognize it as “this.” There’s some kind of connection between “obvious” and “this.” Like you’re walking with a fellow nondualist and one of you goes, “Yeah, like it’s all just ‘this’.” Yeah, I get that. I don’t get the other buzzwords, but I get that one.

In a few years we’ll be all nostalgic about the days when “this” was such a cool buzzword. And it’s the only one I get.

I don’t think I had understanding, I was never in the Be Here Now, I definitely didn’t receive the light, and I’m not Free especially if it means I have go around asking people if they’re Free. I’d rather have a cell in San Quentin, thank you.

What I do have is my finger on the pulse of all the buzzwords. I can tell you that they go stale as quickly as a half eaten donut underneath the seat of your car. But when they’re hot and fresh we sink our teeth into them, one after another. Mmmm, the good greasy sugar of carnival food.

Authentic = Well Contrived

Some definitions….

Contrived: Ingeniously or artfully devised or planned.

Contrive: To devise, invent, design (a material structure, literary composition, institution, etc.).

The following is from the Oxford English Dictionary, showing examples of ill-contrived and well-contrived (bold highlight has been added):

1632 LITHGOW Trav. IV. (1682) 135 A loathsom contrived place. 1664 BUTLER Hud. II. III. 400 In Mansion prudently contriv’d. 1713 OCKLEY Acct. Barbary 2 The Houses are large, but very ill contriv’d. 1760-72 tr. Juan & Ulloa’s Voy. (ed. 3) II. VII. xii. 130 Most of the houses are of stone, well contrived.

My contention is that what is well contrived is known as authentic. The well contrived stone house noted in the quotation above might be known as an authentic creation and the architect as an authentic artist.

A statement by Nisargadatta is well contrived. It’s a house of stone. It’s perceived as authentic.

However, contrived is contrived. Why else would sages tell you to not waste your time reading, to not look for Truth in words? Books and strings of words are contrived.

No Sage or Master ever said Truth is found in art, in doing art, in reading a book, or in contriving anything. No Sage or Master ever said Truth was contained in their own teachings, words, or practices. Why? Because they are contrived. Beautifully contrived in some cases, but contrived.

No Sage or Master ever said to “be authentic,” or to “be your true self.” Why? Because there is no you.

So that’s why I say that even things perceived as authentic are nothing more than well contrived.

Namaste for the Gods, the Guru, and Kelly Ripa

I was watching Meg Ryan on the Regis show and as her interview ended she signified her departure to Regis’s co-host Kelly Ripa by bringing her hands together prayer-like in front of her forehead. That is to say, Meg presented the sign meaning Namaste.

Namaste means “my soul and your soul are one,” according to nonduality teacher Dr. Jean Klein. Further, Klein points out in the video Discovering the Current of Love, that when the hands are held at heart level it is intended for your neighbor and all people. When the hands are brought to forehead level it is a namaste for the Guru. When the hands are held over the head, Klein says, this is namaste for the gods.

On the Regis show, Meg Ryan brought her hands to forehead level, signifying to Kelly Ripa that this namaste was for “the Guru.”

So, what Guru do Meg Ryan and Kelly Ripa share or recognize? More broadly, what is the spiritual connection between Meg Ryan and Kelly Ripa?

How deep, diverse, and widespread is the teaching of nonduality throughout Hollywood? I think it is prevalent and takes the forms of Tibetan Buddhism, Eckhart Tolle-ism, Kabbala, and open Christianity ala A Course in Miracles. That’s only a few.

It’s all over the internet that Jeff Goldblum is reading Talks with Ramana Maharshi.

Acclaimed British actor Terence Stamp has voluntarily read the audio version of David Carse’s most nondual Perfect Brilliant Stillness.

Legendary Richard Beymer has written the wild and penetrating nonduality book, Impostor, a creation that should be made into a movie.

Since my work in nonduality over the last ten years has been to bring nonduality to “the people,” it makes sense that I would try to gauge how nonduality has penetrated the lives of people within certain groups. The mass entertainment group is interesting since it could spread the teaching of nonduality very broadly, if, perhaps, not too deeply.

An entry from my journal: Volume 1:195

Volume 1. Writing #195

This all came to you when you were very young. You know all this already. And more. Read these if you like but drop them when you must. I too have dropped many writings. I’ve already dropped 194, 193, 192, 191, and I’ve dropped my dropping. I do not re-read what I write. I write, I say it, and I drop it. Only what I write now is important. But now keeps dying. These words keep on dying and new words are constantly being born, but they die as soon as they are born. Endless words are within you. Go to them. They are infinitely more essential than these words. Yet they are the same. But you must speak them for yourself.

November 12, 1980

Girls got it right, boys got it wrong

I live across the street from an elementary school. The sound of recess is as natural as rain. The same sound as when I was a kid in the 50s and as far back and in whatever land you want to go, no doubt. The games they play are basically the same too.

Some things do change. They’re having recess as I type this and I’m laughing. A few girls are chanting in a sing song way, “Girls got it right, boys got it wrong. Girls got it right, boys got it wrong.”

We didn’t have that one in 1956. I googled the expression and nothing comes up except maybe this blog entry.

I also can’t help thinking these are the nondualists of the future. There’s a lot of “I’m right, you’re wrong,” dynamic happening in the nonduality world. “I’m enlightened, you’re not.”

Enlightenment is supposed to be about maturity. Maybe in a relative sense. Toys and games don’t go away, they only change. That’s been my observation in dealing with nonduality and thousands of people over the last ten years.