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I know the truth contains many paradoxes and ultimately this is a meaningless small point. However, I'm wondering what light you might shed.
Answer: All language operates in duality and so even the concept of non-duality has duality as its counterpart. The duality of Awareness and its content is the same duality that's pointed to with concepts such as the changeless and the changing, or the real and the unreal, often illustrated with the metaphor of seeing a snake where there is only a rope.
Talks or scriptures that emphasize this point are generally directed to those who are focused on the content; those who 'watch the movie' while forgetting the screen. Including/excluding is how attention operates. This mechanism is at work right now while reading these words; as the focus is on the letters while the background is ignored.
Of course, the screen and the words appearing on it cannot be separated, even by a razor, but when talking about this we could say that the screen is the permanent and the text the impermanent.
While dreaming we could say that the dreamer IS the dream character that appears in the dream, or we could say that he is not. When there is the belief that one is the dream character, it might be clarifying to hear that one is not; that one is actually the dreamer of all that appears. Once this is clear, the distinction can be forgotten -or played with- as it has served its purpose. Likewise, when the destination is reached, the map can be forgotten.
In non duality this idea is taken one step further as 'the destination' is the realization that there is no destination, no one to reach it, nor anyone to be excluded. The map, the traveler and the destination are but conceptual lines drawn in the shifting sands of the mind. All there is is This, The Absolute Presence that IS. Forever One.
Art by: Odin Kaeselau Smith Title: 'Shifting Sands'
Found at: http://www.addisonart.com/smith_ok.html
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There's no one bound and therefore no liberation from bondage. What you're referring to as liberation is the seeing or knowing of this. But a story about bondage may spontaneously appear in Being, and that story could include a theme of liberation through self-enquiry.
So in the story of self-enquiry, can liberation happen?
The story of liberation through self-enquiry unfolds in such a way that there is the impression of an entity becoming less bound as the story weakens, seemingly as a 'result' of self-enquiry. But the entity that apparently dissolves isn't really there in the first place; it's merely suggested by the story. Maybe at some point in the story this becomes transparently obvious, but until that point enquiry appears as a serious endeavour on the part of an apparent entity.
When it is transparently obvious that there are no entities that are bound, then efforts toward liberation through enquiry or any other means become a joke.
Why then do supposedly liberated beings recommend enquiry?
There are neither liberated beings nor beings that are bound; there's only Being. But so long as the story seems real, there may well appear to be 'other' beings who offer instruction.
If the story is transparent and it's obvious that there's no one bound - and therefore no one needing liberation - what serious consideration could be given to the 'liberated' status of a merely apparent 'other' or to any admonition from that 'other' to undertake self-enquiry?
It's a red herring then.
If there's a story that includes the urge toward liberation through enquiry, then the story may well continue to unfold in that way, regardless of whether I declare it to be a red herring or not. However, if the story includes being told that enquiry is a red herring and the story becomes transparent as a seeming result of that, then enquiry is indeed seen as a red herring.
Available from Non-Duality Press at: http://www.non-dualitybooks.com/
Or visit Nathan's website at: http://www.nathangill.com/
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The Boundless Ocean
1: I am the boundless ocean.
This way and that,
The wind, blowing where it will,
Drives the ship of the world.
But I am not shaken.
2: I am the unbounded deep
In whom the waves of all the worlds
Naturally rise and fall.
But I do not rise or fall.
3: I am the infinite deep
In whom all the worlds
Appear to rise.
Beyond all form,
Ever so am I.
4: I am not in the world.
The world is not in me.
I am pure.
I am unbounded.
Free from attachment,
Free from desire,
Ever so am I.
5: O how wonderful!
I am awareness itself, No less.
The world is a magic show!
But in me
There is nothing to embrace,
And nothing to turn away.
From: The Heart of Awareness : A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita;
By Thomas Byrom
Art by: Karl Theodor Bohme. (1866-1939) Title: 'The Boundless Ocean'
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Self or mind is always hiding things from itself. That's the only way it can exist.
The fact that it doesn't exist is the biggest secret it keeps from itself.
~ Robin Dale ~
From his new book "Noticing What You Already Know."
Art by: Carlos Galli Title: 'Secret Spot'
Found at: http://www.galli-art.com/
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Man of many colors
A yogi leaves his cave in the Himalayas for New York City to test his enlightenment? he decides to drop his attachment to being a vegetarian and stops at a hot dog stand and orders his lunch: 'Make me one with everything.'
The yogi gives the vendor a $20 bill. The vendor takes the $20 and gives the yogi his hot dog. The yogi waits for his change but the vendor just smiles at him...
'Surely this hot dog didn't cost twenty bucks! Where's my change?'
and the vendor replies.....
'Ah, but change must come from within!?
The yogi was so upset that he walked straight into a bar and ordered his first alcoholic beverage in his lifetime. He was the only dark skinned man there. As he waited for his shot of booze, he noticed a white man behind him.
The white man said, ?Colored people are not allowed here.? The Indian yogi turned around and stood up.
He then said: ?Listen sir... when I was born I was Brown, when I grew up I was Brown, when I'm sick I'm Brown, when I go in the sun, I'm Brown, when I'm cold I'm Brown.? ?And when I die I'll be Brown.?
?But you sir, when you're born you're Pink, when you grow up you're White, when you're sick, you're Green, when you go in the sun you turn Red, when you're cold you turn Blue.? ?And when you die, you turn bright Purple.?
And you have the nerve to call me colored??
Thanks to my friend KP, who skillfully blended two good jokes into a single great joke.
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