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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Spirituality & Beliefs > Non Duality

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  #1  
Old 22-01-2017, 06:54 AM
jimrich jimrich is offline
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Smile Semantics

I just came from a local meeting of seekers and experienced non-dualists and noticed a tendency to make speeches, quote major spiritual teachers BUT rarely ever use the 'I' word to speak of their own, direct experiences and/or understandings.
I come from a background of sharing meetings in support groups so, using the 'I' word is both easy and also way more significant to me than listening to pompous lectures, theories or disguised advice from self appointed authorities so some "spiritual" meetings are both irritating and uninformative.
If others could or would just talk about their own direct, personal and ACTUAL experiences with awakening, realizing, knowing, doing, feeling, understanding, I could learn a lot from that and take away a lot more from such simple HONESTY. The pompous though emotionally safer use of words like: we, you, they, them, us, others, all, everyone, etc. rather than the more honest and authoritative terms such as: I, me, my, mine, my self, for me, etc. work a lot better for me and gives the speaker some credibility.
I'd much rather hear or read of someone's own, personal awakening than have them tell me how it's going to be or feel for me, us, them, we or you.
"I am that" carries way more authority and meaning for me than to be told "YOU ARE THAT! ...or We are that, etc." by some self made authority figure. I know this is just about semantics but I personally prefer and can HONOR statements that come from someone's own, direct experiences rather than speeches and pompous quotes, etc.
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  #2  
Old 23-01-2017, 07:03 AM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimrich
I just came from a local meeting of seekers and experienced non-dualists and noticed a tendency to make speeches, quote major spiritual teachers BUT rarely ever use the 'I' word to speak of their own, direct experiences and/or understandings.
I come from a background of sharing meetings in support groups so, using the 'I' word is both easy and also way more significant to me than listening to pompous lectures, theories or disguised advice from self appointed authorities so some "spiritual" meetings are both irritating and uninformative.
If others could or would just talk about their own direct, personal and ACTUAL experiences with awakening, realizing, knowing, doing, feeling, understanding, I could learn a lot from that and take away a lot more from such simple HONESTY. The pompous though emotionally safer use of words like: we, you, they, them, us, others, all, everyone, etc. rather than the more honest and authoritative terms such as: I, me, my, mine, my self, for me, etc. work a lot better for me and gives the speaker some credibility.
I'd much rather hear or read of someone's own, personal awakening than have them tell me how it's going to be or feel for me, us, them, we or you.
"I am that" carries way more authority and meaning for me than to be told "YOU ARE THAT! ...or We are that, etc." by some self made authority figure. I know this is just about semantics but I personally prefer and can HONOR statements that come from someone's own, direct experiences rather than speeches and pompous quotes, etc.
What about "WE are That?" This is what "I" go with. lol

Seriously though the lack of personal pronoun use to indicate some kind of 'transcendence' of the personal is plain silly.

People should know it that "I" means the ego, or 'self' or 'little me" so to say "I am That' means the ego isn't the end of the person because there's 'That'...there's everything else including the "I".

I was also an Advaita Vedantin for quite a while, but I never got into the "I am That" or "You are That" bit because those sayings, those mahavakyas were contradictory in themselves. If they would have been "I am" or just simply "That" it would make a lot more sense because the relation between "I am" and "That" is what kicks off the whole duality game.

So when "I" speak, you know it can't be anything other than "I" because "I" don't know if the "not-I" as in "Brahman" even has a voice beyond OM!

Yes, it is all semantics and why I left the path of Advaita Vedanta and embraced the path of Tantra fully after that. It was the next step in my spiritual evolution and the most logical route for me to take.
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  #3  
Old 23-01-2017, 07:41 AM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is offline
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Oh, my Higher Self just kicked in.

"In basic terms, yes but there's a lot more to it than that. In certain academic philosophical circles of non-duality, any kind of 'personal experience' is seen as subjectively anecdotal and why wouldn't it be?

It is nice to speak of our experiences and share them with others, but the sublime experience related to non-dual consciousness cannot be described or spoken of with anybody really because words just don't exist for it.

The phrases "I am That" and "You are That" originate from the Upanishads, a branch of Vedanta dealing with the limitations of individual human thought and experience within the framework of that which lay beyond them. In the end, there is nothing more one can say, after ALL has been said and done but "thou art That". It means, 'I've taken you as far as I can go, the rest is up to YOU now'...what one makes of that is personal and individual.

This is why personal pronouns are never used and apart from that, there's the damn stupid experience of getting in with a bunch of Advaitins and alluding to the ego by saying "I" only to have them retort "and just what is this "I" you speak of?" so it's easier to just omit any reference to yourself whatsoever.

It's an experience and a half, put it that way, but yeah it's quite ridiculous".
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Old 23-01-2017, 09:32 AM
Starman Starman is offline
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I have often thought about this and came to the conclusion that most people live their lives vicariously through other people. They identify with the characteristics of others, that person is their role model, their hero, their savior. It would be wonderful though if we could all speak in an original voice, our own, about our own experiences.

I have used the experiences of others which have stood the test of time as a reference, or template, for my own experiences. We pass on knowledge by sharing our experience as related to the experiences of others. This is how we come up with the term "normal." Normal is what the majority of people are doing or how they function; normal is what we see the most in our environment; normal is what gives us "abnormal." It is based on the experience of others, and then most people compare and contrast their own experience with that designation of "normal."

I believe that we are all inter, and intra, related and part of my learning and growing is dependent on the experiences of others; they are as one possible example of what I might, or have, encountered. My story of life is interwoven with the story of others, but they are not the authority on my life. I am my own authority even to the extent that I turn my authority over to others, a higher power, etc., or refer to some noted person as an authority; for even in giving it away I have exercised my authority to make a choice.
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  #5  
Old 23-01-2017, 10:04 AM
Baile Baile is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimrich
The pompous though emotionally safer use of words like: we, you, they, them, us, others, all, everyone, etc. rather than the more honest and authoritative terms such as: I, me, my, mine, my self, for me, etc.
I use the words religion versus spiritual to highlight the two different ways people embrace and utilize their personal beliefs. The religious person generally speaks of we: We are all sinners as the classic example. Religion is primarily an outward belief-path; projecting one's beliefs onto the world. The spiritual person speaks of I and me: My personal self-development, my self-realization path. The inward belief-path. Reflective, rather than projective.
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  #6  
Old 24-01-2017, 03:32 AM
jimrich jimrich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Necromancer
What about "WE are That?"
Who/what is asking? Who are you? Who or what is this "we" and what is the "That"? I have my own answers to these questions but chose not to offer them here.
Quote:
Seriously though the lack of personal pronoun use to indicate some kind of 'transcendence' of the personal is plain silly.
To you!

Quote:
People should know it that "I" means the ego, or 'self' or 'little me"
Sometimes, yes and sometimes, no. This 'I' can refer to whatever someone want it to, IMO. The impersonal Absolute can say: I and a personal frog can say or FEEL: I.

Quote:
so to say "I am That' means the ego isn't the end of the person because there's 'That'...there's everything else including the "I".

I would want to define the 'I' and then define the "That" in that cliche before deciding what it means.

Quote:
I was also an Advaita Vedantin for quite a while, but I never got into the "I am That" or "You are That" bit because those sayings, those mahavakyas were contradictory in themselves. If they would have been "I am" or just simply "That" it would make a lot more sense because the relation between "I am" and "That" is what kicks off the whole duality game.
The ego's misunderstanding and personalization of those sayings/cliches is what kicks off the whole duality game (where there is no duality to begin with!). The personal mind/ego is INCAPABLE of understanding any of those cliches that point to Oneness or Non-duality.

Quote:
So when "I" speak, you know it can't be anything other than "I" because "I" don't know if the "not-I" as in "Brahman" even has a voice beyond OM!
When you speak or not, it is always and only the Absolute or Brahman doing and BEING whatever appears here. All there is, is Brahman or god but the separate ego is not capable of understanding that and is very FRIGHTENED by such teachings and pointers which seem to ELIMINATE the ego.

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Yes, it is all semantics and why I left the path of Advaita Vedanta and embraced the path of Tantra fully after that. It was the next step in my spiritual evolution and the most logical route for me to take.
To each his own........
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Old 24-01-2017, 03:57 AM
jimrich jimrich is offline
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Words

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Necromancer
It is nice to speak of our experiences and share them with others, but the sublime experience related to non-dual consciousness cannot be described or spoken of with anybody really because words just don't exist for it.
That is why so many modern spokespersons refer to "pointers" pointing to "non-dual consciousness" rather then attempts to describe it. I actually enjoy the new and improved terms and phrases that attempt to describe it such as the Actuality, Energy, Nothing and on and on. Keep 'em coming!

Quote:
The phrases "I am That" and "You are That" originate from the Upanishads, a branch of Vedanta dealing with the limitations of individual human thought and experience within the framework of that which lay beyond them. In the end, there is nothing more one can say, after ALL has been said and done but "thou art That". It means, 'I've taken you as far as I can go, the rest is up to YOU now'...what one makes of that is personal and individual.
I'd say that it become Impersonal after the egoic mind fails to grasp or understand the "thou art That" concept or teaching.

Quote:
This is why personal pronouns are never used and apart from that, there's the damn stupid experience of getting in with a bunch of Advaitins and alluding to the ego by saying "I" only to have them retort "and just what is this "I" you speak of?"
For me, it's the best way of all to see, know and FEEL the subtle difference between a personal 'me' and the Boundless Energy/Being that I actually am. Once I can see/feel the false, non-existent, limited 'me' that I have long believed was me, the Real me or Absolute become glaringly obvious and is seen and FELT here. The (threatening) question is only inviting you to stop and realistically see or feel who/what is actually there - You (the Real) or your (false) ego?
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so it's easier to just omit any reference to yourself whatsoever.
It's an experience and a half, put it that way, but yeah it's quite ridiculous".
That is how the fearful, angry ego sees it and always has. This very same egoic fear nailed Jesus to the cross and executed his followers. The ego is and always will be terrified of any concept that seems to threaten it's (apparent) existence and will fight such ideas to the bitter end.
So who are you - the Real or an angry, frightened, temporary little person????
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Old 24-01-2017, 04:16 AM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimrich
Who/what is asking? Who are you? Who or what is this "we" and what is the "That"? I have my own answers to these questions but chose not to offer them here.

To you!


Sometimes, yes and sometimes, no. This 'I' can refer to whatever someone want it to, IMO. The impersonal Absolute can say: I and a personal frog can say or FEEL: I.



I would want to define the 'I' and then define the "That" in that cliche before deciding what it means.


The ego's misunderstanding and personalization of those sayings/cliches is what kicks off the whole duality game (where there is no duality to begin with!). The personal mind/ego is INCAPABLE of understanding any of those cliches that point to Oneness or Non-duality.


When you speak or not, it is always and only the Absolute or Brahman doing and BEING whatever appears here. All there is, is Brahman or god but the separate ego is not capable of understanding that and is very FRIGHTENED by such teachings and pointers which seem to ELIMINATE the ego.


To each his own........
By the way you worded your initial post, I thought you were disagreeing with people who choose to make their experiences impersonal and I was agreeing with you....then I read "to you" and "to each their own" which reads like you are disagreeing with me agreeing with you. Thus I am confused now.
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  #9  
Old 24-01-2017, 04:16 AM
jimrich jimrich is offline
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Smile Normal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starman
I have often thought about this and came to the conclusion that most people live their lives vicariously through other people.
For me, living through others began in early childhood with my parents and older brother. I was not allowed or encouraged to follow my own, innate intelligence and desires and soon became quite Codependent or a Doormat to the big and powerful people around me.

Quote:
They identify with the characteristics of others, that person is their role model, their hero, their savior. It would be wonderful though if we could all speak in an original voice, our own, about our own experiences.
Yes, it would be wonderful and very few individuals are ever allowed or encouraged to follow their own conscience or path which is why religion, philosophy and psychotherapy was invented to help us get back to our own Realities.

Quote:
I have used the experiences of others which have stood the test of time as a reference, or template, for my own experiences. We pass on knowledge by sharing our experience as related to the experiences of others. This is how we come up with the term "normal." Normal is what the majority of people are doing or how they function; normal is what we see the most in our environment; normal is what gives us "abnormal." It is based on the experience of others, and then most people compare and contrast their own experience with that designation of "normal."
I call "normal" what is currently acceptable within a culture and occasionally someone dares to do or be something "different" and then that becomes the new norm or acceptable but this is not based on the experiences of others but is based on the inner promptings or conscience of certain innovators or adventurers who occasionally step outside of the "normal" box often at their own peril.

Quote:
I believe that we are all inter, and intra, related and part of my learning and growing is dependent on the experiences of others; they are as one possible example of what I might, or have, encountered. My story of life is interwoven with the story of others, but they are not the authority on my life. I am my own authority even to the extent that I turn my authority over to others, a higher power, etc., or refer to some noted person as an authority; for even in giving it away I have exercised my authority to make a choice.
And hopefully the "choices" that you make will NOT upset the "normal" folks.
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  #10  
Old 24-01-2017, 04:29 AM
jimrich jimrich is offline
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Personal vs Impersonal

Although I feel any path is good enough since there is only One thing or Being here, I see Religion as the egoic or personal path and Spirituality as the Impersonal or Pathless path. IMO, it's just a matter of choice and preference as to what "path" is taken. The joke is that there is no path or anywhere to go since this is it! This is all that there is! The limited mind/ego/self cannot grasp that and is frightened of that truth so Religion was invented to offer this frightened ego some comfort and a process to finally get "there" or into "heaven" when the comical truth is that all there is, is heaven or this right here and now! There is no where to go or become because this is already IT!
The ego or person hates and fears such a message and fights it to the bitter end. It sees such a message as a threat to it's existence, happiness and FUTURE where as Religion offers the ego: comfort, purpose, things to do to be "saved" and get to heaven some day.
Religion is for the ego. Spirituality is for the Spirit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baile
I use the words religion versus spiritual to highlight the two different ways people embrace and utilize their personal beliefs. The religious person generally speaks of we: We are all sinners as the classic example.
I'd say the use of "we" comes from being Shame-based" where the term 'I' is both very vulnerable and shameful whereas the term "we" is both safer and less "egotistical". Many of us were taught to be ASHAMED of our 'I' so we may feel afraid to say 'I' least someone, like your parents, attack you for saying 'I'. After I did some self esteem work, my very religious mother told me that I am a Sinner and I boldly told her that I am NOT a sinner but she is welcome to believe whatever she like ABOUT HER SELF. LOL she had nothing more to say about Sin or her self crippling beliefs.

Quote:
Religion is primarily an outward belief-path; projecting one's beliefs onto the world.
For me, Religion is the Ego's path to safety and continuation as a limited person who will be all cleaned up and free of Sin in some far off place like Heaven. It's the promise of eternal life as a SOMEONE or embodied ego living WITH or next to some other person called god, Jesus or whatever this other SOMEONE is called. The ego loves and embraces these Religious concepts since the ego does not want to die or disappear into Nothingness or the Void and wants to go on and on forever more as a Someone with places to go to and PERSONAL things to do there.
Quote:
The spiritual person speaks of I and me: My personal self-development, my self-realization path. The inward belief-path. Reflective, rather than projective.
IMO, the "spiritual" person no longer carries the burdens of egoic Shame and can honestly and innocently use terms like: I, me, my, mine as well as you, we, us, they, them as free and meaningful expressions of what is. The Spiritual persons identifies with Spirit or Reality and is free to speak in whatever terms fit the situation whereas the Religious person is bound by strict rules, fears, SHAME and religious expectations that usually come from other "authority" figures. The Spiritual person can speak from conscience but the Religious person has to quote a bible or their minister!
The basic difference is that a Spiritual person is free and honest but a Religious person is caught in learned concepts and beliefs so is only able to speak like a Parrot or robot. Spiritual folks "think" - Religious folks NO NOT think but only repeat what they've heard or read somewhere. Spiritual folks are OPEN - Religious folks are CLOSED.
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