Charles A. Hillig
chillig at JETLINK.NET
Sat Aug 17 17:38:33 CDT 1996
Many blessings to you all.
For the past several weeks, I have been a silent observer so that I
could get a better "feel" for the kind of interactions that were taking
place between the members.
I have noticed that many of these recent dialogues seem to be centered
on making profoundly erudite comments about (and/or interpretations of)
some of the classic texts.
If you'll please forgive me, (and in the sincere hope that my remarks
won't be considered either irreverent or irrelevant), these discussion often
seem to border on pedantic (albeit spiritual) "nitpicking." I want you to
consider the possibility that going down those scholarly roads will only
serve to provide us with yet another diversion away from our own immediate
experience of SELF in the Here and the Now ..the only time that truly is.
Non-dualism is experiential. The "map" is not to be confused with the
spiritual "territory" that it describes. As fascinating as it may be to
ponder, the so-called "map" often only provides us with yet another
distraction along the "way-less way." And, in the end, the energy spent
in studying it often keeps us away from fully addressing that ultimate and
most primordial of all questions: Who Am I?
So, where am I going with all of this?
Well, I'm wondering if any of you would care to focus more on how your
personal way of being in the world today manifests itself
"non-dualistically." Or does it? Has your experience of this
non-traditional approach changed your lifestyle in any way? How has it
transformed your relationships? Are you truly "living down in the
marketplace" and still able to remain detached from the fruits of your own
actions? Have you really given up your idea about what "working out"
looks like and, instead, fully embraced life and the SELF that you are on
If not, then what stops you?
In short, how does the non-dualism of Shankara and Maharshi translate
now into the cyber-dream of your own melodramatic dance? I would greatly
enjoy a more "personalized" discussion of how advaita plays out in your
life. I would be happy to go first on this, but is there anyone out there
who would care to participate with me at that level?
Of course, I recognize that there are no definitive answers in any of
this, and that the ultimate truth is only to be "found" in the absolute
Yes, yes, I know all that.
But.....we can always PLAY!
So.....does anybody want to "dance?"
>From Sun Aug 18 02:56:13 1996
Date: Sun, 18 Aug 1996 02:56:13 GMT
Reply-To: kstuart at mail.telis.org
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ken Stuart <kstuart at MAIL.TELIS.ORG>
Subject: Re: Spiritual Erudition
Comments: To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
In-Reply-To: <22.214.171.124.19960817223833.31ff8150 at mail.jetlink.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
On Sat, 17 Aug 1996 15:38:33 -0700, "Charles A. Hillig"
<chillig at JETLINK.NET> wrote:
> Non-dualism is experiential. The "map" is not to be confused with the
>spiritual "territory" that it describes. As fascinating as it may be to
>ponder, the so-called "map" often only provides us with yet another
>distraction along the "way-less way." And, in the end, the energy spent
>in studying it often keeps us away from fully addressing that ultimate and
>most primordial of all questions: Who Am I?
and then later...
> In short, how does the non-dualism of Shankara and Maharshi translate
>now into the cyber-dream of your own melodramatic dance?
I actually think that what you are describing is the difference
between studying Shankara and studying Maharshi.
Now, when I say "Shankara" here I mean Shankara as we know him
hundreds of years later, in what has come down to us in texts such as
Whereas in studying Maharshi, since he was on earth much more
recently, we have a wealth of more practical information, including
interpretations of texts such as the Vivekachudamani. The question
and answer sessions that have been recorded are particularly helpful
to the student who wishes to apply Advaita in his life.
I do think that scholarly discussion about Advaitic texts are a good
thing, but certainly the personal practice you want to discuss is also
a worthy topic.
However, practice alone is not enough, as I learned from the example
of a close friend. Here is what Swami Lakshman Jee has to say on
" If an aspirant is only attached to practical knowledge [ ie
developed through practice ] and not to theoretical [ie intellectual]
knowledge, believing that the only real knowledge is practical
knowledge which is the realizing of one's own nature, then he is
incorrect from a Saiva point of view. If only practical knowledge is
cultivated and intellectual knowledge is totally ignored then there is
every possibility that practical knowledge may decrease day by day,
slowly fading away so that in the end it does not remain at all. It
is the greatness of intellectual knowledge that with its power it
firmly establishes practical knowledge. In this respect, therefore,
intellectual knowledge is more predominant than practical knowledge."
My understanding of what he is saying, is that without intellectual
knowledge, one does not know where one is going with one's practice.
kstuart at mail.telis.org
"The ego arises from the mistaken notion that the light of consciousness
reflected in the intellect and coloured by objectively perceived phenomena
is the true nature of the Self. Thus, the personal ego falsely identifies
the Self with that which is not the Self and vice versa." - Mark Dyczkowski
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list