Non-Duality

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by cavalier, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. cavalier

    cavalier New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    0
    When I first came across the concept of non-duality, it seemed that I was supposed to believe that "good" and "bad" did not really exist. I have a problem with this since it seems clear, to me at least, that "bad" really does exist.

    I wonder now if I perhaps misunderstood the concept.

    Should I instead be thinking that "bad" is bad, and "good" is good, but that it is unhelpful for us to attach values to those things? A bit like the lines from that Rudyard Kipling poem, "If"
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same


    So, is it that good and bad don't exist? or that they do, but one is not better or worse than the other? or is there another explanation?
     
  2. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    9,437
    Likes Received:
    3
    That first line in that poem... Doesn't strike me in such a fashion in reference to good and bad... It strikes me as bluffs.... It isn't saying there isn't a gooooooood or a baaaaaad.... It's saying... Certain levels are bs.... :| That's what I get anyway....
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,216
    Likes Received:
    2,153
    I'm sure someone can explain it better than I.

    In my understanding everything just is.

    Dang I need that old poem about the prince who fell off his horse!

    What we perceive to be bad in one moment we perceive to be good in the next. If it were truly bad we would not perceive it to be bad in the first place.

    A weak example.

    I was one of 200 carpeneters working on the MGM Grand in Reno...the first layoffs came...50 guys...I wasn't one of them, that's good. Next layoff, 75 guys, I wasn't one of them, that's good. Next layoff, 50 guys, I wasn't one of them, that's good. Next layoff they get rid of all but their regulars...I'm gone. I worked another 2 months longer than the first layoffs...however 70% of them had found work, the rest were sittin on the bench at the hall. The biggest job in town was gone and everyone else got the available jobs.... If I'd been laid off in the first or second go...I'd have had a job in a week.

    So there was nothing, so in 1981 I left my $15.15 per hour cushy commercial inside union job and went to work as a $6 an hour laborer for a home builder...that's bad. Working with him gave me the training on all phases of construction and when he laid me off a year and a half later...bad? I was able to go to work as foreman...then superintendent...then project manager....

    Good, bad or just is?

    I lost my wife's parent's to cigarettes, and my dad, my sister to diabetes, my wife left me, lost my house to foreclosure.....

    Good, bad or just is?

    Non-duality is incredibly freeing.
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,216
    Likes Received:
    2,153
    [FONT=arial,helvetica][SIZE=+1]IF[/SIZE][/FONT]
    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
    But make allowance for their doubting too,
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
    If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breath a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
    If all men count with you, but none too much,
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

    --Rudyard Kipling
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,216
    Likes Received:
    2,153
    Found it...

    In ancient times there was an old man in China called Po Sou. He was fortunate to own a strong horse. Although he depended on the horse for his livelihood by renting it out to people and using it himself, it disappeared somewhere or other. Those who heard about his loss felt it was terribly unfortunate. But when they consoled the old man, he said, "Why get so excited? It may or may not be a good thing." People found this attitude strange, but the horse came home, bringing along another horse of equal quality. Since this was a very fortunate development, the old man's friends and even casual acquaintances rejoiced.
    Again, the old man said, "Why get excited? It may or may not be a good thing." Shortly after this, the old man's son mounted the horse, fell off, and broke his arm. Hearing about this, people came to pay their condolences, but again the old man said, "Why get excited? It may or may not be a good thing."
    People again found this strange. A year later there was a great war throughout the country. When soldiers were drafted for this conflict, men were also called up from the old man's area. All went to war, and all died. Because the old man's son had only one good arm, he escaped this fate. Thus, although he had only one arm, he had his life.
     
  6. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    9,437
    Likes Received:
    3
    That poem is freaking sweet..... I could pick at it... But, we shall leave that... That is a very good poem.

    Do you get excitied in the fact that he lost his arm but gained his life? Because that may not be a good or bad thing..... Three years down the line he lost his private bits messing around with a farmers daughter...... :| IF he had gone to war at least he would have died with dignity and pride... Now he is missing a bit more than just an arm....
     
  7. Neemai

    Neemai that's my Boss in the pic

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Classic poem Wil! Brilliant! :)
    I love the last two lines especially - genius!

    In addition, and along similar lines (from the Gita):

    O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed. (Bhagavad-Gita 2.14, Krishna speaking to Arjuna)


    ... Neemai
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,216
    Likes Received:
    2,153
    Namaste Cav,

    I should really look at which board things are in prior to running off at the fingers....my answers are my perspective and am not knowledgeable to the Buddhist thinking in this regard.


    my apologies...
    Now I just posted it, Rudyard wrote it and Cavalier referenced it.

    Nice Gita quote you provided...and yeah imo the Christian version of same is Seek ye first the kingdom of Heaven...
     
  9. cavalier

    cavalier New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    0
    No worries:)
    Though I do hope I get some more answers to my original question:rolleyes:
     
  10. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    6,688
    Likes Received:
    145
    By pursuing this line of reasoning in this manner, you are creating a duality between dualism and non-dualism, which could lead to a dangerous state of confusion. Instead of confusing good and evil, focus in on the interconnectedness of all things, and looking at things from a variety of perspectives. Think about transforming 'bad' into 'good,' while also being mindful of how 'good' could become corrupted into 'bad.' This might lead towards skillfulness, rather than confusion.
     
  11. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,292
    Likes Received:
    22
    Hey, SG, I kind of thought you would have posted the 3rd Patriarch’s gatha! Obliged as I am to your pointing me to the version that you did, I (with my discriminating mind) prefer this translation:


    “The Great Way is not difficult

    for those who have no preferences.

    When love and hate are both absent

    everything becomes clear and undisguised.

    Make the smallest distinction, however,

    and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.


    If you wish to see the truth

    then hold no opinions for or against anything.

    To set up what you like against what you dislike

    is the disease of the mind.

    When the deep meaning of things is not understood,

    the mind’s essential peace is disturbed to no avail.


    The Way is perfect like vast space

    where nothing is lacking and nothing in excess.

    Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject

    that we do not see the true nature of things.


    Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,

    nor in inner feelings of emptiness.

    Be serene in the oneness of things and such

    erroneous views will disappear by themselves.


    When you try to stop activity by passivity

    your very effort fills you with activity.

    As long as you remain in one extreme or the other

    you will never know Oneness.


    Those who do not live in the single Way

    fail in both activity and passivity,

    assertion and denial.

    To deny the reality of things

    is to miss their reality;

    To assert the emptiness of things

    is to miss their reality.


    The more you talk and think about it,

    the further astray you wander from the truth.

    Stop talking and thinking,

    and there is nothing you will not be able to know.


    To return to the root is to find meaning,

    but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.

    At the moment of inner enlightenment

    there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.

    The changes that appear to occur in the empty world

    we call real only because of our ignorance.


    Do not search for the truth;

    only cease to cherish opinions.

    do not remain in the dualistic state.

    Avoid such pursuits carefully.

    If there is even a trace of this and that,

    of right and wrong,

    the mind-essence will be lost in confusion.


    Although all dualities come from the One,

    do not be attached even to this One.

    When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,

    nothing in the world can offend.

    And when a thing can no longer offend,

    it ceases to exist in the old way.


    When no discriminating thoughts arise,

    the old mind ceases to exist.

    When thought objects vanish,

    the thinking-subject vanishes:

    As when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.


    Things are objects because of the subject (mind):

    the mind (subject) is such because of things (object).

    Understand the relativity of these two

    and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.

    In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable

    and each contains in itself the whole world.

    If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine

    you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.


    To live in the
    Great Way is neither easy nor difficult.

    But those with limited views are fearful and irresolute:

    the faster they hurry, the slower they go.

    And clinging (attachment) cannot be limited:

    Even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment

    is to go astray.

    Just let things be in their own way

    and there will be neither coming not going.

    Obey the nature of things (your own nature)

    and you will walk freely and undisturbed.


    When the thought is in bondage the truth is hidden

    for everything is murky and unclear.

    And the burdensome practice of judging

    brings annoyance and weariness.

    What benefit can be derived

    from distinctions and separations?


    If you wish to move in the One Way

    do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.

    Indeed, to accept them fully

    is identical with enlightenment.


    The wise man strives to no goals

    but the foolish man fetters himself.


    There is one Dharma, not many.

    Distinctions arise

    from the clinging needs of the ignorant.

    To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind

    is the greatest of all mistakes.


    Rest and unrest derive from illusion;

    with enlightenment

    there is no liking and disliking.

    All dualities come from ignorant inference.

    They are like dreams or flowers in air -

    foolish to try to grasp them.

    Gain and loss, right and wrong,

    such thoughts must

    finally be abolished at once.


    If the eye never sleeps,

    all dreams will naturally cease.

    If the mind makes no discriminations,

    the ten thousand things are as they are,

    of single essence.

    To understand the mystery of this One-essence

    is to be released from all entanglements.

    When all things are seen equally

    the timeless Self-essence is reached,

    No comparisons or analogies are possible

    in this causeless, relationless state.

    Consider movement stationary

    and the stationary in motion,

    both movement and rest disappear.

    When such dualities cease to exist

    Oneness itself cannot exist.

    To this ultimate finality

    no law or description applies.


    For the unified mind in accord with the way

    all self-centered striving ceases.

    Doubts and irresolutions vanish

    and life in true faith is possible.

    With a single stroke we are freed from bondage:

    Nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.


    All is empty, clear, self-illuminating,

    with no exertion of the mind’s power.

    Here thought, feeling,

    knowledge and imagination are of no value.


    In this world of suchness

    there is neither self nor other-than-self.

    To come directly into harmony with this reality

    just say when doubt rises "not two".

    In this "not two" nothing is separate,

    nothing is excluded.


    No matter when or where,

    enlightenment means entering this truth.

    And this truth is beyond extension

    or diminution in time and space:

    In it a single thought is ten thousand years.


    Emptiness here, emptiness there,

    but the infinite universe

    stands always before your eyes.

    Infinitely large and infinitely small;

    no difference, for definitions have vanished

    and no boundaries are seen.


    So too with Being and non-Being.

    Don’t waste time in doubts and arguments

    That have nothing to do with this.


    One thing, all things,

    move among and intermingle without distinction.

    To live in this realization

    is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.

    To live in this faith is the road to non-duality,

    because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.


    Words!

    The Way is beyond language,

    for in it there is

    no yesterday

    no tomorrow

    no today.”



    Verses on the Faith Mind
    Hsin Hsin Ming by Seng-T'san
    The Third Patriarch of Zen

    Translated from the Chinese by Richard B. Clarke


    s.
     
  12. cavalier

    cavalier New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    0
    But a desires to transform bad into good, and to avoid the corruption of good into bad, attach values to good and bad. Good is to be desired, worked for, and pursued, bad is to fought against and avoided. Surely that is duality indeed.
     
  13. cavalier

    cavalier New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks snoopy
     
  14. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    6,688
    Likes Received:
    145
    Have you ever heard the term, "not one, not two?"
    Doesn't knowing that 'bad' can be transformed into 'good,' and that 'good' can be corrupted into 'bad' remove some of the value attached to 'good' and 'bad?' Is being moved by compassion to transform 'bad' into 'good' a duality? Is being mindful that a 'good' situation can degrade into a 'bad' situation a duality?
    Remember the unity in dualities, but don't cling to it, because nothing is really certain. 'Emptiness' is actually full of possibilities. What IS is transient, but real for a space. What IS NOT (the myriad of possibilities) is always there, but do not always manifest, yet contain the seeds of what will be.
    {Are you confused as I am yet?} :p
     
  15. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    9,437
    Likes Received:
    3
    What you think Wil? That story can just go on and on.... I find that with all those Eastern "stories" and morales lol....
     
  16. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,292
    Likes Received:
    22
    I thought you were on a roll there! :D

    s.
     
  17. cavalier

    cavalier New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually, no. I don't know if the rest of post should have explained it to me, but I don't understand.
    If we're just talking about "knowing" then yes, it does. Perhaps I misunderstood before, I thought you were suggesting that I should try and change "bad" into "good", this would attach values
    For the second one, no, not necessarily. For the first, that's a question I don't know how to answer. I am right in assuming that your answer would be, "no"?
     
  18. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    6,688
    Likes Received:
    145
    Not simple, not complex.
    Well, the real trick is in realizing that 'bad' will transform into 'good' without any interference from you, and 'good' will also corrupt into 'bad' without any interference from you. Personal labels are therefore not necessary, because you are already connected to it. Things will get done whether you are mindful of them or not. {Do you want to be mindful of them?}
    Is transformation a singularity or a duality? Do you separate cause and effect?
     
  19. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    9,437
    Likes Received:
    3
    Seattle... That's just bs.... :| Good doesn't always come from bad and vice versa..... That is just a bunch of happy ever after/fantasy stuff... There are many times where good is simply good and bad is simply bad... with neither crossing each others path....
     
  20. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    6,688
    Likes Received:
    145
    I agree with you that there is both good and bad, and that some things can be very good, while some things can be very bad.
    'Good' doesn't always last, and 'bad' doesn't always last, unless you choose to remain there. You can move through the bad without getting 'stuck' in it {attached.} You can let it go and move on to better things, and employ the things you have learned, and develop compassion for those who are in the situation you were once in. This is how 'good' can arise from 'bad.'
    You can also appreciate 'good' while it lasts, but if you become too attached to it and pursue it, you can corrupt yourself with things like greed and envy when the 'good' passes and you continue to chase it. This is how 'bad' can arise from 'good.'
     

Share This Page