Kenneth Madden

Understanding

Understanding is of no importance when it comes to Non- Duality. The word Advaita (meaning Not Two, I use Advaita and Non-Duality interchangeably) points to something that is totally beyond understanding. It is a very interesting subject (and the equivalent of watching paint dry for many, if not most), but getting your teeth into it and understanding it and being able to discuss and describe it in an intellectual or intelligent manner is of no relevance what so ever. There are many who are claiming to be liberated and have an enormous intellectual grasp of the topic and clearly there is still a personal agenda, clearly they are still offering something to the individual. The language used is very similar to other uncompromising messages (e.g. there is no one, this is it etc) but there is still something on offer to the individual and the ‘teacher- student’ game is played out, even though the teacher is claiming not to be one.
Non-duality or Advaita then becomes the last refuge of the individual who is under threat. It is fodder for the mind. It becomes the new, best concept in town as it were. There can be a certain clarity that it brings which eases the search for the individual in the sense that it is seen that there is nothing that can be done. That is not liberation however, understanding that there is no separate individual is not liberation as there is (apparently) a separate individual left who understands that. Understanding is seen as king when in fact it has nothing to do with what is in fact being sought. Understanding simply arises in being, is it just another apparent happening. It is of course married to ignorance or confusion. One is dependent on the other for existence.
What is being pointed to has no room for the concept of duality or non-duality/Advaita. It has no room, no space for concept. It is so immediately THIS and so simply and obviously what IS that the Duality – Non Duality debate has as much significance as a leaf scattering along cold concrete. Wholeness arises as confused message and wholeness arises as a clear message.
The juicy sweetness, the boundless freedom of everything, the unconditional love that is This is speaking to you always and is totally beyond understanding. It is already what is, already this. What is being sought is already what is. So simple, so open, so ordinary and also totally beyond any effort to describe its beauty.
Amazing.

13 Comments

Mike said:

Great post Kenneth. Have you realized?

4:35 pm December 10, 2009 | Link
Kenneth said:

Hi Mike
What do you mean?

8:10 pm December 10, 2009 | Link
frankagain said:

red rag :-)

12:04 am December 11, 2009 | Link
Kenneth said:

If you mean have I realized liberation then- no. I haven’t done anything ever and there is only liberation. Thanks for the comment.
Frank- maybe I’m less bullish?

12:42 am December 11, 2009 | Link
Mike said:

Sorry Kenneth, I didn’t check back to see if you replied. Yeah, that’s what I meant. Of course, your reply says it all. Ha! Thanks.

5:23 pm December 13, 2009 | Link
Kenneth said:

thank you Mike

12:55 am December 14, 2009 | Link
George Poggemann said:

Some conclusions about the value of understanding Vedanta

Understanding is, at least in my experience, a result of a long term obsession with Absolute Reality and the search for Truth. I consider this effortlessly perpetuated obsession to be a gift.
On the superficial level, understanding provides legitimacy because it is consistent with the conclusions of great thinkers, some of whom were fully enlightened men. There is great comfort in this.
On a deeper level, understanding is a by-product of recollection. Recollection is remembering, in this case gathering together scattered thoughts about Absolute Reality, God or whatever you want to call it. It is similar to meditations like simran or japam and in like manner has the effect of purifying the mind by nullifying useless thoughts and attachments that stand in the way of conscious union with Absolute Reality. Recollection is essential for spiritual progress according to Shankara and enhances the ability to discriminate between the Absolute and the relative.
Recollection is an authentic method of purification meaning it results in actual spiritual progress. Shankara says in the Crest Jewel of Discrimination, “Thinking about the highest Truth taught in Vedanta leads to the highest Illumination.”
Wisdom, on the other hand, is of Brahman alone.

1:47 am December 31, 2009 | Link
Kenneth said:

Thanks George
There is no absolute and relative- only in the mind. There is not two (advaita). All spiritual practices are in the story, as Wei Wu Wie puts it- they are training to slay dragons… there are no such thing as dragons so what would be the use of training to slay them?
There are no enlightened men. Nobody has achieved or ever will achieve enlightenment. Enlightenment is the seeing that there is no one. There is no separate individual.
It’s very simple. Those who have ‘Apparently ‘ done years of spiritual development will find it more difficult to see that there are no levels, that liberation is all there is and constantly available to anyone. Because of course the sense of self is bond now into a spiritual self who has worked and is now closer to something unavailable to the vast majority.
Nothing needs to be done. Liberation is already all there is.
Thanks again.

2:17 am December 31, 2009 | Link
Kenneth said:

To put it another way George, what is sought hides not by being terribly complex and achievable by progressive endeavor. It hides (Brilliantly) by being already all that is, it is the Open Secret- constantly available, constantly speaking to you through all the senses. It hides by being astoundingly simple. The mind loves to make it difficult and esoteric so the story can go on. Levels of enlightenment and understanding are really a great ignorance and beautifully arrogant.
Its This, now.
So there is nothing to do, nothing that needs to be done and any practice of a spiritual nature is a total rejection of This- it is clearly saying that this is not it right now, and if I meditate or study or whatever then I might get there, or I might get closer. And so the story goes on and on and on and on, towards some imagined goal. On and on and on- until it doesn’t. Timelessness appearing as a story that ticks in time and moves. So astoundingly beautiful.
Thanks again George.

4:21 pm December 31, 2009 | Link
Jean said:

At the end of a zen meditation I resolved the famous zen koan: ” Has a dog Buddhah’s nature?”
It was clearly seen there was One only. But since this day no progress was made, I mean no integration of this for the whole world…
Why do I stand still?
Could you give a little push?
Many thanks!
Jean

6:43 pm February 9, 2010 | Link
Kenneth said:

hello Jean
You stand still because ‘you’ are still there, moving towards something and the clock ticking.
You are moving in time looking for something that is timeless. What ever glimpse or awakening that was experienced did not happen (although it’s not really a happening) as a result of any work done (zen mediation). It is really a momentary absence of the separate self.. then you’re back (apparently) and want to integrate it, want to progress towards it.
You can’t progress towards your own absence. Any spiritual work done will simply reinforce the sense of being a separate self with choice and control.
There is nothing that needs to be done Jean as what is sought is already what is. You need go no further then frustration or confusion… that’s it.
There is No- thing to get.
Thanks Jean

11:31 pm February 11, 2010 | Link
Kenneth said:

Also Jean as regards giving you a push- there is nobody to be pushed and there is nobody who can give you a push (i.e. help you). There is nobody who knows something that you don’t as regards Liberation- It has nothing to do with knowing- You are already what you seek.
Kenneth

7:53 am February 12, 2010 | Link
Kenneth said:

Liberation is about loss and disappointment for the individual. It offers nothing to the individual (if it does then it is not an uncompromising message which most aren’t). In this lack of hope for something better suddenly there can be an expansion into boundlessness and it is seen that what is happening, this, is what has always been sought, nothing ever needed to be done as the feeling of separation was only ever an illusion.

12:48 pm February 14, 2010 | Link

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