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Dustin LindenSmith

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Wikipedia entry for nonduality

For whatever reason, I've never thought of looking at the wikipedia entry for nonduality until now. Does anyone have any opinions on the comprehensiveness of this entry? What's your off-the-cuff definition of the term?

I'm always on the hunt for easy to understand definitions of nonduality to share with people who have never contemplated the concept before. Mostly I tend to use Jerry Katz's FAQ pages on What Is Nonduality, with my favourites being this one, this one, and this one. I wonder if the wikipedia entry for nonduality could be updated somewhat to include some of that content. Jerry, if you're reading this right now, what are your thoughts on that? Indeed, have you already contributed to that wiki entry?

From Ken Wilber's A Brief History of Everything, the following definition resonates pretty strongly with me:
Across the board, the sense of being any sort of Seer or Witness or Self vanishes altogether. You don't look at the sky, you are the sky. You can taste the sky. It's not out there. As Zen would say, you can drink the Pacific Ocean in a single gulp, you can swallow the Kosmos whole--precisely because awareness is no longer split into a seeing subject in here and a seen object out there. There is just pure seeing. Consciousness and its display are not-two.
That's the kicker for me, right there: Consciousness and its display are not-two.

(x-posted to nonduality)

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chaizzilla October 11th, 2005
i like trying to convey an image of "meaning" as a measuring stick, and duality as the tendancy to assign things some value on the stick, nonduality is approached in the experience of these things as existing everywhere and nowhere along the stick, but the whole stick doesn't need to be eaten all at once for nonduality to be approached, and there's probably all sorts of up/down/front/back/7d/8d/etc expansions i don't know the slightest thing about, and of course the not-doing them and blablablaetc. it's more easily practiced than conveyed, there was somewhere an exercise of moving the silhouette of a dharma wheel from shape to thing to thing understood and back and forth and etc that seems to jive with the measuring stick illustration. emphasis on the non-mystical, natch.

chaizzilla October 11th, 2005
o hey, speaking of nonduality, remember the story about the two dudes with the orange? i like the guy who stormed out better.

iamom October 11th, 2005
I don't know that story. Can you tell it to me?

chaizzilla October 11th, 2005
you posted it :)
i doubt i can do the story justice, but you'll probably remember it: zen guy and (theraveda? whatever the other guy was) guy get together and zen guy holds up an orange and asks emphatically "what is this?" (something like that), and the other guy says something along the lines of "an orange". basically i like the zen guy better because a) zen guy, b) the other guy didn't convince me it was an orange. ;)

blorky October 11th, 2005
hrm - it's not a definition, but I had an experience that echoed Suzuki Roshi's line: "I was meditating and across the valley there was the sound of a bell. For a moment, there was no me and no bell, only the sound." I'm probably misquoting, but I was inadvertantly knocked into that state once when I was hiking. Heard a train whistle and even w/ my eyes open, for several moments, the sound was the only thing happening.

I really like the "not-two" description.

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