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Dustin LindenSmith

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on enlightenment, by Prajnaparamita; nondual fiction by BC author Mukesh Eswaran

(x-posted to nonduality)

This snippet jumped out at me in Issue #2601 of the Nondual Highlights, edited today by Gloria Lee.
Enlightenment is a way of saying that all things are
seen in their intrinsic empty nature, their Suchness,
their ungraspable wonder. Names or words are merely
incidental, but that state which sees no division, no
duality, is enlightenment.

-- Prajnaparamita, from Buddha Speaks, edited by
Anne Bancroft, 2000
Issue #2598 edited by Jerry Katz includes excerpts from a "nondual novel" by British Columbia-based author Mukesh Eswaran. Jerry I think correctly points out that fiction created mainly for the purpose of expressing nonduality is usually a fool's errand, but he claims that Eswaran's The Sublime Homecoming successfully accomplishes this feat. The novel features a fictional swami in India in the 1960s.
True mastery lies in the spontaneous acceptance of whatever comes your way, good as well as bad, without desiring anything else. It is embodied in the attitude of Job, who said, 'If I accept good from the hand of God, shall I not also accept evil?' But that degree of perfection comes at the end of a long and drawn out struggle -- and only when, one way or another, the ego surrenders. For only then can you be free from desire."

"Then why not cut the process short and surrender right away?" Michael asked.

Swami seem enormously amused. "And save yourself all the trouble?"

"Yes."

Swami chuckled and then started laughing -- so hard, in fact, that he was shaking. "In theory, that may be possible," he said when his mirth had subsided, "but in practice, you will discover, the self does not give up without a fight -- a fight to the death, actually. I'm reminded of a remark made by a medieval mystic, Meister Eckart. He said there is no battle that requires greater valor than the one in which a man tries to overcome himself. That is very true. The only thing I would add is that this is not merely a battle; it is a war, and one that requires your sustained vigilance."

"A weird war, where the self is fighting the self. I still don't see the point of it all."
"The ego surrenders only when it has exhausted all its resources and is completely persuaded that no other recourse is open to it. Until it is brought to that extremity, the war will go on and surrender is quite out of the question. The actual moment of surrender is the crucial thing."

"It is hard to even know what the best strategy is in this civil war, as you call it."

"Any direct engagement with the self is not a good idea. Waging a war on the ego by using the ego is rather like setting a thief to catch a thief, as Ramana Maharshi used to say. He suggested that the best way to undermine the self is by laying a siege."

"A siege?"

"Yes. His point was that the ego stays alive by attaching to the thoughts in your mind and by manipulating them. It survives by using thoughts for food, as it were. If you cut off this supply line by refusing to take the bait of thoughts -- refusing to identify with them for a sufficiently long time -- then, faced with starvation, the ego sooner or later surrenders."

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fireceremony October 2nd, 2006

I love that quote too.

Thank you for posting it and the excerpts. I liked both the excerpts mentioned, but maybe the Desolation Angels style a bit more. :)

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