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Dustin LindenSmith

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excerpts from a new book on nonduality by John Wheeler

In last Friday's Nondual Highlights (issue 2293, membership required) Jerry Katz provided several lengthy but excellent excerpts from a new book by a teacher named John Wheeler (website), who is a disciple of nondual teacher 'Sailor' Bob Adamson. His book is called Shining in Plain View, and it's published by Non-Duality Books (more info).

The entire selection in Jerry's highlights is worth reading, as I'm sure is the book. But for this blog entry, I've selected a handful of the quotes that resonated the most strongly with me personally. In the main, they deal with our misconceptions about the value of spiritual teachers; enlightenment as a separate and 'attainable' experience; and the reality of the world around us. Heady concepts all, but clearly elucidated upon by John Wheeler here. His definitions of nonduality are very concise and understandable, and like all of my favourite teachers, he's effective at demystifying the concept of enlightenment and about how we should live in the world (what he calls 'clear seeing').
On the notion of attaining enlightenment:

Bob Adamson cured me of the concept of enlightenment. Basically, there is no such thing as getting enlightened as some future event. If you are sitting around waiting for something to happen, you are barking up the wrong tree. That would have nothing to do with what is being pointed to. In all truth, there is really no awakening or enlightenment at all. This is one of the last concepts that the mind hangs on to. So forget about that completely!

Being-awareness is here in all its fullness right now. That is it. That is what you are and always have been. Full stop. End of the road. Everything else that comes up is a false concept based on the belief in a separate individual that is apart from the real. You are not a limited person apart from reality. You are the reality itself.

As you sit with this and resonate with it, everything will spring from there without effort. The idea before was that you were not there. I assure you that you are there. So why are you waiting for some event or for something to click? If you feel you need to do something, then question, challenge and expose any concept that is contrary to this fundamental point.

On the value and practice of spiritual teachers:

There is no teacher outside and independent of us who ‘has the understanding’, has awakened, is enlightened or what have you. This kind of assumption leads to mistaken beliefs that just cloud the simplicity of what is being pointed to. There are a couple of problems with this way of thinking. First, the idea that teacher ‘so-and-so’ is realized has the implicit assumption for most of us that ‘therefore, I am not’. Thus the belief in the sense of separation from our own presence is subtly strengthened. Second, talking about teachers who have it (or not) reinforces a belief that what is being pointed to is outside of ourselves, again emphasizing a sense of separation. Third, the teachers being discussed are usually not in our immediate environment and we are simply spinning in conceptual thought about people that are figments in imagination in that moment. Even if there were such a being as an enlightened teacher, if you approached them, the most you would find is a physical form composed of matter, chemicals and cells which are just transient appearances in awareness. So the whole notion of beings who are awake or have the understanding is a complete fiction when looked at head on.

On the teachings of nonduality (and all others), and on what Is:

All words, teachings and pointers fall short. This you have seen. To try to get a clear and accurate expression is a futile effort. All that matters, if anything matters, is the direct non-conceptual recognition of present awareness and our identity with that. Even that does not really matter because whether there is a recognition or not, we are still only that. All teachings even your own attempts to express how non-duality falls short are provisional.

Non-duality means no separation, nothing other than the one. Any appearance, thought or experience is only that. So there is really nothing to say or to express at all. It is like standing on the North Pole. Whichever way you move, you start heading south again. So once you start to say anything, you immediately suggest false dualisms. Even the teaching of non-duality is false. Like all paths, it is just a pointer. All pointers are false because there is only oneness. There is no need for a path because you are already what you are seeking.

As Bob Adamson says: ‘All there is, is non-conceptual, self-shining, ever-fresh presence awareness, just this and nothing else. There is nothing other than this.' The rest is silence. You are that and there is absolutely nothing left to do or know. Finished!