Sunday, November 14, 2010

Greg Goode – Nondualism in Western Philosophy (Part 1)

The following is an excellent article by Greg Goode. The original article can found at

This is a series of pointers to how the Western approach can assist with one’s self-inquiry. It is less a historical survey, and more a collection of Western views that might serve as tools for inquiry, along with suggestions on how these tools might be used. The conclusion consists of a practical, forward-looking dialogue. I haven’t included every philosopher in the Western tradition to have written something that might be considered nondual. Instead, my choices are pragmatic. I’ve chosen the writers I have found most helpful in skillfully deconstructing the classic dualisms that seem to block people doing nondual inquiry.

So for example, the well known Heidegger and Nietzsche are not covered, though they wrote several things that can be helpful. Yet the lesser known writers Brand Blanshard and Colin M. Turbayne are covered, as I find that readers may regard their approaches as helpful.


Nondualism is an experience, a mode of existence of the self and world, and a metaphysical view about reality. As an experience, it is a sweet, nonobjective sense of presence, of borderlessness, and lack of separation. As a mode of existence of the self and world, it is said to be a matter of fact. As a metaphysical view, nondualism holds that reality is not composed of a multiplicity of things. This seems vague, and it is because beyond this point, the varieties of nondualism disagree. If reality is not a multiplicity of things, is it then just one thing? Or less? Just what is reality? Some nondualists say that reality is awareness. Some say it is voidness. Some say it is a net of jewels, where each jewel is composed of the reflections from all the other jewels. And some nondualists say that the nature of reality is that it has no nature.

What’s Wrong with Dualism Anyway?

So why is nondualism a goal? Does it feel better? Is it more true?

Most of the philosophers who write on nondualism argue that dualism falsely claims to be an accurate picture of our experience. They also argue that it causes suffering. These are two slightly different approaches.

Nondualism’s “false claim” argument challenges dualism’s claim to correctly represent reality. Dualism claims to be a view about how things really are, but when the view and its presuppositions are looked into, they are found not to be in accord with our experience. Our experience, say nondualists, is truly without borders, edges or separation. Therefore, the notion that the world is made up of divisions between self and other, good and bad, here and there, past and future, does not make sense. We only seem to experience these divisions. These divisions do not really exist, so we do not really experience them. Nondualism, it is argued, can correct the misinterpretation of our experience and restore our original wholeness.

Nondualism’s “argument from suffering” has to do with dualism’s effects – dualism leads to suffering and misery. Nondualists feel that a dualistic and divided experience of the world results in feeling separated (separated from what we take to be external objects, other people, the world, etc.). Feeling separated leads to feeling finite and vulnerable. It leads to suffering. This can be alleviated: a deep intuitive understanding of our nondual, unbroken experience is the end of the experience of separation. Therefore it is tantamount to the end of suffering.

Nondualism East and West

Eastern and Western approaches to nonduality reflect the more general differences between Eastern and Western approaches to philosophy. Eastern philosophy is most often pursued within the context of the Eastern spiritual traditions. Western philosophy can occasionally be found within Western spiritual traditions, but it is much more active outside them.

Eastern philosophy has very strong nondual traditions, which include Taoism, several forms of Buddhism, and Advaita Vedanta (the nondual extension of Hinduism). These traditions are also explicitly “soteriological.” That is, their purpose is to resolve the big questions of life and death, and to alleviate suffering. The experiential resolution of these matters is regarded as liberation or enlightenment. And the philosophies themselves are illustrated by hundreds of stories in which teachers assist students on their quest.

Western philosophy was originally practiced in a very similar way. “Know thyself” was inscribed on the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi in ancient Greece. Practiced famously by Socrates, philosophy was engaged as a sort of care of the self, or an investigation into the way the self and world exist. The philosophies of the Stoics, the Epicureans, the Skeptics, and Boethius were avowedly therapeutic. But after the 18th century, philosophy became more and more academicized; it was removed from practical, personal and transformational use. Western philosophy’s goal became to discover the grounds of scientific truth and the limits of mans’ ability to know it.

Western philosophy became more a scientific than a salvific enterprise. These days, there is not a generally accepted goal in Western philosophy corresponding to liberation or enlightenment. Whereas Eastern philosophy is practiced in temples and ashrams, Western philosophy is studied in libraries and academies. The West has most often left its life-and-death questions to the churches, cathedrals, synagogues and hospitals.

Western Mysticism . . .

To continue go to

Greg Goode has been a philosophical counselor since 1996 and has extensive experience with online consultation. As a philosophical counselor, Greg is nationally certified by the American Philosophical Practitioners Association, trained by Prof. Lou Marinoff, author of the well-known Plato Not Prozac! and by California State University, Fullerton’s J. Michael Russell —a true pioneer in the philosophical consultation movement.

Greg is a well-known innovator for having combined the ancient “direct-path” method of self-inquiry with modern electronic media. Nondual inquiry includes the powerful teachings of Advaita Vedanta and Mahayana Buddhism. Greg studied Advaita Vedanta through the Chinmaya Mission, Sri Atmananda, Jean Klein, and Francis Lucille. He studied the Mahayana teachings of Pure Land Buddhism through Jodo-Shinshu, and studied Chinese Middle-Way Buddhism through the lineage of the pre-eminent scholar of Chinese Buddhism, Master Yin-Shun of Taiwan, P.R.C., author of The Way to Buddhahood.

All text herein copyright Greg Goode, 2007. All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in critical articles or reviews, no part of this monograph may be reproduced in any manner without prior permission from the author.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ramana Maharshi - When The Mind, Turning Inward

Self Inquiry is the most powerful method of going to the Source of One's Nature that I have found upon my journey. It is a practice that can be done anywhere, anytime. I AM THAT I AM. Nothing else needs to be discovered.

Sanskrit Chant - Gayatri Mantra

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Caravan of Souls--

Last night I attended a “Caravan of Souls: From Jerusalem to Cordoba” presented by Catherine Braslavsky and Joseph Rowe. If you ever get a chance to hear the sublime music of these devout and exceptional musicians, do so. Her voice sent me back to the great cathedrals, to the call to prayer, and to the chanting at the temple. The true beauty of their program was going to the Unity behind the three great religions of Jerusalem through poetry and music. With such wings the cutting sword of the intellect of scholars and fundamentalists are sheathed in devotion. Here are two prayers sung by Catherine.

My heart welcomes all forms:
It is a meadow for gazelles, a monastery for monks,
A temple for idols, the Kaaba of Mecca, and the tablets of the Torah.
My religion is love,
Wherever love’s caravans go, I follow.

There is no God but God.
--Ibn Arabi

In Te Sum

When you are in my vision, I am in the light
When you are in my heart, I am virtue
Your clarity, your witness, your incarnation in me.
When you are in the body, I am without limit
When you are in the soul, I am like a child
Your mercy, your patience
Your simplicity in me.

Your wisdom, your universality
Your omnipotence, in me
In you I am, only in you.

Give what I cannot give
Do what I cannot do
Love what I cannot love
Sing what I cannot sing

In you, I am…

The evening took place at the Numina Center at the Incarnation Church in Santa Rosa. What I really enjoyed about last night was that the music was swathed in silence. It was prayer. The music and the verses arose out of silence and fell gently back in. It was only at the end when there was a standing ovation for Catherine and Joseph.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Day Before Disclosure (Part 1/7) FULL [HQ]

This is one of the best movies about this phenomenon of UFOs. The basic message is that we are moving into a new paradigm of becoming aware of a cosmic consciousness. We are on the threshold of a staring face to face with a great mystery and science can move a great step forward by taking this subject seriously. Here in America especially UFOs are seen as something just out of Hollywood. The media gives little attention to it at all. However there are so many credible witnesses, military, police, intelligence, scientists and others that are coming forward now that perhaps we are near full disclosure by the U.S. government. I certainly hope so.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Julian Treasure: Shh! Sound health in 8 steps

A great talk on the importance of sound. Since we are basically sound, as everthing created is vibrating and thus making sound, chanting and reciting mantras is such a powerful tool. I have experiened in the dream state the direct effects of mantras, such as flying while uttering sacred names or finding protection against dark entities. And, of course, there is Silence. Julian states that the Elizabetheans see music as embellished silence. Nice. And lets get out of "Schizophonia," isolated from each other by the walls of headphones, and I would ad cellphones, as well.

Everything Is Energy

Cosmic Consciousness :: Above and Beyond :: Indonesia

Monday, November 1, 2010

Moby - Natural blues Live & Lyrics

Elections without the Ego

Hi, This week Americans will elect hundreds of legislators for both houses of their Congress. In the American press there has been much interest in whether President Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, will be stopped by the opposing party in Congress. And the media has further commented on the enormous amounts of money being spent on attack ads, which do not inform voters but simply slander the other candidate.Some Americans have been asking, "What does this have to do with me and my standard of living?" For those of us on a spiritual path, a more important question is, "What is this doing for my state of consciousness and what does this have to do with the Present Moment?"In a word, the problem is the ego, for the ego always stands by its intractable position, "The Present Moment? I'm against it." The real party of "no" in American life is not the Republicans, but the ego with its incessant rejection, criticism, self-absorption and non-cooperation. Doesn't that describe the tone and intent of this campaign season?What can we do to improve the quality of our consciousness when the news media is showing us people from opposite sides shouting at each other? It doesn't matter if it's Republicans and Democrats in America or protestors on the streets of Paris criticizing changes in the French retirement age. All of it comes from ego, who's mantra is: "I'm against it. What ever it is, good, bad or otherwise,... I'm against it."If we are to build a better world representative of the Power of Now, we must realize that that world is created moment-to-moment in the Now. The Now has no agenda, the Now has no opinions, the Now is direct access to Truth and the evolutionary impulse of the universe. If we want true representation in our governments, we must first embody those qualities which build consensus, cooperation and progress.As long as we're "against this" or "against that", we are doomed to the suffering of the ego as expressed in the Pain Body of attachment to the past and idealizing the future.Inside the infinity of the present moment lies infinite possibility. Let us all help each other from the inside out to create nation states of consciousness that resolve the dualism of opposing forces.Let us celebrate and seek repose in what is inside the power of silence that dwells in each conscious being. That still, quiet voice has all the answers, including how to govern.We will change our nations, our governments and the world for the better by a slow but steady process. The agent of this change is consciousness itself. Your consciousness.Improving the quality of your consciousness, by living more and more in the present moment, is the most powerful act of social activism you can offer to your community, your country, to humanity.On election day, and every day, be a beacon of Presence. It will make a difference, not only within you, but around you.~ Eckhart Tolle