Poll

Does Nonduality have anything to do with Religion?

No it doesn't
10 (58.8%)
Heard of it, but don't know what it is
2 (11.8%)
No it doesn't
2 (11.8%)
Yes it does
1 (5.9%)
Have no opinion either way
2 (11.8%)

Total Members Voted: 17

Author Topic: Nonduality in reference to Religion  (Read 2340 times)

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Offline strikevipermkII

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Nonduality in reference to Religion
« on: July 11, 2010, 10:28:45 PM »
Just wanted to see if anyone here has heard of nonduality in reference to Religion or not, or if people have even heard of it at all.  Regardless of what you may or may not know about nonduality, I suggest you read the book The Naked Now by Richard Rohr.  It might shed some light on the reality of religion.
"The most beautiful things we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and all science.  He to who, this 'emotion' is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder, or stand in rapt awe, is as good as dead.  His eyes are closed."
Albert Einstein

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2010, 10:31:46 PM »
You mean, as in Monism?
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Offline strikevipermkII

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2010, 10:44:32 PM »
No.  Monism is not Nondualism.  Nondualism is not a change of mind, as monism is.  Seeing the world as one thing, such as energy, or entirely physical is not Nondualism.  That view is inherently dual, which is the opposite of nondualism.  Nondualism does not try to rationalize anything.  It simply sees things as they are, in the present moment.  It is not a theory in any scientific sense and cannot be molded in to any model to fit with dualism.
As I said, nonduality teaches the how, not the what.  It is a change of being, not a change of mind.
"The most beautiful things we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and all science.  He to who, this 'emotion' is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder, or stand in rapt awe, is as good as dead.  His eyes are closed."
Albert Einstein

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2010, 10:51:37 PM »
You have said much about what nondualism is not.  Perhaps you should describe what it is.
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Offline MockTurtle

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2010, 10:53:08 PM »
It's called "Advaita" in Hinduism where the non-duality is between Atman, or soul,
and the Brahman which is kinda like the force from Star Wars.

In most if not all Buddhist schools, there is no belief in the Atman, so they
don't buy into Advaita.  And, they also tend to reject an idea of a separate
permanent self, so "you" are part of the world not a special thing in it.

(note: this is an massive oversimplification)
If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2010, 10:53:48 PM »
As the only person to answer the poll, it's very satisfying to see that my position is so popular.

I've hard of non-duality. I've read about it. I remember that some think that as late as a few centuries BC that people may have had no sense of self. The didn't consider themselves as individuals. And that something made that change and suddenly individuals began to recognize that they existed, and whammo, we each became important in our own mind. Personally, I prefer it this way. Otherwise I would be unable to lust after Apple products.

But mostly I've heard of it as it relates to various new-age theories about how to fix the world and get rich at the same time

My buddy Mr. Google quickly tells me that some out there think that duality can be related to religion, while others say it is not. That someone somewhere connected the two concepts doesn't surprise me. Any belief that can be so innocuous that is applies to thanking some sky-daddy before a meal and be so heinous that it has its followers stoning the rape victim, it is no surprise that someone has attached dualism and religion. (Heck, in another post you tied together atheism and religion, so obviously nothing is sacred here.)

If you've got insights on the matter you are probably the only source any of us are going to think about reading. So I would suggest you at least give us a little more than a question. You are addressing a concept so obscure I haven't even bothered not believing in it yet. It's up to you to help us out here.

Ah, as I typed this you gave us a paragraph or two. I'll dwell on that for awhile.

Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline strikevipermkII

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2010, 11:04:33 PM »
You have said much about what nondualism is not.  Perhaps you should describe what it is.

I said it's a change of being.  A change in the way you view the world.  I can't tell you what it is because in the very process of telling you, the meaning is lost.  It's very much like translating from one language to another.  Meaning is lost regardless of how hard you try to hold on to it.
Telling you what it's not is the best I can do.  Anything more would require some life changes and a great deal of time spent in contemplation and silence.  If you really want to find out what nondualism is, I advise you to sit for twenty minutes each day and just listen.  Stop thinking and just be.
That's what nondualism is.  Being present in the moment without embarrassment, remorse, judgment, ego, rationalism.  Just being.
"The most beautiful things we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and all science.  He to who, this 'emotion' is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder, or stand in rapt awe, is as good as dead.  His eyes are closed."
Albert Einstein

Offline strikevipermkII

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2010, 11:07:42 PM »
You are addressing a concept so obscure I haven't even bothered not believing in it yet.

Gee, thanks.  That's very reassuring.
"The most beautiful things we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and all science.  He to who, this 'emotion' is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder, or stand in rapt awe, is as good as dead.  His eyes are closed."
Albert Einstein

Offline MockTurtle

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2010, 11:26:04 PM »
I suggest you read the book The Naked Now by Richard Rohr.  It might shed some light on the reality of religion.

I read as far as Amazon would let me on the preview.

My first reaction is that he is taking some very basic Buddhist teachings
and added a bunch of stuff about god and christian dogma to it.

If you like that, you might like the original ideas better.  Pick up a
book on zen.
If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac

Offline Nemesis

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2010, 11:30:33 PM »
I suggest you read the book The Naked Now by Richard Rohr.  It might shed some light on the reality of religion.

I read as far as Amazon would let me on the preview.

My first reaction is that he is taking some very basic Buddhist teachings
and added a bunch of stuff about god and christian dogma to it.

If you like that, you might like the original ideas better.  Pick up a
book on zen.


More or less what I've been seeing here.

Offline MockTurtle

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2010, 11:41:03 PM »
I can't tell you what it is because in the very process of telling you, the meaning is lost. 

Total rip off of zen.

Look up the story of the "Flower Sermon".
If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac

Offline strikevipermkII

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2010, 11:46:50 PM »
I can see we need to clear up a few things.  Just one thing, actually.
This kind of wisdom has many names, but it is all the same.  One is not better or worse than the other, just a different way of looking at the same thing.  This kind of wisdom does not belong to any one group.  No one invented it, so it is not a rip off of anyone.  It is universal.
If you think you'd understand it better in the 'zen' context or the Buddhism context, then be my guest.  Go read them instead of what I suggested.  The point is not to bicker over who is better, but to being the change that will allow you to see in the nondual context.
"The most beautiful things we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and all science.  He to who, this 'emotion' is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder, or stand in rapt awe, is as good as dead.  His eyes are closed."
Albert Einstein

Offline Kaliyuga

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2010, 12:18:24 AM »
 As others have said, "non-dualism" is one of the basic tenets of Buddhism.

 Spending 45 a minutes a day in zazen is one of the basic practices of both schools of Zen.

 You call it "non-dualism", I call it Anatta
http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/a/anatta.html

 In reference to religion, I am among those who don't consider most forms of Buddhism to be a religion at all, so I don't see what "non-duality" has to do with religion necessarily.
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

Offline MockTurtle

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2010, 05:58:35 AM »
  It might shed some light on the reality of religion.

What does any of this have to do with "the reality of religion"?

Thousands of years ago, people figured out practices like meditation, yoga, and whatever have
at least some positive benefits.  Big surprise.

Then, the reiligionistas come in and load it up with crazy stories of reincarnation and flying monks.
Even today, modern religionists like Rhor glom on a bunch of xian nonsense.

The "reality of religion" seems to be that it is always making good ideas worse.
If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2010, 06:15:51 AM »
[...]
This kind of wisdom has many names, [...]This kind of wisdom does not belong to any one group.  [...]

What makes you classify it as "wisdom"?
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2010, 08:31:48 AM »
Nondualism is not a change of mind.....It is a change of being, not a change of mind.

I said it's a change of being.  A change in the way you view the world.  That's what nondualism is.  Being present in the moment without embarrassment, remorse, judgment, ego, rationalism.  Just being.

Sounds like a change of mind to me.  Or are there measurable physiological changes involved?

I can't tell you what it is because in the very process of telling you, the meaning is lost.

You may want to try, especially if you want in any way to recommend it to anyone else.  What you have done so far is very similar to the way someone might get you to try a psychedelic for the first time. 

To put it another way....if you can't articulate the benefits or the feelings, where is the incentive for me to spend 20 minutes trying to experience it?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline kin hell

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2010, 08:57:20 AM »
An "Is" Ism is
Indivi.....dualism
please insert "non" -sense
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Offline strikevipermkII

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2010, 04:33:00 PM »
What does any of this have to do with "the reality of religion"?

[...] the reiligionistas come in and load it up with crazy stories of reincarnation and flying monks.
Even today, modern religionists like Rhor glom on a bunch of xian nonsense.

The "reality of religion" seems to be that it is always making good ideas worse.

These crazy stories are what happens when people ask for rational proof of something that isn't rational.  They just end up with logically impossible paradoxes that they themselves don't even understand.  Anyone who speaks in very clear, very understandable ideas, is using only their rational mind.  There's nothing wrong with that, but you can't use that when you think about religion.  If you want to understand religion, you have to see things with a completely new set of eyes.  That's what the stories are for.  To help you change your way of being.

As far as why changing your way of being is beneficial...
If you make this change these things will happen:
You will no longer have the 'need to be right'.
Because you don't need to defend yourself to everyone, you'll be able to view things more objectively.
You'll feel far more calm and center, and it will be very difficult for other people to 'get to you' with personal attacks.
Most of all, you don't lose your rational mind in the process.  You'll find that your logic is clearer and sharper than before.

What makes you classify it as "wisdom"?

I honestly don't know how to answer this question.  I never actually 'classified' this as wisdom.  It just is wisdom.  You can't see it any other way once you allow the change of being.  It's not something you wake up one day and say 'Okay, I'm going to be wise now and do this and that.'  It's something you 'fall into' because of your experiences in life.
"The most beautiful things we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and all science.  He to who, this 'emotion' is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder, or stand in rapt awe, is as good as dead.  His eyes are closed."
Albert Einstein

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2010, 04:47:41 PM »

These crazy stories are what happens when people ask for rational proof of something that isn't rational.  They just end up with logically impossible paradoxes that they themselves don't even understand.  [...]If you want to understand religion, you have to see things with a completely new set of eyes.  That's what the stories are for.  To help you change your way of being.

[...] You'll find that your logic is clearer and sharper than before.
So you are saying we should just accept what is commonly known as "woo" and we will be better people for it?

Quote
I never actually 'classified' this as wisdom.  It just is wisdom.
You are saying it is wisdom; you classified it. To be wisdom is the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight. Yet you suggest accepting the irrational?
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline strikevipermkII

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2010, 05:47:28 PM »

So you are saying we should just accept what is commonly known as "woo" and we will be better people for it?


No.  You're saying that because I say it's wrong to think about the 'crazy stories' rationally, the only other option is to think of them irrationally (accept them as truth).  No, that's a dualistic approach, one that will get you no where.  I mean, look at the majority of Christians today.  They have accepted this option, and all it got them was arrogance and intolerance.  What you need to do is stop thinking about it with a rational mind.  That means that rationality and irrationality no longer exist for you.  So it is impossible to see something as 'woo'.  You see it for what it is.
"The most beautiful things we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and all science.  He to who, this 'emotion' is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder, or stand in rapt awe, is as good as dead.  His eyes are closed."
Albert Einstein

Offline MockTurtle

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2010, 06:03:00 PM »
There's nothing wrong with that, but you can't use that when you think about religion.  If you want to understand religion, you have to see things with a completely new set of eyes.  That's what the stories are for.  To help you change your way of being.

In some Zen schools they use Koans.  These are stories that usually don't make any
literal sense, but are intended to have a particular mental or emotional impact on the
student.  As far as its ability to give people new insights, I wouldn't be surprised if
is as effective as any other form of psychological counseling.

My question remains: What does this have to do with "the reality of religion"?

Christianity, for example, makes very specific claims about god and jesus. It gives
specific instructions about what you should do, not no, and believe.  It also tells you
punishments and consequences for failing to do as you are told.  All of this, rests
on the authority of divine revelation you are expected to believe without evidence.

What in that are you claiming is real?








If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac

Offline Dissenter

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2010, 06:03:44 PM »

I can't tell you what it is because in the very process of telling you, the meaning is lost.

You may want to try, especially if you want in any way to recommend it to anyone else.  What you have done so far is very similar to the way someone might get you to try a psychedelic for the first time. 

To put it another way....if you can't articulate the benefits or the feelings, where is the incentive for me to spend 20 minutes trying to experience it?


Agreed.   I’d also like to ask how it is you can in one instance state that you cannot tell us what it is, but then you specifically advise,


It just is wisdom.

thus telling us what it is.

Have you now denied us access to whatever ‘this’ is?
What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way around.

   -George Orwell


Been caught making shit up again? Attend the I don't know 12 step program for help.

Offline strikevipermkII

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2010, 07:48:47 PM »
There's nothing wrong with that, but you can't use that when you think about religion.  If you want to understand religion, you have to see things with a completely new set of eyes.  That's what the stories are for.  To help you change your way of being.

My question remains: What does this have to do with "the reality of religion"?

Christianity, for example, makes very specific claims about god and jesus. It gives
specific instructions about what you should do, not no, and believe.  It also tells you
punishments and consequences for failing to do as you are told.  All of this, rests
on the authority of divine revelation you are expected to believe without evidence.

What in that are you claiming is real?


Nothing.
"The most beautiful things we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and all science.  He to who, this 'emotion' is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder, or stand in rapt awe, is as good as dead.  His eyes are closed."
Albert Einstein

Offline MockTurtle

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2010, 08:26:15 PM »
What in that are you claiming is real?
Nothing.
How very reminiscent of Bodhidharma's meeting with Xiao Yan.

I was just asking because you said:
Quote
I suggest you read the book The Naked Now by Richard Rohr.  It might shed some light on the reality of religion.
Maybe you should have said "the lack of reality of religion." 

A note on style:
Content aside, your style of presentation in this thread makes you sound
like a crank, so it's hard to be objective about what you are saying. Also,
since this board is more or less focused on questions about the existence of
god, you might want to focus a bit more on specific implications of your
views in that area and any evidence that supports those views.


If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac

Offline strikevipermkII

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2010, 08:53:45 PM »
What in that are you claiming is real?
Nothing.
How very reminiscent of Bodhidharma's meeting with Xiao Yan.


What I meant by this was that nothing in the list of things given to me was about religion at all.  Rituals and specifics about God's existence don't matter.  They mean nothing in the world of rationality.  They are not in that level of thinking.  The reason it sounds so much like other philosophies is because they are all the same.  All religions at their core are about arriving at the level of thinking required to understand these concepts.  Strip away all the rituals and doctrines and you end up with the same thing.

A note on style:
Content aside, your style of presentation in this thread makes you sound
like a crank, so it's hard to be objective about what you are saying. Also,
since this board is more or less focused on questions about the existence of
god, you might want to focus a bit more on specific implications of your
views in that area and any evidence that supports those views.


Okay, the implications on what I'm saying is that when you start living nondually, the question of whether God exists or not doesn't even come into play.  Needing proof of something is saying you believe it is incorrect, or has the potential to be incorrect.  This need stems from a need to control things around you.  That's your ego.  It thrives in a rational world, and shuts out any chance of changing your way of being.  In a rational mind, there's only two options.  Right or wrong, left or right, good or evil.  If something isn't one, it's the other.  What I'm saying is that way of thinking is a construct (and a necessary one) built by the ego to survive in a world of paradoxes that it can't and won't ever understand.  As we live, we need to learn to deal with paradoxes, and we deal with them by living nondually.

And could you be more specific with what exactly it is about my style that makes it hard to be objective?  And what exactly do you mean by 'crank'?
"The most beautiful things we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and all science.  He to who, this 'emotion' is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder, or stand in rapt awe, is as good as dead.  His eyes are closed."
Albert Einstein

Offline MockTurtle

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2010, 11:44:44 PM »
All religions at their core are about arriving at the level of thinking required to understand these concepts.  Strip away all the rituals and doctrines and you end up with the same thing.

I disagree.  It seems to me the core of most religions is a mechanism for the priesthood or
some other authority to get and hold power.  The reason that they are similar, is that the
victims of religion have pretty much the same fears and vulnerabilities to prey on.

Needing proof of something is saying you believe it is incorrect, or has the potential to be incorrect.  This need stems from a need to control things around you.

I disagree.  Needing proof is saying I don't trust the priesthood to tell me what to believe.
(see above)

Quote
In a rational mind, there's only two options.  Right or wrong, left or right, good or evil.  If something isn't one, it's the other. 

That's just not true.  Rational people are fully capable of understanding ambiguity and nonduallity.  In science
we even have effects like that with Schrödinger's cat--you can't get much more non-dual than existing in a
superposition of states. It's religion that I see claiming there are moral absolutes of right and wrong, good and bad,
etc.


Quote
And what exactly do you mean by 'crank'?

I'm not saying you are one, I'm saying you argue in the same style they do...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crank_%28person%29:

   1. Cranks overestimate their own knowledge and ability, and underestimate that of acknowledged experts.
   2. Cranks insist that their alleged discoveries are urgently important.
   3. Cranks rarely, if ever, acknowledge any error, no matter how trivial.
   4. Cranks love to talk about their own beliefs...but they tend to be bad listeners...
If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac

Offline strikevipermkII

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2010, 12:17:08 AM »
It's religion that I see claiming there are moral absolutes of right and wrong, good and bad,
etc.

And I'm saying that anything that does that is not religion.

As far as acting like a crank, I have to say I do tend to do things like that.  I try not to, but sometimes it just comes out.

That's just not true.  Rational people are fully capable of understanding ambiguity and nonduallity.  In science
we even have effects like that with Schrödinger's cat--you can't get much more non-dual than existing in a
superposition of states. It's religion that I see claiming there are moral absolutes of right and wrong, good and bad,
etc.

And anyone who can see these paradoxes (ironically, scientists see them more often than people of religion, who are supposed to be the experts on the subject) are the people who can think nondually.  We all have the ability and even when we do think nondually, we must think rationally at the same time, otherwise we would fall right back into dualism again.  I'm trying to point out that thinking only with a rational mind won't get you anywhere with religion.  You have to use both.
"The most beautiful things we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and all science.  He to who, this 'emotion' is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder, or stand in rapt awe, is as good as dead.  His eyes are closed."
Albert Einstein

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2010, 03:44:12 AM »
.....That's your ego.  It thrives in a rational world, and shuts out any chance of changing your way of being.  In a rational mind, there's only two options.  Right or wrong, left or right, good or evil.  If something isn't one, it's the other.  What I'm saying is that way of thinking is a construct (and a necessary one) built by the ego to survive in a world of paradoxes that it can't and won't ever understand.  As we live, we need to learn to deal with paradoxes, and we deal with them by living nondually.

Um.  What kind of world do we live in?  Unless you are positing some fairly major aspects on non-causal occurrence, the world we live in IS a rational one (albeit one where some people appear to act irrationally).  What you are...promoting? (poor word, but I can't think of a better right now) appears to be designed to switch off the mind's ability to make distinctions and rational choices.....which seems a remarkably foolish thing to do in a rational world.

I also find intriguing the claim that "when you start living nondually, the question of whether God exists or not doesn't even come into play".  Sounds to me an extremely dangerous way to play things: if there IS a god, living your life as if it doesn't matter in the slightest will lead to terrible consequences, IF the claims of the holy books are to be believed.

Frankly, if I'm destined for eternal damnation, I would rather get there as a rational decision, rather than by deafult after a life lived on the assumption that the question is irrelevant.  Or is the hidden assumption behind nonduality that it brings you closer to some non-Christian godhead - or perhaps even that the question of god's existence becomes irrelevant because pursuit of nonduality leads to KNOWING?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline MockTurtle

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Re: Nonduality in reference to Religion
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2010, 05:53:36 AM »
It's religion that I see claiming there are moral absolutes of right and wrong, good and bad,
etc.
And I'm saying that anything that does that is not religion.

So, Christianity and Islam as practiced by 3+ billion people don't fit your definition of "religion"?

Redefining common terms to support your argument is poor form.  Aside from not being
persuasive, it makes your argument harder to follow.   Have a little consideration for us
poor readers and pick a new word if you have a new concept.

 
If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac