Monday, 20 August 2012

When Such a Spacious Mirror's Set Before Him, He Needs Must See Himself.

There is talk in the "nondual community" (if that's not too ironic) of the place, philosophically and based on people's actions, of ethics and morality in the teaching of nonduality.  Much tsk-tsking and lambasting of "neo-Advaitins" and their preponderance to the pointer "there is no right or wrong".  Much made of gurus taking advantage of young, attractive and vulnerable acolytes.  The traditionalists condemn the neos for nurturing the attitude "it doesn't matter what I do...there is no me, I have no choice."  The neos, if indeed anyone dares take up that mantle these days (although there is the cool Matrix association), accuse the trads of being caught up in a story that doesn't exist.

I am always appalled when I hear stories of the fruits of such a laissez-faire attitude.  Being appalled is what comes up. There are several to many conceptual or philosophical explanations of the "no right and no wrong" pointer.  One might say that everything, absolutely everything must be let go of, including the notion of morality or right and wrong.  Such concerns, perhaps, are the last and most convincing bastion for the ego.  Certain things are just not acceptable...so the story is taken seriously, and the outcomes are valued, and true egolessness never occurs.  Some might quibble with the whole notion of letting go, which is an act of will by the ego...perhaps letting whatever may happen, happen, is the best approach.  Others might quibble that egolessness is not the goal...there is no goal.  Still others might find yet another facet to disagree with, just for the heck of it.

I have no answer to this debate.  There is debate, there is controversy, there is factionalism, there is right, there is wrong, there is neutrality.  Even the best and healthiest ego doesn't always know what's best for it.  The most deliberately moral person, constantly trying to do the next right thing, can get it wrong through a lack of perspective.  And surprisingly, the wrong choice can open wide garage-sized doors of opportunity.  The twists of the story are multifarious, unexpected, and perfect.  "There is no right or wrong" should probably be taken with a grain of salt, and understood in the context that in immediate presence (or whatever we're calling it today) there are no labels whatsoever, no concepts, no judgements.  And we are then free to make of the story what we will.



This is a long clip but hang in there, it's worth it.   An interesting story of right and wrong.  Is Anne Sullivan right to be so brutal with Helen?  Is this the only way to break through Helen's (somehow admirable) stubbornness?  A magnificent tour-de-force from both Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft, who both won Oscars for their performances.  I can't help but wonder every time I watch this...well, to film it must have been taxing...but what about performing it on stage eight times a week?  Enjoy.

32 comments:

an3drew said...

the only sane teacher i ever came across was toni packer !

why are people in it? tolle is in for the money which makes sense, renz is in it for sexual opportunity or used to be, that promiscuous travelling life style, the vast majority are in it because they are schizophrenic and autistic queens bees !

in actual fact i think the mirrors that teaching creates for teachers is so distorting and full of hubris that "he needs must not see himself" in the famous words of sir henry neville : o )

my helen keller links

she wasn't simply blind, but had that super visual intensity of autism : o )

sir henry neville is very autistic too, and suzanne foxton and her family and me and ...............

yeah the neurobiological paradigm leaves advaita in the dust

the autistic and developmentally disabled puppets swaying in life's cruel breezes : o )

Tapestry said...

Extraordinary battle of the wills, the human drama. My favourite childhood story. Thanks for that.

an3drew said...

herman melville in jerusalem

i was thinking that advaita, zen and religion generally were like melville's experience of jerusalem

all the gloss of a lot of history and the associations and stories in the bible, but the reality is an unattractive arid city with alot of stone, muggers and petty thieves ; o)

and
actually

the

heartless

brutality

if

you

can

see

it

:

o

)

an3drew said...

well, now i don't think this group are into sexually exploiting it's acolytes and financially seems marginal

but still the same advaita mistake, this confusion of the now or seeming or awareness as being of the infinite

in fact this understanding that there is some tangible "infinite" is what it is all about and this takes time : o )

don't put yourself in a situation of being judged by your inferiors, i do that all the time, the terminal condition of "competent depressives" : o (

Anonymous said...

"There is no right or wrong" should probably be taken with a grain of salt, and understood in the context that in immediate presence (or whatever we're calling it today) there are no labels whatsoever, no concepts, no judgements.  And we are then free to make of the story what we will."

YES! Enjoyed this post Suzanne and the video clip.
Thanks - Suki

an3drew said...

"that in immediate presence (or whatever we're calling it today) there are no labels whatsoever, no concepts, no judgements"

yeah, no judgement for sure : o )

of course "immediate presence" is not a concept is it?

i bet you don't answer !

No One In Particular said...

Hey an3drew, I don't think it matters, whatever motivation people have for being "in it". There is motivation. Scrying the possible motives is a pleasant pasttime. Helen Keller was autistic, interesting tidbit of information, if so. My husband is reading Jerusalem by Simon Sebag Montefiore, he's enjoying it very much and the thing about stone, muggers and petty thieves seems the norm throughout its history. And they're all concepts, it simply seems fun to play with them, since they exist!

No One In Particular said...

Hi Tapestry. I've always loved Helen Keller's story too. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

No One In Particular said...

Suki! Thanks for stopping by. x

an3drew said...

synthesized  awakening experience

an3drew said...

your husband might enjoy

it's really the most rip roaring story i have ever read

it's so different and so exciting that it shakes the boundaries a bit which i am sure he doesn't need : o )

my point is that "being in it" is an illusion, and people fall into that trap because there is a step to take that doesn't seem to
sit well with this world and one can only agree with melville's observation of jerusalem

“The whole thing is half melancholy, half farcical like all the rest of the world.”

cadences a bit like larry eigner actually

Anonymous said...

I think that people naturally realise that we are all in this together and also that we naturally want to help and make a positive contribution during our limited time on the planet.
As the vast openness and love is welcomed into life then moral and ethical action is no longer a contrived thing, and people are empowered to be spontaneously beneficial without effort.
Why do we follow a spiritual path? because it brings benefit to ourselves and others if we live it fully. Here there is no need use the 'there is no good or bad' logic to make shoddy behaviour be acceptable.

an3drew said...

anonymouse, look at syria !

frightened of the sniping that you cannot put a name to what you say?

suzanne foxton is a real person who is not afraid to show her life in an intelligent way and really it's a discussion with herself, helping her and us to see things : o )

why don't you endless twits in advaita get that hiding identities and blabbling the falsely abstract is nothing but a self con?

you may as well get it right as wrong : o )

advaita is the same as zen, it's the world's biggest collection of mice i have ever seen : o )

mice frightened at the shadow of a cat get impaled on the real claws of their timidity about the wrong things : o )

an3drew said...

clams who don't like their shells tapped?

an3drew said...

comments on suzanne's "pontification"

exegesis

a warning

mainstreet said...

I think for most of these 'non duality' hucksters, there's one unborn every minute. It's just like plumbers - anyone can set themselves up as one - doesn't mean they know what they're doing.

an3drew said...

your daughter who is a model looks to me to have a low nerve density on the left side of the face, possibly she should look at doing exercises with moving those muscles to build strength in that area, be a life long issue i think and probably important to a modelling career, she needs to work with her facial and body expression

just a comment don't put this up on the comments section


generally i think she might have nerve tonal issues anyway, bit of fish oil might help, my compendium advice on fish oil

fish oil is very perishable and you need to keep a sharp eye on expiry date code and room temperature when buying

nerve tonal issues are of course an austistic spectrum thing, better to be informed and proactive

writing is all about the brain btw, the better the nick the brain is in, the better the writing tho i don't think there is any money in writing these days

modern health is a disaster area, you can be proactive or wreckage...........

an3drew said...

mainstreet "non-duality" is itself a huckster, autism and autistic spectrum is what it is all really about...........

suddenly lost my audience have i?

an3drew said...

thank-you for putting that comment up about your daughter

people often have difficulty
with my perspective, but i feel that is useful advice

"autistic spectrum" is a very powerful notion to understand life, family and the "spiritual scene" and not get quite so murdered by them : o )

the flip side of the problems is that great genius is not possible without it

einstein, leonardo da vinci ,monet, van gogh any great writer, artist, actor they were all on autistic spectrum

tho they are mythical stories, jesus and buddha are heavily traited with autism : o )

"life on the cross" ; o )

the advaita icon , ramana is really quite autistic and developmentally disabled/disordered !

years ago i read this essay by jane meyerding and found it quite useful

truthlesstruth said...

Isn't denying the ego the biggest ego-trip ever? To me this is what this whole debates boils down to: can you live with "what is" (incl. the conditioning) or do you try to control it? Ego-lessness is the absence of control of our experience, that is, a natural non-objection to "what is" , "good" OR "bad". It's a (passive) yielding not an (active) succumbing. Therefore, it does not undermine morality at all (exploiting young devotees has nothing to do with yielding to desire, but with succumbing to it). Yes, we have no choice about whether we have desires or not, but when we deeply yield to it there is no particular need to act out on it. Only if we can't stand desire we want to get rid of it as soon as possible, by either repressing or acting out upon it.

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Otto Krog said...

I had a major realisation recently about OneNess and NothingNess. My cognition was that the oneness we experience is in space and time. We are all eternal in time and infinite in space. We are SpaceTime fundamentally. The moment we start experiencing anything, which is in the physical universe and our own universe (antimatter) at the same time, then we become individuated from our common denominator SpaceTime. Time and Space was originately empty, så it was a NothingNess.

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Muman said...

Good post as ever Suzanne. Just read your book on kindle....superb ! I was left in no where but here and its all OK ! Did not expect the book to do that but it did :-)

tapestry said...

Sure hope things are up and running again come the new year.

viv said...

Brilliant piece of drama - I'd forgotten about this film!

All I can say is that they both were what they were and did what they did! (ignoring the fact that they were actresses interpreting a story, but even in that respect, they were also being what they were and doing what they do!). As we each are....

Happy New Year to you and yours, Suzanne.

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lenny said...

why would anyone who (really) believed in nonduality "teach" (...or worse yet, argue) to make a point?

arguing (dual), teaching (dual), blogging (dual), lovemaking (dual), anything-ing (dual).

we'll never hear from the True nondual-err, b/c s/he wouldn't waste he/r no-time be playing on the earth-bound game board!
:)
if/when we do hear, see, taste, smell, feel, teach, argue, or post... we are dual-ing!

(kind of like this comment :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your persistently compassionate responses to one who was clearly in need of help and a bonafide fuck-up. You are a blessing. I can see by your words in response to my confessed plight and the seriousness of it at times, that you do care. Funny how what once seemed incoherent now makes more sense than anything I've read in a very long time (though I've never been too bright in many ways... cue Laughter). I'm not so good at expressing myself but... Thank you. Realisation without freakout or denial this time. Does it really matter? Nope :) I guess I was the one who was 'unhinged' after all, I'm sure anyone reasonable could tell that though, and you have done everything in your power to help all this time without me even realising. A truly kind soul, I'm sorry it didn't work out when we met, I should watch my manners, I guess. I guess I must confess you had a point in retrospect...

Oh hi, Suzanne!

Anonymous said...

Are you going to come out and play again?

Chris

willie said...

C'mon, Suzanne. You must have more to say.

No One In Particular said...

Hey all and sundry, I'm back, relatively speaking of course. Ill hubbie keeping the unfolding story incredibly busy. New blog post today!

No One In Particular said...

Well...made it for Sunday anyway. New post up, enjoy.