Tuesday, October 30, 2018
This isn't a feeling or conceptual understanding. Advaita.
I was watching a live stream of Wayne Liquorman on YouTube.
It is good that he offers live, free streamings of his satsangs for anyone to watch. He makes a lot of good points in his satsangs as well, especially for questioners present- such as bringing back experience to one's own personal experience (rather than some objective experience or the teacher's experience.
There were a lot of different questions coming up in the satsang. Some asked about a 'flat feeling' that they have after having discovered these 'teachings'. Another asked about whether to do or not to do sadhana (spiritual practice). And another asked about whether this teaching is a mechanism for 'growth' or more understanding.
Wayne Liquorman was a student of Ramesh Balsekar, and thus his spin on things is generally Neo-Advaita and non-practice apart from seeing the absence of doership or the 'me' entity. This generally involves no practice, no path, and the understanding that all things happen spontaneously only, there's no doer or anything to actually do, and that the understanding of this 'truth' of how things are-- essentially one substance playing out, leads to freedom.
It is interesting that Wayne actually has very little to say or contribute in his satsangs. He mostly just repeats the question, adds a little philosophy, and settles down the questioner into a kind of acceptance of the situation. That's pretty much about it. A fair amount of silence and some smiles.
"The question is what is playing out in your doing more or not doing more?"
"That's a response I've heard about a thousand times.."
"What is it that's responsible for what you do or don't do?"
One questioner talks about depression and how this whole teaching leaves her in a flat kind of place. Wayne's response is that he's heard that a lot.. but there's no magic fix.
I found myself a little reactive to this.
IME if someone is talking about having the legit understanding of this teaching, and having realised the Self (or not-self).. then that should blow away any concept or perception about reality being some kind of perceived flat-land of barren emotion or void. It was so obvious that the questioner was living out a concept of what they felt to be the 'teaching' (due to Wayne/Ramesh's view on non-doership). Of course, having such a belief and concept DOES lead to a barren and depressing state of things for the ego identified mind. But this isn't the real deal. Reality isn’t a barren state of void, but a living expansive state of energy. Wayne isn't doing any one a service by sticking to his absolutist view of how things really are, and that the questioner needs to just accept things etc. according to 'how things are'.
I find some Neo-Advaita teachers to actually be doing a disservice to would-be seekers. If they really believed in the no-doer thing, what possible benefit would having satsangs give, versus going to the pub to play darts, or better having a satsang with a group of trees in the park? "Oh, but it's just happening"..
I recall an interview a while back with Jeff Foster on some Nonduality show. He was going on about the same thing, whereby he discovered these wonderful teachings and views on reality, then plunged into a year or so of depression and feeling like it was all an empty void.. this 'enlightenment' that he had found. Unfortunately, Jeff published a truck load of material, and people also bought into the ideas presented, and that Jeff Foster actually knew something (which he admitted was nothing, and just an 'extraordinary absence'). Jeff since moved on, and away from Nonduality into psychology and love relationships, as Neo’s sometimes do.
Seekers would well in carefully selecting a teacher that understands their current predicament, and can apply the teachings to suit their context and situation, with the aim of alleviating suffering and delusion, rather than fostering new belief systems. Teachers that teach on an absolute level are often not well suited to beginners or those starting out on the path, especially with psychological issues they're grappling with. A more practical, life-focused teaching would suit. However, some advanced seekers actually do very well with the Neo-Advaita type teaching and need much less practical guidance in furthering their understanding and undoing of self-efforting.