MAYA-GAIA INTRODUCTION & SITEMAP
Note: My maya-gaia website, evolving since 1997, is a chronicle of my passing all considered opinion
through the lens of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi with both an open-mind and healthy skepticism.
Nondual Love Without Object Distinguished from
Dual Love With Divine Object
While in the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi the merged 'I am That' was aware of a felt nondual Love with no object. It seemed to manifest- along with Light and Bliss- enfused within a seemingly infinite consciousness that was its original source. It was only later- just before awareness started to transform back into a quasai-dual conscious state that there may have arisen a sensed/imagined fuzzy limit or periphery to the vast system in which 'I am That' was emmersed and an even fuzzier sense that there were similar systems away and beyond that which contained this awareness. Back in the phenomenal world, when I suddenly remembered the entire episode, that transcendent 'Love' contained all the emotional qualities of the familiar love of mother, father, sister, brother, wife, self and other but had no object at the time (nor any subject). In first remembering this nondual 'Love' aspect- it may be that I concurrently, subliminally injected this notion of limit and similar systems out of a subconscious imperative to have an object to sensed love. So I am uncertain if the notion about the nondual conscious matrix having a periphery with similar systems beyond, was actual memory of the experience or an artifact created by instantaneous extrapolation in my first recall of the transcendent scenario.
Yogananda In his account of his samadhi experience, Yogananda describes an awareness of a similar fading outer limit to the "infinite being": The sharply etched global outlines faded somewhat at the farthest edges; there I could see a mellow radiance, ever undiminished. It was indescribably subtle; the planetary pictures were formed of a grosser light." - however, he did not express any sense of other systems beyond.
There is a distinct possibility that the concept of an object that intrudes into the Love aspect of my memory of the non-dual experience is somewhat similar to how reincarnation has become such a fixture of Dharma. It also may be attributed to a psychological imperative to provide an alternative to our organic anxiety over the loneliness in the idea of consciousness residing in an acosmic state in perpetuity. Even with the promise of liberation and eternal bliss and love there is the longing for an objective other. For some reflections on the topic:
Phenomenology of Life and the Human Creative Condition By Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, World Institute for Advanced Phenomenological Research and Learning pp 33-36 - Longing and the Phenomenon of Loneliness. Longing is essentially a phenomenon that involves an intense wish to remove the physical, mental or spiritual distance which separates the self from anyone or anything deemed desirable.
From an extended perspective this topic provides some slight validity to "my" impression of being aware of other systems beyond the acosmic state in which "my" consciousness was absorbed. It even suggests the "Why" of creation- that the source of our archetypal psychological/emotional imperatives are cloned from a God with Desire for Being and To Be Known- with Grace the rare and precious process by which our Oneness is revealed.
Rumi says, "There is no Love greater than Love with no object. For then you, yourself, have become love, itself."
The subtle configurations that attach the emotions to disparate artifacts within the various religious disciplines makes comparing the quality and degree of love that is evoked challenging.
The passion that a life-sized statue of Christ manifest as it is paraded through Valencia during Las Crucas ritual is virtually indistinguishable from a flesh and blood traumatic encounter. Likewise the outpouring of love and devotion for Mohamad and Allah during the Hajj in Mecca.
Even in the nondual traditions that speak of loving Brahman or the Buddha devotional passion is directed to gods, goddesses, or gurus or objective and abstract images during celebrations such as the Kumbh Mela Hindu Ganges River Festival.
Can the love one feels without an object compare in quality or degree to that among family members? Most all divine love is not without object.
The following links are my start at exploring this topic.
Love and Realization
Thread at Nonduality Tribe offering perspectives regarding the relationship of Love and Realization
Sahaja Jivanmukta In this penetrating essay, Dr. John Glenn Friesen's provides an intimate look into the mind of the sage-philosopher of non-dual tradition- Ramana Maharshi. The positions of various postmodern philosophers regularly appear confounded regarding a variety of important issues as in the following precepts regarding love: Page 60
Monchanin believed that advaita could not account for love (bhakti). Love involves a distinction between beings. According to advaita, love is in the realm of maya. But as soon as we say "God is love," this is to confess a Trinity. 80 Ibid., pp. 133-135. Harvey Cox makes the same point. Love presupposes genuinely different selves. God and the world are both real, but different, and the relation between them is love. Harvey Cox: Turning East (Simon and Schuster, 1977), 85, 86.
Monchanin urged Abhishiktananda to discover the communion ('samsat') beyond the 'advaitic' experience. Abhishiktananda writes that Monchanin is too Greek to understand 'advaita'.
Unity - The Dawn of Conscious Civilization The book of the millennium for the buddhas of the new dawn 2006; For those on the path of love it is important to understand that nondual awareness is the uncreated reality from which love and all existence are created. Awareness is the source of love. God is first and fundamentally awareness. Yet He is also love, intelligence and playfulness. Love, playfulness and every divine aspect except intelligent awareness exist only while existence is manifest. God-as-awareness is also the transcendental unmanifest realm of non-existence.
Happiness and the Art of Being: A Layman's Introduction to the Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana by By Michael James 2007 p281 keywords: advaita vedanta, absolute reality, consciousness, I am, Tamil, Sanskrit, self-attentive, pranayama, desirelessness, ahimsa, dhyana, dualistic, neti neti, true self-knowledge, real self, Adi Sankara, essential self-conscious, Sri Ramana, egoless.
So long as we imagine ourself to be a particular person, the almighty, all-knowing and all-loving infinite reality that we call 'God" does appear to function as a person and therefore we are able to experience an intensely personal love for him, even through we may understand the truth that he is the impersonal absolute reality. By cultivating such love for him in our heart, we can learn to surrender our self-deluded individual will to his divine 'will" - which is the simple love just to be - and thereby we can attune ourself to his true nature of non-dual self-conscious being. (Though we speak of our personal relationship with God in this apparently dualistic manner, the duality that seems to exist in the love between him and us actually exists only in the inherently dualistic outlook of our own mind, and not in the inherently non-dualistic outlook of his real being. Since he knows us and loves us as his own essential self, his love is in truth always perfectly non-dual, and therefore completely non-personal. Such desirelessness, contentment, calmness and peace are qualities that in Sanskrit are described as sattva-guna or the quality of 'being-ness', ...desirelessness; true vairagya or nirguna (without qualities).
Biography of David Loy
Unlike Buddhism, which emphasizes the nondual wisdom, that side of it, the mind side of it, the nondual love is necessarily relational, and therefore necessarily, if we try to understand it, we are not going to understand love in itself without a sense of love of whom for whom. We can understand it in terms of our love of each other, I love you, or I love God, or God loves me. In a sense there is always a sense of relationality to it which helps us to understand why religions that are devotional, that seem to work on this more devotional level, tend to understand the Supreme in a theistic way, as a person rather than as something neutral and nondual in the mental sense...I think what we have to do is be very aware that if we feel this community of love, and if we see what nondual wisdom implies, we canít just stay by ourselves and enjoy whatever peaceful bliss that comes from this.
ef commentary: Loy seems to imply that 'love in itself' needs a sense of relationality. Firstly- rather than mankind- I find all of nature or Gaia a manifestation of Brahman as object to direct love only while in duality but hold that 'love in itself' emanates from Brahman and while one is in a state of non-dual samadhi has no object. 'Love in itself' appears to be an attribute and gift of God that arises from within our beings that we apply to objects and perceptions in duality.
The Book of Secrets By Osho p 7; love goes beyond duality into formless love (beyond Siva, beyond Devi- through Tantra)
The Broken Yogi A perspective on non-dual love in relationship to the Sri Ramana's concepts of realizing the "I" consciousness.
Non-Duality Press publishes books on the contemporary expression of Advaita by mostly western authors and communicators. Direct, clear and free from the arcane language of the past, we feel these books represent a contribution to the understanding of Liberation. We offer these books as a resource for those that are familiar with the subject and an inspiration for those in the process of discovery.
Standing in Awareness by Greg Goode; Bhakti Yoga -- Devotion to one's chosen deity, teacher, principle, e.g., to the Self. Liberation, according to this path, is through the merging of the separate self into the boundlessness of the Lord or chosen deity/guru, combined with knowledge of one's true nature. The hymns, chants, worship services in most religions fall under the category of bhakti yoga. Another important aspect of bhakti yoga is the urge to approach ever closer to the deity or teacher, and perhaps visualizing the deity or teacher in meditation. The Dalai Lama comments on this practice in his Union of Bliss and Emptiness: A Commentary on the Lama Choepa Guru Yoga Practice. More generally, bhakti yoga is acting out of intense love, admiration and respect for someone or something.
The Biology of Love: Time Magazine, Jan 28/08 p 59 Even wih its intoxicating supply of dopamine, the ventral tegmental couldn't do the love job all on its own. Most people do leave the poker game or the dinner table, after all. Something has to turn the exhiliration of a new partner into what can approach an obsession, and that something is the brain's nucleus accumbens, located slightly higher and father forward than the ventral tegmental. Thrill signals that start in the lower brain are processed in the nucleus accumbens via not just dopamine but also serotonin and, importantly, oxytocin. If there ever was a substance to bind, it's oxytocin. New mothers are flooded with the stuff during labor and nursing- one reason they connect so ferociously to their babies before they know them as anything more than a squirmy body and a hungry mouth. Live-in fathers whose partners are pregnant experience elevated oxytocin too, a good thing if they're going to stick around through months of gestation and years of child rearing. So powerful is oxytocin that a stranger who merely walks into its line of fire can suddenly seem appealing. Last major stops for love signals in the brain are the caudate nuclei, a pair of structures on either side of the head, each about the size of a shrimp. It's here that patterns and mundane habits, such as knowing how to type and drive a car, are stored. Motor skills like these can be hard to lose thanks to the caudate nuclei's indelible memory. Apply the same permanence to love, and it's no wonder that early passion can gel so quickly into enduring commitment. The idea that even one primal part of the brain is involved in processing love would be enough to make the feeling powerful. The fact that three are at work makes that powerful feeling consuming.
The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice By Georg p 257
How may we undertand the transcendental love in which the liberated "yogin" participates? Elsewhere I proposed this answer:
The love that flourishes eternally between God and the Self-particles who have awakened to His presence is one of ineffable divine creativity: the Whole communing with Itself. The logical mind shrinks back from this paradox. It fails to gain a foothold in that realm in which all opposites coincide. The ultimate test must be unmediated experience. This transcendental love (parabhakti) is an essential part of God and can be fully realized only in and through God. This love is ...unconditional and without object.
Neria Harish Hebbar M.D. Three Acharyas
Taking Ourselves Seriously and Getting It Right By Harry G. Frankfurt p 40-42
As I construe it, love is a particular mode of caring. It is an involuntary, nonutilitarian, rigidly focused, and --as is any mode of caring--self-affirming concern for the existence and the good of what is loved. The object of love can be almost anthing--a life, a quality of experience, a person, a group, a moral ideal, a nonmoral ideal, a tradition, whatever.
The lover's concern is rigidly focused in that there can be no equivalent substiute for its object, which he loves in its sheer particularity and not as an exemplar of some general type. his concern is nonutilitarian in that he cares about his beloved for its own sake, rather than only as a means to some other goal.
It is said that those few who attain realization from jnana or the other yogas wind up practicing bhakti yoga to express their love.
I must confess that in the thirty six years since experiencing the nondual love during samadhi I have yet to feel that same sense of love outflowing from within my self and still have need to evoke an object- whether Nature, Gaia, Brahman or Cosmic Consciousness to arouse that felt devine emotion and can only wish what Moyaert proclaims in the following link were true.
Mysticism: The transformation of a Love Consumed into Desire to a Love without Desire by Paul Moyaert Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven; The mystic soul is not the nerve centre of its own life, and in a certain sense the mystic no longer acts as an independent person. He is no longer moved by a love for God, but by the love of God that flows through him and expresses itself in an infinite mercy for all that is, as it is. The mystic is not someone who expresses his (own) love for all that is. It is rather a love, coming from elsewhere, that expresses itself in him.
This idealism certainly is found in the attributes awarded non-dual sants in the historic literature- but our real contemporary world would be hard pressed to find an example of an enlightened one with such qualities. Thus my attraction to that aspect of Ramanuja's Dvaita that allows for tacit separation between self and a divinity to love as in the following:
Dvaita Divine Love- Ramanuja's Visishtadvaita teachings: Consequently, any sort of unity, whether it be mystical or ontological, between the individual self and God is impossible in Dvaita. Hence the term "Dvaita" or "dualism". Advaita- also called nirvisesha Advaita, or "non-duality of the Absolute without qualities" to distinguish it from Visishtadvaita. Visishtadvaita is also an Advaita, since only God the Absolute, omnipresent Self exists. However, our concept of God refers to that Supreme Entity which contains all within itself; the entire universe, including all living beings, are fundamentally real and internally distinguishable from one another. However, there is only one total reality, as God includes all existence within Its very being. The individual selfs and the universe exist as God's attributes, since God pervades absolutely everything and gifts these substances with their reality. In other words, God is the indwelling Self of all, and this "all" is real as they are included in His body. Therefore, Visishtadvaita literally means non-duality of the qualified, since God is qualified by innumerable glorious attributes, including individual selves and matter.
See also Three Great Acharyas by Neria Harish Hebbar M.D. - Visishtadvaita contains elements of both Advaita and Dvaita, since only God the Absolute, omnipresent Self exists and introduces theistic concepts in our personal relationship with the divine.
What seems apparent to me is that Advaita and Dvaita are essentially two sides of the twofold reality - one while we are alive and the other when we die or temporarily experience it in Nirvikalpa Samadhi. I hold to a modified Visishtadvaita in that we live in Dvaita but die in Advaita where our individual self dissolves into Brahman leaving unresolved the questions of karma, reincarnation and maya.
The Divine Light and the Mystery of Existence Sutapas Bhattacharya p 43- Surrender and Death: Grossoís clarification of supposed experiences of Jesus by Western NDErs indoctrinated into Christian culture actually confirms the partial validity of the Constructivist thesis that mystical experiences are culturally-indoctrinated. However, the constructivists argue that they are all mere imagination whereas the projection of the Christ-form onto the Pure Light again underlines the universality and centrality of the Divine Light as the common, underlying core of all mystical traditions. In Hindu philosophy, the form projected by the mind onto the Light or Godhead is known as the Ishta Devata, the Chosen Deity. Any image, not only anthropomorphic ones, can perform this function of representing the Godhead.
(mg note:) So long as there is awareness of form (object) in the light comprehended by subject it is an experience of duality as in virtually all NDEs and conforms to savikalpa samadhi (with seed) and not to the non-daul state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi (without seed) or temporary oneness with Brahman.
Understanding the Lord of the Rings: The Best of Tolkien Criticism By Rose A. p 76
Love is the dominant emotion in "The Lord of the Rings" and love in the form of hero worship is particularly evident in the relationship between Aragorn and the other characters and between Frodo and Sam. Other forms of love are also appparent; the most important of these is heroic love, which includes love of honor and love of country, additionally there is Gandalf's paternal and Goldberry's and Galadriel's maternal love. Relatively little romantic love is depicted, and what is appears to follow the chivalric, although not courtly, love convention. Underlying all of these is the love of fellowship as the original members extend their relationship to serve and battle with others.
Facts and Theories of Psychoanalysis by Ives Hendrick; Narcissism- Freud: is any phenomenon in which oneself, one's person, one's body, or one's psychic attributes are the object of the libido. It is the opposite of "object love", in which the fulfillment of another person's emotional requirement is indispensable to one's own pleasure. However both normal and psychotic love involves some degree of narcissism.
Varieties of Nationalism: A Comparative Study By Louis Leo Snyder; Our capacities for sacrifice, for altruism, for sympathy, for trust, for responsibilities to other things than self interest, for honesty, for charity, for friendship and love, for social amity and mutual interdependence have evolved just as surely as the flatness of our feet, the muscularity of our...(torsos?)......by what process of social conditioning had Americans (in the era of WW1 and WW2) been instilled with such love of country as to guarantee that when challenge arose they acted as one? ...home, family, school, and society were all imbued with nationalism, with love for the fatherland, and with a corresponding contempt for any dissenting ideology that denied the supremacy of national unity. God, flag, country were the approved watchwords. Disloyalty to the national idea was suppressed...
Types of Ethical Theory: Volume I By James Martineau p 324- Hobbs: Love is the idea of a pleasure associated with the idea of its cause. The varieties of love and hate are as numerous as the objects which please and displease...
The Delights of Wisdom on the Subject of Conjugial Love by Emanuel Swedenborg p 348; Love has infinite varieties- good and evil love outwardly appear the same. Zeal of a congugial love is called Jealousy whose basis is the fear of losing that love- it arises out of love and friendship; Zeal of an evil love arises out of hatred and revenge
The Spirit and the Forms of Love by Williams, Daniel Day. Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1981 . [Perhaps the major Process discussion of the varieties of love] [Romantic love, pp. 229-31]
Socrates in Love: Philosophy for a Die-Hard Romantic by Christopher Phillips; Christopher Phillips goes to the heart of philosophy and Socratic discourse to discover what we're all looking for: the kind of love that makes life worthwhile. That is, love not defined only as eros, or erotic love, but in all its classical varieties. Love of neighbor, love of country, love of God, love of life, and love of wisdom. Phillips's explorations take us from New Orleans at Mardi Gras and the gambling dens of Las Vegas to the last evangelical revival presided over by Billy Graham. He talks with moms and dads about "parent love," with inmates of a maximum-security prison about "unconditional love," with Hurricane Katrina refugees and a family who took them in, and with Japanese seniors and schoolchildren in Hiroshima Peace Park. Throughout, he enriches his dialogues with commentary on the great philosophers of love from the ancients to Rumi to Ayn Rand and AnaÔs Nin.
Levels of Love Consciousness- by
Anthony J. Fejfar, Esq., Coif 2007
Adi Da- The Most Controversal, Esteemed and Villified Guru in the West
Despite subsequent renunciation by Wilber and others in the integral spiritual community, it seems Adi Da's teachings (as opposed to his behavior and attitude) may provide the purist extrapolation of the Nondual Love- Love without Object- which was "experienced" while "I" was in the non-dual and subjectless/objectless state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
Love is the Healing Principle Integral Therapy by D. B. Sleeth, Ph.D.- Mindfulness and "Radical" Non-Dualism and Their Relevancy for Clinical Practice. Featuring the teachings of Ruchira Avatar, Adi Da Samraj as the epitome of the expression of nondual love- with Freud, Jung, Grof, Washburn, and Wilber and indorsements by Stanley Krippner and Allan Combs. Contrasting mindfulness and awareness, ego love and self love, holism and nondualism
1. Holism: a larger sense of us, or ever greater love and intimacy: a. ego love: all about me- over against and in opposition to you; and b. self love: all about us-up against and in embrace of you.
2. Nondualism: only us, or love and intimacy and nothing else: a. self love: all about us- without any me or you.
(m-g comment: Many prominent members of the integral spiritual community have praised the qualilties of enlightenment in the teachings of Adi Da which casts Love as the ground of all being, yet I am troubled by this unevenly revered guru's attitude as demonstrated in a transcript of the first Adi Da satsang (in a storefront in Berkley) which reveals the psycho dynamics that emmerses the guru and his throng of loving disciples in a bubble of self-knowing. The ambience seemed to ruthlessly excludes any honest and rational inquiry and I could not account for what seemed to me an unwarranted, deliberately antagonistic reaction by Adi Da to a perfectly sincere question posed by someone in the audience to clarify an issue.)
A section of the transcript from
Adi Da Understanding Part 1- (from The Method of the Siddhas, The Dawn Horse Press, 1973. Part One, Understanding, pp. 1-23) follows:
After about an hour, Avatar Adi Da stretched His body from side to side, left to right, signaling the end of the silence.
Then he spoke in an undertone barely audible to anyone but Himself, "Who will cast the first stone?"
Then, addressing everyone in the room in a clear voice, He asked, "Everyone has understood?" As Avatar Adi Da spoke these words, the room was silent in response. Then a man near the back of the room stood up and declared that he had not understood.
FRANKLIN: Are there any questions? (the people who were in attendance say the first statement of Adi Da was "Who will cast the first stone?"
No one replied, so Franklin spoke again.
FRANKLIN: Everyone has understood?
QUESTION: I haven't understood. Explain it to me.2
FRANKLIN: Very good. What haven't you understood?
QUESTION: Well, you said "Did everybody understand?" and everyone seemed to understand but me. Would you explain it to me?
FRANKLIN: Explain what?
QUESTION: Well, you could start with the word "understanding."
FRANKLIN: Yes. There is a disturbance, dissatisfaction, some sensation that motivates a man to go to a teacher, read a book about philosophy, believe something, or do yoga.3
What we ordinarily think of as spirituality or religion is a way to get free of that sensation, that suffering that motivates us. So all paths, yogic methods, forms of seeking, beliefs, religion, grow out of this sensation, this subtle suffering. Ultimately, all these paths are attempting to get free of that sensation. That is the traditional goal. So all men are seeking, whether or not they are very sophisticated about it, using very specific methods, yoga, philosophy, religion, whatever.
When that whole process of seeking begins to break down, the man no longer quite has the edge of his search left. He begins to suspect himself. He begins to doubt the whole process of his search. Then he is no longer fascinated with his search, his method, his yoga, his religion, his ordinary teacher. His attention begins to turn to this sensation that motivates his entire search.
When a man begins to re cognizee, consciously to know again that subtle motivation, this is what I call "understanding." When he begins to see again the subtle forms of his own action, which are his suffering, that recognition is understanding. When this becomes absolute, perfect, when there is utterly, absolutely no dilemma, no form in consciousness interpreting the nature of existence to the individual, when there is no contraction, no fundamental suffering, no thing prior to consciousness, this is what I call "radical" understanding. It is only enjoyment.
QUESTION: Franklin, I have to go, but I have one more question. You said the Siddhas live as the heart. What about the mind? Do they live as the mind also?
FRANKLIN: What is it?
QUESTION: Do they live as the mind as well? It is connected with the heart.
FRANKLIN: What mind?
A series of Qs & As ensues in which Da agressively challenges each word the questioner introduces to clarify his question (brain, understanding, etc.) climaxing in Da acusing the questioner of hostility by virtue of his facial expression with others in the audience also jumping on the questioner's case.
Adi Da then continues presenting an extensive and profound explanation of his teachings how love is the ground of all being.
Da as Narcissus
The Art and Science of Spriitual Love- Beach 7: Vision of Equanimity is Practical Non-duality- Beach 7: by V. Krishnamurthy; There are two things: kriyAdvaita - advaita in action - and bhavAdvaita - advaita in attitude. As in almost all spheres and facets of the sanAtana dharma, it is the attitude that is more important. Even in the secular world the criminal law dispenses a softer punishment to someone who kills, only accidentally and not with intent, than to the one who kills with intent. It is the attitude that matters. A convinced advitin has to have his right attitude reflect in all his day-to-day actions. It is the attitude of sama-dRshTi, that is, equanimous vision. The Gita couplet: He who sees Me everywhere, and who sees everything in Me, to him I am never lost nor is he lost to me:
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MAYA-GAIA INTRODUCTION & SITEMAP