It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Selling Water by the River. The Non-Dual origins of the great faiths.

page: 1

log in


posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 10:08 PM
Over the last few years we have witnessed the re-emergence and popularity of "non-dual" spiritual teachings of such teachers as Ramana Maharshi through the new voices of teachers such as Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti, Andrew Cohen, and many others.

Before I delve more into this subject, and because there are many interpretations of non-dualism let me include the following to narrow my thoughts.


Ramana Maharshi

Advaita (Sanskrit a, not; dvaita, dual) is a nondual tradition from India, with Advaita Vedanta, a branch of Hinduism, as its philosophical arm. The theory was first consolidated by Sri Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century AD. Most smarthas are adherents to this theory of the nature of the soul (Brahman).

According to Ramana Maharshi, the jnani (one who has realised the Self) sees no individual ego, and does not regard himself (or anyone else) as a "doer" of actions. The state of recognition is called jnana which means "knowledge" or "wisdom" referring to the idea that in this state of being, one is constantly aware of the Self. Bob Adamson (Melbourne, Australia), once a student of Nisargadatta Maharaj, who belonged to the Navanath Sampradaya lineage, says that a 'Jnani' is the 'knowing presence' which abides with all (of us) yet this knowing is seemingly covered over by identification with the 'minds content'. Ramesh Balsekar comments that it is in order for phenomenae to occur, that the illusion of personal existence and doer-ship (ego) is present:

"Consciousness-at-rest is not aware of Itself. It becomes aware of Itself only when this sudden feeling, I-am, arises, the impersonal sense of being aware. And that is when Consciousness-at-rest becomes Consciousness-in-movement, Potential energy becomes actual energy. They are not two. Nothing separate comes out of Potential energy... That moment that science calls the Big Bang, the mystic calls the sudden arising of awareness..."

However, teachers like Adamson point to the fact that the content of the mind is known, recognized by a presence or awareness that is independent of the mind's content. Adamson teaches that we form an identity based on the content of the mind (feelings, sensations, hopes, dreams, thoughts), however our true identity or nature is that which observes all of these things - the seer, the witness or the Self.

One of the great misunderstandings of the nature of living a "non-dual" life is that it is at odds with the world's "great" religions. As most things within what we call the "real" world, that is to say existing only in relative terms, the above is both true and not true.

When you remove the institutions of religion, and make an honest inquiry into the great "faiths" and their "teachers", the essence that comes through, is one that points to living a non-dual life and of realizing God within. In effect Jesus, Mohammed, the Buddah, and many others, as the "original" teachers, all spoke of God and spirituality in non-dual terms. Only man, in his conceptual and relative existence, later excluded these teachings from their history in order to create religions out of faith.

In the context of non-dualism anything that help peel away conceptuality is a useful tool. There is a christian tradition to that effect:

Apophatic description of God

In negative theology, it is accepted that the Divine is ineffable, an abstract experience that can only be recognized - that is, human beings cannot describe the essence of God, and therefore all descriptions if attempted will be ultimately false and conceptualization should be avoided; in effect, it eludes definition by definition:

Neither existence nor nonexistence as we understand it applies to God, i.e., God is beyond existing or not existing. (One cannot say that God exists in the usual sense of the term; nor can we say that God is nonexistent.)

God is divinely simple. (One should not claim that God is one, or three, or any type of being. All that can be said is, whatever God is, divinity is not multiple independent beings.)

God is not ignorant. (One should not say that God is wise since that word arrogantly implies we know what "wisdom" means on a divine scale, whereas we only know what wisdom means to man.)

Likewise, God is not evil. (To say that God can be described by the word 'good' limits God to what good means to human beings.)

God is not a creation (but beyond this we do not know how God exists).

God is not conceptually definable in terms of space and location.

God is not conceptually confinable to assumptions based on time.

Even though the via negativa essentially rejects theological understanding as a path to God, some have sought to make it into an intellectual exercise, by describing God only in terms of what God is not. One problem noted with this approach, is that there seems to be no fixed basis on deciding what God is not.
Apophatic (negative) Theology

The original texts that testify to the non-dual "god within" approach to the universe have throughout history been marginalized and labeled as "mysticism". This of course serves the religious institutions but does nothing to serve man. In fact the more energy and effort one spends looking for "anything" from the inside out the more relevant "carrot" based religions become. So they have no interest in sharing the original knowledge and teachings that render them irrelevant.

I am happy to provide loads of ancient texts that all point to the same "god within" teachings, but it is a lot more appropriate for one to take one's own path,.

All one can ask is that you inquire for yourself.

For those who are ready, here's a couple of pointers to get started:Selling Water by the River

posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 11:52 AM
I just wanted to back up the opening paragraph in the OP which states the recent emergence of non-dual "spiritual" practice as and the decline of traditional religious practices.

Spiritual but not Religious.

Over the past several decades, the number of people who are seeking—and finding—direct access to the mystical dimension has increased dramatically. Between 1962 and 1994, the percentage of U.S. adults who report having had “a religious or mystical experience” grew from twenty-two to thirty-three percent, and more recent polls indicate that this figure may now be as high as forty percent. While this figure would include the “conversion” experiences that are part of Baptist and other fundamentalist Christian sects, the number of Americans who identify themselves with a traditional religion has decreased, and those who check “none” when asked for a religious affiliation have doubled in the last decade. These unconventional “nones,” who, after Catholics and Baptists, are possibly the third-largest group in the country, comprise some twenty-nine million people. According to a 2001 survey, two-thirds of the “nones” believe in God, more than one-third consider themselves religious, and they buy many books on spirituality. Looking at the rise in numbers of people having spiritual experiences and the decline in traditional religious affiliation, it seems very likely that many of those who are now having mystical experiences are doing so on their own, or in unorthodox ways.

posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 01:45 PM
I don't agree with this.

What we have in our faith is called grace. Supplied by God alone, not ourselves. Like I said earlier.

When I was about say 15 or so I was ruthless. I could curse my mother out. i got frustrated so easily. i was very just lacking (grace), that thing God infuses into souls to help them love better to become more peacful ect....

I never experienced this grace before I knew about christ or prayed the rosary. The change in me is completely 360. You know how sometimes you don't always (feel) the same?

This is grace working in a soul. Sometimes God supplies it sometimes he doesn't.

But he infuses into us, not us alone. Not meditating, nothing. I know what feelings come into my soul and I can tell you the time and place I feel them. i can also tell you when I feel heartless and dead inside.

That grace like say killing a bug. God implanted in me the grace to never do that anymore. Snce love comes from him, he supplied me with it.

Like wise I still see evil people in their 50s that never experienced the (self) realization. It's because they have no grace and commit evil and their state of soul gets worse and grace cannot infuse into them.

some people will murder you for fun. Ok, and they never realize self. Like I said, because they are so hardened in evil that grace cannot dwell inside them.

It's something that is impossible to explain in here but what Iv'e felt from communion is undescribable. he literally eners you in a way that cannot be explained in here. I haven't been to communion since about 12 months and literally I have felt terrible since inside.

I can meditate all day long, but nothings happens like when you reicieve confession communion because God literally eners the soul to dwell with you.



log in