Is non-duality a philosophy?

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by onemoment, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. swarm Registered Senior Member

    Do you mean the principle of charity? As in...

    In philosophy and rhetoric, the principle of charity is an approach to understanding a speaker's statements by interpreting the speaker's statements to be rational and, in the case of any argument, rendering the best, strongest possible interpretation of an argument. In its narrowest sense, the goal of this methodological principle is to avoid attributing irrationality, logical fallacies or falsehoods to the statements of others, when there is another coherent, rational interpretation of the statements.

    That is a nice idea in theory and I don't mind applying it when the speaker's statements are rational and there is a coherent, rational interpretation. However sacrificing my position just for charity, and in particular when that charity is not being returned, is not upholding my side of the discussion.

    If its any consolation I find you none to charitable yourself, what between talking down to everyone, intimating you "know" things but never delivering and discussing others as if they can't read what is posted.

    But if you are offering to begin applying these principles I'll certainly see if I can act in kind.

    Its very simple. You intimate you know, so show me.

    I'm not saying I "think." I'm saying I use them and they work for me just as others have used them and found them to work. This is not a matter of theory. They are very effective principles for leading a good life and no I don't think they are perfect or can't be refined. But they are definately a good starting point.

    I presume you have at least read the maxims. What exactly are your objections?
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  3. swarm Registered Senior Member

    onemoment your non duality seems to involve a lot.
    How can it be so complex and still be non dual?
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  5. swarm Registered Senior Member

    So you don't have to look them up:
    The Principal Doctrines of Epicurus

    The four-fold cure for anxiety:
    Don't fear the gods; Nor death; Goods are easy to obtain; Evils are easy to endure

    1) A blessed and imperishable being neither has trouble itself nor does it cause trouble for anyone else; therefore, it does not experience feelings of anger or indebtedness, for such feelings signify weakness.

    2) Death is nothing to us, because a body that has been dispersed into elements experiences no sensations, and the absence of sensation is nothing to us.

    3) Pleasure reaches its maximum limit at the removal of all sources of pain. When such pleasure is present, for as long as it lasts, there is no cause of physical nor mental pain present – nor of both together.

    4) Continuous physical pain does not last long. Instead, extreme pain lasts only a very short time, and even less-extreme pain does not last for many days at once. Even protracted diseases allow periods of physical comfort that exceed feelings of pain.

    Pleasure and virtue are interdependent

    5) It is impossible to live pleasantly without living wisely and honorably and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely and honorably and justly without living pleasantly. Whenever any one of these is lacking (when, for instance, one is not able to live wisely, though he lives honorably and justly) it is impossible for him to live a pleasant life.

    Social and financial status have recognizable costs and benefits

    6) That natural benefit of kingship and high office is (and only is) the degree to which they provide security from other men.

    7) Some seek fame and status, thinking that they could thereby protect themselves against other men. If their lives really are secure, then they have attained a natural good; if, however, they're insecure, they still lack what they originally sought by natural instinct.

    8) No pleasure is a bad thing in itself, but some pleasures are only obtainable at the cost of excessive troubles.

    Through the study of Nature, we discern the limits of things

    9) If every pleasure could be prolonged to endure in both body or mind, pleasures would never differ from one another.

    10) If the things which debauched men find pleasurable put an end to all fears (such as concerns about the heavenly bodies, death, and pain) and if they revealed how we ought to limit our desires, we would have no reason to reproach them, for they would be fulfilled with pleasures from every source while experiencing no pain, neither in mind nor body, which is the chief evil of life.

    11) If we were never troubled by how phenomena in the sky or death might concern us, or by our failures to grasp the limits of pains and desires, we would have no need to study nature.

    12) One cannot rid himself of his primal fears if he does not understand the nature of the universe but instead suspects the truth of some mythical story. So without the study of nature, there can be no enjoyment of pure pleasure.

    13) One gains nothing by securing protection from other men if he still has apprehensions about things above and beneath the earth and throughout the infinite universe.

    Unlike social and financial status, which are unlimited,
    Peace of mind can be wholly secured

    14) Supreme power and great wealth may, to some degree, protect us from other men; but security in general depends upon peace of mind and social detachment.

    15) Natural wealth is both limited and easily obtained, but vanity is insatiable.

    16) Chance has little effect upon the wise man, for his greatest and highest interests are directed by reason throughout the course of life.

    17) The just man is the freest of anyone from anxiety; but the unjust man is perpetually haunted by it.

    18) When pain arising from need has been removed, bodily pleasure cannot increase – it merely varies. But the limit of mental pleasure is reached after we reflect upon these bodily pleasures and the related mental distress prior to fulfillment.

    19) Infinite and finite time afford equal pleasure, if one measures its limits by reason.

    20) Bodily pleasure seems unlimited, and to provide it would require unlimited time. But the mind, recognizing the limits of the body, and dismissing apprehensions about eternity, furnishes a complete and optimal life, so we no longer have any need of unlimited time. Nevertheless, the mind does not shun pleasure; moreover, when the end of life approaches, it does not feel remorse, as if it fell short in any way from living the best life possible.

    21) He who understands the limits of life knows that things which remove pain arising from need are easy to obtain, and furnish a complete and optimal life. Thus he no longer needs things that are troublesome to attain.

    Happiness depends on foresight and friendship

    22) We must consider the ultimate goal to be real, and reconcile our opinions with sensory experience; otherwise, life will be full of confusion and disturbance.

    23) If you argue against all your sensations, you will then have no criterion to declare any of them false.

    24) If you arbitrarily reject any one sensory experience and fail to differentiate between an opinion awaiting confirmation and what is already perceived by the senses, feelings, and every intuitive faculty of mind, you will impute trouble to all other sensory experiences, thereby rejecting every criterion. And if you concurrently affirm what awaits confirmation as well as actual sensory experience, you will still blunder, because you will foster equal reasons to doubt the truth and falsehood of everything.

    25) If you do not reconcile your behavior with the goal of nature, but instead use some other criterion in matters of choice and avoidance, then there will be a conflict between theory and practice.

    26) All desires which create no pain when unfulfilled are not necessary; such desires may easily be dispelled when they are seen as difficult to fulfill or likely to produce harm.

    27) Of all things that wisdom provides for living one’s entire life in happiness, the greatest by far is the possession of friendship.

    28) The same conviction which inspires confidence that nothing terrible lasts forever, or even for long, also enables us to see that in the midst of life's limited evils, nothing enhances our security so much as friendship.

    29) Among desires some are natural and necessary, some natural but not necessary, and others neither natural nor necessary, but due to baseless opinion.

    30) Those natural desires which create no pain when unfulfilled, though pursued with an intense effort, are also due to baseless opinion; and if they are not dispelled, it is not because of their own nature, but because of human vanity.

    The benefits of natural justice are far-reaching

    31) Natural justice is the advantage conferred by mutual agreements not to inflict nor allow harm.

    32) For all living creatures incapable of making agreements not to harm one another, nothing is ever just or unjust; and so it is likewise for all tribes of men which have been unable or unwilling to make such agreements.

    33) Absolute justice does not exist. There are only mutual agreements among men, made at various times and places, not to inflict nor allow harm.

    34) Injustice is not an evil in itself, but only in consequence of the accompanying fear of being unable to escape those assigned to punish unjust acts.

    35) It is not possible for one who secretly violates the provisos of the agreement not to inflict nor allow harm to be confident that he won’t get caught, even if he has gotten away with it a thousand times before. For up until the time of death, there is no certainty that he will indeed escape detection.

    36) Justice is essentially the same for all peoples insofar as it benefits human interaction. But the details of how justice is applied in particular countries or circumstances may vary.

    37) Among actions legally recognized as just, that which is confirmed by experience as mutually beneficial has the virtue of justice, whether it is the same for all peoples or not. But if a law is made which results in no such advantage, then it no longer carries the hallmark of justice. And if something that used to be mutually beneficial changes, though for some time it conformed to our concept of justice, it is still true that it really was just during that time – at least for those who do not fret about technicalities and instead prefer to examine and judge each case for themselves.

    38) Where, without any change in circumstances, things held to be just by law are revealed to be in conflict with the essence of justice, such laws were never really just. But wherever or whenever laws have ceased to be advantageous because of a change in circumstances, in that case or time the laws were just when they benefited human interaction, and ceased to be just only when they were no longer beneficial.

    So happiness can be secured in all circumstances

    39) He who desires to live in tranquility with nothing to fear from other men ought to make friends. Those of whom he cannot make friends, he should at least avoid rendering enemies; and if that is not in his power, he should, as much as possible, avoid all dealings with them, and keep them aloof, insofar as it is in his interest to do so.

    40) The happiest men are those who enjoy the condition of having nothing to fear from those who surround them. Such men live among one another most agreeably, having the firmest grounds for confidence in one another, enjoying the benefits of friendship in all their fullness, and they do not mourn a friend who dies before they do, as if there was a need for pity.
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  7. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

    I don't have to show you jack squat.

    You are the one who declared enlightenment:

    It is in my interest to test what your enlightenment is worth, that is all. And yes, I know all that yada yada about how unenlightened people cannot tell whether someone is enlightened or not yada yada.

    Fact is, you declared it, which means it is open season to test you.

    But so far, you have demonstrated that you are nothing but a smarmy bourgeois meditator with a chip on his shoulder.
    But hey, I am the one who is unenlightened and all that!

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  8. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

    Oh, and swarm, sweetcheeks -

    I am mean only to those who declare superiority over me, who declare enlightenment and such.
    But perhaps in the future, I should have more compassion for those poor sods. They sure deserve it!
  9. onemoment Registered Senior Member

    It's really very simple, it all just points the mind back at it self to eliminate itself as master of the ship.

    It is questions that create complexity - and the more highly intellectual people are, the more sophisticated and complex the logic is. In mind is where apparent duality lies. Can a mind think without dividing? If there is an 'in' there is an 'out', if there is a 'me' there is a you. The nature of the mind is to divide but in actuality there is no division - or there can only be division in the mind. There I go again with perhaps some complexity, but like I said at first, it's really very simple.

    There can never be resolution with minds, the argument continues - but what does it continue on, what is it that never changes and persists?
  10. onemoment Registered Senior Member

    The 'principle of charity' surely would mean that it was a principle/core value in your belief system, if you claimed that you applied it. It would not be something you would hold to intermittently because then you would be missing it entirely. Correct me if I am wrong because I have not read much on it. What charity is there in it otherwise i.e. if you practiced it when the situation warranted it?
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  11. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    actually they are wrong, and simply trying to determine the nature of the absolute by determining how dreadful conditioned life is
    once again, I don't have a problem with this, but when you mention that this "something before the mind" is uniform, etc, problems arise
    try as you might, your consciousness doesn't extend to anyone elses and trying to justify how the phenomenal world arose from your consciousness is madness
    quite simply, if you don't discipline your mind you will become degraded. Even radical monists tend to agree with this. If you just wake up in the morning and comb your non-hair and brush your non-teeth and open the non-door of your non-house and go out in to the non-world, rest assured, you will simply become engaged in a bunch of non-sense
    the problem is that you are indicating a presence through an absence - kind of like saying "there is no cheesecake in the fridge" as a means to determining what is in the fridge (ie - a 6 lane mental highway with heavy traffic suddenly manifests)
    meanwhile you don't hesitate to distinguish between your bank balance and the bank balance of your next door neighbour
  12. onemoment Registered Senior Member

    And what makes this distinction but mind?

    The traffic that you refer to is all mind. But never mind!

    And where does the problem arise except in the mind? The uniformity of that to which is being pointed is obvious - it is only in the mind's interpretation that the separation appears to exist, and this is where we have habitually come to reside. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, there will be an interview on that will allow you to experientially witness what is being pointed to. If you are interested, you can listen to this and see what happens.
  13. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    it illustrates that there are quite a few aspects to the mind that you cannot/ do not practically transcend .... so your whole idea of the mind being something completely composed of illusion (as opposed to, say, the mind being a perverted reflection of something substantial) is simply an imagination

    your mind too, apparently ...

    alternatively, if you are interested, right now you can examine the means for comprehending the absolute categories that exist

    SB 1.11.38 This is the divinity of the Personality of Godhead: He is not affected by the qualities of material nature, even though He is in contact with them. Similarly, the devotees who have taken shelter of the Lord do not become influenced by the material qualities.
  14. swarm Registered Senior Member

    Exactly what I thought.

    Yes you are.
  15. swarm Registered Senior Member

    FYI, I thought I'd start a new thread for the principle of charity.

    But all this pointing, eliminating, mastering and shipping sure seems like more duality.

    Isn't merely naming one thing from another more duality?

    How can the nature of the mind be to divide if there is no division?

    Every point you argue for non duality can be couter argued against oneness. There is seeming oneness, there is seeming duality, you can take a non dual approach you can take a seperateness approach. Heads or tails. Two sides, one coin.

    What it is, is determined by how you are looking at it just like light looks like particles one way and waves another.
  16. onemoment Registered Senior Member

    An analogy:

    A man points to the moon.

    Everyone describes the man and postulates what he might be pointing to but never looks to what the man is pointing - the moon.

    Is the same as;

    The mind points to the essence of life.

    Instead of focusing on what the mind is pointing to, everyone focuses on the content of the mind and whether or not what it points to is accurate and never looks to see what is being pointed to.

    Therefore - non-duality is a pointing and not a philosophy, but many make a philosophy out of it by missing to what it points.
  17. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    problems (of philosophy) arise when the man points to the moon and says "that is me"

    more here
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008

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