The Advaita Show #41 – Not Two… unless you're talking twins in a hot tub

September 27, 2007
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November 26, 2007
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The Advaita Show #41 – Not Two… unless you're talking twins in a hot tub

Steve and I catch up for a chat today. He talks about the advaita book he’s writing and we talk about whether or not the “I” is real or not… or both at the same time. Is the dream real? Or a dream? Does the dream exist? Can you say that you do not exist?

Anyway…. here’s ya go.

introduce awareness

(image is ‘introduce awareness’ by RICHARD LAZZARA,,, click on it for higher res)

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  1. marcelo says:

    The dream is real, so real that it exist!

    Any experience of your realisation is just an experience…

    Everything is a concept… Your true nature is untouched

    Let the fun begin!

  2. David says:

    Unreal! thank you…………..

  3. Mike A. says:

    Great show guys, thanks. I look forward to the book Steve. Are you in SF?

  4. Mark says:

    Great Show Guys! Loved it. Steve, I’d buy your book!

    I have some thoughts about the Second Life controversy:

    I’ve never tried it. But how can it be as real as our “daily reality”? Can you feel the warmth of the Second Life sun on your skin? Can you dive into the SL ocean and experience the sensation of actual cool water?

    Can you say you’ve really BEEN to Timbuktu just because you’ve watched a travel video about it? No. You can’t say you’ve “been there” because your feet never touched soil there.

    I thought about this last week when my flight switched planes in Germany. My feet DID walk on actual German soil for an hour. But only in the Airport. Can I really say I’ve been to Germany? Not really. Why? Because I never walked the streets of Munich, never experienced it’s restaurants, museums, touched it’s buildings, etc.


    Of course, in “reality”, there’s no such thing as German soil, or a USA, or Timbuktu. Dirt is dirt everywhere. Clouds are clouds everywhere. Buildings are made of iron and cement everywhere…..the rest we make up.

    Yet still….

    Daily “reality” sure seems REAL when major life “events” happen. I’m sure there’s a certain harsh “REALITY” of getting arrested and thrown in a prison cell…

    There’s gotta be a reason we’re living this “dream” of flesh & physical reality. The only reason I can think of is that we’re supposed to EXPERIENCE it.

  5. Mike A. says:

    I tried to go to SL but it kept crashing my computer. 🙁

  6. Vira says:


    Thank you for another great show.

    Here is a poem by Wei Wu Wei to continue:

    Why are you unhappy?
    Because 99.9 per cent
    Of everything you think,
    And of everything you do,
    Is for yourself —
    And there isn’t one.

    — Ask The Awakened

    Funny thing this ‘i’. You can only think about it, only talk about it. It’s the ‘child of a barren woman’ (Nisargadatta). It never existed, yet we continue talking about it as characters of non-existent son in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’.

  7. Steven Witt says:

    Okay Vira, how dare you find literally one of the 3 or 4 quotes from my book!

    Seriously now, good on you sweet thing — that quote is just potent….

    And the stark totality of non-duality is about to get clearer. I quoted a Hui Neng line from WWW’s same book on the show. Allow me to add some of his own text around it and notice how this “real” stuff goes poof…as it must. Marcelo has it right: any and every mental twitch is always just a concept and can NEVER be more. The concept that “reality” or “intelligence energy,” or anything whateversoever, “exists” goes when your true nature is truly seen.

    It’s why I prefer: “not two.” A concept for sure, but one that leaves the so-called mind a bit closer to understanding its own non-existence when all concepts merge and poof….no thoughts, no-thing. Mind cannot hold two thoughts at once; it folds. Wholeness is the residue of a worn out split-mind.

    Okay WWW:

    43 – The Gateway…page 75.

    “Perhaps nothing more significant has ever been said that the simple statement of Hui Neng: ‘From the beginning not a thing is.’ Its greatness, strange to say, has always been recognized, and we all know it, for it has the simplicity of Truth.

    But we forget that in that statement reality is also excluded (my emphasis) from being, for it too is a ‘thing,’ a concept, and the word ‘real’ can be added to the last word without affecting the meaning of the declaration.”(again, itals are mine)

    So much for real or not – “not a thing is.”


  8. Cameron says:

    But, Steve, as much as I hate to quote, let me throw a Bobby line at ya: “Can you deny that you exist?”

  9. Vira says:

    Cameron and Steven,

    You guys are very knowledgeable, and maybe you can help me with this question:

    Do you happen to know of any book (or research) preferably by a development psychologist where it is shown how an ‘i-concept’ gets developed in a child.

    Something like the works of Jean Piaget who showed how time-space concepts develop in children?

    Thank you.


  10. Cameron says:

    Or as he actually puts it at the beginning of most of his sessions:

    “We start here with the only thing you can be sure of and that is the fact of your own existence.”

    Okay… sigh… time for some advaita speak. As much as I hate it.

    The “What Is” … is. Otherwise we’d have to call it the “What Isn’t”. And what I am is the What Is. And all thoughts, concepts, ideas, the functioning, the Noumenon AND the Phenomenon are all the What Is. And the What Is… is. The What Is exists. And so, ipso facto, the thoughts and concepts, including “I” and “me” and “ego”. also exist.

    The issue, I think, isn’t whether or not they exist. The issue is whether or not they are separate from the What Is. That’s the crucial point we don’t appreciate until someone points it out to us. That what I am, ALL I EVER HAVE BEEN, is the What Is, the totality, the whole, the Not Two.

    It exists and I am that.

    To coin a phrase.

    There. That’s *my* book. 🙂

  11. Cameron says:

    Vira, no, sorry, I don’t. Do you think Apple has patented the term “iConcept”? 🙂

  12. Vira says:

    …and domain is taken already.

    Sorry, just can’t resist posting a piece of Nisrgadatta’s dialog:

    The problem is where do I go from here?

    Who? The question is ‘who’ is to go anywhere?… For whom are there no more questions left?…
    Your question is very much like the CHILD of a childless couple asking ‘Where do I go from here?’
    Where is he to go?
    And from where has he come?
    I will continue with the same old simile.
    A very old couple are held in great esteem and reverence by all their acquaintances.
    So the couple dies.
    All the acquaintances decide that they must do something for the child.
    But the child hadn’t been born.
    For whom could they do something?…
    ————————————– (end)

    What a beauty!
    No, this is NOT about something that exists but is ‘not separate’ (what a trick of mind to save ‘i/me’!(‘I give you that I am ‘not separate’, you grant me that I exist’)
    This is NOT about something ‘illusory’ (that still exists – another trick of mind).

    This is about ‘i’ that doesn’t exist. AT ALL. Period.

  13. Advaita Git says:

    While the Niz sometimes spoke as if his realization came simply and naturally, he actually sat around for three years taking detailed notes on his gurus daily lectures. These were eventually published as Master Key to Self Realization. I mention this only because I for one was somewhat embarrassed internally that I had been into the advaita scene for a few years without getting it until I realized the niz did not get it instantly either.

  14. marcelo says:

    That question ‘can you deny your own existence’ is a question that pierces the seeming person to that permanence that you are. It’s a direct breakthrough – does the breakthrough have the exact same qualities of an experience?

    It can be also seen as solely a question for the dreamer character within the dream about he’s dreamer character – and the answer is also true.

    We can experience both the dream and the realisation of the dream – only because you are that which comes before both.

    Regardless of any of these experiences – you couldn’t possibly be touched by any of it.

  15. Mar7k says:

    This almost makes sense, but not quite. like knocking on the door and waiting for the answer. How did the insight come to you?

  16. Cameron says:

    Vira, I heartily disagree. To say you don’t exist is the most profound nonsense and I don’t care what the Niz or Bobby may have said. Who or what is it that says it doesn’t exist?

  17. Steven Witt says:

    Cameron, with due respect, isn’t it time to let Bob say whatever he knows on this exact topic. What a useful show that will be.

    I know you care about what he says, as do I, so sit down wih him and get this resolved as best he can.

    That way truth lies.


  18. Cameron says:

    Steve, with equal due respect, I don’t care a jot what Bob has to say on the subject. If he were to try to tell me that the What Is doesn’t exist, that “I am *not* That”, then I’ll laugh in his old-yet-still-handsome face and ask for my money back. I am that therefore That is I therefore both That and I exist. Big “I”, little “i”, all is one without a second. Not two.

    Geez. Now you’ve made me lapse into advaita speak again and you KNOW how much I hate that shit.

  19. marcelo says:


    Which bit did you specifically misinterpret?

  20. Mar7k says:

    Hi Marcelo, I think I am specifically misintrepreting all of it! To be precise the bit I am missing is the experience of being that that comes before both the dream and the realisation I am dreaming. Given that it is before thought, I can’t exactly just dream it up.
    So even though I don’t understand what you are saying, I am left with the feeling I am clsoe to something.

  21. Mark says:

    I recently went on a cruise, met this cool person who I kept bumping into. Soon discovered we read the same books. We agreed- we were like instant old friends. Didn’t see her for two days and then, somewhere in Kusadasi Turkey I sat at a busy restaurant for lunch. Minutes later the waiter brought someone over to share my table. It was my new friend!! We couldn’t believe it! The odds were amazing. Life truly felt like a dream in that moment.

  22. marcelo says:

    There is no experience of being that comes before the dream – Your natural state is not an experience – your natural state is always there, never found. It is not conceptual. And therefore cannot be found.

    Any experience of it, is just an experience, and no less valid than any other experience, but it is essentially an experience nonetheless.

    For example, if you full stop a thought. What happens?
    The experience is still going on, yet there is no commentary. That no-talking state is still an experience. Imagine a man who loses his hearing, but can still see.

    Your natural state is not an experience. It is never found because it is always there… and you are that. Everything is that. The little ‘i’, the big ‘I’ the no ‘i’ It is all that expression of this that I will give no name to.

    If someone i.e. me, says ‘you are that which comes before’ all it possibly means is that that person is a poor writer. But essentially, it means that you are the unseen foundation, always there, but never found with the ‘mind’ so you cannot have an experience of it, since you are it.

    I used to be like a man running around the inside of his house going ‘where is my house?’

    But you are already home and you never left the house.

    When I spoke of the dream character I was speaking about the little ‘i’ having as much sense of existence since he ‘is’ as a little ‘i’. The little ‘i am’ and the big ‘I Am’ are both truthful comments.

    That probably makes less sense since I’m tired from work, but hey, if that doesn’t work. Go back and listen to the early podcast of Bob’s talk.

  23. Jo says:

    Great show guys.

    So Steve, you never did answer this one:

    Who or what awakens to the dream? How does an illusion wake up to realize it’s an illusion? Obviously Consciousness does not wake up, since it is never asleep.

    Love Jo

  24. Mar7k says:

    Thanks Marcelo,
    It does make sense. You should wear yourself out more often. An experience is a thought, is something. We are talking about No-thing.

  25. DansHand says:

    When Vera stated she doesn’t exist, I have to agree, but with some qualifications! As has been said manytimes, ‘you don’t exist separate from that one without a second.’ It may appear so at times… but we now see it for what it is, a mere pattern of energy playing out it’s game in the appearance. But, all along, the same intelligence energy masking as Bob, Cameron, Steve and Vera.

    Remember what Bob said about “persona” >>> a Mask!

    The whole idea of a separate you is the experience – after the fact, in the past, the thought IAM. Is there such a thing as an experience if there’s no separate “I”? ‘No,’ there’s no separation…. no subject or object to speak of!

    Hold on to nothing… no attachments…

    Here’s my pick for THE BEST all time advaita movie… “I Luv Huckabees”

    Sorry for resurecting this topic again Cameron! But damit, I saw it again just today and I was moved to mention it. My favorite part is when the existential detective, played by Dustin Hoffman, is explaining the “blanket method.”

    P.S. Cheers to Steve hanging in there with you… I will be buying his book!

    DansHand >>>

  26. taotiger says:

    cameron, agree wholeheartedly re that SecondLife is real…

    of course this statement is more of a handy tool for people in SL counselling, is “expedient means” to heal their split between “Second Life” and “Real Life” selves and assist them to regather projected, dissociated, de-realised parts of themselves they split-off and deny when in there… “real” is just a name for whatever happens, however “it” seems (SecondLife, RealLife, InnerLife, DreamLife, SleepLife, DeathLife)… if what we mean is to convey an authentic experience, using the r-word has to drop off sometime, after the *un*-r-word has been integrated as preliminary…

    initially, the default for most living in SL (or speculating about it – same applies to how so many view “subtle” phenomena like language, feelings, realisations, imagination, visions, theories, “just psychological” stuff) is to be putting three kinds of “Post-it notes” around the place/room – one type on everything in so-called Real Life saying “Real”, one sort on anything not acknowledged as real, and which is felt as not-i, saying “Unreal”, and also a Post-it note with “i” stuck to the forehead…

    to heal this tripartite (dualistic+) division, synthesise the real and unreal first, get busy accepting that it all provisionally seems to have *some* sort of existence (it is “really” there) and cross off all the “Un” bits to leave just the “Real” labels on everything… and for now, leave the “i” note where it is… next phase, stick the same Post-it note everywhere, saying either “i” or “Real” (depending whether you want to fall into the intermediate illusions of Solipsism or Realism, respectively), and put them on everything *including* your forehead… soon, you may be inclined to replace them all with a giant Post-it note you built in stone, covered in gold-leaf, and worship it… restrain yourself, unless you feel a calling as a Monist rather than a non-dualist… anyway, there are so many Post-it notes all over the room, that the door’s sealed shut by them… the windows are high off the ground, and locked from the outside and you’re getting hungry, so you give someone of adequate stature a call (Bob’s a tall man [or, insert guru here]…), to lend a hand… doesn’t take too long before rescue arrives, the window flies open and the notes blow away… so, you head over to the non-dual pizza place happening nearby, and get something to eat… no doubt, before long, an acquaintance calls you and says “i’m hungry man, but i’m locked in…”

    it isn’t Real, it isn’t even “I Am” or some such word-of-power like Consciousness or Tao… it is what it is, and while less names means it’s easier to discard fewer concepts, one name clung to as accurately describing the “active experience of whatever”, is still one name too many…

    (hey Marcelo, lost yr email & ph., pls get in touch.. there’s a UK director who needs yr beats bro.. 😉

  27. Cameron Reilly says:

    Dan, so are you saying you do or don’t exist? I’m confused. You say you agree with vera but with qualifications, I’m not sure what those were.

    I’ll say it again – we cannot say we do not exist. There is something that exists. What it is, must be what I am. The appearance of the world, the self, the other, and all duality, is contained with that which exists, *is* that which exists.

    Any guru who states “you do not exist” is either referring specifically to the conceptual self, trying to get the person to inquire as to their true nature, or is mistaken. The entirety of the phenomenal manifestation exists. It is. And you are It.

  28. Steven Witt says:

    Jo, to answer your question I will turn to the other guy who, in addition to Bob, pointed me to what non-duality is, Sir John Wheeler.

    Fresh voices are needed here and his resonates for me. Always has. Hope it does for you too.

    His words below are taken directly off the current cover page on his website. His phrase “independent exisitence” connects, I think, what Camster and I were saying or at least i hope we were saying.

    Nothing has any “independent existence” apart from awareness, “the nature of reality.”

    So Jo, awareness knows “itself” only in this dream; otherwise, nothing to know and no-thing to know it.


    “Do thoughts, feelings, perceptions and experiences exist outside of the awareness which cognizes them? All those appearances come and go. Do you come and go? Are you apart from awareness? If you never perceive awareness as an object, this means that it is not something other than or apart from you. Therefore, you must be that awareness itself. If objects are never known outside of awareness, do they have a substantial, independent existence? To see yourself and the entire objective world as awareness is non-duality. This is why the nature of reality is awareness and you are THAT.”

  29. Dan (formerly known as DansHand) says:

    Thanks for the reply…
    Basically, we don’t exist separate from that BIG ‘I’… that’s all… on our own independant and all that. We are that awareness… I like Steve’s last posting above… “nothing has any “independent existence” apart from awareness…”

    Changing focus now, what about the show man… you going to keep it going or what?
    You keep skirting around this… just playing with ya…

    Question for Steve if he’s listening, which I think he is in between his beachcombing and beauty watching!

    What do you think Bob meant by the statement “What comes and goes can’t be it?”

    Take Care guys!

  30. Cameron says:

    Steve – John’s quote is good.

    Dan – who knows about the show? It happens when it happens. If anyone else here wants to pick up regular hosting duties, let me know.

  31. dharmamike says:

    Vira – check out A. H. Almaas, a.k.a. Hameed Ali for info on the developmental psychology topic. The Diamond Heart series is really interesting in this regard.

    Cam & Steve – great shows. Too few and far between, of course. Keep it up!

  32. daniel says:

    Cameron I’d like to thank you for a show that really clarified this whole reality thing at least from your point of view, I feel the same way about this topic, it can be very confusing
    because we don’t understand things the same way. For instance, if someone sez to me “one”I don’t assume it means there must be something else. Like if you said I had one cookie I don’t assume that there must be more, give people some credit Steven.If you say “not two” to me that means everything but two, is that what you mean? I know it’s not .
    I recently purchased a copy of the Hsin Hsin Ming and there are no less than eight translations of it and none were the same. Cameron I want to applaud you for pointing out the confussion. To me this was the best show by far, hope you can tangle with Bob and some of his verbalizations.
    is that a word? Dispite what I have said this gave me a certain calmness. Good luck on your book Steven.

  33. marcelo says:

    Hey Steve it’s been a while – Here’s my number – am a bit broke so haven’t been making many calls or doing much lately. 0401792832

    I’ve been pushing this mix that I did lately. It pretty much should tell you where I’m at lately, using non conceptual language i.e. music!

    With all this talk of whether the ‘I’ exists or not.

    I pulled these quotes from in regards to the word ‘exist’
    ‘To have actual being; be real.’
    ‘To continue to be; persist’

    But I believe this one is more appropriate for me
    ‘To live at a minimal level; subsist: barely enough income on which to exist.’

    I think were conceptualising this all too much. A question like ‘do you exist?’ is a loaded question.

    That which I am does not belong to the world of definitions.

    What I am is not conceptual.

    You can’t name it. So the ‘I’ doesn’t exist if it is trying to say that that ‘I’ is who you are.

    The ‘I’ is merely an expression of that.

    I or no I, these are all concepts.

    You are not bound by any definition. Not like that needs to be said or anything.

  34. Jo says:

    Thanks for that Steve.

    This still leaves a big problem though:

    If all that arises is appearances and I as Awareness am the ‘knowing’ of these appearances – why is it that they arise as this specific, nearly consistent content (for want of a better expression). In other words, although there is no Steve to be found, the appearance of Steve and the appearance of the content of Steve’s world aries.
    If I am boundless Awareness, why this specific appearance?


  35. dharmamike says:

    Jo – See the wikipedia entry for Lila here especially the section by Ram Shanker Misra under “Some Modern Interpretations”

    Regarding consistency, are you referring to the appearance over time?

  36. Jo says:

    When I look for Jo, I find memory and concept – there is no actual separate entity to be found, just this aliveness. Yet in this aliveness the appearance of Jo and her location, preferences etc. continues to arise.

    If I am in fact boundless, eternal Awareness – why is that what arises, although only appearance, limited to appearances connected to Jo’s senses etc.

    If I am realized to be boundless Consciousness – anything could arise….

    But it doesn’t, what arises are appearances seemingly connected to an entity that has been seen to not exist.

  37. dharmamike says:

    First, I’d question the statement that what appears to be is in any way “limited to appearances connected to Jo’s senses.” What about the sensory experiences of all the other people who appear to be? If they are the same “boundless, eternal Awareness”, then what arises is certainly not limited to Jo’s senses.

    You sort of answer your own question in your last statement: the appearance only *seems* to be connected to an entity. How can the entity be apart from the appearance? And how can the appearance be connected to anything at all? The very connection would imply duality.

    Secondly, anything could have arisen, sure. If anything could happen in a game, though, it wouldn’t be much fun. So perhaps some rules are established up front to keep things challenging and interesting.

    Alan Watts talks about this…let’s say you had the power to dream anything you want and do anything you want in your dreams. At some point, it would get boring, so maybe you’d make yourself forget you were dreaming. You’d no longer know you have the ability to change anything you wanted, so you’d abide by the rules of the dream.

    Why does the appearance appear to be a certain way? Lila.

  38. Jo says:

    Thanks for your considered comments Mike.

    Even though Oneness as John Wheeler (lets say) has seen through the separate entity, ‘he’ as Awareness witnesses the feeling of the morning sun, the taste of toast, the sound of cars going by – now, although John as an entity is absent, those appearances are specific to a certain locatedness. There is not the witnessing of stars colliding in the Andromeda galaxy, or a leaf falling two miles away etc.

    So unbounded Consciousness still seems to appear as some sort of limitation. A limitation that is specifically related to a supposedly non existent ‘seen through’ entity.

  39. Steven Witt says:

    Jo, sit with the following words from the NIZ:

    “What changes is not real, what is real does not change. Now, what is it in you that does not change? As long as there is food, there is body and mind. When the food is stopped, the body dies and the mind dissolves. But does the observer perish? It is a matter of actual experience that the self has being independent of mind and body. It is being-awareness-bliss. Awareness of being is bliss”

    The rest is just mind stuff — all of it.


    P.S. D-Mike has agreed to do the next show with Camattack….cool.

  40. dharmamike says:

    Steven, I think it might be another Mike who has agreed to do the next show. I’m still reeling from my chat with Cameron last December 🙂

  41. Corey Vance says:

    This thread has some very good discussion. Thanks yall.

    Jo, I remember trying to think through exactly what you’re describing. However, I could never verbalize the question as clearly as you have. Very good answers on here too. I still have no internal answer to the question, but for some reason I don’t care. 🙂

    Dharma Mike, I just listened to the show you did with Cam ( as well as the one I did ) and there was some really worthwhile stuff in there. Get back on and do another show and let us know where your at, while Cam pulls the rug out from under you.

    Have fun,

  42. daniel says:

    I have a couple of questions that I would like clarified if any body wants to give them a shot. Can there be awareness without a sentient being,can there be conciousness without memory and how can that be know? Cameron how many people do download the advaita show?

  43. Cameron says:

    Daniel, we get about 5000 – 6000 people a month hit the site.

    As for your other questions, I’d rather abstain from playing mind games. Who cares!? Once you realize you are THAT, isn’t everything else just a parlor game?

  44. Jo says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Those are fair questions. Until these sort of questions are investigated, doubts will remain. Adopting slogans like “I am THAT” will not work for most intelligent people.



  45. Jo says:

    Hi Steve, thanks for the words of the NIZ.

    A bit of “mind stuff” may be required to sort out sticking points.

    Here’s my final shot:

    So, Oneness appearing as John does not witness the Andromeda galaxy.

    It might be said “of course not, John is a person with a limited mind and senses”.

    But the point is that the limited, separate person is meant to have been ‘seen through’ – revealing our true nature as unbounded timeless Awareness…

    It boils down to this question:

    If the separate entity is non existent, what are the grounds for appearances being specific, localized and limited?



  46. dharmamike says:

    Why does it appear that awareness is localized? Must awareness appear only in a sentient being? Jo and Daniel are asking the same question, really. My guess is they identify the self with the body/mind just like I did before Cameron really got me to question that. I can’t answer these questions from a scientific or philosophical perspective, and anyone who does is simply offering up yet another concept to latch on to. Concepts just lead to more questions.

    These questions are asked from a point of view that there is a “me” and a “not me”, a sentient being or a location in spacetime in which experience of things outside that location occur. Realize first that you are not separate from anything else. For me, it was the identification with something that set up the separation…a separation that only appeared to be.

    Ramana Maharshi said there’s only one question to ask, “Who am I?” The Niz and Bob give us the answer. The answers to the other questions are unimportant.

  47. Jo says:

    Mike, I never said that Awareness was localized. I don’t believe that it is – that would have to involve multiples of Awareness and that can’t be so.

    My point is that APPEARANCES are specific and localised. That can only be due to the functioning of mind and senses – mind and senses of an entity that is supposed to not exist.

  48. dharmamike says:

    Jo, sorry I misunderstood. Though, perhaps I might still misunderstand. For clarification:

    From your previous comments on this thread, you say you have found that there is no separate entity. That’s a given, right?

    And it sounds like you’re asking: why are appearances the way they appear to be? Or, similarly: why does that which appears to be arise in the way that it does (seemingly specific, localized, and limited)? Is that right?

  49. Jo says:

    Hello Mike,

    Previously I wrote: “There is no actual entity to be found, just this aliveness. Yet in this aliveness the appearance of Jo and her location, preferences etc. continues to arise.”

    You wrote: “And it sounds like you’re asking: …why does that which appears to be arise in the way that it does (seemingly specific, localized, and limited)? Is that right?”

    Yes, that’s about right.

  50. marcelo says:

    I Am That is not a slogan Jo.

    And intelligent people can go fuck themselves.

    Full stop Jo.

    That’s an order, not a slogan.

  51. dharmamike says:

    Bad metaphor alert.

    What you call aliveness, Jo, and appearance are “not two” in the same way that fire and the light it gives off are “not two.” In both cases, maybe the latter could be considered an aspect of the former? Regardless, knowing how or why fire glows doesn’t make it any brighter or dimmer. When the question arises, ask “WHO wants to know?”

    …and listen to Marcelo.

  52. Cameron says:

    “… you can’t have one, you can’t have one, you can’t have one without the … other.”

    Frank Sinatra, “Love & Marriage”.

  53. Jo says:

    And I thought it was a simple question…

    Oh well 😉

  54. R says:

    Hi Jo,

    There really is no need to work all this out but:

    I think I may have an idea of where you are getting stuck. It’s probably to do with understanding of terminology. I hope the following is of some help:

    Put simplistically, there are three terms which are used in Advaita: Real, Apparent and Unreal.

    Real = There is only one real thing – Awareness or Consciousness and it isn’t a thing!

    Apparent = Things which have a kind of conditional ‘existence’. The body, senses, brain, mental activity (but not the content of thinking).

    Unreal = Thought i.e. the content of mentation.
    And of course the separate entity, which is pure imagination, a phantom.

    So, when the entity is seen through, apparent things like body and sense impressions and apparent objects, local or otherwise CONTINUE to arise.

    But the bottom line is that all this ‘activity’, real, apparent or unreal is all a ‘product’ of Consciousness.

  55. Jo says:

    Ah, so the body, location, world has a certain reality to it, entity or no entity.
    Somehow I have been thinking that they are properties of the phantom entity.

    Thank you R.

  56. GavT23 says:

    Yet another great show guys…well done/cooked!

    Could you tell me how I can come on show and have a chat sometime?

    Cheers mate :O)

  57. dharmamike says:

    Film: “The Fountain”

    Music: Mason Jennings “Boneclouds”

    Art: Oleg Korolev

    …just wanted to share.

  58. Cameron says:

    Gav, the trick is getting Steve and I to record a show in the first place! Shoot me an email ([email protected]) and we’ll work out a date.

  59. Cameron Reilly says:

    Jo, not a “certain reality” – it *is* reality, as real as everything else that appears. I think these terms of “real” and “unreal” are misdirectional and unuseful. It amuses me no end that people here talk about “non-duality” and then in the next sentence say there is “real” and “unreal” or that “this exists” and “that doesn’t exist”, creating a new duality in the non-duality! Ah how the monkey mind loves to chase it’s own tail!

    The “I/me” exists. Make no mistake about it. The point of all this is that none of these things, indeed “no thing”, has INDEPENDENT EXISTENCE outside of awareness/consciousness (whatever you want to call it, I personally hate those terms) and that ALL THINGS exist inside THAT, ARE THAT, and that YOU ARE THAT. All of it. Not a bit of it. Not a fraction of it. Not an aspect of it. ALL of it. Non-dual. Cannot be divided. Not two. One without a second. Etc etc etc.

  60. GavT23 says:

    Hey Cameron,

    Thanks for the emails mate, I’ve downloaded skype and am looking forward to coming on the show. In the meantime here’s a video I did on youtube a few months ago.


    Gav :O)

  61. R says:

    OK Cam, steady as you go on that high horse.

    I did say “the bottom line is that all this ‘activity’, real, apparent or unreal is all a ‘product’ of Consciousness.”

    These sort of terms are out there already, plus many many more… and the almost contradictory use of some of them is where much confusion stems from.

    Everybody seems to have a slightly different take on this.

    For instance:

    You’ll never find Bob, the NIZ or Ramana (to name a few)
    saying: “The “I/me” exists. Make no mistake about it..”

    According to Bob the ‘me’ is a phantom!

    According to Shankara and traditional Advaita, only the Self is real and the appearances are mithya (not real or unreal).

    I’m neutral about this, just trying to point out where the confusion may arise.

  62. dharmamike says:

    GavT23, I watched your video and the other on your site, The Real Truth About the Secret at

    Are you a believer in The Secret?

  63. Corey Vance says:

    GavT23, man you look angry in that Youtube video. Also, did you know there’s about 30 seconds of dead space at the start, where you look very depressed and don’t say anything?

    Looking forward to hearing your talk with Cam and Steve.

  64. GavT23 says:

    Hey Dharmamike,

    Maybe this willl answer your question:~

    It’s very hard not to agree with Joe.

    All the best,

    Gav :O)

  65. GavT23 says:

    Hey Corey,

    lol it was my first ever recording with movie maker and I was surprised and dumbfounded that it was both working and I had to then think of something to say lol.

    So I just sat and waited, and waited, and had another draw on my cigarette…then a thought came lol.

    My favourite bit is when I recommend being quite whilst a car horn immediately beeps in the backround.

    Gav :O)

  66. Cameron says:

    R, my last comments weren’t directed at you dude, just a general observation. But how do you know Bob, the NIZ or Ramana would never say the I exists? Have you asked them? Bob has started every session I’ve ever been to in 20 years with the statement “We start here with the only thing you can be sure of and that is the fact of your own existence.”

    Besides, I don’t worry too much about what other people say. There’s way too much quoting going on here. The only path to knowing is through direct enquiry, the only value of other people’s comments is as pointers to guide our own enquiry.

    As I said before, breaking the totality of “what is” into ‘real’ and ‘phantom’ is, I suspect, introducing duality where there is none and just confusing the n00bs.

  67. Corey Vance says:

    It’s funny how learning apps can be like the spiritual path. Random leaps and what not. Then I’m reminded I still know very little. Have fun!

  68. marcelo says:

    Hey Cam, I may have been one of the ones to chase my own tail at times, but after reading your comment I sat with it for a bit.

    When people say that something doesn’t exist, don’t they mean that it is purely experiential and is not permanent.

    If so, then, I know that all experiences are THAT reality which is not an experience. So therefore everything is That reality and not a phantom (As you said, that would imply duality). So the seeming coming and going of experiences or the ‘I’ or ‘me’ have that reality which is permanent. Which makes it all real.

  69. daniel says:

    You’re right cameron about my ???, I read too much science shit and try to apply it to advaita. Playing palor games with two swedish maids, now that’s a different story:)

  70. GavT23 says:

    Hey everyone,

    Here’s a quote from Douglas E. Hardings’s ‘Face to No~Face’ which literally just fell of the book shelf and may be of some benefit to the reader thereof:~

    “Question: When you live from Who you really are, does the little one fall away and eventually dissappear?

    DEH: Not in my experience. I can’t dispense with the little guy in the mirror. There he is. Nor can I deny that he is what other people make of me. Nor can I deny that I have all sorts of ideas about what is there in the mirror. One’s ideas of personality are constellated round that picture. Some people want to dispose of that guy there, but he is enormously valuable. What does that little guy do? Like a magnet, he pulls this face from Here and shows me where I keep it. This is enormously important, indispensable in my life. One of the greatest instruments of the truth that God is nearer to me than Douglas is the mirror, which takes that Douglas obstruction out of God’s way. My mirror is a marvelous, marvelous teacher, more valuable than all the scriptures of the world.”

    R.I.P. mate.

  71. Jo says:

    Talk about confusing concepts and terminology!

    Have you read the latest essay on John Wheeler’s site about Consciousness being a state that rises with the body/mind. “So the presence of the body/mind is a necessary requirement for Consciousness to manifest and for awareness to become aware that it is…”

    The guy runs a serious risk of losing his credibility with this sort of misleading stuff.

  72. daniel says:

    The Niz said the same thing. This is some of the stuff that makes advaita hard to get a handle on. Sometimes you wonder if advaita isn’t like an onion , the more you peel away the more you find.

  73. Cameron Reilly says:

    I bought a copy of Alan Watts’ book “What Is Zen?” today for my sister and loved the way he put it.

    “Zen is really extraordinarily simple as long as one doesn’t try to be cute about it or beat around the bush. Zen is simple the sensation and the clear understanding that, to put it in Zen terms, there are “ten thousand formations; one suchness”.

  74. Steven Witt says:

    Wow, was it not the distinguished Cameron “Hunter Thompson” who, whipping Jack Daniels bottles agaist hsi wall, raged recently “too many quotes” like the King telling Mozart “too many notes”?

    Then you find dear Alan Watts….sweet and so, well. quotable

    As Watts also said: “No need to go deeper than deep.”


  75. Cameron Reilly says:

    heh yeah and I cringed as I wrote the quote out as well. Death to all quotes!

  76. Fred Claret says:

    You thought he was dead but seems like he has reincarnated as the new Prime Minister of the UK.

    Introducing …… James Brown

    (Gordon is his middle name)

  77. marcelo says:

    “death to all quotes!”

  78. Max says:

    Hey guys, just thought I’d share an interesting little anecdote. While doing work experience in a library, I was shelving and found myself staring straight at the phrase NOT TWO (one book was NOT and the other TWO).

  79. dharmamike says:

    From the Wikipedia entry on synchronicity:

    “According to Occam’s razor, positing an underlying mechanism for meaningfully interpreted correlations is an unsupported explanation for a ‘meaningful coincidence’ which may be explained by simple coincidence.”

    Sorry, Max, but in a library the likelihood is pretty damned high that you’ll see words that coincidentally form seemingly meaningful phrases. This is especially true when perusing the Eastern philosophy and psychology section.

  80. GavT23 says:

    Hey Max,

    It seems that there are reminders and themes that appear to have cycles to them within what is called time.

    Look at the coincidence of similar questions asked in the context of advaita, to the point where the answer is repeatedly and very basically the same.

    You are that and that is you…all over…finished…FULL STOP.

  81. Max says:

    Right on Gav. dharmamike, I was just telling you guys about something that happened that is kind of cool. Whatever it means is besides the point. As if what Wikipedia or any encyclopedia says is worth a damn anyway. Occam’s razor sucks, it’s for people who try to (but can’t) explain everything.

  82. daniel says:

    I was just reading all about cameron and I noticed your goal was Immortality? Are you afraid of death or is this just one of those science fiction fantasies? You were never born, isn’t that what adviata preaches, I don’t get it. Is this one of those I don’t have any control over what I say or do things:)’)?

  83. Cameron Reilly says:

    Cameron was born. Cameron is a body and a mind. Cameron the body/mind is having too much fun and doesn’t want to die. Cameron also wants a Ferrari and a harem. Don’t confuse Cameron, the body/mind, with that which is beyond time and space. Cameron exists in time and space. Do you think guru’s eat, shit, go to the doctor when they are sick? Or just sit around saying “I don’t exist”?

  84. Goofy says:

    I don’t know if this is relevant, but what I still can’t figure out is why I don’t have any experiences other than those of my body-mind. I may be consciousness, but perhaps I’m only the consciousness generated by one particular body. Why else don’t I have your experiences? Once THIS particular body is gone, I’ll be gone with it. As consciousness, I’m not the body but I depend on it. I depend on my body. I supervene on my brain! That’s why I, too, don’t want to die…

  85. Cameron Reilly says:

    Goofy, its very relevant! In fact, it might be the most relevant question anyone has asked ever!

    Only you can answer the question however. You need to start by working out what this “I” is that you refer to. When you say “I may be consciousness”, what are you referring to?

  86. daniel says:

    Cameron, that’s a pretty good fucking answer, that really clicked thanks! As the Niz said “give the dog a bone”! To Goofy, the Niz said that there is a conciousness that is born with the body, but also dies with it. But what you truely are is beyond that.

  87. Goofy says:

    Yes, a good reply. It is really easy to talk about the “I” as if you knew what you are referring to. So I guess one could say you’re prescribing more self-inquiry, Cameron. Ok.

    And if it’s correct that what I truly am is beyond the world of phenomena, then it’s clear that I am not an epiphenomenon. By the way, Cameron, on one of your earlier shows you were wondering what epiphenomenalism is. It’s when you’re basically a materialist but you acknowledge that you have conscious experiences, then you will view those conscious experiences as a side-effect (epiphenomenon) of certain arrangements of matter, so it would be dependent (supervenient) on matter. That’s how I understand it.

    Thanks for both replies.

  88. marcelo says:

    I have a question about old habits.

    If there is no such thing as mind other than thought, then where are these old habits coming up from?

    Are they coming up because they are a biological strain of film that keeps playing itself out in the brain?

    If so, how could I have a chat to the dude in the projector room and get him to change the reel?

    If it’s directly coming up just like the sun. Then how does one eliminate the habit pattern that keeps coming up with negatives all the time, if it’s coming up instantly without provocation. Or is there a subtle provocation? If so where would it be?

    Am I stuck with the negatives? If so, is that part of this ‘marcelo’ movie? Can i fire the director and hire a new one? Or am I acting like the producer that just can’t understand the vision of the movie because he’s too eager for success.

    How can I encourage the writers to go on strike? Because it seems that Marcelo-The Movie is going directly to DVD. No special box set, no special features, just sitting there, right next to every Tim Allen movie ever made.

  89. Cameron Reilly says:

    Marcelo, “The great way is not difficult for those who have NO PREFERENCES.” 🙂

  90. marcelo says:

    That’s it. One quote joke. No answers!

    Even Bob says that preferences remain. Last time I checked, you were straight married with kids. It’s not like you jumped on a moving podium dressed in a thong and waved your gay pride once you had this realisation (come to think about it, I haven’t done that either). My point is that I still have no desire to eat vagina (like I really wanna tongue a tentacle-less squid… man, you guys were so duped on that one…. talk about conditioning!).

    Seriously though… what’s the deal? Any genuine answers to my questions?

    Who has no preferences? Every seeming person has preferences.

    Let me play this out for you.

    I want to do this (whatever that may be) but a thought comes up and habits kick in that try to stop that, like ‘i’m not good enough'(I had two homophobic parents, one Catholic and one Atheist – and frankly I deserve some sort of medal for that alone- One tells me that God hates fags and the other tells me that there is no God only people hate fags).

    Where are these habits? Can I stop them? Will it all of a sudden just stop, like when I quit drinking Coke?

  91. Cameron Reilly says:

    Marcelo, don’t blame me, blame Seng T’san. And it’s a genuine answer. You asked “Am I stuck with the negatives?”
    Figure out what this “I” is you’re talking about. See my answer to Goofy. You’ve heard it said a million times. What is this “I” you are talking about? Answer that and I’ll answer your question about negatives. Want to come on the show to discuss it?

  92. marcelo says:

    I would like to come on. The only thing is that I don’t have my own computer. Do I need skype to do it?

    If so, I’ll ask owner of this computer about downloading skype onto his computer.

    shouldn’t be a prob

    The ‘I’ would be the “little guy” As in Marcelo the seeming person.

    “Who’s asking the question” gives me the answer that I think your trying to point out…

    There is no one asking the question, and no one giving out ‘negatives’ – but in the manifestation, there is Marcelo and thoughts which represent seeming duality. These thoughts that come up negative — there the ones I’m talking about.

  93. Goofy says:

    I’m starting to get the hang of it again. Marcelo, maybe you and I (sorry for the duality) should try to see whether who we really are HAS any preferences, rather than trying to get rid of them. Or you should not prefer being without preferences, I guess. And if you do prefer that, I suppose you should not prefer being without THAT preference.

  94. Cameron says:

    Marcelo, this “little guy”, the “seeming person” you mention – is this what you are? Are you only “seeming”? Are you an illusion? What is the nature of your true self? Answer this – and the answer to your other question will immediately become clear to you.

  95. marcelo says:

    I’m not saying that I want to get rid of preferences Goofy. I like Techno music, but I don’t like Country music. Marcelo has preferences. That’s not a problem.

    I’ve seen what your trying to point me to Cam. Let me drop the ‘seeming’ And call it all reality, all non dual. I know what my true nature is.
    Knowing that doesn’t make Marcelo and his conditioning disappear. I’ve listened to G’day World I know that conditioning hasn’t disappeared for you too. I doubt if Bob goes to heavy metal concerts, I’m sure he has conditioning that continues. He has said it in previous podcasts.

    These thoughts that come up negative is all conditioning. Bob said that old habits are hard to break. But that just confuses me. Where are these habits? How to break them?

    Is it just by seeing my true nature? I have seen things drop off, simply by seeing the truth.

    I might just be too eager for this thing to continue to flower.

  96. marcelo says:

    “The great way is not difficult for those who have NO PREFERENCES.”

    That’s another loaded quote, and I can be very literal.

    ‘those’ would imply many, as in ‘people’. People have preferences, If we didn’t, life would be boring.

    Your true nature has no preferences. ‘those’ is not your true nature. That would be giving power to the duality.

    My understanding is that our true nature is untouched. So, Cam, what I am asking here is about Marcelo, the ‘little guy’. My true nature need not be attended to.

    We are dealing with Marcelo’s confused state are we not? Or are we saying that Marcelo is being intimately expressed, and therefore it is ‘awareness’ that brings up the negativity? How is that possible? Wouldn’t that imply that your true nature is actually not like the mirror, but instead vigourously engaged?

  97. marcelo says:

    btw, I downloaded skype… I just have to get a mic from somewhere.

  98. Cameron Reilly says:

    Marcelo, I think Seng T’san’s point about “no preferences” is that once you’ve stopped thinking this body/mind is what you are, the notion of free will drops away, and you you accept the WHAT IS without questioning it or fighting it or judging it or naming it. You have no preferences – you accept what is as being what is and what you are. All of it. As Steve likes to say “it’s all good”. 🙂

  99. marcelo says:

    Jeez, why didn’t he just say that.

    Doesn’t one fight disease if it comes along? Don’t we name it, judge it, question and fight it?

    I accept that everything is THAT. And within THAT, a disease called conditioning has taken place that is detrimental. And I get that my fighting of THAT is also THAT?

    Isn’t that what the seekers path is? Changing what is? Actually passing judgement etc

    Is this not a preference, changing what is, so there is no more belief in the conditioning of who we thought we were? Is that not a preference?

  100. Cameron Reilly says:

    If you accept everything is THAT, then where is the problem?

  101. Goofy says:

    That’s exactly what I was talking about, Marcelo: It can be a preference not to have a preference. The great trick may be to be without preferences and not prefer it to be so. I think it doesn’t have so much to do with tastes of music. You can like one type of music better than another but should accept the moment you are subjected to country music (not prefer it to be different). Otherwise you will suffer under such circumstances, but as Ramesh has often pointed out, the Buddha promised an END to suffering in this life. (I’m just wondering what will happen AFTER this life. If I am, but without consciousness, I might as well be dead.)

  102. Stig says:

    Preferences come and go, they change with the wind. Just more thoughts to hang on to or let go of.
    The ‘little guy’ is defined by preferences and maybe a ‘little guy’ with no preferences is easily seen through as only a concept. This does not mean that preferences need to be stopped, just that you need not define yourself by them. The ‘little guy’ is the one in bondage not YOU.

    I hope that hasn’t muddied the water, this ‘little guy’ always like to add the proviso that he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. But that’s another story….

  103. marcelo says:

    The only problem I have is within That. I don’t have a problem in accepting that it is all THAT.

    If I cut myself, something needs to be done to stop the bleeding. As much as I accept that it is all THAT – the blood, the cut, the effort to stop the bleeding etc

    If I just sat there and said, it’s all good, it’s all that and didn’t do anything about it.
    I’d bleed and get ill and miss the point that everything is THAT.

    So again, how to stop old habits that spit out negatives?

    The only way I can work this out, is if I accept either that I can stop them or I cannot. If it’s like the rising of the sun, then I can’t stop it, and I’ll accept whatever story is going on here. But If I believe what teachers tell me and see that habits can be broken, then I can make an effort to do so.

    I’m probably going round in circles here. Mind you, it’s not like I’m sitting here crying hugging a bottle of Scotch loading bullets into a gun. But if I can’t stop the negatives, then why the hell did I stop doing drugs!

  104. dharmamike says:

    If the ‘little guy’ has no free will then it’s not up to him or her to hang on to or let go of a thought, to prefer one thing over another, or even to accept things as they are.

    Perhaps the separate independent entity is just a collection of preferences, thoughts, memories, etc, anyway. And what is it we’ve learned about the separate independent entity?

  105. Cameron Reilly says:

    Marcelo, as dharmamike points out, if you still persist in believing there is a separate independent entity with any kind of control to stop old habits, then you are still suffering from the illusion. “I’ll stop it”. “I’ll accept it.” Who? What?

  106. marcelo says:

    I guess the belief that there is a separate independent entity here is much stronger than I thought.

    I just saw through it, thankyou all

  107. daniel says:

    Fa La La La La, LaLaLaLa boner:) Merry Festivus.

  108. daniel says:

    Fa La La La La, LaLaLaLa boner:) Merry Festivus for the rest of us.

  109. daniel says:

    Fa La La La La, LaLaLaLa boner:) Merry Festivus for the rest of us, kiss my asstivus:0

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