From Rajiv on Neo Advaita and Richard's teachings.
I post Rajiv's take here because it was not accepted as a comment due to length.
Yes Edji is right most of Neo-Advaita is completely shallow and superficial.
I do come across a few of Neo-advaitin teachers’ writings here and there and I have to admit that they write very nice words. Words that are soothing and beautiful to hear, especially these words “THERE IS NOTHING TO DO.” I mean who wouldn’t love such a person who offers a candy for free. Many fall for it and then realize later this was all a big scam. They will realize that they have paid big time for the time they wasted believing to be “realized” because they were told “You are already that.”
Every smart person today knows that there is nothing like a free lunch here. So before you become enlightened you must become smart. Once you become enlightened you will become completely dumb (as Edji puts it) so here is your chance to be smart.
Neo-Advaita is complete waste of time for a serious sadhaka. It is fine if you love to shop around and are a curiosity seeker who is happy with few glimpses of no-thought or oneness but if you mean business then be aware that you will be wasting a lot of your priceless time for no serious gains in these kinds of teachings.
Let us just go through what the Richard Young (Neo-Advaitin) here is talking about here:
He says, "when thought stops for a moment where is ego?"
The ego is very much intact. It hasnt disappeared.
I want to ask him what happens to the ego when thought is back? Or when there is no sex, landscape or music happening? What happens then? If I go by what he says then the identity called Richard Young should return back after his brief encounter with “No-thought” is over. Isnt it? YES ofcourse!!! The ego had just got suspended temporarily when thought stopped for that moment, but then it is back.
The temporary glimpse or blankness shouldn’t be taken as complete disappearance of I-ness. This is transcendence of thought which is just a preparation for things which come ahead. Seeing through thought or remaining aware of the gap between two thoughts does not mean that the individual ego has gone. It remains. .The ego will keep springing back. This will create a serious doubts in mind and later it will be known that it was all his mere mental imagination that the I-ness had gone in the first place. It had never gone.
Another thing Richard needs to reflect is “To whom does this no-thought or sex or music” happen to? It very much happens to Richard himself while in waking state. Isnt it? After all who is the observer? Who experiences this? Of course Richard !!!
Isnt it his waking state memory which says I had this wonderful experience?
So Richard is his only reality and he is not aware of any other change happening (to his Consciousness) or of any other memory because he hasn’t gone deep enough to inquire and noticed how the I-ness drops and reveals another identity through memory. He remains completely identified with his ego but claims that he is beyond it.
Richard will disappear only when he inquires deeper into the subtle levels of Consciosuness. There he will find that there is no Richard existing. His reality will be of something else. That experience will NOT be to the I-ness because Richard will disappear.
Disappearance of I-ness does not depend on any thoughts, emotions or music, etc., which are properties of waking state. It will drop only when deeper layers of Consciousness are explored and a new reality will emerge from the depth of his I AMness (which again will be seen as false later).
Now see what further Richard says to Dina:
"Yes! Now abide with that for a while and see that all the ego is just another thought arising in what you are and that suffering is only possible when that ego thought is accepted as real. Withdraw belief in the ego concept and all suffering is pulled up by the roots."
How can you discard ego as just another thought. Do you expect the the ego to drop just by this simple instruction? The I-ness or the ego drops automatically only when something else beneath the layers of Consciousness apprehends the seeker. Reality (of no I-ness) is not a matter of belief as Richard says here. It is a matter of becoming. You actually become something else other than the individual ego or rather that “something else” takes more prominence over you, captivates you and apprehends you. You simply watch it happening.
It is true to state that transcendence of thought of waking state does provide relief from thoughts and opens the door towards a feeling of oneness but it is only a baby step towards enlightenment. Much needs to be done before we can see the ego actually drop.
From this conversation between Edji and Richard I can make out that Neo-Advaitins have no idea of what they become while in deep sleep nor of turiya. They will probably discard these as experiences happening to “Awareness” (another concept in their minds) and therefore conclude that it is not worth looking at (that is big mistake). Therefore they have no knowledge of what happens to them beyond waking state.
See what Richard says here :
"When you are in deep sleep and consciousness is silent, then you awaken the next morning, you do not feel as if you ceased to exist while you were no longer conscious."
He feels that he remains aware that he exists in deep sleep and beyond but does not explain how he arrives at that conclusion. He misses everything in between and simply assumes he must be remaining aware. It is just a concept for him but no real realization. A sincere sadhaka knows what becomes of him when he transcends waking and dream states. He doesn’t assume like what Richard is doing here.
This should not be taken as an article of offence towards Neo-Advaitins (for Richard or others) and their ways, but a humble request to them to start exploring more further and deeper within.