17 January 2012

Sufism and the Jnana traditions

Susie: I just spent time with L. Vaughan-Lee who holds to 'nothing' (eg. knows all is made up, that Absolute Truth destroys everything you ever thought or had any meaning) and yet at the same time he works with the 'concepts' that bring 'life', 'light', the 'sacred' and 'meaning' consciously into being. The 'Beloved' is such a concept. He rightly says that without 'nurturing' a 'sacred' 'substance' of 'creation' life is exactly as Shakespeare describes: "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day, life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets its hour upon the stage and then is heard no more, a tale full of sound and fury told by an idiot, signifying nothing". just dispensing with concepts and passivity does not necessarily bring life alive or alight.

Ed: Susie, what is the “Beloved?”

A feeling of a want (?) like a desire, intuition (?) is what has drawn me, from a sense of fatigue of worldly experiences, to those Teachers and even to your sphere on fb Ed. My experience of 'the Beloved'? how to do this justice in a few words on a fb thread. nothing is really it. a weary feeling of so little in this world having any real interest, knowing somewhere how it is to feel when something is real, alive,and truly flowing, and looking to see this everywhere and in everyone, some days feeling close and seeing a little of this brightness, aliveness, beauty and connection, but often feeling sorrow, limitation,suffering, disappointment as I look outwards, and feeling more connection and peace when I am quiet and turned inwards and disappear somewhere else so to speak or when going to sleep in bed. A feeling of wanting to give myself to this something and little else.


I see Susie, you were speaking to Vaughan's concept of Beloved. Then relating your experience of wanting something like the Beloved inside yourself. Thank you for sharing that, Still, the "Beloved" itself is not defined or shared as experience except the search for the Beloved. It is still a concept, and you have learned Vaughan's and Tweedie's concepts of spirituality, which you shared. But the only experience shared was of dissatisfaction and wanting a resting place, or "home" or the return of love from something inside yourself, so you are compelled to turn within. .... This is exactly the same instruction provided by Ramana, Robert Adams, Nisargadatta and I. Look within. Look for the I. Immerse in the I-sense, the I-Am when found, and love that I Am and it loves you back a hundfred fold. Beloved = I Am. But do either speak of going beyond the Beloved, beyond experience and beyond consciousness itself? Do either speak of finding God, grace, or the Beloved in another human, in the personal? Or is it all impersonal?

Susie:  you mean Tweedie and LVL? Will reflect if either of them speak of going beyond consciousness? certainly they relish nothing more than absorption in emptiness where nothing remains, Tweedie calls it a state beyond the mind. You are the knowledge, the understanding and you are one.

Ed:  No, not emptiness. Emptiness is still an experience. One abides in emptiness, it interpenetrates one's own existence and sense of presence. I am talking of that which lies beyond Consciousness altogether. Beyond form and emptiness, emptiness and form. This is of what Nisargadatta speaks, and Robert at times. For Consciousness is temporary, impermanent, not the final rest state of the unborn.

Susie:  LVL speaks of Absolute Truth as completely other, terrifying, no words, concepts, destroying everything, all meaning, all concepts, unimaginable, where nothing you believe exists. He speaks from experience.

Ed:  The Jnana Tradition:

Susie, now that he has given you that concept, is that something you want?  If so, you have borrowed someone else's experience, which he put in concepts for you to grasp and make your own, and you want to go after his experience. 

But what if you never have his experience?  What if it is unique to him?  What if your path, your body/mind situation inherently has different and perhaps even more profound experiences laid out for you, if but you would take them?  ..

Each human is unique.  Look at those of whose experiences we read, U.G. Krishnamurti, Bernadette Roberts, Segal, Robert Adams, Mother Teresa.

Each has had such profoundly different experiences from each other even at the end of their lives.  Yet our minds want security and we look for uniformity in their experiences and uniformity of understanding. For if there is no uniformity, what is the point of following someone as an authority to reach your own ultimate end and truth?

What I ask is why do you want to walk down someone else's path to go to where you may not have a ticket.

Because you distrust your own ability to fill that sense of lacking and wanting, you will follow someone else's ideas, concepts, exercises, etc., which may take you even further from your own destiny.

But this may be your destiny, to follow him and to succeed or fail at his mission or to find your own down that path.  I understand that.

But there is another way, which is to take that wanting and sense of lacking, go within and find out where that takes you.  This requires more courage because there are no signposts of concepts and instructions to guide you unless you go to the kind of teacher who keeps taking your concepts away rather than give you more as a GPS through other concepts.

I wish you well Susie.  I feel you have a bright future.  But I think it could be brighter once you let go of the idea you need to add more concepts in order to get to less.  This is a more frightening path because there is nothing to hang onto except faith in yourself or in a guide that can take everything away from you.  If you can get Vaughan to guide you in this way, on a personal basis rather than just learning his presenting concepts, I think your path will more quickly unfold.


  1. Interesting. So Edji I guess your indirectly saying e.g. There is no type A enlightenment which is described....Then there is type B enlightenment which... etc. That it is uniquely your own and to be a light unto yourself ?

  2. Yes, Mark, more or less that. However, most have spent so many years in spirituality, the first task is to empty that out. Then begin to throw away other concepts in one's life. It is a continual emptying. The emptying removes concepts which have frozen one's experiences.

    My own teacher, Robert Adams told stories that soothed people. Of life and the world are illusion and that the real is found by going within in various ways. I did that and eventually had the awakenings I did.

    But later I began to have different experiences, more "Bhaktic" and personal with all kinds of new experiences and new understandings. I liken it to spirituality being a mansion with a hundred rooms, including that of emptiness or the Void, love in its various colors, kundalini rooms, "Absolute" rooms and so forth. Why anyone would claim some rooms are higher, better or more purified is beyond me.

  3. Ed,

    Some are simply drawn to Sufi's way of awakenings through Love. Why are you so critical all of a sudden? Why do you keep rushing your students to drop concepts such as the Beloved - isn't that the Bhakti way that you so approve of? Recently you said it doesn't matter what you love, simply love. The act of Love will bring you there.

  4. "All paths are One"
    --Neem Karoli Baba

  5. Yes, true. I am not consistent. My teachings depend on my own mood and situation, as well as to other's moods and situations. But some days I reject my own path as unnecessary scaffolding. Once the ball gets going, I go with it for a while. Next day I'll take it back.

  6. 'Yes, true. I am not consistent. My teachings depend on my own mood and situation, as well as to other's moods and situations. But some days I reject my own path as unnecessary scaffolding. Once the ball gets going, I go with it for a while. Next day I'll take it back.'

    that's fantastic. i love the fluidity. it's a living, breathing thing. with it's own seasons. not fixed. thank you.

  7. Robert was one of kind. He was the Self. But many, I have come to realize didn't have the ears to hear or eyes to see what he taught.

    This is why he taught the necessity in ones path to separate the I-thought(personal-I) from the 'real-I.' So by discerning this one would realize quickly that these experiences are from the mind you could catch yourself and nip it in the bud before you become too involved in them.

    All these experiences that you explain Ed are of the mind.

    Robert taught the direct method of self-inquiry and other methods with it, so you bypass everything to get there.

    Robert also explained quite clearly that for a self-realized being, there is noone left to practice kundalini.
    It must be clearly discerned that these experiences are for the I-thought(personal-I).
    These rooms are also of the mind. You're getting caught up in the mind. Who needs the rooms? The absolute is beyond the rooms, forget the rooms and go beyond.

    You are boundless space you are not a room.

    Try not getting involved in too may teachings and books. Stay with one path and take it too its culmination and find the freedom promised by Robert.

    I am only here for Robert but it seems to me that not many people have understood his teachings like many great Sages before him they were so misunderstood.
    But on the other hand;
    All is well and everything is unfolding as it should.

  8. Robert thought love yourself and this is what Ed is teaching too through his metaphor of "explore different rooms".

  9. Hi Edji,

    I can't help but feel annoyed with these Facebook people. It's funny seeing people react when you challenge their concepts about the 'Beloved' or 'Self' and how offended they get, like you've insulted them directly. I 'follow' this path; I am from this 'tradition', these concepts are 'ME' in the spiritual sense...

    So few want to take responsibility for themselves and what they want, or how they truly feel in spirituality or otherwise. 'There are no desires, and there is no 'end'.' Bullshit. This is just a statement to appease the spiritual masses.

    So few want to be true to themselves.

    The more I travel this path, the more I see that the spiritual process is as much a creative one as anything else commonly associated with it. Indeed, we create our path as much as we follow it. 'Following the path' is only half of the responsibility of being true to yourself. The path breaks down the social and common conceptual barriers, but ultimately we are responsible for taking the final step into uncharted waters, into our own, individual sense of Self. Where does this lead us? Only we can know.

    We create our path with a combination of natural tendencies attributed to our mind/body and the choices we make in our life. We create the Sufi path for ourselves when we align with it, and we create the Jnana path when we align with that teaching. Of course, we are naturally inclined in certain ways, like people who enjoy knowledge may follow the Jnana path, and those who are inclined towards Love may follow a Sufi path, and based off our inclinations these paths may lead us far, but there is still that individual aspect of a student which no teaching can ever take into account. Diving into this is true spirituality. No one can help you here. No one can give you a teaching to help you be yourself, only YOU can be that and see where it takes you.

    Like you for example, you were all Jnana and Zen up until awakening, but you had another 'awakening', which was to Love. This happened after you attained Self-Realization, not before, and no one could have predicted this... no one could have given you the 'teaching' to arrive at this understanding, you could only naturally grow towards it by being yourself, by being the beautiful Ed you are. In fact, any teaching would have taken away from this because that would mean you fit into some sort of formula. Boring. Who wants to fit into the formula of Zen, or Advaita?

    I am not a formula and I cannot be solved by some equation like 1+1=Self-Realization.

    The path is so unpredictable. Being is unpredictable. NO path or set of concepts can ever make it through the trials of life without being contradicted or proven false, because concepts are just that, concepts. They are not Truth. However, something does make it through from beginning to end and that is ME. I am always there, whether as the changing human or the constant experience of emptiness, dreaming or asleep, or beyond. I am my own end.

    I cannot be solved by a formula. I do not fit within a tradition, and no practice can reach me. I can only BE myself. The more I am true to myself, the deeper I go into myself, and who I am as a being and beyond.

    I am so thankful that I have found you Edji, who embodies this principle and has helped guide me closer not to some spiritual tradition or practice, but to who I am beyond anything. Thank you!!!!!

    Much Love,