Also see: The Disease of Non-Conceptuality

For me, the idea that conceptuality is a trap is actually a trap itself that depletes the potential of spiritual practice. It entails throwing away a very valid dimension of experience - after all, thinking is part of reality as well. And since it is thinking that creates the illusion of duality, it is at the level of thought that illusions must be dismantled. At the level of "reality" there is nothing to be done.

"Observe and see" [which is the only instruction you say you follow,] is also doing something. A spiritual path without instructions is not a path. And from the moment there are instructions, all of them may be valid, depending on the practitioner.

The neo-Advaita has this characteristic of tending to be nihilistic in relation to the path and means of liberation. "There is no one, there is nothing that needs to be done." This reveals a profound misunderstanding concerning the nature of experience: Everything happens in experience, even without an agent to perform it - the spiritual path is no exception.

The simplicity of "not thinking" is a comfortable nest that prevents us from asking important and bothersome questions. There is "presence" in the act of observation, but that presence has to be investigated in order to make its nature known. Otherwise, we are substituting a belief - in the self - for another - in some immutable and eternal presence. Both ego and presence are obvious and undeniable for those who establish them.

Buddhism also dissolves all concepts, but only when they have already done their job of deconstructing all concepts. "Silencing" conceptuality too soon is to throw away the ladder (of analytical thinking) before we've used it to go beyond the wall (of conceptual ignorance).

 – Andre A. Pais

3 Responses
  1. PL Says:

    This is a great quote and an important point. I agree with everything except the claim that "it is thinking that creates the illusion of duality." Thinking might tend to reinforce or exacerbate the illusion of duality, but it doesn't generate it. Even prior to awakening, there are moments where the mind is still, and yet there’s a subtle underlying sense of being a subject experiencing objective reality. This underlying self-contraction is subtly energetic, not conceptual. And concomitantly, an ongoing awakened (nondual) condition does not preclude thinking, and when thinking takes place, it doesn’t eclipse or disturb the awakened condition.

  2. tao Says:

    It's attachment to thinking and to the thought saw as an object to attach to, that creates duality.

    That's very clear in the Mahamudra path because when Simplicity is finished, it's the moment duality collapses. Not before, not later. And simplicity is the path of complete non-attachment to intellect/conceptuality.

    So conptuallity is not erased but transcended.

    One-taste is the progress in non-duality to Anatta and total exertion, and ends as total exertion starts to kick-in. And paradoxically includes the total acceptance of the thinking process from a non-attachemnt point of view.

    That's my actual view, wrong probably... :D :D :D