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    • #18303
      Paul met Debbie

      Sunday Morning (60): Books , books and more books                                     8 May 2022

      We are always reading books. Books are spread around the house, on the shelves, but also on the table in the living room, on the coffee table, on the nightstands. Currently, we are finishing our third own book (we wrote ourselves), titled Tales & Paintings from Oneness.

      The proof printout is on the dining table, which is actually our work space, because mostly we eat at the coffee table, sitting on the couch and (to be terribly honest) watching TV. Not very mindful at all, but there you go: in liberation, there are no rules. Not that we are especially good in multitasking, by any standard. Multitasking is like a pain in two arses, I invented this aphorism yesterday. Not all aphorisms are deep and profound, as this shows.

      But I digress. Books. What book are we reading, besides our own book to correct the last typo’s:
      Let me sum it up:

      1. Ch`an (Zen) Master Hui Hai. Zen teaching of instantaneous awakening. A great little pocket about nonduality, presented as a translation of teachings by one of the great Zen Masters, a student of Hui-Neng, who was the sixth Patriarch (in China). The Patriarchs were the great masters that spread Buddhism, first in India, later in China starting 530 AD with Bodhidharma. He was the twenty-eighths patriarch after the Buddha, and the first one to bring Buddhism to China, were it mixed with Daoism and brought forth the most pure and exquisite (in our view) form of Zen-Buddhism. Hui- Neng was the sixth in line, and before him Seng-Ts’an who wrote the most succinct and clear teaching of Buddhism available in the little book called Hsin Hsin Ming. If you ever want to know what real dualism is all about, read this Hsin Hsin Ming. It is only 10 pages.

      2. The impersonal life by Joseph S. Benner. He was an American business man who converted to Christianity later in life, and this is one of his teachings. It appeared in 1914 and influenced hundreds of thousands of readers. It is the All-is-One teaching that we know of Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta (Hinduism), in Christian early new-age vocabulary. We think that Benner was too much presenting nondualism as a sort of new version of the dual Christian god-concept, but it is beautifully written.

      3. Bertrand Russel’s History of Western Philosophy. This 750 pages giant pocket is one of the best overviews of Western Philosophy from the pre-Socratics up and to John Dewey, who was professor of Philosophy in 1894 Chicago. We think that almost all Western Philosophy, especially after Descartes, is regrettably not about the exploration of Being, but of Thinking, which is its major defect compared to most of the Eastern Philosophies. There are a few exceptions, for instance Heidegger, Bergson and Spinoza who taught more from the knowing that all is one and that thinking is not that what underlies being, but the other way around. In our new book this is also what we say, so in order to substantiate this we decided to read Russel’s overview and check for other signs of nonduality in Western Philosophy. We are slowly going through the book and making notes, because this will probably lead to a new Tale (or even book?), called Nonduality in Western Philosophy.

      4. Nonduality in Buddhism and Beyond, written by David R. Loy. This is a good overview of the schools and terminology of nonduality in Eastern Philosophy (Daoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism). For us it provides a good picture of these systems of thought, but we mostly don’t agree with Loy’s interpretation of the many good parts and quotes he filtered out of those systems. He is clearly presenting his dual understanding as a scholar, in stead of a nondual realization, but knowing this, his overview is nevertheless a great endeavour and we found some interesting idea’s about creativity in the Arts, where he describes how many great artists write about “being in the flow” when they were making their masterworks.

      5. Experiencing God Directly is a great read by Marshall Davis, an American philosopher who teaches from a mixed Daoist/Christian background (he was a Baptist minister in America for a large part of his life). We came to know him via YouTube last year and have a great email conversation with him since. Marshall is, in our view, currently the most lucid teacher and writer about nonduality in the Christian philosophy (altho Rupert Spira recently has picked up on the subject as well), and he is able to translate and clarify the bible in nondual terms, which for us makes much more sense than the official way in which Christianity is taught to the world by the official Churches. Marshall is also thrilled about our new book and was so kind to write and endorsement for it. On our website you can see his beautiful portrait that Debbie made for the occasion.

      6. The only book we are currently reading in Dutch is the Dutch translation of Nelson Mandela’s favorite African Folktales. We accidentally ordered the Dutch version but would rather have had the original English one. We will first read the Dutch one and then decide if we still think it is worthwhile to read the original as well. They are funny stories and a bit strange at times, like folktales can be. The fact that Mandela picked them is a nice endorsement in a way we think, because he was a great (and no doubt enlightened) man.

      Well, reading six books simultaneously is an interesting endeavour, since they are all related in a way and shine on the shared subject from different angles. We read several times a day, reading aloud to each other, and for a short time, no more than 15 minutes per session, several sessions a day as it naturally unfolds.

      Next to this, we try not the engage the thinking mind too much and enjoy stillness, music and nature the most. And each others company and attention.

      Next week we will be spending some days at the coast, walking in the water of the North Sea with our bare feet hopefully. We will bring some books of course.

      Have a great Sunday!

      Paul & Debbie

    • #18306
      Paul met Debbie

      Typo: in point 1, it should of course read:

      If you ever want to know what real NON-dualism is all about, read this Hsin Hsin Ming.

      We found so many typo’s in our own proof print, that this one is in good company.

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