more comments following Da’s passing…

07Dec08

The Nonduality Blog continues to be a site where some very active commenting and dialogue has been taking place since Franklin Jones aka Adi Da aka a dozen or so other names passed away last week.

As many have noted, this is apparently the first time this much interaction has taken place between current and ex-Daists/critics since the Ken Wilber forum days of the late nineties or so.

To be quite frank, (no pun intended) I find many of the postings by the more fervently vocal of the Daists to be disturbingly cultish and true believer-ish. I say that as someone without much of a vested interest in either camp– I was never a Daist or devotee on any level… while at the same time, although I have been disturbed by things that I’ve read about the man and the organization built up around him, I didn’t find it disturbing to the degree that, say, Jonestown or the Moonies were/are.

I’ll also add that the ex-Daists, pretty much without exception seem to have a healthy, reasoned take on the whole thing. I have long admired BY’s writings from the various incarnations of the Lightmind forums and from his own blog. He has always struck me as being an extraordinarily clear-headed thinker and an articulate writer, and I feel like I nearly always take away something valuable from whatever he happens to take the time to express. Here are a couple of characteristically incisive excerpts (which also happen to express some very beautiful sentiments) from his comments on the Nonduality blog.

“…You could be a little more accepting of people as they are, just as we should be accepting of you as you are. We all share the same problems and conflicts, after all, it’s just laid out in time and space a little differently for each of us…”

—————————————————-

“I loved Adi Da so much for so many years that I couldn’t possibly not love him anymore. I just don’t see any contradiction between loving him and criticizing him, even leaving him. No one is forever, as Adi Da’s death shows. Every appearance is a limitation, even the appearance of realizers and those we love. We end up leaving even those we love, for all kinds of reasons, and they leave us too. We also have valid and meaningful criticisms of those we love that have to be spoken aloud sometimes.

I wrote before about something Nisargadatta once said, which I think is one of the most profound statements ever, when he was asked by a devotee if there was anything in this world that was real. He said that yes, the love we feel for one another is real, and nothing else. All the appearances here, even the people we love, none of that is real, but the love we have for them is real and eternal and never dies. In some sense, spiritual practice is nothing more than realizing this perfectly, and holding to this eternal love under all circumstances, even death. That is true devotion, true fidelity.

Now, if you want to only praise Adi Da, that is fine. That’s one way of expressing one’s love. But it’s not the only way. Using discrimination and one’s critical faculties is also a way of expressing love. Even anger can be a way of expressing love. One’s ear has to be attuned to the love within it, true, but it’s there. If our attention goes to the love in one another’s expressions, regardless of what those expressions might outwardly be, this goes a long way towards resolving our differences.”

Anyhow, there is quite a bit to read over there, and it’s not showing any sign of showing down, but if you have some time and interest, check it out…lots of good stuff happening…

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3 Responses to “more comments following Da’s passing…”

  1. I had a strange deja vu reading your quote from ConradG (Broken Yogi) from the nonduality forum. Suddenly I was hearing the voice of the President-Elect saying “I could no more disown Reverend Wright than I could disown my own grandmother!”

    But Conrad says it a bit more skillfully — he allows that he can love Adi Da and criticize him at the same time. Obama wasn’t able to reconcile those opposites. Like the Daster view, for him criticism = separation and disowning…(which he eventually did). But Conrad is considerably more evolved than Obama — or the Adidamers — and has thus always understood that we who criticize Frank do it out of love. Even compassion, I might add.

    Elias

  2. I have a more direct reason for respecting Adi Da, Da Avabhasa than the formulation of compassion (though this is there). It is this: Adi Da formulated a clear and direct way to facilitate movement towards enlightenment and even the achievement thereof. He termed the procedure “The Way of the Heart”. The Dawn Horse Testament covers the background thinking behind the meditative approach involved with the Way of the Heart. Briefly: close your eyes, feel into the region of the Heart Chakra, become focused there and move to identify the first Onion-Skin-Layer of pain thereby encountered. Stand prior to this pain, move through it, own it and release it. That will constitute one step along the pathway.

    I think of “modern” adepts he was (and is) right up there with Sri Ramana Maharshi because he showed “a way”. Hard as it was to decipher the intensely personal language behind which he his his True Being – The One Self Alone (IMHO). I never met him and I was not a “devotee” but his incisive formulations sure helped me to understand where I had gotten to in Myself so to speak. A fellow-traveler even though by an entirely different path but I respect him greatly and would be the poorer if he had not taken it upon himself to manifest in this otherwise dreary world of “name and form”.

    The Journey To Enlightenment by John R E Harger 237pp

  3. 3 Manu Namasivayam

    A comprehensive site exclusively for Nisargadatta Maharaj. With more than 200 pages, it includes all books, hundreds of rare photos, videos, print-size portraits, and many more.
    Visit : http://nisargadatta.co.cc/


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