Advaita bromides, cont. • 6 February 2009

A model:

Spiritual Bypassing Index: the time elapsed between event A and event BS, where A is the occurrence of real, juicy pain or struggle or conflict and BS is the utterance of some nondualist cliché.

Or, maybe:

advaita bromide : experience :: fidgets : vinyasa

They’re escape-doors. Escape doors are nice. We have to check out sometimes: it’s stressful to be on all the time. But come on. The words of the great sages turn to gravel in our mouths when we use them to control others, appear realized, or run away from our own real personalities. Why is this so common? Why not be with experience in a gritty, generous way… why not be thankful for an edge and resolve it with breath and the movement of energy… rather than deny it, flee from it, using the advaita eraser? Sometimes when the air gets hot, I feel that this practice is an elaborately choreographed cowardice, just as much as it is a sharp forgiving tool for joy.

I have been reading Advaita for 11 years and do not understand it at all. This philosophy grew up in relationship with hardcore samkhya dualism in a world where the two are as much complements as they are contraries. We westerners don’t really understand this context, the capaciousness and generosity of the tradition, so we reduce it to an “it’s all in the mind” escape hatch. A homogenized, pasteurized export with a vaguely Indian flavor. No wonder SKPJ doesn’t want to hear us theorize the tantric codes. We use them to turn a direct practice into goo.

End rant.