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CHAPTER II: KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE

Critique of Direct Path by Advaita Vedanta

How Do I Get Free?, Definition of Duality – Subject and Object,
What Is Freedom?, Paths Don’t Work, I Want Self-Knowledge
Enlightenment Myths, No Mind, Blank Mind, Empty Mind, Stopped
Mind, No Ego, Ego Death, Nirvana, The Now, Experience of Oneness,Transcendental State, Fourth State, Enlightenment as Eternal Bliss,Enlightenment Is Not a Special Status.

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Critique of Direct Path by Advaita Vedanta

Postby georgschiller » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:12 pm

I just saw this in the Direct Path group on Facebook:

In general, traditional Vedanta has nothing against the Direct Path by Sri Atmananda. In fact, I recommend Greg’s book to some of my students who like to learn more about the Direct Path.

Greg is right that there is some disagreement regarding the topic of deep sleep.
However, the biggest obstacle with Sri Atmananda is his lack of reference to Vedanta’s scripture. His knowledge is based on his own experience.

In general, there is nothing wrong with personal experiences as long as it is properly understood (like in the example of Ramana Maharshi).

However, to make sure that your experience will lead you to nondual knowledge an impersonal scripture is required to confirm your interpretations of your experiences.
The important thing is that while experience may deliver knowledge the experiencer is not always capable of interpreting the experience of non-duality in such a way that it delivers the knowledge that sets him free of duality. So there should be a an impersonal scientfic backup that will confirm or deny the experiencer's interpretation. That is where the scripture comes in. It reveals the logical reasons why there is no difference between the subject and the objects.

Sri Atmananda doesn’t mention Vedanta and does not mention the fallacy of experiential knowledge which is why there is a danger involved regarding enlightenment from the Direct Path.

Furthermore, the Direct Path does not mention Ishvara and Maya and leaves the student alone in understanding the relationship between me (the apparent individual), God, the world and me as nondual awareness.

by James Swartz
Last edited by georgschiller on Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Critique of Direct Path

Postby Ian W. » Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:28 pm

Sounds good to me.

The thing I like about Greg Goode's books that I've read (The Direct Path, Standing as Awareness) is how clear he makes it that objects aren't real / out there.
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Re: Critique of Direct Path by Advaita Vedanta

Postby georgschiller » Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:12 am

Yes, the examples given by Greg and other Direct Path teachers to explain that objects are not real and that our nature is limitless awareness are EXCELLENT.

In this video James explains the critique of the Direct Path by Advaita Vedanta:
https://youtu.be/WLJo1egQwpo

James explains that the Direct Path:
1) Lacks Qualification. Direct Path does not talk about qualifications
2) Lacks Values. Direct Path does not talk about values such as how to behave morally, how to act, how to live, etc.

3) Preparation for Liberation: The goal of one's life is to have peace of mind. Karma Yoga is a spiritual practice by which the results of one’s actions are given up. As a result, peace of mind is attained.

4) Clear distinction between experience and knowledge: Some direct path teachers explain that you need direct experience of awareness (as if we don’t experience ‘awareness’ all alone!).

5) Direct Path teachers do not discuss what makes up a good teacher. Is he or she qualified to teach? Does the Direct Path teach an impersonal teaching?
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Re: Critique of Direct Path by Advaita Vedanta

Postby Anja » Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:19 pm

georgschiller wrote:I just saw this in the Direct Path group on Facebook:

In general, traditional Vedanta has nothing against the Direct Path by Sri Atmananda. In fact, I recommend Greg’s book to some of my students who like to learn more about the Direct Path.

Greg is right that there is some disagreement regarding the topic of deep sleep.
However, the biggest obstacle with Sri Atmananda is his lack of reference to Vedanta’s scripture. His knowledge is based on his own experience.

In general, there is nothing wrong with personal experiences as long as it is properly understood (like in the example of Ramana Maharshi).

However, to make sure that your experience will lead you to nondual knowledge an impersonal scripture is required to confirm your interpretations of your experiences.
The important thing is that while experience may deliver knowledge the experiencer is not always capable of interpreting the experience of non-duality in such a way that it delivers the knowledge that sets him free of duality. So there should be a an impersonal scientfic backup that will confirm or deny the experiencer's interpretation. That is where the scripture comes in. It reveals the logical reasons why there is no difference between the subject and the objects.

Sri Atmananda doesn’t mention Vedanta and does not mention the fallacy of experiential knowledge which is why there is a danger involved regarding enlightenment from the Direct Path.

Furthermore, the Direct Path does not mention Ishvara and Maya and leaves the student alone in understanding the relationship between me (the apparent individual), God, the world and me as nondual awareness.

by James Swartz



What I find interesting is that Sri Atmananda is also called Sri Krishnamenon. I wonder why that is. What's also interesting is that he, Sri Atmananda/Sri Krishnamenon, was Joseph Campbell's guru.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Campbell

Nevertheless, it's hard to tell what Sri Krishnamenon/Sri Atmananda was all about by only reading his texts. And Greg Goode's explainations about it didn't help me much in understanding that texts. But anyway, what I found interesting is this quote from his text :

"I live without breathing."

I'm not buying it. But it sounds very profound. As if there is some God/god entity that does not need to breathe. In my world, that's just another way of saying: God/god is beyond anything that has a form. That's what I don't buy. That, in my view, is mere theocrasy 101.

As far as I understand what James is teaching, the jiva, the individual soul, isn't seperated from the Atman, the Self. That's what (traditional) advaita-vedanta is all about, I think. The jiva and the Atman are not-two. And if that is the case, then there can not be some Atman that does not breathe. No body-mind, no expression of the Atman. That's how I understand traditional avaita-vedanta. I might be wrong. If so, please correct me.
Anja
 


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