View Full Version : The Advaita Trap 1: Absolute and Relative Confusion
10 January 2012, 10:30 PM
11 January 2012, 12:05 AM
Thank you for posting the video, it is quite popular in nondualism circles on the web. This 'trap' is common for those seekers and teachers who have no knowledge of the scriptures which posit a clear distinction between empirical dealings and absolute truth. Those teachers who have no knowledge and confuse the two (and thus also the seeker) are called neo-advaitin or pseudo-advaitins by many to distinguish them from those who have a clear understanding. It's worth noting that Jeff Foster, the author of the video you have posted, was until recently a prime example of a neo-advaita teacher, until he realized that the 'you are already That so don't do any spiritual saadhanaa and you don't need to have fulfilled specific requirements before realizing it' spiel wasn't working.
If you are interested I would like to direct you and any readers to the following essay by James Swartz, a traditional Vedanta teacher, succinctly criticising this trend of confusion amongst neo-advaita;
And a Dialogue between acclaimed author on traditional Vedanta Dennis Waite and the author of the video originally posted, Jeff Foster, before he renounced his former views;
I would be happy to discuss it further if there's anything you want to talk about.
11 January 2012, 12:43 AM
Good to hear the background behind the video. The video really reminded me of the neo-spiritualists, it is impossible to have a conversation with such people.
The problem with neo vedanta is indeed the lack of knowledge of scriptures. In these circles they are trying to divorce veda from vedanta and consquently come with the most bizarre personal fantasies.
It is not just vedanta that suffers from this, but also yoga, tantra etc.
In yoga you have people like this...
11 January 2012, 09:12 AM
Vannakkam Sahas et al:
I just thought it was hilarious. A little sad, yes, but humour is a good way to illustrate a point. Recommended viewing, I think.
08 March 2012, 01:17 PM
He just totally didn't get a date, what with all that prattle. ;)
10 March 2012, 09:44 AM
Wow. I thought that stuff went away with the 60s!
I've actually encountered no small amount of people who criticise the (quite small amount) of renunciation and discipline I exercise, stating that I should, instead, "just be one with everything.... "
I didn't know it was so easy as just developing a perfectly enlightened consciousness! I'll get right on it!
Thank you for this thread. Yoga ( the real kind) should be accompanied by renunciation, self discipline, and study of Vedas, Upanishads, and Puranas.
Advaita can be very confusing especially in America where we tend to dilute everything with commercialism.
10 March 2012, 10:06 AM
Makes me think of what my teacher says, she sees people who visit the Ashram who are so "spiritual" that they just float around looking dizzy, and she also likes to point out that "we all think we are so enlightened until we have a staff meeting."
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