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Non-Dual Subjectivity


Causality is what creates the world we know and interact with every day and yet causality is a trick. The whole thing about causality is that X gives rise to Y and this is a trick because there is no X and there is no Y. The one doesn’t exist and neither does the other. We could also approach this matter from another angle and say that causality is a trick because Y is implicit in X and if Y is implicit in X then X can’t cause Y.




These look like two mutually contradictory arguments but they’re not. If Y is implicit in X then Y isn’t actually a thing, but then – taking this a bit further – we could say that X is in trouble too because in the Causal Realm everything is caused by something else. Nothing stands alone, every statement we make needs to be logically consistent with every possible other statement. X is the ‘Y’ for a previous cause, which we can call W, and this means that X is implicit in W, which means that X isn’t actually a thing. Nothing is actually ‘a thing’…




The entire Causal Realm is no more than a prolonged exercise in ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ – it just chases itself around in circles the whole time (which is of course what happens every time we try to prove something in terms of itself). Or as we could also say, the Causal Realm (which is the very same thing as the System of Thought) is an exercise in tautology, and tautologies are tautologies because they never actually say anything. Cause and effect constitute a tautology for the reason that we have just given: If all the things (or categories) in the Causal Realm have been caused (or can be inferred) by some other thing, some other category, then all of these ‘things’ must be hollow. All of the ‘things’ (that we’re making so much of) must be hollow in this case because there’s nothing holding the system up apart from its own internal agreements (or ‘auto-validations’) and these don’t mean anything outside of the logical system that is trying to prove itself. If there actually was such a thing as ‘a cause that was itself not caused’ then the whole thing would hang together – this would be the much needed ‘Sky Hook’ without which nothing could work. In the absence of a cause that has itself not been caused, we’re back to robbing Peter to pay Paul, we’re back to chasing ourselves around in circles the whole time. We’re back to making statements that don’t actually mean anything!




This resolves our two apparently contradictory arguments as to why causality is a trick: it’s a trick because Y is a tautological restatement of X, just as X is a tautological restatement of W, and it’s also a trick because there aren’t these two different things that we are calling ‘X’ and ‘Y’. There is no X and there is no Y – these are both abstract values, abstract designations which have no relation to the actual nature of the situation, the actual situation being groundlessness, which Wei Wu Wei calls Non-Dual Subjectivity. In the Ungrounded Situation there is no such thing as causality, and this is the same thing as saying that in Non-Dual Subjectivity there is no such thing as controlling or knowing. In the Non-Polar Situation there is no such thing as ‘left’ and ‘right’ and because of this we can’t start any discussions that are based on the notion of the complementary opposites being ‘genuinely different positions’.




The closer we get to reality the less applicable (or relevant) cause-and-effect becomes – when we’re in the world that has been created by thought (which is to say, when we’re in the Rational Domain) then cause-and-effect is everything. Thought could not work any other way, logic could not work any other way. All of our rational therapies are based on control, based on cause and effect, which is all very well if it were not the case that this approach only holds good when we’re operating within the illusory Polar World. From the POV that is assumed by the World of Polarity control-based therapies seem very logical and we can’t see anything wrong with them – we can’t see how they wouldn’t work. Rational therapies are very logical it is true but the problem with this is that reality isn’t; our solutions only ever work on paper, they work ‘in theory’ but not when it comes to the actual crunch, which is the kicker. Who cares about the theory when it comes to the crunch, after all? Our models, theories and protocols are no good whatsoever when it comes to Non-Dual Reality and it’s Non-Dual Reality that we’re dealing with in life, whether we recognize this or not.




The way we become more in sync with reality – so to speak – is knocking the thinking mind and all its maps and recipes off its perch (which is a perch that it by no means deserves) and placing our faith instead in what Keats has called negative capability. If we say that our normal mode of interacting with the world is a Positive one (which means that we analyse things and say what they are) then the Negative mode is where we let things reveal themselves to us or ‘tell us what they are’. Nature reveals herself according to her own Law, so to speak, and that law is not a logical one. There is no ‘logic’ in Non-Duality, no ‘reason’ in Wholeness! The positive mode is where we impose our own tedious logical order on the world and this is the same as saying that we project a world in which ‘analysis’ and ‘knowing’ become a viable possibility. Once we have cause-and-effect then we have the possibility of control, and this is the reason why we are so attracted to the Positive World – we’re attracted to the Positive World because within it there is both ‘the illusion of control’ and ‘the illusion of being able to know what things are’.




This is not to say that control is always ‘an illusion’ – it is not an illusion ‘within the right context’ we might say. For example, if a surgeon is performing a craniotomy then effective control of what is going on is something that is quite essential, obviously enough – no one is going to veto control or purposefulness here. Brains exist within the material domain and the material domain is governed to a large extent (but not totally) by causality. Our lives also take place on the subtler level of reality, a finer level of reality that corresponds to Wei Wu Wei’s ‘NDS’ or Carl Jung’s ‘parasympathetic realm’ (which is the world where we can’t tell if we are the observer or the observed). When the subject / object distinction (or polarisation) breaks down then – very clearly – control or logical intention or purposefulness is no longer a meaningful thing. Non-dual subjectivity – which is the world within us – is the real world, we might say – there is no other world and there never could be. The world which we can describe and purposefully navigate (the world that is made up of our maps and descriptions) is only the superficial ‘rational overlay’ and nothing we achieve here has any impact on the oceanic world that is inside of us. Control is not needed in this more ‘essential’ realm which – as the Buddhists say – it cannot be either improved or disimproved, and if it can neither be improved nor disimproved what would be the point in trying to interfere with it?




We may say something like ‘Reality always comes as a challenge’ but saying this doesn’t even come close to describing what the encounter with reality is like. It is, after all, through purposefulness that we make sense of both the world and ourselves and – more than this – it is through the orientation provided by the purposeful mode (which is the orientation of better / worse, succeeding / failing, winning / losing, etc) that we are able to construct and maintain our sense of ourselves. If we were to stop projecting a positive world (via the thoughts that we have in our heads) then it’s not just that it becomes impossible to differentiate better from worse, or advantage from disadvantage, or good from bad, with this loss of orientation we also lose whatever sense it is that we have of being this self. All our maps and models have vanished leaving us with no knowledge of the world, nor of ourselves. This constitutes what we might call – from the self’s (or thought’s) perspective at least – the ultimate conundrum.




To simply say that this is ‘a challenge’ to us is a very great understatement therefore – we have invested everything in the tautological realm of thought and denied – on a very deep level – that there is, or ever could be, anything else. To find out therefore, that the Positive World which has been created by thought has no existence and that the Non-dual Realm inside of us – which we have denied every step of the way – is ‘all there is’, or ‘the one and only true Reality’, is something that we are going to fight against as hard as we can. We’re going to resist that awareness as hard as we possibly can and for as long as we are possibly able to…



Art – Escher,












  • alain

    X calls for Y, X evoke/invite/suggest Y and vice versa.

    Of course there are no things, no trees, no grass, no flowers, but what do we mean by that ‘no-things’? Well, a tree has no essence or substance, no intrinsic ‘thing in itself, kind of a self-made tree in a void’. What makes a tree a tree, has to do with intrinsic and extrinsic process, dynamisms, causes and conditions which are innumerable and indescribable in their full scope. In such a way that a tree is also what it is not, and that is why we call it a tree.

    When we hear/see/touch/feel/taste/smell a tree (X), it suggest/invites in us as one of its numerous (and infinite) causes and conditions (Y); a seed. And we tend to think that the seed is the cause and condition require for the tree to ‘be’. We tend to discard/eliminate all ‘non-essentials’; no seed=no tree, but no air, no water, no sun, no soil, no CO2, also means no tree. Air, soil, water, sun, CO2 are silently taken for granted. And what are the causes and conditions for let us say ‘ breathable air’ to be? Photosynthesis, a planet, a sun, solar system, etc. and so a tree is a short and practical way of talking about the entire universe, but in different way (the short version way). One cannot really talk about trees without calling for/inviting/evoke the entire universe, but that is not practical, and for economical reasons/motives, we tend to go for the simple, the seed (X) is the cause for the tree (Y). You see, no things exist in itself, solely by itself, ‘things’ are deny of self-made essence or substance. A tree is also (and more importantly) what it is not, that is why we call it a tree. A human being is also what it is not, but that is also why we call it a human being. I personally see nothing wrong in thinking the way we do, as long as we know that a tree or human being is also what it is not. Human beings also tend to think that they are a thing in itself (or themselves) whose main if not sole purpose in life is itself, separated from this what it is not, which it is!

    January 28, 2022 at 11:49 am Reply

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