Don’t mistake understanding for realization –

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Don’t mistake understanding for realization

Posted by Holger:

In the context of nonduality, can you explain this:
Don’t mistake understanding for realization, don’t mistake realization for liberation (source).

Nonduality is a philosophical and spiritual concept that asserts the fundamental unity and interconnectedness of all things. It suggests that there is no inherent separation between the self and the world, but rather, that all phenomena are manifestations of a single, undivided reality.

The statement “Don’t mistake understanding for realization, don’t mistake realization for liberation” highlights the importance of distinguishing between different stages of spiritual development.

Understanding refers to the intellectual comprehension of a concept or idea. In the context of nonduality, it could be seen as an understanding of the unity and interconnectedness of all things. However, merely understanding this concept is not enough to bring about true transformation or liberation.

Realization, on the other hand, goes beyond intellectual understanding and involves a direct experience or insight into the nature of reality. In the context of nonduality, realization would refer to the direct experiential recognition of the unity and interconnectedness of all things.

However, even realization is not enough to bring about liberation or freedom from suffering. It is possible to have a profound realization of nonduality and still be caught up in patterns of suffering and attachment.

Liberation, in the context of nonduality, refers to a state of freedom from the cycle of birth and death, or from the cycle of suffering and rebirth. It is the ultimate goal of spiritual practice in many traditions.

Therefore, the statement “Don’t mistake understanding for realization, don’t mistake realization for liberation” emphasizes the importance of recognizing that different stages of spiritual development are necessary to attain true freedom and liberation. Merely understanding a concept is not enough, and even direct realization is not sufficient unless it leads to true liberation.

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Created: April 10, 2023 
Last modified: April 9, 2023

This post has 2 Comments. (Click here ❤️ to share your words.)

2 responses to “Don’t mistake understanding for realization”

  1. Magdi Badawy Avatar

    ChatGPT falls short here.
    In terms of understanding, there is a difference between phenomenal and noumenal understanding. Non-duality is not concerned about phenomenal understanding. Rather, the focus is on noumenal understanding, meaning understanding about truth, about reality, about consciousness, the unborn.
    There is no such thing as intellectual understanding. The intellect is used as a tool towards understanding, but understanding itself is non-intellectual. At the instant of understanding, there is no mind, no intellect as the mind/intellect has already served its purpose in bringing you to the edge of the cliff. Understanding is the free fall.

    Concerning realization and liberation. Various teachers use the terms differently. There is no one-way in which these terms are used in the advaitic teaching. Keep in mind that the teaching is a live teaching, a sort of transmission from teacher to student.

    To simplify things, let us consider that there are two stages in the non-dual revelation.
    1) The glimpse into the reality of consciousness (sometimes referred to as enlightenment or kensho) whereby truth is revealed to be non-dual and the illusion of the separate me, the separate self is seen to be void and illusory.
    2) The establishment of/as this non-dual reality whereby the belief in separation and the feeling of separation no longer arise, or no longer arise 99.99% of the time.

    One could use the terms for realization for stage 1 and liberation for stage 2.
    But I would suggest not to get so caught up in the terms and how these words are used. In following the teaching of various different teachers, the student who does not have a deep understanding, will get confused by the terms since each teacher uses the terms differently and this will slow down the exploration.
    Finally, I would mention that speaking of the non-dual teaching as consisting of two stages is very simplistic and at best pedagogical.
    These two stages are not in fact apart. They are concomitant.

    ChatGPT is a schematic rendition when it comes to non-duality.

    Much love


  2. Allen Avatar

    Yeah Magdi!
    Your criticism is exactly what ChatGPT cannot accomplish, nor anticipate, precisely because ChatGPT is a created within (and limited to) the perceptual, phenomenal realism philosophers erroneously conceived and held-on to, until recently. While your understanding is noumenally, skillfully creative. See the movie, “Being in the World” for a Heideggarian perspective (go further with the Hubert Dreyfus interview for the movie’s premise . Although the movie and Dreyfus could be dualistic, they recognize the limitation of its perspective.
    So, neither ChatGPT nor ‘we’ (folks) know how you created the criticism – but any undergraduate computer science student can (as no doubt, could ChatGPT) tell us precisely what ChatGPT did. The difference, makes a difference, doesn’t it?

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