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Leo Gura

Nonduality Wars Not Allowed Here

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"Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious."                                                                     — Chuang Tzu

When I first started this sub-forum, my biggest concern was that people would use it as a platform to engage in religious debate. Thankfully that's never happened.

However, what I failed to foresee was the same dynamic manifesting in a more subtle form: people engaging in nondual debate. This is even more regrettable, because it goes directly against what nonduality is about and such folks should know better.

There has been a recent trend of people stirring up nonduality debate or embarking on "discrediting" campaigns. It's this toxic tendency to criticize and nitpick nondual teachings because they happen to differ from how you think nonduality ought to be done or taught. As if there is one or two paths that everyone should take, and all others are delusional.

This is a classic trap.

Traditionally, most spiritual paths -- as part of their marketing strategy -- highlight their upsides while conveniently never mentioning their own downsides. Then they criticize all the other paths by only highlighting their downsides while never mentioning their upsides. This creates a false apples-and-oranges comparison. It's functional purpose is to recruit new adherents. It's basically a dishonest advertising campaign.

The problem with this approach is that it breeds intolerance and sectarianism. It creates in-fighting and distraction rather than contributing positively to the discussion. It's intellectually uncharitable and ultimately makes the entire field of spirituality/nonduality look hypocritical to outsiders.

If you are so nondual, or so self-realized, why are you wasting so much of your time fighting others? This is such a rookie mistake.

The reality is that nonduality is a difficult thing to teach, no matter by what method. Traps are numerous NO MATTER WHICH PATH YOU TAKE. There is no such thing as the perfect path. There is no such thing as a path with no downsides or traps or potential for delusion. Any path you take can be misused. Any teaching you hear can be misused. Any teaching can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Any teaching can be nitpicked and criticized into ill-repute if one so desires. You can easily write a massive diatribe about every single spiritual teacher and spiritual path ever devised by man. And you would be half-right.

But all of this is just an ideology game. It's a fundamental failure to understand the other person. It's also rather annoying to moderate and creates idle controversy where none really exists. Not only does it turn good people against each other, it's false and ignorant.

Just because you've had a rude awakening -- just because you realized that reality is illusory -- doesn't mean you get to come on here and trash the value of conceptual work, or traditional self-help, or other nondual methods. Just because one method didn't resonant with you, doesn't mean you get to crap all over other people's methods. Again, this is such a rookie mistake we shouldn't even be having this discussion.

The work that we're doing here is very nuanced. It's very easy to misunderstand. It's very easy to demonize. It's very easy to abuse by its nature. All advanced work is this way. And our work here goes WAY beyond enlightenment. I am counting on you to be a nuanced and understanding student. If you disagree with this philosophy and think that all there is worth doing in life is enlightenment, that's your opinion -- and you're entitled to have it -- but you have no business being here. Go spend your time doing something productive that you believe in, rather than debating, "debunking", and criticizing -- with flagrant disregard for intellectual charity -- the hard work of others.

Anyone engaging in nondual debate like: "Method X is all bullshit. It's delusional. Teacher Y doesn't know what the hell enlightenment is. Just follow the method that worked for me." will be banned.

There is nothing nondual about such behavior. It's juvenile and driven by a lack of understanding of the deeper aspects of this work. The very act of making such posts is already evidence of one's low level of development. Highly conscious people do NOT behave in this way.

Here's a very simple rule of thumb: you will NEVER see highly-conscious and self-realized masters debating, criticizing, nitpicking, or engaging in "debunking" campaigns. Because all of that is egoic, dualistic, ideological nonsense. If they disagree with a teaching, they simply avoid it. They don't start a crusade to fight against it. They understand that different people resonant with different paths and teachings. They understand that everyone needs to find their own path.

Remember that guiding people to nonduality is an inherently challenging thing. It's one of the most challenging teaching scenarios. If you ever get the opportunity to teach hundreds or thousands of people about enlightenment, you'll gain a new appreciation for how many of them will deeply misunderstand you and use your well-intentioned teaching for evil. Have respect and compassion for that. When assessing the value of a teaching, observe the principle of intellectual charity, and seek to understand the communication rather than how best to discredit it.

Discrediting is easy, understanding is difficult. Division is easy, integration is difficult. Hostility is easy, compassion is difficult.

To be a part of this community, you certainly don't need to agree with me on everything. I've always encouraged you to think for yourself and never follow blindly. But you do need to agree with some of my core values like: intellectual honesty, tolerance, compassion, holism, and openmindedness. You must show a basic level of tolerance for diversity and you also need to adhere to the principle of intellectual charity when discussing the pros and cons of various nondual paths. If you don't agree with such principles, that's fine, you just have no business posting on this forum.

Please help me keep this community in line with this high standard of discourse, so it doesn't devolve into the kind of low-consciousness finger-pointing that we see all across the web.

And none of this should be taken to mean: "So Leo is always right?" No! Leo is just a guy on the web who shares ideas with you. Be very intelligent in how you understand and apply these nuanced and tricky ideas.

And none of this should be taken to mean: "Leo is saying that all teachings are identical and equally valid." No! That's obviously not the case. Some teachings are downright absurd. Use of good discernment is ALWAYS necessary. But even if a teaching is absurd, you're still not entitled to troll it or crusade against it.

Your actions always speak louder than your words. If you choose to engage in debate or crusading, that shows us exactly what your level of development is, no matter how many enlightenments you may think you've had.

You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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