Nothing or Something?

Nothing or Something?

A reader brings the oneness argument before us once again. As I have said we have about a book’s worth of my replies on this in the archives and I do not wish to repeat myself, covering the same old arguments, when the readers want us to proceed to new teachings.

How do I know this?

In the past when I have taken the time to counter challenges to my teaching on this subject the majority of the readers have become upset (many quit the group) and urged me to move ahead to bigger and better things. I’m sure the same thing would happen again if I proceeded to answer objections line by line.

The reason I took the time in the past is that I knew this problem would come up periodically and wanted to establish my views in the archives so I wouldn’t have to backtrack periodically. Even so, I expect to make brief comments from time to time as I am doing now and let the readers search the archives if they wish to know more of my views.

As I said in the past we have had quite a number come and go in this group who have seemed to have a great attachment to teaching us non attachment, the path to beyond duality, the great void, the great nothingness etc. They have preached to us that we are wrong in seeking to Become and that we should “just be.”

They say there is no good or evil, but seem to think we are evil in our approach.

They say that nothing matters, but convincing us of their version of truth seems to matter a lot to them.

They have taught us that we do not realize our oneness and we need to be one as they are and all the while they have been among us there was the least oneness in the history of the group. When they left there was peace again.

They have taught us that we do not understand love as they do, yet the more they preached love to us the more the friction and lack of love seemed to manifest.

They taught us that there is a great bliss that they are experiencing in the void that the rest of us have not achieved, yet give no evidence that they have any more bliss than the beginning student here on the group.

They tell us of a great salvation that we can obtain in one giant leap, but show no evidence of taking the leap themselves.

Perhaps the most irritating thing is that 99% of the people in this group already believe in the oneness of all things and yet these oneness zealots preach to us like we’ve never heard the teaching before and accuse us of having no understanding of that which many of us have understood most of our lives.

They have it backwards. It is not me that does not understand this doctrine, for I understand it very well, but they do not understand my teaching on oneness.

About 90% of what the recent objector and his teacher (Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj) believe are in harmony with what I also teach. There is that ten percent which is the problem and that is largely on the emphasis.

Let us take a brief look at Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj who one objector highly recommends.

He was born with the given name of Maruti in 1897 made his living as a cigarette merchant, on one hand, while teaching healthy spirituality on the other.

He was reluctant to give out any information about his past, instead giving nebulous answers such as:

“There is no such thing as the past has never happened.”

After Maruti reached his version of enlightenment he left his wife and children to fend for themselves, and taught, living off the donations of his encounters. After three years of this he seemed to have a stirring of responsibility and returned to his family. His flourishing cigarette business was in ruins and he made a meager living the rest of his life selling cigarettes on a street corner while teaching on the side.

After his death in 1981 his teachings grew in popularity.

I took a look at his teachings and could find nothing new there. He teaches basic Hindu doctrine with a little Buddhism thrown in. The reason his teachings are so well liked is not that he has anything new, but in the way he words his writings.

He’s a little like Emerson who really said nothing new, but took old ideas and put them in a fresh presentation giving wise wordings that stick in the mind and make good material for a famous quotations book.

For instance:

“Stupidity and selfishness are the only evil.”

On the other hand, he also says that good and evil do not exist.

Of interest here is that some of his strongest emphasis is in the direction of the first Key of Knowledge which is the basis of my book The Immortal.

One of his key questions is “who are you” and presents a quest to find the answer. He comes to many of the same conclusions reached in my book which is:

You are not your body, you are not your emotions, you are not your mind, so what are you?

The answer he finally comes up with is that we are pure light and love, but really what we are is unknowable.

Actually he did not quite arrive at the first key for light and love can only exist in duality. Thus he never reached the originating point of duality itself.

If readers have not yet read my Immortal book then they can read Book I free of charge at

What I find of interest in Sri Nisargadatta’s teachings is that on one hand he teaches against Becoming, saying that we must cease to become and just be who we are in the Now, but, on the other hand, cannot seem to get away from teaching us to Become.

Here are some quotes:

“It is the instinct of exploration, the love of the unknown, that brings me into existence. It is in the nature of being to seek adventure in becoming, as it is in the nature of becoming to seek peace in being. This alternation of being and becoming is inevitable; but my home is beyond.”

The slant he gives here, which is a lot more practical than some of his other writings, is in strong alignment with what I have taught on the subject. His statement “It is in the nature of being to seek adventure in becoming” sounds like something I could have said (and maybe I have).

Another quote:

“The spirit is a sport and enjoys to overcome obstacles. The harder the task, the deeper and wider his self-realization.”

Again, this sounds good to me.

“The ultimate value of the body is that it serves to discover the cosmic body, which is the universe in its entirety. As you realize yourself in manifestation, you keep on discovering that you are ever more than what you have imagined.”

This isn’t bad either.

I like this one too

“All that lives, works for protecting, perpetuating and expanding consciousness. This is the world’s sole meaning and purpose.”

I would call the expansion of consciousness “Becoming.” Yes, this is the reason the world is here.

Then he says:

“In the end you know that there is no sin, no guilt, no retribution, only life in its endless transformations.”

Again “life in its endless transformations” seems to agree with my teachings on Eternal Being/Becoming


“Causes and results are infinite in number and variety. Everything affects everything. In this universe, when one thing changes, everything changes. Hence the great power of man in changing the world by changing himself.”

Again he is in harmony with me. When we change ourselves through becoming we change all other things to some degree.

Amazingly, he makes a statement I have stressed many times to the oneness crowd:

“The Supreme imparts reality to whatever comes into being.”

There is a good reason why this reality is imparted to us. It is a vehicle for Becoming and if all we want to do is escape it then we thwart the purpose for which this reality was made.

Next he says:

“To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not. Discover all that you are not – body, feelings, thoughts, time, space, this or that – nothing, concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you.”

That sounds like a quote from my book, but I swear I’ve never read anything the guy wrote before today.

Well, he goes and says some great things then he states something like this:

“That which makes you think that you are a human is not human. It is but a dimensionless point of consciousness, a conscious nothing. All you can say about yourself is “I am”. You are pure being-awareness-bliss. To realize that is the end of all seeking.”

Instead of teaching I AM perhaps he should teach: I AM NOT if we are a conscious nothing. If we realize that we are either I AM or I AM BECOMING then we are not a conscious nothing, but a conscious something. If we are truly nothing then we should declare ourselves to be I AM NOT. How can we be nothing yet be “pure being-awareness-bliss???” In nothingness there is no being and no awareness.

I like the words of Djwhal Khul given through Alice A. Bailey when speaking of pralaya which some see as nothingness. He states that it is not “that which is not, but that which is esoteric.”

May 26, 2001

Copyright by J J Dewey

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