(aka FEEDING THE STARVING CHILD)
A Post titled "Nonduality and Compassion" subtitled as above appeared at:
Background: Nondualist Jeff Foster talked in an earlier writing of his about an African girl starving with hunger that he saw on a TV show and how the scene changed as the channels were flipped. A question was then raised: (in Jeff's words reproduced from the NDHighlights # 3645)
"Jeff, in your latest piece of writing you talk about seeing a starving African girl on the TV. But how can that be Oneness? I mean, it's okay for you to say that, you're not starving, after all. But she is. Couldn't "Oneness" just be a concept you're using to push away or deny the reality of living in this world? A way for you to cope with the harsh realities of existence and suffering?"
Jeff continued a long response ending with the sentence:
"Feed her, damn it. What else is there to do, when there is no longer anything to defend?"
A rejoinder to this appears at : [NDhighlights] #3663 - Tuesday, September 22, 2009.
The rejoinder is reproduced below:
"I have reasons to believe that the first Question that Jeff referred to regarding the hunger of the African girl was the one posed by me, though understandably he did not mention names. He acknowledges it to be a great question. And thanks for that.
And what does come out at the end of all that long-winded blow hot blow cold response about the hunger?
A frustration that clearly stands out glaringly in our face as apparent from the two interrogatives in additon to the the swearing words in the ultimate sentence of his.
And just before venting the frustration, he says, "Feed her."
Can anything be more naive? Was it not our very beginning question? Is not the "feeding" the very problem in the world? Have we not come back to square one?!
Whether it is the roach running to save its life from the lizard on the wall over there or a pack of panthers chasing a bison cruelly biting into the delicate parts of its butt in the forest, it is all about "feeding." The prey-predator struggle, the cunning methods of aggression of the predator, the camouflage of the prey to save itself, the violence of the killer and the guaranteed misery for the victim are all about "feeding."
Humans continued this evolutionarily ingrained nature of biological systems to appease their dependence on food with their own covert and overt tricks of exploitation and victimization.
The non-exclusivity or all-inclusivity of Advaita hardly eliminates any of these dependencies and the inevitable violence beyond numbing certain qualia / reactions. That is why it appears to me that Advaita eliminates the "sufferer" rather than "suffering" per se.
When the "sufferer" ends but the body organism continues to live, he/she becomes a Jivanmukta. His/her body, apparent or otherwise, needs oxygen, food, water etc., though he/she sees a Oneness and the snake-like illusiory appearance of the world has ceased [for him/her]. It should really be quite revealing if we can investigate how the neuronal networks in the brain of a Jivanmukta function."
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