‘Not-Two’

 

‘Not-Two’ [Àdvaitham]: a term that predates Pūjyam, its transparent simplicity relentlessly mystified and obscured in the mainstream literature. 

At the risk of not properly contextualizing a 1,200 year gap in time I cite the Chinese C’han-Zen sage Huang-po Hsi-yün [around 850 CE]:

A perception sudden as blinking that subject and object are one will lead to a deeply mysterious wordless understanding‘.

Shūnyam however claims that the modeled-construct of ‘Subject and Object’ is itself deeply problematic, an artifice of convenience arisen in the first cleaving of a ‘Separated Self’ extended to absurd limits.

There is no ‘Subject and Object’ to be newly united. There never was any ‘Subject and Object’ that needed to be united.

Here, an extract from the rightly celebrated Hsin-hsin Ming [Faith Heart-Mind] by the Third Ch’an Patriarch Chien-chih Seng-ts’an [Around 550 CE]:

‘In this world of suchness
there is neither self nor other-than-self.
To come directly into harmony with this reality
just say when doubt rises “not two”.
In this “not two” nothing is separate,
nothing is excluded.’

‘The One’ [Sanskrit: Ekam Sat]. The earliest expansion of ‘Not-Two’ in the literature is as: ‘One without a Second’. More precise and by far the most succinct definition is Yājñavalkya’s take: ‘Neither inside not outside’.

‘The One’ can be found in the history of every literate tradition. From ‘The One’ of Plotinus that was the mainstay of the hugely influential European Neo-Platonic tradition with roots in the Parmenides to that of that of the Abrahamic Faiths [which gets conceptualized and reified into a later ‘Monotheism’.]

‘Not-Two’ is a more careful construction, an intentional negation. ‘The One’ is an assertion and its selective interpretations can take off on wild spins as evidenced in the literature. [‘The Rapist and the Raped; aren’t we all one big happy family?’].

‘Not-Two’. You can carry it around in your shirt-pocket. Bounce it, baby it, bully it. It will spring back to shape.


The ‘Not’