The Layers Of Not-Two

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

Not-Two’: Àdvaitham, a term that predates Shūnyam.

Yājñavalkya defined it as simply: ‘Neither before nor after; Neither inside, nor outside’. Its earliest scriptural definition was as: ‘One without a second’ [Ekam Sat].

But unlike Àdvaitham, relentlessly obscured into impenetrable opacity, Shūnyam by deliberate design is simple, explicit, achievable and verifiable.

I once sat in on a Sangha meeting where the learned monk was whipping up a lather: ‘Not-Two; Not-Three; Not-Four’, he pounded.

This is not what ‘Not-Two’ means. It is not a swipe at all notions of plurality. ‘Two’ marks the foundational pillars [‘Is’ and ‘Is Not’] of Model, of a Modeled- Reality.

Once you miss the significance of ‘Two’, you can go all the way to quadrillion. And it wouldn’t make any difference. 

‘Not-Two’ is a statement of Truth, not an appellation, not a name for an ‘Object’ [concept, process, state, sentiment, anything you can objectify]. And the confounding of ‘Not-Two’ as a conventional reference, a name, is pervasive in the historical literature.

‘Not-Two’ actively locks in the Subject in a verbal hog-tie. You may not not say a word [or write a Post] about it. Except to call it ‘Not-Two’.

‘Not-Two’ has lots of layers to it and you won’t really notice them until you slip on one. But the most relevant can be readily listed.

First, the ‘Subject-Object’ Divide. The outrageous claim to an ‘Independent and Separated ‘Self”. More generally, the Principle of Co-Dependence.

Second, the open-ended: ‘Not’.

And finally, our ready tendency to abstract into referential structures [‘Doubles that Refer’] and hence make our World amenable to Logic and Language.

In particular, expressions formulated as ‘Sign’, and further extended in ‘Thought’. And then cheerfully contracted or expanded until we get seriously lost. [See the later Posts on Sign, Language et al.]

You always and only orient to ‘True Nothing’, never to ‘Not-Two’. The literature spills over with the short-stops of those who trekked chasing the tail.

The word: ‘Two’ [Dvaitham] has somehow managed to hold on to its clothes, keep its identity over the many centuries and continents it has crossed. I know of no other word quite like it:

Dvi [Sanskrit]; Duo [Latin]; Dio [Greek]; Do [Persian]; Tvau [Norse]; Tvee [Dutch]; and you can guess ‘Zvei’ and, ‘Deux’. ‘Double’, a word cognate with Doubt, Duplicity and the Devil. The Duo in front of the Deity.

This notion of conflict inherent in Twoness has a very long history, the chariot metaphor of the Bhagavad Gita, the strikingly similar analogy used by Socrates in Phaedrus, et al.

Importantly, you have not restored a sundered whole to its original glory in an act of ecstatic mystical awakening. There simply was no division all along.

Or more precisely, the notion of integration and division itself is recognized for what it is, a construction in ‘Two-ness’.

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