In the following reply to a questioner, Moller addresses the fundamental
issue of the difference between his consideration and that of the "intellectual latter-day Advaitist
Q. You seem to take your position from the ultimate
sense of wholeness or non-duality, yet you are also very critical of the
current wave of non-dualist teachings sweeping the USA and even other parts of
the world. Could you explain the difference you see in your own teaching and
that of the advice regarding no-doing, non-effort and no-doer offered by so
many present teachers in our country?
A. Yes, you are right in suggesting that I facilitate the transformative
process from a non-dual point of view. In this there is resonance between me
and many of the Advaitist teachers. It is important to introduce the notion of
non-duality or wholeness right from the start, so as to orientate the student
intellectually in the understanding of the non-dual nature of all manifest
However, this is where the resonance generally stops between my work and
that of the great majority of other Advaitist teachers.
The argument they bring to their students for consideration is that
BECAUSE the non-dual condition is already the case, nothing needs to be done,
or even COULD be done to allow for its manifestation since no movement is
possible towards that which you already are. This perfectly LOGICAL statement
usually leaves the student in a very vulnerable position, because it is felt
that although the truth of the non-dual vision makes perfect sense, nothing
can be done to bring this truth down into the reality of his/her actual
experience. In other words the truth of the non-dual statement is presented in
such a way that it stands in opposition to the truth and living reality of the
student's integrity, which clearly tells h/her that it is not the truth of
their present experience of themselves.
This is clearly a case where logic departs from reality and where it
creates further fragmentation, rather than becoming an instrument in the
process of healing.
A further dilemma which the Advaitist teachers very often bring to their
students is the question of the apparent necessary involvement of the ego in
all forms of practice. They simply assume that the ego is the basis of
practice, and therefore all practice must of necessity strengthen the ego (the
separate self-sense) instead of showing it up as simply non-existent. So here
again we have the sense of disempowerment in the student where it is felt that
not only can nothing be done about h/her condition of separation or "I"-consciousness, but that should one dare to enter any form of practice, it
will be utterly detrimental and counter-productive because it cannot but be
Now in my understanding all of this is clearly false and misleading. All
it achieves in most of the students who try to make some sense of this
impossibility, is for them to internalise this misinformatiion about
non-practice, non-doing and so on into their own understanding and to start
believing themselves that they truly don't NEED any practice. It simply leaves
them stuck where they are in their own confusion and unhappiness.
After all, if practice is precluded for you by your teacher, then you only
have the IDEA to live with. And so this intellectual Advaitist movement is
beset by the proliferation of ideas ABOUT non-duality which tend to confirm
one another in the absence of real practice and experiental verification. In
this way the lie has become truth.
What I am trying to bring into this matter for the intelligent
consideration by any student of life, is the fact that although the final
revelation of human potential is indeed the recognition of the non-dual nature
of existence, this can only be stated as a kind of retrospective DESCRIPTION
of experience. In other words it is a statement of factual experience to those
who truly stand in the freedom of their own wholeness. And from this natural
clarity ALONE it is obvious to these completed ones that those who do not
share their "vision" of non-duality are nevertheless already living in the
wholeness of being.
BUT, and this is the great BUT, for those in whom the separate self-sense
still forms the functional basis of everyday existence, such a description of
wholeness may be interesting, but rather meaningless. It can only become
another form of mental projection more or less in line with all other forms of
mental projections which have been pointed out as the basis for fragmentation
It is indeed true that the ego cannot participate in its own destruction.
It is also clear that the ego, as it is experienced as a separate self-sense,
can not go beyond itself. Clearly any such endeavour must result in the
strengthening of the ego-principle. But who has determined that all
investigation into the totality of that which presents itself as ego,
separation, dis-ease and disfunction must of necessity be done by the ego?
This is where the intellectual Advaitist teachers depart in their view from
that of mine.
I say that indeed ALL the work necessary for the investigation,
illumination and transcendence of the separate self-sense can be done without
the self feeling it is going anywhere. The reason is perfectly clear. In my
understanding it is impossible to look for the Truth and even to find it. But
what IS indeed possible is for us to look into the NATURE AND FUNCTION of
fragmentation and illusion, and in the light of such clarity see the falseness
of the `I'-process which is the active principle of the dualistic vision.
Here the investigation is into the "I" itself. So in this there is no
necessary involvement of the "I." Just simple and direct observation. Just as
the eye sees by itself, and reveals all the diversity of present arising
without ever seeing itself, similarly does this act of direct observation
reveal with great clarity the nature and function of the fragmentary process
which is the self-sense, without having to have any sense of itself as doer.
Much depends on the nature and inclination of the investigation. If it is
purposed towards some final goal or pre-determined notion of reality
(non-duality), then the ego is indeed just continuing with its play of
self-deception and thereby strengthening itself. But if the investigation is
directed into the nature of that which appears to bind us and give us the
sense of bondage, unfreedom and duality, then such an enquiry can have no end
in view. It has only a live and radical spirit of enquiry which observes with
a simple and direct clarity all that presents itself as fragmented existence,
including the separate self-sense.
Such investigation most certainly has consequences. But its consequences
tend not to enhance the ego, but rather to reduce its sense of reality. And
with each release or "mini-transcendence" of the contracted self-state comes a
greater sense of relaxed awareness which makes it further possible for the
enquiry to deepen into the more subtle aspects of the ego-state. Soon, clarity
itself becomes the ever-increasing basis from which we feel we operate,
instead of the limitation we place on our being by believing in the contracted
ego-reality. The process leads itself naturally away from contraction
(ego-consciousness) to openness and clarity of Being.
If the process of observation is correctly applied then all this takes
place without the overt involvement of the doer. Simply allow the mud to
settle, and the water has always been perfectly clear from the start. Anything
one tries to DO to the muddy water, wiil only make the water more muddy. But
by carefully observing the muddy water, one will no doubt begin to see into
the nature of what obscures the natural clarity of the water.
By turning the ego back on itself, as it were, the ego has nowhere to go.
Once it becomes clear, through simple self-observation, that the ego is not
just one single thought or even a "thing," but instead an ongoing process of
thought projection, this process itself becomes a very interesting phenomenon
to investigate. Observing this process in action, seeing its results, living
with its consequences, suffering its very existence from moment to moment,
such clarity will reveal that it is this very process which is the "doing" we
are warned not to engage in.
The ego can only do. It is always on the move towards self-fulfillment or
self-release. This is the very nature of doing. And to come into direct
contact with this ego-doing, the very clarity which reveals this process, will
also initiate the natural abandonment of this process which has for so long
presented itself to us as the functional centre of our being and the basis of
all fragmented existence.
So by clearly observing how this process creates and fulfills its destiny
as separate entity, and the natural suffering associated with such sense of
separation and alienation, such clarity of vision brings its own intelligence
into play. It gradually becomes clear that this process within thought is not
useful to be associated and identified with. It is recognised as the essence
of human suffering, and in this pure recognition a natural abandonment of this
process begins to assert itself quite naturally. No conclusion is reached from
which again to start the process of bringing action in line with such a
conclusion. It is an inherent aspect of such recognition within our own
clarity that the very act of conclusion from which to determine `right'
action, is again part of the process within thought which obscures clarity of
The clarity of vision is sufficient unto itself to do the work. Clarity
itself becomes the "base" from which we begin to feel our way into a life less
burdened by the contracted self-sense. Clarity is not just pure vision. It
brings with it the sword of real discriminatory Intelligence which functions
totally free from the conditioned thought which has enslaved us for so many
thousands of years.
And it is this natural clarity and Intelligence which progressively reveal
the non-dual nature of all present arising and which alone has the power to
bring the contracted self-state to its natural and unforced dissolution.