Steve Pavlina on Nonduality

Although its over an hour, this is worth listening to. Steve Pavlina uses the freedom of the podcast format to explain his idea of the “Law of Attraction” at length, and in the course of doing so, nonduality as well, which he calls “subjective reality.”

It’s fascinating (for me, at least) to hear nonduality being discussed in a completely non-religious, even non-spiritual format. For instance, enlightenment teachers and religions have developed a vocabulary to distinguish between the higher, universal Self that’s in all beings e.g. (Atman, Christ, Universal Mind, etc.) with the illusory “self” that thinks one particular body-mind sensor unit is its self (the soul, flesh, ego, etc.). The lack of such a vocabulary makes it a particular challenge to elucidate such concepts to an audience completely unfamiliar with the subject.

Yet Pavlina does a masterful job, and has some great answers for why the most apparently obvious things in the Universe (e.g. separate beings, separate consciousnesses) are not as they seem. His idea of the Law of Attraction (particularly in the engaged, active mode) also parallels what my teacher has taught me about how to change aspects of my life.

Non-duality breaks out of the “spiritual” closet. Who’d’ve thunk it?

7 thoughts on “Steve Pavlina on Nonduality

  1. Steve is either a fraud, insane or taking some serious drugs.

    Because the things he says in his latest podcast about ‘the Law of Attraction’ make no sense whatsoever.

  2. Hi Daldianus,

    I don’t think Steve is delusional or a fraud. I do believe he
    1. is new to the understanding of non-duality
    2. explains one key part of it rather poorly.
    3. succumbs to the urge to speculate about how it operates.

    No one can convince you of nonduality, and it really cannot be put into words. When you are ready, you will see it. I had a glimpse of it at the beginning of the year, and it was a shock. Another friend of mine had far more than a glimpse. Her world’s been turned completely around and she’s found it disorienting, and is only now beginning to become more comfortable with it.

    To my knowledge, everyone who sees nondual reality, if even for a few seconds, eventually understands it as a higher-order of reality, that it’s the One thing that underlies the appearances of physical reality with it’s countless forms. I wouldn’t call it “subjective” reality. It’s something that’s more objective than the objective world, (which is what we all experience subjectively!).

    Steve hasn’t mentioned having a teacher who’s familiar with the territory, and that’s pretty much essential to truly learning it rather than thinking about it.
    So much for point 1. As to 2, pronouns are very, very misleading. At one point during the podcast, Steve gets it very right, and says that the You is not the “you” within the body, or within your egoic mind. This is an essential point, and it really needs to be stressed much more.

    The “You” who is doing the manifesting is not Daldianus, but is what Daldianus really is. It’s Life itself, the essence that gives you life, and everything else as well. That greater “You” is more lasting than the little you that says it’s name is Daldianus and that it was born at this time, will die sometime, etc. In other words, what is doing the manifesting of things in your world is also that which manifests you and your world.

    So some call it God, Allah, the Self, the Unmanifest, the Unconditioned, the Tao, the ONE, etc. Pavlina calls it You, which is as correct as anything, but it’s not the “you” that has a name or a history. (I like to call it “This.”)

    I disagree somewhat with Steve somewhat about “taking responsiblity.” A will in the manifested word isn’t responsible for what another will does. For although there is One and only One, from the nondual perspective, in the manifested universe there’s an infinitude of different wills. (And all of them are This One, too!) If his kids misbehave at the park, my feeling is that it’s not because he remembered something negative (horror!) but that they, as separate little wills, willed to behave in a way that he didn’t want.

    Where taking responsibility does come into play is that the negativity isn’t the kids behaving a certain way, but in the negative feeling attached to that. Perhaps he did remember becoming irritated with their behavior and that primed him to become irritated again.

    Whether the kids behave well or not, he has responsibility for his reaction to them. And the “law of attraction” does have merit, I think, as an influence on how others may treat you, but is certainly not a control of another’s free will.

    So he’s right that not bringing to mind the past, may help influence his kids through the fact that he is bringing less negativity to the situation. But they still have their own wills.

    As to 3, speculation is a tempting trap here. Yet none of the theories change reality. Changing ourselves does. And realizing that your self is really the same ONE self within all, changes you a lot. Until it’s realized (completely experienced) it can be considered, which may be what Steve is doing.

  3. The podcast was fascinating, and I plan to listen to it again soon. He does explain part of his idea poorly, in the middle of the podcast, and you think he’s going into a very self-centered direction. Then he pulls it out of the fire by talking about how we are all interconnected and how his new worldview has made him more compassionate to others. If he could re-write about 5 minutes in the middle, it would be a great podcast. Not sure I agree with everything he said, but he said a lot of good stuff.

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