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In this issue are selections from Spirituality Without God, by Möller de la Rouvière. Möller has been part of the nonduality email community since it was founded in 1998. As you can see from the selections, he writes with precision around the bone of nonduality.
Möller de la Rouvière
Discover SPIRITUAL HUMANISM
The Humanist alternative to conventional spirituality.
Möller de la Rouvière's 'SPIRITUALITY WITHOUT GOD'
is the first truly Humanist exploration of non-dual living.
A complete path from dualistic vision to the Wholeness of Life.
"A rare view outside Buddhist circles" --Greg Goode Ph.D
"A most poignant and inspirational example of pure nurture"
--Anne Francis - Physicist.
Home Page: http://www.spiritualhumanism.co.za/
Order book: http://www.llumina.com/store/spiritualitywithoutgod.htm
CHAPTER ONE: VISION AND PRACTICE . We should thus take considerable care how we approach our enquiry. On the one hand we should not allow the intensity of our need for meaning and true human fulfillment to be diminished. On the other hand, this intensity needs to be tempered by a quiet determination not simply to accept the first culturally available set of answers as the measure for our deep-felt need for meaning and truth. Our priority should remain with the intensity of our enquiry as such, and not occupy itself with an anxious search for answers and ready-made comfort zones. Only then can we protect ourselves from all the dogmas and superstitions presented to us as revelatory truths, which, more often than not, are based on a lack of insight into our human condition as a whole.
To start our enquiry and then to proceed to practice on the vision and insight of another, however ancient or insightful, is to deny ourselves the opportunity of ever understanding ourselves as we are. And to approach our path of self-enquiry and search for truth from a disposition that does not reflect our own living reality will leave us vulnerable to confusion, disempowerment and, ultimately, abuse.
No system can free us. No teacher or teaching can free us. Even we, as bundles of self-contraction, cannot free ourselves. All we can do is to become deeply sensitive to what we bring to the living moment that inhibits the freedom of our natural, uncontaminated human condition and allow our inner Intelligence to do its liberating work. This is the theme that underlies every aspect of our practice as described in Part Two: The Practice.
CHAPTER TWO: THE THOUGHT/ATTENTION-KNOT
Through the process of identifying ourselves with the activities of thought, it no longer serves human life, but has become human life. Identification with thought means that no separation exists between the human mind (as thought) and human life. What we know, we are. In this way I am my religion. I am my nationality. I am my war. I am the image I have made of myself and others. I am my political party. I am the way I interpret my field of experience. I am my morality, social order and social conditioning. I am both that which thought presumes to be me and not-me. In fact, I am the entire fragmentary, destiny creating and uninspected projections of my own thinking. All these are creations of thought, and while I am identified with thought, this thought-world is me. In this, there is no other. And it is this projected reality we suffer and enjoy for as long as we are identified with it.
We are indeed born free, but because we have this propensity for becoming identified with the projections of thought, we find ourselves bound within the limitations and conditions determined by the logic and reality created by this identification, regardless of its consequences. As we have seen, we do not suffer the content of our random thinking processes as such: we suffer the content of our thinking because we are identified with it.
This is a very important insight. Yet, to become aware of my identification with thought and to notice how this complicates my life is only the beginning of a considerably more subtle investigation into the causes of suffering. The natural question we may now ask is: what makes identification possible? Which aspect of my inner potential facilitates the process of identification altogether? Here we are faced with a critically important question that requires our careful attention .
INTELLECTUALISM AND REALITY CONSIDERATION
And conceptual freedom is a contradiction in terms. Freedom cannot be contained within the borders of the known. For the very reason of it being conceptual in nature, and not an expression of the living truth of the free, Non-dual condition of BE-ing, it will remain vulnerable to becoming corrupted by conditions, circumstances and the ever-changing fickleness of the human mind. Clearly, conditioned freedom is at best merely an image of the genuine article.
Once we are able to appreciate the difference between that which is created by thought and that which is not, it will also be evident that reality-consideration can never be speculative. It concerns itself with our observable and experiential human condition, and not with metaphysical theories.
ATTACHMENT AND DETACHMENT
From this we may appreciate that non-attachment has nothing to do with forcefully detaching ourselves from what we may identify as forms of attachment. All separation is suffering. All attachment is suffering. And all detachment is suffering. These are actions and reactions based on a misguided, destiny-creating view of ourselves as completely separate from our living environment. And only an insight into the nature and function of this whole movement of separation and fragmentation can bring the natural clarity to our lives that will prove to be too Intelligent and conscious to show any interest in the dramas associated with thought mistaking its own projections for reality
SELF-ENQUIRY, PSYCHOLOGY AND RIGHT ATTITUDE
The term spiritual refers to that state of Wholeness where the human spirit has fulfilled its destiny and where nothing remains but love, compassion, Intelligence and equanimity. These are words that describe our notion of Spiritual Humanism And the movement towards this Undivided sense of things is characterized by the gradual transcendence of all illusions of fragmentation and duality. This gradual transcendence of duality is the essence and heart of the spiritual path.
THE QUESTION OF WILL
Only when every aspect of us that is unintelligent, more than human, more than love and more than the singleness of our Undivided natural condition has fallen away by non-use, will the true measure of our humanity shine through by itself. At this point it will become evident that Life has its own regulating or ordering force
PART TWO: THE PRACTICE
From the Introduction to Part Two:
Understanding has to be translated into living reality. Our path is to allow for a gradual shift from understanding and insight to the Direct Experience of the Non-dual Truth of Life. To use a Zen metaphor: we must not mistake the finger pointing to the moon for the moon itself. Thought only points beyond itself, it is not the appropriate instrument with which to transcend itself. Understanding, however subtle and true, is not the thing. It has to be translated into living reality through right practice
THE PRACTICE OF PASSIVE AWARENESS:
The importance of approaching our path with thoroughness and care cannot be overestimated. We should always keep in mind that all self-enquiry has to reflect our actual present situation. We have to work from where we are and allow our practice to unfold and develop from there. We cannot bypass ourselves. As we have seen, we are the path we will have to walk, and this path will be effective and freeing to the degree that we do not ignore what is real and true for us. To bring such integrity to our path may not be easy. Yet we have no choice. Anything less will be a perpetuation of our deluded state
will become clear that emotionally-reactive and mentally
conditioned forms of behavior need to be approached in a complete
and Holistic way for our work in this regard to be effective and
freeing. It would simply be premature to delve into our emotional
shadow material at the early stages of our practice. We will be
well advised merely to take note of these emotionally-laden
projections and to bring our attention back to its object. Work
on these will take place at a later, appropriate stage, when we
have been sufficiently prepared for such sensitive inner
The development of insight forms part of the practice of Passive Awareness, and as an introduction to this section, Möller writes:
Another interesting and rather important development we
may come across during our practice of Passive Awareness, is the
appearance of Insights. When we become well established in this
practice, and are no longer completely caught in the images
projected by thought, we often experience interesting Insights
into many aspects of our life and things in general
Insight can become a kind of inner guide and a valuable asset to our path of self-enquiry and self-understanding. We seem to be informed from a source that was previously inhibited by our habitual identification with the content of our conditioned way of thinking. In the more open, relaxed environment of Passive Awareness we receive these Insights from a deeper, clearer source of Intelligence, which, perhaps for the first time, has been consciously allowed to become part of our functional ability
THE PRACTICE OF DIRECT AWARENESS
... Direct Awareness is the first real gesture we make towards the possibility of Directly Experiencing beyond the separate self-sense. This is a rather subtle form of participatory practice and is evidenced by a presence of bodily feeling-sensation that reveals the truth of the Non-dual nature of things, not dependent on our traditional view of sense-perception, or our ability to pay attention or to think .
The most fundamental consideration that informs the path of self-enquiry and self-transcendence is the notion of Wholeness. Wholeness is the non-fragmentary revelation of the living moment, which is evidenced by our total field of present experience which does not depend on any activity on our part for it simply to be the case. Whatever we may believe to the contrary, everything appears quite naturally and Holistically by itself, and while we are awake, the total field of present arising - including our own psychophysical appearance - is none other than the Wholeness of BE-ing. To be human, is to be the undivided Truth of present arising. This Non-dual present moment of living reality is therefore not objective to, or separate from, us. No clear line can be drawn between us as the presumed experiencers, and what we believe to be objective reality
Möller concludes the chapter on Direct Awareness with the following words:
the self is not, Life is already full of its own profoundly human
qualities. And if we are fortunate, we may sometimes be presented
with a sense of what it means to be perfectly and completely
overcome with the total Presence of BE-ing. This is a profound
and deeply moving experience with intense passion, filled with
uncontaminated, pure emotion. It feels as though the Whole of
Life is expressing itself in one single moment of living Truth.
During such blessed moments, we are touched so deeply that every part of our being takes on its true revelatory form. During this great Simplicity our emotions are transformed into love, bliss and a tremendous sensitivity of feeling. What is physical becomes the process of Awareness/BE-ing. Thought is translated into Intelligence. Attention merges into its source Awareness. And what previously presented itself as the I is revealed to be the sum-total of all of these, with no one left to notice it.
This Directly Experienced realization is probably best summed up by the words: I am THIS, there is only THIS.
WORKING WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL AND EMOTIONAL REACTIVITIES
Once we understand that the path
of self-transcendence concerns itself essentially with the
recognition and transcendence of everything which places a
limitation on our sane, happy and integral relation to life, we
may appreciate how important it is to come to terms with our
emotional and psychological shadow material. If our interest is
to free ourselves from the symptoms of every manifestation of
fragmentary living, these require our dedicated and most intimate
Any residual resistances, whether physical, mental or emotional/psychological which have not been brought into the light of our own awareness, will remain as unconscious potential within us, and will continue to control our lives. The process has to be complete for it to be sustainable and effective
On the subject of the role of emotions in the spiritualization of our being:
spiritual, religious and mystical paths share one rather
unfortunate tendency: they often project human emotions as
something inimical to what they propose as a truly spiritual way
of life. According to this misconception only unenlightened
mortals enjoy their senses and the full expression of their
emotional potential, while the spiritual sages have often been
described as having gone beyond such human weaknesses.
This misunderstanding has led to many sincere students believing that they should detach themselves emotionally from the world if they are really serious about self-transcendence or spiritual life. In many cases this has led to the practice of inhibiting and debilitating disciplines where considerable restriction has been placed on the free and open-hearted unfolding of their emotions in the context of both their spiritual practice and everyday life.
Spiritual Humanism does not set itself on such a collision-course with our human condition - especially our emotions. It is only when we pursue some presumed Other-worldly or metaphysical ideal that we will be vulnerable to being convinced that every aspect of this world, including our emotions, are necessarily of a lesser order than the world of our Gods or the Great Beyond towards which we are to aspire. Such misconceptions have put spiritual life in direct opposition to the rich soil of human experience from within which alone a free life could flower
In a sub-section of this chapter where Möller discusses the appearance of the ego with its inherently problematic nature, we find the following remarks:
The ego-process is always active in a comparative relationship with something other than itself. Its very nature is to be other-dominated, other-defined and other-controlled. It goes through life pretending to others that it is feeling better than it does, or coping better than it knows it actually is. We present to others this ego-mask; a false, other-controlled image of ourselves - an image that prevents us from presenting ourselves as we are, while at the same time minimizing our potential for warm and empathetic human interaction. This keeps us locked into our own self-enclosed emotional wilderness and thereby increasing our sense of loneliness and alienation.
In Chapter Seventeen Möller explains the final process of INTEGRATION.
An interesting and fundamental challenge we now seem to face, is how to allow for the integration into our everyday activities of that which has become true for us as Non-dual, full-bodily BE-ing. This Non-dual experience has to become functional in every aspect of our lives and has to be able to retain its conscious equanimity in the face of the challenges of life. That is, Direct Awareness has to find its measure and living reality in each and every moment of our ordinary lives. Only then will our freedom be complete and sustainable
Having given a clear description of the process of Integration, Möller concludes Spirituality Without God with the following words:
And this Great Simplicity of the Wholeness of BE-ing always unfolds as nothing other than a natural expression of our total human condition, where alone resides love, compassion, Intelligence and humaneness
~ ~ ~
Home Page: http://www.spiritualhumanism.co.za/
Order book: http://www.llumina.com/store/spiritualitywithoutgod.htm
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