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#3285 - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - Editor: Gloria Lee
Nonduality Highlights
Talk from Emptiness Dances - Adyashanti

After you awaken from the dream of separateness and realize that you are the source, you need to discover the implications of applying this revelation to your life. When you truly realize there is no other than you, it takes your breath away. All is one and you are the One. When I first started teaching, I wanted to believe that all someone would have to do is have the awakening experience and off they would go. Now I know there is much more to it. I found that many people do have that essential, experiential awakening to who and what they are, to the absolute, and yet those who have that experience very rarely become free. So of course I started to ask myself why. To awaken into the actual lived experience that you aren't the body, mind, and personality should be freedom, and initially it is very freeing, very liberating, but most people get so carried away with the emotional byproducts of awakening that they miss the true significance of what has happened.

One of the things missed is the revelation of perfect Oneness, the revelation that you are the ultimate source. You can have the experience that you are free because you no longer identify with a mind, body, and personality, but only rarely, other than having a vague sense of Oneness, does the individual have a really clear perception of the perfect unity that is actually inherent in awakening. It is much like when you have a dream at night and are identified with some character and think you are different from all the others. When you wake up from your dream in the morning, you realize that you are not the character in the dream. You are the dreamer. Everything in the dream came from you.

This is a metaphor for spiritual awakening because, when you wake up spiritually, you realize you are not the body-mind. But what is usually missed is that you are the ultimate source of the entire dream. I think this is pretty easy to understand. In one sense, you see that you are not anyone, but in the other, you realize that you are the source of all.

Why is this so important to realize? Because of the implication inherent within awakening, which is where you find all the value of any true spiritual revelation. You are the ultimate source, and everything is perfect unity and everything out there is actually you, equally. So inherent in this revelation of unity is the realization that there is no such thing as an "other." There is no one else because it is all ultimately one's own self. I've known people who have had this perception, and then the first thing they do is return to living life as if there was an other. They live life as if there is a personal me and a personal you, even though they have experientially glimpsed that this is not true.

So, in many cases, experiential understanding is not enough. But can you imagine how it could change your life if you have the revelation that there is no other and you get very curious about the implications? What if you asked, "What does this mean for me for the rest of my life?" Most humans base their entire life on the idea of self and other, a personal me and you. But with the revelation that there is no other, there is suddenly no such thing as a personal relationship. How does one live with this implication? Fundamentally, what would it mean to actually know and live that there is no other, even when you relate as apparently self and other in the world of appearances?

Most people who are interested only in personal enlightenment think, "As long as I'm free, no one can make any demands on me," or "I'll try to teach others how to be enlightened." There is nothing wrong with being personally free. But what if you take the inquiry all the way? How can you be free if there is no personal I? Who is there to be enlightened? One of the most painful experiences I've had in a long time was when I opened up this idea of relationship in satsang and sat back as person after person implied in their questions, "I'm not getting what I want in my relationship," and "I want to know how to have a better relationship."

Students asked how I experience relationship. Annie, my wife, told them, "We don't need anything from each other, and we don't use our relationship to work out things because that's not what a relationship is about."

This was ignored, and all those questions continued to come up. Look at the implications of the awareness that there is no other. When you wake up, you wake up out of this "me and you." If you realize what that means, it just takes your breath away. If there is no other, there is no personal relationship. The whole problem with any relationship has to do with one or both people not taking seriously that there is no other. There is no one to get anything from, no one to change, no one to need or to fulfill a need — all of that is a dream.

This is how challenging it gets when you do not just seek after a spiritual experience, but endeavor to understand what is inherent in the experience. The experience of awakening is like a personal experience of the big bang. Its initial revelation was the beginning. It started out as nothing, so the physicists tell us, and then this little blip ultimately became the whole universe. At the beginning, you might have seen this blip and not realized what was inherent in it, and if you turned away from it, you missed everything. If you look into the blip called spiritual awakening, it holds as much potential as the big bang, and more.

Many people ask, "How do I integrate my spirituality into everyday life?" You don't. You can't. How could you integrate it? You can't stuff the infinite into your limited life. Instead, give your life to the divine impulse. There is no integration. There's only realization, and that realization is always a perfect destroyer. It is a destroyer of all sense of separateness, a destroyer of that which is not true. Throw your life into Truth. Don't try to stuff Truth into your life.

Even when you become very serious and endeavor to deepen your realization, seeing more deeply into it, the appearance of a you and an other continues. If you don't fully take your realization into your relationship, it is going to go on more or less as it always has. The pieces may get rearranged, but the relationship may remain based more or less on what you get from each other and how to work things out. When you go deeper to uncover the deepest realization that there is no other, the realization itself rearranges how this dream of appearances operates. The sense of relationship will operate differently because you have truly realized there is no such thing as a personal relationship between a you and a me. It spontaneously reorchestrates how the whole world of relationship works without you making any effort to control it.

To make the relationship better, just wake up more. It may or may not change in the way you want it to, but it will change. Wake up more. Because when you are truly awake, things are simply the way they are. You don't need a teacher to explain the implications of there being no other—you need to do that for yourself.

Student: What does it mean to wake up more?

Adyashanti: Many teachers have likened it to when you have a dream at night. You know how it is if you are having a pleasant dream and you kind of wake up but not entirely, and then go back to sleep because you want to dream? So after you roll over and go back to sleep, you then wake up again and realize you were dreaming, but you are groggy and do not even know if you want to be awake. Later in the day, it is more clear, and you are much more awake. Most spiritual seekers, even after a big spiritual awakening, are almost always still groggy. They go back and forth and are not sure they want to be awake because they perceive a whole different world out there. They want to wake up from the bad stuff but continue dreaming about the good stuff. They literally want to go back into sleep in their personal relationship because they know if they really wake up, things might change in unexpected ways. When you are groggy, there seems to be so much to give up, and there is so much indecision about whether or not to be truly awake.

But when you are really awake, you know it is a dream, and you do not want to go back. If you want to be really free, you have to make the effort to completely wake up. You will then lose interest in untruth and only be interested in truth. The dream state of separateness in all its guises will not interest you. Who is in control of the dream when you dream at night? You are the dreamer, pulling all the strings. All the dream characters are convinced that they are making it happen. But the dreamer is orchestrating the whole thing.

When you dream, you forget that. The transcendent dreamer is the one who creates the dream of the world. If you want to be able to function in the world with any grace, you can't forget that. It is a myth that you should let transcendence go in order to go back into the world. This whole idea of integration and the concept that you can't stay in the transcendent seems to make good sense until we start to examine it for ourselves and ask if it is true.

When you look into your own experience and ask how spiritual realization works, you start to realize so much of what we talk about is just ridiculous—it's the blind leading the blind. This that you look at and call teacher is your own creation, it is your dream, and you are creating it at this moment. If you let yourself become aware, you will become aware that you are creating it and that the separation between the person listening and the one speaking is only appearance. If you are awakened, you have seen this clearly. But the conditioning can pull you back into the dream. This doesn't matter. You have to just keep questioning the dream itself.

Sometimes we get infatuated with an unusual experience, but we miss something deeper, a realization of that which caused it. We need to ask, "Why did I have such a perception?" Question it. Curiosity and inquiry are important. The reason you have a transcendent experience is that you intuitively grasp the Truth, which is simply the way things really are.

Spiritually speaking, the question, "What am I?" is the question that goes right to the heart of things. The infinite intelligence is actually what you are, but you have to be serious enough to find out for yourself what is true. In order to do this, you have to open to the possibility that all you have learned is wrong. Otherwise, how can you discover what actually is?

When you become completely open, the Truth becomes the most apparent thing. Spiritual people always think the Truth is hidden from them. It is not hidden. What gets in the way is the idea of what it is going to be. Find that place of what actually is. There is only the One manifesting as everything. Ponder and meditate on this until you realize it for yourself through and through. Wake up to what you are.

posted to Wisdom-l by Mark Scorelle

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