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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4189 Sunday, March 13, 2011
Negative feelings are in you, not in reality. So stop trying to change reality. That's crazy! Stop trying to change the other person. We spend all our time and energy trying to change external circumstances, trying to change our spouses, our bosses, our friends, our enemies, and everybody else. We don't have to change anything. Negative feelings are in you. No person on earth has the power to make you unhappy. There is no event, condition, situation, or person. Nobody told you this; they told you the opposite. That's why you're in the mess that you're in right now. That is why you're asleep. They never told you this. But it's self-evident.
- Anthony de Mello
All that we experience is subjective.
There is no sensation without interpretation.
We create the world and ourselves;
Only when we stop do we see the truth.
The world exists, but we cannot truly be one with it
in our normal modes of consciousness.
Our minds know the world by constructing conclusions
from the data of our sense.
All that we know is filtered and interpreted.
Therefore, there is no such thing as objectivity
or direct knowledge of the world.
Everything is relative because we are each condemned
to our particular vantage points.
As long as we all have different perspectives,
as long as perception relies on our sense,
then there cannot be an absolute truth.
All knowledge from experience, valuable as it may be,
is imperfect and merely provisional.
Inner truth is only glimpsed
by disconnecting the mechanism of interpretation.
If we can withdraw the activities of the senses
and isolate that part of the mind responsible
for filtering sensory input,
then we can temporarily shut off the ongoing process of
interaction with the outside world.
We will then be in a neutral place
that is wholly turned inward.
We are left with an absolute state,
entirely without distinction or relativity.
This is called nothingness,
and it is the truth underlying all things.
-Deng Ming-Dao, from 365 Tao: Daily Meditations, posted to The_Now2
Is it possible for the rose to say, "I will give my fragrance to the good people who smell me, but I will withhold it from the bad?" Or is it possible for the lamp to say, "I will give my light to the good people in this room, but I will withhold it from the evil people"? Or can a tree say, "I'll give my shade to the good people who rest under me, but I will withhold it from the bad"? These are images of what love is about.
- Anthony de Mello
Love is the strongest medicine. It is more powerful than electricity.
- Neem Karoli Baba, from Miracle of Love, by Ram Dass, posted to AlongTheWay
The Heart of Relationship
Awakening to the truth of perfect Unity means to awaken from the dream of a personal self and personal others to the realization that there is no other. Many spiritual seekers have had glimpses of the absolute unity of all existence, but few are capable of or willing to live up to the many challenging implications inherent in that revelation. The revelation of perfect unity, that there is no other, is a realization of the ultimate impersonality of all that seems to be so very personal.
Applying this realization to the arena of personal relationships is something that most seekers find extremely challenging, and is the number one reason why so many seekers never come completely to rest in the freedom of the Self Absolute. Inherent in the revelation of perfect unity is the realization that there is no personal me, no personal other, and therefore no personal relationships. Coming to terms with the challenging implications of this stunning realization is something that few people are willing to do, because realizing the true impersonality of all that seems so personal challenges every aspect of the illusion of a separate, personal self. It challenges the entire structure of personal relationships which are born of needs, wants, and expectations.
It is in the arena of personal relationships that the illusion of a separate self clings most tenaciously and insidiously. Indeed, there is nothing that derails more spiritual seekers than the grasping at and attaching to personal relationships. The revelation of perfect unity reveals the true impersonality of all relationships. The ego always interprets "impersonal" as meaning cold, distant, and aloof. However, "impersonal" simply means not personal, or void of a separate me and a separate you. The mind cannot comprehend a relationship without separate entities, much as a character in a dream cannot comprehend that all other dream characters are simply manifestations of the same dreamer. Yet when the dreamer awakens, he instantly comprehends that the entire dream, and all the characters in it, were none other than projections of his own self. In the dream there is the appearance of separate, personal entities in relationship, but upon awakening, one comprehends the impersonal (non-separate) Self that is the source of all appearances.
To deeply inquire into the question "Who is another?" can lead to the direct experience that the other is one's own Self -- that in fact there is no other. However, I have seen that for most seekers, even this direct experiential revelation is not enough to transform the painfully personal ways they relate. To come to this profound transformation requires a very deep investigation into the implications inherent within the experiential revelation that there is no other. It is in the daily living of these implications that most seekers fail. Why? Because, fundamentally, most people want to remain separate and in control. Simply put, most people want to keep dreaming that they are special, unique, and separate, more than they want to wake up to the perfect unity of an Unknown which leaves no room for any separation from the whole.
There is a powerful tendency in most spiritual seekers to avoid probing deeply into the implications inherent within profound spiritual experience and revelation, because these implications are always threatening to the sense of a separate self, or ego. It is the implications inherent within profound spiritual revelation that demand the transformation of the apparent individual.
Inherent within the revelation of perfect unity is the realization that there is no other. The implications of this realization reveal that in order to manifest that unity in the relative world, one must renounce the dream of being a separate self seeking to obtain anything through relationship with another. Indeed, personal relationship appears to happen in the relative world, but in reality, all appearances simply arise as temporary manifestations of a unified whole. In the relative world these appearances are in relationship, but not as separate entities. Rather, they are the play of the one Self projecting itself as apparent entities in relationship to one another.
As long as you identify yourself with the projection of separateness, you will continue to deny that you are the Source of all projections. When you truly and absolutely awaken to this fact, and comprehend the overwhelming implications inherent within this awakening, you will continually experience that all apparently personal relationships are in truth nothing other than the play of your Self.
To realize that the personal me is an illusion born of false identification with the body, thoughts, and emotions brings a profound sense of freedom. This is fundamentally the realization of emptiness, of what you are not. But contained within the realization of emptiness (formlessness) is also the realization of what you ARE. In the most absolute sense, you ARE this conscious emptiness which is the source of all appearances (existence). But you are the appearance as well - not just one part of the appearance called "me," but all of it, the entire whole.
This is the challenge, to let your view get this vast, to let your view get so vast that your identity disappears. Then you realize that there is no other, and there is nothing personal going on. Contrary to the way the ego will view such a realization, it is in reality the birth of true love, a love which is free of all boundaries and fear. To the ego such uncontaminated love is unbearable in its intimacy. When there are no clear separating boundaries and nothing to gain the ego becomes disinterested, angry, or frightened. In a love where there is no other, there is nowhere to hide, no one to control, and nothing to gain. It is the coming together of appearances in the beautiful dance of the Self called love.
To the seeker who is sincere, an experiential glimpse of this possibility is not enough. If you are sincere, you will find it within yourself to go far beyond any glimpse. You will find within your Self the courage to let go of the known and dive deeply into the Unknown heart of a mystery that calls you only to itself.
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