Nonduality in its purest, most basic form, is not a religion, nor a practice of spirituality, but rather, non duality refers to the clear seeing of the actuality of Oneness, or better said, the falling away of a sense of being a someone/thing, that is apart from or separate from, the totality of experience.
A popular metaphor in nonduality is that of the ocean and the wave. There can be great freedom in coming to regard physical form and experience as being akin to a wave that arises from and within the One and only ocean, and that although the wave at times may seem to take on a life all its own, it never becomes separate or apart from the ocean itself.
To really see and experience this atonement with the totality of all that is, is to experience a seamless, fluidity to life and a falling away of the sense of limitation and deep suffering that one often feels and experiences when he believes himself to be ‘just’ a finite human being or person.
As important and life changing as this seeing can be though, It’s important to acknowledge that the bent/movement towards this more expansive view, where non duality can be seen to be the case, generally has its basis in a sense of limitation.
Like All spiritual seeking, the importance attributed to non duality, to clearly seeing Oneness, is borne of human suffering, borne of a belief in an idea about what and who I am. All spiritual seeking, like all quests to see ‘this’ in a way that will improve or better the experience of life, has at its basis, a sense of dissatisfaction with what currently is. If it were not for the fact that a belief in limitation, and an identification/attachment to the story of being a separate, limited person that is apart from the Ocean of Consciousness was originally the case, there would be no sense of importance attributed to a non dual perspective.
Why is this important to acknowledge?
As human beings, we cannot escape our innate bent towards a better, more fulfilling life experience. We naturally gravitate towards a sense of joy, freedom and well being, much the same way a flower naturally turns towards the light.
Thus, it’s very easy to become attached to ideas that appear to augment or support a better experience. The ideas presented through non duality teachings can easily get attached to, just as the ideas presented in any religion/philosophy can be attached to.
When this happens, nonduality gets turned into a concept that we cling to. When this is the case, the idea “The wave is just an illusion,” becomes our life-line. We rely upon the idea of being the ocean, in favor of the wave, in order to avoid the pain we associate with being a lowly, limited human being. In identifying with the ocean, folks often negate or even vilify that which is regarded to be ‘just’ a wave.
While this may provide a sense of freedom in comparison to what was experienced prior to non duality, it’s a very limited freedom whose sense is very much conditional upon holding to a particular idea while rejecting another. If clarity and freedom are valued above else, this is not a place where we want to get stuck.
It’s important to acknowledge the fact that physical experience only requires reducing or to be diminished, IF it is regarded to be dangerous or in need of betterment.
There is a point where there is no longer any danger
perceived in engaging with my humanness, where humanness is not regarded to be
of a lesser nature than that which it
arises from/within, where there is no longer any need to augment experience
through identifying with one aspect of lilfe while denying or diminishing
another. Both the ocean and the wave are acknowledged. There is no actual divide or separation between them. Ultimately, they are one.
There is a point where it is regarded to be 'safe' again to engage life and living with the abiding knowing that I am both the ocean and the wave, without the need to divvy them up into
categories of ‘illusive vs. actual.’ I call this 'coming full circle.' It's important to note though, that in coming full circle, we do not go back to once again to conflating I am/Being with form.
If you enjoyed this article please share by clicking one of the buttons below...thanks so much!