Nondual Explorers – please stop thinking the person will disappear

I posted this in the Thoughtful Raven Community recently, and wanted to share it with more people because, from what I see, it’s an idea that leads many nondual explorers to keep expecting something that is very unlikely to happen. And the continued searching and suffering is simply unnecessary. I also wanted to share this piece as a brilliant example of how Sara and I work in partnership with this exploration. It’s something people in our company really value. I hope you do too.

Helen’s Post:

I’ve been speaking to a few people recently who seem to think the ultimate aim of the nondual exploration is for the experience of the person (personhood) to disappear completely.

Now to be fair, *hand of admission goes up*, yes I was one of those too at one point. The idea goes that one day Helen will disappear completely from experience. There will still be a body moving through the world, speaking and doing. But there’ll be no awareness of Helen as an entity. Just speaking and movement and doing happening. A bit like it was for Byron Katie after her huge experience. And this seems to be what these recent explorers have been hankering after. With the idea that this is complete self-realisation. And that this is where they want to get to. The absence of the person.

Now, maybe it is available.

Maybe there is a level of this exploration that goes so far that truly all experience of the person disappears (I’m thinking @Sara Priestley will know about this). I have a feeling there was a teacher who had this experience, but I have a feeling he also had to be fed and dressed because - as awareness - he had no concept of the body requiring nutrition or clothing. But I don’t think that’s what most of us are going to experience. I’m also not sure that’s what’s necessary.

It seems to me that the enjoyment is knowing we’re awareness living as this human. Otherwise what’s the point in having a human experience if we’re just going to try and wipe it out and return to our essential nature - which we are already anyway.

What do you reckon?

Have you had this idea?

Has this post highlighted that you’re holding this idea?

Do you still quite like the idea of being in that experience?

What’s your perspective?

Sara’s Reply:

I think it's something that came through the "radical" Neo-Advaita teaching, that the personality would disappear, but the body would remain kind of running on autopilot.

Isn't it funny that the assumption in that teaching seems to be the "personality" will change (become totally transparent/disappear), but that the "body" will remain solid and unchanged (apart from possible, spontaneous healing?

Anyway, it's understandable that this idea is attractive. If the suffering looks like it belongs to the Sara-personality, no more personality would equal no more suffering. That sounds tempting.

It's when we notice that suffering is the misconception that the Sara-personality is a separate entity - rather than recognising this person as one of the infinite unique ways awareness knows awareness.

And it was the young Ramana who ended up in the temple infested with creepy crawlies, because he'd fallen into such deep bliss. The story goes that they had to take him and clean him, and squeeze food and water into him until he revived and recovered. Possibly why he spent several years grumpily telling people to stop asking him questions.

I'm 100% on the side of exploring whatever it is this human experience has to offer, as a personality, without believing I’m a separate self!

Tell us, what’s it like for you?

Much love, Helen

Image credit - Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

  • Helen Amery
    My work involves exploring with people who are on the awakening and enlightenment journey. They’ve already seen a lot but they can also feel that their understanding is more conceptual than felt, and lived. They can feel that there is more to be seen and understood and yet they also don’t know how to ‘get at’ that. I focus on this shift from conceptual into the deeper, felt understanding of it.

    You can find me at

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