'There's no point to nonduality', I heard someone say. It's normal to hear this near the beginning of the exploration, but this was someone who had been in it for a number of years. So what was going on for them?
It's very normal to hear 'what's the point?' from explorers near the beginning of the exploration. We look to the truth of who we are and see 'nothing' and so the mind turns back around says - 'what's the point in that? How's that going to help me?'
At this stage in the exploration we're very attached and identified to being a person, and a person with real problems that need sorting. Plus we've been taught that 'sorting things' and 'getting a better life' require doing things in the world, with real things that we can see and touch and manipulate. Supposedly concrete things. Tangible things.
Therefore, at first sight, looking to the truth of who we are looks utterly pointless. 'Don't you know I've got important stuff to do?!'
However, this person who said 'there's no point to nonduality' had been in the exploration for a number of years. They conveyed the idea that they 'got it', and espoused the understanding to others. So why would they now be saying there's no point? Why would they now be saying that the only point is to improve all this tangible stuff on the outside?
The way it looks to me is that they hadn't really 'got it'.
Not getting it seems to happen for two main reasons.
1. The understanding is intellectual. It can be effectively conveyed, but simply because the person has the smarts to say all the right words in the right order. There's a conceptual map - and only a conceptual map - of what's going on. The full recognition and embodiment of that hasn't happened. This can be spotted by them seeming to find some questions tricky to answer. Or by there being a 'rote' response, that feels regurgitated and impenetrable.
2. The journey is incomplete. There has been a stopping-off point at the stage of 'no self' and the explorer has seemingly got stuck there. This tends to be heard as 'there's nobody here', 'there's nobody doing anything', 'there's nothing happening'. Or they might be focused on the only answer being to 'look to awareness'. There might be the words 'it's all wholeness appearing as this', but there's something in the words that conveys a dismissal or denial of the human experience. The world is counted as illusion, and therefore deemed unnecessary to talk about.
None of this is a problem in and of itself. On my journey I sometimes found it really helpful to be bopped over the egoic head by Tony Parsons, I found it really helpful to see there is no separate self doing anything.
It's simply that the journey doesn't stop there. And I think it's really helpful that we at least know the full map, and what else is available.
Because when we know that map, we might be more likely to continue, and then we get to see more.
To enable this movement forward, sometimes we can see and be honest for ourselves that we're working mostly, or only, from conceptual ideas. Sometimes we can feel that this isn't the full story and something feels off. Sometimes we need someone else to show us where we are on the map. And sometimes life will force us out of our stuck place. Whatever happens, these all involve being open, honest and courageous enough to say 'there is more, I don't fully get it yet'.
Because when we do this, and continue to the completion of the awakening journey, the exploration makes perfect sense. And we totally get why there's a point to nonduality.
And that point is not to deny the world, or the person, or to say that all we need to do is float in knowing ourselves as awareness.
The very opposite.
The point is to know that all of this is who I am.
All of it is included.
And that - all of this - its nature, its essence, is one - not two. Nondual. No separation. Only wholeness, completeness. The grounded OK-ness of who we really are. That which all of this really is.
From that most beautiful, grounded, embodied knowing - now we turn back to the world and our human experience, with our focus on the 'tangible' stuff.
Now no longer from the mistaken belief that I'm a person and I need to sort this stuff out to be OK.
And also no longer from the mistaken belief that there is no person and there's nothing to sort out.
Instead from, and as, full love and inclusion of all, which makes for the healthiest human actions we could hope for.
And which often starts with full love and inclusion of all the conditioned ideas this human has collected, which have been causing all these problems.
And so, the enlightenment process begins.
Now, what is the next step for you?
With peace, love and joy; Helen