• May 8, 2015

    In these inquiries, you use the language of dualism. You use pronouns such as ‘I’ and ‘you’, ‘we’ and ‘they’ that reflect the illusion of separateness and individuality. Isn’t this misleading?

    I am in conversation with you so I use the language of conversation. It is not difficult to eliminate pronouns, although it is somewhat stilted at times. But eliminating pronouns does not establish non-duality. And non-duality is just one perspective…it is not, in my view, the final word on realization.

    First, language is communication which includes intonation, cadence and gesture as much as word choice. My feeling when I speak a word, my body sensations and posture, placement of the eyes…these can be used with intent to convey meaning, to share an experience, to disarm your point of view, far more than sentence structure. At certain times and places, on certain topics, with certain people, I can invoke direct understanding. This is what matters to me.

    Second, I think that non-dualism is perhaps not correctly understood by some people. Non-duality is not uniformity, it is not everything becoming one thing. In my experience, in presence and even more in the waking state, the individual is even more precisely and uniquely itself, yet not separate from everything else at the same time. Reality is intimately connected and wholistic but the essential aspects of its component parts are not lost.

    In the eastern traditions, it is sometimes suggested that creation is an accidental consequence of a karmic mistake which can be unwound by diligent striving for a perfect end state, nirvana or mahamudra, beyond sorrow and rebirth. There is great truth in this view and its accomplishment is worthy of the greatest admiration. But there is another view that suggests that the world of form, of individuality, struggle and suffering, is not a mistake, that it serves a purpose, and that to live this life consciously, with conscience, as a real human being, is also a great accomplishment.

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