Non-duality (in a nutshell…)

yin-and-yangNon-duality is big business right now.  It seems to be the spiritual doodah du jour.

Talks, seminars, courses, all focused on trying to get you to see that you don’t really exist.  Neither does the person giving the talk, nor the room everyone’s in, nor anything at all.  It’s all an illusion, from which you can awaken to the truth, that there is no self, no other, no nothing.

That’s a whole lot of stuff that doesn’t really exist, isn’t it?  I smell a pseudo-Buddhist rat.

The fundamental error the non-dualists make – the ones I’ve come across at any rate –  is to reject the subject/object divide, dualism, on the grounds that it is an illusion.  It may well be an illusion and, if it is, it is a really good one.  Of course the idea that there is no other can be quickly dispelled by a sharp smack on the head.  Illusion or reality, no matter – what’s important is that it is not the whole story.

At any one time, you, I and every other human on the planet exists as a self and as an other.  As a this and as a that.  As an I and as a you.  As a subject and as an object. We are all possessed of the idea that we are ‘I’.  Everyone else is a ‘you’ or a ‘him’ or a ‘her’ or one of ‘them’.  To everyone else, they are the I and is it we who are ‘you’ or ‘him’ or ‘her’ or one of ‘them’.  Thus we are both self and other simultaneously – subject and object simultaneously.  With this in mind, how could we feel anything other than compassion?

This dual status is our state of being at all times.  To my mind that’s the only thing that needs to be understood about non-duality.  The rest is just unfeasibly long films on youtube – over an hour to explain that nothing is ‘real’…

Hope you’re having a good day –

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha

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