I like to drive at the speed limit. This means if the speed signs say that it is a 50 mile an hour zone then that is the speed which I like to drive at. Other people prefer to drive at 30 miles per hour on a 50 miles per hour road. This means that, if I am behind them, I also have to drive at 30 miles per hour. In this situation thoughts arise in the form of questions:
- Why are they driving so slowly?
- Don’t they realise that I am in a hurry and they are delaying me?
- What’s wrong with them?
These questions lead to a sense of frustration and impatience which do not feel pleasant, neither do they make any difference to the situation. No matter what I think, the other driver, living in his thought created reality, still drives at a steady 30 miles per hour.
This is how I used to feel, but now things are changing. This is because I realise that there are only ever three principles at work in every human experience:
- Mind Read more
After a long break without writing , After Non-Duality starts up again. This and subsequent posts will reflect the shifts I have been going through.
I have a car. I do not know how it works. I am ignorant of what goes on inside the engine, why pistons go up and down, how the starter motor is constructed and what makes the wheels turn round. I do know how to operate the car in order to drive the it from where I am to where I want to go. Similarly I do not know how the brain works. I know there are nerves, synapses, chemicals firing away, but I do not have technical knowledge of the anatomy of the brain. What I am interested in is how thoughts inside the brain operate.
There are two aspects to this:
- How thought appears to operate
- How thought actually operate.
Thought appears to happen in a brain in a body that moves through a physical world and sees this world though the senses which are used to observe sights, sounds, smells, and how objects feel. On your journey in this physical world you come across other people outside you who, depending on how they treat you, or how we feel about them, can make you feel happy or make you suffer. Read more
Many teachers of non duality say that there is no self. All is one, there is no duality of I and not-I, no separate me and you. Things simply arise, nothing is happening to nobody, there is no choice because there is no one to choose. This appears to contradict what actually seems to be happening which is that there is a me, a sense of a separate identity. Outside of me there is a you.
Most people in the world believe that there is a self, and a few non dualists are denying this. Who is right? Read more
When I was a spiritual seeker, I was seeking something I called enlightenment.
What is enlightenment? Sometimes during meditation I felt an immense sense of peace and joy. I figured out that enlightenment was being like this all the time.
I visited self-proclaimed teachers of enlightenment. They promised to be my guide on the road to enlightenment. But when I asked their students who amongst them was enlightened, I discovered that I could find nobody who was enlightened. The enlightenment teachers are poor at what they do as they do not seem to be able to get their students to the enlightened state.
I asked my Buddhist friend about enlightenment. She told me that it is something that you attain after many, many lifetimes of spiritual practice. This sounded a bit depressing as I did not want to wait a few hundred years to be enlightened.
It all seemed pretty fruitless. If enlightenment exists then I seemed to be no nearer attaining it. I had failed to meet anyone was enlightened. Maybe Buddha or Jesus had made it, but there did not seem much chance of me getting there.
I came to the realization that enlightenment is a myth. Read more
One component of identity is belief. Beliefs form and shape the personality. Many beliefs are fixed and strongly held including:
- Religious beliefs
- Political beliefs
- Patriotic beliefs
- Cultural beliefs
Some of your beliefs may be so strong that you are prepared to die for them.The suicide bomber dies because of his belief that what he is doing is just and right. The military plane pilot bombs and kills people below him because he believes that what he is doing is just and right. The early Christians were stoned to death because of they refused to reject belief in Christ.
The non dual state contains no beliefs.
There was a substantial part of my life when I identified myself as a spiritual seeker. In this role I experienced many special events including:
- Hanging out for three months in Rishikesh, India listening to my teacher Shantimayi
- Travelling to Miami to be soaked in coloured water by Guru Maharaji at the Holi festival
- Shaking hands with the Dali Lama
- Boiling inside a sweat lodge
- Feeling at one with the universe after taking LSD
- Leaving my body and traveling to another planet (or so I thought!)
- Staying in a Tibetan monastery
- Dancing with Shri Ravi Shankar
- Throwing snowballs in the Himalayas with fellow seekers
- Laughing at clouds whilst walking next to the River Ganges
Then a few years ago seeking stopped. I no longer identified myself as a spiritual seeker. The special spiritual events stopped also.
This is the second generation of After Non Duality. The first one was lost when I changed the server that hosts this blog. Which is fine as my perspective on life has changed and shifted .
Why the title After Non Duality? For a while I was interested in non duality, read many books on the subject, listened to speakers. What they told me was that the separate self that is our day to day experience is not true. There is no separate self, there is no duality, there is only oneness and non-duality. This seemed to contradict my every day experience. I felt separate. I encountered other people and they seemed different from me. They were ‘over there’. I was ‘in here’.
Then one day the sense of separation went and for a while there was only oneness. Read more