There is no me or you, no seeker, no enlightenment, no disciple and no guru. There is no better or worse, no path or purpose, and nothing that has to be achieved.
All appearance is source. All that apparently manifests in the hypnotic dream of separation – the world, the life story, the search for home, is one appearing as two, the nothing appearing as everything, the absolute appearing as the particular.
There is no separate intelligence weaving a destiny and no choice functioning at any level. Nothing is happening but this, as it is, invites the apparent seeker to rediscover that which is . . . the abiding, uncaused, unchanging, impersonal silence from which unconditional love overflows and celebrates. It is the wonderful mystery.
Seeing or Not Seeing
The nature of oneness is incomprehensible and so any communication about it can only be an interpretation of the ideas that surround it. Those ideas can either be generated from confusion or clarity. However, to suggest that one idea is better than the other and that the telling or the hearing of those ideas are a personal choice, would be a contradiction of the very essence of the Advaita perception.
The communication of confusion is just as much an expression of oneness as the clarity which exposes it.
It seems that there is an idea that the apparent separate individual can choose to make an effort to approach something called non-dualism through the application of practice, process, purification, the cultivation of understanding or whatever else can be taught or learnt.
The concept of reaching a level of understanding wherein the so-called sage can accept the dualism of life and live in peace with himself and others, seems to be the perceived aim. And yet this kind of perception could not be less relevant to the liberation which brings with it the realisation that there is nothing and no-one that becomes liberated.
The kind of teaching that is based on personal endeavour is a teaching of imprisonment simply because it reinforces the idea of the sage, the seeker and the sought. The very idea of there being “various approaches” to Advaita comes out of a basic ignorance of its essence.
So what is the fundamental difference between the personal and the impersonal perception?
The word Advaita means not two and expresses as nearly as possible in words the perception that all and everything is already only oneness, and that there is nothing else but that.
When this is clearly seen by no-one, it completely exposes the idea of subject and object merely as an illusory concept held within the hypnotic dream of separation. Consequently, the idea that an apparent separate individual (subject) can choose to attain enlightenment (object) becomes completely irrelevant. It also becomes clear that all practices or effort to follow a path leading to a future goal continuously reinforces the sense of personal seeking and is a direct denial of abiding unicity.
The idea that presumes the possibility that dualistic practices can lead the apparent seeker to the non-dualistic perception, is similar to the idea that with sufficient effort and determination you can teach a blind man to see. To quote:
“Doctrines, processes and progressive paths which seek enlightenment only exacerbate the problem they address by reinforcing the idea that the apparent self can find something it presumes it has lost. It is that very effort, that investment in self-identity, that continuously recreates the illusion of separation from oneness. This is the veil which we believe exists. It is the dream of individuality.” (The Open Secret)
Out of all the many awakenings that have been described to me, it is continuously confirmed that one of the first realisations that arises is the seeing that no-one awakens. And yet we see that the majority of teachings, both traditional and contemporary, are constantly speaking to an apparent separate seeker (subject) and recommending that in order to attain enlightenment (object) they should choose to meditate, self-enquire, purify, cultivate understanding, still the mind and the ego, surrender, be honest, seek earnestly, give up seeking, do therapy, do nothing, be here now, and so on . . . the ideas are as endless and as complicated as the mind from where they are generated.
These recommendations arise from the belief that the “enlightenment” of the “teacher” has been attained or earned through the application of choice, effort, acceptance or surrender, and that other seekers can be taught to do the same.
Of course there can be nothing right or wrong with earnest seeking, meditation, self-enquiry, understanding and so on. They are simply what they appear to be. But who is it that is going to choose to make the effort? Where is the effort going to take the apparent chooser to? – where is there to go if there is only oneness? If there is no separate individual there is no volition, and so how can an illusion dispel itself?
The concept of personal enlightenment arises within the mind which sets up a false structure consisting of a “spiritual ego” or so-called “higher self” which has adopted or been attracted to a set of taught ideals about the need for self-purification, for instance, which it believes will eventually bring about the prize of enlightenment. It then attempts to discipline the so-called “lower self” to carry out tasks which appear to the “lower self” to be contrary to its nature. Here is the source of the struggle, confusion and sense of inadequacy and disillusionment that abounds in the search. It is also the main reason that, until recently, apparent liberation has seemed to be a rare occurrence. But when liberation apparently arises it is seen that there is no difference between being asleep and being awake.
As far as can be seen, the radical, clear and uncompromising expression of absolute non-dualism is very rarely communicated. However, to imply that one kind of message is truer than another would be as dualistic as thinking that there is a divide between the absolute and the relative. There is no such thing as the truth, there is only what is, as it is.
Nevertheless, should the apparent seeker request “guidance”, then there would be a direct response out of impersonal clarity which will constantly and uncompromisingly destroy illusion and leave nothing but the possibility of liberation. This response arises without the slightest regard for tradition, belief, understanding, personal consideration, aesthetics or anything else that arises out of the dreaming mind.
What is longed for and feared most is absence . . . the absence of the “me” that feels separate. In that absence another possibility arises which is absolutely beyond the idea of understanding, teaching, becoming, destiny, karma and personal attainment. It appears that there is a considerable readiness to listen to this rare, simple and incredible message. It will either be heard or not heard, and that is all there is.
To quote again from The Open Secret . . .
“And from wherever and whenever this insight is communicated, it has no connection with end-gaining, belief, path or process. It cannot be taught but is continuously shared. Because it is our inheritance, no-one can lay claim to it. It needs not to be argued, proven or embellished, for it stands alone simply as it is, and can only remain unrecognised and rejected, or realised and lived.”
Return to list of topics in Discourses by Teachers and Writers .
See the list sorted by Topic.
See the list sorted by Author.