Principles of non-duality

We usually think of ourselves and others to be independent entities possessing free will and the power to volitionally create our lives as we wish and choose. The non-dual spiritual perspective asserts that this sense of identity is completely illusory. It claims that our sense of individuality is actually a unique expression of a mysterious non-personal vibrant dynamic that presents itself spontaneously according to our internal and external conditioning that has been programmed by itself.

We, being only expressions of this creative life energy have no power to directly influence it for we are not separate from it. All of our intentions, motivations,desires, and actions to change it are only expressions of that vital energetic intelligence.

If this deeper sense of identity is realized and internalized, there may arise the understanding that we are not actually living our lives but rather we are being lived by life itself or even more precisely being live as life itself. Life is constantly offering infinite inducements towards action or modification of itself. As part of this expression our apparent selves are designed, equipped, and energized by life or nature to travel along the specific paths laid out for themselves by existence itself. So all the activities of life continues to happen, but there are no separate individuals authoring or autonomously doing them.

This deeply felt realization brings with it the alleviation of the burdens of guilt, shame, blame, regret, or recrimination. For these feelings states can only exist with the presumption that there are actual individuals who are freely determining their intentions and behaviors. Non-duality emphatically refutes this. It strongly affirms that no one can help what they think not think or do or not do since the source of all thinking and dong or their omission is life itself and not themselves.

And even though we have no control over how life is moving as us, we are not subject to wanton impropriety for most of us are expressed in decent and considerate ways so that we can’t be anything but humane. And If life moves us to commit some harmful act, even though we know we could not help it at that particular moment and feel no guilt, it is possible for genuine remorse and the desire to make amends to arise. And this understanding also pertains to others who act harmfully. If someone acts offensively, knowing that they couldn’t help it, we don’t blame or hate them nor do we condone the harmful behavior. Nor does this understanding of blamelessness result in a passive tolerance. We will naturally be moved to get out of harms way, or defend ourselves, or protest against the negativity in various ways.

Non-dual teachings offer explorations and considerations of every day experience that can dispel the illusion of the separate self and help rediscover our prior identity as the unqualifiable, undivided fullness of existence and thus greatly alleviate anguish and suffering.

Below what follows is a short interview with me speaking on non-duality. I was interviewed by Sherry Mills, a bright and talented artist whom I supported working through a painful breakup using many of the principles of non-duality.