I have never denied human life or the existence of the world. I only deny that separation and otherness exists (outside of thought and the mind). The nature of the ego is illusory; the ego is a creation of thought and memory that is believed. It is an ongoing story we tell ourselves. This does not deny human life. Human life is not confirmed or denied by the ego. Egoically we would like to think so. From an egoic point of view, there is no human life without a “me”.
There has been another mass shooting recently and I do not deny that there was a shooting. I do not deny the shooting caused pain and mental anguish (i.e. suffering). I do not deny the shooting affected many persons. However, “persons” are termed so as a convention of speech…not as an indication of true separateness.
I have spoken about the ocean, but let’s say a lake this time. Say there is a lake and there are ripples on the lake (due to the breeze and such). As per the prior ocean analogy, all there really is is the lake. A ripple is merely a label assigned for conventions of speech and thought. A ripple is not other than the lake…and as no ripple is really other than the lake – no ripple is truly separate from another or the lake.
So let’s say a stone was thrown into the lake. This affects some of the “ripples” on the lake. So I would not deny that something happened…ripples and motion changes (due to the rock). I can not deny the rock affected many “ripples”. However, I can recognize that there is only the lake and so no true separateness.
In a way, it is like when a child plays pretend by himself or herself. The child creates all the “separate” characters in the play…and so really all the “separate” characters are the child (and not separate at all). Each character acts unaware of what other characters know and feel…but this is part of the act of the child. In this way, one character can have a misunderstanding and then an argument with another character and end with a fist fight. Each character can only know what each would know and act from each-own’s point of view and understanding. However, this is the play…there is no such separation as it is all the child.
So if one character argues with another character and it ends in a fist fight, I do not deny the argument and fight happened or that the fight caused pain and mental anguish (i.e. suffering). I do not deny the argument and fight affected the characters. However, the characters are not truly separate. Each character’s idea of being separate and an ego is illusory – a creation of the child in order to play separate characters.
In this way, I realize there is only the Self (i.e. nonduality) and it is the Self that chooses and acts…as me. With this understanding, you do not lose a passion for life (so to speak). You can really enjoy life, but this does not justify an unguarded pursuit of desire or trampling over others in your pursuit either. You can recognize other people, their problems, their suffering…without believing in separation and still understanding that all suffering is merely a self-created torment via the mind.
Human life continues on after enlightenment, just as it did prior to enlightenment. Experiencing and acting through this body/mind continues on after enlightenment, just as it did prior to enlightenment. What does change is understanding. Understanding that duality (i.e. separation) is a figment of imagination…a mental concept that is just widely believed.
In seeing through the illusions of the mind and the illusory “me”, suffering ceases because we cease creating it. For example, attachment falls away because we understand we do not really own anything and every thing is temporary and changes. Trying to hold onto what is going away is one of the sources of suffering.
We can still want to do things and have preferences, but we are not trapped by them. If we do not get what we want or there is no way out of a situation we do not prefer, then we do not create mental anguish and suffering for ourselves. We act without expecting or feeling owed certain results from the action. So we don’t suffer if we work really hard and don’t get the promotion…we are not owed a promotion because of working hard.
We also don’t try to claim ownership of the action in an egoic way (it was MY choice and MY action)…for we understand that it is the Self acting through us as us. For example, I want to move to Florida in a couple years…because as me the Self wants this body/mind to move to Florida. However, I know I am not going anywhere for there is no where outside of the Self. This body/mind is moving to Florida (which is still the Self). But, I am not moving anywhere…as I am the Self.
We can still live and have a zest for life. I am not denying human life in any way. I am not denying the experience of “other” human lives. I am not denying the world. I only deny the idea of separation that is widely believed. Separation is only an illusion that fools so many.