What does ‘we are all one’ really mean?

Yes, I have heard the phrase too.  My understanding is that you and I are literally not two.  Not two is the direct meaning of nonduality.

I am not denying that there are two patterns in the one manifesting as two body/minds.  However, it is only within the mind that we separate into two and this illusion is maintained through ignorance.  Because there are discernible patterns within nonduality does not mean that there is separation.  Like a magnet, there is a north pole and a south pole…this can be discerned…however there is never a north pole without a south pole.  You can’t really divide or separate them.  The one implies the other…they go together. Continue reading What does ‘we are all one’ really mean?

If the illusion is seen as an illusion, then why does it not end immediately?

If you see a mirage and recognize it is not water, why does the mirage not disappear?  If you see a magician’s trick and have come to know how it is done, why does it still look like he is pulling a rabbit from the hat?

It is a fallacy and misunderstanding to think that just because the illusion is seen as an illusion (i.e. recognized as an illusion), that it will for some reason end right then and there.  No longer perceived.  The illusion is called as such because of our incorrect understand and ignorance.  A mirage is just hot air refracting light, but the misunderstanding and ignorance would be to think it is water.  A magic trick is done through misdirection, sleight of hand, and props, but the misunderstanding and ignorance would to be think it really was magic and he materialized a rabbit. Continue reading If the illusion is seen as an illusion, then why does it not end immediately?

Isn’t saying the nature of the ego is illusory & there are no separate people a denial of human life?

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”. Continue reading Isn’t saying the nature of the ego is illusory & there are no separate people a denial of human life?

Does the experience of self-realization or awakening naturally give rise to a nondual understanding?

Or is it the other way around – that a nondual concept of reality conditions the very nature and experience of self-realization?

This is a very interesting question.  It is true that our experiences tend to conform to our expectations and concepts.  There is a well known idea in India that God appears to you in the form you expect and conceptualize.  So if you are Christian, God appears to you as Christ.  If you are an ISKCON memeber, God appears to you as Krishna.  If you believe/conceive a formless God, God appears to you without a form.  The experience of the Divine tends to conform to our concepts of the Divine. Continue reading Does the experience of self-realization or awakening naturally give rise to a nondual understanding?

“Problems are really fictions of the mind”…isn’t this spiritual bypassing?

Not at all.  Spiritual bypassing is the tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid dealing
 with uncomfortable feelings and psychological wounds.  Spiritual bypassing causes us to withdraw from ourselves and others, hiding behind a kind of spiritual veil of metaphysical beliefs and practices.  Spiritual bypassing means putting up the facade of inner peace while inwardly in turmoil and conflict.  Spiritual bypassing is a form of escapism. Continue reading “Problems are really fictions of the mind”…isn’t this spiritual bypassing?

Is awakening a way to avoid reincarnation? Liberation from the wheel of birth & death?

Who knows?  There is no way to tell what will happen after we die.  The desire to be and to experience is the root cause of reincarnation (further being and experiencing), so it may be possible that when there is no longer the desire to be or to experience…it will all cease on its own.

I don’t really care either way.  I don’t care if the individual game continues or not.  I don’t care if all sense of being is done at the end of this life and there is no more experience.  I don’t care if some personal “me” continues on into another life and there is more experience. Continue reading Is awakening a way to avoid reincarnation? Liberation from the wheel of birth & death?

Is there a difference between awareness and consciousness?

They are synonyms.  They are different words for the same thing…with perhaps minor differences.  It is said the Eskimos have 50 words for snow.  This might be a myth, but we have many English words for shades of the color blue (and I am removing the ones that have blue as part of the name – like baby blue): azure, celeste, cerulean, cyan, denim, glaucous, indigo, iris, periwinkle, sapphire, teal, turquoise, ultramarine, viridian, and zaffre.  Then we have other languages in the world that use different terms for the color blue like azul in Spanish, glas in Welsh, mavi in Turkish, modra in Slovenian, bru in Sicilian, niebieski in Polish, and uliuli in Hawaiian to name a few. Continue reading Is there a difference between awareness and consciousness?

The Self has always been free. The Self is always awake. Right?

This is really a nasty question.  If I say “yes”, then you will think there is nothing to realize and remain stuck in suffering.  If I say “no”, that is not correct and limitations on the Self could be inferred.

You see…it is not as simple as saying “the Self has always been free.”  While true, the question is do you feel free?  Also, are you free from suffering?  If you do not feel free and are not free of suffering, then you are not awake and are not free.  However, it is a figment of your imagination.  An illusion of the mind.  You are hypnotized…and hence asleep…within a prison of your own thoughts.  As long as the illusion is attached to and believed…it is a delusion of being trapped and that delusion has effects. Continue reading The Self has always been free. The Self is always awake. Right?

Where is the responsibility in nondualism?

Nisargadatta Maharaj said, “love says ‘I am everything.’ Wisdom says ‘I am nothing.’ Between the two, my life flows.”  Likewise, for me, love says, “100% responsibility for everything” and wisdom says “0% responsibility for anything.”  Between the two, my life flows. Continue reading Where is the responsibility in nondualism?

How can I actually use nondual philosophy in my every-day life?

You don’t.  It is not about trying to implement concepts and beliefs into life.  This question comes from the viewpoint of the ego or “me.”  How will this make “my” life better…how do “I” use this to get what “I” want?  Enlightenment and awakening is about seeing through the “me” and realizing the nondual nature of what-is.

Don’t use the pointers and concepts you learn by studying nondualism to create a philosophy you want to implement in life.  That is not how it works.  This is like hearing that the enlightened do not have attachments, so you go out and start practicing detachment in the hopes of gaining some of the benefits of enlightenment based on imitating the enlightened. Continue reading How can I actually use nondual philosophy in my every-day life?