Rising Above Illusion:
For someone not familiar with this philosophy, it might sound strange and even weird, but once understood, it can completely change one’s attitude and perspective about life.
Imagine a state, in which you feel oneness with the Universe, enjoying bliss and peace of mind, and at the same time acting and functioning normally in your day-to-day life. A state of being active in the world, but at the same time maintaining a state of inner detachment. Being aware of your oneness with the One Spirit, and also aware that the One Spirit is acting and manifesting through everything, matter, plants, trees, animals and people. This is the experience of nonduality in its highest form.
Our thoughts and five senses draw the mind outside, to the external world, and obscure the awareness of the consciousness that is beyond the mind. Through meditation, we gain inner peace and the ability to silence the mind and lift up the obscuring veil of thoughts. In this state of inner silence we rise above the illusion of identification with the mind, thoughts and ego, get beyond the illusion of separateness, and realize the oneness with the One Spirit. It is as if a new sort of consciousness dawns, and we see the world in a different way.
With this kind of consciousness we are able to allow the mind to be active or silent at our command. It becomes our faithful servant, instead of being our master. We act in the material world, yet our roots are in pure, calm and limitless consciousness, which is not attached to anything and not limited by anything. In this state, we live and view the world from the nonduality point of view.
Though in our day-today life we regard other people, as separate from us, as separate units, this is only a mental viewpoint, convenient for functioning in our day to day life. From a higher state of consciousness, all are One, and the terms “I”, “you”, “he”, “she” and “they” are not real. There is only the One Spirit, Consciousness, which manifests in limitless forms and ways. The external forms may be different, but the Spirit within them is one undivided Spirit. It is the mind, which lets us believe and feel that we are separate from others, but we are all part of the same One Spirit manifesting and expressing itself through different forms.
The concept of nonduality is not a strange or weird idea. It can be experienced and lived right here and now, no matter where you are, and without attracting anybody’s attention. It is an inner state of consciousness, not an external state.
It is possible to realize and experience the meaning of nonduality in an ashram or a cave, and it is also equally possible to do so while living in a town or city, with family and a job. This requires dedication, an open mind, inner work, and turning the mind inwards.
Most people cannot afford to leave everything behind, in order to meditate and lead a purely spiritual life. They need to work and support their family, and can therefore devote only part of the day to spiritual pursuits. The good news is that you can walk on the inner path of spirituality and nonduality, meditation and self realization, without abandoning your family, job or external life style. With proper planning, it is possible to find the time and the energy for the inner work.
Meditation and walking on the spiritual path, which can lead to understanding and experiencing nonduality, can be practiced anywhere, without making external changes in your life. You can stay with your job and family, and still make spiritual progress and realize the true meaning nonduality.
Look within you, be aware of what is going in your mind, search for the source of your thoughts and where they come from, learn to make your mind peaceful, and you will start to be aware of your true essence and the consciousness beyond your mind. This will lead to understanding what nonduality is. What can help? A peaceful mind, concentration, meditation, reading of spiritual literature, and when possible, the proximity and guidance of true spiritual teachers.