I have not written anything since publishing my second book a year ago, but not long after publication I encountered a message that seems to have taken "my" apparent journey and leveled it. It's not a popular message and certainly not a message I would have chosen to resonate with, but there was apparently a readiness to hear it and "I" took the plunge into the deep end of uncompromising non-duality.
The message, which has been called contemporary non-duality, radical non-duality, uncompromising non-duality, neo-advaita, etc., is an end of the road message, in that it gives the seeker nowhere to turn, no practices to do, nothing to strive for and no suggestion that anything should be any different than it already is. In a way it is a checkmate for the one who feels like they are on a journey.
Even though this is just a story, and completely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, there is an impulse to share how "I" came to resonate with this radical non-duality message. I was an avid spiritual seeker for many years and spent the last several of them doing lots of self inquiry practices. It felt as if I was making progress on this journey toward Awakening. I was having Awakening experiences, insights, glimpses, etc. and I was generally at peace in daily life.
Then, a conversation with a teacher I had been working with for a while, led to the recognition that the student teacher relationship was perpetuating the sense of separation it was intended to overcome. What seemed to be most instrumental in the readiness for the radical message, was the communication I received from a dear friend suggesting I wasn't dedicated enough to the practice and that I needed to up my game if I really wanted to wake up. That led to some frustration, confusion and a healthy dose of skepticism. At that point I stepped back from the spiritual community I had been deeply involved with and stopped trying to integrate practice into my daily life. I became a man without a country in a way.
It was around that time I decided to interview Anna Brown (https://www.wonderfullynothing.com/)
, who is the first person I heard delivering a version of this radical non-duality message. In
my interview with Anna it sounded as if she had been through something similar and after she was "spit out" of her spiritual community, she discovered Tony Parsons (https://www.theopensecret.com/)
and Jim Newman (http://www.simply-this.com/)
. It sounded as if these guys were instrumental in her path
so I decided to check them out.
I checked out Tony first and liked the message but did not quite resonate with him. Then, I checked out Jim and resonated so deeply I could not stop listening. Just listening to that message led to a deeper conceptual understanding of non-duality and also seemed to precipitate glimpses of what was being pointed to by the words (which is different than what spiritual teachers are pointing to). A new sense of aliveness and freedom seemed to emerge and the intense seeking energy relaxed.
Here are just a few phrases that seemed to strike a chord... (not necessarily direct quotes but what was heard)
This, what appears to be happening, is all there is...
Nothing needs to happen for this to be whole and complete...
This is already what is longed for (though not what the me wants)...
There has never been a me...
The illusion is separation...
The feeling of being separate is simply what appears to be happening and is whole and complete as it is...
Nothing can be done to end the illusion because the one who wants to end it is the illusion...
Awakening is just a story that keeps the apparent individual in a state of seeking...
There is no one who wakes up...
Seeking seems to veil the perfection that is already appearing as everything...
There is no one already...
There has never been someone on a path...
There is no path to what already is...
There is simply this, and nothing needs to happen for this to be perfectly itself...
Consciousness and awareness are part of the dream of separation...
I felt as though I was on a path, peeling back layers, making progress, getting closer to the end of my journey as a separate self. Then, I encountered the message coming through Jim Newman (who is doing a weekend retreat in Asheville on April 15-17) and the whole idea of a path and layers were seen to be yet another story.
At first it felt like disturbing news that my whole path and progress was an illusion. but It made perfect sense. If this is all there is then nothing led to this. And this isn't going somewhere. It just is what it is. Already. It's home. And it's never not been. Home was never lost. The journey home was already home appearing as a journey.
Feeling like a person on a journey toward some destination that never arrives, or arrives in fits and spurts, can be exhausting. When it was seen that no one ever arrives, the futility of seeking became obvious. The burden of feeling like a separate me on a path with free will faded. In my story, the seeking came to an end and a great deal of energy was freed up. I had no idea how much energy was in seeking until it stopped. The character was then free to create, without the heavy sense of a doer claiming responsibility for what happens of its own accord. Life just happens spontaneously and unconditionally, like it always has.
I was no longer making a
problem out of feeling separate
and things just got done without me claiming ownership. A new business was born
(Maid Men is growing steadily
). Things just appear to
effortlessly, without second guessing
. The character just does what it does without a me already, which is beautifully amazing!
Best of all, even feeling like a separate person (which is still the experience here much of the time) doing things in the world is just what is appearing to happen. It's not a problem. It doesn't need to stop happening. It could be no other way than it already is. The sense of separation does not need to drop away for this to be the home that's longed for.
But when I was on a spiritual path, feeling separate, or identified with the mind, was a problem for "me" that needed to be overcome. It was a sign of not being "there" yet. More work was needed to get to some imagined future when I would feel liberated. Perpetually seeking for that which already is. Nothing right or wrong about it. It's just what appears to happen. It's simply completeness appearing to search for completeness. It's already unconditional freedom appearing as everything! There is no closer to or further away. It's inescapable!
There is no path to This because This is already all there is! I'm not progressing toward a final destination where I will finally feel complete. This is already complete and whole, just as it is! There is not a time when I will finally feel one with everything. There is already only everything and no me who could be separate from it!
If this uncompromising message resonates, which no one has a choice about, some side effects may include: an unexplainable urge to listen to the message repeatedly, confusion, fear, anger, sadness, relaxation, glimpses, insights, loss of beliefs, peace, joy and possibly death (of the sense of separation). Caution: Spiritual teachings (or compromising non-duality messages) may become uninteresting or even cause irritation.
More writing may happen, but for now that's all she wrote :-)
Much love and light,
Uncompromising non-duality speakers
I also wanted to share some links to non-duality speakers who I have resonated with over the last year or so. I have interviewed a number of these folks and have Spotify links to those interviews as well.
And more new ones appearing regularly :-)