THE NONDUALITY RULES (Neo-Advaita Subsection)

(In case there is any confusion, Suzanne would like to point out that the following post is largely tongue-in-cheek)

1. Nothing exists.

2. Everything that seems to exist is illusory.

3. This appearance is meaningless, yet miraculous, and is its own purpose.

4.  All apparent dual reality is oneness.

5. Any thought, feeling, sensation, or action that seems to occur is perfect.

6. No matter how paradoxical the happening, it is perfect, i.e., fear-based ego reactions “after” oneness has been “seen” or apprehended.

7. There is no time. All there is, is this, this ever present “moment”.

8. There is no space. Space is part of the illusion; what is perceived is an appearance only.

9. Everything is allowed, as everything is one, including rejecting oneness.

10. There are no separate individuals; this is the dream. The mind/body organism is lived.

11. The sense of separation is the longing for oneness.

12. As oneness is everything, there is no true separation; everything the seeker looks for has never left, as it is everything.

13. When writing about oneness, simply dropping the personal pronoun doesn’t mean the apparent writer has “awakened”. There is no one, so no one can “awaken”.

14. Oneness (or enlightenment, liberation, consciousness, as variously referred to by different writers) cannot be described, as it is not a concept, a feeling, or an experience.

15. Paradoxically, the story in time seems to continue whether oneness is apprehended (by no one) or not. Often, the story seems to go more smoothly, and seems much more informed by compassion and unconditional love, but there is no guarantee.

16. The overriding quality of oneness is unconditional love. Unconditional love is just that, unconditional, and accepts everything, as it is everything.

17. What the seeker is seeking is life, just exactly as it is, in all its imperfection and multifariousness; thus, “awakening” can seem to be a bit of an anticlimax!

18. The intense feeling of aloneness is exactly the same for every apparent individual, so is actually all-one-ness.

19) Clever wordplay like “aloneness/all-one-ness” is entirely optional.

20. There is absolutely no way to teach this, as it is already what every apparent thing and individual is.

21. There is absolutely no point in writing about oneness. There is absolutely no point in any apparent activity, except in its intrinsic value.

22. There is no right or wrong; all is unconditional love, in endless guises.

23. There are no goals, not even the loftiest ones, i.e., ending suffering, stopping war, saving the planet. Who is it that would do these things? There is no one. Whatever is meant to happen, happens.

24. This message is exceedingly unpopular. It means that everything the separate individual ever valued is valueless, yet wondrous; meaningless, yet extraordinary.

25. There is no one, so no one reads writings about oneness; reading arises.

26. No one writes about oneness; words are written.

27) The best part of spiritual practice is that the seeker may get fed up and give up. However, there is nothing wrong with spiritual practice; there is nothing wrong with anything.

28. There is no one, so there is no personal responsibility or volition; every choice made, chooses oneness in another guise.

29. When life is a miracle, life-affirming actions usually seem to be the story; yet there is no guarantee; in duality, there must be dark for there to be light.

30. There is nothing, despite appearances, including these rules.

For crap’s sake, “everybody,” enjoy yourselves and try not to be too hard on yourselves, and “others”. If there is a goal, not taking it all too seriously just might be it.


Awareness and Consciousness: Surplus to Requirements

I suspect those of you reading this have encountered the words “awareness” or “consciousness” within spiritual teachings and circles before. You may have realised the unchanging nature of “now”. You have reached a place within that cannot be altered by any events happening in either the mental space we call mind or the world of so called external events.

Awareness becomes a topic of conversation on your blog sites and may occupy your attention or non-attention in the waking hours of everyday life.

Alternatively, maybe you are really struggling with awareness teachings. Perhaps you are grasping it one day and retreating back into depression, frustration and desperation the next. Some days, you just feel seeking has finished, only to find it full on again when you wake-up one morning.

Well, here is the solution: drop any notion of awareness or consciousness: they are red herrings. Useful as a tool for uprooting ignorance, maybe, but to cling to even these will only end in tears.

Here’s how you do it. The next time you take a walk and find yourself pondering what your favourite non-dual teacher said last meeting or the latest Youtube broadcast, why not just notice that one leg is moving in front of the other in a regular rhythmic fashion. Let’s, for argument’s sake, call it ‘walking’. There is movement from A to B. It’s so simple, and yet when asked what you’ve been doing today, you reply with “I went for a walk”. An actor has been created that is responsible and aware of something called walking. But isn’t there just walking? Trying to contemplate either a walker or a mysterious essence called awareness other than what’s happening is just surplus to requirements. It’s not necessary.

Walking, talking, eating, crying or fighting need absolutely nothing underpinning them. When there’s crying, there’s crying. Nothing but nothing needs to be added or taken away from that.

It is language that has drawn us into a world of actors and actions— doers and the done. Language has created the idea of a self— a responsible entity that has “a life” separate from life.

This little blighter called ‘me’ fluctuates between happiness and sadness, contraction and freedom. It’s a busybody that’s obsessed with controlling that which simply does itself. In this recognition, or

in my case, confrontation, an absence is seen. The imposter slinks away like a guilty dog sprawled out over your new sofa.

This recognition of absence is inextricably linked with the realisation that when there’s walking, there’s just walking; when there’s talking, just talking. Walking and talking is what the universe seems to do. It need not ask your permission if it’s O.K to do so.

Awareness and consciousness can get demoted rather than promoted and the master metaphysician we call mind can use its powers to be creative in the here-and-now mending the car or designing the new patio. Drifting off into fantasy about origins, essence and source can cease.

You won’t believe the relief from the massive outbreath that accompanies the ousting of that troublesome squatter. Tell it to sling its hook and get out. It’s no longer welcome. It was dirty and smelly and made the place look untidy.

Beware, though. Your false sense of identity will keep its foot in the crack of the door if you attempt an eviction. I suggest you hold on tight: the fight’s beginning not ending. However, don’t be overly concerned either: it’s impossible to sling out what was never there in the first place. One look and it’ll crumble.

Relax and may the force be with you.

*Richard Bates is the author of a forthcoming book, The World is My Mirror due to be published by Non-Duality Press in August 2012.