This actuality of non duality which is always pointed to and discussed here, is as simple and easy to see as a gooseberry in the palm of your hand. This very ‘fact’ of your own being is self-evident and cannot be denied or negated. You absolutely ‘know’ that you are, you don’t need to believe that you are, simply because this self-evident fact of your own being is clear and obvious. Also, you don’t need to consult anyone else to ‘know’ that you are.
Non duality means ‘not two’, never two, no other now or ever, only THAT – One without a second, as it is pointed out in Advaita, in Hinduism, as well as in all the other major religions of the world. “I am the Lord thy God, there is no other, nothing other apart from Me as THAT one essential being. There is no becoming, no time in THAT. It is the same from everlasting to everlasting. In Judaism it is said – Hear O Israel, I am the Lord Thy God, there is none other. In Christianity it is said that God, Truth , or Reality is Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient. All presence, all power, and all knowing. In the very first verse of the Koran it is stated – There is no God but God. If you are seeing multiplicity or otherness, then you are certainly in need of forgiveness, and you have moved away from what the ancients and the sages have said, and that is, that this being-awareness that you already ‘are’ is timeless and Omnipresent. There is no time in THIS at all, it never begins or ends, and the very ignorance of this ‘fact’ is what is being constantly pointed out here.
Come back to the place that you have never left. This very fact of your own being right here and now, this Omnipresence of awareness, this awareness of Presence – I am, infinitely and eternally. You don’t have to make any effort to ‘know’ that you are aware. Choice less, effortless awareness is the so called great enlightenment that you are seeking. You already are THAT non dual Absolute presently, right here and now, but nobody ever tells you this. Instead you are told by your parents, teachers, friends and society to look out there, in the appearance and try to mass, gain, and accumulate as much as possible so that you can become whole and complete again, never realizing, even for an instant, that you were never separate in the first place.
If non duality is the truth or actuality, as I am pointing out here constantly and effortlessly, then doesn’t that imply that you who are seemingly reading this, are also THAT non dual Absolute, since THAT, for the want of a better word, is all there ever is? Have a good LOOK at it for yourself, no one else can SEE this for you. So, this being the case, wouldn’t it be wise to start from the fact that you are already THAT – God, Truth, or Reality that you may have been endlessly seeking, and that the very search itself is the problem? Also, it has to be pointed out that whatever term or concept you would like to put on THAT ever-present Reality; and you can use any term you like, none of them will ever fit THIS that is being pointed to, because it is ineffable ans inexpressible and can’t be put into words or concepts, or limited in any way, shape or form. Words and concepts are only labels, and this awareness that you always and ever are is timeless, non conceptual awareness. The revelation of Dzogchen in Buddhism expressed as “The Great Perfection” is simply put in one sentence, and that is, ‘The Great Perfection is non conceptual awareness’, full stop! No more needing to be said. “The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking, and there will be nothing you will not be able to know.” Simply be, ‘as you are’ in the natural state.
If you already are that empty, non conceptual essence, this empty cognizance or cognizing-emptiness as the Buddha is saying, then what is it that you have do, or to search for or look for? Wouldn’t you be able to say quite fearlessly and with full and total conviction – Yes, I am THAT Supreme, formless and changeless Reality? This you must see and know for yourself – you are the authority here, only you can ever see and be this – no other in this SEEING – BEING – HEARING – TASTING and TOUCHING. This Seeing-Being that is being pointed to is all-inclusive and undivided. There is no conceptual seer, hearer or thinker, there is just this ceaseless activity of all-knowing awareness – Omnipotence or all-power. There is no room in this Omnipresence for a ‘you’ or a ‘me’ who has destiny or free will, or any sense of doer ship whatsoever. There is no separate entity anywhere who is doing anything. No entity there with any substance or independent nature of its own apart from this boundless, awake, aware no thing that you always and ever are.
Everything is happening spontaneously in the natural state, which reveals that in the very actuality of non duality, nothing ever happened at all. How can REALITY ever change if, the very definition of Reality is THAT which never changes – the Noumenon. Rather shocking when all your so called life you have been under the mistaken impression that you, as the imagined person or entity have been running the show. Your unexamined life as the separate person that you are presently taking yourself to be, is an imaginary life, and so it has been full of fear, anger, hatred, jealousy, delusion and suffering. Yes, unenlightened existence is inherently unsatisfactory, and it doesn’t have to be that way.
Being is not becoming, never becoming. Becoming is time, and this timeless presence or being is a spontaneous emanation, throb, or pulsation, ever-fresh, ever-new from moment to moment. As it is beginning it is also ending; and as it is seemingly ending it is beginning again, so there is no duration, no time, no actual beginning and ending in this spontaneity, this timeless essence of all-knowing awareness, which you can never grasp with any word or concept, and which you can never negate. Are you unaware right here and now? No, you are not unaware, so you must be aware, you must be THAT glassy essence or non dual Absolute. The THAT that I am pointing to is Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient – all-Presence, all-Power, and all-Knowing, and I am pointing out from unshakable conviction and direct knowing here, that you ‘are’ THAT! Don’t take my word for it, don’t ‘believe’ a single word I say, but LOOK and SEE, investigate this ‘great matter’ of your true nature, the natural state, prior to conceptual thinking and ever-present, for yourself.
Nature, as it ‘appears’ and expresses in the phenomenal world can only appear and express itself dualistic ally in the pairs of opposites. You can’t have day without night, silence without sound, movement without stillness etc. However this nature, Nisarga, or natural state, as it is pointed out in Advaita Vedanta is always and ever non dual, One without a second, even though it ever appears and expresses itself dualistic ally.
This may sound like a paradox to the time-bound mind, but there is nothing paradoxical about it. There is no paradox in nature itself, because nature, unlike the ‘apparent’ human beings, is not in conflict with itself. Day does not fight with night, silence is not in conflict with sound, nor is movement in conflict with stillness. There is an unstated unity in nature, because nature in its wholeness does not have any preferences, fixed reference point, or ego; unlike the so called human beings who have taken on and developed this apparently fixed reference point, ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘ego’, ‘So and So’, from around about the age of 3 years and onwards. The taking on of this ‘I’ thought or “ego” is of course necessary and unavoidable for the sake of the smooth functioning of the society etc, however, as we are pointing out, it is not what you truly and ever are, simply because it is illusory, time -bound and impermanent, or what we call Maya or illusion in Advaita. There is no static point anywhere in nature, there is no cessation anywhere, but rather a ceaseless movement of intelligence-energy, a ceaseless activity of knowing.
This teaching also embraces Kashmir Shaivism, which is another non dual teaching of Hinduism embodied in a Sanskrit text called “The Shiva Sutras.” In this text this limitless intelligence or activity of knowing is expressed as Shiva-Shakti. Shiva, the male aspect is the static or unmoving, and Shakti, the female aspect is the dynamic. However, it is pointed out that Siva and Shakti are not two separate things, they are two aspects of the One aware no thing, or pure Consciousness. You can SEE that there is an intelligence in nature, which has nothing to do with the so called human intellect, simply because there is an extraordinary harmony and order in the flow of the seasons, the movement of the stars, and the orbit of the planets.
The natural state is an endless, spontaneous, harmonious, movement without any beginning or ending, and you are THAT limitless intelligence, and not what you are presently taking yourself to be as that static, apparently time-bound human being that appears in your mirror each morning. Beginning and ending are in the mind which is time, however what you truly are is timeless pure Mind or unborn awareness itself.
If the thought is paused for an instant, or where there is a natural gap or break in the flow of the thoughts; notice that there is still a naked knowing present there. That is unborn Mind or awareness, still present whether thinking is going on or not. THIS that is being pointed to is naked non conceptual knowing; not knowing this or that subject or object – just pure knowing without subject or object. And monks and so called practitioners of meditation spend years and years trying to go beyond the mind, yet it is as simple as that, as what has just been pointed out – simply pause a thought for an instant, there, immediately in that pause, you are beyond the mind, and yes, it is as simple as that. Try it out for yourself and SEE where that pause leaves you. Doesn’t it leave you right here and now present and aware as you have ever been throughout eternity? Eternity implies time, but this presence awareness that you ever are is timeless without any beginning or ending. Aren’t you already THAT? SEE for yourself, don’t ask me!
This knowledge I am, is Self-knowledge. This light of knowing or authentic knowledge (Jnana) is the Light that lights every man and woman, every appearance that appears in the world, and is the Base of every apparent thing. This light of knowledge shines of itself. It is self-existing, self-being, self-shining. This Light in oneself is the colourless light of emptiness, the clear light of the Void or Reality. Nirvana is the highest good, the highest happiness, the unmade, the un-become, in which there is no other, no duality whatsoever, and THIS is certainly the end of sorrow or suffering. Nirvana is when you, the entity, So and So, are not. Suffering only ever happened to a ‘me’, and in this unborn Buddha Mind there is no me, there never has been a me and there never will be a ‘me’, there is ever only an ‘appearance’ of a me.
This Knowledge or Light of Reality, this Light in oneself, is deliverance from sorrow and suffering. Just as in the great ocean there is but one taste, the taste of salt; even so in the Knowledge that I am freely pointing to here, there is only “one taste”, and that is the taste of deliverance from ignorance and psychological suffering. Nirvana is visible in this life – inviting, attractive, accessible to the wise disciple. This is not said lightly, as it is fully known here, so why not take delivery of it for yourself right here and now? Nirvana means extinction. Complete annihilation of the imaginary person or entity; or rather, should we say, the seeing through of the person or persona(mask). This empty cognizance or void is not a dead nothingness.
Beyond the restless flowing electricity of life is the ultimate reality – The Void. Your own awareness, not formed into anything possessing form or colour, is naturally void (empty). Beyond the light of life is the peaceful silence of the void. The quiet bliss beyond all transformations. The Buddha smile. The Void is not nothingness. The Void is beginning and end itself. Unobstructed; shining, thrilling, blissful. Diamond consciousness. The All-Good Buddha. Your own consciousness, not formed into anything, no thought, no vision, no color, is void. The intellect shining and blissful and silent – This is the state of perfect enlightenment. Your own consciousness, shining, void and inseparable from the great body or radiance has no birth nor death.
It is the immutable light, that the Tibetans call Buddha Amitabha, the awareness of the formless beginning. Knowing this is enough. Recognize – re-cognize the voidness of your own consciousness to be Buddha hood. Keep this recognition and you will maintain the state of the divine mind of the Buddha. This awake, aware, no thing is what you truly and ever are, and the contents that appear in it are also nothing but awareness. There is no separation anywhere at any time. There is only an appearance of separation.
In other words, as Zen insists, form is void and void is form, Nirvana is none other than Samsara, the Lotus of Enlightenment is one with the swamp of Delusion which is its habitat. When ever I exalt one of the pair at the expense of the other I’m in trouble, and my enemy Death has got hold of me – God is as null without his world as it is null without Him. But when I perceive – when I consciously live – their absolute unity I embrace Death as my friend. Even for God – specially for God – there is, as the saying goes, always something. The solemn and cheering fact is that He can’t spare a single thing. But that’s putting it too mildly.
Walt Whitman does better:
“Strange and hard that paradox true I give
Objects gross and the unseen soul are one”.
– SEE this for yourself. KNOW this for yourself.
This Note is from the pen of Mark West