Many traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and others, have nondual wisdom teachings and branches. These nondual teachings all point to the same core truth.
Or, as it’s been said, “There are many paths up the mounatin, but the view from the mountaintop is ever the same.”
In a nutshell, here’s the core message: All there is is Consciousness. Consciousness is all there is.”
In the statement above, you can replace Consciousness with God, Providence, Universal Mind, The Christ, The Buddha, Krishna, whatever (but not ‘creation’ or ‘the phenomenal world’).
The idea is that Reality is not two… there is actually no separation between you and God, or you and anything else (appearances notwithstanding). You — and every ‘thing’ around or within you — are simply God ‘manifesting’.
Consciousness (or God etc.) can exist without the manifest universe, but the universe could never exist apart from Consciousness.
Now, when first encountering these teachings, the ordinary conditioned mind revolts, particularly from two implications.
First, nondual wisdom teaching seems to imply there is “no self”… you are simply part of the universe. But as it has been pointed out, this wisdom does not mean there is no self (body/mind/personality). It means that essentially there is no separate self
divided off from the rest of reality. In the relative world … the world we experience through our senses, however, separate forms appear to come and go in time and space.
The true Self or essential nature of all forms, and especially human forms or beings, is Consciousness. Each form is uniquely different, but according to the great Wisdom Tradition, each is an expression of the exact same infinite and eternal Consciousness.
So, it follows, Consciousness is not something we have, but rather That which we already and always ARE.
To illustrate, the metaphor of the ocean and the wave can be helpful. The wave represents the personal self; the ocean represents everything that is.
Waves exist, surely, but they do not exist separate and apart from the rest of the ocean. We — and everything else — are just part of one big ocean.
Second, the mind wants to know, “If everything is an expression of God, how can there be evil in the world?”
According to the great Wisdom Tradition, Consciousness or God manifests and contains within Itself all opposites including good and evil, right and wrong, joy and sorrow, justice and injustice etc.
But ultimately, Consciousness or God is an infinite mystery quite beyond all opposites and cannot be conceived of by finite minds.
There is simply an ISness about the unfolding manifestaton of God at any given moment and a highly complex interactivity and reactivity of forms but in reality it is simply a transitory movement within the One.
To go back to our metaphor above of the ocean and the waves, a set of waves may roll in toward a rocky coastline and smash themselves with enormous energy at the cliff-base … disintergrating into shooting clouds of white spray etc.
One by one the waves seem to dissappear in a spectacular display of explosive noise and violence, but have they actually been harmed or lost? Of course not.
The water the waves were composed of is still there … part of the ocean again as it always was and their energy is simply dissipated and will be used to form more water movement somewhere else.
When conditioned dualistic concepts are dropped (e.g. waves are quite separate from the ocean), the mind can bring us to the ‘threshold’ of nondual wisdom, but cannot take us through the door, so to speak. The final step/s are not taken through intellectual
comprehension or mental analysis, but rather with what the wisdom masters call direct seeing. (This is just as well for otherwise the joys of this wisdom would only be available to a gifted few rather than to us all.)
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