Good-bye nonduality. Good-bye dwelling in the pristine perfection of the absolute. Good-bye unbounded happiness, unbounded joy, unbounded peace .. or unbounded anything that denies the dirt and grit of the human experience.
Please, don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting a regression to ignorance of true nature. I’m not suggesting a resignation to ego’s reactivity. I’m not suggesting we get lost in the waves and forget we are the ocean. I’m just inviting a much wider vista than any lop-sided view from a transcendent state.
Yes .. to wake up from the dream of separation, is to be free of the suffering of “me and my story”. Yes .. to meet reality without the overlay of a divided mind, is to be free of the vicissitudes of the world. Yes .. to know there is only one being-ness at the core of all beings, is to be free of the fear of death.
But holding onto “no-self” or trying to be “ego-less”, keeps us stuck on the mountain-top. Pretending we have no desires, pretending we feel no pain or loss, pretending we are not driven by an inner impulse to grow and evolve, is a tired old lie.
For too long, the absolute has been king. For too long, we’ve tried to get rid of thoughts, transcend emotions, let go of our humanity. For too long, we’ve become enmeshed in a disembodied, detached and passionless spiritual fantasy in which “nothing happens” and “no-one is doing anything”.
But friends, enlightenment doesn’t eradicate our human-ness. Don’t let millennia of spiritual tradition trap you with this myth. Even those who are spiritually enlightened are human. And even spiritual teachers are human.
Perhaps it’s time we admitted our vulnerability, time we admitted the depth of our feelings, time we admitted we sometimes feel confused or scared or broken.
Perhaps it’s time we embraced the bittersweet taste of life on earth, time we welcomed our tenderness and our wildness, time we danced and cried and fell down on our knees.
Please, don’t get me wrong. This isn’t about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It’s about freeing ourselves from spiritual notions, spiritual definitions, and spiritual roles. Friends, don’t let the absolute become a prison in which we cannot breathe. We’re much bigger, much richer, and much juicier than that. Let’s shake off the shackles of spirituality, enlightenment, nonduality .. and anything else that stifles the full breadth and depth of our aliveness.
Let’s allow life to penetrate every fearful, shameful, ugly part of us and break us wide open, so we come to know the beauty in the mess. Let’s meet with raw openness the grief, despair and horror of the world. Let’s be true to what is here, without transcending or denying or numbing out. Let our humanity flow into our divinity, and our divinity into our humanity, and let it go back and forth like the tides coming and going.
Good-bye all division between spiritual and unspiritual.
Good-bye all division between nonduality and duality.
Good-bye trying to be the ocean when you already are the ocean .. and the waves.
– Amoda Maa