September 19, 2019

The dance between dual and non-dual consciousness

Every creature on this Earth, except humans, seems to be dialed in Oneness, they abide in the Now. When danger appears, they fight, flight or freeze. If they survive, they shake the residual energy of the trauma and return to the garden of Eden as if nothing ever happened. We are the only species with the capacity to think and talk in elaborate languages, we create and resolve problems, and face the many consequences of our evolution today as much as we did thousands of years ago.

The anatomically modern humans first appear in the fossil record about 200,000 years ago as a result of a fusion between two of the chimpanzee chromosomes. The fusion created human chromosome 2 in charge of intellect, growth, and brain development. When our prefrontal cortex suddenly expanded 200,000 years ago, we became the intelligent creatures that we are today, and possibly created the illusion of our omnipotence over the other forms of life on Earth.

Our ordinary consciousness is dual and is embedded in the illusion of separation, where the two predominates over the one. Oppositely, non-dual consciousness is not two but one – only one reality in which everything pervades, unseparated. A reality we abide into in Samadhi and in altered states of consciousness as under the influence of psychedelic substances.

Our human self comprises a body and a mind. Beyond the human self is the greater Self, That which is beyond our human birth and death, That which is immortal, never born and never died — that which spiritual wisdom speaks of as our True Nature.

Enlightenment is the realization of that true nature. To have the experience of enlightenment is one thing, to abide in That state always is another. Just like to know the concept of non-dual consciousness is one thing – often spoken by the common saying of our contemporary culture as “it’s all One” – yet to live it is another ball game.

Per the nature of our human mind, embedded in duality, we walk on the Earth as separate beings, believing in the supremacy of our I – claiming loud and strong what is I, me, my and mine.

How do we reconcile dual and non-dual, spirit and matter? How do we live in our body-mind knowing and experiencing that All is One?

First, we must find out who we truly are. What is it that never dies? What is our eternal nature? Awareness, pure, independent, and prior to any object or subject. Not what I am aware of but awareness itself, vast and infinite.

Abiding in a pure awareness all the time may seem impossible in our western societies where the duties and necessities of the mundane world pull us back into a personal reality. How shall we make a living, take care of our kids, pay our bills, etc. in non-dual consciousness? The nature of our lives requires a well-rounded ego, responsible and caring. Our desire to evolve and to come to peace with human suffering calls for a dance of awareness that travels and includes all aspects of our human experience with the kindness of acceptance, rather than analyzing or reprimanding any forms of manifestation; a dance between our human self and our spiritual Self.

“The everyday practice is simply to develop a complete acceptance and openness to all situations and emotions and to all people, experiencing everything totally without mental reservations and blockages, so that one never withdraws or centralizes into oneself.”
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

As we include we transcend. As we transcend we return home in the undifferentiated reality.

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