(This is Part Six of the ongoing blog series: Golden Earth Tales.)
By Raphael Awen
I recall when I was first introduced to the terms ‘dual’ and ‘nondual’. The teaching intrigued me. It resonated in my heart.
I learned that an entire world of wonder had been dimmed down inside of me, as well as in my culture. This, I learned was due to the mind’s ability and propensity to categorize and ‘map’ my experiences, judging and evaluating them that in turn removed me from the essence and wonder of the experience itself.
The basic teaching goes that we, with our mind’s capacity, ‘dualize’ what we experience. We rate it, we judge it, we locate it – all of which we could not do were it not for this ‘dualizing’ ability. I was taught that the mind, metaphorically speaking, creates something similar to the grid lines that are established over an archaeological dig that provide reference points for where discovered items were found, allowing for mapping, cataloguing, and further study.
The problem, however, is that experience itself and the map of the experience are two very different things, but our minds have lost awareness of this. Our minds instead have become fused with the maps we create of our experience, causing us to lose more and more contact with the aliveness of the experience itself.
Let’s see if we can create a metaphor to bring this home a bit.
What are you doing right now? You’re reading a blog, and sizing up what you are getting out of it. That’s the mental map description/perception of what’s going on. But is there another deeper reality that you do not perceive right now, that is screened out from your perception by this mental map ‘doing’ your experience for you rather than the arising wonder of experience itself?
What else is there to notice? What are you missing, if anything?
What about the use of the written word, in this case English? Here I am referencing pen strokes that evolved into keyboard strokes, conveying written meaning into something called sentences that in turn produce a myriad of brain synapses firing that in turn produce wave after wave of rapid fire evaluations in you, and in turn emotional responses. I don’t guess your mind was paying attention to any of that just now. But isn’t it off-the-charts amazing reality that we came up with the motor skills and the mental skills to create squiggles in the sand that in turn came to be agreed upon and adopted as an alphabet to convey such specifics in meaning?
You are a participator in all of this and I’ll bet that you haven’t given yourself any pats on the back for your achievements in any of this since the third grade. Your use of alphabet and linguistics is all old-hat to you. Your mind has long gone on (or should we say ‘off’) in search of new things, which it will in turn deaden eventually into more of the same-old-same-old.
I could go on and on describing things that have just been assimilated into the mental map of how we navigate experience. There’s your eyeballs; there’s the temperature of the room you’re sitting in and however that came to be; there’s the lingering taste in your mouth from what you just ate; there’s the stream that became a river that became part of a hydroelectric dam that produced the electricity to illuminate the screen you are reading from.
Given all that experience has to offer, it’s an amazing wonder in itself that you are barraged with such oceans of experience without being totally stoned out of your mind in a hallucinogenic experience of what we would call total insanity. You have your mind to thank for that. Your mind ‘dualized’ the aliveness of the experiences themselves into an endless array of filed, categorized, and tamed representations of experience.
But how do we get back to the nondual, the raw experience and its plethora of the wild and amazing? I mean, I don’t want to be totally stoned and unable to function, but I would like a generous helping of arising wonder to be lapping onto my shores in an ever-increasing way. I’d like a good buzz for sure. I think you would too, right?
Here is the offer to discover the nondual where all is an arising wonder, where there are no (or at least, less and less) representational categories by the mind that kill off experience. It’s not too far at all to describe it as an altered state of consciousness. Of course it is.
At this point in my introduction into the world of the nondual is where I was kind of convinced this was for the particularly advanced or evolved in consciousness. It was an ‘attainment’ and that there were many steps between where I was at and where something magical like an ‘nondual awakening’ might begin occurring for me. My mind filed it off as something hopeful for the future, maybe one day. Maybe if I got really dedicated to some kind of meditation process to induce this for me.
My mind, in other words, just dualized the hell out of what I was being introduced to. Part of me pessimistically ‘knew’ that if I really let myself feel this desire for this kind of awakening, I’d probably fall prey to following a bunch of teachers and spending a lot of money in the process, and so it too helped to file this away for another time and place.
What I’ve been saying in this blog series and want to say over and over again is that nondual access isn’t something to attain. You already have it. You may well and correctly say ‘But I don’t experience the arising wonder in my daily experience that you speak of.’ That’s something different, isn’t it? I’m saying that the acceptance inside of yourself that you already have this something is what will precede it transacting for you in your felt experience of life.
You are already as enlightened as you will ever be – ‘positionally’ speaking. That’s part of your ‘In-divi-dual’ (your dual and nondual nature that can’t be separated) as we’ve been saying in this series. All that’s left is for it to manifest for you ‘experientially’. This is something that you are in direct control of. You choose to let into experience what you are already are and have.
Someone else may convince you to let this reality in or reject it, but only you can carry it out. You are the sovereign. There is no God, or god, that will take care of this for you. You have to want it; you have to let it in (if you want to that is!). You are the god who creates your experience here. Ask God/god instead to help YOU let-this-in.
Then fasten your seatbelt because you are opening yourself to a depth of reality that the universe and you are alchemizing through your desire nature.
Why would you settle for anything less?
Raphael Awen hails from SoulFullHeart Sanctuary. You can also track him on twitter @raphaelawen. Please visit our Patreon Page if you’d like to support SoulFullHeart Sanctuary.