May 20, 2015 9:20 AM
A few days ago, Rob at realization.org emailed to tell me that my video How I Awoke To Enlightenment had been selected for their Video of the Day. After watching the video (I was such a so-sure-of-myself noob back then), I found the answer (of course) to a question that had been bothering me for a few days now: Why do I feel so different than the majority of today’s nondual teachers?
In mentally preparing for the Batgap interview, I’m having to clarify many of my concepts and vocabulary that have naturally been introduced, fleshed out, and re-hashed on my blogs over the years. For example, I have to have an easy reply to the question, What is Mystical Oneness? I can’t go on and on about all the qualities and the duplex personality and calling the Divine, TaoGodHer (but sometimes only Her or She), etc. I have to be able to reply in short sound-bites so as not to bore the audience, then go into details if that is what Rick wants. (ie: What is Mystical Oneness? It’s a nondual path to awaking the Divine within your life. (It took days to pin that one down.))
So the question, Why do I feel so different than the majority of today’s nondual teachers? has been gnawing at me. I wanted to have an answer to this question before the interview. The obvious answers (my focus on the Divine; my focus on all the qualities, not just Emptiness/Vastness) still didn’t feel like I had the complete picture—at least, not until I re-watched that video I made a few months after my “awakening” (filmed over five years ago).
Isn’t it amazing? I have a question, and then out of the ether (“Your video has been selected for our Video of the Day”), I’m given the answer. Poof!
If you can get past the I’ve-got-all-the-answers-now attitude (such a noob, but I understand this is to be expected), you’ll see how at around the 9:10 mark, I explain how I became separate from my thoughts. Much like the Soul separates from the body at death, I separated from my thoughts at enlightenment.
Seeing that video, seeing my explanation on “becoming separate from my thoughts,” made me think, “I don’t feel that way anymore… sort of.”
I haven’t regressed—I don’t experience myself as my thoughts or story as I did before awakening—but I don’t feel like I did in that video either. I don’t feel separate from my thoughts.
And that is when it struck me. That is when I had my answer. Why do I feel so different than the majority of today’s nondual teachers? Because I’ve integrated the realization, “I am not my thoughts”, within my core being.
I am not separate from my thoughts anymore, my thoughts are a part of me (whatever that “me” is). They are not “me” like they were pre-awakening, nor are they separate from me as they were after awakening (the Witness), but are now an integral part of me (whatever that “me” is).
“Separate, then integrate ” (I believe I got that from Ken Wilber). When I woke up, when I did those early videos, I had separated from thoughts and mental roles. Somewhere along the line and over those years, I’ve unconsciously integrated the thoughts (Emptiness/Vastness quality) as well as all the other qualities.
This integration is why I often feel (and relate on this blog) that I flow between the different states/qualities—that I contract and expand though them. I’m not identified with them, I just experience individual qualities as “louder” than the others depending on the circumstances. They are felt as different densities/contractions of a much larger whole (“me” whatever that is). I am not the Observer/Witness to these experiences anymore (“separate from my thoughts”), but rather the experience itself.
Oddly enough, many (most?) nondual teachers teach from the “separate from their thoughts” (dualistic/non-integrated) level of consciousness. For example, the other day I was watching a Batgap interview and the [REDACTED] guest was saying how he would watch his body get angry in traffic. He is saying right there on the video that there is a separation between himself and his thoughts/body (two things/duality), and yet he teaches nonduality. (Really what he is teaching is the Emptiness/Vastness quality, not true (integrated) nonduality).
I believe this initial (non-integrated) understanding of “enlightenment” is one of the reasons why there is so much focus on the Emptiness/Vastness quality of nonduality. These teachers simply hit it (awoke) just like I did (“I’m separate from my thoughts”), but then they started teaching before they had fully integrated it and got stuck in the Emptiness/Vastness quality.
In many ways, I’m very “lucky” that I was blogging before, during, and after that initial awakening, since it made it practically impossible to hide or repress my doubts, confusion, and questions from myself. If I hadn’t been blogging, it would have been very easy to keep those doubts/questions to myself and quickly repressed them (not integrate them), and thus stagnate my growth and “get stuck” in focusing on the Emptiness.
Man, I am soooo grateful. She explained/revealed all this to me (“Your video has been selected as our Video of the Day”) just in time for the interview.
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