These five words of yours are the key: “there cannot be any separation”.
As Krishnamurti put it, “Where there is division, there is conflict.” (Sometimes he also said it this way: “Where there is conflict, there is division.”)
At the time that I read this, I was examining the conflict in my life. Everywhere that I could identify conflict, I could see that some sort of divisiveness was involved.
Conversely, by being aware of the divisive nature of the thought process itself (“This is good. This is not good.”), I could see where conflict arose (“I am a good person. You are a bad person.”).
It became obvious to me that if I was to end conflict in my life, division (divisiveness) must end. I began to ask myself (almost as an on-going meditation), “What would it mean if there was no division?”; that is, if in fact the actuality of our existence was that there was no such condition as division.
I could see how the thought process created duality. The thought that “I exist”—as a “me”, a self as a separate entity—is inevitably followed by the thought that “All else, that exists in the world, is not me.” “You”, for example, are not me. So, there is “me” as opposed to “you”; there is my self and your self—a latent premise for eventual conflict.
So, if the separative dualistic notion is the basis of conflict, how could the separative perspective be transcended? According to the “spiritual” material that I was reading at the time, by non duality.
What I thought this meant, at the time, was “union”, or unity. If I think of “you” and “I” as “one” (or “God” and “I” as “One”), doesn’t this end separation? No; because it’s divisible. 1+1=2; but 2 is merely a “union” of 1+1: 2 is always convertible back to the separation of 1+1.
The Sanskrit word for nondual, I learned, is advaita (dating back 3,500 years to the Vedas): its literal meaning, “not two”. In fact, the Vedas go on to explain that the deepest teaching of nonduality is: “not two; not one”. In other words, the 2 here is not a reality; nor is the 1+1 that comprise the 2.
Pondering the message of Vedanta, it became apparent that “union” (two) is not the intended condition to be realized: not two; not “unity”.
What, then? “One”? No: “not one”. Where there is a one, a separate entity (such as “me”), there is always the implication that something exists beside (or, outside of) that one (such as “you”; or, “not me”).
The teaching is saying that not one exists as a reality (therefore, ‘two’ neither; because there are no ‘ones’ to comprise the ‘two’). The pointer “not two, not one” is saying that there is not any thing which exists—at all—as a separate, independent entity!
Wow, I realized, this is what “no division” really means: not that there is no separation between “you” and “me”, but that “you” and “me” are merely separative distinctions; “you” and “me” do not exist except as definitional ideas.
Therefore, “unity” plays no part in the enlightened realization of the truth of nonduality; there is—where division is not presumed from the beginning—not a one and another one, to be connected as a two.
It also became clear that “not one” means that there is not even some thing or entity or form that replaces “you” and “me”; that would simply be a subtle substitution. For example, if we say that “you” and “me” are the “Father”, we are merely establishing another “independent” one.
Where there is no division, no thing exists; form-less-ness. What is formless is clearly indivisible. I came to understand what Buddhists refer to as the Void; nothing-ness.
It is out of this nothingness (“not even one”) that the appearance of “separate” entities—ones—arise. Though these “ones” appear, they appear from (rather, in) the condition of no division, nonduality. Having their origination in the nondual, they never were separate, or apart, from their beginning. Thus, they need not be artificially “unified”.
What is the consequence of the realization of the actuality called nonduality? It is the disappearance of the idea of being a separate “self ”; or, more yet, their being any separate “selves”—“yours” or “mine”.
So, the key is now held: “there cannot be any separation”. Any!
Contemplate what this means. The teachings (all) tell us that the actuality of our existence is that there is no division whatsoever any where at any time. And that the awakening to the significance of this truth is the long-sought ending of conflict and confusion.
It is also the ending of seeming identity of a “you” and a “me” (or any “others”). Therefore, it is also the end of the search for “unity”, since there is no disunity in the formless actuality, to begin with.
by Robert Wolfe on July 15th, 2011
Posted in Living Nonduality, Monograph Tagged with separation, advaita, vedanta, unity, formlessness, formless, reality
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