Nothing Gained, Nothing Lost

by Robert Wolfe on August 7th, 2011

Q: Hi Robert! Thanks for answering my question [see post "The Absolute and I"]. I appreciate that very much. I totally get the logic of it. And have seen the truth of it also. But then, later, maybe hours or days later, there is a shift back into that no longer being my experience. Duality re-presents again. There is me, obviously directly experiencing 'me' to be much more than some socially defined identity - that is experienced to be true - but to then make the experiential shift back again to the place where my direct experience is non-duality, where I recognise the truth of what has always been and remains to be true even now, while it is not my experience - not directly realised moment to moment - that is my challenge. The logic is there, the past experience is there, but the present experience is one of subtle grasping, suffering and incompleteness. And yet I know that I am the absolute and utterly complete. There remains that disconnect, however subtle, that is an apparent barrier to recognising here and now, all that I am. You sat in a caravan for three years and at some point recognised our true nature. Before there was no 'recognition', now there is. And yet you were always the absolute regardless. What changed for you? How did it happen? Is it replicable? In the Dzogchen tradition there is the pointing out of the nature of mind from master to student. And recognition often takes place for a greater or lesser amount of time. However, it is suggested that most students then lose it, due to habit patterns of dualistic grasping, and meditation is the key to stablising the recognition; not the reality of it or the truth, which is naturally always present but not recognised, unfortunately.

A: One of the most common matters raised for teachers of nonduality is the one in your query. It represents a difficulty in grasping the fundamental thrust of the teachings.

What is the essence of the nondual teachings?: there are not two actual things. "All that is, is That"--the singular, absolute, ultimate Reality. There are not two states of existence, which come and go independently of the overarching Reality.

You have a preference for what state is present in consciousness. When the state which you deem preferable appears to be present, you say "I am in the (awakened) zone." When an alternate state of awareness is noticed, you determine "I am not now in the (awakened) zone." Is it not obvious that such a conception is the crux of dualistic thinking? Do you suppose an enlightened sage concerns herself with whatever state of awareness happens to be observed? To the jnani, there are "not two"; all that is, is That. to the ajnani, there is "this state" of awareness and "that state" of awareness--or more.

The jnani has no conception of having acquired anything--nothing has been added to what she always already has: therefore, not anything is ever lost. "Gee whiz, I was one with ultimate Reality awhile ago. Now I'm not.": if she were to say that, she would not have truly recognized her inseparability from ultimate Reality, at any time.

The subtlety of these teachings is that even when what appears to be a lack of "awareness" is what is present, that too is the ultimate Reality in its ever-present form. When the "non-me" awareness is noticed, that is It; when the "me" awareness is noticed, that is It. Every apparent "difference" is a manifestation of That.

Your present condition--whatever and whenever it is--is the condition of the ultimate Reality that the "seeker" would be in touch with. The seeker is the sought, and vice versa.

Posted in Living Nonduality, Questions    Tagged with seeker, awake, Dzogchen, reality, jnani, ajnani


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