Living in duality is a wonderful gift that we have given to ourselves and it is not something that need be ‘overcome’ or ‘transcended’. There are schools of thought that teaches that maya (the illlusion of duality) should be left behind as fast as we can. But in my experience, it is through the immersion of ourselves into the body and its sensory experience, by living our emotions and feelings, applying our mind and ultimately trusting on Higher Wisdom, that we and our experience here becomes transformed into joy.
I can only speak from my own experience and I have learnt that my intense devotive passion, which at times is my greatest challenge and obstacle, has also proved to be my most powerful ally on this journey.
Life for me started out with a heightened awareness and sensitivity. Having been born with clairvoyant abilities, and others all with the prefix of ‘clair’ (meaning clear), life had many layers to it. As these layers were only clear to me and not to those around me, I was quite happy to have my own experience and to live in my own world.
Until my social interaction widened and I learnt that we should label everything. All of a sudden my experiences no longer seemed so clear and my paradise seemed to exist only in my own world. This sense of separation has been my greatest motivator on my spiritual journey. At first, I did not realise that this was what I was looking for – albeit sometimes in the weirdest places.
It is actually all very simple. If we could allow ourselves, and of course, if our social training and conditioning could have been such, as to allow us, to have simple trust and faith : both in the Divine in whatever form or non-form and in OURSELVES. The key is to know that I Am God That I Am. And that this is not reserved exclusively for the saints and holy persons and neither does this mean that you know it all, or that you have full access to the Divine Mind and can know all the Mysteries.
But it does mean that you are not separated and has never been. It does mean that your very soul is of the same fabric as the Divine and that ‘i’ is actually ‘I”. This also implies that you have been given a treasure of potential power and strength which is mostly never mined in this life.
The separation is created by your own beliefs, by what you believe about the world and about yourself, how you see yourself, by the attachment and investment to your own personal identity. A Course in Miracles make it so beautifully simple : there are only two feelings : Fear or Love. And whichever you choose, will determine your experience, your world and your destiny.
Choosing Love means that you have to choose the improbable, miracles and the ‘other’, with that I mean you will be going against the ways of your culture, your society and probably, your family. It means that you will have to forgive and forgive, every moment of every day. You will have to forgive yourself, your society, your culture, your gender, and mainly, you will have to forgive the Divine for putting you here in this ‘divine comedy’ which at times do not seem funny at all!
You may fight and scream and resist, until you Realise that there is no getting off this bus. You can participate or you can sit this one out, but you have nowhere else to go, so you may as well make the most of it??
Your most powerful tool is to get to know yourself and your own nature. When you know yourself, you Know God. How do you get to know yourself? By doing the great work – unpleasant and painful at times. It calls for great courage to face your own darkness and shadows. It calls for inner strength to face your greatest fears. It calls for deep compassionate love, starting with yourself, for everything!.
Make time every day for contemplation and meditation. Just start. Set aside 20 minutes every day and gradually increase this. Find a cd for a guided meditation until you have the hang of it. As you withdraw from the senses and the stimulation of the physical world, and you enter that deep silence within, you come closer to knowing God the formless. Meditation acts like a deep cleanse. It purifies the mind of its attachments and its never ending desire for stimulation and possession of experiences. It releases you from your identity and the personality with all its traits and characteristics. It rewires your nervous system and creates new neural pathways in the brain. In other words, it is a rebirth.
Set time aside to journal every day. As you express those unspoken feelings and thoughts, they are seen. Once they have been acknowledged, they are in your awareness, and the Light of your Spirit will illuminate them through your conscious awareness and they can be burnt away in the fire of acceptance.
Observe yourself. Distance yourself from your personality. Remember that your personality is a collage of your conditioning, your experiences, your belief systems, your childhood, your parents, etc etc. You are not your personality so let go of your identification of it.
You are not your identity. You are not the roles you are fulfilling at this time in your life. All of these can change in the blink of an eye and you will still exist. Life teaches us through change, so be willing to change in every second and every minute, without attachment.
Have many tools in your toolkit. Use your mind and apply yourself to your own inner world. As much energy as you spend in doing your job well, or taking care of your family, or creating masterpieces, apply that same passion and energy to your own inner world. Love creates the form and not the other way around. That means that you first imagine and believe something to be true before it manifests in your life and in your world. You are the king of your own kingdom : it is your duty to control your own mind.
Extend yourself to others. It is through extension of the self that we truly learn to know the Self. Face your fears of rejection, of being judged, of looking like a fool and reach out to others. Live vulnerable. When we are vulnerable, our hearts are open and we treat others and ourselves with sensitivity. The ego’s greatest weapon in its arsenal against You, is its ability to desensitize you. It has the power and ability to turn you into an automaton, a virtual zombie. You feel so overwhelmed by your suppressed feelings and fears, that you start to cut off from your inner voice, you close your heart and effectively closes down your sensitivity and compassion and become so focused on fulfilling your own needs, that you become oblivious to everything else. You do things without questioning them; you accept the norm without pause.
A good example is becoming a vegetarian. I am confronted about being vegetarian as it makes others feel uncomfortable, as though they are being judged for their own carnivorous eating habits. But we do not feel the impact of another’s judgement unless that voice echoes in our own inner voice. Pay attention to this in future. When someone says something that you absolutely have no attachment to, you just wave it away and never think about it again. But when they touch a nerve, you become defensive and upset. I always reiterate with the question ‘have you been to an abattoir? Can you witness the process of animals reared for slaughter from the day of their birth? Can you stand to watch them cooped up in the smallest spaces, never seeing the sun or feeling the earth under their feet? and then can you watch them being slaughtered? Well, I cannot.
Love is a state of being; it is both dynamic and receptive in order to birth. Love is not an object or a sentiment or even a feeling. Love is not good or bad. Love Is. It is the very fabric of ourselves and our existence. It exists but it is invisible and living in duality gives us the opportunity to make Love visible and to give it Life.
You are Love and the voice of Love lives within you. She whispers to you in every moment and guides you in every action. Whether you pay attention or not, that is your choice and your power. Ultimately She has all the answers for you and those answers are not buried in spiritual traditions, nor in the authority of others, nor in their lives. But in your own heart and soul. Your life may appear small to others and your name may not be written in footlights, but your every action is Love in action.
Whether you express it positively or negatively; whether you experience pain or joy; whether you spread happiness or grief; you are Love in action. Love does not judge. Love does not condemn. Love is unconditional. In the world of duality, we have been given the illusory power of making something good or bad and of harming or helping another or ourselves. But ultimately, behind the veil of Maya, none of it is True. The Truth cannot be named, nor explained or described. The Truth can only be known by you. You may Know it as a resonance within, or a sound within. Either way, what you Know as your Truth, that Is so. And the more you Know Truth, the deeper you will want to immerse yourself in Truth. Thus the journey is never at an end. And it can only be experienced and shared whilst in duality.
Thus we are all at various stages of Knowing Truth and lots of confusion arises because everyone speaks of and teaches from their place of knowing the truth. But the ultimate Truth can only be known by yourself in your own inner kingdom of Love.