David Hall's Non-Duality Blog

My name's David Hall. I'm the creator of this web site and its content. I live in Wales in the UK.
I developed the Celtic design software KnotWorker, I create electronic music as Goldcup7, and I've written books on spirituality and non duality.

Hope you enjoy this Non Duality blog. New blogs are added on Tuesdays and Fridays.
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Celtic Knot PanelIt's important to understand the ego and its influence in each human life and humanity as a whole. The ego is the sense and belief of being a separate self, an entity separate from others. The ego grows from the mind's identification with the human form. The stronger the ego, the more it is identified with the human form and its sense of importance in and against the world. The extreme ego has a hardened mental shell that protects itself from others and distances itself from others. It clashes with others, often other egos with hardened mental shells. We are talking here of a clenched fists, angry, hateful, destructive ego, narcissistic and sadistic. It's sounds harsh, but that's the extreme of the ego. It will cause misery and suffering to others wherever it goes.

Human history has seen this kind of ego dominate others and enrol others in its egotistic aims. We should be cautious of giving power to ego dominated people, yet it continues to happen. Sometimes people see a person with a strong ego as charismatic, and that may be the case, as it can often present as a distinctive personality with a certain charm and flair. A good lesson to learn is to recognise the ego when you see it, and to know its pitfalls.

Recognising the ego in others can also lead us to recognising the ego in us. Ultimately we experience the body, the perceptions, the feelings, the thoughts, and the identity within the mind. We experience the ego identity. It is not who we are. It is more like the opposite of who we are. The ego is the sense of separate self. Our true nature is the infinite and undivided selfless self. The ego is incomplete. It needs and wants. Our true nature is complete, without need or want.

The ego is the phantom ego, the mistaken identity, the great pretender, the false king. It is a bundle of thought forms that cling to its imagined identity with the human body. We perceive this. We are the Awareness that perceives the play of the ego and the world. It is through this sense of identity that we perceive the world.

What do we do about this pesky ego? There are things that we can do to lessen its control (it loves to control). Recognising that you are not the thoughts is a good starting place. See that the thoughts that arise are perceived by you but not thought by you. When thoughts about 'me' and 'mine' and 'others' run along, step back and know that you are perceiving them. Recognise that there are no limits to anything. There are no things. There are no limits that define who you are.

There are also practical actions that can be taken:

Peace - be at peace. Allow peace to permeate through the mind, the ego, the body, and to others and the world. You are the peace at the heart of being. You are unshakeable stillness. You cannot stop the motion of the world, but you can recognise the peace and stillness of your being. This allows peace to permeate through the human nature in its contact with others.

Acceptance - accept the mind, the ego, the body, others and the world. Let it be. Don't get caught up in it. It's okay for the world to be as it is. Know that you are unaffected by the ego's problems. This acceptance and realisation brings a centring of your being. It helps withdraw the mistaken sense and belief of identity and ego.

Love - be the love that you are. Allow love, the highest love, to shine through the mind and the ego, out into the world. Show kindness to others. Be selfless and caring and non-judgemental. Help where you can. But know that you are not the doer. You are not a body, ego or mind. This expression of love and kindness comes from the heart of your being and shines through the human form, bringing light into the world.

 

Eclipse circleIn the material world we can find patterns that point to the spiritual. One of those patterns is the Hollow. We find it naturally occurring in plant stems such as bamboo, in bones, in lungs, the cavity of the mouth, cave formations, and at the heart of wind formations such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Humankind also uses the hollow in wind instruments, where the flow of air through a hollow tube with hollow outlets creates sounds of different frequencies. Pipework, containers, bottles and cups, even trains, ships and planes have a hollowness about them. The well-known sacred sound, Om or Aum, refers to the Hollow.

What is the spiritual significance of the Hollow? It hints at the empty space at the heart of the universe, the heart of our being. Buddhists call it emptiness or void. Eckhart Tolle calls it Spaciousness. It is the Sacred Spaciousness at the heart of our being. Our nature is not the apparent outer hardness of the human form. We are the Sacred Spaciousness that perceives the apparent outer form.

Within the Sacred Spaciousness there is no inside our outside. The heart of our being is a complete Singularity. The apparently outside world appears through the use of opposites. So the hollow is expressed as an empty circle, an empty interior with a circular boundary. Without the use of the opposites the Spaciousness cannot be expressed or perceived. You see, the hollow that we can say is the heart of our being has no limits, no boundaries. It is an Infinite One. When considered from the outside material viewpoint we can say it is at the heart of our being. But in the heart there is no inside or outside.

It is the Singularity that seems to be the heart of the world, yet it is not limited by the world. It is not devoid of life. It is pure, complete life, by which the opposites of life and death are known. Ultimately it is within the Singularity that this interplay of opposites, of inside and outside, alive and not alive, stillness and motion, plays out.

All sentient beings have this same centre. There is only one Infinite Singularity. It is the heart of the world of many, the heart of the world of opposites. We are not the play of opposites. We are the Sacred Spaciousness.

Buddha StatueWhat is Non Attachment? Why is Non Attachment important? The simple answer is that it is our nature to not be attached. But let's explore and understand that better.

Non Attachment, or Detachment, is an important element of Buddhism. The aim is to bring about peace by letting go of attachments to objects, people, thoughts, and feelings. There is good reason for this. The Buddhist tradition focuses on how suffering is experienced due to these attachments. The Buddha became free from suffering and free from attachments, or rather the Buddha realised the true nature which is not attached and is without suffering.

When you recognise that reality is a Singularity it explains this. There is nothing other than the Singularity. So who or what is there to be attached to. That is the realisation of enlightenment, that there is no other. Non Attachment is the way to live in harmony with the true nature of being.

When we live by false concepts of separation, we consider ourself to be separate, and suffering ensues. By feeling attached to people, objects, thoughts or emotions, we strengthen the sense of being separate from them. We seem to get caught in the push and pull off the world.

Our true nature is without limits. There is not truly a border where we end and something else begins. Let go of these attachments and just be. It is the pure nature of our being just to be.

How do we practice this Non Attachment? By letting go. Let go of the importance of objects. Let go of depending on people for happiness. It does not mean that we should reject people and objects. On the contrary, by dropping attachment and boundaries we become more at one. Our interactions with objects, people, feelings and emotions become less selfish. When we let go we loosen the ties that bind. We realise our freedom. The clash between me and others fades. There is only an infinite oneness. It wipes out all boundaries of separation and attachment.

Concentric CirclesThe human sense of being a separate limited self comes from the perception of distance and limits. The mind feels that it is at the centre of perception. The sense of distance spans outward from 'itself'. Through sight it perceives distance. Through sound it perceives distance, and also to a certain extent through touch. Even with our eyes closed we can perceive where our hands and feet are, and they are perceived as being a distance outwards from our centre of awareness.

This 'centre' or heart of awareness is not strictly accurate. It may be a conceptual point where all perceptions are known and where dimensions seems to be perceived from, but it is a relative centre dependent on the apparent outer shell. The mind has a sense that it is in the head, where the eyes see from and the ears hear from. But this is an assumption. Truly, if you reach out with the mind you will not find any limits.

Similarly, the mind can assume identity with the body and can feel that it is within the body. This is based on the faulty assumption that the body's limits are firm and impervious. But we know that the body or indeed any physical matter is not impervious. Matter gives an appearance of solidity, but we know that radiation can travel through matter that seems to be solid. For example, xrays are used to examine bones within the body, and ground penetrating radar is used to analyse buried structures beneath the soil.

Back to the human being. There is a sense of being within, because we perceive these apparent limits, the outer shell of the head and body, and the distance away from us that things appear. As I've mentioned elsewhere in these blogs and in my books, our perception of distance is always right here. We may recognise that, but there is still the sense of 'here' being within the human form.

Truly, this point 'here' is not enclosed. It is a spaceless space, within which the sense of inside and outside is experienced. We experience this sense of being within the apparently limiting human form from a field of open awareness. We perceive the imaginary limits of the heart and the whole from here, from nowhere.

So, although the spiritual seeker learns to look within to 'know thyself', it is found that there is no within. The heart of being its not a centre, because there are no limits to define it. But in seeking this heart of being we realise that there is no inside or outside, and that there is no divide that separates the heart and the whole. It is in realisation of the Infinite One that the sense of being a separate limited self falls away.

This is what is called enlightenment, self realisation, or nirvana, where the illusory separate self is "snuffed out". Maya, or the illusion of separation, is rooted out at the source and reality is perceived clearly as it is. The limits that seemed to define the separate self disappear, and it is revealed that there is no identity. Pure formless aware being.

 

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