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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EarthIs it night or day where you are? If the sun has gone down you would say it's night. If the sun hasn't gone down you would say it's day. But these sentences are full of errors.

We know that the sun doesn't rise or fall. We know that the sun only appears to rise and fall whilst the Earth stays still. Really the sun stays still whilst the Earth spins on its axis. But even that isn't correct. The sun doesn't stay still at all. The sun is always moving. This swirling solar system is in the flow of a swirling galaxy. It would appear that everything in the universe is moving.

Let's get back to the initial question: is it night or day where you are? Okay, so we understand that it's not the sun moving round the Earth. If the sun isn't in the sky then it's night. But night isn't a real thing. It's just a word or concept we humans use to describe that period of time when the sun isn't in the sky. Is there an exact point where day becomes night? Well, you could try and be very precise about it, as the sun disappears below the horizon, or when the sun's rays are no longer visible. But all that's happening here is that we are trying to give absolute definition to words that are vague and don't hold any reality in themselves.

I'm using night and day as examples here, but the point is to highlight the errors of words and concepts. They are full of flaws. We cannot rely on words and concepts to accurately portray truth. The best they can do is point to indescribable truth. So, it is safe to say that whatever is said is not the truth. Nobody can speak the truth (or write it, for that matter). Words and communication can range from close to truth to far from truth.

It is silence that speaks perfect truth.

Sky with cloudsAll that we know is in consciousness. Nobody has ever known anything that is outside of consciousness. The sound of a car going past is picked up through the perception of hearing and is known within consciousness. The visible perception of the world is, via seeing, known in consciousness. The feel of material in our hands is known in consciousness. The smell of freshly cut grass is known in consciousness.

The physical pain we feel when we stub our toe or have backache is known in consciousness. The emotional pain we feel when we lose someone close, and indeed the love we feel when we embrace someone close, is all known in consciousness.

Everything comes down to consciousness. Even the sight of a distant star is known and experienced right here in consciousness. Thoughts in the mind are known in consciousness. Dreams during sleep are known and experienced in consciousness.

The point here is that all your experiences and everything you can ever know is known in consciousness. You've never experienced anything outside of consciousness. You may think that the sound of a bang is far away, or the moon in the sky is a tremendous distance away. But your experience of it is right here in consciousness.

Therefore there is no truth that we can be sure of outside of consciousness, and there is no firm evidence that anything exists outside of consciousness. It's impossible to even attempt to find the outside of consciousness. We could try some experiments, but the experiments would only appear to be done outside of consciousness. Our whole perception of them would be within consciousness. So who can say where consciousness ends?

You may feel that you are a human and consciousness is in your mind. But there are flaws with that. Can you truly see yourself? Can the eye see the eye? Can one see one's self? Consciousness is aware of the believing in the mind, the seeing through the eyes, and the body and world perceived through the body's senses. The human body is a changing, flowing appearance within consciousness. The body is not as solid as it appears.

You may feel that you are not conscious of what someone else thinks, so there is a limit to consciousness. It would be more accurate to say there is the appearance of limitation, and solidification, in consciousness. The dense world of matter is the appearance of solidified consciousness. It can only be experienced in consciousness and made of consciousness, yet it appears solid. Though subtler still, the mind appears also as a condensing or separating of consciousness into the apparently separate limited mind.

Thus the world of matter and mind appear as the condensed levels of consciousness within consciousness, made of consciousness. One Infinite Consciousness appears as many minds within many bodies in a world of varying degrees of density of form. With the density comes the stronger sense of limits and separation, yet it is all consciousness.

The term 'Consciousness' is a name for the basic ingredient of existence. We could equally call it Awareness, Spirit, God, The Infinite One, or I Am That I Am.

RainbowWe perceive the world as made of many things, many objects that we have labels for. If we look around we can name them: trees, houses, cars, people, roads, rivers, mountains, clouds, stars, and so on. But are there really many things, or is there just one that appears as many?

We can consider planet Earth as one. When looked at from space, Earth is a sphere of colourful life. It is one in itself. Yet within the Earth's oneness there is this magnificent celebration of variation, the appearance of many. We cannot truly say that the clouds, the houses, and the people, are separate from Earth. They are a play or appearance of separateness.

Equally, consider your fingers. They are not objects separate from your hand, and your hand is not an object separate from your arm or your body. There is a whole that we label and identify parts of. Yet the apparently whole body is not complete in itself. It does not have limits. It blends and flows with the planet. The body is continually changing and interacting with the environment, through the food we eat, liquids we drink, air we breath, and other subtler energies that affect it.

Consider also the colours of the rainbow. The rainbow is a dispersing of white light into a spectrum of colours. The colours are not truly separate, it is a separating of white light into a range of frequencies. The colours that we label are not true. If we focus on red then it appears separate from blue. But if we focus on the whole there is one continuous range of colour. Similarly the world appears as a dispersing of a singularity into an appearance of many. If we focus in on something we can label it, but the reality remains as a singular whole.

The labels we have for separate things are useful but flawed. Labels are not the truth. Reality is as it is, before we put labels on it. Of course, whether we label it or not it remains as it is. And whether there is an expression of a multiplicity or not, the Singularity remains as it is.

greentree1The world is full of answers, patterns that point to the underlying nature of what we see.

Let's consider trees, that are so important to the expression of life on this planet. Firstly, the structure of a tree shows the pattern of Many from One: there is the solid central stillness of the trunk, and then branches spread out in all directions. This shows us how the universe appears. The tree repeats the pattern of the universe. We can see this pattern in the tree's leaves and flowers. It's evident also in rivers and streams, lightning forks, and the evolution of forms to include legs and toes, arms and fingers. It is the same pattern of Many from One.

We call it bifurcation, where one splits into two. The tree repeats this pattern to create a multiplicity of branches. Or so it seems. Whatever happens, however many branches we perceive, there is always the one tree.

Beneath the appearance of the tree there is an unseen aspect that supports the tree we see. The unseen roots go deep.

The tree also shows us the cyclical nature of the world in its seeds. One tree scatters many seeds. Each seed holds the potential to create a separate tree and continue the flow of life. Each successful seed will grow to produce many seeds, and the pattern repeats.

 

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