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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Waves light to darkThe world appears as an interplay of opposites. We've all experienced opposites: near and far, hot and cold, light and dark, clarity and confusion, freedom and constraint, love and hate. The Non Dual teaching recognises this interplay of opposites in the world, but we do not accept it as true. There is not two. There is only one, but it's not even one, it's an infinite one. One without limits.

In light of this reality of oneness, we can understand this appearance of opposites more clearly. It is not that there truly is a separation, where the world split from one into many. It is rather that the world appears as if this has happened, whilst remaining as one. This brings us to understand opposites as a continuum, where they are not truly separated, but range from beginning to end within infinity. So we can say that hate is at the far end of the Continuum of Love, being far removed from it, but of the same nature.

We can understand distance as a Continuum of Separation. Although humanity may cleverly create divisions of distance, so that we can measure and communicate distances with an agreed scale, distance is not truly divided. What I mean is that we have a shared understanding of what 10cm is and what 1cm is, but there is no real divide of distance into centimetres. It is a human tool. There is more like an undivided span of distance that humanity labels with its measurements.

The Continuum of Separation takes us past understanding the world in fixed limited terms, to the closer understanding of an undivided range. We can say the Continuum ranges from oneness (or no distance) to near, to fairly near, to far, to very far. Again, we are using labels to describe it. But hopefully you get the idea of the unbroken range from oneness to separation, whilst remaining one.

It seems a paradox to say that separation is an undivided range. This is because there really isn't a separation. It is only an appearance of separation, because separation is impossible. It is more like a seeming stretching of oneness from itself to far from itself, whilst remaining as itself.

Maybe you see the implication here. The Singularity appears to have split into a world of many, whilst remaining timelessly a Singularity. We see ourself and the world, but it is the Singularity stretching itself into 'me' and 'others' whilst remaining one. The closest we can know is the heart of being, that point where all is experienced. It's the point where we feel 'I am', and if we look out from there we see objects or people that are close to us, and objects or people that are further away from us. But it is only the appearance of Oneness stretching.

The Continuum of Separation gives the appearance of distance between beginning and end, as it stretches from oneness and remains in oneness. The initial point of the Continuum is oneness, and as the stretching appears we reach the opposite or reflection of the prime quality of oneness. In this way we experience here and there, now and then, clarity and confusion, love and hate, peace and war, one and many. Within the spaceless, timeless Singularity appears the stretching out of space and time, without division, without beginning or end. It is an interplay of opposites within the infinite singularity of oneness.

 

Astronaut in spaceThis doesn't seem a very spiritual question: How heavy are you? Neither may these: What is your size? What is your age? These all seems like questions it can be considered rude to ask. But explore them from a spiritual angle, not a personal one, and they can point to the true nature of our being.

Weight, size and age are relative to the human perspective in the human world. But look deeper to who you are. Look to where you are looking from. I don't mean the eyes. We experience seeing, yes. We perceive other senses as well: hearing, taste, touch, smell, balance etc. We experience these senses from a central point. In the Non Dual understanding we are Awareness itself, that unchanging state wherein all change is perceived. Let's look there. Or rather, let's look Here. It is the closest point of being you. Closer than the arms and legs. Closer than the eyes and ears. Closer than thoughts even. Let's look here, where even thoughts are perceived.

How heavy are you here? There is no weight. What is your size here? There is no size. What is your age here? There is no age. The real you is formless intelligent awareness. You are as you are. There is no ageing here, no being born or dying. There is no time or space. Just formless awareness perceiving the play of time and space. Being formless, you have no depth or change. You cannot be weighed down. You are neither large nor small. We could say your size is infinite, but even the concept of infinity is not accurate enough, as you have no size.

No qualities stick to you. You are perfect, in that you have no faults. Perfect from the human perspective, but just as you are in truth. You have no lack or need. In that sense you are complete, but beyond the concepts of complete and incomplete. These are human concepts, similar to weight, size and age.

Being formless you are not limited by the appearance of the world, by descriptions about you, or by the appearance of forms that are perceived. Here you are, the basic component of all life. That which is. That without which the world does not appear. You are I Am, the basic quality of being, without attachment or identity. There is no attachment or identity because there are no limits to divide you and separate you from something else. There is no something else. You are as you are. I am that I am.

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.

 

Windmill and skyWhere do I begin? Where do I end? I know that the body has no clear limits. It is always changing. If I look closely at its supposed limits I find there are none. The body is like a flowing quality of the planet. It comes from the planet, interacts with the planet, and returns to the planet, all the while remaining as a quality of the planet. Its apparent limits are not true.

I see this body without limits. I also perceive the mind. I perceive thought in the form of words, sounds and images, like internal perceptions of the mind. These also have no limits. They appear in the mind and disappear in the mind. Yet they are not inside me. I perceive them.

I also perceive the sense of identity. I perceive the mind talking to itself, thinking about me, my and mine. But that's not me. Sometimes it feels that it's me. Sometimes I observe it, so it cannot be me. If I can see a supposed identity of me, then who am I witnessing this?

Is it the same me that observes the mind thinking about me? I ascertain that I do not perceive a me thinking about me. I perceive the workings of the mind, thoughts that think they are me, thinking that identifies as a limited separate being. I perceive this.

Where and who am I, if not this false identity that is perceived? I perceive the changing mind, body and world. I am not that. I perceive the windmills of the mind. I am like the still point around which the windmill turns. I am here. There is nowhere that I can perceive that I am except here. Wherever it seems I go, I am here. I perceive the change of time. I am now.

I am the point of here and now around which the windmill of the mind and world turns. Yet I am not a point. I am no space, no time. I am formless perceiving form. I am.

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.

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