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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Spiritual AcceptanceAcceptance is an important spiritual practice. In returning to a state of oneness it is necessary to accept what comes and accept what goes. Acceptance is our true nature.

It is natural to accept what is and not to yearn for what was or what could be. But it doesn't seem natural because the human experience is one of holding on to what we've got, losing those we love and care about, being disappointed by life, and having difficult times that we'd rather not have. It's common to hope for something, to want a better life, and to not want to lose people and things that are important to us. But the world won't satisfy our wants and needs. The world is always changing and moving on, and presenting us with challenges.

We can feel cheated by other people or organisations, taken advantage of, neglected, misled, or mistreated. We raise complaints. We blame others. It dwells in the mind. We tell people about how badly we've been treated. Some people hold onto these feelings all their life. Admittedly, there are times when complaints should be raised, and misjustices heard and dealt with. But there is a time when we need to accept what is. Even during this raising of the issue, it needs to be accepted that this is how the world is.

It can be hard for people to accept when they lose someone close. Maybe they have died, or they moved away. It can be devastating and difficult to come to terms with. But for spiritual progression we need to accept this. We need to accept that that's just the way it is. It doesn't help to fight against the universe, to hold onto what's gone, or to wish for life to get better. Life may get better, but it may get worse again. Many people choose this way of life, longing and losing, and that's fine. But if your aim is spiritual progression then that's not really the way for you.

Acceptance is about letting life just be. It's going to just be anyway, so why fight it? Let go of holding on. Let the world flow. But know that you are not flowing. You are the stillness that perceives the flow of the world. In truth you cannot really hold on. The holding on is an imaginary sensation in the mind. Let it go. If your human experience involves difficulties and challenges let this come and go. Know that you are the witnessing of this.

You are not the human who longs and loses. You are the Still Centre, from the human perspective. You are complete. You are perfect. You are pure peace and love. I'm not just saying nice words here to pick you up. This is the nature of your infinite being. Your true nature is found at the heart of your being. But when it is found it is known to be an infinite oneness. It does not need or want. It is perfect peace. Through the practice of acceptance and letting go, our attention sinks naturally into this state of oneness that is complete and content. It is holding on that holds us back.

Laugh when you stub your toe. That's life. It's the sort of thing that happens. Accept it when people move on. That's the way of the world. I don't mean for you to be emotionless. Accept the emotions. If you cry, let the crying happen. Accept it all. If your bus is delayed, smile and accept it. If the traffic slows to a halt, smile and let it be. If you forget something, it's okay. Humans aren't perfect. Mistakes will happen.

In fact the world cannot be perfect. You are the perfect peace and stillness. You are the singularity that experiences the world of opposites, with its ups and downs, highs and lows, happiness and sadness. The world is a reflection of your perfection. Acceptance is your natural state. Accept the world and be as you are. Perfect peace is the nature of your being.

 

Underneath the clothing of human identityFollowing from Shakespeare's famous quote from Hamlet, "To be or not to be, that is the question," let's consider what it means to be, to exist, to be alive, and whether we can ever not be. Being is the core of our nature. I say 'the core' because that helps us to understand it better, but truly it is the whole of our nature. It is what we are, but it seems that it is at the heart of who we are. The reason for this is that Being becomes clothed with identity.

That needs some explanation. Say we start off as just Being. Our primordial self is Pure Being. We are just what is, without any objective qualities. Without form. Without beginning or end. Imagine then that from Being, or as it's sometimes termed, Isness, there developed the sense 'I'. This 'I' is linked with Being, so the sense 'I am' appears. Next the 'I am' sense reaches out and attaches to form. To cut a long story short, we reach the point where we identify with dense forms, such as the human body, and we feel that I am a man or I am a mother, or I am a doctor, or I am an insecure office worker and I have lots of problems in my life. This is the human experience of identity and how it can tangle us up into all sorts of problems, beliefs and associations. The identity develops and attaches to the things of the world. However, the source of Beingness is always here. Underneath the clothing of human identity and association is the pure naked Beingness that is our true nature.

Our Beingness is never lost. It only seems to be hidden because of the focus of attention away from our being to the changing forms of the world. Our being is unchanging and imperceivable. It is imperceivable in the same way that we cannot see our eyes. We may look at them in a mirror, but that is only a reflection of where we are looking from. Our being is self aware. We are self aware. But we cannot see our formless nature. Instead the world appears as a reflection of our formless nature. The unchanging stillness of our being perceives the changing world of motion.

Is it possible to not be? Well, Being is what we are. It is formless and boundless, so it is a shared Being. We are the same Being, the Infinite One Being. So we cannot not be. But there is a sense of our nature being emptiness, a full emptiness, a complete emptiness. Our Being can be called Nothingness, because it has no objective qualities. Yet we can understand its 'qualities' through the reflection of the world. You see, the world is a play of opposites that reflects the singular nature of Being. Where we experience love and hate in the world it reflects our true nature of Pure Love. Where we experience gain and loss in the world it reflects our true nature of Content Completeness. Where we experience alive and not alive in the world it reflects our true nature of Pure Unending Life.

What this means is that although our nature can be described as Nothingness, where it could be said that we do not exist, what we know as the highest qualities in the world point to the unmanifest nature of our being. We are Pure Love, Pure Life, Pure Clarity, Pure Consciousness, Pure Stillness, Pure Being. Yet this is imperceivable until the mirror of the world appears before us and reflects back aspects of our unmanifest nature. The world is always less than what we are, because we are complete in our unmanifest state. Call it Being or Not Being, Completeness or Emptiness, we are as we are.

You remain perfectly at peaceWhat's happening with you right now? You may be sitting at home, out on a bus, a boat, a train, a plane, reading this. At least that's what you assume you are doing. Truly you are not doing anything. Nothing is happening to you. You are not reading. You are not thinking. You are not sitting or walking. You are not doing anything.

Surely that's not true. It depends on who you think you are. If you think you are a human being then you assume you are reading, thinking, sitting, walking, and so on, and the things of life happen to you. Even if you understand that you are not really a human being, you were not born and you will not die, you possibly still identify with the body at some level. So we say I'm reading, I'm thinking, I'm walking etc.

But we aren't the human body, so a re-evaluation is needed to shake out the assumption that we are doing these things and things are happening to us. Truly we are the Awareness witnessing what happens from the perspective of a human being. Things are not happening to us. They merely flow through Awareness like birds, clouds and planes floating through the sky. They come and go.

So what's happening with you right now? Nothing. You remain perfectly at peace, unmoving, and unchanging. The world of motion and change flows by within your infinite stillness. From this point of stillness you perceive the human experience: the childhood experiences, growing up, heartache, sadness, happiness, success, failure, days and nights, waking, sleeping, travelling. But it's not you. You are the heart of this experience, the life that effortlessly animates the world from this viewpoint. The heart of this experience is the same heart of all experiences. All beings have the same heart of stillness, like the central hub of the wheel of life. There is One Awareness that perceives itself as the world from many different perspectives.

The pointer here is to let go of identification with the changing human form, and rest as the perfect peace at the heart of the being. That is your unchanging pure nature. If something moves or changes it is not you. If you can perceive it, it is not you. You are right here and now, the peaceful Awareness within which the world appears and disappears. You perceive the coming and going of thoughts, the rising and falling of breath, the growing and fading of forms, the rising and falling of the sun, the world appearing and the world fading away. You are always here, the unchanging timeless being, complete love, pure life, perfect peace.

There is no connectednessMost people would acknowledge that they are connected to the universe. From a human perspective we eat, drink and breathe, which is a flow of connectedness with the environment. We gain energy from this and absorb energy from the sun. This energy is used in our environment, so it's fair to say the human body is connected to the world.

Many people don't even consider this connection with the world. It doesn't occur to them or doesn't interest them. Some people, generally spiritually minded people, think about their connection to the world, or to the whole. Sometimes they feel connected to the whole or they strive to feel more connected. Some people may openly say they are connected to the whole.

The problem with being or feeling connected is that it implies we are separate. Connectedness relies on a subject-object relationship, where we feel that we are connected to the whole. The subject, me, feels connected to the object, the whole. Whenever we say that something or someone is connected it also implies that they are a separate thing or person. So although connected and separate seem like opposites, nothing can be connected without being separate.

It is a failure of words to be able to describe something as being 'part of' something else, when its not a separate part. For example, it's not strictly correct to say my hand is part of my body, or to say my hand is connected to my body, because the hand isn't a separate 'part'. It's just the body, and we label a slightly vague area of the body as a 'hand'. The flaw lies in this inability to truly define anything.

So to say, "I am connected to the universe," means there is a separate 'I' who is linked to a separate universe. The statement will be inaccurate. So instead of saying, "I am connected with the whole," it would be more accurate (but still not truly accurate) to say, "I am the whole."

We can consider the sense or feeling of connectedness as a Spectrum of Separation, with feeling most closely connected at one end and seemingly unconnected at the far end of the Spectrum of Separation. But this is all a play of opposites. There is no connectedness and there is no separation. The opposite terms fool us. There is only What Is.

For spiritual progression it seems that a leap from dualistic terms to the nondual is needed. We need to leap from the close end of the Spectrum of Separation, where we feel most closely at one with the whole, to where we are the whole, where there is no division in What Is. This is the spiritual aim of Oneness. It is not where the separate self 'me' feels at one with the world, it is where there is neither separate self nor the world. There is only What Is. It is the absence of the illusory sense of separation. Non-Duality.

God's Light I used to find it difficult to reconcile God's being as pure light. The light and darkness we perceive in the world is part of the play of opposites. Darkness can be considered as far from God and light as closest to God. God then is Pure Light without darkness.

But how can God (aka Consciousness, the Self, Brahman, the Infinite One) be a Pure Light without end. If we consider the light that we perceive, then there would be no darkness. Light without end cannot allow darkness to appear. This seemed to be a problem, and it's similar in some ways to the question of evil: how can God, being Pure Light and Love, allow evil to continue in the world. There is an answer to this: darkness and evil do not appear. There is only God.

That needs some explanation, as most people will have experienced darkness and evil. The light of God is Pure Clarity. It is a perfect, pure nothingness. Darkness can only seem to appear by the clouding of this clarity. But the clouding is itself God. So it is not really clouding, it is still God.

Similarly with evil, there is only God. If God harms God, is that evil? We can call it evil if we want, but really there is only God. Both darkness and evil seem to be God far removed from the true nature of God. This is how the world appears, by the 'breaking of the body of God' into apparently separate opposites. God's Light only seems to be separated into light and darkness. God's Love only seems to be separated into love and hate.

Darkness is still light, only seeming to be separated and distant from God. Evil is still the quality of love, only seeming to be separated and distant from God. The world is created through the appearance of the separating of God's Infinite Oneness.

Similarly, we think of ourselves as separate and distant from God. But God is infinite and omnipresent. None are outside God. It only seems that the world is separate from God. In truth God pervades the world. God is Consciousness, seemingly at the heart of our being, yet truly the whole of our being. There is only the Infinite One.

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