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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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.

Rainbow WheelThere is a core point of our being that is pure stillness. It is from that point of unchanging stillness that the world of change is experienced. When attention is focused on and caught up in the dynamic world we overlook that still silent point of being. If we don't notice it, how do we find it again?

The root to that true stillness is through the sense, "I am." Search who it is that experiences the world. Some think they are the human body. Some think they are a soul in a human body. But look deeper. Look for that point from which everything is perceived. We need to go deeper than thoughts. Thoughts and thinking are perceived. Who is it that perceives thinking?

Whether there are wild uncontrollable thoughts or gentle peaceful thoughts, there is still a deeper point that perceives them. Thoughts form an identity of, "This is me! Here I am!" But it is a mistaken identity, where thinking holds onto the human form. It is a sense of identity that changes. We perceive this changing identity and the thinking from a deeper level, from a point of changeless being.

Look for that true stillness that is the placeless place and timeless time, here and now. Although from the human perspective it is at the heart of our being, like the hub of the wheel of life, when it is found and recognised it will be known to be both the heart and the whole. It is the stillness within which the world of change appears. All things come and go within the timeless stillness of being. There is not truly a heart of being. There is only being. There is only perfect, peaceful stillness. It is within this still awareness of being that the world plays out its dynamic expression, like a movie on the still permanent screen.

Star of DavidIt's a question many have considered: Is there a soul, and if so what is it? Let's start by considering the body. It's generally accepted that the human body is made of matter. I would elaborate further and say that 'matter' is a name for substance. We could call it 'vibrating energy'. I call the vibrating energy of the universe 'spirit'. Then what we call 'matter' is more like the appearance of dense hardened spirit.

There appears to be different levels of vibration throughout the universe. This is really a play of opposites within Infinite Spirit, which allows the appearance of spirit and not spirit (what we call matter). But this play is really a stretching out of spirit to appear close to or far from spirit. But it's all just spirit. So matter is the appearance of dense hardened heavy spirit.

Now we understand that, let's turn to the body again. It's a bundle of vibrating spirit within a dense range of frequencies, we could say. It can be considered that, just as a solid cup can hold liquid water or even gaseous air, the material body can hold lighter spirit. It's probably more accurate to say that the denser human body can be a receptacle for, or a channel for, a higher flowing spirit. This then makes it viable to consider that a higher form of spirit sits within the denser materialised form. We can consider that there is an unseen inner spirit form within the visible material form.

It seems equally acceptable that the hardened material form is more limited than a lighter freer form of spirit. It is conceivable that when the hardened form (the human body) breaks down, the lighter freer spirit is released. This lighter freer bundle of spirit energy we can call 'the soul'. The soul can be considered as the bundle of spirit energy that experiences planet Earth through the human body (or any other material body). Once released from the gravity of the human body, the soul is generally free to withdraw from the density of Earth back to its higher spiritual level.

However, it's also conceivable that the soul may form a bond or deeper attachment with the human experience, and may be drawn back to Earth again to inhabit another human body. As the pattern of rainfall and evaporation shows, and the pattern of waves upon the shore, there can be a circular process of coming and going. Here we are considering reincarnation and the seemingly endless wheel of rebirth.

It can be considered that the soul gains experience and develops by becoming lost in the world of matter. The pull of the material world seems to trap the soul and subjugates the soul. It may seem that the wheel of rebirth is endless, but it is a process of being lost and being found. The soul may, through many human experiences, come to the ultimate realisation. Firstly, it may recognise that it is a soul and not a body. But that is not enough. It must continue the search inwards to find that not only is it not a human form, but it is not a soul form either. Truth is formless, without beginning or end.

This deep realisation is termed nirvana, liberation, enlightenment, or self realisation. It is the deep recognition that the truth is not limited, defined or separate. There is only what is. There never were many souls who go out into the world and animate human forms or other forms. There is only One, an Infinite One. This realisation frees the soul from maya, the illusion of separation and attachment.

Ultimately then, there is no body and there is no soul. There is only What Is.

 

Sky ThinkerRene Descartes was a French philosopher who stated in 1637 in his Discourse on the Method, "Je pense, donc je suis." In Latin it is the concise, "Cogito ergo sum." The English translation is the famous, "I think, therefore I am."

In Non Duality we go a bit deeper than thinking. Thinking is known. We perceive thinking, as we also perceive the movements of the body. There may be an assumption that we are moving the body and that we are thinking the thoughts. But that is a thought assumption that we also perceive. To find our core nature we need to look deeper than what we can perceive. We need to look where we are perceiving from.

Essentially we can affirm that thinking is known, and thinking is secondary to knowing. Knowing is closer to the root of our being that thinking. All thinking, perceiving and feeling is known. Knowing is our core experience of the mind and the world. We could say, "I know, therefore I am."

How do I know I exist? Because I know. It should be clarified that this 'knowing' is equivalent to 'experiencing', and doesn't refer here to 'having knowledge'. Knowledge is something the mind acquires, whereas here we mean the pure knowing of experiencing. I can affirm that I am aware. It's useful to explore this awareness yourself. Are you aware?

Of course, the answer should be yes. You are aware that you are aware. You know that you know. This awareness or knowing is a core attribute of our being. It's difficult to go further back than being aware of being aware. But in Non Duality, our aim, for clear recognition, is to find that point where the world is experienced. Who is aware? Who knows knowing? Is there one who knows and a separate one who is aware of this?

Although we seem to have turned our attention inward to find who knows, we find that there is not a separate one knowing that we know. We are self aware. Our core nature is self aware. We are not really looking inward. Our self awareness is right here all along. But in searching for this core of our being, that part of us that seemed to be out there looking in is drawn inwards to the heart of being. The sense of being a separate self is drawn to the realisation of self awareness. This is the path of Self Enquiry that leads to what some call Enlightenment, Moksha, Nirvana, or Self Awareness.

This Self Enquiry leads to the dissolving of the false identity in the clear, unconfused, natural state of Self Awareness. I know, therefore I am.

Spiritual StarIt may be accepted as normal, but it's worth noting that human life can seem dull, boring and dreary. For many people life is a suffering, a heavy, dark experience, where death is something to look forward to. This is the experience of life at the far edge of separateness.

This isn't what life really is, but here we experience the dense weightiness, sluggishness and dullness that is the expression of life at the far end of the Spectrum of Life. The human experience is one of feeling the weight of the world. It is the hardened dense world of matter. It weighs us down, slows us down, and gets us down.

This is the human experience of life. It is not the only way that life can be experienced, and even within humanity there is a range of experiences of life. There is a fresher, dynamic, more vibrant experience of life. Most people have occasional glimpses of it. Many people chase after it, looking for those experiences that bring out the feeling of freshness, fun and excitement. It's difficult to maintain that freshness, as human life soon sinks back to its average state.

This is how it is for humanity. But it won't stay like this. Humanity can and will change. There are higher states of life to reach, and we can bring that about in our human experience of life now and in the development of humanity. We are looking for a freer, fresher, dynamic sense of life. This is not the truth of life, but it is closer to the truth than feeling restricted, dull and weighed down. The truth is Pure Life, which is totally free, without restriction, and totally fresh without age or deterioration. It is the timeless state of Now, or the Fullness of Life. The Fullness of Life is complete oneness, without lack, without confusion, heaviness or restriction.

It is through the Way of Oneness that we can find the Fullness of Life that is here right now. It is from the state of unlimited being that we perceive this human experience. It is necessary to withdraw from identifying as human, and to recognise that we are perceiving the human experience. As we look deeper to the Heart of Oneness we find that life is more alive. We change our focus from the weighty world of matter to the fresh spiritual weightless sense of being.

We are not matter. We are not human. We perceive this human experience with all its ups and downs. We perceive this human experience as if it were far away from the Fullness of Life. But the Fullness of Life is right here, where we are perceiving from.

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