The spiritual search is essentially a search for TRUE IDENTITY. Who we really are after all illusions are dispelled.
After enlightemnment, Andrew Cohn answered the question WHO AM I? in this way -
"I am first and foremost a HUMAN BEING, who in my deepest dimension is not separate from the UNCHANGING WHOLE".
After enlightenment, most non-dual teachers answered the same question, WHO AM I? in this way -
"I am first and foremost the UNCHANGING WHOLE who, in a superficial and peripheral dimension of my being, has the appearance of a separate HUMAN BEING".
The two different grounds of perception lead to radically different presentations of THE TEACHINGS.
|HUMAN BEING||UNCHANGING WHOLE|
(consider the life of Jesus . . .)
(consider the lilies of the field . . .)
|unambiguous morality||morality is not necessarily bound by convention|
|evolutionary - man reaches to God||involutionary - God descends to man||evolutionary||the end of evolution - you are already THAT which you eternally strive to become||I am the wave||I am the ocean|
|the thrill of change||the peace of the unchanging|
|there is death||nothing is born, nothing dies|
|flow of time - past, present, future||eternal present|
|"big bang"||uncreated universe||increasing complexity||utter simplicity - nothing ever happens|
|save the world||fait accompli - the world has already been saved|
|personal responsibility||shared responsibility|
|change! then you can become enlightened||become enlightened! then you can change|
|intention to save all sentient beings||no intention - sentient beings are self-liberating|
|commitment||autonomy||follow the buddha||kill the buddha|
|hierarchy||absolute equality - just different roles to play|
|love begets freedom||freedom begets love|
|come together as one||we are already one|
|we learn from each other||revelation|
|clear unambiguous teachings||necessarily contradictory teachings - encompassing all opposites|
|all is known||everything is unknowable|
|words at face value||fingers pointing to the moon|
|logical presentaion of the teachings||mystical presentation of the teachings|
|I judge||who is there to judge?|
|organize||you can't organize truth|
|doing||being . . . (there is no doer!)|
|there is a lot to do||everything is perfect||the world we live in is our creation||spring comes - the grass grows by itself|
|co-creation; Thy/my will be done||co-creation; Thy will be done||struggle to overcome resistance||going with 'the flow'||concensus intiates collective action||inspiration initiates individual action|
|the tail wagging the dog||the dog wagging the tail|
|you've got to live the teachings -|
intellectually, emotionally and creatively
|you've got to live the the teachings -|
intellectually, emotionally and creatively
The following questions further illustrate the different perspectives.
|Andrew Cohen||Traditional Non-dual Teachers|
|Are you willing to seriously discuss matters of a relative nature?||Yes! It's the only sane way to live.||If we feel like it - but then, only as an actor walking onto a stage entering a dream world.There are only two questions we seriously discuss on the relative level. They are momentous questions.|
|What are those questions?||1 - Where do you go when you die?|
2 - What is your original face? ie - Who were you before you were born?
|Where do you go when you die?||hahahahah|
I'll send you a postcard
|Ramana Maharshi said just before his death - |
"They tell me I am dying - they tell me I am leaving them, but where can I go?
|Who were you before you were born?||I don't know! . . .excuse me I gotta go . . . there's a lotta work to be done.|| The answer to your question is experiential.|
An experience ever accessible . . . by a heart unburdened by doing and becoming . . . in the present moment . . . in silence and stillness.
|What part do you intend to play in the Divine Plan?||I intend to give it my all.||We intend to be an instrument, a conduit, an empty channel.|
So after realization there will naturally be a search to understand these three questions -
What has happened?
To whom has it happened?
and after stabilization - What do I do now?
Your understanding will coalesce around one of the two perspectives - HUMAN BEING or UNCHANGING WHOLE. Both of these perspectives are logically consistent and constitute a "teaching" within their own frames of reference.
In fact they are just two sides of ONE coin. Two faces of human potential.
Harmonious development of human life, in time and space, occurs on a 'PATHLESS PATH' in the dynamic inner tensions between the opposite sides of this coin.
|attributes of the human being||attributes of the unchanging whole|
|The wise Mulla Nasrudin was asked - "Where is your house on the road? On the left or on the right?" He said - "It depends. Sometimes it is on the left, sometimes it is on the right. It depends from where you are coming".|
|A story told by a wise man - "Once I found myself in an unfamiliar country, walking down a strange street. I looked around trying to get my bearings; and seeing two men who were standing nearby, I approached them. `Where am I?' I asked. `Who are you people?' "The first man replied, `This is the world of Samsara, and in this world I happen to be the very tallest dwarf there is!' And the other man replied, `Yes, and I happen to be the shortest giant!' "This encounter left me very confused because, you see, both men were exactly the same height."|
Ultimately there should be no self-hypnotic identification with either polarization. They are just relative conceptual presentations of THE TEACHING. Tools of consciousness that can be picked up and put down at whim.
An absolute teaching has the power to dispel illusion. It is a response to life as it unfolds moment to moment, coming from no particular perspective, but from the emptiness of an empty mind. It reveals the practicalities of identity by its context and its transcendence by its spontaneity.
The perspective of the Human Being is known as the SON.
The perspective of the Unchanging Whole is known as the FATHER.
A person who has realized his 'nothingness' (ie is not personally identified with either perspective)and has been humbled by life, is said to invoke the power and movement of the HOLY SPIRIT.
"To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven". (Ecclesiastes 3,1)