Reality and Illusion
In the field of pure consciousness, reality can be perceived as
existing on three levels:
- Everything is real;
- Everything is illusion;
- Nothing is.
I find that I relate to reality from whichever level is most
appropriate to the situation of the moment. When I'm at work, I use
"Everything is real." When I'm at play I use "Everything is illusion."
When I go deep inside I find "Nothing is." I'm aware of these levels
all the time, and I find that the further I go the more they coexist
simultaneously. This is my way of experiencing more fully all the
manifold qualities of this amazing reality we have co-created.
However, there is more. My favourite quote from Nisargadatta is, "Love
says 'I am everything'. Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my
life flows." This points to the truth that Oneness flies on two wings,
one composed of awareness (jnana) the other of love (bhakti). Only with
both wings fully spread can the soul fly to freedom.
My practice these days consists of exploring the interpenetration of
love and awareness in as many ways as possible:
Awareness for its own sake;
Love for its own sake;
Awareness of love;
Love of awareness;
Awareness within love;
Love within awareness;
Love and awareness as the same thing.
And finally, this all takes place within the four-fold manifestation of
my divine humanity: body/mind/heart/spirit.
Paradox be your Parachute
The absolute is inherent in the relative. Whenever we catch a glimpse
of the Absolute, we are looking on the face of God. When we see the
Relative, we are looking on the face of Man. One of the most effective
ways to see the "one" in the "two" (or in the many) is to embrace
paradox wherever we find it. Awareness/Love, Reality/Illusion,
Good/Evil, Action/Inaction, God/Man/Nature - all the dualities,
distinctions and separations we know and love contain the seeds of
their own unification. One way I find that seed is to hold one pole of
the apparent duality in each hand, become aware that both exist in my
life at the same time, and dive into the paradox that creates.
When viewed like this, all of life becomes a Zen koan - insoluble
unless and until we surrender to the paradox.
I find that the best pointer to the next step on the path is my own
resistance and fear. When I move towards the fear I usually find I'm
looking at a dualism of some sort - some inherent, intrinsic,
irreconcilable contradiction. At that point, I invite myself to dive
into the conflict. If I have enough trust to take that step off the
edge, I usually find that I fall only for a moment, and then suddenly I
discover myself floating in unity, as I always have been.
Awareness, love, trust and surrender are the keys to the door.
The dance of Lila never ends, and its joys are infinite.