I am inspired by a book I started yesterday called One: Essential Writings on Nonduality. As the foundation of most ancient Eastern teachings, non-dualism is an interconnectedness, a belief that appearances and differences are not reality. James Swartz Ramji says it isn’t another philosophy, religion, or belief system, but rather an “idea that embraces and redeems all ideas.” See below for a teaching on non-duality that I found particularly interesting. I always read passages I love multiple times; it is amazing what you miss from just reading once.
Excerpt from One: Essential Writings on Nonduality by Jerry Katz
“The desire for spiritual growth is like every other desire. It may lead to mystical experience, to inner peace and greater wisdom. Perhaps we become comfortable in ashrams, around gurus, and at gatherings and retreats. Meditation, yoga, and spirituality fill our lives. For a while our desire feels satisfied. But after months or years, the desire returns. Now we learn that our desire for mystical experience, spiritual wisdom, or inner peace was the wish for another thing to possess.
We remain unsatisfied. Our spiritual need is now directed toward something unlike any spiritual experience or knowledge we have ever imagined. This “something” lies beyond experience and growth, beyond passion. We intuit that fulfillment of this desire is the end to stress, anxiety, desperation, and fear, and the opening to freedom, joy, and simplicity.
This something could be called truth. When the thirst for truth is met, the sense of being separate from truth is gone. Nonduality literally means not two, which describes our relationship to truth. We, and our desires, do not disappear in truth; they simply become seen as not separate…
It is our common world in which one thing after another promises to satisfy us, including spiritual things. In childhood culture we were handed a clue about how to manage our urge for that something:
Tim Woodsman: What have you learned, Dorothy?
Dorothy: Well, I — I think that it — it wasn’t enough to just want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em — and it’s that– if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?
Glinda: That’s all it is.
Our heart’s desire and who, what, and where we are, are not separate. Our pursuit for truth is for the full recognition of non-separation, not-two-ness, or nonduality.”