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Introduction

 

 

Joining the Oneness
Beyond Nonduality

Before you start reading this book, please take a moment to read this introduction. It will help you understand where I am coming from.

By Nonduality, I mean teachings such as Advaita Vedanta (from India) and Chan Buddhism (from China). Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj and Shankara are some of the most well-known teachers of Advaita Vedanta. Bodhidharma, Hui-Neng, Huang Po and Lin-Chi are some of the most well known teachers of Chan Buddhism (each of the above Advaita Vedanta and Chan Buddhism teachers is now deceased).

Nondual teachings basically contend that there is only One Self, the nature of this self is pure awareness, and everything else, including a multiplicity of souls, is just an illusion. Advaita Vedanta says there is only Sat Chit Ananda (Consciousness, Existence, Bliss). The Ajata Vada doctrine (no creation) as advocated by Ramana Maharshi, contends that nothing was ever created.

One night I was meditating and my spirit guidance showed me a symbolic visual image. This is one of the key ways in which my spirit guidance communicates to me. I was shown a table that was a symbol for balance. Ramana Maharshi sat at one half of the table and a lady sat at the other. Ramana represented the pure awareness, unmanifested aspect of being and the lady represented the creative aspect. Ramana wore a business suit even though he wore only a loin cloth while in this world, because it was being communicated that he was too conservative with his teachings (symbol-wise, a business suit can mean conservative). His image smiled at me because he was happy to discover that the creative aspect of being is also a key part of reality. This is a good thing because if the creative aspect of being, with the assistance of the mind aspect of being, didn’t bring manifested reality into existence, there wouldn’t be anything for awareness to be aware of. When I say this I have it in mind that even basic qualities such as love and peace were brought into existence by the awareness, creative and mind aspects of being working together in a wise, harmonious, productive, and unified manner (unified, because these aspects aren’t separate from each other).

Those who believe that people such as Ramana Maharshi were enlightened masters might believe it is cocky for me to suggest that I have information to offer that is beyond what nondual teachers teach. They might wonder if I’m claiming to be some sort of super duper enlightened being. This isn’t the case. I don’t claim to be infallible and have all of the answers, nor do I claim to be the only person who knows about the topics I share in this book. I also don’t claim to be enlightened, partly because after years of seeing what so-called enlightened masters are actually about, the label enlightened no longer means a lot to me. I say this because I have found that not everything supposedly enlightened teachers say is accurate. There are also things they don’t talk about that one would expect people who give themselves a lofty title such as enlightened, self-realized, or God realized, would talk about. For example, God, Source Being, the Creator, the One Self, whatever term you use, found a way to make it so many beings (souls) are able to exist in a manner where they are much more than mere illusions. Additionally, there is the matter of the unethical behavior many supposedly enlightened masters have exhibited.

When I reached the point where I allowed myself to think outside the limited psychological box created by assuming I couldn’t have a better understanding than the people referred to as enlightened, more wonderful and complete horizons became available to me. Much of the power and wisdom of my soul came back to me when I stopped believing that others who have labeled themselves in a lofty way hold the key to my spiritual progress.

I believe it is fine that some nondualists have become aware of what Source Being was like before it used its creative and mind aspects to manifest existence. However, exclusive focus on this primal state will deprive a person of becoming aware of the bigger picture Source Being had in mind when it created the universe. A person might make the mistake of trying to push a part of himself away by making false conclusions such as “I’m not my mind” or “there is no me,” rather than seek to develop himself (his soul) spiritually.

Just because it is possible for a person to stop the associative processes of mind that enable him to figure out who he is beyond the awareness aspect of himself, this doesn’t mean that such processes don’t provide a factual explanation of who he is. I’m not saying that he needs to cling to a body-based image of himself for all of eternity, but he will need to see that not only is he a being who is aware, he is also a being who has the ability to learn from his experiences and the experiences of others. He can use this knowledge to guide the creative aspect of his being in a wise and loving way, once he learns to not over identify with the ingredients that were a part of his soul’s education, such as his human identity.

If you’re a nondualist who believes that eventually you’ll have to reach a point where you no longer exist so that only One Self that doesn’t make use of its creative aspect of its being exists, I hope you’ll find that this book helps you see that an incredibly much more wonderful, beautiful, exciting and perfected manner of existence awaits you, than the nondual viewpoint contends. If you’re not a nondualist you still might find that this book has much to offer, because it speaks of matters that are important to all of us.