‘Non-duality’ as a suit of armour

The mind does funny things with this wholeness concept.

It can hammer it into a shield for protection and a sword to ward away anyone who might come close.

Because there is nothing more terrifying than relationships when the lack deep inside us has not healed.

When we have lost or been rejected, when that loss and rejection has become part of our identity, our life can become a study in avoidance, protection and defence.

And what greater defence is there than the ultimate spiritual and inarguable ultimatum that there are no other people. No self. No other. No reality.

We hear the words ‘no self no other’ at a retreat or in a video and they are like an unassailable refuge.

‘Nothing is real?’ Great. In that case I can hide away here to my heart’s content. I will block those that offend me. I will not risk putting anything out in the world that might be laughed at or ignored.

Or I will ride roughshod over another person’s feelings, their asks of us, their sensitivities and requirements.

I will close my eyes to the implications of my actions. Close my ears to criticisms. Because there is no other.

In other words, ‘there is no other’ becomes a spiritual justification for an exit from society, from relationships, from expression, from confrontation, from risk, from challenge to the identity. A moving away from anything that might confront us or cause us discomfort.

Which is why the only real spirituality, the only real truth is available through the living out of the areas of life that confront and cause us discomfort. Presence to this. Staying still when the ego wants to run away or moving into the unknown when fear says ‘better the devil you know’.

It is so hard to stay present, to stay intimate. Because more often than not this difficulty, this urge for fight, flight or freeze has been ingrained in us from an early age. The insecurity of a violent, indifferent, perilous or abusive childhood is not easily unlearned. It is not even built into the self-identity; it is the self-identity. Humans are dangerous, we have learned. Relationships are impossible. We learned it through fear of our actual physical survival. We learned it through fear of ejection from our immediate and vital social group.

It becomes the denial of need

And yet here we are in a world crammed full of others. Here we are in challenges that confront us from left, right and centre. And these are the gifts. These are the moments of revealing what is being protected and what can never be secured.

Our truth is the movement into these challenges. Our freedom is to live what lies through the fear.

Presence in the discomfort.

Accountability in the confrontation.

Listening in the conflict.

A deep breath and witnessing in the fear.

And we become love, freedom and peace in everything.





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