“When the sun sets in the west, does it appear or disappear?”
She paused for a moment, staring at me like I was an idiot. She’s probably right. “Disappears.”
“When the sun sets in the West, does it come into existence or cease to exist?”
After a genuinely thoughtful pause, she replied, “Neither.”
“Because it’s still there, shining somewhere else.”
“Everything is just like that.”
We tend to make things more complicated than we need to.
Non-separation/nonduality is practically at the top of the list when it comes to that. But, it’s only human to make mountains out of molehills.
We even turn spirituality, religion, philosophy and mysticism into “something special.” The second we do that though, the second we elevate that above the ordinary day-to-day BS, we misplace it, ya know?
Once we elevate our views into something transcendent or other-worldly, we’re on a trip. We’re tripping back into the same traps that prompted us to escape our suffering and confusion in the first place.
Everybody’s tripping. That’s a decent translation of moha, or delusion. Everybody’s tripping. Even me. Even Bodhisattvas and sages are tripping. A Buddha is the only sober being on earth. At least, that’s what they say anyway.
Like any trip, we tend to read into things more than necessary. We pile so much shit onto our experiences that we no longer experience anything—except shit.
Making spirituality into something inhuman is just tossing more dirt on the mirror. Nonduality, for instance, is really quite simple. You can see it everywhere. Things come and go as appearances, but in actuality there’s no coming or going. Just like how the sun seems to rise and set but really it never rises or sets.
Everything’s like this. But the danger is still present, the danger of making this into something convoluted. Intellect has the habit of taking something direct, emotional and intuitive and burdening it with deductions.
Even enlightenment’s like that. All these great books, these profound Sutras, Vedas and Gospels bury the lead in rationalizations and beliefs. And that’s OK too. That’s all part of It. It’s just natural for us to exclaim, “I hit the mark! I hit the mark! It must’ve been because of..” after we hit the mark.
That doesn’t mean it’s optimal, just natural.
We rationalize because we want to figure out how to make repeat performances, but that’s the issue. Once you truly pierce enlightenment, gnosis, individuation, non-separation or what-have-you, there is no repeat performance. That’s it, it just becomes your life. And if you do experience that kind of sudden flash again, it’s never identical to the one before it.
All we have to do is make enlightenment synonymous with life; a synonym for being.
This is nothing knew. The Buddha’s simplest and most direct teaching was the first one he gave to a passing mendicant. He said, “I am free.” So that’s it. Just realize that you’re already free and then you’ll be free.
But the realization is important. It doesn’t matter if you understand that you’re free or believe that you are. It has to be visceral. Then, just keep renewing that freedom from moment to moment.
You’re already whole, already complete. So just see that. The only thing that prevents that realization is spotlight attention. This sort of awareness makes the mind seem small, and since we think it’s small we clutter all of our thoughts, views, and feelings on top of each other. This causes dissonance, a.k.a. dukkha.
But if we switch on the overhead lights, it’s clear how vast the mind really is. Then all the stuff we have in our heads no longer feels so cluttered. This is nonduality. This is acceptance.
It’s just like the sunset. It’s setting because we’re fixed in one place. If we could hop off the earth and view it from a distance, we’d see that the sun never rises or sets and that there’s plenty of room for day and night to take place at the same time.
Likewise, it isn’t that enlightenment goes anywhere, it’s just that the mind is spinning in circles. Stepping out from the cycles, everything’s clear.