Unity vs Duality

Early on, silence and expression can seem opposed. For example, in a meditation practice, we may seek Yoga. Yoga Sutra 1 v2-3: Yoga is the complete settling of the activity of the mind. Then the observer is established in their own nature. Seeking a silent mind, we may rail against the mind’s constant expression. And yet that railing is the mind wanting to control. Or as Yoga puts it, aversion that leads to suffering rather than liberation. In an effortless practice, we allow the mind to do its thing – partly because the practice causes the physiology to settle and … Continue Reading…

Atman and Sattva

One of the curious things about the spiritual journey is that the reality of one stage is not the reality of another. As each stage is a shift in being, it brings its own sense of self and the world. As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to say, “Knowledge is different in different states of consciousness.” For example, we can easily compare waking and dreaming states. The reality in each is quite distinct. This also means that terminology that well-suits one stage doesn’t work as well for another. My book editor, for example, steered me away from a few phrasings like … Continue Reading…

Seeking Balance

Throughout the spiritual process, we find layers and layers of conflict between opposing impulses. The desire to fall within and stay vs the call to come out into the world and act Silent presence vs lively flow Pleasure and escape vs self-care Fear and the desire for security vs release and letting go Personal control vs laws of nature Habit vs conscious action Appearance vs reality Our ideals vs what is here The divine vs the astral vs the physical These polarities are known as duality. The key to duality is not choosing sides but finding a balance. And that comes … Continue Reading…

Enlightened Duality

The closing of the book Halfway up the Mountain by Mariana Caplan is a chapter on how enlightenment is only the beginning. She correctly notes there is no “top end” or final state. From the perspective here, there is a final stage in consciousness but the potential of knowledge, perception and refinement is essentially endless. Enlightenment is to be lived, not achieved. She describes how you have to come down out of the unitive state and live enlightenment in the world in a state of “enlightened duality.” This is what I’d call awakening, Self Realization or Cosmic Consciousness. In that … Continue Reading…