The beautiful swamp of duality
I recently reconnected with an old friend, with whom we spent, about three decades ago, a few years of intensive spiritual explorations together, mostly on Enlightenment Intensives. As we were remembering old times and catching up on everything that happened since in our lives, he asked me:
“Robert, in all your explorations in your life, all your travels, have you ever met a fully enlightened, a fully liberated person?”
This question hit me like meeting a long-forgotten world. Of course, back than it was all about the spiritual duality: enlightened vs non-enlightened, liberated vs caught in ego, spiritual vs non-spiritual, fully enlightened vs just partially enlightened… Yes, while we were, with our very best intentions and all the sincerity we were possessing, doing our best to figure out this mystery of life, we were, again and again, getting lost in the swamp of duality between good and bad, the desired and the not-desired. Chasing some mental images about how we were supposed to be, versus how we actually were. And at the same time condemning duality itself. 😊
As I was remembering these times I was also noticing how incredibly far these concepts were from how I have been experiencing reality nowadays. Instead of understanding it all in a linear way, this is to say along the line from prison to freedom, from darkness to enlightenment, I experience it all as a multidimensional flow of evolution and creation in this omnipresent field of possibilities. The pre-cosmic consciousness exploring possibilities, creating new combinations and, at the same time, innocently marvelling at the creation. Observing it from infinite number of viewpoints.
It all seems so incredibly far from a sense of being imprisoned and having to break free.
An ongoing creation and exploration, an ongoing creation of a work of art of cosmic proportions.
A rather similar experience I had just a few weeks later, when another friend, in a spiritually inspired conversation, asked:
“Yes, but what if all these mind-blowing and ecstatic spiritual experiences of oneness and timelessness and omnipresence that we have been experiencing, what if all these are actually just an illusion, created by some very biological principles in our brains in order to keep us happy and content and to keep procreating? What if none of this is actually true?”
Again I had to smile at this polarity: truth vs illusion. Which, of course, would mean truth = good and illusion = bad. How persistent our poor minds are, trying to make sense of it all.
While I am actually not sure there is such a big difference between the two. In a way, everything we can possibly experience is an illusion, is a creation, and at the same time it is the only truth that can ever be. It all seems to be within the ongoing creation, which is illusion and the objective truth at the same time.
Although it sometimes may seem to me that I have been struggling with the same patterns and fears throughout my life and have not progressed much, at these specific moments of having been asked these questions I felt full of celebration. As it was in an instant and in a very embodied way clear that I have covered a huge piece of journey in these decades. It was clear how deeply peaceful, settled, in ease and inner spaciousness I am now around these questions, while remembering all the frustration and tension and fears that used to be struggling within me.
Even more, the duality that seemed like an arch-villain back then, I actually celebrate it now, seeing beauty in it. Namely, to me duality seems to be holding the portal for creation open, making the creating as well as witnessing the creation possible. If there is no duality present, then we have static oneness and no creation. Not that this would be bad, of course, but the field of possibilities and potentials would remain unexplored and unexperienced.
Yet this way, with the portal of duality kept open, the explorative dance of consciousness can continue, exploring new combination of movements and qualities, like a giant cosmic dancer…
Am I making any sense?