Undertaker's Daughter

My life and death as spiritual path.

Location: River City, Northern California

Monday, March 21, 2005

NON-DUALITY: An Introduction
Part Three

Duality is a Non-Truth. It is a cage that has bound most of us since we have been human. That's a hell of a long time. It has made Being Human appear to be different from being an animal. It has made Animals Beasts and Humans nearly Angels. When we all know many Humans who are capable of Beastly behavior that no animal, with the possible exception of a chimp, our closest relative, is capable of concieving, let alone executing. And it has made some Humans believe that Animals are the last holy angels on earth, more worthy of protection than Aunt Margie-- fill in your own favorite relative here.

Neither of these Absolutes are true. We're all just beings-- if you're spiritually inclined, we are all creatures-- with the fascinating and irritating imperfections that go along with that classification.

Worst Effect yet-- Duality has cut us off from being in our beautiful decaying bodies in this beautiful decaying world whose very dissolution is miraculously wonderful. Who doesn't love Autumn as the leaves fall through colors of glory as they die into the black oozing no-exit of compost?

Clinging to the rigidity of Order, we actually live on the fractal edge of Chaos, where order and dissolution meet and mix. All growth and emergence flourishes there. In Order there is only inorganic death-- and even there chaos injects its radioactive change. In Chaos nothing can cohere enough to sustain the patterns that ravish the eyes and stimulate the mind. The mind itself is dependant on its emergence on that edge-- and that edge is rife with suffering because though everything emerges, nothing ever stays the same. All is eventually lost.

Living on the same planet, on the same edge, as creatures in this, I believe, miraculous creation, we experience the unifying quality of life which as Buddha said quite perceptively, cannot escape suffering. It is our common plight and our ultimate relationship.

And possibly, probably none of us should escape that fly in the oinment, Suffering-- it's also called dissatisfaction if that takes the awful sting out. Since that common condition of all sentient, conscious creatures is what allows us to drop the mask and say-- there but for the . . . whatever. Suffering is the main vehicle along which Compassion flows like a floodstream.

Hey, you mortal? Me too! Life sucky right now?? Me too! Wanna have a beer? Sorry, I forgot you were a Cocker Spaniel. How about some Bacon Bits?

Now I know that Gautama Buddha gives very detailed, and relatively easy methods of mitigating and transforming that suffering into a different kind of life. The kind of life that accepts the truth of reality-- sometimes it sucks, and that lasts too long, and sometimes it is heaven on earth, and that is over too soon. The kind of life that sees everybody, and I do mean everybody, goes through this. There are no good lives with nothing but good days and bad lives with nothing but tragedy. There are no victims and no teflon crooks. Because life is not measured by exteriors, and everybody suffers.

I'll admit, I have a real hard time believing this when I see a photo of a child sleeping in a gutter with flies on his eyes. I have a even harder time believing it when I see the profits of huge CEO's who seem to need those fly-bitten children to maintain their bottom line. But I know, even when evil is done-- daily-- those who do it, cannot escape suffering anymore than we can. Cmon, even Michael Jackson' nose, along with the rest of his life, collapsed. Exterior success tells us nothing about interior suffering-- and worse, interior emptiness and black holes instead of living souls. I'll take my chronic pain and inability to walk over the inability to pray. The first type of suffering just hurts, the second type annihilates the will to exist.

I also know that dividing up the innocent poor from the guilty rich, is a black iron wall isolating us from the grace of compassion. It deprives us of the full ability to love. Also, every inability to forgive, denys us the ability to forgive ourselves.

No more divisions. Please! No more divisions. If you have to, Do it to spite Them-- the ones in suits that want us to keep dividing and weakening-- but do it, let the bars that separate us come down. Cause none of us are free until all of us are free. And that includes god.

Told ya I was a heretic. But a heretic who won't do anything to weaken god's freedom.

Please, do feel free to disagree with me on that issue. But I maintain that god so loved his creation, he became part of it, and that will not change now.

This is the truly rock and a hard place of Non-Duality. There will be no Heaven, until Hell is empty. And every religion on the face of the earth has at least one hell. Buddhism has hundreds and they are some of the -- pardon me-- goddamn Hellish Hells you could ever imagine. They aren't eternal, but they are so gol-darn long they might as well be. And as most well-spoken Demons say, one second of Hell feels like Eternity anyway.

If we are not united, then each single one of us is in her own private hell, windowless and doorless, from which there is never an escape, not even in dreams. No, thank you. My worst enemy does not deserve this. How could I inflict on my best beloved friend?

It's not so hard to get out. You just love. In order to love, you just look. Look hard. Look without preconceptions. If I could love a rat, * you can love . . . Nixon-- he's easy, actually, he's dead. And his tortured soul was recorded for everyone to see and hear. If you can look through the soundbites to the pain, it's easier. And, remember, no one's asking you to love anybody's actions. Just their souls, no matter how small.

[I know, I promised myself to keep politics out, but this was such a good example, and I haven't mentioned any articles of impeachment so. . .]

No more Us and Them. You do also remember Jesus's injunctions about strangers and love, He wasn't tied to Us and Them either. I don't care how much you find to the opposite in the New Testament. And you will find some. The essence of Christ's teachings are universal love and forgiveness. I'm not going by the dogma of words, I'm going by what he actually did. If forgiving those who were nailing him into the cross while the pain was still bleeding out of his wounds is not Universal Forgiveness then nothing is. It was also Situational Ethics because They Know Not What They Do.

No More Us and Them.

Consider the important refuges of the human heart that are eliminated by this statement. No more revenge. No more righteous indignation-- that's a tough one for me. No more moral high ground-- if we are all [potentially] angels, we are also all [potentially] monsters. And lets face it, the monsters are easier to see, even in the mirror. Well, they are for me.

No more Justice, No more Good War, No More Self Defense-- if it's all self defense, though I would not sit there and let a murderer kill me, for her sake as well as mine. No more reason to refuse to Forgive-- not the action, but always the actor.

No More Being on The Winning Side.

  • Number one: There are No Sides.
  • Number two: There are No Winners.
  • Bonus: Number Three: there are no Losers.

Chogyam Trungpa was right-- taking Refuge in the Buddha, takes away more traditional Refuge than it gives. You will become a Refugee. Homeless from your usual Safe Places. Lost in a world that doesn't understand that We are All One.

All you have left is Love and it may not be returned or not by the person you wish would return it. You may not be undertood by those you admire. Your Love flows out and you know not where and you must believe it does some good, because the force of creation is Love and you are part of that now, right? Does anyone answer? And if they do, are you talking to yourself?

It is not an easy belief. It is not a belief at all, it is a practice of life different from the dog eat dog variety. A practice of thanking the universe for every sunset, every sunrise, every new bud on the camellia bush. Every child that opens its eyes on this world, every new thought, new hope, new strength. All that raw teenage energy that often sometimes flows into right action, when it can drag itself up from despair.

By the way. Who are we that Our Children spend so much time in despair? Any kindness, any respect-- yes, respect-- given to those who seem different, punkish,outlandish, perverse counters that despair. Yes, respect, appreciation. Remember God loves difference-- just look at the creation. Any act of mutual respect and appreciation lifts humanity. Any act of Judgement without Careful Thought, without Love, crushes it.

One more step to No Us and Them. Look at it this way, you can sit and stare at a flower for 20 minutes-- and I congratulate you if you do, it helps-- And-- not or-- you can practice respecting the rest of Humanity and thanking the rest of Creation for simply being.

Both practices are needed. Don't worry about the return. Let the Universe take care of how it comes back to you-- because it will.

And if this all seems silly as hell. Try this-- for one day, that's a long time, half a day, three hours. Surely you can find three hours. For that period act as if all the universe were designed for and responding to its love for you. Every song on the radio, every bird that flies by, every person you pass, every sound, every sight, all things are god's words and love for you. The universe, for three hours is a free broadband from. . .ok. . heaven. Just try it. Drop the cynicism and doubt and all those wonderful gifts of the modern world-- you'll never miss them for three hours.

Bring tissues. You may find yourself crying a great deal.


* See Wednesday, March 02, 2005 Lord of The Flies in this blog.


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