Sunday, June 28, 2009


The great sage Krishnamurti said that between subject and object lies the suffering of all humanity. Subject and object is dualism. Dualism means that you believe there is a subject, you and your awareness, and separate objects, everything you experience through your senses. Though it sounds absurd to you, that is merely a perspective and a limited one at that. Actually, everything you see or hear or experience, and ever will see, hear, or experience, are objects arising in your awareness and your awareness and that object are not two but one. Everything that makes that object what it is, that you experience, everything, is your awareness. Your awareness and everything we consider to make an object what it is are one and the same. It does not mean however that when you are not aware of an object, like a tree for example, it somehow blips out of existence. It is still there but its true nature is simply beyond our understanding. Its color, taste, feel, smell, sound, or apparent nature, everything you believe that makes it that tree, arises solely in your mind. There is no color, taste, feel, smell or sound without a corresponding mind. So its apparent nature, what makes it that object in our mind, is our mind. So in a very real sense, your awareness and any object are one. In fact the awareness of all beings and all objects in the universe are one. To ignore this and believe there is two, subject and object, is dualism.

Sound counter intuitive, even ridiculous? Consider this example. When you dream, do you believe the objects and images in your dream are separate from you, somehow outside of you? Probably not. You will agree they are your images, a part of you, your own awareness. Your mind is not tapping into some separate dream projection center located elsewhere. Why then is it so difficult for you to accept the same process in your waking state? Because, you may argue, you initiate and generate dream images. Waking images are initiated by and reflect objects and events separate from you. It may be true that the objects in your waking awareness are initiated by objects separate from you but everything they are, everything that will ever be accessable to you are created in your sensory awareness, no different than dream images. Sight, sound, smell, taste, and feeling, everything that any object is, is created by you, is your awareness, is the awareness of any living being, is not two but one. Nothing that you have ever experienced exists outside of your sensory awareness. This is not to say that the object itself, does not exist separate from you. But its true nature is beyond our understanding. Its appearance, sound, smell, taste, and tactile feel, in fact everything that makes it an object, is you, is your awareness, exactly as you do in the dream state.

So what, some may argue. So our awareness is like a mirror, reflecting and amplifying and interpreting the qualities already existing independently in all objects. Our sensory facilities reproduce internally what is already there outside of us, like a video recorder and player. Unfortunately, that does not hold up to inquiry. That perspective presumes that there there is one fixed state of all objects and living beings perceive it with their senses. But any scientist can tell you, begrudgingly perhaps, that it is all relative. There are immense differences in sensory perception among life forms, even among people. no one perception is more or less valid than another. Take vision for example. We "see" only a narrow band of light waves. There are far more frequencies out there many of which may be visible to different sets of eyes. So in regards to vision, and all the senses, all the qualities that make an object an object, are the products of your awareness and there is no fixed, locked in master version existing "out there". It is all "in here". "Out there" and "in here" are really the same thing. It is all you, your awareness. There is not one fixed state of all objects. All objects and all awareness are not two, but one.

The relevance of this, a non dualistic perspective, is that any notion of a separate self at odds with the universe should come tumbling down. Your awareness and the awareness of all beings defines the universe. That is why one great scientist and physicist said that the more we learn about the true nature of the universe, it is less like a thing and more like a thought. So rather than limiting yourself to a small self in a vulnerable bag of skin and bones and all the problems that come with that, recognize that what you really are, your awareness, is universal. And if you do, your view of your own life will expand immeasurably.

1 comment:

  1. David Hoffmeister is a teacher and living demonstration of non dual teachings and philosophy. His gentle demeanor and articulate, non-compromising expression are a gift to all. non dual path