Which Version of Nonduality is True? Which is Best?
Nonduality teachers come in a range of teachings. From the often folksy teachings of Mooji to the often stop-us-in-our-tracks teachings of Tony Parsons; the basic knowledge of ancient Advaita Vedanta has been repackaged for the modern world in various ways.
At one end of the spectrum, the many teachers near the Tony Parsons camp tell us that all that we hold as familiar and basic in life is illusion:
our opinions, our viewpoints, even our mind itself don’t matter because they are all dreamed. Only what happens, from moment to moment is true, they say. These teachers say that there is nothing to do, and nothing that can be done, to improve ourselves. We are already there, they say, and there is no magical enlightenment possible, simply the possibility of accepting life as happening just the way it happens, with no individual here to be improved.
At the other end of the spectrum, Mooji and others tell us that our familiar life is true, up to a point. Part of it is what we believe it, what we cling to or avoid, and that part is unreliable and temporary, the source of suffering. Another part of it, including many perceptions, thoughts, and even beliefs, are part of the practical mechanics of life, and so can be considered as true. There are exercises we can do, they say, that we should not consider to be rigid techniques, including introspection on what we are not (neti-neti), guided meditation, satsang, and allowing our attention to rest on the true Self, which is pure, unbounded consciousness. Practicing these over time, they say, will prepare the way for the spontaneous shifting of identity from our imagined separate self to unbounded timeless consciousness, the only reality that actually exists.
Are these two views really different, or the same? Are they equally useful to a seeker of peace and happiness?
While I suspect that a deep answer will take greater insight and time to develop than I have, I would like to propose that both views can be helpful, depending on the individual seeker.
Which do you resonate with most? Or do you sometimes resonate with one view and sometimes with another? Please post your insights and experience below. Also welcome are additions and corrections to these preliminary descriptions of the spectrum of nonduality.
Garden of Friends