Nonduality Versus Psychology?
In psychological work, I could ‘re-parent’ my inner child, acknowledge him and cherish him, bringing the feeling of wholeness. I’m not sure I’m ready for not having this inner child. On the other hand I don’t want to keep switching between the psychological point of view and nonduality and not follow through on either. What should I do? (Anon., U.S.)
When we hear nondual teachings about there being no self, nothing to do, nothing to know, etc., it can be easy to imagine that nonduality is a philosophical viewpoint that is in opposition to all our activity and all our conceptualizations surrounding these activities. How can we do re-parenting psychological work if there is no self to do it, no inner child, and nothing missing in the first place?
However, nonduality is not a philosophical viewpoint, and it is not in opposition to any viewpoint or activity. It is a word for the space in which all viewpoints and activity are happening. Teachings inviting us to look for a self, a need to do, or a need to know, are used to reveal what is here prior to all conceptualization. What is here prior to the thought that there is or is not a self? What is here prior to the thought that we need to do something or we don’t need to do anything?
Nonduality is the broader deeper truth in which all our conceptualizations and projects are happening. Nonduality doesn’t negate or oppose projects such as re-parenting or conceptualizations such as “my inner child.” It reveals the context-less context in which these are happening. It invites us to see that our concepts and projects are being made-up and allows us to appreciate that they are ultimately not necessary. And even a statement like this can be received very lightly, as just another made-up frame attempting to hint at this which is prior to all frames.
When we believe nonduality is in opposition to any activity it means that we are relating to nonduality as a philosophy, but as soon as we look for the meaning of nonduality we can’t find anything. What is the meaning of this moment? What is the meaning of awareness itself? As we look without finding, we might fall open to the vast openness, and yet nothing is being erased or denied. Could any thought or activity degrade this?
Yes. It seems strange though that even words like “non duality” imply duality partly because the nature of language is duel in itself. How can something exist which is non duel when it is expressed in the duality of language itself? When we look into emptiness, we find that in a very precise moment, all concepts are able to disappear into silence. This seems to be the source of freedom, where thoughts have no influence. When I go to satsangs, which ‘I” do occasionally, I find that most people speak to so called teachers from the the point of view that something is lacking and needs to be healed or understood. That might be because we have been conditioned for so many thousands of years to think in terms of knowledge or ideas instead of trusting our hearts and our perception to communicate from there. Psychology seems to be a way of actualizing the conflict in language which is already in the human psyche. Psychology is always division because it works from memories or images which are stored in the brain. Psychology enhances division because it creates an analyzer separate from what is being analyzed. The observer always functions from memories and creates the idea that there is a separate person which is really just a construct of memories or images. The peculiar thing is that this sense of lack which is inherent in separation is enhanced when people tell their story. It will always be conflict because it is based on time which can never be really present. Only when the consciousness empties its contents can perception reveal itself. This is not at all complicated and is actually easier then easy. It comes about with a kind of devine amnesia where memories are no longer stored as conflict. This is really the end of all psychological discussion and moves more deeply into observation which is really just attention to what is happening in a when the mind is empty. This is freedom and it is always instantaneously realized. It cannot be taught or understood. It seems to be more of a letting go then something acquired through any kind of understanding. It seems to me that there might be a confusion from so called non duel teachers that there is a kind of healing process or psychological understanding which can lead gradually to freedom. However once it is seen that the observer is the observed, then there is a completely different way of exploring consciousness which is never personal and moves from the whole into the parts. The inner and outer are no longer separated. We are able to investigate together. This is never able to happen with any real degree of authenticity if there is an assumption of teachers and students. Freedom is always at the beginning and can not be the result of any process. Freedom comes into being when time stops.
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