Monday, October 1, 2012

The Xin-Xin Ming IX: Non-Dual Reality

Scott Bradley


"All dualities come from ignorant inference." (Clarke)
"All dualities are falsely imagined." (?)

These are two translations of the same verse and I have forgotten where I got the second, which I prefer.

There is, I believe, incredible power in this simple statement. All duality is illusory. All duality. "Falsely imagining" is not excepted; it is not possible to "stray from Dao"; it is only possible to be unaware of what is already true of us. In realizing oneness, one does not 'become' anything, gain anything, or deny anything.

Non-duality is not the denial of duality; that would be dualism. We begin where we are, in acceptance of where we are. If dualism is "ignorant" or "false", it is only so to the extent that we narrowly cling to that experience as if it were the only experience. Yet even this does not escape oneness.

"If you wish to move in the One Way, do not dislike the world of senses and ideas. Indeed, to embrace them fully is identical to true Enlightenment."
"When you live this non-separation, all things manifest the One, and nothing is excluded."

As things have turned out in this evolving world, the immediate price of self-consciousness is dualism, just as the price of life is death. Dualism begins and ends here, in the human mind. To wage war against who we are would be like beating our children for being less than adult. Rather, we nurture how we presently are; and what we presently experience is integrated into our growing awareness.

It has been noted that the Xin-Xin Ming does not seem to concern itself with the great debate between the Northern and Southern Schools of Ch'an, between gradual or sudden enlightenment. Given its historical context in the midst of that debate, this is itself illuminating. In the end, they are not incompatible. In any event, we begin where we are and, in our nurturing, let things happen as the do.

Cognitively understanding that there is Oneness is not the ultimate experience of Oneness, but it is a wonderful place to begin, and brings its own rewards.

“To have a narrow mind, and to be attached to getting enlightenment is to lose one’s center and go astray.”

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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