Duality and non-duality
Duality means believing that we are alone and isolated from others,
from what surrounds us and from the World. Duality is seeing Life,
the Whole, the Source or God, however each person defines them,
as abstract concepts which escape our understanding and which
exist elsewhere. Duality is thinking that we are cut off from
love, security and the understanding we seek. Duality means believing
that things are separate from each other and that there is no
common direction to the course of events of life.
Non-duality lets us see that all is connected and in unity, that
All is One. That we are the Whole and the parts of the Whole:
that together, with the rest of existence, we form the Whole,
the totality of Life. This ensures not only that we no longer
feel ourselves to be cut off from life and from reality, but that
we know that we are the creators of this life and of that reality
for which we were searching. This enables us to become aware of
and to experience the fact that all that exists is not elsewhere
and in another time, but here and now. It lets us see that the
love, the peace of mind and the true understanding which we seem
to lack, are in fact part of our deeper nature and of what is
most real in us.
At the source of sufferings
The only way to cease suffering is to find and eliminate the cause
of suffering. To see the cause, to understand it and to heal the
wound left by it are the only effective, direct and sure ways
of passing to another state and being free.
What about causes ?
What is the origin of suffering ?
Why does one suffer ?
We suffer because we are afraid to lose the things we are attached
to. And we suffer because, through the hurts and experiences of
the past, we know what it is to lose. We feel that we have already
lost something and that there is the possibility of losing more.
We are afraid to lose the things we own, to lose the people we
love. To lose our bodies or a part of our bodies, to lose our
life, our freedom, our power, our self-esteem, our personal identities
and everything with which we identify ourselves.
Isn't it normal to be afraid of these things? Yes, because we
think that these things are all that we have and all that we are.
These are our accumulations, our stock of knowledge, our personal
“If I could maintain my body to remain as it is when it
is in good condition and young, if I could maintain a strong personal
identity, a flawless image in front of others, all my possessions
and all my relationships in their current state, I would heal
and I would no longer be hurting. But this is not the case, because
everything changes and all things transform. ”
Financial security, loving attachment in relationships and momentary
pleasures can give us a certain detachment and a certain sense
of relief. But true detachment comes from knowing that we are
not the body or the personal identity we use to go through this
human experience. Detachment comes from knowing that this experience
is temporary (but lived in a global and permanent context, outside
of the anthropomorphic context of time). Knowing that we are presence-observer-witness
of the spectacle of material life carries us much nearer to the
truth. Becoming aware that we are living a transitory experience
where we identify ourselves with our bodies and with the rest
of the material world allows us to see this experience of life
Our perception, our judgement of things, our behavior and our
body change, but what persists is our presence, which is outside
the context of time; our presence as observer-spectators of the
various games of Life. We are the creators of this marvellous
material experience, and it is by our own will that we maintain
the body in its particular and more-or-less changing form, and
by which we maintain our experience in this world (the experience
of this world). But we are not merely this body and series of
experiences. Rather, these are only physical manifestations of
who we are.
What is a wound ?
So we are afraid to relive a difficult event, a wound which we
carry. Afraid of losing, or of losing more. We are afraid of losing
because we know, through experience, what it is like to lose.
The wound is a mark left by the loss of something to which we
were attached and that we valued. This may be the loss of an arm,
the loss of a house, the loss of a relationship, loss of confidence,
the loss of dignity or of self-esteem. Wounds are memories of
suffering. They are marks left by events which have distanced
us (seemingly, temporarily) from that which we really are.
“When I am being hit or maltreated, I feel distant from
my own self-esteem, from my dignity and my human value, but especially
from the deepest part of my nature and from the being of the Absolute
which I am.”
All in all, we suffer because we feel far away from the love,
the light (pure conscience) and the Source which we really are.
And the cure ?
Of course, there are various types of medications designed to
cure the body or the pains of a wounded and damaged body. But
losing or feeling distant from something, this is the cause of
We heal by bringing ourselves closer to the profound values of
love, peace and true freedom, and by sharing these values.
The fact of knowing who we are and where we come from helps us
understand the cause and origin of suffering. This changes our
veiled vision of things and causes us to look differently at what
we had believed about suffering. More contact with who we really
are, and more understanding of our deepest nature are the cure.
What is happiness ?
There are two kinds of happiness.
There is the pleasure connected to the intensity of the human
experience. There are the delight and pleasure connected to wanting
and to finally having what one desires. The fact of desiring makes
us feel alive. And the fact of possessing, of having, makes us
feel like someone who has value in his or her own eyes as well
as in the view of others. This happiness belongs to the field
of the pleasure of the senses and of perception: taking joy in
life’s pleasures and profit from the beauties of this planet,
of this material world. “I take joy and feel alive when
I eat, when I listen, when I smell, when I touch, when I look…
When something takes place which fills my senses. When I see that
I can do the things that I like to do and when I know that others
may admire me because I have access to these things.” These
pleasures are intense, but often also sources of attachment and
Then there is the peace and the profound satisfaction of needing
nothing in particular to be happy, of being in a more permanent
state of wellbeing more independent of causes.
This happiness is realised knowing that unhappiness is nothing
but a momentary and delimited experience which is in fact related
to the whole of human experience. And knowing that these difficulties
are caused by constraining and restrictive beliefs which give
us a distorted and erroneous vision of reality: beliefs that make
the human experience intense and tragic.
This second kind of happiness is also related to the fact of
knowing that with our new knowledge about the nature of things,
we can continue to play the game of the human experience and to
live a series of fascinating stories, but this time, in a state
of detachment. We become less attached to what surrounds us, being
conscious that the world’s manifestations are changeable
and impermanent, but born out of that which is permanent, i.e.
Absolute Consciousness, the Source or the Whole. Knowing the momentary
nature of this experience, we give life a less serious, less tragic
and a lighter character. We are no longer trapped in the survival
of this experiencing, knowing that this human experience is only
a momentary aspect of who we really are.
So I am happy when I no longer believe that I am the ego (i.e.
identification with the body, with its survival, and with all
the difficult experiences which are attached to these facts) and
when I know that this human experience is merely passing and temporary.
When I profit from this marvellous journey while still being conscious
of these facts. When I am calm and at peace, in the present moment.
I am happy when I leave that stream of thoughts which distances
me from who I am (Presence-Consciousness); when I leave thoughts
which take all my attention and which cause me to forget who I
am. When I leave the darkness and the pain created by my own fears
and I turn again towards the light of consciousness. And when
I move closer to who I really am: the Source, but expressed in
a particular form, the Whole appearing as an identity and an entity:
as a human being.