I believe that at a certain juncture, a spiritual seeker comes to a point where he has to let go of all the tools in the path, and even let go of a certain path, or paths, in order to transcend all worldly constructs. I see this process as a pivotal step towards spiritual enlightenment.
When a seeker stops clinging to the tools in the path, and stops holding on to only “one right path,” he arrives at the equanimous, balanced state of Non-duality, or Oneness.
A non-dualist and unconditionally loving person does not judge and criticize others who act and think in a different way from his definitive notion of what is right and wrong. A non-dualist understands that people act the way they do because of a reason – some reason he can know and understand, but many other reasons he may never know and may never understand. And so his best recourse, as a non-dualist perceiver, is to accept and love others in spite of who they are and what they do, in spite of how they choose to live their lives – knowing and understanding full well that anyone who is in their best state of mind would not deliberately do anything to disadvantage themselves or another. So instead of judging and condemning another who may be doing something “wrong”, a non-dualist perceiver would instead feel compassion towards the other.
In my early journey as a seeker, most of the teachers and spiritual traditions I encountered are wrapped up in dualistic consciousness: they maintain a strong idea about good and evil. In consequence, they tend to act that as if a lurking evil is out there to get them. Some of them do rituals and repeat mantras to “protect” them from the alleged onslaught, or corrupting powers of so-called evil forces. A fear-based spirituality such as this is threatened by so-believed lower vibrational beings, impure situations, sinful elements, immoral people, people who are certain to reap negative karma, etc. As a result of this fear, and perhaps mixed with a feeling of righteousness and superiority, fearful spirituals actively resist associating with certain people and situations which they judge to be of “lower vibrational frequencies”.
Ironically, what we resist persists. The very people and situations we are trying hard to avoid all the more pop up in our reality to get our attention. It is because we attract our disowned parts until such time that we learn to embrace, integrate, and to love them unconditionally.
There are some people, whose ingrained beliefs are threatened and challenged by a different perspective or paradigm, who often form exclusive groups with members who only agree and validate who they think they are. There is certainly nothing wrong in choosing to hang around certain types of people; I see nothing wrong with fortifying oneself with like-minded folks who tend not to create friction in a perfect bubble world. My rebellious temperament, however, often gets the better of me that I find it wrong to judge and censure others who happen to have divergent thoughts from certain established dogmas.
I had a recent personal experience. For the past 1.5 years, a spiritual guru, whom I have neither seen nor talked with in person, often appeared in my dream state. The dreams were repetitive and consistent in their theme. In dream state, he was sending me letters, emails, books, invitations, calling me through a cell phone, gazing at me while projecting very loving vibes. For some reason, the “giving” was only one way: he was doing the action while I was a passive recipient of his actions. In waking state, however, the situation is very different. I was the one initiating communication with him, mostly only to tell him about the dreams and to ask his opinions about it. His vague but standard or typical guru response, as to why I was dreaming about him, is because we have a “soul-connection”, “mystical connection”, “past life connection”. My unusual dreaming about him intrigued me greatly and drew me closer to be more interested in him.
In waking state, our atmosphere of interaction is quite formal. And in fact, we at times vibrationally clashed because of our differing approaches to spirituality. He is one of those teachers who maintain a dualistic mode of thinking and perceiving. He pushed my buttons. I might have done the same to him. Since his vibes in dream state and waking state are incongruent, I was perplexed as to whether he has a conscious agenda or not. It turned out that he has not. He was not telepathically contacting me in dream state, at least, not consciously on his end. Since I thought he was just a source of unnecessary confusion, I tried to totally avoid him. But as I “blocked” him, the dreams became even more intense and outrageous.
I claim myself to be a non-dualist and who is then unconditionally loving. Yet I perceived this individual as a dualist, and I was “bothered” by his dualistic teachings. I was provoked by some of his strongly held dualistic beliefs which I considered to be judgmental and discriminatory against other people who do not necessarily share his spiritual convictions.
He censured others. I censured him for censuring others. He judged others; I judged him for judging others. I criticized him because I wanted him to be more like me – a non-dualist – one who does not see higher or lower, but only strives to focus on the good in others. However, by judging and perceiving him as a dualist, by being provoked by his dualistic teachings, and by censuring him for censuring others, I have become a dualist myself!
I just found myself re-schooled in my lesson about non-duality and unconditional love!