The Nondual Power of Purity: 5 Ways to Be for Real
“I took my diamond to the pawnshop, but that don’t make it junk.”
Is purity weakness? Does it compromise our position and leave us undefended? Popular misconception would have us believe that purity is close to naivety, that it’s a weakness of the stupid and unskilled: the golden chain around the sacrificial lamb. Yet purity is one of the strongest energies available to human experience.
Scientifically seen, a pure diamond, for example, can be up to 90–225 GPa. If alcohol is ingested in its pure form, we won’t last long. Anyone who works with essential oils will know the power of pure scent, just as anyone who has experienced homeopathy will be familiar with the impact of purity in remedies. Purity is close to potency. Yet so often, rather than being our greatest strength, it can be experienced as the greatest aggravant. Why?
In a deeper sense, we are all of us, collectively, in a process of purification. The structure of the human psyche, at present, is heavily dependant on ego structure in order to protect the raw personality for over-reaction – the kind that can spin the individual into crisis in terms of his or her place in society. Ego is born in order to protect our inner (often inherited) wounds. It’s a shell based on presenting a certain image – towards the outside world, and also towards our own inner critic. As such, it’s basis is deception. Born from the outset out of the intense difficulty in feeling at home in an alien social field, ego attempts to disguise or mask all that seems to be rejected, or discordant to the outer world.
Caught in the mental conditions of time and space, ego is constantly in a state of comparison and measurement. These conditions mean that from the layer of ego, life can be experienced as a constant threat of annihilation. If the other is more, then I must be less. If the other is successful, then I am a failure. If the other wins, then I lose. The agenda of personal survival, mutated into imagined success, creates an dependency on competition in order for measurement to take place. This play-out is powered by the wounds of the past and reaches for the winning moment of the future. The present moment, or real time, is lost, together with naturalness, responsivity and deeper safety.
Purity as a nondual quality is not a structure but a living aspect of who we are, behind structures of ego and behind structures of personality. When we begin to relax and reunite with the living energy of purity, even our worst egocentric moments can be experienced or remembered for the purity of their own process.
When we allow this purity which can never be damaged or taken away, then even our greatest shame (the root cause of cover-up) can sink back to its original pain – a pain which is inherently purifying, and returning us home to the purity of being or the purity of awareness that is at the ground of all experience.
Purity is an indispensable part of our freedom in human form, as humans. This is a living purity which exists unconditionally to the mess we are in. The contraction of purity is experienced through the horrors of shame (at the inner layer) and disgust (towards the outer form, even a split form of our own psyche). In the area of inherited trauma, shame and disgust are the traumatic inheritence and the wisdom of purity is found in inherited resilience.
Shame – born through a history of physical and even sexual trauma – is one of the hardest emotions to allow. We tend to throw it outside of ourselves even a second before we know we are feeling it. As such, work with purity will always encounter core layers of shame, sentient pain and a degree of existential horror around the theme of belonging. Work with shame and disgust often involves acute physical symptoms, such as disgust as if we have ingested poison, are a sense of burning as if we were burnt at the stake.
As with all nondual qualities, purity is not an abstraction. Purity disorders tend to feature with fully charged emotion in the most innocuous environments: loading the dishwasher, small-talk, map-reading. The panic to control the conditions around purity can be rife, leading to exaggerated and grandiose scenes, that later seem to be surreal in their loss of context and proportion. The average control freak is often standing on a floor of shame.
Below are five guidelines to reconnect with the purity which is our birthright, and which is inseparable from who we are.
Shame is connected with the ‘outer’ world and the reflex to cover up parts of ourselves to avoid rejection. The cover-up often takes the form of disguising what is true in the moment. While truth as an absolute, cannot be expressed, the intention towards truth as expressed in honest communication can be.
The formula is simple. When we lie, we damage communication. When communication is damaged, trust is lost. When trust is lost, we are disempowered. The lie that sought to protect us from social rejection, becomes the very cause of social isolation. We have isolated ourselves through misrepresentation.
When reality breaks down and we move collectively into a dynamic of kill-or-be-killed, or a state of survival, lying can be the right thing. For example, telling the gestapo that your neighbor is not Jewish could have been heroic. However, even for this kind of lie, we need to be free enough in the purity of our deeper truth to let it live through us without damage. We need to be anchored deeply in the truth of our inner purity.
All the way to the simplest stuff, the question must remain. Does this transaction need this lie in order to be? Does the water need the mud in order to be water? Does the sky need the clouds in order to be sky? Do I need to lie, in order to be “I”? And why?
When we bring our attention to our breathing, breathing in the contraction or ‘bad’ energy in our system, and breathing out purity, we give perspective to the tyrannical hold that the contraction has on our whole system. With relaxed, mindful breathing, the stakes are lowered and perspective is born.
Mindfulness introduces the element of the present moment which allows us to unhook our grasping towards future escape from past pain. It can also unveil the core pain behind our disconnection of purity.
The space and time created around the experience of this pain is vital for its healing. Pain needs to sing, not be hidden, concealed and smothered under blankets of denial. When it can sing, at a certain stage its song will be sung, with only the memory remaining.
3. Unhook Identity
When this energy of dissonance or impurity is no longer owned as ‘mine’ or labelled as ‘yours’, it is given permission to live in its own right. This can be hard at first, as foul energy tends to move most of our psyche into aversion. Yet in truth, shame is not personal, it’s collective. It’s thrown around the social field like hot cakes. It’s used as a weapon of cruelty by ourselves against ourselves. We’re born into the shame of our parents and grandparents, and we transmit it to our children.
Shame is an area where we our collective human evolution is unfolding. Therefore, the depersonalization of shame is critical to the wellbeing of the whole. Only then can it begin to expand and cry out, tell its sentient story, and return to the carnal wound out of which it was born.
By degrees, shame and disgust shake hands and transform back to purity. Also this purity is neither mine nor yours, but a natural manifestation of who we are at source.
4. Go Softly
As already indicated, processes of purification can involve transforming our greatest demons into allies. Sometimes, we are talking about the core of existential angst, the worst horrors from the dark night of the soul. While the choice to go inside to seek the truth of all we are will always involve at some stage the realization of our darkest illusions as illusory, there is nothing to be gained by trying to fix 1000s of years of inherited horror at once.
When we move with softness towards an energetic contraction, the contraction by itself begins to relax. It is enough at first for us to simply be conscious of our inner issues for a healing process to enfold. The softer we move, the more softly it will open. In softness there is refinement, texture and depth.
Nothing need be left out: this is one of the mercies of form.
5. Vigilance with Condemnation
When we move or are moved into inner precincts of horror – or even horrors as witnessed in the world we believe is ‘out there’, the temptation to move into judgement can undercut even our consciousness. We get judgmental as a reflex before we even know it happened.
The art is to be vigilant of this. Watch also the judgement of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘good’ and ‘bad’, which are symptoms of the contraction. A mind activated into either-or, me-you, dualistic form can be seen as the smoke arising from the contraction itself. Disinvest from the thoughts. Listen to the judgements, be curious, but try not to get caught by them. Experience is happening, but don’t invest in it.
Be courageous in letting the story of purity unfold without boxing it up in a newly formed system of beliefs.