Individuality, True Nature & Source Unity
True Nature shines with our deeper purpose, which is to shine. It shines through Nondual Qualities, many of which are described in the compendium of the upcoming book Nondual Therapy. These qualities are sensed where consciousness is free from identity, or when there is a fracture in conventional patterns of the personality.
The process of the Dark Night is connected with the falling away of all that has obscured the prevalence of our True Nature. In the words of Nondual teacher Adyashanti:
“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretence. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”
The movement into freedom is fundamentally an unfolding of contracted parts of our psyche into the intimacy of pure awareness in which all experience occurs. All knowledge and our very perception of reality depends on experience, and experience arises in a consciousness which is here before, behind and beyond all experience. Consciousness is not a separate thing, but is collective and continuous. Even when it becomes obscured through us, the consciousness of others is still perceiving. In the same way, the qualities of consciousness are not separable. Where we can’t find happiness within our own psyche, for example, we can allow the experience of it outside of the psyche: in others, in animals, or in the elements. Conscious awareness offers a magical invitation towards the unfolding of contractions in the psyche into the pure experience of our True Nature, which will always puncture the illusion of separation.
Sometimes called essential being, True Nature is at once collective and individual. The strength or clarity of certain Nondual Qualities, such as freedom, peace, gratitude, happiness or esteem can vary from one to another. This is connected to subtler forms of evolution, and can pass through family lines. Here, we are not talking about inherited trauma as much as about inherited evolutionary themes. In addition to the prevalence of certain qualities in certain individuals, each Nondual Quality can express through the full spectrum of resonance. For example, the peace of the ocean can be subtly different from the peace of sisterly love, which can differ again from the peace of a cathedral. Is there a different quality to love through the female aspect and love through the male? As there are an unlimited amount of Nondual Qualities (they are all descriptive) and because each individual form is unique, the preciousness of the experience of any individual at any one moment cannot be over-estimated. We are all remarkably special – each drop a unique and miraculous expression of the whole. Yet we’re not separate from the whole, just as a tear-drop is not separate from water.
To get a sense of the individual expression of True Nature, consider how it feels to be present in a dark room with a loved one, without seeing them or hearing them physically. There’s no differentiation in pure awareness, yet an original presence manifests as a subtle, individual hallmark of True Nature; making it possible for you to at once connect, and at the same time sense the loved one as ‘other’ than you. Many will report sensing the presence of loved ones after they have died, or the sudden felt sense of someone close that might be separated through physical space and time. Classically called extrasensory, this sense of presence is integral to our connectivity: there’s a communication that goes on without words, normally beneath the threshold of conscious mind. This communication directly affects the way we think about others and our attitudes to them. Outside of sessions with your client, how do you bring them to mind? Do you picture them in the imagination? Do you think about their story? Do you already build an action plan on how to fix it? How would it be to also blend with their presence – to explore the qualities of True Nature that are expressing through them, and those that are contracted? Could it be that much of the healing process is occurring outside of the therapy space, in a flow of blend and communication between you and them?
The more we can attune to the felt-sense of others, which includes group atmospheres, the more we will get a sense of our own essential being. The more we rest as this essential being, without attaching to it, the more we release the power of pure Nondual Quality through all the psyche. Nondual Therapy is about sharing the qualities of our True Nature, which is at once a celebration and an invitation for contractions to release. In the words of the Irish spiritual teacher Bob Moore:
“If you are going to help another person, you have got to have something within you which this person can use. But with your qualities is related to the contact this person is trying to establish to his own qualities. And this is the initial thing, where the whole healing situation begins.”
You could think of Nondual Qualities, or the qualities of our true nature, as channels of heaven towards earth, or from source through denser vibrations of form. Allowing the connection is key and this allowance involves relaxing our senses, so they can open. It involves a movement out of ‘either-or’ structures of thinking into the inclusive ‘and-and’. When a conscious shift into authentic being is initiated, a natural unfolding occurs of the contractions that limit the personality. It’s no longer critical what we do, but it’s imperative to be what we are. Being is recognized as preceding “doing” in every movement.
The more we develop the ability to allow the undoing of contractions in the psyche, through the cessation of grasping and aversion, the more our True Nature can manifest according to the intelligence of need. Yet the emanation of True Nature, or Nondual Qualities is not something that we can control, create or force. It’s more about release, or letting go of what has been frozen. For example, when we let go of the belief that innocence is lost because we are guilty, the quality of innocence can spontaneously arise, irrespective of guilt.
Nondual Qualities are powerful and expansive. We can freely identify with them in order to open the channel – for example, we can say “I am bliss”; or “I am pure awareness”. Yet if this identification becomes rigid as a contra to areas of suffering, then the freedom and expansion of the quality again becomes stifled. The Nondual state needs to be defended, which introduces energies of stress and conflict into the field of the psyche, (sometimes even open warfare).
To truly allow the manifestation of Nondual Qualities, we need to release them. Qualities are here to be shared. Yet we can’t give them unless we let them go; and letting go requires consolidation in a deeper source – a source from which letting go is possible. This is the source which Nisargadatta Maharaj called prior to consciousness and prior to being. It is the innermost tunnel of singularity, which precedes all reflection and all experience. In the language of Nonduality, it is at once everywhere and nowhere.
Beneath all forms of manifestation and experience, the source is a perennial continuum through and beyond conditions of time and space. It’s imperceivable in the same way that an eye can’t see itself. It’s found in such practises of being aware of awareness; or listening to the listener. It’s not an end-point but a wormhole to unity.
Akin to a black hole that births galaxies, the source can be known by impressions of itself and by its effects. It can be sensed through its qualities, and by the quickening and liberating effects of falling back as the innermost source of the life that we are. It sounds abstract, yet this singularity of perception is under the nose, in every particle of normal experience – be it transcendental, subtle or in the simplest moment of boredom. Nothing is left out of source, yet nothing is caught there either. Beyond all fear of division, it facilitates unconditional naturalness with all that arises.
At the layer of source, the illusion of the separate self is gone. The one that is looking is the one that is looking, and it doesn’t matter through whose eyes. The sense of ‘otherness’ collapses into an endless play of experience through manifold unity. In the words of Nisargadatta Maharaj:
“When the centre of selfishness is no longer, all desires for pleasure and fear of pain cease; one is no longer interested in being happy; beyond happiness there is pure intensity, inexhaustible energy, the ecstasy of giving from a perennial source.”
Consolidation in source unity can look like a perpetual, embodied arrival into the mystery of life, moment by moment, which is mirrored by an easiness in letting go and a freedom of consciousness to allow multiple perspectives. It can be noticed in gradual changes such as increased vitality; an easy emotional intelligence; a deepening of relaxation; agility of mind; and a natural ability to attune to the environment.
The more the therapist can relax into the unconditional source that precedes even consciousness, the more the flow of healing is liberated through the array of Nondual Qualities according to the intelligence of need. Therapeutic agenda is increasingly released as contractions whistle for their own remedies. The therapist follows the client, who follows the contraction, and there is an unconditional unity in the process.
A simple rule would be to say that if you can sense it, feel it, thinking, touch it, it’s not the source, but a manifestation or reflection. Its stability, power and freedom are beyond human measure. Yet it is not solid, we can rest and expand as the source through all layers of experience; and all experience is our experience. One of first resonances of source through the layers of form is a refined, choice-less, unconditional care. This is why Nondual teacher Rupert Spira has described it as a kind of “benevolent indifference”.
In therapy, consolidation in the timeless, boundless source of the psyche supports the ability to be able to let go, to let be and to be for real. It allows the release of agenda and the spontaneous emergence of deeper truth. This includes even the agenda to rest as pure awareness or to stay conscious. It requires no effort, as it’s an absolute and pre-given unity. We don’t need to wait for some sublime attainment to be present as the source. All it requires is a default position of relaxation in the here and now, following the process with an open curiosity, without expectation or conclusion.
All transformation is a function of the allowance of the nervous system, and involves its reprogramming as well as the evolution of thought forms and the opening of new dimensions of mind that can contain experience. As such, the nerve system deserves the greatest respect and patience. Here, the default positions are relaxation, silence, stillness and emptiness. Filling the gaps with ungrounded stories or encouraging a client to do so, threatens to obstruct the process of liberation and provide an escape route from deeper liberation. In this experiences of bliss or unconditional light, can be seen as reflecting a paradigm shift through the liberation of Nondual Qualities, but not as an end-point (there are no end-points).
Consolidation in source unity looks more like the realization of perpetual, embodied arriving into the mystery of life, moment by moment, which is mirrored by an easiness in letting go and a freedom of consciousness to allow multiple perspectives. It can be noticed in gradual changes such as increased vitality; an easy emotional intelligence; less stress; freedom of mind; and a natural ability to ground and center.