Friday, January 28, 2011

Love without an Object - Non-Duality in Action

While we can not "know" another's "enlightenment"

or their pain,

with unconditional Love,

we can be One with it.

Love is open and responds before the need even arises. When my Partner and I were in Religious Community, we were asked by the Lincolnshire Probation Department to take in Probationers that had been deemed "hopeless". The Probation Department had given up on a number of offenders who did not seem to respond to anything.

My Partner and I, as I have said before, do not have one High School diploma between the two of us. While we both have gone through some counseling, and a lot of "real life" situations ourselves, we were not trained in psychology apart from a few college courses of mine. Now we found ourselves living with, and counseling, a thief, an arsonist, 2 child molesters, and a rapist, among others.

Now remember, we were two Gay men, allowed to take vows and form a Religious Community in the Anglican Church, at a time when the Anglican Church was even more anti-Gay then it is today. This was Grace, nothing less, and we knew that gratitude demanded unconditional sacrifice. Our Community was all about unconditional Love. We had based our Community, in part, on writings of Jean Vanier, founder of The L'Arche Communities; communities set up for the committed faithful to live with the Developmentally Disabled. We opened our doors to anyone and everyone. We provided a home, we cooked meals, and saw to the needs both physical and spiritual of all the members of the Community. No matter what a person's past had been, no matter what they had done, they were treated as Christ, the divine, the Absolute, with love and respect.

Our Community followed a daily course of Contemplative prayer and the Eucharist. These gave us the grace to be able to "know" what to say and do. Not by following doctrine, or some "practice", but like the "Oneness" of Advaita, by removing the "me" from the equation. If you remove the "me", and see the "other" as simply an "expression" of Love in movement, then only Love is left to be "experienced".

We can not know another's suffering and pain, just as we cannot judge another's spirituality or "enlightenment". But we know of pain and suffering, just as we know of spirit and "enlightenment ". When a person reaches out a hand for help, we do not know what they suffer, only that they suffer, and that alone call us to "action". If we are tuned in to Love, unconditional Love, the Love will "meet itself"and the flow of Love will bring awareness that resolution is "taking place".

When you realize you are Love, nothing else and nothing less, you realize the magnitude of that responsibility. That realization also removes any doubt that you can realize that responsibility. You just "act ". Not a "personal " action, but a movement in the flow of Love. For the realization of Love to "happen", there must be an absent "me", and the awareness that the "other " is not separate, but a manifestation of Love itself.

We can talk about Non-Duality or Advaita at satsangs and meetings. We can learn the words and even have some "spiritual experiences", but until we give "ourselves" away in service to Love itself, we are playing intellectual games and supporting a "me " seeking "enlightenment ". If you find a teacher who does not give his or her teachings away for free, out of Love, or offer some service beyond their teaching for pay, you would be better off going to a homeless shelter, or a battered woman's shelter and offering your service, for Love asks for nothing but demands much. We learn more from service and open love then we can from any teacher. Advaita, non-duality require Love in action.

"I am telling you again: You are the all-pervading, all transcending reality.Behave accordingly: think, feel and act in harmony with the whole and the actual experience of what I say will dawn upon you in no time. No effort is needed. Have faith and act on it."

-Nisargadatta Maharaj

1 comment:

  1. Your writings are so clear and beautifully expressed. Thank you for the wonderful blog here.