Friday, May 13, 2011

"...and the only law is right" - A Non-Dual Perspective on "morality"

When I was a boy, cowboy stars like Gene Autry were the ones the set the morality for us as we grew up. Gene's theme song was "Back in the Saddle again ". One of the lines in this song was "We sleep out every night, and the only law is right. " In those days, we had no trouble knowing what was meant by the "the only law is right ".

Gene was the good Guy; the guy with the white hat. The bad guys wore black hats, and did wrong. Judgments of right and wrong were easy to make. Our parents told us what was right and wrong. We learned the difference in Sunday School, in the classroom, and from our heroes on television. No problem!

As I grew up, and slowly came to the realization that I was different; Gay, I had to look at this right and wrong thing more closely. Things stopped being black and white, and informed choices had to be made. The church had taught me one thing, but I was discovering another. I was not willing to simply "chuck " the church, but was desperately interested in seeing how I would fit in.

Today, in the understanding of non-duality, many are saying that there is no "good " or "bad ", no "right " or "wrong ", these being opposite poles in the mind, and judgments or preferences. In the "absolute " sense, this is true; life unfolds in a perfect way, all of one piece. But we live in the relative world, and no matter how "spiritual " we may be, only the truly "awakened " can trust their intuition to guide them in this area of right and wrong.

Most folks today believe, at least loosely, in the Ten Commandments as good guidelines. Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, etc. are pretty universal laws, and help keep society functional. When it comes to the more political, and "socially correct " mandates, the judgments become more cloudy. Where can the non-dualist look for guidance, without simply throwing the baby out with the bathwater? Sure we can say there is no right and wrong, judgments are dualistic, and one thing is as good as the other.

These indeed, are often the excuses used by some non-dual teachers for any manner of indiscretions.Adultery, child abuse, even attempted murder are excused away by saying, there is no right or wrong, the observer is "projecting ", seeing "the shadow " or any number of rationalizations. Yet, inherently, intuitively we know that "cheating ", or taking advantage of someone weaker, are not right. How do we know this? By understanding that these things run counter to Oneness.

At the Last Supper of Christ, in addition to the Churches' belief that the Eucharist was established there, Christ makes some very profound and non-dual statements: "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me ". This was the Christ's prayer to the Father; "that they all may be One". Oneness is what we want for all, as it is the natural state. Christ, at that supper, also instituted the11th commandment, one that shows how we are all one; "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." Oneness is the prayer, Love is the method of "realizing " the prayer.

As I was seeking to find my kind of love in Christ's words; an acceptance of my special brand of love, these were the words I used to judge; Oneness and Love. Is there Oneness and Love in it? Being Gay lost all it's problems, all it's "sting ". I have always used this criterion for "right " and "wrong " ever since. Clearly there is no love in adultery or child abuse. No matter the rationalizations non-dualists or non-dualist gurus use for their misconduct, Oneness and Love are what we seek, are, and have as our guide. Oneness and Love are not two, but one. Unconditional Love is The One. Unconditional Love is "the right ", the perfect we talk of in "life is perfect ".

All that separates, divides, or distorts Universal Love is not One, but "self "-ishness, whether an expression of fear, desire or envy. The One is the Universal "law "; the Truth itself. While ultimately, "absolutely " there is no division, this "law " of truth; this "law " of One Love, allows us to sing along with Gene Autry, "the only law is right ".


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