I spent most of the first fifty years of my life as a Christian believer, with the exception of a dozen years or so in early adulthood as an agnostic. Even during those agnostic years I read and searched everything from spiritualism to channeled entities. Today I live out unicity as best I can, and see no separation between this body and this world.
Upon awakening to the one reality, and after a period of ten years, I attempted to write about my findings. Having been asked to write the rule for the religious community I was a part of, by the Dean of Lincoln Cathedral fifteen years earlier, I decided to put my findings into the context of that rule. I would attempt to see if this understanding, that came to me in an instant of awakening, could be understood in this rule that I had solemnly made vows to follow so many years earlier. The result was "Community of One - The Journey Beyond Christianity " While unfortunately this book has never seen print, it was a chance to see if I had remained "true" to both the rule and this "awakened" understanding.
This was an arduous task. I was working at a HUD property for the elderly at the time, and would spend my time, while working, thinking about the next chapter I would write on Sunday. Sunday was the only day I had access to a computer, my employer kindly allowing me to use the apartment office computer to write. This led me to meditate/contemplate for most of the day, every day for over a year.
One of the principal reasons that I rejoined the Church and sold my possessions to lead a life of solitude and service was to live a life of integrity. Integration of spiritual "search " and the work I did, and the life I led became one piece. I had always tried to live in integrity, indeed I could, and can not see any other way. If we want to understand non-duality, we must live it out every day. To say this is hard, or make excuses that we must separate "spiritual " from "everyday " life, is the reason so many who follow this "path " can't reach the understanding, and allow themselves to settle for an intellectual understanding. Compromise is the enemy of awakening.
"Community of One - The Journey Beyond Christianity " proved a success, in spite of it's lack of publication, in that it showed me that the rule of life that I had established as a Christian Monk could be, and indeed was being lived out now in Oneness. I know that many criticize my "teaching "; my insistence that service and self discovery go hand in hand. There is always the "no doer ", "nothing to do " crowd that look for easy answers in the mind that they never apply to life, but keep "special ", as if life had two parts. But non-duality, life itself is One.
In the gospel of Matthew, the Christ says:
21 Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?" 23 And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness."
Simply mouthing the words of the teacher, or even having an understanding that is not applied to life is not doing the will of the Father; the Absolute. Adayshanti says much the same thing in his talk about absolutism in non-duality:
"To awaken to the absolute view is profound and transformative, but to awaken from all fixed points of view is the birth of true nonduality. If emptiness cannot dance, it is not true Emptiness. If moonlight does not flood the empty night sky and reflect in every drop of water, on every blade of grass, then you are only looking at your own empty dream. I say, Wake up! Then, your heart will be flooded with a Love that you cannot contain."
"A love you cannot contain " requires action; living out the teaching, not just sitting mouthing words of "no doer ", "nothing to be done ". If we do not share what we experience, what we have learned, then it not only dies with us, it is dead within us.
I have paraphrased the Apostle Paul's comment as "Work out your enlightenment with fear and trembling ", meaning that living the teaching is not always easy, not always accepted. But life requires courage. Seeking is not for the weak. "Finding " requires even more courage, for here we must live it out daily. The "dance of emptiness " is not always an easy dance, but do we have a choice?