To understand meditation, we need to create a bridge of intimacy with our own existence and with the light of creation. Without that intimacy, our meditation will be dry and lifeless, deprived of beauty and bliss. At the heart of that intimacy there is duality. It is that very duality which constitutes the movement of life, intelligence and love; without it, there is only death. However, in order to experience intimacy with our existence, we need to go beyond the gross forms of duality that isolate us from creation and from our inner self and awaken instead to the positive duality that allows us to create a true connection and bond between the essential aspects of our internal reality. To perceive all forms of duality as inherently negative, particularly in a way which is received or unexamined, is to close the door to understanding what meditation truly is; it is to close one’s eyes and pretend that the world does not exist. True duality is neither obvious, like the pain of separation, nor is it negative. It has an extremely subtle and complex nature.
Meditation is not something which happens outside of life; it is not to shut down our senses and try to generate an artificial peace or stillness. Meditation is extremely dynamic, and those internal dynamics are a pure reflection of life itself. After all, meditation is the essence of life. That essence is by its nature dual, and the path of awakening is a movement from lower duality to higher duality. Lower duality is a reflection of the ignorance and forgetfulness of our essential nature; higher duality is an extension of our true self. Higher duality is an expression of reality: it constitutes the very force of our evolution into understanding, love and self-realization. We are growing and transforming not merely by going beyond our human existence and realizing the universal self. We are transforming through creating the correct relationship to both our own self and to the light of creation.
Duality is inherent to the consciousness of me. It enables me not only to self-reflect but also to realize its pure subjectivity, to awaken. On the lower level, that duality is negative, ignorant and unconscious; it is fully confined to the mind and the fragmented sense of me. On the higher level, however, when me has met itself, that duality enables the faculty of self-cognition. The pure knowing that we exist on the level of me is based on the duality between our existence and its simultaneous recognition. Though our awakened me does not need the mind in order to know that it exists, it is constantly arising into creation from the timeless in order to become conscious of itself, again and again. The duality between the existence of me and its recognition is fundamental to embody the consciousness of me. Without that duality, there is no recognition, no existence, and no me.
That awakened duality on the level of me reflects the first level of intimacy with our existence. It is very subtle and imperceptible, barely noticeable without feeling and contemplating it deeply. The purpose of being able to register that duality is not only to understand the nature of me but to deepen our relationship with our own self, which in essence means to awaken our capacity for self-intimacy. It is through this intimacy that something new is added to the unity of existence and recognition, something that transforms that unity into bliss.
Some seekers wish to experience love for the divine, but how can they if they are not in touch with the very essence of who they are, which is me? If one is not intimate with the very basis of one’s existence, one won’t be able to experience intimacy on any other level. There is no soul without me and there is no god without the soul. Intimacy is like a tree that grows up from its roots to meet the sky; it must have a foundation or else the lover will never come into existence, and the beloved will never be known. That me needs to begin to love itself, and the first step to love is intimacy.
The next level of higher duality is between me and I am. When I am is awakened, it is initially experienced by me as external to itself; me does not really know how to relate to it properly. As such, it develops various strategies to try and resolve the duality between itself and the newly awakened state of I am: sometimes ignoring it, sometimes perceiving it as its abiding place, sometimes trying to to negate itself and identify with I am, and so on. However, none of these strategies can work: we need to mature into embodying a higher relationship between these two aspects of our identity, the personal and the impersonal. Me can neither negate itself nor identify with I am. Trying to identify with I am is like standing in front of tree and making an attempt to become that tree: one is fundamentally unable to stop knowing that one is the very one standing in front of it. The only way me can cross the duality between itself and I am is through surrender.
Before we can begin to surrender, we have to accept and embrace the positive duality between the one who surrenders and what we surrender into. Surrender cannot be forced, nor can we just wait for it to happen by itself. For our me to surrender, it must first learn how to relate to I am in a deeper way. The energy that allows surrender to happen is more than just me letting go of itself – it is the energy of intimacy. Me is growing into intimacy with I am, surrendering from the place of love and tenderness. The result of that surrender is the unification between me and I am through which our soul is born. The unity of me and I am is what the soul is.
Is there any duality in how the soul experiences herself? Yes, there is. This duality is needed for the soul to know that she exists. It is similar to the duality within the awakened me, but it is rooted more deeply in reality. The duality within the body of the soul is the duality between me and I am. Why is there still duality between them if me has surrendered and been merged with I am? Isn’t it a contradiction in terms? No, it isn’t. Initially, in the process of me gravitating towards I am in order to merge with it, the duality between them is still one of separation. When they are merged, theirs is a duality of unity. That kind of duality does not create any sense of split between me and I am. Apart from allowing the soul to know that she exists, it opens us to a higher level of intimacy with the light of our existence. Here, intimacy is no longer needed to create a bridge between me and I am: its function is to allow the soul to realize herself as love.
The next level of higher duality relates to the relationship of the soul with the supreme reality, her exalted source, the beloved. The fact that she is awakened does not mean that the soul is in the state of surrender. Before she can surrender, she needs to have the correct relationship with the source of creation. For that, she has to identify where the source is. She cannot simply surrender unless she knows the correct direction of surrender, and then she must master the art of surrender, the art of efficient cooperation with the process of surrender.
The soul will not begin surrendering just because she has been told to do so: she has to understand why. The first answer to that question comes from the recognition that unless she merges with the source, she is still not free; there is still an element of suffering caused by her relative separation from the source. This may seem like a paradox because she has already embodied the light of creation. However, she has embodied it only within the confines of the dimension of presence. Now she must meet the light of creation from within the dimension of absence in the unmanifested. In addition, she must begin relating to her source as her transcendental parent, her beloved. She must create the relationship of love with the inner realm. That which allows that love to be fulfilled is the realization of profound intimacy with the light of the universal self. This intimacy is creating a connective space of bliss and allowance between the soul and the beloved, her source.
When the soul is one with the source, she is in the state of samadhi; she has merged with the heart of the creator. Samadhi is a unity of absorption, bliss, love and intimacy. However, one would be very much mistaken to assume that all duality has now been eliminated. Without duality there would be no recognition, and furthermore, there would be no further evolution of the soul into the light of creation. In such a case, samadhi would represent a dead end, a realm of evolutionary stagnation rather than the true beginning of an eternal journey.
In the state of samadhi there are in fact two dimensions of the most subtle duality present. Only by deep realization and contemplation can they be perceived and understood. It is not that it is particularly complicated but more that the human mind has not been trained to feel the intricacies of the inner realm; it is still too gross to grasp the subtleties of the dimensions of pure subjectivity. However, even if this subject cannot be fully grasped initially, it is important to have the correct vision of the direction of our evolution, as it is that vision which accelerates the manifestation of our correct future.
The two dimensions of duality which coexist in the state of samadhi are the internal duality within the soul herself, between me and I am, and the ‘external’ duality between the soul and the divine. We use the term external very carefully here, but we use it for a very good reason. It is an external duality because our relationship with the supreme reality is not a relationship between two dimensions of our identity (as in me and I am): it is a relationship between the identity of the soul and the transcendental identity of the beloved. To use colloquial language: by realizing god, one does not become god.
It is a great error to think that the moment the soul reaches samadhi she either fully dissolves or is locked in a static condition of absorption. To reach unity with the source is not merely to become unified with it but to enter the inner dimension, to enter the inner world, to pass through the gateway of absence. There is still duality there but not the kind which separates us from the absolute reality; it is the one that allows us to live within the inner realm and keep evolving and, above all, to experience the awakened relationship of love, devotion and intimacy with our creator – to become truly the child of god.
For those who have difficulty to grasp what may appear to be a paradox to the linear mind – that we can reach unity with the source and yet some duality remains – we can offer a simple analogy. When you travel towards an ocean with the intention of diving into it, you are separated from it, you are far from its shores. This is the first, gross and painful level of duality. When you reach the ocean and sail through it in your boat, this is the more subtle, less painful and yet still very tangible level of duality. Then, you dive into the ocean, deep under the water. You have become one with the ocean, but you are not the ocean; you are still yourself, choosing the direction in which you wish to swim and loving the experience of being embraced by the vast body of water. You know that you are in the ocean, and you know that you are yourself.
It may appear that we have sidetracked and stopped talking about meditation. But have we? This is all about meditation, for it is about the reality and the truth of who we are. Without love and intimacy with our own self and the light of creation, the door to meditation will remain closed. What opens this door is our heart, the capacity to truly feel, to feel from the innermost depth of our being, the very source of our yearning for the realization of our divine nature.
For a glossary of the terminology used in this teaching and for further resources, you may visit our website www.Aaditeaching.com
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