I recently went through some old spiritual books and found a small dog-eared booklet of daily meditations by Roy Eugene Davis, a disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda. Today I have a different understanding of the words than I did twenty years ago. Something has changed and I understand it differently.
Here’s an excerpt of one of the daily meditations:
“It is a mistake to believe in two powers, a good force and an evil force. There is only one Power in the universe but, because of its expression as differing frequencies, man often tends to believe in a power in opposition to God……Seen from the overview, the one Power is doing what It has always intended to do……” ~Roy Eugene Davis
Over the last twenty years I held the belief that I existed as a separate part of that one Power and read the above with an understanding similar to a child/parent relationship, being part of something but still separate. That seemed perfectly logical and comforting to me until this summer.
I had been reading modern nonduality authors and then stumbled upon Liberation Unleashed, a site where guides lead willing people to realize there is no personal “me” or “I”. They are relentless in their mission to dissolve the concept of a separate self. I haven’t joined this group but reading the journey of others created a shift in perception that cannot be undone now.
For me it has helped to change the language that I used in the past. I notice that whenever God is used as in the excerpt above, I fall back into the perception of me being a fragment of something bigger. When I use the word One or Absolute, I don’t hold on to that separation concept.
I thought I was comfortable as a separate self seeking to unite with a vast one Power….Now there is no Power to look “up” to or “find”….I am that Power.
I guess I’ll never read my old favorite spiritual books in the same way again. Nonduality…where are you taking “me”?
I don’t know that it’s possible for a lifelong seeker to retire from seeking. I continue to read something inspiring (to me) almost daily. It’s almost like an addiction. At least I have narrowed down the Search nowadays. I’ve narrowed it down to nonduality writers, who are the ones who talk about ending the seeking but then write the books so you can continue the Search.
So I have come to realize that the Search may not continue in the same way for me. I no longer have a conceptualized path that I am continually trying to work my way “up” by accumulating knowledge from every sage (ancient and current) who claim to know the way. Instead, the Search has taken a different form.
There may be no path, no particular sage and no hidden knowledge to search for and that is the end of the traditional Search that is referred to in the nondual writings. However, another Search has started now (if it can be called a Search) and that is the understanding of direct experience. That would be to stop seeking through second-hand experiences and begin to look for my own direct experience. At this point, though, my direct experience doesn’t seem at all as interesting or as magical as the people who write about their awakening experiences.
Retiring from the search for Truth is much harder than retiring from a job. When I reached the age of retirement the choice was made for me and I knew all my working life that this was going to happen.When I retired from my job, I began dropping the identity of a working professional person but I still had the identity of being a “seeker” which had always been the more important identity to me anyway.
The process of retiring from the Search began almost exactly the same time as my retirement from my job. I didn’t realize that retirement from the Search was part of the process so I didn’t have years to prepare for this phase. Being a “seeker” has been my identity for over 35 years, so when I drop that….who will I be?