The following letter was written to Adyashanti during a silent retreat in April 2006. We reprint it here with permission.
You were very right to speak about nonduality last night and the perils of getting caught in being the One.
Yes, I’ve gotten lost in the dual nature: lots of projection and play and drama and victimization and my favorite, rescuing the “others” who didn’t want to be rescued, and didn’t even need to be rescued. All were “fun” roles in a living, breathing “As the World Turns,” “Days of Our Lives,” and let’s not forget “Ryan’s Hope.” (Hope is so much like being on a hamster wheel.)
This is the swirl I was talking about last night that I no longer wanted to get lost in—this was the emotional drama I was talking about through my tears. But the drama of the One—that one is far more elusive. The drama of the One—been there, done that, too—is the drama where I got to be the lofty, separate, detached guest in my own home! Everything and everybody was ephemeral and absolutely meaningless!
You were right to discuss the pit called “Being stuck in emptiness.” I stayed there for about two years. This is also the place where even though you believe all is One and made of the stuff of Love, you don’t get to feel or be the expression of Love because you’re stuck in One. WOW!!! I never realized that before until just this second. Anyway, the insidious pain of emptiness is only painful because you’re only living half of yourself—even though you think you’re being One. The pain is also that you get to be a self-righteous, solitary zealot. “Why doesn’t everyone get that this is all meaningless?” “Why are people asking questions, when none of this matters?” “Why don’t they wake up to the truth?” “Why should I have to do anything when it’s all just a dream anyway?” These questions take you straight to hell, and all the while you think you are spiritual!
It wasn’t until I realized that I was actually judging the dual nature of my own self that I finally awakened to the whole of me—the I which has no I, yet expresses as a me. Cool!
Only then did I actually awaken to my whole self—only then did I see, hear, touch, smell, taste, and feel “because” I am totally detached yet intimately engaged! And I absolutely love it!!
Thank you so very much,
Stephen Hari Das
Copyright © 2010 Open Gate Sangha