Patterns in Nature ©2019 Eric Platt
Patterns in Nature ©2019 Eric Platt

On Beyond Nonduality Teachings

No one seemed to get my “WHICH WAY TO THE SELF” sign (or t-shirt) cosmic joke, since  it when I posted it my “Group With No Name” FaceBook group (as far as I know).

I created that after I was inspired, opening this book sent to me in the mail, to the “random” page below, after my desert “sabbatical” on March 13-14 : The Essential Teachings of Ramana Maharshi, A Visual Journey

Backing up a bit: The first thing that hit me when I got to the desert was that I was “supersaturated” with non-dual teachings and “spiritual” or wisdom teachings, (satsangs, studying, reading, writing, listening to audios or videos…). This is all content – of the mind – and not, not context.  It. And I sensed a certain frustration or impatience with non-dual and spiritual teachings or teachers, which I’m sure many people feel but don’t admit either to themselves or to others.

Flash forward: As Paul Hedderman pointed out to me yesterday, I just needed to give myself permission. I took this as permission to Be. Which is a funny thing, if you think about it. But so true – we think we have to be someone or be doing things to become someone or get somewhere or gain some thing or get something done (to be happy, fulfilled, at peace, whole, whatever), and we forget how to relax, open the aperture and just totally Be. The simplest thing in the universe – being yourSelf – becomes hard somehow. So we go to retreats, satsangs, meditate … or on desert sabbaticals (and a sabbatical from satsangs, on my part).

The whole point of non-duality teachings is pointing to the simple fact of what you are. As I’ve aways said:

There’s no place to go and nothing to do.

Yet countless teachers (and coaches, therapists, preachers, politicians, writers…) hold out a carrot as if there were something to seek or do or become. Why? Because there’s lots of unhappy people, and lots of seeking. We are brought up programmed (innocently, unconsciously from other programs running automatically) to believe we need to become something, with the implication that we are lacking, because we are separate and need to deserve something (like love). If this wasn’t the case, the teachers wouldn’t exist. This is a beautiful example of a need being fulfilled, a want finding a giver. A river finding its own ground. Love spilling out. “It all comes out in the wash dude”.

So what to do? Answer: It’s not black and white. Counteracting the cultural programming by a thoroughgoing self-investigation may help (or meditating, or living as if universal Consciousness were fact…). Or it may not. No one knows the formula, because there isn’t one. This is echoed in how every teacher has a different expression and message. “Follow your love and enthusiasm” (or “bliss”), is as good as any. But there are no guarantees, and it’s just another bit of language, and item of mind that can’t be held on to. And not holding on (to anything in mind) is key, from what I’ve seen.

How could you give freedom to someone else? That makes no sense.

Nature is the model because it has no model. Beauty has no template. Love and truth have no form. They are free.

The wellspring of newness is not mechanical. Our culture is based on mechanical models of nature. It works for some things but is useless for telling us what we are, what is perceiving ultimately. What is perceiving ultimately can’t be perceived or named, because it’s the source of perceiving. (Don’t think too hard about that one or your head will blow up).

So the central flaw of the teachings is that there’s something you can get from someone. Something to achieve. Or you could say it’s the central point, since the teachers say this too, in various ways.

But the teacher, or this writer doesn’t even exist (as a separate, permanent reality) any more than you do. It’s an illusion. So what the hell are you doing? What are you pursuing? Why are you spending time and resources chasing a mirage (a mirage in a dream)?

Well (you could ask) what’s the point of being alive? Answer: There is none. It’s like a play.

The teacher appears because the alarm clock to Wake Up went off – maybe from suffering (the thorn in the side), or perhaps from longing and intimations of reality… Home calling us to itSelf. For whatever reason or unreason, we became tired of the game of misery and started letting go of the accoutrements and toys of the mind, and allowed our real self to emerge. Bit by bit or in large measure.

Then the astonishing fact that we never left home dawns…

and Simplicity reigns again.




  1. dawn on November 30, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    You didn’t reach this point by yourself.
    Some of us reach our “point” via a path that looks like power lines in a third-world country.
    Some of us did’t.
    Some of us, it’s in between.
    There’s no “beyond”, there just is.

  2. meestereric on November 30, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Hi Dawn – Thank you for your comment.

    You said, “You didn’t reach this point by yourself.”

    Ultimately we do, but the “teachers” – be they books or birds or human beings or tracts of sand dunes – that appear when the “student” appears can be guides through the desert at certain points. They can (hopefully, if they are good and loving teachers), say, “Yes you are going in the right direction” towards what’s Real, or “No you’re off-roading into a dead-end canyon of the not-Self,” or “Yes that experience means you’re trying too hard…” or whatever.

    Then we have to go the “last mile” ourselves, since if what we are is freedom itself, no one can give it or take it away, you can only *see* it. The teacher was never separate from you. See that what you are has never been separate and is not now.

    We are ultimately alOne, yet in that alOneness, connected with all others and all things, playing the game of separate and not-separate in unique ways. Different flowers on the meadow opening at their own rhythm.
    Yes the paths take multifarious forms, some circuitous, some more straight. And even the “bad” teachers were part of the path.

    It’s more like opening a fist that we were holding, unconsciously. It may take some effort and applied attention at first…

    “There’s no ‘beyond’, there just is.”



    (P.S: I edited the article and took off all the extra fluff at the end, and add a different wrap-up…. I’m glad your comment spurred me to take a look at the article, which of course I’d forgotten writing … 🙂 )

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