Life After Duality: Even For “Neo-Advaita”

We exist in a duality. Even a Naga Baba, one of the most extreme versions of the renunciate, still builds a fire to keep warm. Even Buddha drank water to slake his thirst. There is nobody alive who is not subject to physical laws – we’ll stay away from magic for the moment – and so duality applies to everyone. How we approach that dichotomy, however, depends on our path, but everybody meets with necessity in some form. In the modern world, money is a very real necessity and one moves accordingly, through works.

How can a non-dual enlightened being still have the drive to continue in school or a career?

Is there and has there ever really been such a thing? Even beyond judgment, even firmly established at the center of the dichotomy, crossing the street demands a judgment call.

In the yogic tradition it’s often said that Guru and Chela are the same stuff, each teaching and learning from the other, albeit with distinct perspective, awareness and intention, hence the relationship. Those words themselves though, perspective, awareness and intention, all connote duality. Words can only exist within this particular paradigm, and so the encouragement to Silence. But my point is this. The teaching and learning dynamic goes on; there‚Äôs a motivation that drives it on both sides. Look at the globally recognized sages of our time, the Dalai Lamas, the Paramahansas, the Maharishis – they still formally study. They read the teachings of the masters who have gone before them. They compose sutras themselves. They read the news. And the Dalai at least has quite a career and set of responsibilities as King and Spiritual Overseer of a country.

The illusion of these social constructs.

Some constructs are not an illusion. Some are. The physical constructs you see before you with your physical eyes are as real as your body. To deny this would put you in danger of physical harm and mental psychosis. Some constructs, like the metaphysics we sometimes tie ourselves in knots over may be quite illusory. And again some may not. We may have to get into definitions of physics, God, Self, illusion, I, etc. to make this even more clear, but in short, there is no disconnect between enlightenment and the ability to live and thrive in a physical life defined by the dual construct.