I last week had an interesting experience, an insight, which rather rapidly shifted my thinking.
As a student of Vedanta, I have immersed myself deeply into Vedic knowledge and practice, the underpinning of which is there is only one thing, one consciousness and we all share it. In the early days this gave me great comfort until my intellect then stepped in. I’m not sure about yours, but my intellect is frequently governed by my ego, and my ego wants duality. Duality in as many forms as possible. That person creeping along in the traffic ahead of me and slowing me down – ‘different to me’ says the ego. That person annoying me by talking loudly on their mobile in the restaurant – ‘so not me’ says the ego. The ego is the small voice that tells us we’re small, we’re different, it takes away compassion, and gratitude and is really quite a punish to have as a voice in our heads all the time.
Additionally in the Veda, as there is only one thing, there is no such thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’. The ego thrives on the concept of good and bad. Mostly by telling us how truly bad we really are, how naughty our behaviours are (about what we eat, how we didn’t exercise, what we said that one time…).
I was walking in Paddington with Jeff Kober who was here from Los Angeles teaching from The Broad Place, and I think it was his first teaching day and I was still slightly nervous and likely trying to impress him (thank god I gave that gig up pretty quick, as Jeff is so accepting, there’s no judgement, so therefore no impressing either, what a trip that is). I said something negative, and then quickly and ashamedly said ‘I’m sorry for saying that, it’s not very ‘Vedic’ of me’. Jeff paused and said lightly and with a laugh ‘well it’s more that statement that something is not very Vedic that is not very Vedic!’. And it struck me to the core. How can anything be ‘not Vedic’ if there’s only one consciousness?
I realised if I was going to step into a deeper part of the river with the Vedantic view of one thing, I could no longer exclude myself, and my statements from it. It inspired me so much to accept that the oneness extends to all my ‘terrible qualities’ and that through this acceptance I could only then minimise my ‘terrible qualities’ and move into more oneness.
I wanted to include this wonderful Taoist quote…
“When the highest type of people hear Tao (Truth), they diligently practice it. When the average type of people hear Tao, they half believe in it. When the lowest type of people hear Tao, they laugh at it. If they did not laugh, it would not be Tao” Lao-Tzu
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