Context and content
In general, spiritual practice tends to focus on the context. On exploring, realizing and becoming familiar with who or what is experiencing, meditating, practicing, doing. On what is realizing its own nature of no “I” anywhere.
Conventional practices, including all the trades and sciences, tends to focus on content. On exploring and becoming familiar with the world of phenomena, including our human self. On engaging actively in evolution and development.
And since this is all God exploring itself in various ways, the first form of practice and realization complements the second and the other way around.
As human beings, we are an expression of the evolutionary process of the universe, this planet and this species, before and after the awakening to no “I”. And as human beings, we mature and develop in all the many areas human beings can, before and after this awakening to no “I”.
An awakening to no “I” is an end to delusion about what is experiencing and doing, but not necessarily an end to anything else. The context shifts, but that is about it.
There was an exclusive identification as our human self and/or a doer and seer. And now, there is no belief in the idea of “I” as a segment of what is. There is no doer, only the doing. No seer, only the seeing. It is all realized as the whole – beyond and including all polarities, God, Buddha Mind, Brahman, Dao, Spirit – acting, seeing.
Before realizing no “I”, we were initially reluctant players in this unfolding, resisting and struggling and creating a big drama out of it.
After, we play along, following the rules of the game, and now in the realization of it all being God expressing, manifesting and exploring itself in some of its infinite potentials.
And both of these are also God exploring itself in some of its many ways.
Absolute and relative
Realizing selflessness – who or what is experiencing and doing – is the absolute. Here, we see that it is all the play of God. The universe is consciousness, and I am that consciousness.
And the content itself – the evolutionary process of the universe, exploring itself in always new and infinitely varied ways – is the relative.
One cannot be without the other. They are two aspects of the same.
A nondual (or deepening transdual) approach takes both into account.
We explore the context, through the various forms of spiritual practices.
And we explore the content, through engagement in the world, trades, sciences and more, and through maturing and developing in the many areas human beings can mature and develop in.
Awakening to context
Awakening to context is just that, awakening to context. Where there used to be a belief in the idea of “I”, that belief has now dropped away. And that is all. The world of form continues to unfold. The game goes on. And as human beings, we are now free to more fully engage in this game, with less or no resistance.
Before and after awakening to context
There are many differences before and after this awakening to context, and the main one may be in the sense of “I”, of who or what is experiencing and doing.
Before, there was an exclusive identification with a segment of the whole of what is, beyond and including all polarities. Most typically, there was an identification with our human self and/or as an experiencer, a doer and so on.
After, the belief in an “I” as a segment of what is falls away. There is no experiencer, only the experiencing. No doer, only the doing. Another way to say it is that God – beyond and including all polarities, awakened to itself as the only “I”, the only experiencer, the only doer.
Resistance and engagement
Before awakening to context, there is resistance to content. There is resistance to some particular content going away, and other particular content coming or staying. We are ambivalent about experiencing and engaging with content. There is a sense of struggle and life-and-death drama.
After awakening to contenxt, this resistance falls away. Or, to be more accurate, the resistance to the resistance falls away. Our human self will continue to have preferences, but there is no resistance to these, nor any need to blindly act on them. We are free to more fully experience and engage with content. The sense of struggle and drama falls away.
God experiencing itself in struggle and not
Before awakening to context, there is struggle and resistance. This allows God to experience itself in always new ways, and in struggle with content.
After awakening to context allows us to experience and engage with what is more fully. It allows God to continue to experience and explore itself in always new ways, without the resistance.
That is really the only difference. Before, there is exploration with struggle. After, there is exploration without struggle. And both are parts of the exploration process.
Both are some of the infinite ways God is exploring itself, of the dance of God, of lila.
It is really OK, no matter what. But as with any good movie, we need to take it seriously and as real to be caught up in. There has to be a strong sense of reality in the drama for us to be engaged. Or rather, for God to be engaged.
God, Buddha Mind, Allah, Brahman, Dao, Spirit is beyond and includes all polarities. Beyond and including existence and nonexistence, spirit and matter, creator and creation, body and mind, nature and culture, life and death, false and right, and so on.
And as beyond and including any and all polarities, God is complete.
So to explore itself more in its fullness and richness, it needs to explore and experience itself as everything that is not complete and perfect. As incomplete, imperfect, fallible, flawed, mistaken, deluded, suffering, and so on.
In one way, this is what is (apparently) excluded from the completeness of the whole. In another way, it is completely included in this completeness. It is one end of all the polarities included.
So when we ask why? Why so much suffering? Why so much imperfection? Then this is one temporary answer.
The suffering and imperfection is God (temporarily) experiencing itself as everything it – as a whole – is not.
And why not?
It can be experienced as unbearable and awful beyond words when in the middle of it, but in the bigger picture it is just another aspect of the dance of God.