Exploring nonduality: There is no [whatever]?

 

Some nondual folks like to say “there is no X” where X can be anything – self, human being, a cup of tea.

Is that true?

As so often, the answer is yes and no and it depends.

X – whatever it is – is an idea. It comes from a mental overlay. Also, the idea and what it refers to happens within and as consciousness and oneness. In both of those ways, we can say there is no X.

There is no cup because “cup” is a label and an idea and not the thing itself. And there is no cup because it’s part of existence as a whole.

That’s true, and it’s also just one side of it.

There is X because we – collectively – have decided it’s that way. It’s a way for us to function, orient, and communicate. It has an obviously practical function.

Also, even if all is part of existence some things are more or less distinct. A cup can be moved around. It functions, in a practical sense, as something separate from other things.

So….

We can say that a cup doesn’t exist because “cup” is a label and not the thing itself, and the label and what it refers to happen within and as consciousness and oneness.

At the same time, we can say that the cup does exist because we can talk about it and use it. It exists for us in a practical and pragmatic sense.

It may not exist the way most people think of it. The label and our ideas about it are not the cup. And the cup in itself isn’t ultimately a cup. To us, its most basic nature is consciousness, not being a cup.

And that’s the same with anything we can think about and label, whether it’s me, I, an observer, a doer, a human being, the world, the universe, and even consciousness, Spirit, the Divine, Big Mind, God, and so on.

Why is this important?

For many, it’s not important and that’s more than OK. They live their lives and have other interests and things to focus on.

But for some of us, this is fascinating. It’s helps us recognize what we really are, which is capacity for the whole world as it appears to us.

For some of us, like me, it’s also about finding a way to express our immediate experience. The way the world appears to me seems a bit different than for many, so there is a natural interest in exploring it further and find ways to express it. (Even if the only way to get it is to find it in our own immediate experience.)

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