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Duality and Non-Duality


Here is Gina Lake channeling Jesus from her book, In the World but Not of It, with a message about how the mind creates duality and interferes with our ability to experience Oneness, or non-duality. A transcript of this video message can be read below.

The mind—your brain—slices the world of form into pieces: things and concepts. This is useful and necessary for communication: When you want someone to pass the butter, it’s helpful to have a word for butter and the concept of pass. However, things are not actually what you call them, and concepts are not actually real at all. Although language is a handy device, it’s deceptive and contributes to misperceiving life.

Language doesn’t represent reality very well. That isn’t a problem if you don’t expect it to. But to the mind, concepts and labels are real, so real that they replace reality with a virtual one, a mental reality. More importantly, concepts and labels cause the mind to overlook or dismiss the deeper reality. Concepts and language keep people on the surface of life, believing that life is as their minds tell them it is, when the truth is much more mysterious and unfathomable.

The ego doesn’t like unfathomable. It prefers to know and doesn’t like to not know. Knowing gives the ego the sense that it has some control. So it defines and labels, all in an attempt to know: “I know what that is. It’s a tree.” End of story. No need to look further. A tree is a tree.

But a tree is not just a tree, is it? Knowing the word for tree is not the same as knowing a tree. A tree, and everything else, is much more mysterious than the label it’s given or anything you could say about it. What a complex and magnificent organism a tree is! How connected and interdependent it is with everything else! Without trees, there would be no human life on earth.

So is a tree really just a tree? How is it not equal to sentient life, itself, if sentient life is dependent on it? In a sense, then, a tree is part of the human body, not separate from it, since the human body is dependent on it. The same is true of the air and everything else human beings depend on for life. You aren’t actually separate or independent at all from the rest of creation, and neither is anything else. Since everything is interdependent, you could say that everything is part of one body, one Whole, the Totality, the One.

But that’s not all the mind does. It doesn’t just label and classify and, in so doing, separate one thing from another. It does something else that creates further duality, further separation: It evaluates. It further separates things into good and bad, beautiful and ugly, young and old, fat and thin, short and tall, big and small, desirable and undesirable, and on and on. In other words, the egoic mind puts its own spin on things; it tells a story. Things are not just things. A thing or a person is thought to be whatever comes after the word for the thing or person: “That tree is....” “That person is....” “I am....” And that’s a story.

Can a thing be defined in words? Can you be defined in words? Anything you say about something is bound to be inadequate and, as a result, essentially false, since so much is left out. Furthermore, is “is” or “am” ever true in this world of constantly changing forms, interdependency, and unfathomable complexity? Is anything that static and definable? This vainglorious attempt at definition is because the ego can’t bear to not know. It has to say something about a thing or person. Then it can rest in feeling it knows that thing or person, even when it actually knows nothing more than it did.

This pretending to know is rampant in the egoic state of consciousness. When you look at your thought-stream, you see that it’s full of half-truths, personal opinions, and attempts to know things that can’t be known. How helpful can these thoughts be?

Here are some examples:

  • He’ll probably be late.
  • She’s not very bright.
  • It won’t take long.
  • It’ll be great.
  • I can count on her.
  • I doubt he can do it.
  • I can’t take it anymore.
  • She’s not going to last much longer.
  • He’s lazy.
  • I’m sure.

There’s nothing wrong with these thoughts. They’re the kinds of thoughts the egoic mind produces in everyone. It’s just good to recognize that they aren’t what they pretend to be—solid knowing and helpful truths. Meanwhile, life remains unpredictable. It is never the same, and neither are you nor anyone else. Who knows what you will do? Who knows what someone else will do? Who knows what someone is like? Who knows what the next moment will bring? You really don’t know very much for certain. That’s one thing you can be sure of.

When you drop into Presence, you know that you don’t know, and that’s fine with you. You even enjoy not knowing, just as you enjoy not knowing how a novel will end. Not knowing what’s going to happen next makes life interesting and exciting.

The ego actually takes the fun out of life by pretending to know. Then it tries to put the fun back in by eating, drinking, shopping, and doing other things the ego likes to do, which bring only passing pleasure, not real happiness. The irony is that happiness is much more available than the ego realizes. It’s just that you have to stop perceiving the world as the ego does and as language implies.

The egoic mind interferes with happiness by creating illusory dualities, such as good/bad, like/don’t like, want/don’t want, and better than/less than. The labels, themselves, often create the experience described. For instance, if you say, “I don’t like vanilla ice cream,” your ego is committed to not liking vanilla ice cream, or it will be proven wrong, which it likes even less than vanilla ice cream. As a result, your experience of vanilla ice cream will be influenced by the conviction that you don’t like it. Because the ego is invested in upholding its opinions and beliefs, it will seek to have its experiences fulfill its expectations. In this way, the false self’s beliefs often become self-fulfilling prophecies.

The ego likes dualities because it likes to take a stand, any stand. Taking a stand is what’s important to the ego, not the particular stand, because taking a stand gives the ego an identity. Taking a stand is how identities are created: “I’m a Republican.” “I’m against eating meat.” “I don’t like redheads.” “I believe in getting up early.” Taking a stand makes you feel like somebody, like an individual. And that is the definition of the ego, the false self: It is all the ideas that make you feel like a separate self, that make you feel special, all the ideas that masquerade as you.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling like an individual. You are meant to be an individual in this world. In fact, you were given programming that makes you like certain things and not others, behave in certain ways and not others, and be driven to do certain things and not others. As part of your programming, you were given a personality with certain inclinations, drives, and preferences. Your personality is meant to influence your choices and behavior and to be a vehicle for your divine self, although it’s more commonly a vehicle for the ego. It’s just good to recognize that this programming isn’t who you really are but, rather, a costume you’ve donned as you play the character you came to earth to play.

Personal preferences are only a problem when they’re held so rigidly by the ego that they keep you from being in Presence. This happens if you aren’t willing to be flexible about them, if you demand they be met when meeting them is not what’s coming out of the flow. If, for instance, life is presenting you with vanilla ice cream instead of chocolate, it’s best to say yes and enjoy it or “No thank you” and be happy with that too. To suffer over no chocolate ice cream would be to believe the thought “I don’t like vanilla ice cream” or “They should have chocolate ice cream” or “They didn’t care enough about me to have chocolate” or some other similar thought. The divine self goes with the flow: “What an adventure—vanilla ice cream for a change!”

Since the ego is very invested in and attached to its preferences, it wants them met. Not meeting them is a challenge to the ego’s identity: “I don’t eat vanilla ice cream!” The issue is not really the flavor of ice cream but a personal matter of identity, of who I am.

This is true of other dualities as well. The good/bad duality is equally a matter of identity for the ego. Because the ego generally feels that those who are similar to itself are good and those who are different are bad, knowing what I am like or not like is very important. That’s how the ego determines how it relates to all the others out there. And, of course, everything deemed good is to be desired and acquired, while everything deemed bad is to be avoided.

This gives the ego a simple game plan. Keeping it simple is important to the ego, since it isn’t one for complexity. Good/bad is about all it can handle. So the ego categorizes, and then it knows what to do: Go after good and avoid bad. The ego likes simple prescriptions, and dualities give it a simple prescription for living. The ego is a very primitive aspect of the human being. You don’t really want it running your life. And yet, that is what’s running most people’s lives, because they’re letting their thoughts guide them through life.

When something that’s happening isn’t judged as good or bad or as something you like or don’t like, something very interesting happens: You lose your future! When you embrace whatever is, without judgment, there’s no longer a need to look to a future for your happiness. You are already happy, and nothing needs to be added at some other point in time to be happy. When you’re in Presence, there’s no need for a future, which is just an idea anyway. The future is just the ego’s fantasy about how it will finally be happy one day.

When you identify with the ego again, your future returns. The ego needs the future because the idea of a better future is how the ego justifies rejecting the present moment. The ego does this to keep you out of Presence and keep itself in charge. Thank you for being here. I am with you always.

This channeled message was shared in weekly online gatherings where Christ Consciousness Transmissions (CCTs) are offered by Gina Lake and her husband, Nirmala. These transmissions of higher consciousness will assist you in your spiritual awakening, in awakening to your true nature.

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