Final Duality
Unitive awareness comes from both the heart and the mind

Welcome to www.finalduality.org, a place with ideas about consciousness, human awareness, spirituality, and the universe.

Why do seekers and students get stuck? Read here for ideas.

"Unity is at the intersection of the heart and mind"

Anyone with desire can awaken

Breaking Myths about Spiritual Awakening


When we believe that enlightenment must be a certain way, we buy into ideas such as:

Enlightened people must never feel anger. They should radiate a field of bliss that can be felt wherever they go. People who are awakened should have psychic abilities, or be able to levitate. Spirtual masters should be able to heal diseases and perform miracles. Spiritual teachers who teach about enlightenment should have been devoted to a famous teacher who declared them to be enlightened and told them they must go teach. People who are awakened should have a terrible story of suffering that they had to overcome, or if not, they should have been recognized as saintly during their childhood.

People commonly express these beliefs and many more. Maybe some of them are true sometimes. However when one looks more closely, the exceptions to the myths are more common than the myths themselves. One man on a spiritual path for 20 years went to see Adyashanti and was turned off because he didn't like that Adya seemed to be making a lot of money. Adya shares a story about people who wrote to him that he couldn't be spiritually awakene because he has a chronic illness. Gangaji and ShantiMayi have overcome deep personal trials and tragedies. Another person who interviews spiritual teachers for a magazine went to see Pamala Wilson and felt disgust for her simple, loving sharing to people who were "zoned out in bliss." Another, on a Zen path for 35 years, said he walked out when a teacher who is widely accepted as enlightened, raised his voice to express anger. Eckart tolle and Jeff Foster awoke and became enlightened during suicidal depressions. My own teachers never pretend to  have special abilities, and often share stories about their imperfections that continue even after their awakenings. Yet, I've seen many students project qualities onto those same teachers that put them on a pedestal. Going farther, is someone not enlightened becasue they drink alcohol or have sex with their students? Can an evil person awaken? Or can a good person awaken, and then become evil or abusive? Not projecting expectations about what awakening should look like may help us accept our own imperfections.

Below are some common myths that  become obstacles to awakening. Agree or disagree, but think them through and let them point you closer to your own deeper realizations. The point is that if we let go of the beleif that we need to be perfect people to awaken to our true spirtual nature, we have one less obstacle to overcome.

1.

You must stop seeking and be still

The stillness comes to us with effort and desire. Many masters have said or written this, but we must read between the lines. Ask them: just how exactly did you do that? Gangaji loves to share the story of how her teacher Papaji said "stop thinking" and she awakened at that moment. Then why doesn't it work when she says it to her followers, or we read it in a book? We can be assured that the moment with Papji was a time when everything came together - her preparedness, the time and place, the ambience, and especially the master teacher recognizing that was exactly what she needed to hear, in that moment. Could it be she didn't make a decision to stop...it came to her when she was ready?


2.

You cannot "get" or achieve awakening

The teacher reaching back can touch the student moving forward. Teachings who insist you can't "get it" are not reaching, or empathizing. They are leaving you to do it all. Ultimately that is what must be done. But in my experience and from studying many others,  seeking, loving, finding, and awakening, can be achieved it, found, obtained.The heart will take you on a path unique to you. Once you have awakened you will then see that is not something that can be "achieved." Until, then, go after it, search for it, and (as Osho said) do everything humanly possible to get it.


3.

An enlightened person must be perfect

I addressed this above and it is worth repeating because it is a serious delusion. Good teachers never preach that they are perfect, yet somehow students will project that onto them, and believe that they are. One can never awaken if they believe this, because complete perfecton is impossible by anyone's measure. Perfection does not occur after awakening, either. Only that which we awaken to is perfect, and it is a delightful paradox. Such paradoxes are resolved in love and silence.


4.

Thinking will keep you from awakening

Believing your thoughts are ultimately real is what will keep you from realiziing the absolute truth. True spiritual awakening brings the perspective that thinking is like breathing and eating. Just household functions that go on about their business, they are us but they do not rule us. All flows as a dance, no longer dependent on desire or willpower. But those aren't completely lost either.


5.

You must stop your desires

Desires are of  the mind and can't be released, dropped or satisfied and more than thoughts and feelings that come and go. Being free of desire does not mean to never have them. It means they don't provoke an internal state of suffering. Like Adya says, they blow through the room. or are like velcro - thoughts that stick for a moment then detach.


6.

It takes many lifetimes to become enlightened

I've seen seekers proclaim this as if it was an excuse to put off the goal of a spiritual journey. Worse are the teachers who share this bit of ignorance. As in all of these myths I spent time researching, contemplating, and inquiring of many people to decide that this has no meaning and no basis in any estanlished experience or wisdom.


7.

We can't define love, consciousness, God, or spirituality

Everything that is labelled with a word or held as a thought can be defined. By definition, we cannot use the mind without the ability to define it's contents. Yet when ShantiMayi said "I don't know what love is...it cannot be defined" I rasied my hand and gave what I thought was a clear definition, and in a spiritual, not dictionary sense. She replied.... (tbc)