Is Non-Duality True? Or Is Our Mind Playing Tricks?

Sushi: I see that I understand non-duality intellectually, but sometimes there’s a confusion or flip-flop (my mind goes back and forth). Nothing is in anyone’s control, I guess, there is no one here. Am I right?

Tell me something. Have you ever doubted what you experienced in your courtyard the day you realized who you actually were? Have you ever thought that it could have been some egoistic trickery? Some false alarm or a trap?

Plus, if it’s so simple then why don’t we just see it? We see thoughts and our body’s responses to them, but why don’t we see non-doership?

Jagjot: It is natural to have flip-flops where the mind goes back and forth. It’s because the ego-mind fights back fearing its annihilation. Nothing really is in our control, Sushi. And it’s not I who say that. Every great master from Shankara to Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj has said the same thing.

Tell me something…have you ever doubted what you experienced in your courtyard the day you realized who you actually were? Have you ever thought that it could have been some egoistic trickery? Some false alarm or a trap?

The courtyard experience was merely a glimpse of the nothingness. It didn’t change anything in phenomenality. Even after the experience, I struggled (flip-flopped) for many years, trying to find answers.

At some point, call it higher power or God or source, embraced “me” and told me that I am going to be okay. And all questions dissolved. My mind settled down. This was not an event or experience. I realized that this knowledge got embedded (hard to put in words) in my very being. That it had always been there.

Before that, for many years, I had struggled with anxiety and severe depression, to the point that I was suicidal. I went for all kinds of treatments, but nothing helped. This realization put an end to all of my doubts and skepticism. I felt at peace. There is absolutely no horizontal movement in my mind.

Once “seen” you become the reality. “The being.” There’s no question of unseeing it because then there’s no mind to unsee. It is your direct experience. It is not a thought in your mind. What is the proof? I don’t have any proof. Your own existence or aliveness is the proof. You exist in both consciousness and unconsciousness.

I don’t know how, where, or when it happened. But it happened for sure. I completely surrendered to God. I gave up all resistance. In fact, at that time I did not know anything about Advaita or Ramesh Balsekar. 

This understanding unfolded so beautifully in my case that I was in tears. Tears of relief. I felt light. I felt as if an enormous weight was lifted off my shoulders, something that I was carrying for a long time.

I felt like being held and comforted by an unknown power. Ever since, I don’t feel blame, shame, guilt, remorse, jealousy, or hatred towards anyone. Not even towards those who put me in difficult situations.

At this point, I’m even okay with being proved completely wrong. Maybe I am delusional or my mind is playing tricks, SO BE IT. I’m not going to let any concept or any person disrupt my peace.

Also, I’m not here to prove anything or convince anyone that this is the truth. The understanding came to me through my personal experience, and your understanding will come through yours. Maybe it will come through this concept or some other or it may not even come in this lifetime (none of us have any control over that). 

For a majority of people, non-doership is something very challenging to accept. And also, this concept does not make us into perfect human beings. I still feel the same emotions. I react to situations like any other person. The only difference is that nothing “sticks” for long. I’m comfortable with my flaws, biases, and imperfections, which makes me comfortable with others as well. 

I don’t feel the need to change myself for anyone nor do I feel the need to change anyone for me. If the change has to happen it will happen as per the Will of God. My life is not smooth, a lot of drama happens around me, but my lack of involvement keeps me at peace.

I don’t avoid situations. I do what needs to be done in a given situation. But there’s no question of involvement in the form of gossip, choosing sides, blaming, shaming, or trying to control or manipulate the situation because I know that the outcome is not in my control.

Remember that the mind is not looking for answers or solutions. The process of looking for solutions itself creates more suffering. The mind wants to be right or wrong, and in either case, it has a story to tell itself.

Therefore, it’s impossible to convince your mind of the truth through intellectual reasoning alone. Only when your heart awakens will your mind settle down. I don’t know how or when this will unfold for you, but I do know that it has started in “your” case.

Plus…if it’s so simple…why don’t we just see it? We see thoughts and our body’s responses to it…but why don’t we see non-doership?

The reason why we don’t see it is that we have built our whole identification on the idea of doership. We are immersed in doership from head to toe.

Once I was talking to a girl who said that she was convinced of the concept of non-doership and God’s Will, but at the same time, she was hell-bent that I give her a technique for raising Kundalini. It happens.

The mind is so scared of making a mistake that it doubts everything. Questions come up, like, “What if I waste my whole life chasing a wrong concept? Or following wrong teachers?” There’s a deep fear in the mind which equates being wrong to being annihilated.

So, it’s not about brainwashing yourself by chanting the mantra, “I am not the doer.” That is just deluding yourself. When the final acceptance happens, it does not come as a thought in the mind. Surrender comes about as deep silence.

We take life too seriously and don’t spend any time in relaxation. I spend long hours with myself, simply relaxing and doing nothing.

Now I am not saying that you should do that, but definitely, you can spend some time examining your identifications and see how they create suffering in your life. The problem is that we are waiting for someone to come and give us answers. Rescue the little “me” from entrapment.

What I am saying is that questions are unreal along with the entity posing the questions and hoping of getting answers. Again, all of it will only happen when it is the Will of the source, but nothing stops you from investigating. SEE the flip-flop or confusion for what it is.

It is so simple, Sushi, that the moment you see it, you’ll laugh at how much unnecessary effort you put into chasing it.

And here’s the thing. This concept is a stick to help you reach your destination, don’t make it your crutch. The final understanding will happen when you throw away the stick knowing that you don’t need it anymore.

Sushi: I asked you about your experience because I can’t believe what is happening to me. I see that it is my mind that finds everything unbelievable. I sort of know that I have no alternative but to go along with whatever I sense because I belong to whatever is tackling me. We all belong to it, I guess.

Jagjot: The mind has no alternative but to go along with whatever it perceives, but the same mind is not present in deep sleep. You, as the pure awareness are witnessing the absence of mind and senses in deep sleep.

What makes the mind so tricky is that it has many layers and some of the content is not available in the conscious layer. And whatever lies in the hidden layers attempts to find expression in some way or the other. And most of the time it is discomfort. 

Therefore, at times, we don’t get to know why we’re sad or restless. There’s a difference between the mind’s watching and witnessing. Mind’s watching is from the point of view of the person, but witnessing is impersonal.

There will be no peace till the mind claims to be the witness. And it does that initially. It can also pretend to be the source and create a personal image with its own attributes.

Subconsciously, the mind wants to stick with the identifications of right and wrong. And that is where the pain comes from. The moment you stick to one side, there’s bound to be suffering. Witnessing is undistorted or direct perception, free from ideas of right and wrong, or good and bad.

That’s why I say, this understanding does not come as an experience or thinking. You cannot think your way to the source.

When the mind becomes still, you find that the understanding was always there. That there was never any separation from knowing. Just like the clouds covering the sun. The sun is always there, but the clouds of thinking create the illusion of darkness.

Till there is confusion, it is all identification with the mind and body. I wrestled with these ideas for a very long time, Sushi. At one point, I said, “To hell with the concept.”

And then it happened spontaneously. I started noticing changes in my daily life. Things that used to bother me didn’t affect me anymore. I still have my downs and bad days, but there is no involvement. Nothing sticks for long.

The character “Jagjot” is now more creative, more expressive, and is not afraid to speak his mind. Your ability to notice your mind’s movement is the beginning of the end of separation.

I cannot explain this to you in words. All I can say is let it be. Let your mind do whatever it wants to “do” or believe or unbelieve. Be the protagonist or antagonist of your story. Just watch.

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Jagjot Singh
Jagjot Singh

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