I received an email with a question that comes up in some form over and over again. Here is what someone wrote to me in response to a recent newsletter that asked for support for our transmission, teaching and free ebook programs:
"In "Nothing Personal" I learned that the real "me" is Consciousness within my Heart and also ultimately just God. Why is there Satsang? Much less supporting it with contributions?
Here is my response:
This is a great question. My sense is that there are many levels of truth and that they are all true simultaneously. Many people are stuck in the practical and personal levels of truth and so the role of most spiritual teachings is to point to the much bigger truth of our ultimate nature as pure consciousness. But the small truths are still true, and so there is still also a place for all of the ordinary practical considerations of human life.
No matter how enlightened someone is, they still need to prepare and eat food, go to the dentist, do their laundry and so on. And so there is also a place for spiritual teaching or satsang and also for contributions to support it. But of course, if you do not have any problems with your teeth, you do not go to the dentist that week. And similarly, if you do not have any doubts or illusions about your deeper spiritual reality, then you would not need to go to satsang for pointers to your true nature. You might still enjoy satsang, but you would not need it.
I also still experience a deep gratitude for my teacher, Neelam, and so I regularly contribute to supporting her in her continuing to teach and help others, even though I do not attend her events any more. And this is true for me even though I also clearly recognize that all she did was point me to my own nature. She did not "give" me anything.
There is only truth, and there is no right or wrong experience of the many levels of truth. So if satsang and/or contributing to worthy teaching efforts has no relevance or meaning for you, then it simply is not true for you at this time. But it is still part of the truth that these activities have value for others and that on a practical level they need support to function.
And finally, all of the different levels all appear within the same totality. There is no separation between the levels and it is only a question of what your awareness is focusing on in a particular moment that creates the appearance of a different level. You are always free to move in and out of any perspective as the moment seems to require. My sense is that the ideal is a total flexibility to move in and out of all of the different levels. Getting stuck in any level is limiting whether it is the relative level where problems and other people exist, or the absolute level where it is all seen as an illusion. Again because many people are stuck in the relative, spiritual teachings typically point to the absolute. But it can be equally a limiting place of suffering to become stuck in the absolute, and a good spiritual teacher will point someone back to the relative when they see someone stuck in the absolute.
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Before you leave, be sure to get your free ebook copy of
Nothing Personal: Seeing Beyond the Illusion of a Separate Self by Nirmala.
Nothing Personal leads you to the experience of your true nature and helps you explore its depth. Through exposition, questions and dialogues, it brings you to a place of realization of the Truth: you are the spacious Awareness in which everything appears.