Life is a One-Room Schoolhouse
Life is a One-Room Schoolhouse
Q: How do I reconcile the teachings of the Law of Attraction with nondual teachings? I wonder if involvement with the mind by trying to create a different reality would interfere with the deepest recognition of my true nature.
A: My own sense is that there are many levels of truth and that they all exist at the same time. On one level, it is true that you can manifest and create your reality, at least to some extent. However, it is also true, on a deeper level, that divine intelligence is unfolding everything from a bigger perspective. It seems that this deeper truth can override the smaller truth offered in teachings about manifesting, which may be one explanation for why people don’t always get what they want when they apply the principles of manifesting.
An even bigger truth is that everything is an illusion (even you!), and it doesn’t matter what happens. When we experience this bigger truth, there’s a natural relaxation of effort and struggle. Everything is fine no matter what happens.
You asked about reconciling these different levels of truth. I would suggest that there is not a better level, but just different levels of truth. The levels don’t contradict each other but complement each other. To me, the ideal is not to experience the biggest truth and somehow stay there, but to have the flexibility to try on different perspectives and to be able to play freely on all the different levels. For this, it isn’t necessary to reconcile the different levels of truth, since they are already reconciled. They co-exist quite naturally and easily without any need to change anything about any of them. You can play however you wish with these levels: You could spend your mornings playing with manifesting your desires, your afternoons surrendering to the divine plan, and your evenings penetrating all illusions and dissolving the sense of any separate self who could do anything about anything.
There’s no right or wrong way to play in this life. It does seem that this human experience on earth is meant to be a place where people at these different levels interact and to some degree affect each other. In a way, this planet is like a one-room schoolhouse, with some people in daycare, some in kindergarten, some in elementary school, some in high school, and some in college and graduate school—all in the same classroom. In such a classroom, the adults would naturally have more to talk about with the other adults, but they might also enjoy playing with the infants, children, and teenagers and may even find they learn a lot from them. And you can imagine how the younger students would also benefit from contact with the older students.
Within each of us, these different levels interact and exist simultaneously. Your own psyche and soul are also a one-room schoolhouse, where all levels of your being exist simultaneously. There’s no right or wrong way of experiencing the multifaceted being that you are, just different ways.
To fully experience your pure nature as awake, empty space, it’s true that the mind needs to be relatively silent. However, that doesn’t make the moments when the mind is active and the illusion is capturing your attention wrong or bad. Furthermore, the distinction between various levels isn’t black or white, as there are many levels in between dissolving into the source of existence and full identification with the body and mind. Why not find out about all of these levels, especially since it’s not really up to you when the mind falls silent or not? That isn’t something you do, but more like something that happens to you. What you can do is be very curious about all the different levels and experiences you have each and every day. Experiencing every level fully and with deep curiosity naturally allows more ease in shifting and dissolving the boundaries and attachments that can keep you from moving more flexibly between the levels.
Ultimately, however, every experience is already an expression of an even bigger flexibility. Consciousness even seems to also love getting stuck in various experiences, at least for a while. But then it always gets unstuck sooner or later. It is so flexible that it even allows itself to get stuck! So what I’m offering isn’t really a prescription for how to become more flexible in your awareness, but a description of how amazingly flexible your awareness has always been. By being curious about the endlessly different experiences that show up, you may simply recognize more and more deeply how beautiful and mysterious your existence is and always has been. This can lead to not only a realization of the deepest truth of your nature, but also a fuller realization of the infinite capacities and dimensions within it.