Non-Duality Can Save The World

There’s a header. At the Pema Chodron virtual retreat this weekend I had an insight-maybe. Let me use Facebook as the stage for the story because its a nice polarized archetype of the phenomenon. Someone posts something inflammatory on an issue that is a “trigger” for you. You slam back with a stinging bit of prose. They, and five friends from “their side” escalate the emotion and the language, you trump that…you get it. This is what happens on Facebook. It is also what happens when countries go to war, when families fall apart and when we get lost and damaged and trapped by our own inner voice. We, and our FB friends, are not mean. We’re not stupid and we’re not bad. The Buddha is telling us that we are confused. We have incorrectly divided reality into two pieces-the “right” piece (our point of view) ad the “wrong” piece (our friend’s point of view). This, The Buddha taught, is “wrong view”-better translated as unskillful view or not-useful view because it is not really true. With right view,  there really are practically limitless other versions of “reality”. Some include pieces of BOTH our position and our friend’s, some contain neither but are still legitimate. So, the little insight was that this division into opposites is in reality a failure of the thing that makes us most human-our ability to be creative. When we attach, when we avert, when we “bite the hook” as Pema says, we not only create immediate suffering (it doesn’t feel good to be at war with our friends or family) but we abnegate a potentially brilliant, elegant and beautiful solution. The Buddha invites us to reclaim our birthright as human manifestation, use our big brains, be playful and curious and create! The Non-Dual nature of reality can then shine through.

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