Relationships, Mystical Oneness and Traditional Nonduality

Arrow in the Alley

EUGENE, OR—Reader Emily posted this comment/question a few days ago:

Enjoying your posts and hearing about your journey as always, Wayne. Not sure if you’ve already addressed this before; but how would you “live as a soul” if you were married and had children to take care of? I’m interested to hear your ‘take’ on that. 😉

My reply below the break (huh?).

Traditional Nonduality and Relationships

Prior to my awakening, I sucked at relationships (I haven’t attempted one since waking up, so I can’t comment on post-awakening). For most my life I was a “cerebral nondualist,” meaning I followed the traditional path of introspection. The introspective path is almost completely incompatible with relationships simply because it is a mental game and Life (and relationships)—being so sticky and, well, real—often interferes with the wonderfully idealistic state called Emptiness.

I dated a lot of women during my “nondual” period, more than I could possibly count, but only two of those relationships lasted more than a year.

Can you have a relationship when the central tenets of your life are Desirelessness, Non-attachement, and a Quiet Mind? Yeah, right. Where’s the love in that. Where’s the love in Idealism?

Mystical Oneness versus Rational Nonduality

Mystical Oneness on the other hand, is (I expect) very conducive to relationships. With Mystical Oneness, you feel your way through Life and you use those feelings as practice (and reminders) of your current level of identity (Mortal, Soul, Radiance, Oneness).

You can talk and try to rationalize your way to enlightenment all your want, but if you don’t feel it (and you always know how you feel), you’re just playing The Mental Game of Life.

For example, while writing in a little coffee shop in Santa Rose a week ago, I overheard two women talking about various nondual topics. I introduced myself and, after being invited to join them, listened as they discussed how stress acts as “the biggest barrier” to spiritual growth.

Now both of these women stated they believed in a soul and they understood the concepts of traditional nonduality. One of the women was particularly well read and had all the “proper” nondual answers to Life’s troubling issues: “You are just Awareness. You are not your Story. So-and-so says this. So-and-so taught that.” Both women were very smart on the topic of Life, and they had all the (rational) answers.

Her comment about stress though, pointed out my whole “issue” with the rational approach to Enlightenment/Oneness: Thoughts rarely match Life. The introspective approach is all about ideals and rarely “plays well” with real Life. These women were very smart, but they weren’t wise. They understood enlightenment and they wanted to live it, but they weren’t living it. They weren’t living it because they weren’t feeling it… they were explaining it.

When they made the comment about stress acting as a barrier to awakening, I said, “Stress is a wonderful reminder that we are taking life too seriously. As a Soul who lives forever, this life is nothing… it’s like your junior year in high school. Don’t believe you have a soul, live as if you are a Soul.” As I said this, they both gave me that gaped-open-mouth-shocked-mini-satori-orgasm look which I often get when I talk about this stuff (the Yin to that double-take-push-pull Yang thing I often get from strangers whom I haven’t talked to yet).

Mystical Oneness and Relationships

In a relationship, if both partners are practicing Mystical Oneness (Mortal to Soul to Radiance to Oneness), then your partner can act as your “reminder” when you find yourself worried about money or your health or your job or any other silly mortal issues.

As a Soul (and recovering Mortal), you’ve been through what they are going through. You understand this slipping due to conditioning and your understanding fills you with compassion for your partner. This compassion makes it very easy to relate to them and to love them and to say, “Honey, remember we’re really Souls babe. This issues is nothing. You’re just temporarily caught up in it all. Really. Big picture… this is nothing.”

Compassion (what relationships are made of) comes from feeling Life, living it, understanding it, and sharing your experiences about how it affects you. It’s founded in Love (Fullness) which is the core energy of Mystical Oneness.

Introspective nondualism is centered in Emptiness and Idealism. It’s cerebral and rational and I doubt any relationship can survive on the ideal of Nothingness.

Introspective nondualism is for smart, rational people. It is focused on the Emptiness. It’s for people who live from their heads.

Mystical Oneness on the other hand, is for wise, emotional people. It focuses on the Fullness. It is for people who live from their hearts.

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9 thoughts on “Relationships, Mystical Oneness and Traditional Nonduality

  1. Wayne, how did you like Eugene btw? I have visited it in the past and liked the small college town feel. Nice variety of coffee houses and restaurants.

  2. Interesting topic today, and I`m saying this because it might be a synchronicity.
    I was wondering lately what is it that gives substance to my ego the most. Because I`m the kind of guy who changed in how to deal with failures. Now he gets up, cleans the dust away and leaves with an expression of contentment on his face. Nothing, not even being fired from my job was a good reason to make me depressed or sad for too long [or at all]. It`s all water under the bridge.
    However I can`t say the same about relationships/love/romance. When I was involved in one I pretty much gave everything. Got over differences of any kind, became a lot more permissible in choosing a mate and basically wanted to explore this field of unlimited unconditional passionate love. However as soon as I get too much involved what happens is that the girl starts to put a distance in between us. And then I start to be bothered about it, and start analyzing where was I wrong, or what is the lesson that life wants to teach me, or that maybe passionate love is “wrong”, or whatever.

    And no I didn`t decide to comment here because Im interested in improving my love life lol. My question is, why is it that I can get over everything so quickly lately but not when its about a relationship?
    Of course, it must be ego related, and maybe my ego, even if not that interested in material lately has found a subterfuge in this whole love thing, just a way to keep me in this “struggle”.
    Also, it might also be about my “spiritual seeking”. Osho used to say that love and meditation are both the ways in which to find enlightenment, and that women are more inclined towards love and so after they find that they should move towards meditation in order to find enlightenment, while men find it easier to meditate and that they should also experience love in order to reach same place. Basically he says that love and meditation are the 2 gifts that the genders can give to eachother in order for both of them to reach home. So that might explain why its harder for me to just say fok off and get over a relationship just as easy as I get over anything else in life.
    Because obviously, thinking about it and analyzing it is counterproductive. However because of the fact that it occupies so much of my thoughts, I realize I need to deal with it sooner or later.
    I dont expect you to have an answer to my question, maybe you can just relate it to a more general problem which might give me a clue. Or, in case you dont, it will just remain as a rhetorical question and life will give me an answer sooner or later. that if it will still be the case 🙂


  3. Andrei. I am thinking what Oshoi was talking about was the two classic spiritual paths–Bhakti and jnana yoga–the way of devotion and love , the way of knowledge. Could it be that not unlike those ladies Wayne spoke of you are the rationalist who recovers from life’s problems but in the realm of love and the emotions–as Wayne says THOUGHTS RARELY MATCH LIFE. If you are not on an emotional wavelength with whomever you are having a relationship with, to what degree are you having a relationship at all?

  4. @Kurt: I like Eugene. Very cool town.

    @Andrei: I have another saying, “Never ask a fat man for diet advice. Never ask a single man for relationship advice.” But if that doesn’t help ( 🙂 ), then here’s what popped out of my head on reading your comment:

    The Love/Light I talk of is outflowing, so even if someone doesn’t love you back, it isn’t an issue. It’s nice when they love you back, but not something to get under the skin (and if it does get under your skin, that’s definitely a sign of the Personal Self).

    @Jim: Welcome to the blog Jim!

  5. And just like the answer lays hidden in every question. After i posted the comment it did come to me that my problem was not necessarily a ”lesson” but just a way in which I was playing the game, in which my ”persona” found fit to keep me in this world of addiction. And if it wasn`t for the relationship issue, it would just find other, maybe more subtle, ways in which to get under my skin.

  6. Thanks for the post Wayne. 😉 i am a huge bundle of emotion. Feeling things has never been a challenge for me. 😉 Feeling the love towards everyone when the boys are beating on each other or dad is losing his temper.. that’s the challenge right there. 😉

  7. @Wayne: Wow, LOL. It’s great how everything fits together.
    [I do traditional Ashtanga/Mysore method early every morning, and it’s always challenging in various ways.]
    Quotes from my yoga teachers:
    “Keep up and you will be kept up.”
    “As in yoga practice, as in life.”
    “Practice, practice, practice. All is coming.”

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