So what the heck is non-duality? What is it that Didier and Pierre are talking about?
For those of us who have never heard of it, who have never read anything about Non-duality, it must sound very strange, abstract and kind of nonsensical. And they are right in that it is totally contradictory to everything we have been taught by society and human interactions; to the way we have been conditioned to look at life and at ourselves.
And we can start right here to take a look at exactly that:
Before we knew our names, before we knew we were born in France, or were the daughter or son of so and so, we were aware of ourselves and the "outside" world directly, without words. Enthralled by colours and shapes without knowing their names. A fluidity and openness to everything that we saw or heard or perceived.
Growing up we were taught to name and label all things and by doing so we made them seem separate from us, whereas before that everything was perceived as being non-separate, as one continuum, nondual. In time this separation became increasingly solid. A construction of ideas and concepts which slowly superimposed another reality on the wide open space we are.
As the years went by we learned to function in society through the mental filter of our mind. But somehow by doing so, we left the one place which was home and identified with the persona which had been formed over the years.
A person with a name, an age, a gender, a certain character, habits, likes and dislikes. And our identity which had been non-separate and at ease with all that appeared had shifted to this persona whom we now thought of as ourselves.
We lost paradise in the process and for the rest of our lives, there has been the continuous longing to return to this ease, simplicity, well being.
And as we have never been told that home is actually already where we are, we start looking for happiness, completion, satisfaction in whatever the world has to offer. Relationships, work, a nice house, a car, a hobby. And these are all things which can work for a while but then the relationship fails, or the partner dies, we get fired from our job, and buying things only satisfies for a little while. Things never give us the full and continuous completion we all long for.
Non-duality is the pointing towards the experiential understanding of our true nature. The place we never left but forgot about because it has become overlaid by the construction of the personal identity. The mental filter of names and labels, interpretation and stories through which we now look at the world and ourselves.
This book, an email conversation between Pierre and Didier, is an attempt to clear up this case of mistaken identity. By continuously pointing at our true nature. Because it IS possible to live from what we truly are and be functional in the world. Didier masterly points out again and again all the misconceived ideas and concepts which are blocking the clear view. Using metaphors and with an astounding clarity, Didier repeatedly shows Pierre that the mind and its stories are just that - stories, and that our true nature is always shining through it all.
Home is awaiting our re-cognition. The one place we have been looking for our whole lives but had actually never left.
Highly recommended for the seasoned seeker and the novice alike.
Author of Life at Zero Distance