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  • Catherine Schultz, Ph.D.

Reconciling Nonduality with Duality for Conscious Evolution

January 24, 2013 by Dr. Catherine Schultz, Ph.D.  


Recently I had the good fortune to encounter a group of amazing people with quite a depth of spiritual wisdom who were engaged in an online dialogue focusing on the nature of consciousness and discerning the nature of True Teaching and a True Teacher as well as how Awakening or Wakefullness expresses itSelf in human beingness or embodiment. Part of the dialogue also included the importance of being aware when we recognize incoherence with what we know to be true, throughout all the dimensional ways we ‘know’ ourselves and others, that we tell the truth about this. People were recognizing that many spiritual teachers display many human failings yet often don’t get called out. And that in the Advaita Vedanta (NonDual) traditions, many of the teachers and collective devotees are so focused on knowing themselves as the Absolute ‘beyond’ the mind, that any aspects of relative human existence including physical, emotional and mental imbalances are ignored or seen as ‘leela’ (a play without any substance or reality). So truth telling at every level of being was seen as being aligned with unconditioned love and wholeness while fully experiencing each creative and dynamic moment of life.


With regards to the central themes of True Teaching and Embodied Awakening, I shared the following perspective that seemed good to reiterate here in the blog —

The perspective I offer to this inquiry is that the answer we evolve together will ultimately contain both depth and breadth in its Wholeness of Form and Silence of Formlessness. And the Wholeness of Form includes every part, everywhere, everyone’s perspectives. We are indeed as a species potentially evolving into a time when the emotional, mental and physical dimensions of ourselves are able to partake fully in experiencing the Wholeness of Form simultaneously merged with the Silence of Formlessness that has no experience whatsoever. So where there is any ‘object’tion or experience of incompleteness with a Teacher or Teaching, and it is seen that the mental, emotional and physical imbalances are there even though they are not able to or willing to ‘see’ this or acknowledge this or whatever the reason might be, I offer that it is because this intimate merger has not fully occurred. Through the part of the brain that has been so vilified by the Advaita Vedanta ‘religion’, human beings now have the depth and breadth of capacity to feed, clothe and shelter everyone on the planet, potentially reduce the footprint of overpopulation to sustain the current level, provide healing (wholeness) to emotional, psychological and physical imbalances through integrating multiple modalities and the social tools for social architecture that provides resonant ways we can ‘all get along’ and not just survive but thrive.


Advaita Vedanta has a profound place in supporting our capacity as a species to evolve beyond the conditioned habits of thought that prevent us from creatively using all the solutions we already have at hand both personally and collectively. But it it is obviously incomplete if it denies those solutions as being ‘leela’ and minimized rather than employing the depth and breadth they might engender both for Wholeness in the individual and the entire species. So, together, we embrace and evolve. We include and transcend (as Wilber offers).———


It has been both hilarious and frightening to see how evolution in the species is taking place right now. On one hand, the part of our brain that labels and defines the world has brought us technical advancements to the point where we could solve all our problems. But the same part of the brain has created so much fragmentation and it so conditioned that we can’t collectively come together around the solutions. Then, on the right side of the brain, many people are shifting into realizing they are the awareness of their conditioned thought systems and finding huge liberation but often are ungrounded, have difficulty function, and vilify what they call the ‘ego mind’ so the solutions that we have available to us still can’t be used!


So, as the old saying goes, “any strength overused can be a weakness”. It is clear that if the species is to truly evolve, we must integrate these two general ways of seeing the world within our brain and central nervous system into a merger of Wholeness of Form, Silence of Formless Awareness. We must recognize the gifts that have come from language and objectification as well as from silence and subjectification. And we must evolve ourselves consciously by integrating both together in support of each One as a Whole Human Being.


We have the technology. We can rebuild Ourselves. And it won’t cost $6 million. It’s Free.


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