Rodney: Thank you, but I hope you finally took some time off.
Q: I'm writing you. That's the time off!
Rodney: Well, have a nourishing glass of water or some green tea with that break, will you?
Q: Soon, I promise. I have a couple of questions for you first, if it's all right?
Q: Advaita means nondual or "not two." This oneness is the fundamental quality of everything. Everything is a part of and made of one nondual consciousness. Often the question arises, "If it is all one thing, why don't I experience it that way?" This is confusing oneness for the appearance of sameness. Things can appear different without being separate.
Rodney: Let us first be careful about our terms--though ultimately, they mean little at all. Consciousness--the sense that you are present--emanates from awareness. So it cannot possibly be considered nondual, in the sense that it is your fundamental nature. Consciousness is more of an aspect of awareness, just like any other manifestation in life.
Q: It's there, but it's not there.
Rodney: Oh, no. It's there! It's your state of awakeness. But it's a temporary arising within presence, which does not change.
Q: Oh, okay. I think I see what you mean.
Rodney: As for why you're not experiencing Self--well, you can't help but experience it. For it is what you are. You are merely overlooking that "oneness," which is immediately within and before you. Indeed, its very nearness appears to complicate one's perceiving it. But there is no real complication, of course--only an apparent one. For we simply aren't use to looking at something so close up. We only know thoughts and emotions and sensations. But what is it that is there before any of those things are there?
Q: So I can be complicating my seeing by trying too hard.
Rodney: Exactly. But your enthusiasm, which I sense as natural, is to be commended.
Q: That's good, because I'm going to take a deep breath and dive right back in.
Rodney: You don't come to this understanding through any straining or inordinate efforts. All of that is completely unnecessary. Just continue to explore this issue with ease and earnestness, and you will have the answer for yourself. And it will be a living and a vital answer, one of true peace and understanding.
Q: Thanks for the "living" and "vital" chat, Rodney. And thank you for your blog too!