When we engage in the distortion that the relative plane is separate from the absolute – that it is something to transcend or ‘just an illusion’ – we ignore the reality of the illusion. What it is the illusion comprised of? How is it known? And by whom? The relative may appear to arise out of the absolute, as waves appear to arise out of the ocean, but like waves, both relative and absolute are components of a greater whole. They are not separate. When we know ourselves as this whole which subsumes everything, we cease to diminish or dismiss the mystery of being human. We experience viscerally that “the world is my family”. From this understanding, we recognize that liberation is not a singular experience. There can be no individual ego that experiences enlightenment. We suffer when we forget that. We suffer when we perceive ourselves as separate from the collective – on the level of consciousness, (the absolute) as well as with our neighbor (the relative). When we recognize that the world is arising in us, Awareness, there is nothing to dismiss. How, then, in our situation of privilege on the relative plane, do we dismiss injustice, bias, cruelty in the name of transcendence or ‘spiritual understanding’? How do we participate in systems of oppression while ignoring the effects our neighbor, as well as the whole? Do we fall for the story that the awakened life we seek is mine to have rather than ours to be? And what’s love got to do with it?
Gabor Maté shares his perspective on the psychology of spiritual seeking in this interview
The study of epigenetics has changed how we look at the effect that our genetic inheritance has on our physical and mental health, as well as on that of our children and grandchildren.
Jul 2–8, 2019
Titignano Castle, Italy
Every life is a work of fiction. That’s what I tell my memoir students. People come to me wanting to tell their life story, the narrative that sums them up, the myth that captures their essence.
Jun 28–30, 2019
Delight Yoga, Amsterdam
A pre-recorded 4-part Video Series with Stanislav Grof
What is it to be a human being, both biologically and spiritually?
At the 2018 SAND Conference, David Ellzey physically and wordlessly tells the story that resolves the seeming paradox of being both human and transcendent.
Oct 21–25, 2015
Hayes Mansion, San Jose California
The aesthetic experience (rasa), which the Kashmiri masters describe as a real training for the yogic…
Peter Russell explains that most human beings—unlike animals—focus on the past and the future, which means they spend their time in a state of discontent.
Mar 3–8, 2019
1440 Multiversity, California
Living with someone we love, with all the joys and challenges, is one of the best ways…
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