Excerpt About True Nature
As we have been exploring the paradox of realization, I have been using the terms “Living Being” and “Total Being” more than the term “true nature.” This is because Total Being and Living Being refer to the totality of existence in all of its conditions. The understanding of Total Being reflects a view that sees many perspectives at once: the conventional perspective of a self relating to others and to the world; the essential perspective of a self that recognizes itself as an expression of a more fundamental truth or of a relationship to a larger reality; the boundless perspective of a field of reality in its purity, as the true nature that pervades everything and is the nature of everything; and many other perspectives as well. And, because it includes all of these perspectives, the view of Total Being refers to reality in all of its conditions, refers to all of these perspectives and their interrelationships—which means that Total Being includes the states of enlightenment as well as the states of ego. Total Being includes the many kinds of realizations, the many intermediate states, and the many conditions of suffering and pain. Recognizing the importance of the relationship between the particular and the whole—the reality of the individual on one side and the ground of true nature on the other side—can show us that Living Being is not simply true nature. True nature is the essence of Living Being, the true nature of Living Being, but Living Being is reality however we happen to be experiencing it. In the condition that reveals the inherent purity of Living Being, its true nature is apparent: luminous, spacious, and brilliant. In this condition, Total Being is pure goodness and total beauty, grace, and elegance. But Living Being is free to recognize its nature in its true condition or not. It can experience itself in myriad ways, including the dualistic or conventional way. And it is Living Being regardless of how it experiences or manifests itself. This understanding is inherent in the nondual view, but it is usually not stated explicitly. If we thoroughly understand nonduality, we realize that the dual cannot be separate from the nondual. That is, after all, what nonduality means—there is nothing but it, and it is one. That is to say, there is no other place; there is not another separate reality that is dual. It is all one reality experienced differently.