Understanding or knowing that we’re one with everything – ‘I am, yet I am not’ — is termed non-duality. Ken Wilber says, “Boundary lines, of any type, are never found in the real world itself, but only in the imagination of the mapmakers.”
- Intuition: Our understanding or intuition is that there are no boundaries — all is one. At this stage, we haven’t really experienced this feeling of ‘oneness’ but we know it is what we want to move towards.
- Recognition: We feel this ‘oneness’ because we experience flashes of awakening — however, it’s not a permanent state. In this stage, we move back and forth between our true self and our ego self.
- Stability: Now we are always in touch with Source — with our true selves. At this stage we go about our day to day lives as others do — but there is a difference in our perception which is described as “walking in non-dual reality.”
Moving through the stages is different for each person. Some will proceed in a linear fashion, going from 1 to 2 to 3. Others will go back and forth between stages 1 and 2 until they finally reach 3. Then there are those that may bypass either or both of the first two stages, arriving directly at stage 3. ‘Checking in’ to see in which stage we’re at in the moment can help us understand the nature of the reality that we’re perceiving now.
A common reality is part of successful communication with others. Of course, many people we meet along our path may not be experiencing the same non-duality stage we are. Knowing and accepting this can help us to avoid problems communicating with them. In fact, this awareness may encourage a beneficial exchange of ideas that may bring us even closer to awakening.