‘So the remembrance of our self is said to be
the direct path to peace and happiness.’
~ Rupert Spira
Talking about non-duality with my wife, Dana, she said, ‘This teaching, the direct path, is like a drop of water falling into the ocean instead of a river.’
A drop of water that falls into a river gradually meanders its way towards the ocean. It takes time.
A drop of water that falls into the ocean is immediately absorbed into its source. It takes no time.
For the spiritual seeker, the gradual path contains an endless array of enticing practices, rituals, and tools – meditation, shaktipat, reciting mantras, chakra alignment, yoga, spiritual texts – which all claim to lead, providing the seeker is dedicated and diligent, to the end goal known by many names – Awakening, Liberation, Enlightenment, the Ultimate Understanding, etc.
These practices and tools can give results, sometimes astounding, sometimes ecstatic, sometimes profound, but always temporary. And it is this temporary nature of all our seeming successes that keep us going on the path. We feel deep down that the end, the final understanding, is just around the next corner . . . or the next . . . or the next. Turns out, it’s always the ‘next.’
The spiritual seeker can travel the gradual path for many lifetimes, be enlightened thousands of times, but never be quite satisfied. All of the experiences that happen to the seeker happen to none other than a separate self, made up of the temporary qualities of an illusionary body-mind, and therefore happen to no one at all.
The direct path is an immediate recognition of our shared original nature as unchanging, unlimited, pure awareness. Just as a drop of water that falls into the ocean is immediately absorbed back into its source, so to, the individual self, when seen for the illusion that it is, disappears immediately back into its source of pure awareness, whose timeless qualities are that of peace, happiness, and love.