Reality and Illusion, Awareness and Love
Reality and Illusion

In the field of pure consciousness, reality can be perceived as existing on three levels:
- Everything is real;
- Everything is illusion;
- Nothing is.
I find that I relate to reality from whichever level is most appropriate to the situation of the moment. When I'm at work, I use "Everything is real." When I'm at play I use "Everything is illusion." When I go deep inside I find "Nothing is." I'm aware of these levels all the time, and I find that the further I go the more they coexist simultaneously. This is my way of experiencing more fully all the manifold qualities of this amazing reality we have co-created.
Awareness and Love

However, there is more. My favourite quote from Nisargadatta is, "Love says 'I am everything'. Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." This points to the truth that Oneness flies on two wings, one composed of awareness (jnana) the other of love (bhakti). Only with both wings fully spread can the soul fly to freedom.
My practice these days consists of exploring the interpenetration of love and awareness in as many ways as possible:
Awareness for its own sake;
Love for its own sake;
Awareness of love;
Love of awareness;
Awareness within love;
Love within awareness;
Love and awareness as the same thing.
And finally, this all takes place within the four-fold manifestation of my divine humanity: body/mind/heart/spirit.
Let Paradox be your Parachute

The absolute is inherent in the relative. Whenever we catch a glimpse of the Absolute, we are looking on the face of God. When we see the Relative, we are looking on the face of Man. One of the most effective ways to see the "one" in the "two" (or in the many) is to embrace paradox wherever we find it. Awareness/Love, Reality/Illusion, Good/Evil, Action/Inaction, God/Man/Nature - all the dualities, distinctions and separations we know and love contain the seeds of their own unification. One way I find that seed is to hold one pole of the apparent duality in each hand, become aware that both exist in my life at the same time, and dive into the paradox that creates.
When viewed like this, all of life becomes a Zen koan - insoluble unless and until we surrender to the paradox.
Trust and Surrender

I find that the best pointer to the next step on the path is my own resistance and fear. When I move towards the fear I usually find I'm looking at a dualism of some sort - some inherent, intrinsic, irreconcilable contradiction. At that point, I invite myself to dive into the conflict. If I have enough trust to take that step off the edge, I usually find that I fall only for a moment, and then suddenly I discover myself floating in unity, as I always have been.
Awareness, love, trust and surrender are the keys to the door.  The dance of Lila never ends, and its joys are infinite.

Paul Chefurka
April, 2011

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