“The world around you is the world inside you.
They are not two things. You (in there) are the world (out here).”
~ Tame Bear

 

Seeing the ultimate indivisibility of all things is a key to understanding nonduality. The world is ONE, not TWO. In our minds, we slice up the world in a trillion different ways as a means of gaining some sense of understanding it. We dismantle the world in our minds in order to examine how the various “parts” work, thinking it’s the way to obtain a true knowledge of the world.

Bself and worldut the world — the multiverse and all that is in it — is ultimately indivisible. The separations, all the slicing and dicing that we define for ourselves – they exist only in our minds.

Take for example two simple opposites — hot and cold.

  • Here it is hot; there it is cold.
  • Before it was hot; afterwards it was cold.
  • This is hot; that is cold.

These are artificial comparisons. Notice how we create this illusion of contrasting opposites by introducing even more opposites… Here and There are relative to our spacial location in the undivided whole. Now and Before and After are relative to our location in an undivided sweep of time. This and That distinguish features of physical manifestation — “pieces” of the all-that-is which we temporarily define as “separate,” but which never actually become separate from all else of the perceived world around us.

The whole of the world is indivisible, despite our efforts to understand it as separate parts.

  • It is hot; it is cold.
  • It was hot; it was cold.
  • Is hot; is cold.

The same is true for inside and outside, another artificial distinction we create in our minds to separate self from world. In fact there is no separate self from the rest of the world. To quote a beautiful song from the mid-80’s, “You are the world; you are the people.” You are everything you see in the world around you.

All that you see, what you perceive as being “outside” of your “self” is truly an indivisible whole. You could say “I am a part of the whole,” but even that is an attempt to draw boundaries that do not truly exist. This is what is so fundamental to reality… its nature is nondual. There are no boundaries, and whatever boundaries we strive to erect as a way of understanding this fundamental nature are only ideas in our minds.

We are one. We are all that is. We are everything. We Are.

Consider your conscious awareness of your body. Your skin is that boundary surface that appears to separate you from the world. It is the division you make ~ in your mind ~ between what’s inside and what’s outside of you.

Now ask yourself… Do I perceive my consciousness inside a body? Or do I perceive my body inside of consciousness? Think about it.

Consciousness, or awareness, is this perceiving sense of all-that-is. The division between self and world appears within that conscious awareness.

So then if the boundary between self and world is artificial, if it doesn’t really exist, then you truly are the world. When you look at the world, you are looking at yourself. When you are mad at the world or frustrated with it, or fearful of it, you are mad or frustrated or fearful of yourself. The things in the world that frighten you are within yourself. The things of the world that you absolutely love are also within yourself. (You could say they “are a part of you,” but again that creates the artificial sense of “parts” that have no true existence “apart” from all else.)

The people you cherish, as well as the people you despise, are all within you. Likewise, you are within every other person who has met you or knows you or knows of you; you are some “part” of themselves.

Another way to think of yourself is that you are the sum total of all that anyone else has perceived or known or thought or imagined of you. And “apart” from that perceiving and knowing and thinking and imagination — all that conscious awareness of you that is happening — is what has created you and sustains you with the particular qualities that you think of as you.

If you can begin to see yourself and the world in this way, then the fear and anger you feel can begin to give way to compassion and greater empathy for others, as you recognize that “I am in them, they are in me, we are one.”

 

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