Dealing with Suffering in the World, The Enlightened, non-dual perspective by Jon Shore
This article is based upon a question I received.
How is it possible that in many non-dual teachings it is said that the world is seen as perfect after awakening. But how can that be with all injustice and suffering that’s going on? How do you explain this to someone who lost someone or has terminal illness or is in pain?
You are describing a great paradox. The answer to your question is beyond the intellect to understand but let’s make an attempt at it anyway. I will do my best to answer this from ‘my own’ experiences rather than give you an intellectual answer or to answer this based upon the experiences of others. Just keep in mind, words can never completely answer your question but they can offer you some breadcrumbs so that you can experience the answers yourself. Read these words with an open heart. The answers you are looking for are in between the words and will be found in the experiences you have in reading and listening with your heart rather than with your mind.
All that Is,
Is what it is
It is neither perfect nor imperfect.
It just is.
Sit with that for a few minutes and contemplate it.
Now, let’s look at the appearances of suffering, injustice, pain, illness, hate, fear, anger and greed.
From the perspective of the Infinite Ocean of Consciousness, the True Self, these appearances are real and unreal at the same time. They are appearings in an infinite hologram, an infinite movie. They have no real value other than the experience of them.
Contemplate this or use this as a meditation….
Imagine that you are not an individual personality in this infinite movie. You are the entire Infinite Ocean of Consciousness, you are Infinite Awareness ItSelf that is Being the movie. You have no mind, will, control, or life of your own. You are the observing, not the Observer. The entire movie is within you, within Awareness. There is a Creator creating All That Is constantly. The Creator is Aware of ItSelf. You are that Awareness. The Creator is the only Mind. It is alone and only. There is only One. Once you have dissolved into the Infinite Ocean of Consciousness that you are you will experience some of the attributes of the Creator. There are no words that even come close to describing these attributes but we do our best to use some anyway. Words like Infinite Bliss, Love, Peace, Compassion, Power, Creativity, Endless Energy, are only signposts to the real experience of these attributes. The only way to experience these attributes is to dissolve into the Infinite Sea of Consciousness, the Infinite Mind of the Creator.
All of these attributes are neither good nor evil, desirable or not desirable. They are far, far beyond human judgements. But they do set the tone for Creation.
When we experience the True Self, Awakening/Enlightenment, we recognize that we are the expression of these attributes. We are Infinite Compassion, Love, Peace, Understanding, Power, Creativity. We do not possess them, we are them.
When we see suffering in the world, in the movie, we first see it without judgement, without investment, without reaction. Then, if appropriate, we act as the expression of the Creator’s Compassion, Strength, Creativity, Love and Power. We do not judge what is compassionate or loving or creative. We just act authentically as the True Self if we are inspired to do so. We do not deny the appearances of good and evil, right and wrong, life and death, health and illness. We see the appearances of dualism honestly and clearly. To deny their existence would be foolish indeed. But we only act when inspired to do so. And if we act, we act authentically as the True Self.
So, for instance. Someone comes to you and describes their pain at the loss of a loved one. You recognize and acknowledge their experience. They are experiencing this pain as absolutely real and overwhelming. You feel it as much as they do. You recognize that they are an image and experience within the Awareness that you are. They are not separate from you. Their experiences are not separate from you. You ‘embrace’ them in the Infinite Sea of Awareness that you are. The Infinite Ocean that is beyond pain and pleasure, life and death. You listen, you hear, you feel and you embrace them in Reality. If there arises something to say, you say it. If there arises something to do, you do it. You are the Compassion, Love, Peace, Power, Creativity and Life of the Creator. This appearing of a person in pain is a part of who and what you are. They are not separate or apart from you. In essence, they are you. They are another expression of who and what you are. You are the clear mirror for that aspect of the Self.
As an expression of Infinite Compassion and Love you would never say or do anything to harm them or to cause them suffering. You would not deny their pain or sense of loss. You merely authentically Be the Infinite Compassion and clear mirror that you are. You listen, you hear, you act if and when it is appropriate.
I could probably go on and on and on describing all of this for days on end because your question is excellent and begs for a clear answer. I wish I could put all of this into words but it is extremely difficult. Besides being your clear mirror I will just do my best and try to improve my writing and expressing skills each time I answer a question like this. I will keep posting my feeble attempts to express the Infinite in words.
Here is a video version of this article:
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