Only The Heart May Enter

I wandered in the “nondual” marketplace,
Among the countless “awakened”,
Who feel that all there is, is Consciousness,
And simply understanding this,
Is all that is required.

While there is something to it,
On the face of things,
I found, upon lifting the facade,
An arid, cerebral affair,
Seeming to me, tragically misguided.

For though the mind lead me, truly,
To the Gates of Heaven,
There, reaching the end of its utility,
Having become blind, deaf, and mute,
It stepped aside, in Humility…

For only the Heart could enter there.

I fell, at that fatal juncture,
From Mind into Heart,
From concept into Feeling,
From understanding into Experience,
And Became…

What the Mind can only “think about”.

My “enquiry” was driven by Love,
Not an academic investigation,
Searching to reach a “conclusion”,
Based on irrefutable logic,
Presented with unarguable certainty.

For enquiry without longing,
Is a seed unwatered,
A seed unfertilized,
A seed blossoming colorless,
Without Fragrance or Flavor.

My desire was to Vanish… and Become.
To Vanish as the felt sense,
Of all I come to feel myself as being,
And Become, in “my” Vanishing,
That which I had Loved and Longed for.

What was it I Loved and Longed for?

At the time, only a vague “remembrance”,
Of something… Wonderful,
But long forgotten in Ancient Memory,
A sense of myself, not as myself…
And yet… My Self.

A Feeling, not a concept,
A felt sense of Heaven, within…
The Absolute Fulfillment
In the most Unimaginable sense,
Of the Heart's Desire.

I “Felt” my way to my Essential Self,
Before ever “I” and the world appeared.
I “Felt” my way to Heaven,
Before manifestation ever was,
And the Suffering inherent in duality.

I came, through Mind, to that place,
Where I could not find myself,
But turning there, to the Heart,
Could Feel my Self… Alive,
As… Aliveness.

The thinking mind brought understanding,
Of the fact of my Formless Unlocatability,
But the Feeling Heart Experienced,
Beyond Understanding and Feeling,
What both Heart and Mind become…

What Is, before ever they were.

The use of the word “Knowledge” in nonduality is, as is the case with so many translated words, unfortunate. For to most of us, knowledge implies, without being further elucidated, knowledge of the mind. You can see how the same misfortune has befallen the word “Understanding”.

“Knowledge”, in this case, as is true for “Understanding”, refers to Experiential Knowledge and Understanding, having nothing to do with conceptuality or mental abstractions, with concepts, theory, and conjecture; nothing to do with descriptions of “reality”.

Likewise in nonduality, there is a tragic misrepresentation of “Bliss” as simply another transient, ephemeral arising in manifestation, to be dismissed with all that appears as “unreal”. Certainly there are various experiences described as “bliss” which are born in manifestation, of conditionality and causality, which are not to be seen as indicative of The Absolute. But there is a Bliss, the Bliss of Satchitananda, of The Beloved, of Union, which is inherent in the Experience of Absolute Nonduality, as heat is to fire, or wetness to water, and which, rather than arising in manifestation, born of conditionality and causality, is inherent in the dissolution and eventual vanishing altogether of duality. Rather than entrapping the experiencer, this Bliss arises only with the vanishing of the experiencer.

This Bliss will arise as the experience of duality dissolves, more and more, and the experience of perceiver and perceived gives way to Pure Perceiving; the experience of being a “thing alive” gives way to the Experience of Life Itself, Pure, Formless, Unmanifest. Ultimately, in the Experience of Absolute Nonduality (nirvikalpa samadhi, as the Hindus call it, or Union as the Sufis or Christian Mystics would say), Bliss becomes bhe Unalloyed Ecstasy of Pure Awareness, the experience, upon the vanishing of the experiencer and all duality, of Heaven.

This Bliss should also not be clung to as an experience, for doing so will give rise to the contraction of grasping, and reinforcement of the “experiencer”. But dismissing it outright is misguided, for it is inherent in the vanishing of the experiencer.

Rather, in the most subtle of learnings, through being keenly aware, one sees, again and again as the habituated reflex of grasping occurs, that this grasping, this contraction, causes Bliss to vanish. For this Bliss, unlike all other experiences, is born of, and is inherent in the cessation of grasping, in the dissolution and cessation of duality, and will only arise when grasping ceases and enquiry Surrenders to Death Unto Life as Pure Awareness.

This Bliss, unlike all other experience, is what is spoken of as “The Fragrance of The Beloved”, “Perfume”, and the “Wine” served at the Tavern of The Beloved. For it is an Intoxication like no other. Nondualists may call it the “Bliss of the Self”. To Hindus, it may be the ecstasy experienced as Shakti turns to Embrace Her Beloved Shiva. To Sufis, and in my own stance… it is The Beloved. To dismiss this Bliss is to refuse the Wine She offers, to push The Beautiful One away as She moves to embrace you – an Embrace in which She, you, and all duality vanishes.