“Non-duality, oneness, lies at the still centre of all religions and spiritual paths although it is rarely acknowledged and has been little spoken about throughout history.
Although we are each born into wholeness, at an early age we acquire self-consciousness, and in that process a sense of separation and loss arises. Somehow we feel that we have been thrown out of paradise, and whether this is recognised consciously or not, we spend our life trying to make ourself whole again so that we can re-enter paradise.
We have wonderful imaginations and an enormous capacity for telling stories, and the great evolutionary tree of religions, of spiritual paths, of the sagas of prophets and gods and holy men and holy madmen, is the result of our forlorn and hopeless search.
Our search is hopeless because we never lost paradise. The paradise which we seek to re-enter is always with us, but hidden by the presence of the separated self. We do not need to find paradise, we need to lose our sense of separation to see that this is already it. But the separated self is unable to lose itself, precisely because it is a false self. The false self is unable to see reality.
Nevertheless, uncaused and unprompted, the false self can drop away and in that death of the person wholeness, unity, non-duality, can be seen again. The false self may drop away while the individual is still alive but it need be of no concern if it does not, because at the death of the body there is only liberation in any case.”
~ Extract from ‘Drink Tea Eat Cake’ by Richard Sylvester (currently out of print)