Finding a New Language in the Non-Dual World

Yesterday I received the following response to my recent blog, Inviting the Men to Join Us.  First of all I want to thank Shakur for offering these insights.  They could not be more perfectly timed.  Please read Shakur’s insights below, followed by my response.

Lauri, I really appreciate the call for men and women to join together and create the world that we wish to live in and the work you are doing to help more femininity blossom in our world. As a man who has been deeply involved in spiritual pursuits over the last decade and someone who tends to appreciate feminine traits more than most men I have met, I also appreciate the acknowledgement that the systems we have been living in affect both men and women.

However, I struggle with the dichotomy you seem to be creating, which I think many others do as well, in defining some traits and behaviors as holy or divine and therefore others as unholy and toxic. I think the frequency with which we, especially those involved in spiritual community, divide while calling people together is counterproductive. From what I can see in doing so we are just changing the divide from men vs women to holy people vs unholy people. And from what I have seen there are many traits and behaviors that some would label as unholy / toxic masculinity that others would consider holy. When a man (or a woman for that matter) seeks to preserve their culture, defend their family, believes that competition leads to excellence and is desirable, I often see those in spiritual communities or in progressive communities denounce and judge them. And I believe that act of judgement is counterproductive as it tends to generate anger and shame on both sides, and as I said just changes the dividing line instead of diminishing it.

I believe that if we want more peace we are going to need to accept that there are many views of what is holy, that as Jesus said we will be surprised to see who is sitting at his table, and we will need to be ok with disagreeing about those things and allow each other the ability to choose different ways of living. I say this trusting that we can be one and yet be many, while understanding it doesn’t mean it will be easy. I say this in the belief that accepting these differences will allow those of us who do wish to create the union of masculine and feminine, and that share a similar viewpoint about what that would look like, can focus our energies on coming together and creating that which we wish to see in the world without being distracted by the effort to coerce anyone else into living the way we want to. And honestly, I think if we did that and created places where what you describe as the divine feminine and masculine come together and support one another that many people who would not have thought they would want that will come to see the beauty in it.

I hesitate to post this because I am concerned it will come across as combative and my views on this won’t be popular, but I offer them in the hope that we can have some dialogue about it and have the chance to broaden my way of thinking as well.
– shakur

Shakur, I cannot thank you enough for sharing your thoughts and concerns.  You are absolutely right on every point.  I don’t find your sharing combative in the least.  Instead, I find it compelling.  There are a million thoughts I have in regards to your sharing, and I think the bottom line is that our language is failing us.  Even in writing my most recent posts on what I am calling the “Holy Masculine,” I found myself struggling to find appropriate words.  There are no words in my native tongue that truly describe what I am feeling in my heart and in my soul – a longing for union – where as a species we can come together in celebration of what is holy and sacred and unique and magnificent in each of us while also celebrating the things within us that make us human – insecurities, fears, unhealed wounds, illness, disease, etc.  And yes, what one person considers holy another might judge as profane.  And yet, I believe we are being called into an even greater expression of our humanness where we might begin to move beyond judgment toward loving compassion.  And yet, our language has no words for this.  Instead we are stuck with the inherent dualism of the English language where everything is either/or, black or white/ right or wrong/ male or female/ etc. etc. etc.

Image credit: Robert M. Place

Shakur, the phoenix I see rising out of your beautiful words is the idea that as we move through this evolution in consciousness, we need to move beyond the words we use to separate – male/female, masculine/feminine, holy/unholy, and find something new. What is beautiful about this is that as the English language is inherently dualistic and there are few words for the fluid movement within unity, we will have to work together to find/create a new language.  Shakur, perhaps this is part of your calling….to help us find a new language that more closely describes a humanity that is one in celebrating diversity and where we are all empowered to find our own unique expression of our personhood.  My sense is that this will be an ongoing conversation as we find our way and our place in this new world we are creating.  Shakur, thank you for the amazing gifts and insights you bring to this co-creation!!!!

 

Love,

Lauri

 

 

 

About Your Spiritual Truth

I am a trained, professional Spiritual Director, Author and Hands-on Healer. I offer services, programs and classes that empower you to hear the voice of the Divine that speaks from within you. It is the voice of the Divine that leads us to our highest truth, to the discovery and cultivation of our gifts and to a life of Authentic Freedom where we know contentment, compassion and joy. Your truth will set you free!
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5 Responses to Finding a New Language in the Non-Dual World

  1. shakurayaz says:

    Hi Laurie – thank you very much for replying to my note and for your kind words. I totally agree that we lack the language to describe a non-dual world. And I definitely share your desire to celebrate the Divine, our own divinity and our humanity, and to move into a place beyond judgement and live in loving compassion. I keep reminders for myself of the life of the bodhisattva as I find that to be one of the closest representations of how I strive to live.

    I believe we are getting stuck due less because of our language and more because of our actions. We seem to encourage each other to be angry and to fight against those who have a different view of what is right or holy. And I thought I heard that in the beginning of your post on inviting the men when you asked if men were angry about the injustices in the world, and I hear it a lot in the media and in the resistance / political progressive movement.

    Personally I have found that trying to move into that place beyond judgement has paradoxically required me to do a lot less. I have for most of my life so far believed and worked towards what I would have called ‘creating a better world’. But in looking at it the last few years I found that much of that work meant trying to change what other people were doing. And the guidance I received from spirit was to stop trying to get other people to believe what I believed, want what I wanted, and do what I do, and instead just to be and appreciate who I am. The main action I have had to take has been in pulling away from relationships where I wasn’t being treated the way I wanted to be treated, and to try as hard as possible to do that with grace, without judgement, and with a sincere desire for those I pulled away from to have what they wanted in life.

    And so for the last few years I have been living a much quieter, more introverted life. It has not been an easy transition. I have lost connection to friends and a spiritual community I deeply enjoyed for many years, but I found I couldn’t be true and loving to myself within those relationships.

    During this transition time I have been considering how to best contribute to the happiness of the world, and at least to this point the best way has been to embody that which I feel is true and best for me (so at minimum I am contributing to my own happiness since that is what I have the most control over), to share what I am doing where I feel moved to share it (like here) and to trust that the Divine is guiding each one of us as we need to be and are open to. And also trusting that by being myself I am contributing to the world that God envisions for us / with us and that those who want what I want will be encouraged by having a living example of how they would like to live, whether I know about it or not.

    I would love to find a community, whether virtual / online or physical that shares my vision, and would be more than happy to both continue our conversation and contribute any way I can to creating that community.

    • Thank you again Shakur. Your words resonate deeply within me. These words in particular: “the guidance I received from spirit was to stop trying to get other people to believe what I believed, want what I wanted, and do what I do, and instead just to be and appreciate who I am.” This is exactly the position spirit has led me into and for several months I have been quiet…..when the #MeToo movement began, I found myself drawn back in. My writings to and about men have been in support of those great men I know who are not the cause of fear in our world but are trying to live as love. (again, the duality). At the end of the day I believe this is a tension we will always feel as human beings. We are not here to be gods, we are here to be human….something I need to remind myself of daily.

  2. Impermanence, The middle way. In Buddhism it is believed that all dualistic thinking is an illusion.

    The teaching of impermanence says that nothing stays in any one state for more than a period of time. Everything in the universe is under constant change or flux. In Buddhism the symbol used to represent this is the Manji (Japanese for swastika). No this is not the one used by the Germans. This symbol has been around for thousands of years and is often found on Buddhist temples and even on Buddha images all over Asia. The vertical and horizontal lines that form a plus symbol in the middle of the Manji represent the opposites or duality. Where the line bends on the ends of this plus symbol represents that these opposites are changing state. If for example we can take Light/Dark as the opposites. We would say that in the daytime it is light and at night it is dark. But is that really what happens. No if you look at it closer darkness gradually changes to light and the light gradually changes to darkness in a continuous cycle that never ends. It is never truly dark or light for more that a period of time. The opposites only exist when they are at their furthest point from each other (dark/light). They also only exist in relation to each other. If you think about it nothing in the universe lasts forever. One thing may last longer than another but all things at some point change state or dissipate. So in reality any opposite or extreme cannot last so it is a false notion.

    The same could be said for high/low. If you have two objects, lets say two balls, and you raise one above the other the one above could be said to be higher than the other. But for one thing if you add third ball and hold it above the higher one the one that was high is now low in comparison. So the high only existed in reference to the low. If we go back to the two balls and then take away the low ball what is the one that was high before now? it is no longer high because it’s opposite does not exist. You could change it to above/below and it works the same way.

    The Buddha taught that the truth could be found in the Middle of the extremes. He called this teaching the Middle way. He had grown up as a prince an lived the life of luxury. Since he had everything he wanted he soon realized that he wasn’t happy with anything. Nothing had any meaning. This is when he left his royal life to to follow a religious path. He followed some ascetics who starved themselves and avoided any sort of comfort thinking that denying the body would lead them to a religious understanding. The traditional story says that one day he was so weak from this harsh life that he could not hardly sit up. He was lying near a river and there was an old man in a boat giving music lessons to a young student. He told the student that if you tighten the string to tight it will snap! If you make the string to loose it will not play a sound. This is when the Buddha realized that following the extremes (pleasure/pain) was the wrong way and the the answer was to avoid duality by seeking the Middle Way.

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