Under the influence of false ego one thinks himself to be the doer of activities, while in reality all the activities are carried out by nature as natural process
Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 3 verse 27
Here, in the Bhagavad Gita (The Lord’s Song), Krishna tells his friend Arjuna a great truth: that the notion of there being any separate entity that takes itself to be the doer is false. There is no doer, the ego is a false entity; there is only nature acting according to its own inherent principles.
This is one of my favourite verses from the Tao Te Ching, an ancient Chinese text overflowing with wisdom (If you have not read it, I highly recommend you do – it is easy to find a translation online).
Here in this verse we are instructed to let go, let go and let go again, until not even the notion of our very self remains. Here we have let go of all ideas of spiritual practice, of spiritual paths and of even letting go.
Then, perhaps, non-action will ‘happen’. This is the culmination of the so-called spiritual path: no-doer, nothing more remains to be done, nothing remaining undone – this is ‘mastery of the world’.
One who seeks knowledge, learns something new everyday. One who seeks the Tao, unlearns something new everyday.
Less and less remains, until you arrive at non-action. When you arrive at non-action, nothing will be left undone.*
Mastery of the world is achieved, by letting things take their natural course. You can not master the world, by changing the natural way.
Tao Te Ching verse 48
*An alternative translation is:
‘When there is no doer, nothing remains to be done’
In non-dual teachings, the basic teaching is that the sense of self that we presume ourselves to be is a fiction. What remains after this is seen is a mysterious and ordinary sense of ‘divine oneness’. One ramification of this teaching is that we can learn to see that we are not the authors of our own actions even though we appear to be. This is known as non-doership. This teaching is often stated explicitly in non-dual traditions such as Advaita Vedanta, Zen, Dzogchen and Taoism.
In theistic traditions like much of Hinduism and the Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, non-duality is still expressed, but its form often differs. Continue reading →
This website is sub-titled ‘Spirituality and Non-Duality’. But what exactly is non-duality (advaita in Sanskrit)? Even in spiritual circles only a few people will ever come across the notion of non-duality and fewer still seem to be interested. From my point of view that’s a real shame as as far as I can see, non-duality is where spirituality gets real and freedom can become reality. Continue reading →