Consciousness,  Non-duality,  spirituality

Not This, Not That

The concept of “neti neti” stems from Advaita Vedanta which is a non-dual Eastern philosophy.  Neti neti means “not this, not that” and is a specific way to approach the search for God.  In our human experience we have thoughts, emotions and sensations of living in every day life.  The notion of neti neti posits that Spirit or God is none of these things.  The ecstatic experience of being moved by the primal sounds of a chorus of drums – that’s not It.  The vast, spacious feeling at the apex of a mountain or the silent, soft longing for wholeness and peace – that’s not It either.  I am esctatic, I am vast, I am silent – these are all the experiences of our human vessel.  The are beautiful, they are soulful and they are not It.  Anything that is an object in my awareness is not my Real Self.  It has been put “I have thoughts, but am not my thoughts because I can be aware of them; I have feelings but am not my feeings because I can be aware of them; I have sensations but am not my sensations because I can be aware of them”.  But, there is something that is the Experiencer of all of these things.  Who is That?The “sensation of soul” as I named it in my last post is a metaphor for the ability to discern the difference between the experience of our humanness and something else that exists, ever present and non-changing.  In yoga we witness all layers of thought, emotion, sensation arising moment by moment.  At one level I can name “I am tight, I am distracted, I am breathable”,  but at another I can simply name only that “I AM”.   An exercise to become sensitized to this level of reality is to breathe as you repeat the mantra “I AM”.  As you inhale speak the word “I” internally and as you exhale “AM”.  This is not a cognitive exercise, but requires the participation of head, heart and body.  To know the resounding vibration of I AM in a clear mind, open heart and soft body is to be loved by force of a nature more whole, more complete and more Real than any notion or concept of God could offer.  This practice, alongside the practice of neti neti, is the reconciling of two approaches to Spirit, here,  “I AM and I AM NOT” collide.  I question myself regulary, and wonder if I have the fortitude to show up at the center of this impact and behold my One True Self.