Nonduality is either a conceptual framework overlaid upon reality–your reality, if it be personal–or not. For that matter, any concept is an overlay. There either is a conceptual framework, or not. Nonduality is like every other picture frame around which the world is viewed. It’s just a frame. Forget about the frame, forget about the picture, and become aware of the seeing itself, that which is devoid of, and comes before, any concept, interpretation, labeling, belief, opinion–or filter that creates an apparent segregation of seer and seen.
If the separation between seer and seen appears to still be there, what is interfering is a translating mechanism, a pattern of conditioning, still running the show. That subjective translation is reinforced, made more real-seeming, by an emotional response. The interpretation is what you think is happening, or being seen. The emotion is the concurrent response–to the interpretation that is an overlay on the seeing itself. And by seeing, again, I mean that which has no, and is prior to, any conceptual filter.
This reflexive emotional response is the driving force behind all conflict with what is, and keeps the dualistic perception in the forefront. If there is anger or fear, for instance, in response to what is projected out there, then there appears to be a problem. There appears to be separation between the seer and seen, because of the interpretation, and made real and frightening by the emotion engendered.
Neurographics, a drawing system developed by Russian psychologist Pavel Piskarev, deals directly with the emotion, and the thoughts, in a non-dogmatic, non-interpretive, thought-free mode of interaction. In the most simplistic definition of how this works, consider the following: The hand is connected to the brain, or we would not be able to pick anything up, so when an emotion is felt and then drawn quickly on the page; the sharp edges of that scribble are softened; then grounding lines and circles are added, hand to paper to brain–something happens to the mind/body that transforms what minutes ago was thought to be a problem. Because of the capacity for neuroplasticity in the brain, we can come to see that the brain is not the creator of experience, but the transponder through which experience is received and transmitted, much like a TV set receives and transmits signals that create a story line with which we interact.
There is a great deal more to be said about Neurographics, but that will be found, from now on, at Neurographicart.com. But to make the link here in regard to nonduality, there is a default mode noticed amongst those with whom I’ve shared neurographics, of conflating the emotion and the problem. In other words, because the experience of fear or anger is happening, then there must be a problem. But in my experience, when the fear or anger is taken out of the equation–not because emotion is bad, or wrong–it’s difficult to see the problem as an actual problem.
This applies to everything in life that we interpret as a problem–addiction, interpersonal conflict, overeating, trauma–and the list goes on. For instance, if there were no intense emotion involved in being denied and/or acquiring the substance of choice, there’d be no ongoing need to engage with the substance or activity. If that piece of cake engenders nothing physiological or mental, you can take it or leave it.
So emotions, within the experience of life, seem to happen. It is always an interpretive/emotional component that filters the experience. And generally, these are thought to happen to “me.” Neurographics appears to deal with just that–transforming the reactive mode of being into a less reactive mode. It is a way, perhaps, of dealing with the filter, not the “specific problem,” not “me,” thereby demoting the false mental/emotive overlay as arbiter of what is, as a primary and habitual way of experiencing. Specific problems can be dealt with as well, until they’re seen as a way, if not the way, that the separative perspective (suffering) is maintained–unnecessarily.
Not two, or this idea we call nonduality, may be true, as in no me and world, no subject/object, no here/there, but it can still be perceived and reacted to otherwise. The perceptual mechanism is what is faulty, not the experience or the experiencer. The hope is to demonstrate experientially that emotions are not what you are, do not define a you. They simply come and go. We can either become trapped in them, and identify with them, or watch how they flow by. What is watching? And what is the value of that which floats on by?
You do not have to believe the theory of Neurographics, or any other theory, but the experience may generate an inarticulate kind of realization that thoughts and emotions are not who or what I am.
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This is very interesting Colette. I’d love to hear more about this. Nancy
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Thought you might have an interest in this kind of thing, Nancy. See more at neurographicart.com. And I’d be happy to show you more. Taking the training now–in Russian! 🙂
This is very similar to how I’ve been viewing emotions and thoughts, Colette. As usual, your way of expressing things is bang on clear.
Thanks, Paul. It seems we take emotions to be “evidence” that there’s a problem. Not that they’re wrong or bad, but they’re a significant part of the whole mistaken identity, I must be separate tango. Neurographics seems to offer a non dogmatic, non verbal way to look into the reflexive mental/emotional/somatic conditioning. Thanks for stopping in! Hope all is well with you!
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