Slipping Nonduality Into the Drink of Civilization

Greg Goode, author, philosophical counselor, teacher, speaker, was one of the featured guests at this past weekend’s Boulder Dialogues on Nondual Awareness, in Colorado. I was not a featured speaker but did have the opportunity to address the gathering for a few minutes. Greg writes elsewhere in this blog…

October 15, 2008
Dear Jerry,

It was great to see you at the Boulder Dialogues on Nondual Awareness this last weekend. I still remember with fondness the conference we organized back in the mid-90’s. It might have been the first non-teacher-centric nonduality conference ever.

Anyway, this last Saturday, you gave an impassioned talk on spreading the word on nonduality by creating tiny 30-second elevator spiels on nonduality. I’ve already begun to do that. And it’s working.



I want to tell you a little about the Boulder Dialogues and what I said to the gathering.

The Boulder Dialogues

Greg was one of six featured speakers. There were also a few dozen guests, of which I was one. I don’t want to say much about the meeting until it begins to appear in public. For now, I’ll say it was a beautifully conceived and conducted project put on by a man with a track record of very successful creative endeavors.

Greg was a masterful featured presenter. At one point, he was emotional, laughing, crying, demonstrating his broad love of life. An instant later he used precise language to stop one of the other guests in the tracks of deconstruction. I hope they catch it in the editing, because that’s what practical nonduality is all about, allowing life to flow by applying diamond hard attention to what arises or presents itself.

The Elevator Spiel

The elevator spiel, or 30 second speech, that Greg talks about in his letter above, was described in a recent blog entry. I’ll repeat part of it:

How to Bring Nonduality to the Streets
October 2, 2008

Nonduality may be brought to the streets by use of the word. When you use the word nonduality, someone may ask what you mean. Create a 30 second explanatory speech.

Here is a version of a 30 second speech explaining nonduality: “You know when people talk about being one with something? Being one with your work, being one with nature, or being so close to someone that you feel at one with that person? Nonduality means to be at one. Nonduality goes deeply into the idea of being at one with someone or something.”

Create your own 30 second speech. It has to come from you. Tailor it to the person you are addressing.

Perhaps the briefest elevator speech was told to me by a 21 year old female student at Naropa University, who I met at the gathering. She explains nonduality to her non-spiritually inclined parents as “beyond good and bad.” She says they get it.

The power of the word “nonduality”

At the Dialogues, I basically repeated the blog entry above. I also added that the word nonduality (or nondualism, nondual, nondualistic) has power.

First, the word is new, fresh, and untainted by loose-end connotations, such as the words Zen, consciousness, or spirituality are. Its meaning strikes at the bottom line of life and is healing to all things and the world.

Second, the word is a key that unlocks research tools, Google, for example.

Third, the word nonduality is a portal, opening to every field of knowledge. For example, see the list of nondual perspectives.

Fourth, it is a magnet. Once a person hears the word nonduality, it becomes a magnet drawing attention to other appearances of the word. As well, the user of the word becomes a magnet for others who are sensitive to the appearance of the word “nonduality.”

Fifth, the word “nonduality” is a “red pill.” Recall that in the movie The Matrix, Neo was offered either a blue pill or a red pill. The blue pill would have returned Neo back to his dream world whose unreality he sensed but did not understand. The red pill would have awakened him to who he really was, which would have begun his journey through life and to the source.

The word “nonduality” could work as a red pill if you value its meaning enough to follow it as deeply as you can. When Neo was being given his choice of pills, his teacher and mentor, Morpheus explained to him:

This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes…. Remember, all I’m offering is the truth, nothing more….

Write a 30 second spiel on what nonduality is, and slip it into the drink of civilization, today.

Thanks to Greg and others at the meeting who expressed support for this form of action in the world.

In other words, be open about your interest in nonduality. That’s all it comes down to. I used to keep nonduality as my Internet secret and never talked about it in public. I’ve come out. It is time to do that, I would like to suggest.

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