• Morgan Caraway

Why Did You Move Away From Non-Duality?

In 2009, I wrote a book on the subject of Non-Duality. In 2011 it was published by English publisher, Non-Duality Press. They have since been bought out by Oakland publisher, New Harbinger. My book, Blessed Disillusionment: Seeing Through Ideas of Separation, can be found here: https://www.newharbinger.com/blessed-disillusionment. A facebook friend wrote me and asked me what had changed in my outlook since I wrote that book.

Rob: "Hey Morgan. I hope you’re doing very well. As I saw a recent post of yours, I was reminded that you wrote what I consider to be an excellent book on the thorny subject of non-duality. Then I got to wondering, what was it that made you move away from that kind of approach to life-or philosophy etc? Anyway, just curious as I dabble in and out of non dual pointers and related stuff. Ok, peace."

Morgan: "Hello Rob. I identified as being a seeker for a long time. I was desperate for THE answers. I searched for many years and eventually came across Tony Parson's book, "As It Is." Reading it felt like a profound awakening for me. Further reading and research revealed the work of John Wheeler. Eventually I summoned the courage to call him and the conversation blew my mind! I still have a lot of respect for him. I internalized many aspects of the ND philosophy and thought it was "Truth." On the suggestion of a friend, I read The Zen Teaching of Huang Po. Not sure if that's what initiated it but, one day, whilst washing dishes, I realized how little I actually knew - nothing! My ND beliefs fell away. I felt shaken and ungrounded but equally freed. At that moment, I lost all interest in ND or any spiritual writing. Now I focus on the physical, tangible expression of ND - ecology. Most "spiritual" folks seem uninterested but I feel it's important to stick to my truth."

Rob: "Thanks for your response ! It makes a lot of sense to me as I’ve seen ND become its own kind of religion for many. I’ve been there myself- walking around saying how there is no one, and all there is is this lol. Now when I hear somebody spouting that kind of stuff, I just want to shake them and say wake up!! Life is right here. Besides the fact that those concepts are meaningless unless they arise spontaneously in the thought stream. But then I guess they can serve a function as pointers to a bigger understanding. I don’t really know. These days it seems to me that awakening or enlightenment are something like getting the golden ticket in the chocolate bar in The Willy Wonka movie. And yet, strangely enough, I started reading Blessed Disillusionment again tonight and felt a resonance with much of what I read. Goes to show you just really never know what the next moment might bring!"

Morgan: "Yes, exactly. Many people have told me they love that book. For years after it was published, I'd pick it up and start reading in a random spot and it still resonated with me as well. I feel like the ND teachings did their work and I don't regret ANY of it. I just try to focus on the ecology aspect of oneness/connection now, I feel like it is generally less recognized even though it's so obvious with even a bit of inquiry and education. Every breath we take is a testament to that connection. None of us is living in a vacuum, even though the ego (belief in a separate self) can certainly make it seem so. Now I feel that, unless humanity can deal with this root belief in separation, and the resulting fear and greed, we will likely destroy most life on the planet, including ourselves."

Print and digital editions of my latest books, Ecological Awakening and The Book of Leaves: Reflections on Dying and Change can be found in the store at www.sustainablelifeschool.com.

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