I was always a creative kid as far back as I could remember. And I believe for creative people, the world is most exciting through its
wonder and mysteries. It’s probably the reason at a very young age that I loved astronomy/cosmology and also why I asked my Mom when I was 4 where people go when they die. She obviously game me the answer I had heard before,”to heaven.” To which I answered, “yeah, I know the story, but where do people really go?”
A big influence in my life as a child was my Father. He was a hippie and a follower of Meher Baba a supposed Avatar (God-man) from India. These influences caused me to move in a general direction toward Eastern Philosophy. By the time I was in my late teens I was reading deeply on Hinduism and Buddhism and attending regularly at Taoist and Hare Krishna temples.
As I grew older, I was further removed from Western religions by the obvious contradiction they have with the historical facts of their construction. But more on that later. In my college years, I was introduced to the great minds of Western Philosophy: Seneca, Descartes, Nietzsche and many more. These allowed me to really dive deeper into Reality, the Self, and Thought/Consciousness in general, as they also applied to Indian Philosophy. However, I eventually hit a wall with Eastern Philosophy because of the conflict with paradoxes. The easiest example being – the ego/self is the cause of suffering, and so we must rid ourselves of it. But essentially, it is the ego that is at work doing this. The Self getting rid of the Self. Or an attachment to the idea of non-attachment.
It wasn’t until I found Non-Dualism that it all fell into place. Why? Well, because paradoxes were allowed. Everything is allowed in Non-Dualism. How can’t it? It is the concept of Oneness. And while there are parts I have conflicts with or “flavors” of it (if you will), I stuck to the basic tenements to form the foundations of my beliefs. Mainly, Consciousness, as we know only exists in the NOW. We can never really be in the Future or in the Past. Those are just memories or thoughts happening now. And additionally, this idea of the personality is just that. Meaning, our concepts of ourselves are also just a thought. Really, all there is, is being. And the personality is not required for that. BUT – it is OK. Because it is allowed in Oneness. And so, Life can be light and playful. It doesn’t have to be heavy and a source of anxiety. I can play the necessary “roles” as part of the social world, and never really give them much gravity, as they are only a thought happening NOW.