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Falling into a Nondual Stupor

Awakening to nondual being ushers in a radical impersonal freedom from the constraints of conditional self-existence. One's whole sense of self and world is blown wide open revealing a taste of eternity that had never truly been lost. Awakening to our true nature is luminous because it is seen that there is a simultaneous dis-identification from the body and mind and yet an intimate embrace with all of life. However, there seems to be a tendency to avoid the rawness of life and retreat into a womb-like impersonal existence; a lopsided awakening in which the realities of relative living are minimized or ignored all together. It is something akin to what I would like to call, falling into a nondual stupor.

The European mystic Jean Klein (2007) noted this phenomenon years ago with his students describing it as “Fornicating with the Witness” where a radical shift in awareness had taken place but they appeared to be stuck in a witnessing type of consciousness where a dull-like malaise would wash over them. They seemed dis-engaed from life, denying the reality of everything (neti, neti) and hide out in the Absolute. Similarly, Osho (1976) would describe it as being caught in the nightmare of their own awakening where one would adopt the awakened walk and talk, dress in the latest awakened fashion and act as if nothing mattered. They were identifying with an idealized image of awakening and unable to naturally participate in the richness of life. 

Today, it seems that this phenomenon has taken on a more refined look where people are using the nondual one-liners of “This is It” or “It’s all just a happening” as way of excusing or justifying inappropriate behaviors. This can be seen with the spiritual guru such who is caught with their pants down and claiming it as all just a happening. This can be a safe haven for those who want to avoid the grittiness of life; of having to deal with their difficult relationships, taking responsibility for their actions or addressing their unresolved inadequacies. If we really take the time to look underneath this avoidance we may find an inexplicable terror which hasn't been fully addressed; the fear and terror of an underlying nothingness at the core of our being.

To release ourselves from this stupor requires us give up our own awakening; to surrender our idealized concepts and images and merge with the energy of fear and terror lurking in the depths of our being. We have to dive into the heart of our own nothingness. This doesn’t require us to take on another method or practice but, in fact, to simply see what is already the case. To see that existence was always mirroring back our own fundamental absence in each and every moment and through each and every experience; encouraging us to meet it head on without any safety nets and jump into life. Really, it is to risk it all and move into the already interconnectedness of our true nature. Waking up from our own self-created stupor is dying the great death and meeting the demands of life in a free and liberating way. 


Klein, J. (2007). Living truth. Nonduality Press: United Kingdom.

Osho, (1976). Nirvana: The last nightmare. Rajneesh Foundation, Pune: India.

Posted by Brian Theriault at 6:51 PM 0 Comments

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