Nonduality: Binary Thinking and Divine Dichotomies

Nonduality: Binary Thinking and Divine Dichotomies

Nonduality: Binary Thinking and Divine Dichotomies

For those who haven’t heard me mention it before, I’m a follower of nonduality. Being a nondualist means that I recognize that the binary way that we perceive existence (black and white, good and evil, this and that) are not just merely two sides of the same coin, but in many cases are what Neale Donald Walsch termed “divine dichotomies,” where two seemingly opposing things can both be true, simultaneously–or–they cancel each other out and neither are true (which is, itself, yet another divine dichotomy…).

For example, a universal Truth: either EVERYONE is special, or NO ONE is special. Both are simultaneously true, it’s merely a matter of which way you choose to look at it. This is a divine dichotomy.

If everyone is, in fact, special, then it literally means that by definition, no one is. This is another divine dichotomy.

We live in a world of duality that tells us everything is an either/or… but what if it’s a yes/and?

Having a shit load of Mercury influence in my astrology chart (including a Gemini Ascendant, Chiron, and North Node, a third house Moon and Mars, a Virgo Sun, and a sixth house Saturn, Jupiter, and Uranus), I have a knack for exploring and recognizing both (or many) sides of binary thinking and perceptions.

I saw an Instagram post a while back that was tackling toxic positivity and shaming of negative emotions that said, “Don’t look on the bright side. Don’t focus on the positive. Don’t see the good in everything. Don’t look at the silver lining.” etc. with the implication of “just be with where you are.” And then I saw another that argued there’s no need to “reframe” failure as an opportunity or learn something from it and instead, we can just be ok with failing. 

And I thought about it for a bit, and I thought, why not do both? Isn’t that the whole picture?

Why does acknowledging a shadow mean you can’t look at the silver lining? Why does seeing the good in everything mean you have to ignore the negative? Why does acknowledging a person’s awfulness mean that you can’t also acknowledge their inherent humanness? Why does sitting with our own emotions mean we can’t acknowledge those of the person who hurt us? It is, after all, a sign of emotional intelligence to recognize that other people have feelings, too. Even shitty people. Why do we think that we can only feel love OR hate? Why can’t we love someone AND hate them at the same time (I certainly have)?  Are our own feelings not complex enough to hold two seemingly opposing emotions simultaneously?

Why can’t we acknowledge how all-encompassing and complex our human experience is? Why do we have to oversimplify our experiences into one thing OR another? WHY CAN’T WE DO OR BE BOTH?!

This idea that we have the capacity to hold seemingly opposing perspectives and emotions simultaneously has been a theme that has come up for me several times in the last few months and I’ve noticed more and more how our world does not necessarily operate from that holistic point of view. I do, however, think that’s part and parcel to the spiritual journey to explore both ends of a spectrum until we eventually reach equilibrium. I know I have.

I think part of our goal in transcending the illusion of duality is to recognize how binary thinking shows up in our everyday life, begin to recognize when two things can be simultaneously true, and learn to expand our awareness and emotional capacity to encompass multiple perspectives and experiences.

Xo,

Ash

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How Separation Consciousness Masks Itself In Spiritual Unity

How Separation Consciousness Masks Itself In Spiritual Unity

How Separation Consciousness Masks Itself In Spiritual Unity

In the spiritual community, we talk a lot about oneness and unity, and you may occasionally hear the term “separation consciousness.”

Separation consciousness is a lower level of awareness wherein a person cannot perceive the interconnectedness of all beings or their connection to their own divinity and God/Source.

You’ll see a lot of New Agers refer to this as the reason why we aren’t able to recognize our spiritual oneness and they will attribute it to the human ego, but separation consciousness goes much deeper than just the energetic and personal level, it’s also manifested into the world around us as tribalism. We have different groups and factions that see themselves as being independent of one another, and in many instances, diametrically opposed, for example, Republicans vs. Democrats, capitalism vs. socialism, fascism vs. communism, etc.

Within the spiritual community, the concept of a diametric opposition in and of itself is often labeled as separation consciousness, but what many of these people don’t realize is that much of their own doctrine is also infiltrated by separation consciousness.

Individualism in the West

Individualism is a social theory that places heavy emphasis on self worth, self-reliance, individuality, personal freedom, and personal responsibility. It is extremely evident in Western culture, particularly in the United States. The very concept of the American Dream–that if one works hard enough, they will achieve prosperity–is rooted in individualistic thinking.

This in and of itself is not a bad thing. It’s healthy for people to have a personal sense of independence rather than being codependent, being self-reliant is a valuable skill to cultivate, and we do all need to have a healthy sense of responsibility for ourselves.

That said, when the values of individualism are taken to an extreme, it becomes toxic just like anything else. Extreme individualism assumes that everyone in the collective is independently responsible for their own circumstances. One’s worth to the collective is often measured by their level of material success and that worth is largely expected to be earned and proven by hard work. In other words, this line of thinking correlates a person’s worth as a human being with their ability to produce goods and amass wealth.

Extreme individualism dehumanizes people by only valuing their economic output. It ignores or dismisses complex social factors and systemic oppression, and implies that anyone who has been systemically disadvantaged is simply lazy–i.e. unworthy. This is nowhere more apparent than in the prosperity gospel preached by many Christian Evangelicals that says god rewards good people with financial success, which automatically implies that poor people are unworthy of God’s love (even though Jesus himself said blessed are the poor…).

Extreme individualism also often leaves the individualist feeling as though they owe nothing to the collective other than to be a hard worker, which allows them to avoid social responsibility and accountability. This, of course, also allows the individualist to avoid having to feel responsible or be held accountable for the way their actions may affect the collective they live in.

Any time someone chooses “my rights” and “my freedoms” over and above what is good for the whole of society, they are acting from separation consciousness.

Westernized (Americanized) Spirituality

Extreme individualism is antithetical to unity consciousness, because it values one’s self above the collective. It doesn’t view the collective holistically as “one.”

This philosophy shows up in spirituality most often dressed as Law of Attraction, manifestation, and extreme personal empowerment rhetoric:

  • You are the absolute creator of your reality
  • Energy flows where attention goes / what you pay attention to becomes real
  • You are responsible for all of your negative experiences
  • Your scarcity mentality is responsible for your financial situation
  • No one will love you until you love yourself
  • Surround yourself with people who are living the lifestyle you want to have

These concepts reinforce unworthiness, ignore collective karma, disregard the effects of trauma and abuse, and dismiss the consequences of societal structures that oppress others by assuming that the oppressed have a victim mentality and are simply manifesting their own abuse. You are not responsible for your trauma, but you are responsible for healing your trauma, and in order for trauma to be healed and abusive karmic cycles to end, abusers must be held accountable along with the culture that enables them.

Learn why we don’t manifest abuse.

The idea that we are the absolute creators of our reality is an especially obvious example of separation consciousness because it completely ignores the existence of everyone else on the planet and is the polar opposite of the much touted concept in spirituality that “we are all connected.” You are the absolute creator of your thoughts and beliefs about reality only after you’ve deconditioned yourself from childhood and societal programming and healed your trauma. However, you are not the absolute creator of your physical reality and your actions have real repercussions and consequences that affect other people.

“Energy flows where attention goes” and “what you pay attention to becomes your reality” applies on an energetic level and within your belief systems, and only manifests in the real world through the actions (or inactions) that you take with regard to those belief systems. If one is not careful of how they apply this platitude, it can greatly contribute to spiritual and emotional bypassing. It is the core belief that results in spiritual people ignoring acts of violence, abuse, and systemic oppression.

In spirituality, we recognize that every human being is inherently worthy of being loved, even the ones we don’t necessarily like. That worthiness also extends to having their basic survival needs met. Love and survival isn’t something that human beings should have to earn.

The concept that we should have to earn love, as well as the perception of good and evil comes from separation consciousness:

When we incarnate here, we forget who we really are (that we are love and that everything is love) and in that forgetfulness, we have the perception that there is a lack of love–that love is scarce.

 

Fear-based belief systems are rooted in duality–the concept that there is a polarization of good and evil. They have not yet recognized that the foundation of the Universe is love, and the only thing that makes it appear as fear is their own limited understanding of it. – Why Fear-Based Beliefs Are Distorted

Individualism is also largely behind the explosion of The Secret and Law of Attraction and why business coaches have now integrated manifestation techniques into their marketing rhetoric as business gimmicks. These people have no true commitment to inner work because they are primarily motivated by desire, success, and money.

This attitude is also extremely evident in hustle culture, which reinforces individualistic philosophy, consistently shames people for not being productive, and neglects the importance of self-care and balance. When you say “surround yourself with people who are living the lifestyle you want to have” as applied to material wealth, it eliminates the perspectives the majority of the (poor) people in the collective and “others” them as unworthy of your time and attention. Instead, I suggest you surround yourself with people who demonstrate the values you wish to embody: integrity, depth, accountability, authenticity, humility.

Learn about materialistic spirituality.

Finally, from a spiritual perspective, our sense of individuality is our ego and it is the literal mechanism that allows us to experience separateness. When one only recognizes themselves as the absolute god of their individual physical reality, and does not recognize that everyone else on the planet is co-creating a physical existence along with them because we are all, collectively, God, well that’s the ultimate level of narcissism and the epitome of separation consciousness.

Spiritual Hierarchies

The hierarchical view of spirituality that labels some beings as more advanced or more enlightened than others is another way separation consciousness can show up in spirituality.

When narcissism invades spirituality, labels like lightworker and ascended master, psychic, intuitive, empath, incarnate angel, etc. become avenues for people to set themselves apart from everyone else–mainly by presenting the illusion that they are “better than.”

Pay attention who uses these labels and how much humility they express. Anyone using them as an avenue to accrue power, authority, or attention are operating from separation consciousness.

Healthy Interdependence

When you lean too far in one direction, individualism becomes materialistic selfishness and narcissism, and can also lead people to become too independent and avoid meaningful connection. Human beings are social creatures. We need each other, and we require connection in order to be mentally healthy. But when you go too far in the other direction it manifests as codependent relationships, neediness, energetic vampirism, and entitlement. For this reason, individualism espouses some important concepts that can be valuable when they are recognized in their proper context and not taken to an extreme.

In order for us to have a healthy sense of individuality, we must find balance and recognize the importance of healthy interdependence. While we are all individuals, we are also incredibly interconnected and our actions affect one another. This is what spirituality is attempting to teach us. This is unity consciousness.

Many of the concepts I mentioned earlier that spiritual people attempt to shun or avoid in the name of oneness because they view them to be dualistic and diametrically opposed are, in reality, unity consciousness opposing separation consciousness.

By condemning or avoiding these things, the spiritual community is actually engaging in spiritual bypassing and preventing the very ascension they claim to be here to facilitate!

Learn about spiritual bypassing and ascension.

We have to observe the lesson in the energies of Aquarius where the individual is valued just as much as the individual’s contribution to the collective. Aquarius recognizes that our unique gifts and experiences are our very contribution to that collective.

Start asking yourself some important questions:

  • Where have I been embodying separation consciousness in my spirituality?
  • Where have I been embodying separation consciousness in other areas of my beliefs and attitudes?
  • Who are the people promoting separation consciousness in the form of extreme individualism?
  • How can I bring myself back into balance and support the liberation of the collective, not just myself?
Xo,

Ash

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Why Fear-Based Belief Systems Are Distorted

Why Fear-Based Belief Systems Are Distorted

Why Fear-Based Belief Systems Are Distorted

Question from a reader:

“Ash, I like your posts on Facebook, and just visited your site. Please explain what you mean when you refer to being a “fear-based” psychic.”

This is a really great question topic and I’ve written a lot of material on fear-based beliefs which I’ll link here for your referral.

Essentially what it boils down to is, spirit tells us that love is the foundation of the universe and everything in it is made of love and there is nothing here that is not love. That’s kind of “Rule #1 of the Universe.”

When we incarnate here, though, we forget who we really are (that we are love and that everything is love) and in that forgetfulness, we have the perception that there is a lack of love–that love is scarce. From that perception comes fear and self-doubt, and then we act from a place of fear, scarcity, and self-doubt, thereby creating a world built on fear and scarcity that confirms our inner-feelings of fear, scarcity and self-doubt, and our inner thoughts and feelings are then “manifested” and reflected back to us in the world around us, like a self-fulfilling prophecy both in our personal lives through the relationships we have and the jobs we work and within the society that we live in through the systems of oppression we participate in and are affected by.

Fear-Based Belief Systems

A person lives in a fear-based belief system when they have not yet remembered who they really are and still cling to fearful beliefs and perceptions. Fear-based belief systems are rooted in duality–the concept that there is a polarization of good and evil. They have not yet recognized that the foundation of the Universe is love, and the only thing that makes it appear as fear is their own limited understanding of it.

To be clear, I’m saying that this disconnect from who and what we really are is what has contributed to the society that we live in, which then self-perpetuates those belief systems, manifesting physical systems of oppression and insecurity. The moment that we, as a collective, fully recognize that this scarcity of love is an illusion is the moment we stop acting from that place and we stop oppressing one another and inflicting harm, both on ourselves and each other.

Fear in this context–the fear that we are not good enough, fear of rejection, unworthiness, fear of not doing enough, or being enough–is not real or tangible. It is an idea that exists only in the mind and the only thing that allows it to exist there is the limited understanding of the nature of the self and the universe–that it is all love, and it can never not be love, thus it can never fear, for fear is the absence of love.

If the entire universe and everything in it is founded on love, then there can never be an absence of love. Fear, in this regard is an illusion.

So, that being said, everyone has a belief system and that belief system is essentially how that person perceives and interprets meaning in the world around them. How negative or how positive that perception is will be based on the degree to which that person has come to understand the universal truth that love is all there is.

Do you believe that the Universe wants humanity to thrive and flourish? Or do you believe that the Universe is indifferent? Or do you believe that God wants to punish us? Those are examples of core beliefs and attitudes that shape how we find meaning in our lives.

Do not confuse fear with danger. Danger is very real and tangible. Learn the difference in this post.

You Perceive What You Believe

Every psychic is human, and thus, are subject to that same rules as the rest of us. They all have belief systems, too, and those belief systems affect how they see and interpret psychic information.

You see, the thing is, what you believe in, you create. That is one of the (very few) rules of the Universe. When you live in a fear-based belief system, you see things that you don’t understand as being scary and fearful. You place that fearful belief on those things and then you begin to create them in that fearful image.

Let’s take “evil” spirits, for example. If everything in the universe is love, then there can be no evil, for evil is the absence of love (it’s fear-based). People may do evil things, because they have not yet remembered that they are love, but again, it is only their perception that there is a lack of love which drives them to act in accordance to that belief.

So, perhaps a person with a fear-based belief system comes across an entity that they perceive as negative. They then label this spirit as evil, a demon, etc. and treat it as though it is something to be feared, something that can harm you, etc. And yet all of these thing are beliefs. They BELIEVE it is evil, they BELIEVE it is something to be feared (because they are fearful, themselves) and they BELIEVE it can harm them. And what you believe, you perceive.

But love is all there is. Spirit also tells us that WE ARE ONE. That “evil” spirit, is just an aspect of YOU. You are literally afraid of a part of yourself.

Our Experience Is Not Objective

We often place great faith in our own personal experiences and the experience of others–especially people who we perceive as being in a position of spiritual authority, such as a psychic or channel. If someone who is a psychic experienced it, it must be true, right? If I experienced it, it must be true, right? But what your experience is entirely dependent on what you believe? And any experience that places you in a state of fear is a distortion of universal truth.

Love is the absolute truth. At least, that is MY belief. 🙂 It is what I choose. It is also what every spiritual teacher tells us. Duality–good vs. evil, dark vs. light–is merely an illusion for the benefit of our own spiritual growth and expansion.

Psychics Have Belief Systems, Too

So when you have a psychic reading, or you are reading something from some channeled entity, and what they are telling you places you in a state of fear–if it comes from the belief that there is good and there is evil, that there is dark and there is light, and that these forces are somehow in opposition to one another, battling it out, then you know that it is not coming from a place of oneness.

If it is coming from a dualistic viewpoint, it is coming from a perspective inside the illusion of fear.

If it were coming from a place of oneness, it would tell you that there is NOTHING to fear.

Love is all there is.

Xo,

Ash

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