When our stock investments go up, we are happy.
When our health improves, we are happy.
When our love relationships are smooth, we are happy.
When somebody says something nice about us, we are happy.
When the reverse happens, we become unhappy.

When good things (or what we perceive to be good things) happen to us, we are happy.
When bad things (or what we perceive to be bad things) happen to us, we become unhappy.

On the outside, we have the duality of good and bad.
On the inside, we have the duality of happiness and unhappiness.
Fortunately for us, even further inside, we have the non-duality of bliss.

Attracting or manifesting the good things in life and enjoying happiness can also be a form of spirituality. However, if we are to go further within and deepen our peace, and experience Self-Realization, we must learn to outgrow the dualities of good and bad, and happiness and unhappiness, so that we may then enter into the absolute state of bliss – and even become it. Unlike happiness and unhappiness, bliss is not something we experience, it is who we are.

In Zen parlance, it is our original nature – the point when we are thinking of neither good nor bad. In Tao Te Ching, it is the silence and stillness before the rise of likes and dislikes. For Rumi, it is the field beyond right and wrong. For Ramana Maharshi, it is perpetual abidance in Brahman, the Absolute, and here is a passage in which he gave a brief explanation of it:

“It is pleasant under the shade of a tree, and scorching in the heat of the sun outside. A person toiling in the sun seeks the cool shade of the tree and is happy under it. After staying there for a while, he moves out again but, unable to bear the merciless heat of the sun, he again seeks the shade. In this way he keeps on moving from shade to sun and sun to shade. It is an unwise person who acts thus, whereas the wise man never leaves the shade in the same way the mind of the enlightened sage never exists apart from Brahman, the Absolute. The mind of the ignorant, on the other hand, entering into the phenomenal world, suffers pain and anguish, and then, turning for a short while towards Brahman, it experiences happiness. Such is the mind of the ignorant.”

When spirituality is our destiny, or life mission, life challenges are but heat of the sun and the universe trying to wean us off the illusion of duality, nudging and telling us that it is time to go further within to seek out the absolute and reclaim our birthright. When life isn’t challenging and there are more shade than sun, and the sun also isn’t scorching hot, there will be little or no incentive for us to want to forsake duality and find the absolute. It is therefore no coincidence that those whose destiny is spirituality will tend to have persistent financial, health and/or relationship challenges which are but catalysts brought forth by the universe to help nudge us further into spirituality and transcend duality.

How do we transcend duality and return to the absolute? One way to do so is to endeavour to see the equality of all things for the perception of equality helps to neutralize duality and return us to the point before good or bad, likes or dislikes, and right or wrong. In this silence and stillness, before the emergence of dualistic thinking, we can more easily perceive the absolute essence of all things rather than become mesmerized by the dualistic illusion of form. Abiding in the absolute rather than the dual, vibrating in love rather than judgment, and focusing on the underlying rather than the apparent, we discover that we are in fact an ocean but sometimes believing and thinking that we are a wavelet.

Spiritual progress is two steps forward, one step back. Our abidance in the absolute is inevitably going to be punctuated by frequent intervals of dualistic thinking and being, but with perseverance we will be able to reach a point of no return whereby we will have become so familiar with the absolute that we can never forget our way back to it. When that happens, dabbling occasionally in duality and moderate levels of indulgence in the illusion of form are not going to be problematic, and may even be desirable, given that earthly happiness is an experience we cannot have while we are back Home. As Tilopa said: “The problem is not enjoyment; the problem is attachment.”

In the beginning, humanity when it first arrived still remembered how to abide in the absolute and came out of it to play in duality only occasionally and returned to it and stayed in it most of the time. Then we began to stay longer and longer out in duality so much so that after some time and several generations later, our descendants have forgotten how to find their way back to the absolute. Thus began the fall of the human angels.

For the purpose of our evolution and training in multidimensionality, it is better to have fallen and then rise again than to have never fallen at all. We have completed the first half of our journey which was a descension and the painful half. We are now ready for the second half, or ascension, which is the joyful half. These couple of decades – as we transition from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age – are a most opportune time for ascension as the cosmic veil is at one of its thinnest which makes it relatively easy for large numbers of people to realize the absolute and achieve Self-Realization. Thus, perhaps, shall begin the rise (and Homecoming) of the human angels.