Being an artist;I see the greatest importance of creating from a place of being true to oneself but to do this one must be enabled to resist the intimidation of consensus, if we are to come to authentically know what is true of our self. We live in a world that, more than often, demands the surrender of what is real and fundamental of the self. Surrender we must, but ultimately the need to surrender for me implies a surrendering of all that takes us away from what is authentic and true. As a result of my socialization and development there is much to surrender, including that which is habitual and unseen of what has been assumed as self. At times, it has been necessary to eventually become aware of what has blocked deeper realization and often that involves experiencing the pain that is inseparable from that. To do that has involved adopting a meditative and contemplative way that has enabled embracing openness and a readiness to be with the whole of the experience, good and bad; in another way.
I perceive the ego to be a tool that helps us to negotiate life. A problem arises when we take it too seriously; when we assume its assumptions and perceptions to be absolute. I encounter those who see the unrealness of the ego and its tendency to classify, capture and define things in life in a fixed way and in turn they look to an absolute way of knowing the truth and the perception and the conceptualizing of that. To perceive and be with the nothingness that envelopes all that is, does not mean that we must discard or deny the ego. That exclusion is another aspect of the ego that fragments and separates our experience, seeing it in pieces. When we realize the reality and limitation of our self that acts in this way it is a step towards realizing the relative nature of knowing. It all depends on how the ego is fine tuned to reduce our experience. The whole is of another essence that is apprehended in setting all that aside. Ultimately we must negotiate life with the help of the ego but to experience the influence of the whole transforms the ego, and that comes with awareness of the direct experience.
Are there just many different ways of seeing and understanding the same thing. What is the right way if the truth is nothingness.For me non duality simple means being grounded in nothingness and in doing so there is a realization of the limited nature of the ego. It seems to me that when we take the ego too seriously we create duality and when we deny it we do the same.
We have created a society and reality that is in general a relative creation of the ego and there are consequences for this fragmented envisioning. Bringing a more comprehensive way of being to living might help us to move past this dilemma.
This is just one way of seeing that is open to experiencing new insights, not immune to narcissistic influences.