Q: My husband was doing the dishes last night. The cold water was running over his hands – I was sitting and could not feel that cold water. It was “his” experience. He remarked on how he enjoys doing the dishes and finds the cold water relaxing.
His experience of the water on his hands and my lack of it is something physical, something REAL. His experience as an entity is different from mine.
A: So the ‘problem’ lies here. You have some sort of idea about oneness or non-separation, and with that idea you assume that oneness would mean that somehow we could have access to others experiences, like what they think or feel. It is quite a common one. Another popular idea is that oneness means that somehow my body could merge with other bodies, or with a table or a tree, so somehow we dissolve into each other.
But oneness or non-separation are none of these. It’s something completely different.
Non-separation doesn’t mean that you will ever be able to feel or know your husband’s experiences.
This will never happen. And it won’t have to happen, since this has nothing to do with seeing non-separation.
Usually, I wouldn’t go into detail to explain this, but since you are really hung up on this, it might be useful if I point out why your idea of oneness is not how it is. But of course, it won’t help you in seeing it, but at least it could help letting go of your own version of it.
No matter what is your experience, experience is always known.
There is always a knowing element present, here now.
Actually, this is the only ‘stable thing’ that is. Everything else (experience) is constantly shifting.
So knowing is always on, always happening.
But it’s not the body that knows.
Rather the body is ALSO known.
The body itself shows up as an experience, which is known.
So this ‘knowing’ knows or aware of the body called ‘Vivien’.
But this ‘knowing’ also aware of other bodies, like the body called ‘husband’, and any other objects that might be present (room, table, laptop, tree, whatever)
So BOTH the body of ‘Vivien’ and the body of ‘husband’ are KNOWN.
Just as BOTH a tree and the body of ‘Vivien’ is known.
And form the relative perspective the body appears to be in a certain distance from a tree.
And we believe that the body is perceiving the tree.
But it’s not true. Since the body itself is PERCEIVED TOO.
BOTH the body and the tree is perceived or known by this aware-no-thing. This knowing that is always here.
So from the perspective of knowing, there is no distance between the knowing of the body and the knowing of a tree.
Both the body and the tree are immediately known by the knowing, without being any distance between the two.
And not just there is no distance between the knowing and the body, but literally there is no separation between knowing and the body.
Similarly, there is no separation between knowing and the tree.
So when we talk about two people, two bodies, in the relative perspective the world seem to be different from the perspective of each body. And this is going to stay like this. This will never ever change.
But from the perspective of knowing, BOTH the body called ‘Vivien’ and the body called ‘husband’ are KNOWN equally, without any distance between the knowing of them.
So non-separation is never about the perceived distance between two bodies or two physical objects.
It’s about the distance, or rather say the lack of distance, between the object and the knowing of it.
This knowing is the subject, and the body is a known object.
Non-separation or oneness means that there is no separation between subject (knowing) and any object (whatever is known).
So the seeming separation is always between a subject (knowing) and an object (known).
But these are not two ‘things’, rather it’s the same happening with different names or labels.
They are the one and the same.
But not even that. Since there is no two.
If you would like to have a taste of the inquiry into the self, please read the home page of my website.