Transcend duality by absorption in a reality higher than duality
The world is inevitably a place of duality – something that we can’t avoid just as a boat can’t avoid being moved up and down by the waves.
But we can avoid being affected by that duality if we let ourselves stay fixed in a reality higher than that duality. Not being affected doesn’t mean that we neglect the duality, but that we don’t get sucked in by it.
A vehicle going on the road is affected by the undulations of the earth’s surface, but a plane flying high above the earth is not affected. The difference is not that the undulations don’t exist or that they can be neglected, but that they don’t create the same kind of problems for both.
The Bhagavad-gita (05.20) indicates that staying fixed amidst pleasures and pains characterizes those are situated in spiritual reality. As the Gita’s revelation unfolds, spiritual reality in its highest manifestation is revealed to be Krishna. So when we learn to love Krishna, then the higher spiritual fulfillment that comes by an inner connection with him raises us far above the effects of the much smaller pleasures and pains caused by worldly ups and downs. Of course, our situation isn’t entirely like that of a plane high above the ground because no matter how devotionally advanced we become, we still have to stay in our material bodies that still have material needs. But the more we realize our spiritual identity, the more we see life in its broadness and bigness, and the less we are affected by life’s material side.
The key thing in transcending duality, then, is not an artificial imagination that we are unaffected or self-condemnation for being affected, but to strive consistently and determinedly to absorb ourselves in Krishna.
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