Who Is Here You Are Now

I know that title here looks like it has a typo in it. Yet the awkward wording is intentional. What does it mean? I’m not sure. But I know one thing: our language does not lend itself to easily speaking or writing about deep spirituality, or what is referred to as nonduality.

Nonduality essentially means oneness. If there is oneness, there is not a subject and an object.

Alan Watts was the first teacher I read who questioned whether you can discuss nonduality in written or spoken English. Toward the end of the “The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are,” Watts concedes he can’t adequately describe nonduality because our object/subject language will not accommodate it. Many poets have tried to wrestle deeper meaning from English by defying conventional syntax.

The idea is to break syntax to open a hole in the language large enough for spirit to enter. Gertrude Stein said, “A rose is a rose is a rose.” Robert Duncan also said it with the line: “There’s nothing inside but the inside inside.” Or anything by John Ashbery, such as this: “The music brought us what it seemed we had long desired, but in a form so rarefied there was no emptiness of sensation.”

Perhaps you could defy our language this way:

You not you who you are not here where you are not now.

Or this question:

We not I who we are not here – are we you not now as we are you here?

Maybe it’s nonsense. Maybe it’s an opening to nonduality speech.

You can sound it out, and it makes as much sense as looking at a photo of yourself and saying, “This is not me” and being correct (thanks Zak).

To crack open the language is to crack open the thinking. And if thought is the barrier to true vision, then the language needs to be cracked open.