Updated: May 8, 2020
Originally written September 18, 2017
Slightly edited and updated on May 8, 2020
Non-dual teachers often have practitioners direct attention back on itself to find its own source. However, as many have realized, no matter how hard we look, we cannot find who or what we are. The closest we can come, perhaps, is to notice the sense of being. At this point, we can infer that there is no thing there; just a Void; nothingness. There is no observer; no object of observation. Nothing. Zilch. Nothing to report. Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone completely beyond. (In Sanskrit: Gaté, Gaté, Paragaté, Parasumgaté)
What we notice is that we are not objects called human beings; we are beingness itself. And yet, that beingness is utterly empty. And paradoxically, that utterly empty nothingness that 'we' are contains everything.
To paraphrase a famous poem:
The whole phenomenological universe is an illusion
Only nothingness is real
However [and this is key], nothingness is the whole phenomenological universe
A visual image comes to mind: that of a black hole. A black hole is an infinite singularity (How’s that for an oxymoron?), which cannot be observed directly. We can look and look for it; but we can never see it directly. It can only be inferred by observing the activity that seems to take place just around its ‘outer’ edges.
Now consider that physicists have hypothesized that when matter ‘falls’ into a black hole, no information is lost. Instead, at the event horizon itself is all the information ever to exist as part of the matter that has ‘fallen’ into the infinite singularity of that black hole.
And consider this as well: many physicists understand our universe as having been created from an infinite singularity (i.e., a black hole); one that, from this human perspective, appears to be expanding infinitely.