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From Duality to Non-Duality
You remain small by identifying yourself with the body. You think, 'I am the body'. This thought keeps you in a state of littleness. But expand your view from 'I am the body' to 'I am the soul, the spark of the divine.' In this way rise up from the stage of dualism to the intermediary stage of qualified non-dualism. Then, you must expand further from 'I am the soul, a part of the divine' to 'I am the divinity itself, I am no different from God. God and I are always one.' That is the highest spiritual stage, the stage of complete non-dualism. The feeling you start with, that you are the body, is steeped in dualism; it is the very birthplace of sorrow. As long as you are immersed in duality everything is sorrow and grief. If you identify yourself with the supreme self everything will be happiness and joy.
You must elevate your thinking and always identify yourself with your highest self, thus giving up the false identification with the body. This is the proper attitude for worship. Worship in Sanskrit is called upasana;, which means sitting near to God. But it is not enough to just sit close by and be near. The frog sits on the lotus but does it benefit from the sweet nectar that is in the lotus? Just being near the Lord is of no use; you must also be dear to him. You must be able to taste the honey.
Your neighbors may be very near to you, but you do not get too deeply affected by whatever problems and difficulties they may be experiencing. Compared with this, if your husband or son is half a world away and you don't get a letter for even one week, you begin to worry. In this case the body is far away, but your mutual love makes you near and dear. Your relationship with your neighbors is not charged with the same love, although they are very near. Consider another example. In a house there may be some mice and ants running around. Do you call them your friends? Along with physical nearness there must also be dearness. A deep feeling of love must develop and permeate the relationship. You must be near and dear to the Lord.