Truth from Illusion

When the heart is fully broken, we are able to elicit the truth with our illuminated bodies rather than through senses that have no relationship to one another. This is the truth that runs through all major teachings. When we separate truth from illusion, we discover that no being is to be excluded from the secret splendor of divine consciousness; this vision of equality is the thing that must behoove us to consider what is true, and what is false. Anything that is false thrives on separation.

Mind you, "eachness," which can be viewed as the unique destiny of every discrete individual, must be respected as the complement of union. It is not separative to take pleasure in one's private musings, as long as we recognize the tinge of union that exists within this state of being—just as we must recognize and give eachness its place in that realm of undifferentiated ecstasy that we take to stand for the highest and the lowest.

Radical egalitarianism does not necessitate choosing one over the other, as we allow ourselves to dance constantly from rapturous clarity into tantalizing mystery. But when we give pride of place to one over the other, when we demonize that which lies in our path because it removes us from our purported ideals, we miss the point. The individual and the collective are both necessary parts of an indivisible whole.

I’m Nirmala Nataraj, a New York–based writer, editor, book midwife, theater artist, and mythmaker.

As someone who has woven in and out of a number of different word realms—nonprofit communications, advertising, theatre, publishing, and community arts, to name a few—I know that liberation is possible through the stories we choose to tell. As a first-generation South Asian American, I myself exist in the liminal spaces between cultures, art forms, and languages—and it is this multiplicity of narratives that informs my personal and professional approach.

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