In an increasingly depersonalised world of faceless internet forums and forms and unloved factories churning out unloved and unwanted plastic, it seems to me that the last thing we need is an ‘I am not a person and neither are you’ philosophy pretending to be the absolute truth yet devoid of basic human compassion; a philosophy that was originally imported from India and then totally misunderstood, warped, distorted and even abused by the western mind desperately trying to nourish its own already-depersonalised and faceless conditioning.
Since when did spirituality, with all its beautiful and transformative potential, become about simply believing that you’re ‘not a person’, that you don’t have a body and that you care about nothing because there’s nothing to care about, and ‘nobody there’ to care anyway? Since when did freedom get mixed up so badly with nihilism? It is a gross misunderstanding of Advaita and it only feeds the already depersonalised and disembodied ego that is running rampant.
Whenever I hear someone using the words ‘I am nobody’ or ‘there is no choice’ to justify any kind of violence, inner or outer, or to protect themselves from human intimacy or pain or a sense of responsibility; whenever I stumble across a Facebook argument between two non-existent egos fighting to prove to each other how non-existent their egos are or how far ‘beyond the personal’ they have gone, I hear Ramana Maharshi and all the saints and sages who knew deeply that clarity and love cannot be divided, sighing with basic human compassion, and infinite patience.