On Neo-Advaita


There is a strange new club called ‘Neo-Advaita’. If you are a member of this club, apparently you will find yourself automatically regurgitating certain phrases at people when they are just trying to share their experiences with you – phrases such as “Who knows that? Who says that? There is no doer! There is no choice! That is just a concept! There is no me! You are in your story!”.

You will believe that you have found the ultimate answers to life and you will stop listening deeply to your fellow humans. You may speak and act in cruel ways and then justify your behaviour with the words “There is no choice” or “compassion is just a concept”.

You may even claim to be ‘no-one’, ‘not identified’ or ‘not a person’, and then, to top it all off, you will say you do not believe anything at all, that you have no religion or identity and have gone beyond all stories, and that it is others – not you – who are trapped in their stories (er, even though there are no others to be trapped!)

If anyone disagrees with your preaching, you will fall back on seemingly irrefutable retorts such as “WHO says that?”, “You don’t get it yet!”, or “Everything is impersonal!” When you are really struggling to win an argument, you may even pull out the ultimate get-out clauses: “WHO cares?”… or “There’s still a ‘me’ there!”

You, and your fellow club members, will interpret your own lack of human care and kindness as a sign of how awakened and clear you are.

Oh, my friends, I do speak from experience. I was once a fully-paid-up member of this loveless cult. I left about six or seven years ago, sneaking off in the dead of night, ready and willing to be a living, breathing human being again with a beating heart, and ready and willing to listen deeply to my fellow humans, and the relief was so, so great. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.