There comes, in any adventure, a tipping point.
What kind of tipping point?
Glad you asked. It depends on the circumstances. (And if anyone told you circumstances are irrelevant, think again.)
If someone is walking along a see-saw, the tipping point is obvious – the moment the down end goes up, and the up end goes down (excuse the technical language).
In a toxic relationship, it’s maybe less obvious. It’s not the first blow (physical, financial, mental, or emotional), but well before that, when the first line that was crossed. The subtle, but important line that established a pattern. And this explains why de-conditioning is so important.
In the search for happiness, it’s the realisation that we’ve been looking in exactly the wrong direction.
And in the nondual exploration it’s the moment the self is no longer felt to be a separate entity.
The key thing is the tipping point is not the end of the journey, it’s not even close.
Often, the tipping point comes at the time we are least prepared to handle it. And it can feel pretty wobbly.
For life care we intuitively recognise the need for the greatest support at the most vulnerable times, but in spiritual wellbeing we rarely do.
Perhaps it’s because we hear so many “bolt of lightning” enlightenment stories with immediate happy-ever-afters. Perhaps we’ve misunderstood what the “direct path” means. Perhaps ego is leading us a merry dance of false awakening.
Whatever the cause, once we know that there is a journey ahead of us – in happiness and nonduality, because they are two ways of talking about the same thing – we’re ready to do the work.
And hopefully wise enough to understand the value of support, guidance, and challenge.
Fortunately, there is one key marker for navigating life. And that is what the support, guidance and challenge helps to establish: If we are at peace, truly at peace*, then we are aligned with the essence of being, the essence of happiness. If we are agitated, frustrated, bitter, disappointed, shocked, anxious, or distressed, then we are off course.
(* Peace is not necessarily calm or without emotion. Peace is what holds all emotion.)
When we are off course, the first priority is always to come back into alignment. There may well be circumstances to deal with, but from an off-balance perspective we’re not likely to do it well.
How do you choose your guide? Find someone who understands more just their own path. Find someone who is committed to their own learning. Find some prepared to challenge you. Find someone who welcomes challenge with grace. Find someone who embodies the peace that is the essence of nonduality, happiness, and life itself.
If you are feeling the wobble of the tipping point, remember you don’t have to do it alone.