There are two fundamental paths to freedom: love and devotion are the female ways of the heart; awareness and clarity are the male ways of the warrior of truth.
Every seeker has access to both love and awareness; the balance of these divine qualities varies according to your temperament and gender. My way was primarily the path of awareness, but now the ecstasy of divine love has also flowered.
For those on the path of love it is important to understand that nondual awareness is the uncreated reality from which love and all existence are created.
Awareness is the source of love. God is first and fundamentally awareness. Yet He is also love, intelligence and playfulness. Love, playfulness and every divine aspect except intelligent awareness exist only while existence is manifest. God-as-awareness is also the transcendental unmanifest realm of non-existence.
Before and after the universe exists, God has always been and always will be the uncreated eternal mystery of the void. This void of creation is knowable only to God.
Existence and every soul is created by consciousness of consciousness, and fundamentally is consciousness. When the implications of this nonduality are understood and lived, surrender and divine love will certainly follow.
Surrender is essential for both approaches. Surrender can be an expression of love and devotion; this emotional form of surrender is unstable as feelings change.
Surrender is also a deep acceptance of reality: each moment of life must be as it is until it changes. This pragmatic form of surrender is a method that can be applied at any time by anyone who remembers: things must be like this now. Surrender to life-as-God will follow.
Love is an experience that seems to come and go. Consciousness is the experiencer of love and is aware of the coming and going of love. But it is not possible for love to be aware of consciousness.
This limitation of love is no problem when your love is flowering; love is the sweetest human experience. But everyone knows that the experience of love comes and goes. The knower of all experience is awareness.
Awareness also appears to come and go in seekers, but awareness is not an experience like love; awareness is the context in which all experience occurs.
When meditators watch their inner world closely they discover that all experiences, including the fulfilment of love, are transitory. Awareness exists beyond love but love cannot exist without awareness. Awareness is the eternal realm of God's ultimate reality.
Jesus' statement that 'God is love' seems more human and attractive to many devotional seekers than 'God is awareness'.
But love exists only while existence is manifest. When all of existence disappears back into the Absolute - the void of non-existence - love exists only in potentiality.
The witness is aware of the coming and going of love. This stability of the witness makes it the essential key to freedom. You can witness whatever experience you are having, including the absence of love. As awareness grows the witness becomes strong and inescapable; it starts to embrace you in its secret and blissful heart of hearts.
Seekers on the path of love and devotion also require grounding in awareness to provide the transcendence and stability that come only from the witness.
Every soul is an expression of divine consciousness. The soul's individuality provides the distinctions required for the drama of life to unfold; the appearance of separation is a prerequisite for all interaction in the dance of life.
We are multidimensional beings with separate bodies, minds and souls. At the level of consciousness, however, we are all part of the eternal One, God-the-beyond.
This underlying oneness is revealed more and more as we grow slowly but inexorably in awareness and love. With the flowering of enlightenment, oneness becomes your everyday experience of divine life - in the ecstasy of freedom from yourself.
The purpose of life after enlightenment is to enjoy the wonder of oneness, love and bliss - and to be helpful to friends who are still suffering.