Happiness appears as desire when it is veiled; desire is revealed as happiness when it is fulfilled.

The Many Names of the Absolute

Would you say that there is definitely no Rupert or Jérôme?

Hi Rupert,

I have a short question for you…how do you conciliate the absolute point of view with the relative one? I mean, does the knowledge that there is no world except visual perceptions or no body except sensations, feelings etc, exclude the possibility of Libya or France, or exclude the possibility of a headache or a cancer (and consider them instead) as purely conceptual? But if I say there is no world, I suggest at the same time that there is a world, if I say there is no Rupert, I suggest that there is a Rupert! My question is: do the the two perspective meet each other or would you say that there is definitely no Rupert or Jérôme?

Thank you for your answer!

Jérôme, sorry, no Jérôme!


Dear Jérôme,

I would not try to reconcile the absolute and relative points of view, for the simple reason that there is no such thing as an absolute point of view. Nor, in fact, is there any such thing as a relative point of view except from the imaginary position of a relative point of view. In other words, the relative is in the view; it doesn’t have a view!

The Absolute is absolute precisely because it doesn’t have a point of view. That is, it doesn’t view things, objects, events etc. from a point or a place. In fact, things are only things, objects are only objects, events are only events, headaches are only headaches, Rupert is only Rupert and Jérôme is only Jérôme from the limited point of view of an imaginary centre of perception, otherwise know as the separate self.

And this, of course, includes the separate self! In other words, the separate self is only a separate self from the imaginary point of view of the separate self! The Absolute, which is just another name for the true and only Self, knows nothing of such apparent things.

You, the Absolute, doesn’t see things, places, people, events etc., as such, because all these – that is, outside objects – are only seen as such from the point of view of an imaginary inside self.

The Absolute is so utterly, intimately one with all these apparent things that it cannot separate itself out from them and know them as ‘something.’ It is so utterly intimate with experience that it cannot know it as something other than itself. That is why ‘I,’ the Absolute, pure intimacy and experience are all synonymous and, ultimately, un-nameable. ‘Love’ is perhaps as close as words come because in love there is not the slightest trace of otherness or separation.

In other words, for the Absolute, which means for your Self, there are no things there in the first place to be utterly intimate with. There are simply ‘not two things’ - a-dvaita.

However, as soon as we try to name what that is, we are back in the world of duality where something is ‘one’ as opposed to ‘two,’ ‘something’ as opposed to ‘nothing,’ ‘being’ as opposed to ‘not being’ etc. In other words, without the idea of ‘two,’ the idea of ‘one’ cannot stand. No ‘two,’ no ‘one.’

That is why the ancients, in their wisdom and humility, called this Non-Duality rather than Oneness. To say it is ‘not-two’ is more correct than saying it is ‘one,’ although both statements are, ultimately, untrue.

It other words, things, events, objects, France, Libya, headaches, cancer, Rupert and Jérôme etc. are all for the imaginary point of view of the separate entity. In fact, that’s precisely what the separate entity is – a point of view.

For the Absolute or the Self, there is just itself. It is only thought that superimposes selves, objects, people, places etc. onto the raw, intimate, un-nameable, ever-present reality of pure Being.

So back to your questions now: “Do the the two perspective meet each other?” If you insist that there are two things, one, reality and, two, illusion, then the best we can say is that Awareness is all that they share – Awareness is where they meet. It is all they have in common. But that answer is a concession to the belief that there really is a real illusion. Once it is seen that illusion is an illusion, the question no longer makes sense. Only reality remains….this very experience here and now, shining with the light of your own presence alone.

And two, “Would you say that there is definitely no Rupert or Jérôme?” There is no Rupert or Jérôme as they are normally conceived to be, that is, as bodies and minds that have their own reality, independent of Awareness. Such a reality is non-existent. It exists only as the thought that thinks it.

However, there is a reality to every thought, sensation and perception (including those that are normally considered to be ‘Rupert’ or ‘Jérôme’) and that is your Self. In other words, if ‘Rupert’ and ‘Jérôme’ are the names we give to our Self, Awareness, then they refer to that which is real. If they refer to a body and mind that is considered to have its own independent reality, they refer to an illusion.

In fact, the same could be said of all names and nouns: if they refer to objects, people, places and events, they refer, as such, to an illusion. However, if they refer to the reality of the apparent objects, people, places and events, then each of these words is itself one of the many names of the Absolute and, as such, points towards the ever-present reality of all experience, otherwise known as your Self – Jérôme!

With love,