Advaita / non-duality

Michael Speight: The Meaning of Life… from ignorance to Enlightenment

IMG_20190815_132346Excellence Reporter: Michael, what is the meaning of life?

Michael Speight: Of course if one is a fan of “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” the answer is “42” and we could just leave it there and just enjoy the fun of that.  

Life is an opportunity. According to the Vedic teachings that opportunity is to move from a life of lived in ignorance to one of being the embodiment of supreme knowledge, from mortality to immortality. 

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali starts with “Now (begins) the teaching of yoga.” Although the use of the Sanskrit word “atha” meaning “now” is used to launch the teaching of yoga we should perhaps take this first sentence from Patanjali and break it down in and of itself as an Advaita teaching, if we do that we find that you could just use the word “Now” and that is enough to communicate the entirety, the whole intent.

There is nothing but “yoga” nothing but Union, a unified diversity in its fundamental nature, omnipresent, infinite, the present moment, the true sacred space. The word “yoga” means to “unite” except this in and of itself is problematic as the suggestion of uniting implies that there is a separation… there is not.

All spiritual teachings are for the unenlightened, for the “Enlightened,” those who have realized the truth of their essential nature, the Self, there is only Unity whether it is called the Absolute, Being, Am-ness, Oneness, “the Relative,” or the essence of all there is. 

The moment you become a seeker, someone on the spiritual path, there is separation, there is duality. Life lived in duality is a life of subject and object this is a mistake of the intellect. A covering, a veiling has taken place. Even that veil is the Absolute pure Oneness. It is not that seeking is bad or irrelevant as it is a means to Self-discovery, in fact seeking is a prerequisite for Self-realization. But, seeking can build a wall between the self and the Self; in the end the self must be given up in self surrender.

Enlightenment is not an end point, it is a coming home, it is, as it is “normal” life, it is a constant unfoldment of wonder and infinite possibilities. The meaning of life is then an opportunity to recognize Oneness, to be that Oneness and enjoy life from that perspective.


~Michael Speight began his spiritual life at age 11 after having a mystical experience. He studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and was personally made a teacher of meditation by him in 1972, and later served as his personal assistant. Michael has taught thousands of students around the world and has an academic background in Religious Studies.

Copyright ©2019 Excellence Reporter

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