This part of my story, which, (like all stories), is told in the language of duality, is about why I have come to favour the concept of non-duality.
Over thirty years ago, my spiritual search led me to the mystical portals of "The Rosicrucian Order AMORC". The Order's teachings are broad and often challenging, not the least of which is to encourage members to be "Walking question marks!". That suited me well enough because the path of inquiry always has something new to offer, even though it is often the same message, but dressed in different clothes.
And so the mind becomes filled with ideas and ideals, which can be argued back and forth until the cows come home. The problem was, I had never realised that when both ancient and modern sages proclaimed, "Everything is One", they actually meant what they said.
In 2003 I met Sailor Bob for the first time. When I told Bob that I knew everything was One and that "I" was a part of that Oneness, he simply pointed to the fact that "One" doesn't have any parts, there is only that, "One without a second". There is no separation, no separate self that can be a part of any "Oneness". There is only that, having the endless variety of appearance in thought and form and time and space.
Irrational as this concept first appeared, I saw that in Oneness, there is nowhere to get and no-one to get there. After one hour with Bob, my whole world had changed, and yet everything was still the same.
When I left Bob's place, the sun still shone, the birds still sang and I still stepped in the poo occasionally, (especially when I was looking at the birds, instead of looking where I was going). But a year of questioning Bob and remembering to look and see the nature of one-ness, was enough to break the habit of years of assuming that, because seeing is happening, there must be a see-er. Years of assuming that, because thinking is happening, there must be a thinker.
Now the thoughts that appear to arise, have nowhere to call home. There is no longer any imaginary source called me, to beat up over "my" mistakes and problems, there is no-one to worry about the worrying thought. This is the end of mental suffering!
(So how can I have a name? Well, as I said above - the language is dual, being is pointless - but of course, I could be wrong! Which, if there was an "I", I would be, but there isn't, so I'm not.)