The growth movement and enlightenment studies are simply different phases of the same spiritual evolution from God to God.
Hindus talk about dual and non-dual worship. The dualistic path is to worship an object like a form of God, acknowledging thereby the subject/object or dualistic split.
The non-dualistic path is to worship the One, next to whom there is no second, all of this being merely illusion.
The former takes the street-level view; the latter the Absolute. That’s one of the differences between them.
A dualist will someday take the Absolute view; a non-dualist may sometime acknowledge the dual, as Sri Ramakrishna’s non-dual guru, Totapuri, did.
Totapuri decided to end his life by walking into the Ganges. But he found that, no matter how far he waded in, he couldn’t get into water deeper than his feet. Then it hit him:
“Suddenly, in one dazzling moment, [Totapuri] sees on all sides the presence of the Divine Mother. She is in everything. She is everything.
“She is in the water; She is on land. She is the body; She is the mind. She is pain; She is comfort. She is knowledge; She is ignorance. She is life; She is death.
“She is everything that one sees, hears, or imagines. She turns ‘yea’ into ‘nay’ and ‘nay’ into ‘yay.’
“Without Her grace no embodied being can go beyond Her realm. Man has no free will. He is not even free to die.
“Yet, again, beyond the body and mind She resides in her Transcendental, Absolute aspect. She is the [non-dual] Brahman that Totapuri has been worshipping all his life.” (1)
Bayazid of Bistun represents the movement from the dual to the non-dual in his symbolic exclamation:
“I went from God to God, until they cried from me in me, ‘O thou I!'” (2)
So the non-dualist is brought to the dual just as the dualist is brought to the non-dual.
(Concluded in Part 2, tomorrow.)
(1) Swami Nikhilananda, trans., in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 31.
(2) Bayazid of Bistun in Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy. New York, etc.: Harper and Row, 1970; c1944, 12.