Nonduality

From the Science and Nonduality Website

Nonduality is the philosophical, spiritual, and scientific understanding of non-separation and fundamental intrinsic oneness.

And from Wikipedia

Nondualism is a term used to denote affinity, or unity, rather than duality or separateness or multiplicity. In reference to the universe it may be used to denote the idea that things appear distinct while not being separate.

There are many shades of meaning to the word nonduality. As an introduction, we might say that nonduality is the philosophical, spiritual, and scientific understanding of non-separation and fundamental oneness.

Our starting point is the statement “we are all one,” and this is meant not in some abstract sense but at the deepest level of existence. Duality, or separation between the observer and the observed, is an illusion that the Eastern mystics have long recognized and Western science has more recently come to understand through quantum mechanics.

Dualities are usually seen in terms of opposites: Mind/Matter, Self/Other, Conscious/Unconscious, Illusion/Reality, Quantum/Classical, Wave/Particle, Spiritual/Material, Beginning/End, Male/Female, Living/Dead and Good/Evil. Nonduality is the understanding that identification with common dualisms avoids recognition of a deeper reality.

Interested in Knowing More?

Life Without a Center

Nonduality Institute 

Listening from Silence

Non-Duality Press

Beginning the Conversation

This stuff could do my head in. Is it just me or are these guys trying (and succeeding) at making a relatively simple concept complicated? What do you think?

Meet the Author

12 comments… add one
  • Debbie Sep 5, 2014, 2:51 pm

    The concept of time has always been an intriguing one, as it is a human construct. A means by which we measure our existence in a linear fashion and attempt to bring order into an otherwise disorderly universe. We assume that events unfold in a very linear, cause and effect manner because that is how we perceive reality. But if we are open to the possibility that everything is happening all at once, we can readily acknowledge that in some locations, reality is thinner for those with the ability to see or hear events bleeding through. As we each become more spiritually awakened, the awareness of such thinning becomes more pronounced.

  • Anne Morgan May 17, 2012, 2:19 am

    Hi Rosemary, I’m back in thinking mode again!

    The Adyarshanti take on non-duality – well, where to start? Its the eastern mysticism concept of spiritual awakening. In the west we are taught from an early age to question everything, in the east they follow a teacher and accept what is given to them. The end is inevitable, just the path that is different.

    Without being discriminative in any way and I hope not offending anyone – western nations are more evolved in many ways, although the east is catching up fast. Some people in the west seem to believe that following an eastern style teacher and life style will provide what they are searching for. This is not a bad thing but is quite un-necessary. Probably those most attracted to it are just becoming spiritually aware in this incarnation and those like your respondants have already “passed go” and just need to stop analysing everything and just “be”.

    The east found a lot of answers millennia ago and as a result are more spiritually evolved than the west, especially in the Indian sub- continent where acceptance of their physical situations are much more beatific than our western values of physical needs. The west does not need to follow the same long spiral of attainment, spiritual evolution of mankind has already been achieved for us, we need to take up where we have reached and not deeply question the hows and whys. To use the cake metaphore – eat it, not dissect it.

    What I find time and again with “spiritual” teachers in the west is the concept that only their particular brand of enlightenment is the true one. In one of the film clips that I watched, it was stated that spiritual awakening is inevitable, then he quoted his teacher as having said “only the phoneys don’t end up enlightened”. To me this smacks of, at worst, emotional blackmail or perhaps at best, a poor choice of words. In this physical incarnation, I believe that those who are ready, will achieve enlightenment regardless and those who don’t should take their lessons and improve next time. I don’t want to get into a debate about re-incarnation, so I will leave that thought with you.

    For anybody who has followed the various blogs on Psychic Revolution, it will come as no surprise that the spirit body is completely separate from the physical and exists within/around it and is REAL, but most people are unaware of it.

    The Adyarshanti group, like so many, is saying that not all teachers are correct but you must find out for yourself, but where to start? There is an eastern concept that when the pupil is ready, the teacher appears. Neither accept or lightly reject anything you are told, you will know when you meet your real teacher. Most prosletizers are self indulgent and are the blind leading the blind. Just take on board what feels right and trust your intuition, which after all is just your hidden self pointing you in the right direction whether you choose to accept it or not. If we question and don’t find answers within, then we are trying to live somebody else’s reality, which is probably not meant for us.

    I sort of understand duality as in the quantum physics theory, but in the religious connotation of oneness, duality doesn’t need to be analysed at that level. Its inevitability means that everyone will attain at-one-ment regardless and following a “path” prescribed by a human is pointless. It has sustained eastern mysticism but is not essential or desireable in western thought.
    We are evolving and some need to question how and why, but even the totally ignorant will reach the end point regardless of how they live in the physical world.

    There are too many words and personal interpretations. My realism is not necessarily yours but just as valid. We don’t have to work at becoming “one” we already are, but not yet awake to it.

    Dave and Marianne seem to see themselves as separate when in fact they already and always have been part of the whole (that analogy again), as I see it.

    It is hard to explain this feeling of oneness to anybody who has not had their “road to Damascus” event in their lives.

    People need to keep searching, it is a human thing, but they won’t find the answer by following another’s path. Thet will KNOW when they re-connect to the whole of creation and can get on with life without the angst. We don’t “have to belong” we just ARE.
    I think Sean has put it better in more educated language. Duality is an illusion.

    I rest my case.

    Anne

  • Dave "Felbain" K. May 16, 2012, 5:38 am

    Marianne said: “Rosemary, Crazy Horse said something like “Someday I am going to go to sleep and dream myself into reality.”

    Well whatever you do…DO NOT get drunk and pass out at a re-enactment social gathering! This really happened to a fellow I know and for about an hour, well let’s just say he was quite “confused” upon waking as no one would leave their 10th century role for his benefit. It’s one of those family stories that will probably never be lived down in his mortal life.

    However, haven’t we all had times when we wonder why we feel like a square peg trying to be fit into a round hole? That we don’t fit ‘here’? That we are indeed very dualistic and not at one with anyone or anything?

    Perhaps that is what was meant when Adyashanti said in his video-clip (top/first) above about: “…chasing what someone has told us, and then, you’ve ‘left home’ (Self)” We’ve become separated from our own, personal inner Truth, our purpose.

    I personally can agree that “Love” is a unifier and what makes us all connected…but then, look at that statement in strictly an etymological sense. If we are “unified” or “connected”, these terms arise from joining or bringing together individual components. Making the ‘duo’ (or more) one. Combining to make one. Like a recipe for a cake combining all the various ingredients to make the whole, or end product.

    I can wholeheartedly agree with “non-dualism” in concept, but I have great difficulty in saying that dualism does not exist…at least on some levels. I mean after all, even though we may have a most beautiful and delicious cake, it is still comprised of individual ingredients. Though at this level of vibration or manifestation they are one (cake), on the microscopic or most finite level, it is still flour, eggs, sugar etc etc combined or unified into one construct.

    Dualism or non-dualism it is still a most fascinating discussion.

    Blessings of Peace,

  • Marianne May 3, 2012, 9:43 pm

    Hi Rosemary,

    I think we are all one. Sometimes I don’t particularly like thinking that, but in the end, I do.

    God – or “good” – made us all the same. Organic. We may like to think we are all special and unique but if that were the case the word unique would carry no meaning. Right?

    Hmm…,

    Good one,
    Marianne 😉

    • Rosemary Breen May 3, 2012, 10:09 pm

      Woah Marianne.

      Good logic happening here.

      I guess we all like to think there is something unique about ourselves and, at the end of the day, there are more things that bind us than divide. It isnt always easy to see that though.

      Ciao and … hi

      Rosemary

  • Sean Mar 20, 2012, 10:31 pm

    Dualities are usually seen in terms of opposites: Mind/Matter, Self/Other, Conscious/Unconscious, Illusion/Reality, Quantum/Classical, Wave/Particle, Spiritual/Material, Beginning/End, Male/Female, Living/Dead and Good/Evil. Nonduality is the understanding that identification with common dualisms avoids recognition of a deeper reality.

    The key word is ‘seen’ — implying an interpretation by an observer — they are all conscious constructions or ‘heuristics’ — our way of understanding things — in the same way that ‘splitters’ jump to extreme positions or points of view — it seems to be a very old, deep-seated and primitive neuro-biological system of classifying and judging objects for quick assessment and processing.

    Put simply, there are no true ‘opposites’ in the physical universe, or none that I can think of anyway — each of the opposites or contrasts listed above are social or mental constructions by one of us, homo sapiens. It just seems to be something we do for fun.

    Maslow, in his study of ‘self-actualising’ people, determined that self-actualisers were less likely to see or declare opposites, and saw things more as they really were, i.e. they tended not to fall into that pattern of heuristic-forming.

    Then there is the ‘philosophy of dualism’ which is all about the so-called mind-body divide which is a bit abstruse, and religious dualism, which is about religious constructions such as good-evil, etc. All these dualisms however fall under the heuristic pattern described above and so are inherently faulty, so think no more of them.

    The ‘deeper reality’ is just reality — i.e. all dualisms are inherently false. Pretty simple. As an exercise, the reader should be able to explain why all the ‘dualities’ listed above are not ‘opposites’ at all, but just internal mental constructions.

    (Disclaimer: I didn’t really watch the videos above.)

    • Rosemary Breen Mar 21, 2012, 6:59 am

      My god (or should that be God?) Sean!

      Every second or third post from you is a lesson in something or other – often with a psychological slant 🙂 I for one thank you for sharing and Im left wondering how is it that you are so widely informed?

      To quote you above: Put simply, there are no true ‘opposites’ in the physical universe, or none that I can think of anyway. That got me thinking: first that my philosophy class this morning had started early; and second that there must be – surely. Well, Ive learnt something Sean I went through black/white, dark/light, up/down and, even had a mental play around at the subatomic level and I guess, strictly speaking, without human interpretation there are no exact opposites in the physical universe. Now, whether there is any true opposites, depends again on human interpretation of true.

      Anyone think differently??

      Cheers

      Rosemary

  • Julie-Ann Blackmore Jan 24, 2012, 5:35 am

    I believe without connection we look for some form of connection.

    This is ONE, we are all one.

    Simply we all have the same mind, only it’s our choice what we get out of it.

    If those who are lonely get comfort from feeling at one with everyone this can create ideas of higher powers God, Spirit that creates LOVE. With love comes connection and peace that you are loved even if no one on earth loves you God, Spirit, the oneness does.

    If you have self love then your mind has the positive thoughts and you no longer need to play the one up man ship game that someone who has low self esteem, through lack of love, or non acceptance enters into.

    This creates the whole human being and a better quality of life and creations.

    • Rosemary Breen Jan 24, 2012, 8:09 am

      For you perhaps Julie-Anne love is the thing that helps you make sense of this world (and beyond). For me, however, time is the thing I keep coming back to.

      If we are all one and indeed, everything is in and of the same thing then all time is one too. The past, the present and the future (those future possibilities?) either dont exist, are happening at once or are not happening at all!

      I dont now the consequences of the first being true over the second. Indeed, some say we are in a dream and we wake up when we pass over.

      I dont even know if these are alternatives or different ways of saying the same thing.

      You can see, we raise as many questions as we answer Julie-Anne 🙂

      Cheers

      Rosemary

      • Marianne May 4, 2012, 3:03 am

        Julie-Ann, I believe you are right when you say ‘love’ is what connects us all.

        After all we were created out of a Great Love (imo), and therefore we can’t be anything but.

        (I realize if you look around it may not seem that way, however even those that seem w/o love are not. You never know what’s going on in people’s minds on any given day.

        Perhaps we really don’t want to know either.

        But if you look close enough you can always see a temporary disturbance in other people who *seem* to be acting without love – I just send them a “ray” (love?), mean it with all my heart and hope they feel a little bit better – I do this better with strangers than with people I know…, oops, I’ve got to work on that 😉 )

        Rosemary, Crazy Horse said something like “Someday I am going to go to sleep and dream myself into reality.”

        I believe that. And then we’ll come back down here again because we thought it was so much fun, and say the same things all over again. (Later, rinse, repeat!)

        Time is the one thing I don’t believe in. I think everything exists at the same time and time just lets our brains process it better.

        Gregg Braden (I think) said: Space can exist without time. But time *can not* exist without space. I think he’s right. What does time have to do with anything? The only thing I can think of is history.

        I’ve seen history right in my own home. People dressed in 17th century clothes all standing around drinking and talking at some sort of social event. For them, my history was their Now.

        Yikes, this is a lot to think about… 😀

        Marianne

        • Rosemary Breen May 7, 2012, 8:01 pm

          Love that Marianne – “Someday I am going to go to sleep and dream myself into reality.”

          Im fascinated by time too – nature’s way of ensuring things dont all happen at once!

          The other thing that intrigues me are those time shifts – like when someone is at an historic house and for some inexplicable reason, there is a time shift and there they are in the 18th century, surrounded by horse drawn carriages and period costumes. I think this type of experience is different to what you encountered in your home – can you confirm that? I cant think off hand what the term is for the experience I am trying (badly) to describe.

          Thanks Marianne

          Rosemary

          • Marianne May 7, 2012, 9:33 pm

            Hi Rosemary,

            I wasn’t in a Historical house. I was at home. However, my home was built out of stones that were used across the street at the “Ice House” (long time ago). I figured that’s where they came from.

            They didn’t see me. And they were having a fine time. Nothing upsetting. Just low-key fun 😉

            So I think it’s confirmed it’s not what you were talking about above – which sounds great!

            Tallyho for now,
            Marianne

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