WHAT IS NONDUALITY ?
In recent years the term nonduality has steadily crept into the vocabulary of many Western spiritual teachings, but there is often some lack of common understanding as to just what is represented by nonduality. It is generally accepted that nonduality is a translation of the sanskrit term Advaita, which literally translates as "not two," and is utilized in the naming of the ancient Indian wisdom tradition called Advaita Vedanta. In the modern vernacular, nondual (or non-dual) is a word intended to point to the fact that reality is only one thing - one single reality manifesting in appearance as more than one, but fundamentally there is only the one. We might even say there is only God (or whatever term you might prefer such as Being, Universe, Truth, Life, etc.) and that is not distinct from who you are. It's another way of saying there is only oneness. This is different from saying everything is interconnected, because with interconnectedness there are various separate things (more than one thing, thus dual) that are connected to each other. Nonduality points toward there being no separate objects, thoughts, emotions, sensations or even universe.- it is all one grand appearance, and it appears to flow in time. Nondual spiritual teachings are based on the idea that duality, or separation, is only one perspective of the totality of reality, and belief in our separateness forms the basis for most of the difficulties and suffering we encounter personally and globally.
Nondual teachings are intended to point toward recognizing an additional perspective of unity, or oneness, different from the ordinary view we learned as children through our collective conditioning. The process leading to directly recognizing and experiencing nonduality often seems to require personal inquiry into the truth of many of our long-standing thought habits, beliefs and concepts. Such inquiry often takes the form of questions such as "Who Am I" or "What Am I" that in turn lead to exploring what is the nature of self, and do I really have a separate independent existence?
Albert Einstein once said "A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison." These are words reflecting nonduality.
Oneness is immaculate, because the whole source of everything is only unconditional love, and obviously it embraces everything, including hatred and anger. Nothing is excluded - all is the absolute.
~ Tony Parsons
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.
~ From Science & Nonduality Conference
Advaita is a Sanskrit word that literally means "not two." Synonyms of Advaita are non-duality (nonduality, non duality). Advaita is not a philosophy or a religion. Non-duality is an experience in which there is no separation between subject and object; a "me" and the rest of the universe; a "me" and God. It is the experience of consciousness, our true nature, which reveals itself as absolute happiness, love and beauty. Consciousness is defined as that, whatever that is, which is aware of these very words right here, right now.
~ Francis Lucille
In liberation, heart and mind are not experienced as being separate. So often nonduality can seem so heady, so conceptual, so intellectual. All those concepts of nothingness and absence and presence ! Actually this is all about love. Love is the union of heart and mind. Nonduality isn't being detached from the world, being the witness of everything and taking part in nothing. It's not about sitting on your mountaintop and looking down at the world, pitying those poor mortals who aren't awakened as you are, those poor souls who still have egos ! No, love cannot stand back from the world, because it IS the world. The heart of presence radiates love.
~ Jeff Foster
Man has hypnotized himself into thinking that he is a human being, whereas in reality he is one with God. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda
To awaken to the absolute view is profound and transformative, but to awaken from all fixed points of view is the birth of true nonduality. . . Enlightenment means the end of all division. It is not simply having an occasional experience of unity beyond all division, it is actually being undivided. This is what nonduality truly means. It means there is just One Self, without a difference or gap between the profound revelation of Oneness and the way it is perceived and lived every moment of life. Nonduality means that the inner revelation and the outer expression of the personality are one and the same. So few seem to be interested in the greater implication contained within profound spiritual experiences, because it is the contemplation of these implications which quickly brings to awareness the inner divisions existing within most seekers
This absolute intimacy of pure experiencing is what we call love. It is the absence of distance, separation or otherness. There is no room for two there. Love is the experience of pure non-duality.
~ Rupert Spira
Vedanta contends that duality is merely a belief brought on by ignorance of the nature of reality, not a fact. In fact, reality is non-dual. . . . The subject is not different from the objects. Both the subject and the objects are apparent manifestations of the non-dual self or consciousness. Enlightenment is the freedom from suffering that arises when the non-dual nature of the self is fully appreciated. When you no longer take yourself to be separate from the world of objects . . . yes, people too are objects in duality . . . conflict dies and the subject is free of the desire to obtain and maintain objects.
~ James Swartz
Everything is holy. Everything is sacred. Do not believe that some things are sacred and some things are not. Everything is sacred, even man's inhumanity to man, the dastardly situations that appear in the world. It is hard for the human mind to understand these things, but everything is very sacred, everything is God. God is all there is, there's nothing else. So how can there be an evil situation someplace and also be God. This is duality, and we know and understand that duality does not exist. There is only the one, and the one is everything that exists. You consequently have to start feeling this in your heart, that your heart center is omnipresence, all-pervading, it includes the whole universe.
~ Robert Adams
more on Nonduality