What is Non-Duality? – An Introduction

non-duality

Despite the limits of language, people have kept talking about the unspeakable since the dawn of language itself.

Some use poetry. Some use non-verbal means; music, the visual arts. And some use verbal pointers, metaphors and parables to state the very limits of language and to point at that which is beyond language.

Non-Duality is the ‘One without a Second’. It is that, which the esoteric traditions of all great religions have always pointed to, and what the great sages of the ages have categorically stated to be the ultimate reality. Even modern science confirms this:

One-Ness or non-duality is the essence and substance of all there is – manifest or non-manifest – life, man, god, the world, the universe: it all is this inseparable All-One-Ness.

This ultimate truth has been called many names:

advaita2

In more contemporary language it is often referred to as:

advaita3

(Note the customary use of capital letters to illustrate the meaning of the absolute sense of the words)

It is on this basis, that we can really understand the concepts of totality (attributed to God):

advaita4

In other words: ALL – present, ALL-knowing, ALL-powerful…

Not three different things, but three aspects of the ONE.

Does this leave any room for any ‘me’, any ‘you’, or anything at all to exist outside of (or separate from) this totality?

The problem is that all these words are not the ‘thing’ itself, but merely signposts for that which is beyond words and concepts. Just as the hand pointing at the moon is not the moon itself, and just as the word ‘water’ won’t quench our thirst.

advaita5

Words and concepts  – yes the very mind and the very ‘me’ that is trying to communicate or understand these – all these are merely fleeting forms and appearances of no real substance or independent nature. All these appearances arise and dissolve within the non-conceptual One Reality (Presence-Awareness) which itself remains beyond that which is contained within it.

The nature of the mind is dualism itself. It is a tool for separation, division and analysis – to allow seemingly separate bodies to function in a seemingly objective, ever-changing physical world – creating the perceiver and the perceived; inside (the ‘me’) and outside (the world).

Non-duality tells us, that (despite its usefulness in practical ‘worldly’ issues) this separation is illusory – an erroneous translation of that which is essentially undivided, timeless, unborn and undying.

The mind is a ‘conceptual reality generator’ which makes manifestation appear as what it appears to be. It is not an adequate tool to comprehend the All-One-Ness that IS. But it is the only tool we have…

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