Have you ever fallen in love with being alive? A number of years ago I was hiking on Tequille Island in Lake Titicaca, Peru. As I approached a vista from the trail, I had this exquisite feeling of aliveness. I felt connected to everything far beyond my physical body. There was a sense of oneness.
Non Duality describes an experience where your state of consciousness shifts and your sense of self falls away to something larger and expansive. It primarily refers to a state of consciousness, in which the dichotomy of I-other is ‘transcended’, and awareness is described as ‘centerless’ and ‘without dichotomies’. Although this state of consciousness appears spontaneous for me, it usually is the “result” of prolonged meditative/contemplative practice. One can also experience non duality through a Near Death Experience or psychedelic drugs. Perhaps you’ve experienced the sense of oneness at a time in your life: perhaps a lot.
The essential discovery of all the great spiritual traditions, including Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zen, Sufism, Kashmir Shaivism and Judaism, is that experience is not divided into a perceiving subject, an entity known as ‘I,’ and a perceived object, world or other. There is a Oneness.
Rather than quoting spiritual teachers, here are quotes from physicists.
Einstein said that “reality is an illusion all be a persistent one. Space and time are modes in which we think, not conditions in what we live.”
Werner Heisenberg, Nobel prize winning physicist stated, “The universe is not only stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think”.
Erwin Schrödinger, Nobel prize winning physicist stated, “ We do not belong to this material world that science constructs for us. We are not inside, we are outside. We are spectators. The reason we think that we are inside in the picture is because our bodies are inside the picture. The plurality that we perceive is only an appearance; it is not real.”
Now take 4 minutes to listen to this video beginning at 42.00 to 46.37. You will learn that the universe may be an illusion and that it may only exist when it is being observed.
Now let’s come back to non duality.
If everything is just boundless energy, then there really may be no separation.
The apparent separateness between you and the external world is powerful illusion that seems to divide the Oneness of experience into two separate things, when in reality everything is one.
And, when you “awaken” to this sense of Oneness, there is a dramatic shift in your being. There is happiness, joy, love and transcendence.
There are many non-dualist teachers who suggest that reality is totally subjective and that all matter is only created through awareness, i.e. observation. So rather than the physicalist objective lower right quadrant being the only reality, the non-dualists say that the subjective upper left quadrant is the only reality.
Now, if all of this has not made your head explode, search non duality on the web and learn more. Some teachers include Rupert Spira, Tony Parsons, Jeffery Martin and Tim Freke. And if my musings have really gotten you into this, take the time to hear one of Freke’s lectures.
So, does non duality prove the premise A rationalistic scientific way of thinking is the only way to the truth of reality to be false? Well perhaps rather than either/or it should be both/and. Can we entertain the paradox in the same way as Schrödinger’s cat? Two opposites can both be true.
How are you with paradoxes? Can you entertain two conflicting realities?
When have you experienced a sense of oneness? A sense of non duality?