Can someone possibly help break down what non duality is. Is non duality something sam talks about in his books or believes in?
Thanks for the help. I feel like i am having to train my brain to think in a totally different way to wrap my head around all this
Essentially it boils down to the physical being separated from the metaphysical. Brain and mind being different. Body and ‘soul’ being different. Platonic ideals and their reflections on the cave wall. Gods and reality. Etc…
Dualism is a fancy way of saying ‘we’re more than just meat-puppets existing in a deterministic cosmos functioning as evolved qualia-stew’
This is my interpretation.
I’ll take a shot at my personal interpretation of non-dualism.
From the Online Etymology Dictionary website:
1580s, “the whole world, cosmos, the totality of existing things,” from Old French univers (12c.), from Latin universum “all things, everybody, all people, the whole world,” noun use of neuter of adjective universus “all together, all in one, whole, entire, relating to all,” literally “turned into one,” from unus “one” (from PIE root *oi-no- “one, unique”) + versus, past participle of vertere “to turn, turn back, be turned; convert, transform, translate; be changed” (from PIE root *wer- (2) “to turn, bend”).
There is no thing that does not reside within the universe. The universe is one object and one process.
I don’t want to get into multiverses, or what happened before the Big Bang, or any of those abstract, unknown, and unproven ideas.
Bottom line: the universe is ONE.
That’s as non-dual as you can get.
But human perception says something different. As living animals on this planet, in order to survive and procreate, we have evolved to see ourselves as separate, individual beings. As philosopher Alan Watts said, we have a feeling that we “are just an Ego in a bag of skin.” This delusion has kept us going as individuals and as a species. To survive, we have to kill and eat other beings, whether plant or animal, or we must compete with, and sometimes kill, members of our own species.
If we could transcend this limited view of ourselves, we would see that we are ingrained in the very process of the entire universe. It takes an entire universe to create you and to sustain your existence. Everything about you — every atom, the functioning processes of the 37 trillion cells that make up your body, every feeling, every thought — is being experienced by the universe itself. It cannot be any other way. You, are the universe.
Fully realizing this, so that it seeps into the core of ones consciousness and feeling, is perhaps the most difficult thing one can do. It’s impossible for most of us. Evolution made us to be primates that breed and feed and fight — not to transcend our biology and glimpse the higher order of things. Yet, there are a few, a very few, who seem to attain this perspective. They may represent the next step in our evolution as a species. And still, those of us who will never transcend the human condition, we still have the wonders of science to fall back on. In a way, science is a tool for transcendence for those who cannot transcend. Actor, Matthew McConaughey, who is in the media these days selling a book, said something that I thought was very profound: “Science is the practical pursuit of God.”
To me personally, knowing this higher order — this oneness, this non-duality — does exist, makes a difference. This life, this ego, is a fleeting phenomenon, but it exists within a great mystery, one so vast that I cannot comprehend it. But I’ll keep trying.
This will have to do.
I think its mostly synonymous with naturalism. Unity of nature. Unity of being. Uni-verse. One world… or even if there are many worlds they exist within a unified natural continuum. That sort of thing.
But it also flips around depending on who you ask. While theism/deism is usually dualistic some faiths posit that all of reality is encompassed and represented by a single being, usually unintelligible to us directly. Advaita Vedanta suggests that we can only discern details using symbols and concepts that have no existence as a way to define it in the negative… like a black hole maybe. But there are native american versions and jewish versions. Semitic deities similarly can often not be represented directly Buddhism is mostly non dualistic to the best of my understanding. My knowledge is just passing and should be taken with a grain… or maybe dual grains.
My intuition is that non dualism is a better way to think about the concrete world. Whatever ones ontology or meta physics might be. Dualism is still good for the manipulation of concepts, symbols and images.