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The Relationship between Duality and Non-duality

What are they?

Duality is the conventional modern understanding that the world consists of separate entities that function separately, with little or no interchange.

On the other hand, nonduality is the Eastern and aboriginal philosophy, spirituality, and quantum physics backed understanding that there is only one universal essence or substance and humans, animals, plants, the winds, oceans, the sun and all planets, and the whole Universe are made of.  Spiritual traditions have called this substance Great/Holy Spirit, Advaita, Brahman, Tao, Nirvana or  God.  We call this Consciousness-At-Large.


Theoretical physicists have arrived at the same conclusion: our universe of separate, individual objects is indeed comprised of a single substance.  We belive this substance is the total Consciousness-at-Large and all the forms we see in the wprld or universe are the forms that arise from its movement.  Like the living cells comprising a living thing, humans, mountains, animals and everyhting else are "cells"  of this single being, inextricably interconnected and comprising an all-encompassing Universal Self.

How do they co-exist?

Simply put, dualistic understanding exists only in human mind, which is at odds with the rest of reality.  The two states of consciousness develop into different attitudes towards environment, other humans, animals, and the planet.

Is reality a dream?

This question is asked from a duaNot in the way we understand dreams - as being unreal.  This dream is real.  It is the only reality there is.   We inter-dream a dream that has flexibility within the limits the Universal Oneness allows.  We inter-are.

Dualistic vs Non-Dualistic Worldviews

Dualistic Worldview


  • Emphasizes understanding separate phenomena or entities.  Philosopher knowledge.

  • Exists in people's (ego) minds.

  • Merit rests solely in refining his/her thinking beyound that of other thinkers, and in the novelty and challenge of their theoretical argument


  • Conceives dualistic solutions in line with secular world thinking

  • Becomes worthy and knowledgable by debating against others with better arguments than theirs


  • Emphasizes the objective


  • The "self" is the ego that comes up with, problem solving, emotions and actions

  • Even the most memorable philosophers, like Immanuel Kant, David Hume, Georg W. F. Hegel, Karl Marx, have not impacted humanity significantly


  • Does not need to connect to anything or anyone, nor does he have to be a morally good person or prove himself a worthy member of the community (as sages do)


  • Concerned with comparing and contrasting individuals, viewpoints, etc. in abstraction of relationships.



  • CONCLUSION:  Idealistic thinking, divorced from heart, spirit, human community, and from the primal reality of the universe, is a violation of the integrity of the mental, physical, familial, and social aspects of human life.  Such disharmonies appear to be separate dis-eases, but are the visible manifestation of the dis-integrated consciousness of the philosopher worldview we selected as our cultural outlook.

Non-dualistic Worldview



  • Emphasizes relationships as the most important ingredient of the world.  Entities are fleeting whirlpools of these relationships and do not matter,  Knowledge is Sagehood, sacred wisdom

  • It is the nature of reality validated by quantum physics.

  • Merist rests in harmonizing with others, the pursuit of balance between self and other humans, and between humans and the greater scheme of all things

  • Conceives non-dualistic solutions in harmony with the Sacred / Divine Mind


  • Becomes worthy by bringing balance and harmony between self and others and between people and Nature

  • Emphasizes how the person actually feels - the "phenomenological experience" .

  • Has forsaken ego. Is guided by the Spirit Essence of All Creation

  • Sages such as Moses, Christ, Krishna, Mohammad, the Buddha, Rumi, Gandhi, and Yogananda, have ALL been pivotal in the development of human consciousness


  • Practices self-cultivation and strives for balance, harmoniousness, and human perfection in relationships to others and between humans and other aspects of existence


  • Concerned with relationships between self and others and between human beings with the greater order of all things.



  • CONCLUSION:  Robert C. Neville put it best:  "Sages understand memories and expectations, guilt and frustrations, joys and sorrows, suffering, pain, triumph, ecstasy, nobility, depravity, honor, degradation, sincerity, mendacity, stress and release. They understand the combinations and ambiguities of these in the lives of persons and... their understanding allows them to follow the trail of what is important through the underbrush of triviality that they cleave to what is essential.  Sages are those who understand people.  What people?  Anyone."


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