What does non-duality really mean?
Does anyone know what they're talking about?
What is non-duality, and what does it actually mean? What happens when we discover or experience it? How does it actually feel to be awake to non-duality?
Is it even real? And if it is, what is the right or appropriate meta-position to adopt if we want to fully embrace this seemingly elusive and mysterious truth?
Non-duality is said to be the natural and true condition of reality as a whole, inner and outer. In this context, there is no particular feeling or experience associated with it. An authentically awakened soul is in a profoundly simple and lucid state of unquestioning acceptance – a doubtless presumption of non-dual truth.
But paradoxically, we are told that if we want to be free we must make enlightenment our primary goal and aspiration in life – the discovery and embrace of non-duality or the absolute principle must become our number one priority and guiding star, and we must pursue it with an almost superhuman intensity.
How can both be true? Why would we choose to relentlessly pursue that which is always already our natural condition?
Some traditions point us to the illusory nature of our belief in unfreedom, urging us to cease making any effort to be free, and in the process discover our own doubtlessness. In the presence and transmission of a true teacher, this is indeed a powerful path and practice.
Others emphasise the primary importance of a one-pointed intention to awaken, placing the pursuit of absolute truth at the heart of everything we do. In this teaching context, the path and the goal are seen as one and the same.
So who is right, and does anybody really know what they’re talking about? What ultimate position can we choose to take, in relation to our experience, that reveals and holds a truly non-dual perspective?
Tune in this week with Andrew Cohen to discover a complex and metaphysically subtle, yet fully rational, perspective on non-duality that might just help to clear up some of the confusion around this most primary of spiritual questions.