Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.acadun.com
3rdc December 2013
What does Non-Duality mean?
Dual or duality means two, as the possibility of more exists. Dual or more is possible because logic and reason imply that each is separate from the other. Non-dual or non-duality would mean not two and imply that it is impossible that even one, let alone more, could exist as a reality or actuality. Non-dual or non-duality would also mean that nothing is separate from the other, while logic and reason imply that everything is separate from each other.
The question is: two or more of what? The logical and reasonable answer is: two or more of everything that exists in this world, which are separate from each other. The list of things that exist in the world that are two or more and separate from each other includes objects, vegetation, animals and human beings. The list also includes actions, knowledge, sciences, religions, traditions, cultures, belief systems, societies, languages, different times, planets and stars in the sky.
Therefore, to the logical, reasoning mind, everything in the world is dual and separate from each other. How does logic and reason determine that everything that exists in the world is dual or more and separate from each other? It determines because logic and reason identify. Man identifies everything that exists in the world and identification establishes that everything that exists is separate from each other. If identification is the criterion to determine separation and the existence of everything, two or more of everything would exist in the world as a reality and actuality. Man identifies and separates everything by its name.
If scientific logic and reasoning were applied to examine the nature of everything to determine its existence, which rightfully should be the criterion, non-duality would be the finding on examination and separation would be non-existent. So to begin, what could the nature of a name be and where does it exist? Scientific reason and logic imply that a name is a word and exists in the mind as a thought and is subtle sound. Scientific reasoning and logic further indicate that sound is basically light. The conclusion would therefore be that a name is an illusory manifestation of sound, which is basically light. A name, therefore, imparts to everything that exists in the world an illusion of reality, actuality, separation, and so duality.
Next, what could be the nature of everything that exists? Again scientific reasoning and logic indicate with proof that their nature is atoms, which is basically light. The space which separates everything from each other is filled with light too. The light radiated from everything that exists manifests an illusion of reality, actuality and separation in the human mind.
So what does non-duality mean? Non-duality means that two or more, which are separate from each other, do not exist as a reality or an actuality, including the space that separates them. They do exist, but their names, reality, actuality and separation are nevertheless illusory.
German Translator's Note:
Life, as man perceives it so far, appears dual. To the mind all that is experienced is either right or wrong, good or bad, big or small. This is the relative understanding that has happend to the majority of mankind so far and it is based on duality which is taken for real. Absolute understanding, however, that is shared by the sages and in this article, reveals that those opposites are illusory and not real, meaning they appear dual but are in fact non-dual. Illusory and real are not opposites as for example right and wrong because all that is perceived and experienced is illusory and not real and not some experiences are illusory and some are not. Absolute understanding of non-duality is therefore not a particular experience but clarity of the non-dual nature of all experiences. This article clarifies many misconceptions about non-duality, let us read and understand!
Dutch translator’s note:
Even though the illusory nature of our world is often spoken of in spiritual circles, I have never before met anyone who has explained this illusion in such clarity and depth. The age-old identifying and naming has laid a veil of separation over everything. But modern man has the ability to understand that everything is build up out of atoms and that these are basically light. De discrepancy between the separation which we believe in and the reasoning and logic of this article, drives the reader to a deeper observation of live.
Paula Smit, The Netherlands