The philosophy of nonduality refers to perceiving and understanding awareness, consciousness, and all appearances as “not two.” Another way of saying this is…awareness, consciousness, and appearances are not divided, do not exist in time and space, and have no elements of being personal, though awareness and consciousness feels quite intimate to the body and brain.
Nonduality seems to be the new buzzword in science and spiritual circles and everything old is suddenly new again. The teachings of nonduality slowly arrived in the US as the foundational teachings of Zen, Tao, Vedanta, Sufism, along with the mystical Christian teachings of Jesus the Christ, St. John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart, and St. Teresa of Avila.
Modern nonduality teachers I studied include Ramana Maharshi, Richard Rose, Wei Wu Wei, Alan Watts, and Nisargadatta Maharaj. While living, these teachers spoke and wrote of the necessity to expose the illusory veils of personal identity and external reality through a rigorous and committed practice of self inquiry.
Many are highly motivated to explore the “nondual” nature of awareness, not understanding it naturally appears spontaneously, impersonally, and completely uncaused. Awareness is not divisible so there is no possibility of there being a personal awareness or consciousness. Believing that you have a personal awareness or consciousness does not make it so. That humans seem to notice the aliveness they feel drives many seekers to know more about the ‘personal’ awareness or consciousness they believe they possess.
The personal ego, arising around the age of 12 – 24 months continually and relentlessly works to promote itself and the assumed perpetual personal existence. It tirelessly works to name, claim, categorize and own each and every experience as personal and unique to itself, totally oblivious to the impersonal nature of awareness.
The ego/brain/mind claims ownership of the body. In most spiritual traditions, dogma encourages and supports a personal ego or personal self to make choices towards one belief system or another in order to preserve an essence of a personal self after death, not understanding that all appearances are the impersonal play of awareness in an illusory dream of itself as itself.