What is Nonduality?

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/brain.

(c) Carlos Gotay

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, and St. Teresa of Avila.

I studied the writings of modern nonduality teachers including 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, or meditative 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.  The very fact what humans seem to notice the aliveness they feel spurs them to know more about the ‘personal’ awareness or consciousness they believe they possess.

The personal ego, arising around the age of twelve to twenty-four months continually and relentlessly works to promote itself and the assumed perpetual personal existence.  It tirelessly works to name, claim, categorize and own each moment 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 to preserve an essence of a personal self after death, not understanding that all is the impersonal play of awareness in an illusory dream of itself as itself.

Truly, a personal self can never be enlightened or self-realized since the personal self is simply an illusory projection by the brain to perpetuate the existence of itself.  There is only impersonal awareness appearing as this momentary and edgeless dreamscape.

What is…is simply an uncaused, impersonal, choiceless awareness, an emptiness appearing to hold everything, yet nothing at all…a timeless, edgeless, seamless, illusory dreamscape of itself as itself.

Anita

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