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Non-duality explained

11th August 2018, Author: Nic Higham

Non-duality definition 

I’ve realized that loneliness, isolation, and anxiety are not as clear-cut as they first seem. Their roots go far deeper than merely having too much stress or not enough social contact. Alternatively, realizing our aloneness (oneness) can be a catalyst to reflect, to meet and understand ourselves, not just as people, but as a seamless part of life itself. I’m pointing to the reality that we’re ultimately not individuals but expressions of the One Life, and as such, unified with wholeness. Aloneness is synonymous with oneness.

Fundamentally, the root of suffering is our perceived separateness from life, which means that we experience life through the eyes of duality.

Believing myself to be fundamentally separate has been a catalyst of great confusion and pain in my life. My loneliness, isolation, and forlornness have taught me a lot about myself and life when I’ve been willing to sit and listen to them. My own pain, that is, my humanness, coupled with my openness and curiosity, are my only real qualifications for writing this book. Though the road has not always been painless, my existential angst has served me well throughout my journey to return home. If you also find yourself lost, lonely, and afraid sometimes, know that these feelings are teaching you. Every insight is a gift of the unlikely marriage of pain and honesty, and you’ll no doubt have many insights of your own.

According to Advaita (meaning “not two”) Vedanta philosophy, which dates back thousands of years, we’re told of and systematically guided to the realization that we’re not defined by or limited to our personality or our body, not even to our localized consciousness; they are purely temporary, equal expressions of supreme reality, or the ground of existence, which Vedanta calls Brahman. Indefinable, Brahman is life’s ultimate underlying Source, the fundamental reality, and we’re invited to know this truth directly.

Our supreme Self, Brahman, illuminates our every mode of life— it’s what makes existence possible. It’s without a trace of duality, without a beginning or end, prior to universal laws such as cause- effect and time and space, unlimited, undivided, changeless. Calmly and silently, it permeates our every experience. It is the heart of unconditional love and joy. It’s the life that you are.

How to realize non-duality? A good place to begin is to recognize that loneliness and isolation aren’t just brought on by the lack of a healthy social life, or anything we lack. If truth be told, we’re under the spell of a much more fundamental and illusive sort of isolation. Such feelings are rooted in seeing life through the distorting filters of desire and fear— desire causing us to crave things we see ourselves as lacking, fear expressed as avoidance and defensiveness. Paradoxically, even our search for intimacy may be the reason for such feelings.

Because of our narrowed, distorted focus, we’ve become apparently disconnected from our essential Aliveness, which is universal. We are so accustomed to perceiving a dualistic paradigm; there’s “me” and a world of “others” existing in an infinite and vastly unknown universe of disparate objects.

Aliveness is not divided into separate subjective egos. I call this kind of seeing “discerning focus.” It’s not possible to cultivate Aliveness because it already is.

As we release our stories of aversion and attraction, we meet the present moment with a lucid and gentle responsiveness. If we dare to look and surrender, or rather realize that we are already surrendered, we rise above the fictions we have created for ourselves. Then, we start to effortlessly love what is without expectation and encounter our infinite potential. This radical mindfulness is the moment- by- moment clarification and focusing of the mind; it’s a way of relating with the full scope of our experience through being mindful and broadening our spiritual “vision.” Being aware this way, we realize that whatever is present has a rightful place for no other reason than because it already is here, whether the mind likes it or not! Our potential, as the Source, is always flowing through everything with no effort because it isn’t trying to become or reach a point; it just is.

In the body- mind, Self is echoed as Knowing and felt as Aliveness. Aliveness can recognize itself and discern its wholeness; Deep Knowing cannot look at itself because it isn’t dualistic— its vision transcends the seen and the seer. The aloneness of oneness, albeit radical, suggests an opposing state of connection or relationship, both of which infer a connection between two or more entities. “Advaita,” a more accurate way to define non-duality of Deep Knowing, means “not two.” It’s for this reason that the word “oneness” (and all words) can only take us so far in this exploration of life. No expression of life is final.

The above are some non-duality quotes from my non-duality book published by Non-duality Press: Living the Life That You Are: Finding Wholeness You Feel Lost, Isolated, and Afraid’ by Nic Higham

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