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    Thread: What is nonduality ?

    1. #1
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      What is nonduality ?

      Tell me about your experiences of nonduality, if you believe you had one !

      Is it possible to put it into words ( that is, duality ) ?

      I prefer to define nonduality by giving an account of my subjective experiences, but in general i would agree that the first level of nonduality is to recognize the separation between awareness and objects ( that is, merging all objects into sameness ) and then, second level, to merge awareness and objects again.

      In my case, i seem to experience nonduality when i am in large crouds of people, and this is not the common sensation of depersonalization. However my biggest nonduality experience to date was catalyzed once when i as alone, home. I was feeling sadness and nostalgic thoughts, but then suddenly it just became an experience without owner, my sense of self disappeared. I was left with those very intense sensations, but there was no resistance at all.

      I am convinced that the cultivation of nonduality is possible, but only through indirect means, that is: i think we can only cultivate the conditions for it to appear naturally, but surely we can !
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      I'm still confused about your description of non-duality. I think perhaps I have experienced this before?

      When I was younger I tried Salvia. I did not take the plant in original form, but a concentrated extract deposited on dry leaves of the plant. I think I may have taken too much at once because the following experience was very unsettling:

      I saw the common exterior of reality peel back and was disgusted at the banality of the real workings behind the exterior. I then lost all sense of self and time (from here I will continue to use "I" to describe my experience even though at the time I had no concept of "I"). I took eternity as the common experience and could not comprehend time as humans normally do. I experienced being in a vast dark chamber with no visible walls or ceiling. I was constrained to the ground by a thin, translucent film (but the ground was blackness so it may not have existed). I felt fear being in this state. I then saw myself constrained, in 3rd person (there was no light where I was, but I could see).

      Eventually I returned to a more "normal" state where there was light and people. However, I was the carpet. I was still constrained and eventually started ripping myself off the floor. I could feel the tacks holding me down popping out of the floorboards. The lady of the house saw me (the carpet) coming off the floor and yelled at me for "ruining myself".

      After that I slowly came back to reality. There was a pleasant moment where I saw the world in waxy colors of blue, yellow, green, and red. When I could finally communicate again the first thing out of my mouth was "I don't want to go back there again".

      I was only out for 5 minutes, but it seriously felt the closest thing to eternity I've ever thought to know. I was with a group of friends when I did this, and when I regained my consciousness they told me they almost called an ambulance during the short time I was out. Apparently I turned the palest shade of white they had ever seen while I was...dreaming?...visioning?...I don't know.


      So from this anecdote, would non-duality be the loss of self-identity, or the realization that I was the same as the carpet, or both? Any way you put it, it is the most frightening experience I have ever had. It's odd that I fear that experience even though I do think the lessons it taught me were meaningful.

    3. #3
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      It is often inaccurately described as ego death (a temporary sensation often experienced on hallucinogenic drugs). You get a much more intense version on salvia, but experiencing everything as being one does not require a loss of the self. Your awareness see's your self as one aspect of a gestalt, and lose separation between your perception and what it perceives. In fact, the objects being perceived are the perception.

      Look up nondualism on wikipedia.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 01-25-2014 at 03:36 AM.
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      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      So then it's like the last scene of Herman Hesse's novel Siddhartha where the protagonist sees all the fish in the river as wearing the same face -- the face of the Buddha. Or am I wrong again?

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      No that's about right, or at least it's a facet.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 01-25-2014 at 04:35 AM.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      The words simply do not do justice to the "taste"

      Words cannot adequately convey..

      And even metaphor only points at...
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      "Then, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how your should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms of that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."
      "In seeing, only the seen...." [/QUOTE]


      To be splitting hairs here: Nonduality cannot be an experience because an experience depends on a subject and an object.
      Yet, for the sake of convention, nondual 'experience' is like the Bahiya Sutta quoted above. There is just the world, just these fingers typing, just these words on the computer screen appearing, no me in relation to it.

      For you it is just the awareness of these words, just the computer screen. There is no "experiencer" or no "witness"....

      Sam Harris actually does a great job describing it:

      VagalTone likes this.

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