Absolute Non-duality vs. Embodied Understanding


I often get messages about Absolute Non-duality, so I thought I'd share a conversation with you here. This was a comment under a video on faith explored from the perspective of Non-duality: 


Q: The 'you' is not Awareness. There is no 'you'. Faith has nothing to do with Non-duality. 


A: Non-duality, as the name implies, means that there is no-two, or no separation. In other words, there is one Being / Awareness that experiences Itself alone. In my experience, whether we say 'there is a self and it is Awareness Itself' or 'there is no self' is just semantics, and doesn't have much impact on the way the understanding is lived out in day-to-day life. However, what does have an impact is the separation you've created between Awareness and no self, or Non-duality and other more relative-level approaches or modalities. If there really isn't any separation, everything fits within the model of Non-duality, and there would be no resistance to experiencing thoughts, feelings, others and the world exactly as they appear, moment-by-moment. In other words, there is no self to judge what is Non-dual and what isn't, because everything just is.


Q: You're in the illusion. There is no other experience. Any idea or concept or word is the illusion. There is not a "way" to "know" anything but the illusion. If one "believes" they have an "understanding", rest assured they have absolutely no idea what they are. Ever. Ever. 


A: What is wrong with being in illusion if that is what is unfolding? Your answers imply free will, and an acting agent that seems to choose between 'being in illusion' & 'knowing what I am'. No such acting agent exists. Your True Self embraces everything exactly as it unfolds, without resisting it or trying to change it in any way. This also applies to thoughts and feelings that resist what is. 




Conversations such as these are the reason why I separated the spiritual journey into three steps in my 'Three stages of Awakening' table. In the second stage, there is a difference or created duality between Non-dual Awareness and everything else. In the last stage, this seeming duality also dissolves, together with any belief of being a separate 'doer'.


Absolute Non-duality is the ultimate vedantic approach. It still implies a self that can return to Awareness or dissolve experience back to its True Source. What I call embodied or applied Non-duality is the ultimate tantric approach, which is letting everything unfold exactly as it does.