Q & A about nonduality
When you are trying to reach something,
you see a distance between you and that thing.
As regards the truth about reality there is no actual distance.
But the truth does not belong to you as a mere object,
you and the truth are the same thing! (E.V.)
Is nonduality a form of knowledge or an experience?
Nonduality is the natural state of existence. It is the condition in which reality manifests itself. We are not normally aware of this fundamental characteristic of reality, nor it is transmitted to us by the main cultural models. There is nothing to "regain" because nothing has been "lost", it is only a matter of developing a greater awareness of what reality and ourselves really are, transforming our belief of being all separate entities.
Why to seek a new vision of reality?
The search for the ultimate answer regarding the nature of reality is normally considered to be of exclusive interest to philosophers and scholars and seems not to regard the concrete problems of daily living. Instead, the very vision we have of existence in general, and of our role in it specifically, constitutes that framework within which we develop our own identity and establish (mostly at the unconscious level) our personal goals and make our choices. For this reason, a new vision of reality produces effective changes at all levels in our lives.
Why working to develop our awareness?
Awareness is the clarity of the nature and the sense of the processes occurring inside and outside us. The highest awareness is that concerning the non−dualistic nature of reality and the unitary nature of its manifestation. It permits to answer the questions "what is reality?" and "who am I?". The formation of our awareness about reality's fundamental nature is unfortunately imbued, since its first formation, with inputs that recall the dualistic principle as the certain foundation of our existence. This reinforces the belief of separation between the individual and everything else, at every level, physical and metaphysical. The awareness of the nonduality of reality and existence, therefore, has the progressive effect of transforming the way we interact with and respond to every aspect of life, allowing a new experience of resonance with all the existing. Non−dualistic awareness reached through knowledge is the way proposed by this path.
We often read that the mind or the intellect are inadequate to grasp the absolute dimension of existence, and therefore of reality, because they are relative instruments.
Even the mind, or the intellect which can be considered as its faculty, is a form of the same, sole manifestation of what you call the absolute. Therefore, the mind attaining the absolute is actually the absolute recognizing itself.
Is this way a way to reach "enlightenment"?
In the non-dualistic vision, all attempts to access states of consciousness transcending the self we are normally identified with, through techniques, disciplines, or other modalities, are welcome but mostly not sufficient to attain a higher knowledge and awareness of the truth about reality’s nature and manifestation. They may produce a transformative experience at various levels, however, this experience should not be considered as necessary to reach a higher awareness and a non-dualistic vision, since, as seen in many cases, even the most transcendental experience is often interpreted in a dualistic sense, reinforcing the original belief of the subject of being separate. Furthermore, representing such experience as a form of reunification with the whole of existence, entails dualistic premises negating the natural state of the subject of being already part of the sole and unitary reality. It is therefore better to consider them different levels of awareness more or less integrated in one's own life experience.
To develop a non−dualistic awareness is it necessary to reduce the influence of the ego?
From the perspective of nonduality, there are no two distinct entities, the self and the ego, or the identity and the ego. There is only one individual self which is a temporary and impermanent manifestation of the same sole reality. If we then want to further subdivide it to generate new experiences (and therefore different forms and processes within the manifestation of reality), it will not affect its unitary nature. Also, the ego is not the true responsible for our belief of a dual reality, being it the result of our cognitive processes also influenced by our idiom.
What happens when we develop a clear awareness of nonduality?
What was before in one's life will probably remain the same. Only, it will be experienced from a different perspective and therefore with a different sense and value. The new meaning given to each experience and to life in general will in turn influence our inner state, with more freedom to our choices and a greater entrustment to the flow of life, recognizing ourselves as an integral part of it, no longer separate.
Are you teaching Advaita?
Advaita is based on millenary Indian wisdom texts, in which the nature of reality and its manifestation are widely investigated and described, but there are also many other non-dualistic currents of thought, philosophies, schools and teachings, both Eastern and Western, old and more recent ones. Still embracing the same fundamental truth of the non-dual nature of reality, there are some differences with respect to Advaita in my teaching approach and, therefore, in the path to awareness through knowledge here described. In particular, the realness of the experience is not denied, nor is that of the subject, just considering them as different forms of the common and unitary manifestation of the sole existing reality.
Who is qualified to teach the principles of nonduality?
The principles of nonduality are simple to state and we often find them used in different contexts and with various aims. What really matters, however, is transforming the intellectual understanding of such principles into one's own awareness, and therefore life experience. It therefore it is not enough just to learn them, they must become the foundation of our vision of reality, of life and ourselves. The process of restructuring our beliefs, primarily that of being separate entities that each lead their own existence, requires the use of appropriate cognitive tools. If you are accompanied by those who have already taken it, and perhaps dedicate their lives to this role, it is certainly preferable. Everyone has in mind their own image of "master" and, looking for those who match that image, often ignore their teacher when they meet him.
What if I also want to make a universal unity experience?
After internalizing the non-dualistic vision, what we call “experience of universal unity” or “unity with the whole” acquires a new sense, becoming simply one of reality’s infinite processes occurring through the human being,
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