3-DVD set, 21 interviews, 600 minutes
The following are excerpts from responses to the question, What is nonduality? They are found on Volume 3 of the DVD set:
What Is Nonduality?
Peter Russell, Author, Philosopher:
Nonduality … means the universe is not dual, there is one common essence to the universe. … Science is nondual. It’s basic philosophy is that there is a unified field, a oneness which we are approaching. In spiritual circles … the nonduality is where the essence is awareness … consciousness … a different sort of nonduality … both of them see the fundamental nature of things, the oneness behind everything.
Thomas Ray, Professor of Zoology and Computer Science, University of Oklahoma:
Nonduality involves absence of self or sense of self and the feeling of oneness or unity with everything, with the universe. I’ve believed that nonduality is just the plain truth. The universe is one thing and we’re all part of the universe and that it isn’t nonduality that needs explanation, it’s duality that needs explanation. In fact, there is a mental organ that produces duality, just one. Without the activity of that mental organ, we would experience nonduality as the normal state.
Shaikh Kabir Helminski, Author, Sufi teacher:
The way we see it in the Sufi tradition is that — particularly for mystic consciousness — we understand that everything is rooted in the divine. Everything is unified in a field of oneness. Practically speaking what that means is that my consciousness, my love, my will, my generosity if I have any, my capacity for forgiveness, all of these have their attributes in the source of the divine. … This nonduality has a kind of quality to it … that is deeply personal as well as cosmic and impersonal because we realize the human being is the ripened fruit of that nonduality. The nonduality doesn’t cancel our human individuality. … We don’t make a big deal about nonduality because we know and trust that everything comes from God. The God that we’re talking about is subtle and integral to this whole creation. … Poetry suggests it. We communicate more through poetry than through abstract theory.
John Prendergast, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology, CIIS
Nonduality, for me, points to the basic absence of difference between self and other, between subject and object, between perceiver and perceived. When the Buddha said form is emptiness and emptiness is form, this is statement of nondual perception. When nothing looks out and sees that it’s everything, this is the experience of nonduality. The apparent division between self and other is seen through. … The reality of the seamless wholeness nature of reality reveals itself. … It’s a deep understanding and knowing that there is essentially no separation.
Olga Louchakova, Director, Neurophenomenology Research Center, ITP Prof.:
Nonduality is the certain perspective on self and consciousness which makes one to experience being and consciousness as undivided and nonseparate from every other consciousness which can be perceived initially as different. It’s the experience of consciousness as being undivided, experience of your own being as being connected with the rest of the universe, and being one with the rest of the universe even though you may not have the perception of the whole universe at the moment. Most importantly, the experience of nonduality is the experience of authenticity, of authentic, unlimited, nonconstricted being, experience of being yourself, experience of living life with no fear.
Tim Freke, Scholar, Author, Stand up Philosopher:
My experience is that fundamentally reality is characterized by polarity. For me it’s not nondual or dual. It’s both at the same time. … Polarity is opposites, but they can only exist together. … They’re two and one at the same time. The paradox of our predicament is that it’s two and one at the same time. I see no reason to prejudice one over the other. In fact, I see a necessity to be conscious of both. What I’ve looked for is an image that can capture that experience. For me the image is lucid living, which is a state comparable to lucid dreaming, only now. … On the one hand I am Tim … I’m actually so individual that I inhabit this unique point in space and time and no one else can or ever will inhabit it. Then there’s the discovery of this deeper nature, the subject itself, not the object, the “I”, that which is witnessing this, and if I go deeply into that now it is a vast spaciousness in which all this is arising just like in a dream. And those two exist together, so “here” it’s all one, “here” it’s all separate. Which is true? They’re both true.