What is Nonduality
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Clarifying the nondual perspective -- Part 2
by Jerry Katz
In the previous post I spoke about nonduality from three different perspectives:
-- the perspective of mystical union
-- the perspective of consciousness
-- the perspective of the absolute
I would like to say a little more about the perspective of mystical union.
The perspective of mystical union is characterized by an experience of oneness with what appears to be God, Divine Being, the intelligence of the universe, cosmic consciousness. It is a powerful experience, often described as more real than everyday reality. Because the experiencer becomes bound to the experience, it is called the perspective of mystical union. The insight from the experience becomes the person's reference point regarding the nature of reality. Ask that person about the nature of reality and their bottom line explanation is that it is love, God, radiance, ineffable intelligence, love, grace, beauty. An unusual, powerful event that occured becomes a reference point.
A person's life could be changed by such an experience. There could even be changes that occur at the cellular level within a person. They could look different, communicate differently. This is a kind of nondual experience. It is an experience in which non-separation is a hallmark. Existence is seen as bathed in love, light, God. There is a oneness, a nondual-ness to the experience and to the newly minted mystic's understanding of the structure of existence. This experience often results in many positive changes in a person's life and environment.
The perspective of mystical union has an experience tied to it, an image, a memory of a state or condition. The hallmark of mystical experience is unity. It is also attachment to the experience, to the knowledge gained, and to the change in life that is often undergone. Here are some experiences that could occur at the level of mystical union:
Encounters with angels and other dream- or psyche-based visitors
Esthetic experiences that are transportive
Kundalini experiences in which the force and intelligence of "the universe" is clearly encountered and in which there may be an intimacy with light and God
Out of the body experiences
Religiously inspired experiences
Wilderness experiences and other encounters with nature which reveal the presence of God everywhere.
Perhaps many, if not most readers, have had at least one mystical experience and have ultimately benefitted from it. (I say "ultimately" because a mystical experience could be very challenging to assimilate into a life.) These are experiences of unity, oneness and revelation. They are nondual because there is non-separation between the individual and what is understood to be God, reality, infinite intelligence.
However, nonduality could be used to describe any type of non-separation. Besides the religious, spiritual, philosophical, psychological, and quantum physics contexts, the term nonduality is used in the credit card business to mean non-separation by banks regarding the acceptance and use of Visa and MasterCard. As one report on the credit card industry stated, "With one or more bank mergers, non-duality rules will likely fall." http://www.cibc.com/ca/pdf/investor/121102-croucher-pret.pdf.
It could be said that the perspective of mystical union means the acceptance of Visa and MasterCard equally. It is as though you were always carrying a Visa card and now suddenly you see it's no different than MasterCard and that the whole world is really one and this knowledge comes in a flash, like a light, and it becomes your place of reference in understanding the nature of reality. A connection with something greater has been made.
The perspective of mystical union means you have something in your wallet. It is a credit card that is the mergence of all credit cards. It's a good currency. It buys peace and understanding, love and properity. This kind of card, experience, or currency, is one kind of nonduality.
The perspective of mystical union has been discussed. To talk about the perspective of consciousness, you have to cut up your credit card and empty your wallet. And by now you see that the perspective of the absolute means throwing your wallet in the trash can, for Uncle Leo.
~ ~ ~
from Seinfeld episode, The Watch (Part 2) http://www.stanthecaddy.com/the-watch-part-2-script.html. JERRY is Jerry Seinfeld.
Uncle Leo has the trunk of his car open and looks impatient.
LEO: Hey, let's go! It's twelve (checks watch) uh, .
MORTY: Alright, Leo.
JERRY: Hey, uncle Leo.
LEO: Hi, hi...
JERRY: How you doing?
There are murmurs of greetings.
JERRY: This is some beautiful parking spot you got here.
LEO: Yeah, I hate to give it up.
JERRY: Yeah. Hey, dad, you sure you don't need any more money?
JERRY: Alright, I'm just joking. Listen, have a nice trip.
HELEN: (hugging Jerry) Bye bye, Jerry.
GEORGE: Bye Mrs Seinfeld, take care.
MORTY: Bye bye. (hugging Jerry) Thanks again for the wallet.
GEORGE: (shaking hands with Morty) Morty, always a pleasure.
JERRY: Take care now. So long.
Jerry and George walk away to cross the street back to the
They speak quietly, so's Helen and Morty don't overhear.
GEORGE: Yeah, like he was really gonna take your money.
JERRY: Oh, he took it. I put four hundred dollars in the new wallet.
GEORGE: You're kidding.
JERRY: He lost all that cash. It was the only way I could give
to him, otherwise he wouldn't accept it.
GEORGE: Man, would I like to see the look on his face.
Jerry gives a final wave to his parents. They wave back.
MORTY: You believe this?
MORTY: (indicates the new wallet) It's velcro.
HELEN: You're kidding.
MORTY: Who needs this?
He tosses the wallet into the trash bin.
MORTY: Leo, let's go.
Morty and Helen climb into Leo's car. Leo closes the trunk and
toward the driver's door. He stops, as something catches his eye. Leo picks the
wallet out of the trash, looks around to see if anyone's watching, and tucks it
into his pocket as he goes to get in the car.
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