There seems to be two descriptions of non-duality:
1. Recognition of one’s true nature as Self/Atman/Pure Awareness/Consciousness and with that seeing that mind and all thoughts & perceptions are illusory and not “real”, including the thought “I” and perceived sense of “I am”. With recognition of true nature comes recognition/acceptance/surrender to the truth that all things – thoughts and perceptions are the Self/… manifesting and therefore is non-dual by nature and definition.
- The perception/experience of subject-object disappears and there is no “boundary” Between perceived and perceived and no sense of “I” or “I Am” ( though I question this – see below “test” ) and this is called non-duality though I prefer to call it unicity.
In both cases Awareness is required as primary – to be aware of and as Mind/Thought in the first case and to be aware of the experience of no sense of I and unicity in the second.
Both are not mutually exclusive or mutually necessary/implied/required:e.g. one can have direct recognition of true Self and not have an experience of unicity.
Once can have an experience of unicity and not recognize truth of true Self.
Correlation is not causation – and I highly doubt most of the posters have direct experience.
If I ask one who recognizes their true Self if they exist, they would answer: Yes and No:
No, because true Self is beyond space and time and therefore cannot be said to exist: Existence defined as being in space and time. Nisargadatta often answers from this perspective, e.g.: “I was never born and will never die”
Yes, as the apparent manifestation of mind-thought-created external reality and thought “I” and sense of “I am” which is required to/is used to answer the question, exists in space and time, yet all of this arises within the Self – beyond space and time. Yet these are thoughts only and are illusory and in reality, do not exist.
If I ask one who is experiencing unicity, they would answer Yes.
Lastly, the experience of non-duality through unicity is just that. An experience and therefore Awareness is required and primary. So, can one have the experience of unicity and still not recognize their true nature as Self?
1 + 1 != 2
“Since the Self can never be proved objectively, it always remains a mystery to the human mind and a subject of speculation, skepticism
and conjecture.” I would add that the mind, if quiet enough and “open” enough and willingly surrendered to/accepted the truth of Atman, can get a vague sense of it by deduction – e.g. a foot print in the snow may indicate a foot and therefore a person was there – but one cannot know more than that and cannot see the person who made the step. Or pure energy cannot be seen – but one can see light.
I am “new” to Realization territory and am “just getting my sea legs” and still have noob mind.
I source all the information and answers that I need directly.
In my case, while Realization of true Self occurred 2 weeks ago, I have been practicing for 25 + years (though I formally stopped for the last 12).
Now, I still see the thought/sense of I / I am arise when for example someone asks me something – although I don’t think about it and do not need to create the I in order for action to be carried out.
It is like an organ grinder’s monkey – asleep next to the organ grinder until you offer it a peanut then it wakes up, grabs the peanut east it (or whatever) and goes back to sleep.
There is no identification with the sense of I am.
And yet if you asked me am I do I exist. I would have to say yes from that perspective and there would be something there to answer the question.
Do you have experience with this or do you know others? Do they still have the sense of I am arise for the convenience of answering ego type questions, but then it basically goes back to sleep or doesn’t bother them very much.
My mind is mostly still or empty most of the time.
But people in the ND forum keep talking about the loss of ego or ego annihilation or loss of sense of I or I am.
I have dis-identified with the ego that is for sure, but I would say the ego doesn’t actually go away. It’s more like a little monkey that sits next to me and goes and does stuff when I ask it to.
So, I must conclude that:
- Ppl are not speaking from their own personal experience (what a shock! jk)
- The term death, loss, etc. is pointing to dis-identification with the I/ego – which I bet could feel like “death” – though for me it was gradual, so I hardly noticed when the dis-identification took place, although it did appear as an actual physical experience.
I also still practice following the meditation I/who am I in focusing on the feeling of that electric vibration in my body and focus my attention. I expect this to deepen as time progresses.
I have your ability to play songs in my head and listen to them pretty much note for note exactly as they are recorded – I’ve used that to try and avoid pretty much everything else in my life that was annoying or unpleasant. But now I don’t let that happen. I just stay quiet in my head and focus on the feeling of the buzz, breathe and bell and feeling of “pure awareness-lite, less filling taste great! that fits “inside” my head and I can walk around semi-normal while “abiding in the PA. “
Think Griff’s head – the universe in place of his mind – but it fits under a ski cap in MIB III
Though I actually don’t like that term “abide” which implies separation: the here sitting in that over there. Ugh.
However, I’ve had experiences of pure consciousness and pure awareness that were what I called the vast vast vastness – of where it was literally infinity, and I was appearing in it and It’s more “convenient” to carry the PA-lite around with me when I have to go shopping and stuff.
Plus the energy wife calls The Exuberance like having it turned up to 11.
That happened recently – prior to the Realization. I think it got turned up so high in order to work through and burn through stuff very quickly in prep for the Realization that was coming. So I had three intense experiences of pure awareness, combined with high exuberance – up all night all the cosmic stuff . Fortunately, now it’s ramped down and I’m perfectly happy with what it is it – I get a few hours sleep – write the rest of the time or meditate and rest while kitties sleep on me.
I don’t watch anywhere near as many movies as I used to. I read more or write now.
So I’m reading a lot of things that I used to read – I Am That, McKenna books plus new things as well. Apparently right now it’s up for me to work on breath – 4 different people have told me in my life right now I need to work on breath, so OK got it.