The world outside is made of different things. It is generally characterized as opposites – up and down, inside and outside, true and false, black and white etc. It is construed as a dualistic world of opposites. However, in reality, do opposites exist?
Isn’t it just a name, form, or characteristic that we give to an object, which essentially makes it non-dual? The source of it is still the same and beyond all these mind-made opposites. This is what the principle of non duality focuses on – oneness as the universal essence.
This principle originates from the Sanskrit word called Advaita, which simply means ‘not two’ and refers to a wholeness of life in the present, past, and future. It’s a word that points at unity, and despite the compelling appearance of separation or diversity, there is only one universal reality.
Introduction to Non-Duality
Our minds are full of thoughts and feelings that keep changing every moment. Yet, there is something within that does not change. It is the innate light of consciousness that illuminates all experience.
According to the non-dual principles, each human’s awareness and the light in us when fully revealed belong to wholeness. If only you can catch the very essence of existence, it will put you on the right path of self-discovery towards inner peace and freedom.
Here are five essential things you need to understand about the principle of oneness:
- Inquiry Must Be Done Within, Not Outside
A major folly that we all think is true is that we get happiness from outside. However, true happiness lies within. This is why one has to perform self-inquiry to seek happiness and peace from within and not rely on the material world that only gives us a temporary state of happiness.
Who Am I? What is my essence that is responsible for all the activities of the body and mind? If one focuses on seeking self-inquiry, they can experience non duality and invoke a heightened state of consciousness. Happiness resides in the simple understanding of our being as it truly is.
- There is no Destination, Dwell on the Present Journey
The absolute reality is the present state of mind. So, come out of your epic story of time – the past and the future and things you possibly cannot control and focus on the now. It’s vital to be curious about the current alive strain of thoughts, sensation, feelings to get your answers and realize your original self.
Dwelling on the past and future can create a sense of urgency and powerlessness. Your place of power is present. Therefore, non-duality focuses on your present state of consciousness that is your true essence.
- Non-Duality is not a Religion
Non duality is not restricted to any one of the world religions in particular. It is an understanding of the ultimate source and nature of reality as it is. It teaches that human nature, in its true essence, is not different from the absolute or universal being called God.
Our inner consciousness, known as Atman, originates from the external consciousness of this world called Brahman and is the same. It presents ethics and practices as ways to direct knowledge of the absolute truth and reality.
- Detachment from Outward Appearances
An essential quality of non-dual principles, yet it is commonly misunderstood by all, Detachment does not mean giving up. Rather it means to give up looking at surface appearances of matter and looking at things from the right perspective.
In Sanskrit, this is termed as Vairagya or a detachment born out of self-realization of the inner being and not being preoccupied with trivial ups and downs that form a part of the outward experience.
- Reality is One and Positive
The nature of ultimate reality is oblivious to the human mind and can be experienced through meditation and other practices. In the non-dual philosophy, there is one ultimate reality known as Brahman or the Supreme Being that is the origin of every existence in this world. There cannot be more than one reality. There is one reality that is absolute without any change, action, or causality.
The path towards non duality begins with the supreme realization of life and the underlying unity of all. The basis of life comes from one source, and we all belong to that source – this is the essence of oneness, and when you look at unity as essence, it will become the true basis of ethical behavior and take us towards inner peace and happiness.
Our inner consciousness is part of the ultimate consciousness with which all experience is known and out of which all experience is made.