Nondualism explained as simple as possible

by Martijn
Nondualism explained as simple as possible

What you will find in this article

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After having studied nondualism for over five years now, and even writing an entire book about it, I’m confident to say I’ve reached a very good understanding of what it is, how to explain it, and what it can do for you. The truth is, it’s not an easy topic to explain, and most people who try, only manage to confirm their own lack of understanding of nondualism by pulling it back into duality without them even realizing it.

What is nondualism?

So, what is nondualism? Simply put it’s the belief that the only thing that is real is God and that all that exists is one with God, united as one in Heaven into eternity. In this belief, God equals love, Christ, and Spirit. Furthermore, it says everything that appears to be outside of God must be an illusion and cannot be real. 

Understanding what it is not to define nondualism

This is easy to read but not so easy to understand, I am aware of that. It took me a few years before I totally understood it. So, allow yourself to be humble and question your understanding of nondualism until there is nothing more to understand.

Before exploring all details of nondualism, how to understand it, and how it can benefit you, we first need to look into what it is not to get a better picture that will facilitate your understanding later on. This will avoid confusion that can cause a lot of delay in your progress to a more peaceful life through the practice of nondualism.

When you look up nondualism in Wikipedia you will see it states: “Nondualism primarily refers to a mature state of consciousness”. This is also something that you see coming back in some of the most popular videos on Youtube about the topic. However, nondualism can never be a state of consciousness. In fact, consciousness was the first symptom of duality. Wherever there is consciousness there must be duality.

What is consciousness?

To explain why consciousness is part of duality we’ll use Wikipedia again to see how it defines consciousness. “Consciousness, at its simplest, is sentience or awareness of internal and external existence.If non-duality is one, there can never be an awareness of internal and external existence because in nondualism there is no difference between internal and external.

There is nothing that can be differentiated from something else because everything that exists is one. Consciousness describes the awareness of separation. Nondualism is the experience of Oneness. In other words; no separation. So, in fact, consciousness and nondualism are opposites. Although, in reality, nondualism cannot have an opposite since it encompasses everything.

How can the universe be an illusion?

That brings us to the next question. How is it possible the universe we live in came into existence if Oneness is the only thing that can be real?

The short and very dissatisfying answer is: “It did not come into existence at all.”

So, how can that be? Because we are definitely experiencing this universe as a physical reality. We can see it, touch it, feel it, smell it, and even taste it.

What can help you to understand it much better is to see how we have always perceived everything outside of ourselves. We identify with the body, that’s who we are as human beings. And we experience our soul, spiritual realms, the universal mind, and God as something external from ourselves.

We are the center of our perception of the universe. Everything else revolves around us and is interpreted as something separated from us. But what if you turned this perspective upside down?

What if you understood that God is the center of everything? And that you, as a human being in your body, are on the outer edge of this perception?

A visual interpretation of reality

In my book, “Dawn is in me“, I use circles or spheres to describe this in a more visual way.

Imagine all of these components are represented in a sphere. And each sphere is enclosed in the next. So, from the perception of how most people experience the world the sphere in the middle represents ourselves in our body. And the body is then surrounded by the other spheres representing the soul, the spiritual realm, the universal mind, and God as the sphere that encloses all other spheres.

This representation would show God allowing and encompassing duality within His experience. But in the belief system of nondualism, this is not possible because God is one with everything there is.

So, what if we invert the order of the spheres? Placing God at the center and the human being in its body on the outside, enclosing all other spheres?

The first impression you might have looking at it like this is that we, the human beings, dominate everything as if we were God. But you need to remember one thing; God created us in His own likeness.

If God is one, inseparable from everything else, changeless, and eternal, and He created us in His own likeness, then the perception we have of ourselves is wrong. This must mean everything that can be perceived as separate, outside of God, is an illusion.

And we identify with an illusion in which we are separated from God, trying to play God, while we are nothing like what God created. The separated part of us within the illusion is mortal, ever-changing, and limited to time and space. While what we really are is what we carry deep within.

Remember the sphere in the center? That’s what’s deep inside of us. God. And since everything else is an illusion, imagine all the other spheres vanishing into nothingness. What is left is what is real, your true Self. God.

How was the illusion created?

I know this still does not satisfy your thirst for a more specific answer to how it’s possible we are experiencing duality while it’s an illusion. It’s just a dream.

What happens when you dream? You experience everything within the dream as real. Until you wake up. If the dream was very intense and you were completely absorbed by it, sometimes it takes a few minutes to get back to your senses and realize where you are. But does that make the dream real? The dream was just a manifestation of your mind.

The world we are living in is just like that. A dream, projected by the mind. And we are just a tiny figure in the dream. We, as human beings, are not the one who dreams the dream. We are the subject of the dream.

Who is dreaming the dream?

If it’s not you who is dreaming this dream, who is it? Well, it’s the first version of you who separated from God in his mind. This part of you is also referred to as the ego. It’s the part of you that likes to be an individual, to be separated.

The ego-mind separated from God in one simple illusory thought, and in this one thought everything that has ever happened and will ever occur projected out into the world. Every life you have lived, every body you have personified all come from this one thought of separation.

Why did the ego create the illusion?

And this is where you will find the big paradox of the concept of nondualism. The ego does not really exist and never really created the illusion. Illusions are just that, illusions. It just believes it did.

Let’s go back to reality first. You have God, united with everything that can and will ever exist. God is a creator and creates continuously. And we already know God only creates in His own likeness. His creations can be called the Son of God, or Christ, to make it easier for our dualistic minds to understand. However, the Son of God is one with God and cannot be separated.

It’s as if the ocean were expanding forever, adding tiny drops of water to itself. Expanding, but not changing its properties. The Son of God is those drops that are added to the ocean.

The birth of consciousness

Now, imagine the Son of God having a thought of individuality. Believing for one fraction of time that He could be separated and different from God. At this moment consciousness was born. And in that same moment, the ego projected the entire universe outside of the illusory mind. Because the ego wanted to preserve its identity as a separate entity.

The creation of the universe

Staying in the mind the ego knew for sure he would not be able to preserve the separated state. Because he was still able to see God. So, he had to do something to make sure he could keep the separation alive. And projecting a world, outside of the mind, with billions and billions of separated entities believing they are real, physical, and mortal was the perfect solution. Just to make sure we, the separated entities, would never go back to the mind and see reality.

Sin, guilt, and fear as ingredients for the dualistic world

The projection of the world inevitably contained the ingredients of itself. The main ingredient being fear. Fear of losing the identity separated from God. And the other ones being sin and guilt. Sin because the Son of God knows he thought of something impossible and that it is impossible to separate from God. And guilt because he acted against God’s will, separating from Him.

Of course, these are all based on false assumptions because God continues to see only Oneness forever into eternity.

Within this thought of separation, the entire existence of the universe is captured. From the big bang (the start of the thought) to the eventual death of the universe (the end of the thought). So, what seems to have taken billions of years until now, and will take many more, in reality, happened in one single fleeting thought.

Time in nondualism

Time in nondualism is therefore also an illusion. If reality is one, like God, eternal, and changeless, then anything that is subject to change must be an illusion.

Time has a start (the big bang) and an end (the eventual death of the universe). It might take even hundreds of billions of years in the way we perceive time. But compared to eternity it will always be nothing. Every single moment of time was part of this one thought of the separation of the Son of God.

A simple dream that never happened. But as long as the Son of God doesn’t wake up from the dream he will continue to experience it through all of us as representations of himself in his separated state within the dream.

How can I wake up from the dream?

Everyone will reach a moment in their many lifetimes they will want to wake up from the dream. Everything in time must end. So even the thought of separation had to have an end. An end in which we all return home to Oneness.

This end was projected for everyone. And because everything happened in the mind of the Son of God you have the ability to open your awareness to what is inside of the mind of the Son of God.

Remember the spheres. You are the outer circle and the truth and reality lie within us all. Deep within, hidden under countless layers of things that represent fear, sin, and guilt, you can find the memory of who you are and where you came from.

So, to reach that level of awareness you need to undo all the layers that you, as the Son of God, placed on top of it so you could not ever see the truth. And keep your individuality as a result.

But the end already happened. Where you really are is in Heaven, with God, one with Him. With no experience of consciousness. Just the awareness of being God, being eternal life and in continuous expansion, rejoicing in your own completeness.

What does non-dualistic thinking mean?

To reach this state of awareness as a human being is incredibly difficult. We are bombarded with dualistic concepts the entire day. But it is not impossible. There have been people that reached this ultimate state of awareness. Some examples are Jezus and Mother Teresa. They saw the world as one.

Non-dualistic thinking means you see the entire world for what it is, an illusion. And you see the true nature of everything around you. You see Spirit in everything and everyone with no exception.

An example that I’ve seen other people used to explain non-dualistic thinking is the observation of a tree. They claim that non-dualistic thinking would make you feel you are the tree. This, of course, cannot be correct because there is no tree in reality.

So, in non-dualistic thinking you observe, let’s say, the tree with your eyes. But you see Spirit in your mind. You don’t think you are the tree, you think you are the Son of God that projected both the tree and yourself.

This leads you to understand the illusory origins of that what you observe with your physical eyes. And it causes you to see the underlying equality in everything in the universe. Not because of their appearance but because of their illusory nature.

How can you benefit from nondualism?

I hope by now you have a better understanding of what nondualism is. But I understand you still have a lot of questions. Especially related to how you can benefit from nondualism yourself as a human being. How will it make your life better?

The truth is that for everyone life is a chain of events full of suffering. You can downplay it and say that life is beautiful, that it depends on how you perceive it and what you do with it, etc. But it’s a fact that for most people life contains a lot more moments of suffering than happy ones.

The non-dualistic teachings of Jezus in “A Course in Miracles”

In my own experience, I walked the path of new age spirituality for many years. Some of the things I learned brought some relief from the suffering, albeit temporary. But eventually, I ended up suffering again every single time. And I was fed up, I was not prepared to suffer anymore. I didn’t want to try something else to end up going through the same things over and over again.

This is when I found nondualism through “A Course in Miracles”. “A Course in Miracles” is a book written in the late ’60s and was given via inner dictation to Helen Schucman directly from Jezus.

The resistance to pure nondualism

It quickly resonated with me but I also found great resistance within myself. Which is something that happens to almost everyone who encounters him or herself with the teachings of pure nondualism for the first time.

How can you not feel resistance if what it teaches shows you do not exist? That you are nothing but an illusion?

However, everyone will have a time in one or more of their lifetimes they will feel the calling coming from deep within. It’s that memory of God. The memory of Oneness and your true eternal nature.

The benefits of practicing pure nondualism

After five years of studying and practicing nondualism daily, I can truly say it has enriched my life in so many ways. I slowly started to suffer less, and I am starting to enjoy life more and more. I’m attached to very few things, which allows me to enjoy them so much more. Because there is no fear of losing it.

The list of benefits is too long to include in this post but you can have a look at this post that describes the true signs of spiritual maturity. And I have definitely noticed an increase in all of these signs for myself over the years.

The inner peace I feel very consistently now is priceless. And I know it’s just the beginning. My practice and faith will be tested and I will have many opportunities to continue to advance in the practice of pure nondualism. Leading to an even deeper understanding and eventually enlightenment. Which is nothing more than the complete awareness of the non-dualistic nature of our universe and full identification with my identity as Spirit, one with God into eternity.

If you feel that calling just like I felt it years ago I encourage you to pick up a copy of my book “Dawn is in me”. It explains step by step what I learned and how you can apply it to accelerate your spiritual growth massively. And I’ve been told by many readers it’s the perfect introduction to pure nondualism. So, I hope it will help you on your path towards eternal peace as well.

View the video here.

Find more articles about spirituality here.

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