Hello, today I want to talk about duality versus non-duality. It’s a topic that I think needs to be cleared up because online and in person, I have people questioning me about duality. So many people really believe it exists, but duality does not exist. It’s an illusion based on ignorance. This ignorance creates a misunderstanding and an illusion.

To explain this, let’s use a modified analogy from ancient India. In India, there is a great fear of snakes because they slither in the wild and are poisonous. If you see something that looks like a snake and you are not cautious, you could get bitten and die. So, when something is seen as a snake, it causes fear and worry.

In this analogy, let’s say you have been locked in a dark room where you can’t see things very well. You see a shape that you think could be a snake, even though the lights briefly come on, and you didn’t get a good look. But what you saw somewhat confirmed the idea that it was a snake. Based on this ignorance and misunderstanding, you believe what you’re seeing is a snake, causing worry, fear, and suffering.

Now, let’s say the lights come on again, and this time, they stay on a bit longer. As you look at the shape, you can clearly and undoubtedly see that it’s a piece of rope. As soon as that realization occurs, the illusion is broken. In fact, there may be a sigh of relief as the tension, worry, and everything else vanishes. Because a piece of rope is not something to be frightened or worried about. The prior idea that it was a snake was only in the mind. The ignorance of not seeing something for what it really is, mistaking something to be something it is not, is the fundamental illusion.

Non-duality is all there ever has been. Duality is that illusion, misunderstanding, or mistaken perception that occurs because we’re not seeing things as they truly are. When there is an awakening or enlightenment, you may see that what is, is non-duality. It has always been the case and always will be the case. The only thing that changes is the ignorance and illusion in the mind. The belief in duality is dispelled as you see through that illusion. That’s the difference between duality and non-duality.

I get a lot of questions from people who come from the standpoint that duality is real. I keep trying to explain that duality isn’t real. Duality is a figment of your imagination. It was created in the mind due to ignorance and not seeing the entire picture. It’s like holding a Möbius strip, a strip of paper with a single twist. If I held it where the twist was in my hand, there would appear to be an inside and an outside. But that would be a mistake because what you don’t see is the twist. The twist makes all the difference because due to that twist, there is no inside or outside. It’s a single surface.

Realizing non-duality is like seeing the twist in the Möbius strip. It’s realizing that what you have taken for reality is not the case. It’s an “Aha!” moment, a realization that dawns upon you. You discover that what you have been experiencing is actually non-duality, and duality is just our interpretation of it due to our own ignorance and misconceptions.

Hopefully, this helps clear it up. Thank you very much.

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