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What is Non-Duality? (The Awakened Philosophy of “No-Self”)

Article by Aletheia Luna from Loner Wolf

All throughout this website and our work here on lonerwolf, we’ve spoken about the spiritual awakening process. We’ve gone into the endless facets of the spiritual journey. We’ve explored in-depth a huge variety of healing practices for the body, heart, mind, and soul.

But there comes a point on everyone’s spiritual path when there is a feeling of utter exhaustion.

When we’ve tried all the healing practices, gone to all the retreats, done the detoxes, read all the books, taken tons of courses (or maybe even just the thought of doing this all feels “off”), what next?

At what point can we finally rest? At what point can we finally find solace from the endless seeking, searching, and grasping?

Don’t get me wrong. On a human level, it’s crucial to have some kind of guiding “roadmap” and practices to carry out because it helps to settle, ground, and orient the mind and heart.

But on a deeper level, on the level of not just Soul, but Spirit, what we’re always and only ever searching for is Home, Freedom, Love, and Peace. Or what is known in Vedanta philosophy as Sat-chit-ananda or “truth, consciousness, bliss.”

For those who reach a point of utter depletion, for those who feel that there’s “something more,” and have done bucketloads of inner work but still feel there’s something missing, non-duality is the full stop at the end of the sentence.

In my many years on the spiritual awakening journey, the most direct path I’ve found to Illumination, True Nature, Self-Realization, or Oneness is the path of non-duality. (Note: please see the section below entitled “Dangers of Non-Duality” for a disclaimer of sorts.)

What is Non-Duality?

The word ‘non-duality’ comes from the Sanskrit word Advaita which means ‘not two.’ Therefore, put simply, non-duality points to the basic Unity of everything – that ultimately, there is no division or separation between you or anything else in your experience.

While non-duality is thought to be a philosophy primarily found in the Hindu mystical path of Advaita Vedanta, it is also found all throughout the world in paths such as Buddhism (Nirvana), Sufism (Wahdat al Wujud), and Christianity (Henosis).

Meaning of Non-Duality (Explained in More Detail)

To understand the meaning of non-duality a little more in-depth, let’s break down some of the basic facets of non-duality which are:

  • Everything is One

  • There is no separate self

  • This is It!

Everything is One

The reality is that non-duality may appear totally strange, confusing, and even nonsensical to our minds at first. After all, our minds work by creating divisions through words, concepts, and ideas – and the notion that “everything is One” is diametrically opposed to that.

Common examples of dualistic notions that we’re quite familiar with are the following: us/them, black/white, good/bad, right/wrong, day/night, up/down, nice/nasty, exciting/boring, spiritual/unspiritual, mind/heart, male/female, young/old, and so on.

We might wonder, how can everything “be One” if there are clearly differences in our experience. We go to bed and it’s nighttime, and we wake up and it’s daytime. We talk with a friend and then we see an enemy. We eat a banana and then we eat an orange. These are all different things, right?