All separation, every kind of estrangement and alienation is false. All is one. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, (1897-1981) Indian Spiritualist
There is a vast amour of evidence indicating the world is steeped in contrasts: up and down, in and out, black and white, right and wrong, true and false. Language continues to convey pairing of opposites to increase understanding but can we really learn by using comparisons? In the reality of God do opposites exist? In discussing non-duality it must go beyond defining opposition. Non duality is a translation of the Sanskrit word advaita which simply means destitute of duality and having no duplicate according to the Moniew Williams Sanskrit Dictionary. It points to the unity and completeness of and in the One God. It points to full intimacy and a love beyond words in the present moment experience. It is also a word that points us back to our origin in God and from God.
So, what does it mean to consider non dualistic concepts? It may cause you to see that you may not be who you thought you are. You are not a sinner saved by grace, but you are a son of God and as a part of the Creator of all things you stand in union with Him. It may reveal you are not incomplete and broken as you once thought and it may allow you to see yourself in the mirror of the Christ and realize you are already at rest.
Things that do not require their opposites to express them do not constitute duality. If the entity exists independent of its opposite then it is real. You have no need of an opposite to understand you therefore you are real. When you hold your baby in your arms you do not need to image an opposite to understand your childyou simply love. Now, in expressing that love your heart fills for the child and his thoughts posses your mind and and you have a full perception of this moment. Thenyou suddenly image and see the time before the child existed and you feel empty and as compared to now or you fear the loss of that child...that is dualism and is a perceived act based on false assumptions and is not real but is made up in your mind and acted upon in your emotions.
Mark says the heart of dualism is based on how we see oneness and dualism is linked to how we see contrast. Contrast is affected by our understanding of judgment and judgment is viewed through cause and effect. Our view of cause and effect is rooted in our understanding of sovereignty.
Beliefs and Perception
Personal beliefs play a dramatic role in how we view life and our interpretation of life is based on those beliefs. They provide a means through which we evaluate everything in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Our version of reality is the sum of our beliefs and our beliefs force us to see through them and interpret the world around and derive our perception of reality.
What you hold as truth whether it is truth or not is based on your perception. Through life experiences we collect and amass large amounts of information and in processing this data we form our system of beliefs building our worldview. It is because our belief system is built on our evaluation and interpretation of this data we form a final conclusion that our subconscious accepts as truth. Our mind then combines the portions of truth to form a personal version of the real world defining what is real and what is not providing us with our personal map of reality.
This map is our own unique version of accuracy and everything is measured against it and when something causes a disruption we are willing to reject as false anything that cannot be found in our belief system. The map is not our reality but we have made it so and when the map seems to unravel a bit as our views of God change we lose hope and direction because we keep focused solely on the map. When this happens we feel our map is being destroyed but we are simply downloading a new version that has additional roads, towns, and places of interest than the previous version. So, updating our beliefs provide a better more detailed map of what is real in pointing us to our origin in God.
As we define, defend, and depend on our map we tend to become restricted by the boundaries of it. Those limitations place real restrictions in the life experience and we must realize it is based on vantage point and line of sight. If I look at the earth in Google Maps I see a distant orb on which I can see land and water but as I zoom in the structures become more enhanced by the amplified view and I can begin to see actual roads and trees allowing me to lose my perception of the roundness and distance of the earth and focus on one street corner as similarities come into view. In the same way, the congestion of too many superfluous details in our belief system causes us to lose perception and interpret wrongly as we attempt to focus on details and forget the journey.
In constructing the map of our belief system it should be like a treasure hunt. We need certain beliefs to empower us and keep us on the hunt by keeping us intrigued, fascinated, and awed and at the same time we need to be wary of too many precise boundaries that destroy the sense of adventure and wonderment of God. Life is an ever changing map and open to discovery allowing us to approach people and experiences as a child trusting God to unfold each new day.
In looking at the earth from space there are no boundaries, no countries, no agendas, no rival governments only beauty and awe. If we can learn to live life beyond the map and see the world as one creation by a loving God and realize we get to participate not in an experiment but in God's life.
Does Perception define Reality?
Your belief structure determines your perception (image formationthe cause) which then ultimately determines how you respond to eventseffects. Going by that sequence you can see an alternative starting point in that one can choose to examine beliefs and then choose to change them. That is the central thought that everything begins with a response to a cause and you form the effect.
Is this to say perception is always flawed? No because perception as input of sense based data and must be filtered by unalterable reality based in God. These unalterable points include His character and His attributes which must be filtered through His Love. He possesses attributes and they are demonstrated and governed by or through who He isLove.
Non duality is not a belief system it is simply resting in the reality that you are His and always have been. It realizes that every moment you are in His presence and He in yoursno separation. A person who is at rest in God does not spend time searching for God but rests as a son on the Father's heart listening to the heartbeat and seeing what He sees and desires.