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September 1st, 2014

This is a long entry and difficult reading  (for me); too philosophical and historical, but worth my reading again.  It inclludes these fragments:

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".....western understanding of "nondualism" is "nondual consciousness", "a primordial, natural awareness without subject or object"[web 13] called turiya and sahaja in Hinduism, and luminous mind, Buddha-nature and rigpa (among other terms) in Buddhism. It is used interchangeably with Neo-Advaita.[web 14] All terms refer to the Absolute, and its usage is different from adyiva, the non-dualism of absolute and relative reality.

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"This nondual consciousness is seen as a common stratum to different religions. Several definitions or meanings are combined in this approach, which makes it possible to recognize various traditions as having the same essence.[21] According to Renard, many forms of religion are based on an experiential or intuitive understanding of "the Real"[95] According to Wolfe,

The teachings of nonduality have begun to come of age in the West, recognized (at last) as the central essence of Zen, Dzochen, Tao, Vedanta, Sufism, and of Christians such as Meister Eckhart. In particular, the recorded teachings of sages (such as Ramana Maharshi and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj) have paved the way for a contemporary generation of illuminating speakers and writers.[96]

Though the notion of nondualism as common essence is a modern notion, some of the included traditions themselves also refer to levels of truth which transcend even non-dualism. In Kashmir Shaivism, the term "paradvaita" is being used, meaning "the supreme and absolute non-dualism".[web 15] And Gaudapada, the grandteacher of Shankara, states that, from the absolute standpoint, not even "non-dual" exists.[97]

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"Nondualism as common essence prefers the term "nondualism", instead of monism, because this understanding is "nonconceptual", "not graspapable in an idea".[95][note 19] Even to call this "ground of reality" "One" or "Oneness" is attributing a characteristic to that ground of reality. The only thing that can be said is that it is "not two" or "non-dual":[web 16]

Non-dualism is not monism. Unlike monism, non-dualism does not reduce everything to a conceptual unity. It simply confesses that ultimate reality is non-dual, beyond thought and speech, and this apprehension is arrived at through a supra-relational intuition. Not two does not imply "therefore, one." Not-two is meant to silence the chattering mind. Only when the mind has been silenced is the revelation of non-duality discovered.[98]

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"The idea of nonduality as "the central essence"[96] is part of a modern mutual exchange and synthesis of ideas between western spiritual and esoteric traditions and Asian religious revival and reform movements.[note 21] Western predecessors are, among others, Orientalism, Transcendentalism, Theosophy, the idea of a Perennial Philosophy, New Age,[101] and Wilber's synthesis of western psychology and Asian spirituality.


The western world has been exposed to Indian religious since the late 18th century.[102] In 1785 appeared the first western translation of a Sanskrit-text.[102] It marked the growing interest in the Indian culture and languages.[103] The first translation of Upanishads appeared in two parts in 1801 and 1802,[103] which influenced Arthur Schopenhauer, who called them "the consolation of my life".[104][note 23] Early translations also appeared in other European languages.[105]

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"Transcendentalism was an early 19th-century liberal Protestant movement that developed in the 1830s and 1840s in the Eastern region of the United States. It was rooted in English and German Romanticism, the Biblical criticism of Herder and Schleiermacher, and the skepticism of Hume.[web 17]

The Transcendentalists emphasised an intuitive, experiential approach of religion.[web 18] Following Schleiermacher,[106] an individual's intuition of truth was taken as the criterium for truth.[web 18] In the late 18th and early 19th century, the first translations of Hindu texts appeared, which were also read by the Transcendentalists, and influenced their thinking.[web 18] They also endorsed universalist and Unitarianist ideas, leading to Unitarian Universalism, the idea that there must be truth in other religions as well, since a loving God would redeem all living beings, not just Christians.[web 18][web 19]

Among the transcendentalists' core beliefs was the inherent goodness of both people and nature......

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"The Perennial Philosophy sees nondualism as the essence of all religions.[citation needed] Its main proponent was Aldous Huxley, who was influenced by Vivekanda's Neo-Vedanta and Universalism.[128]

According to the Perennial Philosophy, there is an ultimate reality underlying the various religions. This ultimate reality can be called "Spirit" (Sri Aurobindo), "Brahman" (Shankara), "God", "Shunyata" (Emptiness), "The One" (Plotinus), "The Self" (Ramana Maharshi), "The Dao" (Lao Zi), "The Absolute" (Schelling) or simply "The Nondual" (F. H. Bradley).[citation needed] Ram Dass calls it the "third plane" — any phrase will be insufficient, he maintains, so any phrase will do."
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Nondualism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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