David Hall's Non-Duality Blog

My name's David Hall. I'm the creator of this web site and its content. I live in Wales in the UK.
I developed the Celtic design software KnotWorker, I create electronic music as Goldcup7, and I've written books on spirituality and non duality.

Hope you enjoy this Non Duality blog. New blogs are added on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Please use the Contact page if you have any questions or would like me to discuss a topic.
Follow on Twitter/X

Planet in handsYou probably know the song Imagine by John Lennon, which says, "Imagine there's no countries. It isn't hard to do.... Imagine no possessions. It's easy if you try." Well, let's look at the reality of countries and possessions here.

The song invites us to imagine there is no heaven or hell, there are no countries, no religion, and no possessions. In a way it invites us to imagine there are no limits. Really what we need to do is stop imagining that there are limits. Leaving heaven, hell and religion aside for now, certainly countries and possessions are imaginary.

Countries are set by imaginary boundaries that humans have defined. The planet is not naturally divided into countries. Humans through history have fought over land and sea boundaries, and it continues to this day. Ultimately these man-made limits end up limiting and defining us. We believe that we are Welsh, English, French, American etc. But truly we are not this.

When our claimed boundaries are threatened we strengthen them. As apparently separate individuals and separate nations, our imaginary limits harden the more they are threatened. The human ego defends itself and strengthens its boundaries, and the collective ego does the same. But these ego limits are false. There are no true limits that define us, only imaginary ones.

Equally possessions are imaginary. We have no right of ownership of anything except under human law. Possession and ownership is again man-made. If I create something, if I buy something, or if something is given to me I may think that I own it. But the planet has no system of ownership. It is a human belief of ownership, but there is no universal law of ownership which makes possession true. It is a case of man-made limitations again.

I'm not suggesting here that we give up all possessions, as we truly have none. Better to give up the belief that possession is true. Also, I do not suggest that nations let go of their borders. Better to recognise that borders are not true and let go of the false belief that we are separate and different. There is a oneness that underlies the variety of the world. It is an infinite unlimited oneness. Believing that we are limited is an error.

EarthIs it night or day where you are? If the sun has gone down you would say it's night. If the sun hasn't gone down you would say it's day. But these sentences are full of errors.

We know that the sun doesn't rise or fall. We know that the sun only appears to rise and fall whilst the Earth stays still. Really the sun stays still whilst the Earth spins on its axis. But even that isn't correct. The sun doesn't stay still at all. The sun is always moving. This swirling solar system is in the flow of a swirling galaxy. It would appear that everything in the universe is moving.

Let's get back to the initial question: is it night or day where you are? Okay, so we understand that it's not the sun moving round the Earth. If the sun isn't in the sky then it's night. But night isn't a real thing. It's just a word or concept we humans use to describe that period of time when the sun isn't in the sky. Is there an exact point where day becomes night? Well, you could try and be very precise about it, as the sun disappears below the horizon, or when the sun's rays are no longer visible. But all that's happening here is that we are trying to give absolute definition to words that are vague and don't hold any reality in themselves.

I'm using night and day as examples here, but the point is to highlight the errors of words and concepts. They are full of flaws. We cannot rely on words and concepts to accurately portray truth. The best they can do is point to indescribable truth. So, it is safe to say that whatever is said is not the truth. Nobody can speak the truth (or write it, for that matter). Words and communication can range from close to truth to far from truth.

It is silence that speaks perfect truth.

RainbowWe perceive the world as made of many things, many objects that we have labels for. If we look around we can name them: trees, houses, cars, people, roads, rivers, mountains, clouds, stars, and so on. But are there really many things, or is there just one that appears as many?

We can consider planet Earth as one. When looked at from space, Earth is a sphere of colourful life. It is one in itself. Yet within the Earth's oneness there is this magnificent celebration of variation, the appearance of many. We cannot truly say that the clouds, the houses, and the people, are separate from Earth. They are a play or appearance of separateness.

Equally, consider your fingers. They are not objects separate from your hand, and your hand is not an object separate from your arm or your body. There is a whole that we label and identify parts of. Yet the apparently whole body is not complete in itself. It does not have limits. It blends and flows with the planet. The body is continually changing and interacting with the environment, through the food we eat, liquids we drink, air we breath, and other subtler energies that affect it.

Consider also the colours of the rainbow. The rainbow is a dispersing of white light into a spectrum of colours. The colours are not truly separate, it is a separating of white light into a range of frequencies. The colours that we label are not true. If we focus on red then it appears separate from blue. But if we focus on the whole there is one continuous range of colour. Similarly the world appears as a dispersing of a singularity into an appearance of many. If we focus in on something we can label it, but the reality remains as a singular whole.

The labels we have for separate things are useful but flawed. Labels are not the truth. Reality is as it is, before we put labels on it. Of course, whether we label it or not it remains as it is. And whether there is an expression of a multiplicity or not, the Singularity remains as it is.

greentree1The world is full of answers, patterns that point to the underlying nature of what we see.

Let's consider trees, that are so important to the expression of life on this planet. Firstly, the structure of a tree shows the pattern of Many from One: there is the solid central stillness of the trunk, and then branches spread out in all directions. This shows us how the universe appears. The tree repeats the pattern of the universe. We can see this pattern in the tree's leaves and flowers. It's evident also in rivers and streams, lightning forks, and the evolution of forms to include legs and toes, arms and fingers. It is the same pattern of Many from One.

We call it bifurcation, where one splits into two. The tree repeats this pattern to create a multiplicity of branches. Or so it seems. Whatever happens, however many branches we perceive, there is always the one tree.

Beneath the appearance of the tree there is an unseen aspect that supports the tree we see. The unseen roots go deep.

The tree also shows us the cyclical nature of the world in its seeds. One tree scatters many seeds. Each seed holds the potential to create a separate tree and continue the flow of life. Each successful seed will grow to produce many seeds, and the pattern repeats.

 

bluecross1Welcome to the new blog! It seems appropriate to start this off with a discussion about Non Duality.

Non Duality is the spiritual teaching of the non dual understanding. It is a recognition that reality is not two. Reality is a singularity, an infinite oneness. It is a teaching that has a history in eastern religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Most people have at least a slight understanding of Zen Buddhism. Zen is a non dual teaching. Less people know of the Advaita teaching from the Hindu religion, although many people know of Yoga, which is related to and linked to the non dual teaching of Advaita. Yoga means unity, after all, and the aim of Yoga Meditation is to realise the state of oneness.

Ramana Maharshi was a great teacher of Non Duality in the twentieth century. He emphasised Self Enquiry, to find who it is that knows. We are not the body and mind we think we are. There is an essence of our true nature that can be revealed through self enquiry. One is reminded of the inscription in the Temple of Apollo in Ancient Greece, which said, "Know Thyself." Currently, amongst others, Eckhart Tolle, Rupert Spira, and Mooji continue this teaching of non duality, inviting humanity to move towards the greater understanding of the nature of reality.

The separation that we perceive in the world is not true. The many different humans, mammals, creatures, plants, planets etc. are not really many. There is an appearance of being many within an infinite oneness. To take only the example of a tree, say an oak tree: it stands tall as one with apparently many different branches whilst remaining one. The tree is an expression of the nature of the universe. It shows the many going out from the one, in its branches, in its roots, in its leaves, in its flowers. Yet it remains as one. The planet is the same, with a multitude of expressions whilst remining one. The universe is the same. There is an appearance of many, yet there is only one.

Non dual teaching goes further and explains that if there is only one, a one without limits or divisions, then identifying as a body, a mind, or indeed a soul, is incorrect. The labels that we use for things are incorrect, only vague definitions that do not stand up to scrutiny. Our own identity is brought into question, and the spiritual seeker is pointed to look inwards, to enquire: who am I?

In seeking the identity of our separate self, it is found that there is no separate self. This is Nirvana, Self Realisation, Enlightenment, Awakening. The idea and belief of the separate self is no more, and the selfless Self is revealed. The selfless Self is the nature of being without identity with form or limitation. It is the true Self that is here all along. It is the formless, spaceless, timeless Self. I call it the Infinite One, for simplicity. Some call it What Is, Isness, God, Pure Being, Awarness, Consciousness, Spirit. It is without name, of course.

So the aim of my books and this blog is to bring to the reader a greater understanding of reality, the nature of the universe, and our infinite being. We look at patterns within the world, spiritual symbols, and dive deep into the understanding of Non Duality.

 

Subcategories