Non-dual Christianity unlocks significant benefits for spiritual awakening. It promotes a deep spiritual connection to all reality, resulting in transcendent inner peace. It also brightens, completes and brings clarity to existing spiritual knowledge. Finally, it provides essential reconciliation between the Eastern and Western worlds, which the formal church has unfortunately forgotten.
Non-duality is the foundation of most ancient mystic traditions. You find it in both Vedantic and Hebraic traditions. It has also been taught and practiced by Christian Mystics implicitly and explicitly for centuries. Non-duality is a word originating in Sanskrit that means not two. In other words, all reality is connected as one thing. It is a pursuit of oneness by establishing beliefs on the assumption that everything is connected by a unifying reality, which is God.
The Illusory Notion of Separation
The persistent notion that everyone and everything is separate from every other thing is considered illusory in this tradition. Not that material reality does not exist, but it is not all that exists. The notion that the physical reality we see is all there is, separates us into a world of isolated things and promotes the sense of futility, and the feeling of lonely alienation. This sense of isolation causes much pride, fear, loneliness, and anxiety. It is the curse of separation. But true identity is only grasped in recognition of our connection to the universal force that unites us to everything else.
There is a famous Hindu story that teaches this. A father is teaching his son about reality. Pointing to the awareness we all experience, he tells him, “That, thou art.” Meaning that he was his awareness. He was teaching his son that our ultimate identity stems from the fact that we are aware of ourselves and our experiences. We are not only physical beings, isolated in time and space, but we are part of the universal consciousness that connects to everything, and transcends time and space.
The Notion of Universal Oneness
This notion of universal oneness is not just a Hindu notion. According to Moses Cordovero, a sixteenth-century Jewish mystic, God is everything.
The essence of God is in everything, and nothing exists outside of God. Because God causes everything to be, it is impossible that any created thing exists except through Him.
The Apostle Paul puts it like this in Colossians 1.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together.
Medieval theologian Meister Eckhart, put it this way.
To be full of things is to be empty of God. To be empty of things is to be full of God.
In other words, focusing on the reality of the things that divide us, empties us of that which is true, the reality that unites us.
Physics and the Notion of Oneness
In the last 100 years, physics has begun to see this too. It is clear now that matter is merely a dense form of energy and that energy or light is the actual substance of the universe. Energy connects everything. Heinz Pagels, the former Executive Director of the New York Academy of Sciences, put it this way.
The visible world is the invisible organization of energy.
A connection to God, who connects us to everything else, is the essence of spiritual awakening. If Christ is in God and we are in Christ, aren’t we in God? If Christ and God are one and the same, and we are in Christ, aren’t we and God one and the same? If we are in God, where does He end, and we begin, or we end, and He begin? Doesn’t the belief in Him that “we live and move and have our being in Him” scream non-dual unity. Aren’t we always immersed in and surrounded by his ever-presence.
Relinquishing the Illusion of Separation
True repentance is changing our mind and choosing to relinquish the persistent illusion that what we perceive with our senses is the only reality. Instead, we must focus away from the separateness that divides us and immerse ourselves into God, through whom we are connected to everything else. As Paul puts it:
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
The belief that we are separate in a world of independent things is an illusion. We are not just separate little centers of flesh in a material universe of different things. God is the ultimate reality, and everything that is is part of Him. Trusting in his Son, who gave Himself to demonstrate His love and power, connects us to this ultimate reality. It is a gift of wholeness, bliss, and peace.
This connection to non-dual oneness is also accompanied by great contentment. Alienation and separateness breed anxiety, hostility, and evil. But the sense that we are part of something greater than ourselves, fills us with a sense of ultimate reality and purpose and peacefully settles our souls.
And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach…Colossians 1:21-22
Discerning the Mysteries of Scripture
Mystical Non-Dual Oneness also provides answers to many of the mysteries of scripture. It is the reason that God can be one and still many. The logic behind the Trinity. It is the reason that Christ can be all God and all Man at the same time because matter is energy. God and the flesh are not two separate things. The Arian controversy was a needless tragic conflict in the church.
Non-duality explains how we are many but still one in the body of Christ. It is a reason that Christ is the source that unites the creation, not the source that divides it. It is the reason Christ could raise the dead, walk on water, and heal the sick, and it is the reason we can too. Miracles are not the result of Jesus being supernatural; they are the natural consequence of Christ, imposing the reality that energy is fundamental. The unseen spiritual force of energy not only can, but does change matter. Faith the size of a mustard seed, moves mountains.
Re-Uniting East and West
Finally, non-dual awakening reunites the Eastern World and the Western World. In Exodus 3:14-15, God explains to Moses how he should refer to Him when he talks to the children of Israel.
“God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.”
When I was younger and first heard this, I thought it was a bad answer. In my ignorance, I wondered secretly to God, couldn’t you have come up with a better name than that? I felt sorry for Moses for having to deliver that message.
But now I realize how vital that response was. In God’s use of the phrase, “I am who I am,” He was astutely uniting the foundations of both the Eastern and the Western worlds, before the Eastern and Western worlds were divided.
I am who I am is a first-person application of the first law of logic, the law of identity. This law assumes that a thing is what it is. That is the definition of the law. A thing is what it is. It is the assumption that the world is composed of a diversity of distinct things, without which, according to Aristotle, reason would be impossible. This law is a celebration of the material universe from which comes the illusion of separation. It also became the intellectual foundation of the Western world.
By saying, “I am that I am,” God was validating the logic of the West by identifying Himself, through the use of logic. But by referring to Himself as “I Am” He was also validated the Eastern world. The term I Am was a demonstration of His ultimate awareness. The same consciousness that we all take for granted but can’t prove. It was a celebration of the non-dual divine consciousness, the intellectual foundation of the East.
Worldwide Contributions to Our Understanding of God
Israel gave the world right and wrong by introducing a God who cares. By providing laws that demonstrate our value, He involved Himself in our world and showed His interest in mankind.
Greece gave the world an understanding of truth and falsity with its discovery and application of logic, which subsequently became the foundation of Western philosophy and science.
India gave us the supremacy of non-dual conscious awareness, by which all other things are comprehended and connected. The mystical consciousness that can’t be seen, heard or known, but without which, nothing else can be seen, heard or known.
All of these significant intellectual and spiritual contributions are meant to co-exist. They are not enemies but friends, and our understanding, is dependent on their unity. Part of Awakening involves reconciling these streams of thought into one river of awareness.
This awakening to non-dual mystical reality provides a profoundly satisfying universal connection to God. It also offers crucial spiritual insight and clarity that effectively unites the Hindu, Jewish, and Greek minds under the upward call of Jesus, the Great I Am.