The experience of duality

Kind of a follow up to “What’s the Point of Life?” 

One point was experience. 

And, just like travelling, the ‘point’ of experience is to experience something different. To see a new place, taste new food, see new customs. 

If our essential nature is nondual (which means no separation) then it makes sense that this experience is of duality.

A bit like dividing and labelling different land masses as countries. Except duality is not just a part of nonduality. The experience of duality is really the experience of nonduality, described as dual. 

Which, if the mind grasps the concept, is pretty mind-blowing. 

There are a lot of ways duality is experienced, linear time being one of the more profound.

But there are two main themes. 

The first is to experience ‘Self’ as though other. This is to experience god as something outside of yourself. Or to see anyone or anything as though ‘not me’. Capital-ess-self – true self – not human self. In our humanness, we are not the other person. That other person is also Self experiencing duality. Without going too far into the concept of volunteering, their primary role is about their experience, not yours. 

Which leads us to the second theme: to experience Self in relationship. It is only in the apparent separation into multiple others that we have the possibility of relationship, of drawing close, of merging into. Of seeing the effects of our actions on them, and of feeling the effects of their actions on us. Of learning about boundaries and the difference between mine and not-mine. Of understanding power, and how to use it responsibly. Sure, also the potential to use the other person as a mirror in reaction, but recognising they may show us our flaws, our strengths, or merely our preferences – but that’s a topic for another day.


Duality is an experience, not a thing. It’s not the bits where nonduality doesn’t reach. We can experience duality, knowing its essence for what it is, at the same time, without a problem.

The experience of duality offers two main gifts:

  • To know Self as though other
  • To know Self in relationship

Which make for an awesome, confusing, overwhelming, intense, boring, painful, challenging, ecstatic experience.

With Love, Sara

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