This is a great perspective @arinbasu
I have to reply as you did, because I cannot access the normal response facility.
Fine, Arin, but now I feel a bit caught short, as I more expected a specific question to deal with, if anything. I’m more than happy to share my perspectives, but first let me explain my situation as regards Buddhism. I respect Buddhism a great deal and even follow at least one of the teachings, the one about verifying things for yourself. Some 15 or 20 years ago I looked into it and acquired, lets say, a very moderate amount of knowledge of it.
The daughter of my commpanion of the time was a Buddhist and as she had no transport of her own, we used to take her to meetings and events and such. My companion had even met the Dahli Lama. In short I was slowly getting into the swim and reached the point where I was prepared to take an initiation, getting as far as going to the ceremony. Whilst waiting for the ceremony to start, sat crosslegged in a large tent, in came three with the very large horns and othes with cymbals and such and started doing their thing.
I’m very sensitive to intangible energies and this ‘music’ set up such strong internal resonances, that I could not stand it and was obliged to leave. Since then a lot of things have disappeared in the mists of time and failing memory.
To have a quick look at duality v none duality and such. it depends upon which level of view you wish to take as to which way you should look at it. If you want to take the more global view of everything is one and all interlinked, etc, then Duality does not figure in it. However, within that overall structure duality exists and at all levels.
After all, even Buddism proposes practices for protection against evil spirits, thus accepting they exist. If you consider the ying-yang symbol, that epotimises this. You just look at the whole and its a circle containing everything, look into it and it contains duality A lot of the problems, both between the sexes and between various schools of thought can be ascribed to what I term the friction at the ying-yang interface.
As far as I am aware, there is no ‘God’ in Buddhism, nor Heaven, Nirvanah is not heaven, nor Soul. They have a not dissimilar concept of the Atman in place of the Soul. Most westerners who are not agnostics/atheist and thus believe in something, often having some kind of Christianity because their history is steeped in it.
I started of as agnaostic and remained so for about the first 2/3rds of my life. I then discovered that I was wrong and a Supreme Being did exist and that there was an opposing figure. In Christianity the terms used are God and Lucifer. I still don’t have a religion, I became what is termed a mystic, meaning I have a direct and personal relationship with this Supreme Being.
I also believe in reincarnation. I know of some parts of my past lives and I have met at least 6 people in this life whom I knew in past lives. I know a fair bit about occult powers of various kinds and have been subject to attacks via them and have the use of some myself. One being ReiKi, a Japanese offshoot of esoteric Buddhism, of which I am a Master — the circle is nearly complete, smile.