A Spiritual Explainer

Where Do You Fall on the Duality - Nonduality Spectrum?

[Updated Oct 4, 2022] Duality and Nonduality are opposites of one thing, with shades of beliefs between them.

Alan Lew
14 min readSep 26, 2022

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The more nonduality speakers and teachings I listened to, the more I wondered about the different version of nondualism. After mulling this over, I came up with the following Duality-Nonduality Spectrum. (Click on the table to see a larger version.)

(click to enlarge) The Duality-Nonduality Spectrum, by Alan Lew, author, cc-by

1. Duality*

  • Materialism, Modernism, Scientism (some consider these types of religions)
  • Everything exists as separate, material things. The measurable, objective and material universe is the only thing that is real.
  • God, a soul, and spiritual and subjective realities are fantasies that do not really exist. Or if they do exist, they can never be known objectively.
  • The purpose of life is to evolve in measurable ways. But what “evolve” means, and “who” evolves (individual, family, society…) are open to interpretation.
  • Methods/Practices: Empirical Science, Logical Thinking
  • (*) See the Notes section below for additional comments on each of these categories.

2. Dualistic Spirituality

  • A God exists. He/she/it created humans and the universe, is separate from everything it created, and many or may not be involved in the lives of its creations.
  • Humans have a spiritual aspect, which is often called their soul. But other creatures may not have a soul.
  • Some teachings believe in multiple gods and spiritual beings, including angels and devils, who have distinct roles and may interact with humans.
  • There is a future heaven (or other ideal utopian reality) that we can reach through proper actions in this life, mostly based on devotion to God. Reaching that utopia is the ultimate purpose of…

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Alan Lew
New Earth Consciousness

Anything and Everything is Possible in an Infinite Universe — http://www.AlanLew.com (paywall-free article links)