Nonduality and the Prevailing Worldview

Clearly, the recognition that the ‘known world’ and the ‘knowing subject’ are nondual not only invalidates the prevailing worldview, it diametrically contradicts it. According to the common view, ‘knowledge of reality’ exists independently of ‘reality itself.’ For example, your ‘knowledge of a tree’ is regarded as a product of your mind (or brain) while ‘a tree itself’ is regarded as a product of the external world, and each of these ‘products’ are regarded as existing independently of the other. Knowledge of a tree is one reality, and a tree itself is another, different reality. Obviously, this view is directly opposed by the view that ‘known’ and ‘knower’ are nondual.

Our worldview determines how we think, speak, and act in the world. If reality is nondual, then ascribing to the prevailing worldview (or any view grounded in dualism) compels us to think, speak, and act in a way that diverges from how the world actually is.

How long it might take the scientific world, much less the general community, to accept the evidence for nonduality and adapt itself accordingly is anyone’s guess. Efforts by groups and individuals within the sciences and other realms of civilization continue to progress, but contemporary advances remain far short of what is needed; a comprehensive nondual worldview. Fortunately Zen, having continuously developed and refined its understanding of nonduality for centuries, has a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to contribute to these efforts. It is my conviction that when contemporary discoveries and insights are seen in light of Zen’s recognition of the nondual nature of ‘knowledge’ or ‘experience’ (epistemology) and ‘being’ or ‘existence’ (ontology), much that is wanting in current attempts to establish a reliable worldview will be brought into relief.

Excerpt from,  Zen Cosmology: Dogen’s Contribution to the Search for a New Worldview pp.91-92