Depth Psychology, Non Duality and Memories of Paradise Lost


Since antiquity various religions and philosophical schools have viewed non duality as a desired state of human excellence, a mine of human potential that leads to experiences of ecstasy and a panacea for human suffering.  For the purpose of this discussion, we define non duality a state of merged unity achieved from transcendence or transmutation of opposites, which is also a state of singularity from which the universe, as we know it, has emerged.

The paper argues that the absolute experience and understanding of such a state is impossible thru human cognition primarily because human mind and body are crafted in response to duality inherent in the universe. Further, since human body and mind can exist only within the spacetime continuum, personal consciousness is intractably linked to the body and can only function in relativity, when bounded by opposites. Hence anything outside of the spacetime continuum, or that which is not bounded by opposites, is outside of human experience, and must remain.

Given the fact that non duality can be imagined, and conceptualized in human abstraction is, however, indicative of an inner experience that correlates to an encounter with singularity/non duality.  Hence there is a possibility that the unconscious component of the psyche, the objective psyche or collective unconscious, may exist outside the realm of spacetime continuum, unbounded by the opposites, in a mode of singularity, or non duality. Such a structure of psychic totality could possibly lead our imaginations towards singularity/non duality in the external world.

Since we can understand our external environment only through the filters of our internal reality, it follows that our imagination of non duality arises from projection of an internal representation in our personal consciousness onto an external phenomenon, the nearest representation of such a singularity being our earliest imprints of an absolute, and symbiotic union outside the spacetime continuum unbounded by the matrix of the opposites – our experiences of the womb, and of being mothered. Thus, to be registered in human cognition, any authentic experience of the non duality experienced in the moment, has to pass thru the filters of our experiences of being mothered, for we can only experience that for which a template has been created in our formative memory.

The paper explores such multidimensional aspects of the two modes of existence using depth psychological perspectives and contemporary scientific models. It explores the mutuality beneficial roles played by such modes in alleviation of human suffering and concludes with the clinical implications of balancing the two to create ongoing meaning and joy in life.


The above is the abstract of my presentation at the conference on “Science and Non Duality.”  Hope to see you there.

Madhu Sameer

2 responses to “Depth Psychology, Non Duality and Memories of Paradise Lost”

  1. Dear Madhu,

    You are definitely on the central track of joining all opposites.
    The ancient Advaita Vedanta knowing that All is One Source.

    Esteemed thoughts,

    1. Dr Martin,

      Thanx a lot for your encouragement. After reading your comment, I decided to include Advaita in the mix. Just hoping that so many different lit theories don’t detract from the substance.

      My best to you.


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