I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.
– Max Planck
(X): Non-dualism is not something that can be understood in any formulation of words, and at best one can approach it conceptually only perhaps by means of negation, meaning by specifying what it is not.
A1. All doctrines and teachings are necessarily couched in language, which is a system of symbols. All concepts are just pointers (e.g. ‘pointing at the moon’), including those of Nonduality (ND). So it is not only negation — I think you will agree. I also referred myself to superimposition followed by rescission as a method of gradual understanding taught in Advaita Vedanta. The final end is doing away with language once final understanding has been reached, that is, once there are no further doubts or questions.
(X): Apprehending the world always arrives as consciousness, and consciousness, as I have said, and given my tight definition of it, is brain-dependent. Still, this apprehending is facilitated and illuminated by (my) ‘awareness’, which again, is non-local.
A2. To consciousness and awareness you add mind in your descriptions, three elements or categories apparently distinct though related to each other. I would tend to accept that if they are taken as being ‘three-in-one’, that is, reducible to awareness, which is essence as against, or different from, manifestation.
(X): Awareness is not ‘here but not there’; it pervades all, and in that sense is identical to that which it pervades.
A3. This is in tune with what I wrote in the paragraph above that and, thus, with ND – isn’t that what you meant by ‘direct experience’? But then you have a fourth category which is physical (brain, etc.). Here, then, we are very far from an understanding of Non-duality, if we go by the meaning of this expression. Since you posit multiplicity (of ‘physical objects’) as something real, existent, your position is dualist, not ND.
Clearly, phenomena (all ‘objects’, whether gross or subtle) are not physical entities in any way, shape, or form.
And there is no need of finding recourse on quantum mechanics or neuroscience to confirm or support the above considerations [he did mention that].
To ask a purported individual or person (a separate body-mind from the empirical perspective) whether s/he is enlightened or self-realised is an impossible question. Or, rather, it is self-defeating if the person gives an affirmative reply. And this is so on two counts: from the empirical side because the person shows lack of understanding of what realisation – identical with Non-duality – is. And from the higher, spiritual or metaphysical perspective of ND because the category of individuality – or plurality – simply does not exist; there are only insubstantial phenomena, though some of them may appear as solid. In other words, there is no such thing as a self-realised person or individual. The neo-Advaitists are right on that!
By the way, all this, by itself, obviates the statement in the quotation at the beginning: “No object, no world, no ego can exist apart from Pure Consciousness, which is free from the limitations of time and space.”