“Anon.”: ‘The ideas or concepts of Advaita or any other school of thought/belief, etc., introduce duality into the mind…“It’s only the conceptualization of thought that prevents direct experience of what is.”’
M. That is, in my opinion, like putting the cart ahead of the horse. Thinking, or conceptualization for that matter, is a function of the mind, and mind is consubstantial with duality – it is there not to confound or mislead us, on the contrary, to address all issues and problems in the right manner, that is, intelligently. The individual mind is subservient to intelligence – which is transpersonal -, and intelligence (nous) is in turn subservient to vision or ‘apprehension’, intuition, ‘what is’ (pick your word) and unites with it. But vision or insight, which is wordless, as if coming from empty space, is ahead of or prior to the mind. The vision or intuition (not just intellectual but transcendental, transpersonal) is then invested with words and then we have the concepts and ‘explanations’ of that which, in itself, is unexplainable, unutterable.
If we can think intelligently about life, knowledge, etc., it is because we are ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ – Lao Tze, Shankara, Parmenides, Plato, Longchempa, Tsongkhapa, and so many others.
That is why I said at the beginning that placing conceptualization ahead of ‘what is’ is putting the cart ahead of the horse. Conceptualization/thinking cannot do any harm to what is, logically and ontologically, prior to itself! IOW, first, the vision or intuition; then the verbalization, ‘theorizing’, etc. Unfortunately, vision into reality is not directly transmissible from one individual to another, despite what is taught by some type of Tantra (called Saktipata).
This transcendental intuition is often called in recent times ‘non-dual experience’. Here is a juicy excerpt from ‘NONDUALITY’: A Study on Comparative Philosophy, by David Loy (1988):
‘… the nondual nature of reality is indubitably revealed only in what they term enlightenment or liberation (nirvana, moksha, satori), which is the experience of nonduality. That experience is the hinge upon which each metaphysic turns, despite the fact that such enlightenment has different names in the various systems and is often described in very different ways. Unlike Western philosophy, which prefers to reflect on the dualistic experience accessible to all, these systems make far-reaching epistemological and ontological claims on the basis of counterintuitive experience available to very few – if we accept their accounts, only to those who are willing to follow the necessarily rigorous path, who are very few. It is not that these claims are not empirical, but if they are true, they are grounded on evidence not readily available.’