Reply To: The Experience of Art

  • Mike Todd

    June 22, 2023 at 2:21 pm

    Hi Don,

    In his philosophy Nagarjuna employs a form of logic called dialetheism, which is a type of paraconsistent logic, to which Dr. McGilchrist refers in his books. Dialetheism complements paradox, which is itself a way of pointing at the essentially ineffable. This is relevant with respect to “going beyond both duality and nonduality”, because I believe that, notwithstanding the unavoidable duality (in language) of juxtaposing two perspectives on one thing, Dr. McGilchrist was in fact pointing at the unconditionally nondual which transcends conceptions of duality and nonduality. This is encapsulated in a phrase he sometimes uses: “the unity of division and unity”.

    It’s impossible to reflect the nature of unconditional nonduality in language, because unconditional nonduality is limitless, and language, being composed of words, is inherently limiting: words define; to define is to limit. Language, as a limitation, reflects the inherent limitation that individuation entails: The One/cosmos/Brahman adopts a limited perspective whenever it individuates as one of us, and there is nothing we can do, no experience we can have, that will utterly emancipate us from this ineluctable minded embodiment; only death can do that. But we can contemplate unconditional nonduality, intuit it, so that it becomes in some sense “present” for us, even if it remains tantalisingly out of reach – we can hear its bell echoing on the wind and be moved.

    Given the above, we should allow that any language we use, with respect to unconditional nonduality or anything else, is a concession and will necessitate a duality, i.e. speaking in terms of “this and that” rather than “this is that”; and ultimately what it concedes is that we are inherently limited as a consequence of individuation. Concession, the limits of language and the impossibility of articulating the ineffable – BK eloquently touches on these in the following video, starting at 48:38.