Is non-duality in the Bible? We will extract some key verses from the Bible and see how they relate to non-dualism.
Non-duality suggests that all existence is formed from one absolute and paramount reality. We can identify the self with that reality once we achieve a higher level of consciousness.
Talking about Christianity, it is a religion associated with non-duality in many ways. Along with the Doctrine of Deification, and the Christian Contemplation practices, the Bible reinforces the connection of non-duality with Christianity.
Let’s find the most compelling verses and quotes highlighting the concept of non-duality in the Bible.
What is Non-Duality?
Non-duality as a concept has its root in various religious philosophies. It is not easy to define non-duality as it is the foundation of all human experiences where one has greater consciousness to fathom one absolute reality.
Also, in this level of greater consciousness, the self is unified with the absolute reality that is one and unchanging.
Presence of Non-Duality in Christianity
In the line of Clement of Alexandria’s words, Christian non-duality focuses on the union of the worshipper with the worshipped. Even the Athanasius of Alexandria said that God was made a man so that we could become God.
Once again, the Gregory of Nyssa preached about the “divine union” or the “assimilation of human nature with Godly power.”
Does the Bible lay the foundation stone for these associations and preachings? Yes, many verses in the Bible correspond to the concept of non-duality.
The Bible and Non-Duality
Like other ancient scriptures, the verses in the Bible are packed with metaphors and symbolism. These symbolisms or metaphors open the minds of the believers to infinite possibilities and a greater truth by freeing them from the shackling of predetermined thoughts and egos.
Although the Bible is written primarily in a dualistic tone, the stories and poetry all point back to the non-dual understanding.
Non-Duality Examples In the Bible
The New Testament is filled with verses that indicate that ultimate salvation can be only attained when our souls get unified with God. These verses also resonate well with the concept of “Unio Mystica,” where the soul of a mystic becomes united with God.
Here are some non-dual quotes from the New Testament in the Bible, specifically the Book of John and Corinthians:
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.“1 John 3:2 NIV (New International Version)
In the verse above, John the Apostle wrote that we should all become like Jesus Christ when he appears. The verse may be read as an indication of non-duality where the difference between the worshipper and worshipped blurs.
“This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence.“1 John 3:19 NIV
In this verse, John writes that by loving with actions, every one of us will know how we are aligned to “the truth.” All of our hearts can rest in the presence of Jesus.
These words echo the concept of non-duality, where the self is in complete union with the absolute, and one truth or the worshipper is assimilated into the deity. This state of the union is peaceful in nature.
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.“1 John 5:11 NIV
This verse says that God has gifted us an “eternal life” and that life is also there in his Son. In other words, the presence in the Son of God and us are all one and the same.
“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.“1 John 1:3 NIV
In this verse, there is a proclamation about the association with the Holy Father and Jesus Christ. This is very much similar to the Doctrine of Deification, where the soul becomes the God, which is the ultimate purpose of human life.
“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.“John 17:11 NIV
Here Jesus Christ is praying to the Holy Father for his disciples. Jesus is saying that there is no difference between the Holy Father and him, and they are one.
Jesus is making a pledge to the Holy Father to save his disciples in the name of the Holy Father and the name given to him.
“-That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.“John 17:21 NIV
Many scholars also believe this verse to be the basis of the Doctrine of Deification. It is about the prayer of Jesus Christ to the Holy Father for his believers. He wants all of his believers to be “one.”
Jesus also prays that the Holy Father and he are one, and similarly, the believers can also be in him and the Holy Father for a “complete unity.”
This is a reflection of the “Aham Brahman Asmi” “Mahavakya” of Advaita Vedanta. It means that the individual soul is divine, and completely in union with the Brahman or absolute reality.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.“1 Corinthians 12:27 NIV
Paul, in this verse, says that all of us belong to the body of the same creator. So, the creator is present in all of us, and our soul is in complete unification with God.
“When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.“1 Corinthians 15:28 NIV
Paul says in this verse that God will be “all in all” And it will only happen when Jesus reigns until all his enemies are destroyed.
Similarly, in non-duality, it is believed that by practicing mindfulness, we can dissolve our egos and shackles of preconceived notions.
Thus, we can see the ultimate truth inside us and everything around us.
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV
Here, Paul preaches that the believers who think deeply about the glory of God are being converted into the image of the Lord with a glory that is ever increasing.
Here is a reflection of the “Christian Contemplation” practices which are about being aware of the divine existence.
“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,”Colossians 1:19 NIV
This verse establishes the supremacy of the Son of God. It says that the “fullness” or completeness of God lives in his Son or Jesus Christ.
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”Colossians 1:27 NIV
Here also, Paul preaches that God has unveiled the greatest mystery to the believers. God has made known that Christ is in all believers, and his presence in everyone is the “hope of glory.”
“To equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”Ephesians 4:12-13 NIV
The verses say that the church deemed as the body of the Christ must be built so that all the believers are united in their faith, and they know about the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”Ephesians 4:15 NIV
In this verse, it is said that all the believers will grow to become a part of Jesus Christ, again symbolizing the oneness that non-dualism is premised on.
Other Verses of Non-Duality In The Bible
The more you explore various books in the New Testament, you will see the abundance of verses related to non-duality.
In Luke 17:21 verse, it is said that the “Kingdom of God” is within the believers, creating a wonderful resonance with the concept of non-duality.
Even Genesis in the Old Testament has some verses that refer to non-duality.
In Genesis 35:2, Jacob is telling everyone around him to become pure by getting rid of their old clothes.
In the non-dual tradition, recognizing your true self by the removal of pre-conditioned thoughts and ideas of who you are is essential.
For more, check out our entire section devoted to learning about Non-Duality.