The term “nondual states” has gained some currency as applied to states of mind in which the sense of self is softened, expanded, or shifted from conventional experience. Nonduality is a metaphysical concept about the nature of reality, commonly associated with the Advaita Vedanta school of Indian religion. New Age religious thought has applied the term “nondual” to states of consciousness that are believed to contact or apprehend this speculated metaphysical ideal. However, this use is incompatible with lineage-based teachings of Advaita Vedanta, inadequately precise to serve as a psychological construct, and improper as an insertion of New Age metaphysical notions into a psychological context. The paper draws on the author’s personal engagement with doctrines of Advaita Vedanta received from a scholar and lineage-holding teacher, Carol Whitfield.

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