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Dualism and Non-Dualism Comparison Essay

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Updated: Oct 1st, 2021


The issue of the link between mind and body is one of the things that always fascinated the peoples of all over the world, of all cultures and religions. This fascination lasted since the very appearance of philosophy and lasts till nowadays because of the many insinuations of this matter. Currently, the issue is becoming more sufficient due to the progress of science and of its capability to understand, with its tools, their neural origin, behavioral expressions, and also the artificial reproducibility of such materializations and, at the genetic modifiability of the neurophysiological origin of the same psychical purposes. But still, there is no single answer, and the scientists follow two directions, taking into account these questions: dualistic point of view and non-dualistic.


The relations between mind and body from the dualistic viewpoint go on to be a troubling matter for both philosophy and psychology. Nevertheless, whereas philosophers have generally acknowledged it, in psychology, the matter of this relation has largely been disregarded, and its ongoing significance is covered by the manners in which the very notion of mind-body relations is parted. So, for instance, we have neuropsychology and biological psychology; and the psychologies of cognition and approaches, on the other hand. One setting of sub-disciplines deals with the brain (body), the other ‑ with thoughts (mind): but these two sub-disciplines stay entirely dissimilar from each other. They are taught in separate elements, and their followers apply extremely different research plans, attending conferences and issuing researches almost entirely within the limits of the sub-discipline.

The key assert of dualism is the matter of how the immaterial mind and the material body interact, while these are two different substances (material and immaterial). This is a notion that features important in non-European philosophies. Mental processes cause physical processes and vice-versa. And this statement raises the very question of the dualistic approach: how mind and body interact if these are diametrically different substances. This is called the “problem of interactionism.” (Baker, 1996).

The key considerations on the matters of dualistic approaches are attributed to philosopher Rene Descartes, whose “Meditations” of 1642 demonstrate our culture’s characteristic realization of this matter. Descartes stated that human intelligence is a matter which is split from the body, and it is spaceless (in the meaning that it does not occupy any space). And it is constantly in close junction with the body, which is a space-occupying matter. The mind interrelates with the body (via the pineal gland) but stays split from it. Thus there is in human existence physical “substance,” the substance of nature and the material world, and mental “substance,” the place of considerations thoughts, experience, and other immaterial things may be found.


In contrast with dualism, non-dualism regards mind and body as the only unit. Lots of traditions, cultures and philosophical approaches argue that the real condition or origin of realism is non-dualistic and that these divisions are either illusory or imprecise considerations. While approaches towards the realization of duality and self may differ, non-dual approaches congregate on the regard that the personality, or essence of personal being, control, is regarded to be an illusion as such non-dual approaches have essential overlap with spirituality.

Non-dualism can submit to one of two kinds of quality. One is the quality of junction with reality, God. This quality is well known and can be gained impulsively and via the process of examination. A second quality is supreme by nature. This concept is not so widely known.

As Ramana Maharshi (Indian non-dualistic tradition follower) once stated, the jnani (a person who realized the matter of self) regards no personal ego and does not consider himself to be a “performer” of acts. This state of realization is called jnana (“knowledge” or “wisdom”), taking into account the very idea that this creature (predominantly a human) is constantly aware of self-being. The matter of non-dualism is difficult to explain so easily as the essence of dualism, as a human may come to Jnana only after a thorough study of Indian wisdom and living according to the traditions attributed to Asian cultures.

Briefly, it may be explained the following: people cannot be uncommitted to the things of which they are afraid, material or immaterial, nor can they regard these things separately. Severity and orgies are similar. “God bless you” and “I love you” are equal. The non-dualist may be uninterested in these and may not. Apathy and not indifference are very close to each other, and that explains that the world can not be divided into material and immaterial; consequently, the notion of self-states, that mind and body also can not be divided into two separate substances. (Birla, 1986).


The different views on the matter of world structure have their own followers, who find more and more confirmations of their righteousness. But actually, it is impossible to state what is right and what is wrong, as everyone comes to his or her own consideration, and it depends only on personal experience.


Baker, Gordon, and Katherine J. Morris. Descartes’ Dualism. London: Routledge, 1996.

Birla, Ghanshyamdas. Alive in Krishna. New York: Paragon House, 1986.

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