Malcolm wrote:It depends on what you mean by nondual. There are three kinds of non dualism. One is cognitive non dualism, i.e., everything is consciousness, for, like example Yogacara. The second is ontological nondualism, i.e. everything is brahman, god, etc. The third is epistemic nondualism, i.e., being, non-being and so on cannot be found on analysis and therefore do not ultimately exist.
The indivisibility of the conditioned and the unconditioned is based on the third. We have only experience of conditioned phenomena. Unconditioned phenomena like space are known purely through inference since they have no characteristics of their own to speak of. When we analyze phenomena, what do we discover? We discover suchness, an unconditioned state, the state free from extremes. That unconditioned state cannot be discovered apart from conditioned phenomena, therefore, we can say with confidence that the conditioned and the unconditioned are nondual. The trick is which version of nonduality you are invoking. This nonduality of the conditioned and unconditioned cannot apply to the first two nondualities for various reasons.
Bummer. My examples only addressed the first two form of nonduality that you listed.
Let me addressed the third form of nonduality in another way to make the point of the inappropriateness of using the terms conditioned and unconditioned or any other similar pairs in such a discussion.
By definition, conditioned and unconditioned are mutually exclusive. in other words, what is in set A is not in the set of Not A. Therefore this gives rise to the problems of understanding statements like 'the nature of the conditioned is unconditioned'. The nature of A cannot be separated from A. So to say that the nature of the conditioned is unconditioned means that the conditioned has been wrongly labelled as conditioned. It should have been labelled as unconditioned. So effectively, one is forced into one of the extreme position, namely unconditioned. Taking this a step further, if something is unconditioned, it is uncaused. If it is uncaused it is permanent. If it is permanent, it is non-functional. So if the nature of the conditioned is unconditioned, then by right, there should not even be appearances/illusions as there should not be anything functioning of anything.
My view is that we are all stuck in ancient way of thinking when addressing the nature of all things, and that gives rise to the inability to come to a consensus on what is the ultimate. That is why I prefer to think in terms of conservation principles. For example, energy can take many forms, yet energy as a whole is conserved. Similarly, we can think of the ultimate as that which is conserved while the relative is merely the various forms of the ultimate.