"All the Buddhist texts talk about duality," Gil said. "Can you explain this to me?"
Hamid had become more preoccupied by Oy, who had stopped to photograph the paw prints of a large tiger that had preceeded us toward the pass...
Gil persisted. "Does it mean that whatever we see is actually taking place inside our heads and therefore does not really exist?"
"Something like that," Hamid responded... "Buddhist philosophy reveals that what appears as external and self-existing is ultimately a function of consciousness; it has not inherent existence. To say that reality is nondual doesn't mean that all is illusion, but that appearances arise in conjunction with our perception. When we recognize that perception dictates our reality, the forces of greed, anger, and delusion lessen and we attain a freer responsiveness to the events around us."
"You mean we don't get attached?"
"Right, we just recognize them as the play of consciousness, a kind of virtual reality. This isn't just artful fantasy," Hamid continued. "Science recognizes the same thing; that reality does not exist separately from our perception."
"So what's real then?" Gil asked. "Just this collective and intersecting delusion?"
"No," Hamid answered. "That's the whole point of Buddhism--to wake up from this collective dream and to recognize that there are no inherent boundaries between external reality and the circuitry of consciousnessness. If we could live in full awareness of this nondual reality, there would no longer be any basis for alienation, greed, anger, fear, and all the other mental poisons that Buddhism speaks about. We would take responsibility for our own perceptions and begin to work with them, in full consciousness of our interconnectedness with other beings." -- a conversation from The Heart of the World: A Journey to the Last Secret Place, by Ian Baker