One of Western Buddhism’s most sophisticated thinkers on one of Buddhism’s most central topics.
The concept of nonduality lies at the very heart of Mahayana Buddhism. In the West, it’s usually associated with various kinds of absolute idealism in the West, or mystical traditions in the East—and as a result, many modern philosophers are poorly informed on the topic. Increasingly, however, nonduality is finding its way into Western philosophical debates. In this “scholarly but leisurely and very readable” (Spectrum Review) analysis of the philosophies of nondualism of (Hindu) Vedanta, Mahayana Buddhism, and Taoism, renowned thinker David R. Loy extracts what he calls “a core doctrine” of nonduality. Loy clarifies this easily misunderstood topic with thorough, subtle, and understandable analysis.
____ Previously published as Nonduality by Humanity Books.
About the Author
David R. Loy's most recent books include Ecodharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis, and Lack & Transcendence, as well as the acclaimed Money, Sex, War, Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution; The Great Awakening: A Buddhist Social Theory; The World Is Made of Stories; A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency; and The Dharma of Dragons and Daemons, a finalist for the 2006 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award. He was the Besl Professor of Ethics/Religion and Society at Cincinnati's Xavier University and is qualified as a teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan tradition of Japanese Buddhism.
His articles appear regularly in the pages of major journals such as Tikkun and Buddhist magazines including Tricycle, Turning Wheel, Lion's Roar and Buddhadharma, as well as in a variety of scholarly journals. He is on the editorial or advisory boards of the journals Cultural Dynamics, Worldviews, Contemporary Buddhism, Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, and World Fellowship of Buddhists Review. He is also on the advisory boards of Buddhist Global Relief, the Clear View Project, Zen Peacemakers, and the Ernest Becker Foundation. He lives in Boulder, CO.
“An important book tackling one of the central themes of Asian thought.”
— Religious Studies Review
“A valuable book on a topic that is essential to understanding the most important systems of Eastern thought.”
— Buddhist Christian Studies
“This book will teach you that you are not who you think you are — you are much, much more than that.”
— Wes `Scoop’ Nisker, Buddhist meditation teacher and author of “Essential Crazy Wisdom,” and other books
“A coherent and profound account of the underlying unity between what are ordinarily experienced as mutually exclusive oppositions: subject and object, perceiver and perceived, phenomena and the absolute. This is a brilliant book.”
— Jason M. Wirth, Seattle University
“David Loy's Nonduality is an under-appreciated landmark in cross-cultural philosophy.” — Guy Newland, Professor and Chair Department of Philosophy and Religion, Central Michigan University
“This volume constitutes the second edition of David Loy's pioneering Nonduality. It comprises the first systematic introduction to a multiplicity of non-dual philosophical systems developed in South and East Asia in the English language. In it, David Loy explores alternatives to dualism with keen philosophical insight in a language that is clear, accessible, and engaging. It is a must-read for everyone interested in Asian and comparative philosophy.” — Gereon Kopf, Professor and Chair of Religion at Luther College and Adjunct Member of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at University of Iceland
“David Loy’s Nonduality is a classic work in comparative philosophy exploring the similarities and differences between different forms of non-dual thinking. A must read for anyone interested in Asian philosophies.” — Richard King, Professor of Buddhist and Asian Studies, University of Kent
“With fluid grace, David Loy engages one of the most central concepts of religious thought. Rendering the obscure clear and the abstract engaging, he offers intriguing parallels to Western texts. This is a book that I often return to, for it is a true companion for thinking of self in the world.” — Jonathan Garb, Gershom Scholem Chair in Kabbalah Hebrew University
“For anyone interested in non-duality, perhaps the central issue of the world’s wisdom tradition, there is no better resource than David Loy’s remarkably clear and comprehensive book.” — Michael E. Zimmerman, University of Colorado at Boulder
“This book is essential reading for anyone hoping to understand the authentic spirituality within religion. I believe that anyone who wishes to understand what Zen is about should read this book. In fact, anyone who wishes to understand the thread that runs through all mystical traditions should read this book. It is a modern spiritual classic.” — James Ford
“Fresh and luminous... Nonduality continues to be a prominent topic in comparative theology and global philosophical debate, and Loy’s prescient book continues to be a landmark reference.” — Joseph S. O'Leary
“David Loy’s masterpiece dispels misunderstandings and hazy generalizations, and lays out different kinds of “nonduality” with their respective implications for human thinking and living.”
— Ruben L. F. Habito, Professor, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
“I read David Loy's Nonduality in my first year as an undergraduate philosophy student, and it radically shifted my understanding of the discipline. Without question, it is one of the key reasons I now work in cross-cultural philosophy. Reviewing the book again, I am struck by its continued and evolving relevance. This new edition is a timely contribution to philosophy today.” — Leah Kalmanson, Associate Professor, Drake University
“David Loy's book is now the classic text on this topic and well worth patient, meditative reading.” — Dale S. Wright, author of The Six Perfections: Buddhism and the Cultivation of Character, and What Is Buddhist Enlightenment?
“A pioneering achievement from one of the leading voices in comparative philosophy and religion today. In his clear and accessible style, David Loy lays out the core principles of nonduality in Buddhism, Vedãnta, and Taoism in a way that liberates us from dualistic thinking and exposes its inherent dangers. The book is a welcome antidote to the nihilism of our present age.” — Kevin Aho, Professor and Chair of Philosophy, Florida Gulf Coast University
“Nonduality is a superb introduction to nondual understanding. Drawing from Buddhism, Vedanta, and Taoism with support from western philosophers and mystics, the author - a careful scholar, experienced Zen teacher, and environmental activist - offers a clear, accessible, and nuanced overview of this subtle and vitally important subject. Original and deeply insightful. I highly recommend it.”
— John J. Prendergast, Ph.D. author of The Deep Heart and In Touch, retired adjunct professor of psychology, CIIS
“In Western philosophy departments, there is a growing appreciation of comparative philosophy, so the reprint of David Loy’s classic book is well-timed. It offers a crystal-clear and sensitive account of non-duality, the main tenet of Buddhism, Vedanta and Taoism. The book deserves reading by anyone interested in ‘understanding’ the experience of nonduality. At the same time, it is a rich source of information about a philosophical tradition that challenges the duality of subject-object and the plurality of the world, two essential assumptions of mainstream Western metaphysics.”
— Hans Thijssen, Professor of History of Philosophy, Radboud University, the Netherlands
“David Loy’s thinking is always ahead of its time. Nonduality is a prime example of this. It was ahead of its time when first published in 1988. It became the “go to” book on nonduality in the first years of its publication. It is thus a great service to philosophers and practitioners for Wisdom Publications to reissue a volume that has retained its preeminent reference status for 30 years. In Nonduality, Loy shows complete mastery of nondual traditions from historical, philosophical and experiential perspectives. Nonduality offers a highly nuanced, comparative analysis of nonduality is its primary settings of Advaita, Zen, Buddhism and Taoism, while referencing Western philosophers such as Plotinus, Descartes, Kant and Heidegger. At the same time Loy advances his own thesis that there is a core experience of nonduality that can be sourced within different conceptual frameworks. No other single volume on nonduality offers the breadth and sophistication of Loy’s analysis.” — Peter Fenner, Ph.D., author of Radiant Mind: Awakening Unconditioned Awareness and Natural Awakening: An Advanced Guide for Sharing Nondual Awareness