See how they are the same one except one is rejected in favor of the other.
They're not the same though, one is nourishing (which is why you're inclined to want it), the other isn't. They're made of "the same" matter, in a sense (whatever that basic constitution of matter is), but the matter is arranged differently. Same with the choccie and the turd.
I'm not unsympathetic to the non-dual thing, I've had non-dual epiphanies too, though I wouldn't say I'm "enlightened" (in the sense that it's not a perspective I'm situated in permanently), but I think you'll have to work harder to convince philosophers of it.
Talking about being and nothing is old hat to philosophers, and mostly these days philosophers think of such talk as largely empty (since it's just to do with concepts, whereas everywhere we find in experience never nothing, but always something
, whether that's external objects, or thoughts or images, etc., so that, ontologically, nothing doesn't
exist, which is the same as to say something exists
, and you can't get around that).
I think the best inroad to a philosophical discussion of nonduality is probably in relation to a) the problem of consciousness and b) the problem of the self. Particularly with the latter, it may be the case that the sense of self is labile
, and that while it's normally closely tethered to the body, it can also attach to one's walking stick, to the family, the nation, or even the universe as a whole.
But that would be a superficial way of looking at it, I suppose - that would be thinking of the self as the product of a faculty or a function (perhaps of the body and brain), or as the Hindu tradition has it, the Ahamkara
or "self-making" function. The deeper question is whether there's anything objective and real behind the concept of self, a referent that fixes the concept of self ontologically.
Traditional Advaita (and other non-dual systems) say yes, it's consciousness, bare consciousness per se., the sheer fact that anything is "lit up" and comes to be "known" at all. So then the further point is the identification of our several individual, separate consciousnesses, with a metaphysically universal consciousness, such that the non-dual epiphany isn't just the transference of the activity of a self-identifying function ("what am I?", were it vocalized) from the body to the universe, but rather the recognition (in conceptual terms, by an individual mind) of an already-existing metaphysically
universal quality to consciousness (to every particular instance of consciousness).
The way I think of it is that while our several concrete consciousnesses, being perfectly ordinary, functions of matter/energy, coming to be and dissolving, are most definitely personal and mortal, each is at the same time as it were a representative
, or emissary
(performs the function of) universal consciousness, every particular consciousness is at the same time an instance of the Universe's awareness of itself
, every particular consciousness, mortal though it may be, is revealing something particular, unique and individual (pattern of matter/energy) that was inherently possible from yea time. Another poetic way of saying it would be that the function of consciousness is that God may serially canvass the infinite possibilities inherent in His Being, in concrete, actual form.
This goes against the traditional non-dual idea, whereby the inability to conceptually distinguish one's own personal consciousness from a putative universal consciousness is held to demonstrate (or at least open up the possibility to contemplate) that our particular individual consciousness only seems to be personal, but is actually universal. However, I don't think that argument quite succeeds, I think the most that can be shown is that while ontologically personal, it may at the same time be metaphysically universal.
This (the un-get-overable mortality of our several consciousnesses) may be a bit disappointing to the hopes for some kind of literal, temporal immortality that often arise from non-dual thought, but on the other hand, it's quite a big thing to be a chip off the old block, even if only for a moment.
Anyway, the problem really is that while a lot of this area of talk makes sense poetically, it's extremely hard to put into words without taking many, many words and making many, many precise qualifications and distinctions. The short poetic version isn't the argument, it just gives a general sense of the thing.