Seeing the world as black or white, good or evil, reflects bias, not the truth. It’s all the different colors that contain the profound truths of life you seek. Come and see.
Black and White, Good and Evil
The pure form of dualism is a balance between two equal forces. Mitigated dualism has one superior to the other. It’s a simple way of categorizing things as good and evil. Unfortunately, this mindset reflects the biases, prejudices, and values of those who define and control the cultural group involved.
The Perspective of the Lion & the Deer
Taoism’s yin and yang concept is a dualistic way of explaining opposing views. In Taoism, these forces are not good and evil but complementary forces. Everything in creation has both yin and yang aspects. The world is not black and white. Instead, it’s shades of grey. So, there isn’t an absolute moral judgment of good.
Look at the life of the lion and the deer. From the lion’s perspective, hunting the deer is (morally) good because it sustains pride. From the deer’s perspective, the Lion is an evil force.
When we understand nature, we see both the deer and lion are necessary. They keep the ecology balanced. But, to see this, we must stand outside the lion and deer’s dualistic paradigm. Only we do this are we able to get the whole perspective. So, defining your world in black and white makes you like a lion or a deer.
We observe how the lion first hunts the deer who are injured or have a disease. Then, the lion keeps the deer herd healthy by thinning the herd. In this way, the deer population doesn’t multiply beyond the land’s capability to sustain them. Thus, the lion helps maintain the balance of the ecosystem.
We doubt neither the lion nor the deer understands their unique places in this yin and yang expression of creation. The lion is not good or evil; it’s merely behaving as its instincts tell it must to hunt or die of hunger. The deer is doing what it needs to do to avoid being eaten by the lion. Neither can observe from the larger perspective. They are captive in their roles.
Defining Your World in Black and White
This narrow perspective locks into the perspective of the deer or the lion. It can quickly become a hindrance to our spirituality. A dualistic mindset reduces reality to thinking in terms of just black or white, good and evil, happiness, and sadness.
With this overriding perspective, there is no way to see the “shades of gray.” Nor can we see the other colors of the rainbow. So, if we are like the lion or deer, we become “locked into” a black or white perspective, making us prone to groupthink manipulation. So, we then mistake mythology as fact.
When we take ideological “take positions” based on narrow perspectives, it prevents us from stepping outside and observing from the third perspective. The third perspective is the ability to see the whole.
Western Organized Religion and Dualism
Dualistic ideology Shapes your thinking in black and white absolutes, and this becomes a prison of thought. It also creates a philosophical conflict for Western theology, and these are Abrahamic Religions (1) of Semitic origin, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Western religion also asserts the concept of “absolute monism,” which claims that there is only one Supreme Being. But, at the same time, it maintains a lesser God or an evil entity. So, you need to explain why the more powerful Supreme Being would allow another lesser God to continue to exist. And it requires illogical explanation and circular logic.
Therefore, Western religion is “mitigated dualism.” It means you have two Supreme Beings. In this way, you can have a primary and lesser God. But it also means the superior god accomplishes evil by proxy through the inferior god. These actions occur through natural disasters or by causing (possessing) people to perpetrate evil.
This type of circular logic the bedrock of Persian and Assyrian mythology. Western organized religion elected to keep it along with all the other contradictory superstitions. Western religion is nothing more than the re-branding of Assyrian, Egyptian, Persian, and Babylonian mystery religions. But they did so without considering the implications.
So, even if you aren’t a follower of one of these religions, you still feel the influence of their colossal social reach. As of 2005, 54% (3.6 billion people) of the world’s population ascribes to one sect of the Abrahamic religions (2). About 32% follow other religions, and 16% have no organized religion. Their level of influence in your life depends upon how integrated you are into their paradigm. They use powerful brainwashing tools to attract and integrate people into these paradigms.
The Benchmarks of Western Religion
1. Mandatory membership and allegiance to a Supreme Being, mitigated dualism
2. The justification for what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior and values
3. Required belief in the afterlife, or life after death with either rewards or punishment
Unfortunately, these dogmas infiltrate our society and governments. Religious traditions take precedence over the fair treatment of people and the environment. It’s been a battle that isn’t new. Earlier forms of Gnostic Christianity aligned with pure dualistic philosophy. They held the Devil was an equal and separate independent deity.
The dominant system of Christian dualism is the creation of Constantine-Silvanus. He argued that God created the universe through evil means. So, in essence, the Earth, including humanity, is an error.
Moving Beyond Dualistic Thought
How does one obtain the ability to step outside of this paradigm to employ other techniques for expanding consciousness? Is it possible to break free from the perspective of the lion or deer?
The first step is to identify your emotional attachment to specific value-laden concepts. Next, you’ll need to be able to see the values judgments that trap you in either the lion or deer perspective. It’s possible to break free from this mindset. We’ll discuss some tactics later. But, first, you must understand the roles you play and your sacred ground. Realize that defining your world in black and white is a problem.
During a crisis like a pandemic, the worst thing you can do is fixate either positively or negatively. So to find solutions, you need to be able to a realist and an optimist as well.
The Repeating Question Exercise
Here is a short explanation of the repetitive questioning exercise. This process works best with a partner, but you can do it alone. First, they ask the question and pause, waiting for your response. Next, you write down a few words to help you remember your answer. Then they ask the same question again.
The person asking the question needs to remain “non-judgment” and keep everything confidential. They keep asking the same question, repeating it, for about 10 minutes. It will give you a good list and get below the canned or easy answers.
If you do this exercise alone, ask the question out loud. Then, use a timer and keep going for at least 10 minutes. In either case, you must be honest with your responses.
Here are some questions to help you see if you are the lion or the deer. To do this, we recommend a process we call the repeating question. It will help you ferret out the emotional, spiritual, and physical ties we have to these roles.
Analysis of the Process
Lastly, review your answers to these four questions. Do your answers contain statements that attach emotions of fear and anger or possibly even sadness? Are your responses ambivalent or neutral?
Whatever emotional attachment you have to your answers is a massive clue about your mindset. If you can’t answer without emotional attachment, you know you have some work to do. You know that you need to expand your awareness to see past the boundaries of your paradigm. If this is the case, take your list to the library. Research the topics using “sources OUTSIDE “of your current worldview.
You don’t have to be a lion or a deer. There is a third perspective where peace is available. It is the perspective of the Observer.
What happens if you complete the exercise above and only have two lists? What happens if you can think of nothing that would allow you to see the third perspective? Well, you have some work to do. We recommend conducting research using sources from outside your paradigm. If your belief system has a “banned” book or subject list, then that’s the place to start. You’ll need to challenge your current boundaries of thinking.
Dualism is Defining Your World in Black and White. It’s a skewed philosophy that results in a skewed worldview. If you live the life of the lion or the deer, we hope you find your way out.
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(1) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(2) World Religions by Population, Wikipedia
(3) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia