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.
In its pure form, Dualism is a balance between two equal forces, not one superior and one lesser. However, it has become a way of categorizing things as black and white (or good and evil). Thus, it reflects the biases, prejudices, and values of those who define and control the cultural group involved.
The Perspective of the Lion & the Deer
For example, the yin and yang concept in Taoism is a dualistic way of explaining opposing points of view. 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 nature balanced. To see this, we must stand outside the dualistic paradigm of the lion and deer. 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. This keeps the deer herd healthy. The lion also thins the herd. In this way, the deer don’t multiply beyond the capability of the land to sustain them. The lion helps sustain 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. The lion is a lion. And the deer is the deer. You either live in fear or hunger. You can’t see the true perspective.
Defining Your World in Black and White
This narrow perspective locks into the perspective of the deer or the lion. It can easily become a hindrance to our spirituality. This is because it 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. If we are like the lion or deer, we become “locked into” a black and white perspective. This makes us prone to the tactics of groupthink manipulation. So, we then mistake mythology as fact.
We take ideological “take positions” based on narrow perspectives. This prevents us from being able to step outside and observe from the third perspective. The third perspective is the ability to see the whole.
Western Organized Religion and Dualism
Shaping Your thinking in black and white absolutes becomes a prison of thought. But, it also creates a philosophical conflict for Western theology, these are Abrahamic Religions. The Western organized religions of Semitic origin, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Western religion also asserts the concept of “absolute monism” which asserts the idea that there is only one Supreme Being. At the same time, it asserts the existence of 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 really “mitigated dualism.” This means you have two Supreme Beings. In this way, you can have a primary and lesser God. But it also means everything evil is done with the permission of the primary God. These actions occur through natural disasters or by perverting (possessing) people to perpetrate evil. This type of circular logic the bedrock of Persian and Assyrian mythology and was adopted by Western religion. You see, Western religion is really the result of the re-branding of Assyrian, Egyptian, Persian and Babylonian empires. 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 because of their colossal social reach. As of 2005, estimates classified 54% (3.6 billion people) of the world’s population are aligned with the Abrahamic religions, about 32% follow other religions, and 16% have no organized religion. As a result, the level of influence depends upon how much these beliefs are integrated into your life. There are specific tools of doctrine for integrating people into these paradigms.
The Benchmarks of Western Religion
1. Mandatory membership and allegiance to a Supreme Being, (God or Gods)
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
Sadly, people in charge of many governments place the dogma and values of these religious traditions above the fair treatment of all people and the environment. It’s been a battle that isn’t new.
Interestingly, earlier forms of Gnostic Christianity were aligned with pure dualistic philosophy, asserting the Devil was an equal and separate independent deity. The Christian dualists of the Byzantine Empire, the Paulicians, were seen as Manichean heretics. This tradition of Christian dualism is the creation of Constantine-Silvanus, who argued that it created the universe through evil means which was separate from the primary moral God. In essence, all of creation including humanity is an evil error.
Moving Beyond Dualistic Thought
How does one then obtain the ability to step outside of this paradigm to employ other techniques for expanding consciousness? How does one move the consciousness to the perspective of the observer rather than being trapped into the world-view of the lion or the deer?
The first step is to find how it is reflected in your own values and judgments. We’ll discuss other tactics you can use once you better understand the roles you play and your own sacred ground. Realize that defining your world in black and white is a problem.
The Repeating Question Exercise
The Repeating Question Process
This process works best with a partner, but you can do it alone. With a partner, they ask the question and pause waiting for your response. You write down a few words to help you remember. 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 question, repeating it, for about 10 minutes. This will give you a good list and also get below the canned or easy answers.
If you do this exercise alone, ask the question out loud. Use a timer and keep going at least 10 minutes. In either case, with a partner or alone you must be honest.
In order to recognize the roles, you play as the lion or the deer we employ a series of repeating questions to ferret out the emotional, spiritual and sometimes the physical ties we have to these roles. You can do this too by writing down what you believe is evil. These are the things or traits that represent the lion.
- What is your definition of evil? Does it exist within?
- Do you believe evil exists outside of you?
Then write down the things you believe are good. These are the things or traits that represent the deer.
- What do you believe is good in you?
- What do you believe is good that exists outside of you?
Analysis of the Process
Lastly, review your lists and write down how these things and traits could be viewed from the perspective of the observer, without the attachment of good or evil, happiness or sadness.
If you view your three lists and can’t list how these could be viewed from a different perspective, then you know you have some work to do regarding your ability to see past the boundaries of your paradigm. If this is the case take your list to the library and research the topics using sources OUTSIDE or those that directly oppose your current view of thinking. You don’t have to be a lion or a deer. There is a third perspective where peace is found in Being 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 definitely recommend conducting research using sources from outside your paradigm. In fact, 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 are living the life of the lion or the deer we hope you find your way out.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their own path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s Book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia