I have been trying to think of a non-dualist introduction to this article, but I cannot. Simply because the seeds of dualism are so deeply rooted in this reality so that even a gentle distinction between what *is* dualist and what's not, again is plagued *by* the definition of dualism itself.
The problem of dualism is one of a mind pretext, without which virtually nothing makes sense. If i said "this *is* or this *is not* dualism", I am simply falling pray to dualism again. So what is one to do? Well, maybe I can outline a serene prescription which describes the curse of dualism, without actually offering any alternatives on how to avoid it.
You are all familiar with the problem of dualism. It is the conscious or subconscious separation that occurs when we choose. Anything. From women, to colors, to cars, to housing, to computers.
Dualism itself is not the actual problem. The actual problem is the consequences *from* decisions that are made based on dualistic behavior. And as a result, the fighting. The fighting that occurs as we make those decisions.
X likes A, Y likes B, so they engage in a battle to prove suitability for survival of either proponent. It may very well be that nature intended us to have a dual mind, as to provide for a easy experimental battleground to determine who deserves to survive. *That* is the most eminent flaw that has been instilled in our dualistic minds, since the beginning.
The usual outcome of dualistic behavior, is that one proponent survives and makes one's ideology dominant, thus suppressing the loser. Ideologies that do not survive or cannot withstand the pressure of competition, are simply wiped out of existence. Or are they? Do they really become obsolete? Then why do we keep them on record? Isn't the fact that we keep them on record for our reference indicative of a hidden potential that this information can startup again and infest our minds?
The most graphical example that I can think of that pertains to the problem of dualism-with the most difficult solution-was outlined to me by a friend on the beach during the summer of 1998 in Crete:
"Isn't she pretty?"
"Yes, she is"
"Do you like her?"
"I like all women"
"Even older ones?"
"Yes, even older ones"
"Ok, then, I'll pick the young chicks, and you go after the old hags, since you seem to have no problem with that..."
At this point it is hard to respond. Yes, i do like all women, but would I like to be going out with a 90 year old grandma on my side? Dualism says: "You are a sucker!" Non-dualists claim, it makes no difference. So, is there a way to avoid the traps of dualism?
Yes, there is. You can fall pray to dualism insofar as "liking" is concerned, but you can abstain from making choices altogether.
I claim, and bare with me, that ugly/beautiful, black/white, correct/wrong, important/not important, etch, are simply dichotomies, which when examined closer reveal a grandiose nonsense which rarely if ever bares any actual significance to our lives, except in the eyes of other people. Ah, and because we *care* about what other people say, we care about our choices altogether. But what happens when we stop paying attention to what other people think?
When that happens, the dualist mind escapes the prison of dualism, and as such is free to investigate the significance of our choices vis-a-vis ourselves. And *this* is what's been missing. We have been conditioned to make our choices vis-a-vis other people, and therein lies the gross mistake, because other people don't give a rat's ass about our choices. If they do, it is purely for reasons of entertainment, or for reasons which are purely void with respect to us.
You say, that what other people think about us determine our destiny in an indirect way though, since other factors, such as work, friendship and survival in general depend on other people having formed an opinion about us, and thus it affects us altogether. Partly true. But the decision to fight dualism does not have to be publicized, neither are one's private choices indicative of the correctness of other people's opinions about us.
To make it clearer, there is an operational dualistic consensus, which you may allow yourself to fall prey of, and abide by the rules of society, yet you can be free of dualism altogether by applying this consensus only insofar as choices that determine your sustenance in this reality is concerned.
The key point here is to "abide" willfully to it, not to be a slave of it...
One prominent discussion that pops up in alt.consciousness.mysticism, is always the emergence of the new messiah, as "predicted" by the (whatever) ancient writings. One reason such an emergence would fail miserably, is precisely *because* this emergence would force society to engage in a heavily dualistic behavior. He either *is* the Messiah, or he is *not*. No other choice is evident after such an emergence. And because society has seen the disastrous results of similar dichotomies in the past, it *knows* that such an emergence will most likely bring further division, chaos and confusion, rather than anything good.
Well, there *is* a non-dualistic alternative to even that. The messiah himself, was wise enough to recognize the problems associated with such an emergence, and has thus determined that the best course would be to deny the fact that he *was* the messiah, altogether, and thus cancel his emergence.
As a result, we are spared the dichotomy that would come as a result, but we are left with the following scenario: That of no messiah, and being left to determine our future ourselves. This scenario, now, creates another dualistic side effect, that of one either collapsing the ideas of old and sticking to the new order of no guide whatsoever, or following the tracks of old masters, which can be done just for reasons of entertainment or simple pleasure. In either case, there is no salvation to be had. The old masters have disappeared, nowhere to be found, and no new master is interested in providing further guidance. I think it is better this way...
Returning to the problem of dualism in society: It really does not make a difference any more if one likes x or y, or chooses x or y, simply because the choice itself bares no significance whatsoever. Think about it. Look at all the problems that dualism has inflicted on us. Isn't it time we did something about it?
I think the time has come to free ourselves of the dreaded dualism. Yet, at its last stages, dualism introduces one final characteristic, which is really scary by itself: To choose non-dualist against dualist, is again a dualist decision.
So, what would a true non-dualist say in this case? That it does not really matter either way, so choosing non-dualist vs dualist is not important anyway. But if it is not important, everything gets flattened out and becomes equivalent. Nothing is significant anymore, because everything collapses under a precarious scheme which chases its own tail.
So, you can see now what the problem is: This reality is a prison of the mind. There is no escape from it. And to make things worse, *if* and *when* there is an escape, it may be so painful and intolerable, that we may be forced to return to dualism to reexperience what we have decided to deny in the first place.
You may be amongst the lucky ones who can see that all is flat: Insanity is equivalent to sanity. Black is equivalent to white. Pretty is equivalent to ugly. And finally, and most importantly, pain is, alas, equivalent to pleasure. Especially once you get used to it. So, abandon all hope my friends. There is nothing out there that can save us from the misery of dualism. When I was working in Barrington, Illinois, one day i saw on the wall of the train station the following: "The game of life is easy: If you win, you lose. If you lose, you win...". Dualism is here to stay. And worse yet, it keeps returning until we have learned to exclaim with happiness: "The king (of dualism) is dead!. Long live the King!!..."
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