Dualism – a world of black and white
If you are like most people, your world is neatly divided into things – or sometimes even people – that are either this or that. What they cannot be, ever, is both. Or either/or. This concept, called dualism, has quite a few advantages:
- We know the nature of a given thing (or so we think)
- By knowing the nature of a thing, we also have decided what it cannot be.
- Thus, our world becomes greatly simplified – there is no need to think about concepts outside of this dichotomy.
The concept of dualism has been around for ages. It usually helps us to explain our world, the human experience we are all having. We all understand that in order for something to be hot, there needs to be a quality of cold. For something to be big, there needs to be a concept of small. Opposites help us to experience the world in all its diversity. But what if there are concepts that, in a black-and-white world, seem to be mutually exclusive but still have two sides to them, seemingly opposite, that have a direct connection that needs to be thoroughly understood?
What if a dualistic world view actually keeps us from understanding a few elementary concepts of Life?
Roadblocks, courtesy of the Mind
Our Conditioned Mind, creator and ruler of our Ego, has very specific ideas about the world it inhabits. Depending on your personal level of awareness and conditioned behavior, you may have a big problem with certain concepts – or better said, your Ego, your “sense of self”, has a big problem with them.
If you have followed my Blog for a while, you know what my coaching and Life Mastery consulting is centered around – Awareness, Acceptance and not becoming toooo attached to all the needs our Ego seems to have. These are very healthy concepts that can actually turn your Life around more than a ton of self-help books and Mindvalley subscriptions. The reason they are so healthy and beneficial is that they are needed to initiate any lasting change. Anything else you do in Life to make it more joyful, healthier, more loving, creative or productive, stands and falls with whether you can understand and adopt these three principles.
So what are the roadblocks here?
The Ego is a fragile little thing
Some people, we say, have “big egos”, some small ones. But no matter how we present ourselves to the outside world, all egos with high levels of conditioning have a few things in common: They are constantly on the lookout for threats to the “Self”, and they are all a little on the brittle side.
We all know the feeling of how seemingly innocent remarks made to us can trigger a whole cascade of unpleasant emotions. The Ego needs to feel secure, always, and in order to do so there are a few big no-nos it just has a hard time dealing with.
These include, for example:
- The need to be right
- The need to not be taken advantage of
- The need to not be made look silly or stupid
- The need to have the upper hand
It becomes clearer now how, with conditioning like that, words like “Acceptance” or “Detachment” do not ring particularly well with our perceived Sense of Self. The Ego just loves a dualistic world view, where everything has its place, nothing is too grey or uncertain, and where it’s clear who friend or foe is.
For the Ego, Acceptance equals being a doormat. Detachment means not to love. And the list goes on. As long as our conditioning does not allow us to look beyond the perceived meaning of things, we won’t be able to understand the concepts. Everything in us will rebel against them, because…who wants to be a doormat, after all? But without understanding those concepts, there is no moving forward.
The real meaning of those concepts is totally opposite to what the Ego perceives it to be. But its views are quite rigid, as they are all deeply rooted in learned, habitualized behavior that we are not even aware of.
Clearing the mist of learned, conditioned beliefs and behaviors is where it all starts. If you would like to learn how to do that, drop me a line anytime for a free, no-obligations intro session with me.