The Destructive Force of Dualism

Dualistic thinking is addictive. We are culturally immersed in it. In spite of ourselves, we slip into it so easily, often without noticing what we have done. It insidiously colours our attitudes. It shapes our behaviour. It’s the philosophy of ‘them and us’. It influences our view of ‘the other’. It encourages us to make assumptions about other people and maintain our distance from them.  It’s a product of our vulnerability to cultural stereotypes. It is irrational. It is destructive. It is at the heart of almost every problem of contemporary life. 

‘“When we lose the contemplative mind, or non-dual consciousness, we invariably create violent people. The dualistic mind is endlessly argumentative, and we created an argumentative continent, which we also exported to North and South America. We see it in our politics; we see it in our Church’s inability to create any sincere interfaith dialogue—or even intra-faith dialogue. The Baptists are still fighting the Anglicans as “lost” and the Evangelicals are dismissing the Catholics as the “Whore of Babylon,” and we Catholics are demeaning everybody else as heretics, and each of us is hiding in our small, smug circles. What a waste of time and good God-energy, while the world suffers and declines. We have divided Jesus.”

Richard Rohr, Silent Compassion

Richard Jackson is the former Executive Director of Family Foundations Trust and is an international coach with CCI Worldwide. He is working out what it might mean to be a contemplative evangelical. 

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