Stinkin’ Thinkin’

dualism

Richard Rohr is one of my favorites. This excerpt I think helps in our quest to end our dualistic thinking.

Although we begin life, as very young children, as non-dual thinkers, usually by the age of seven we are all dualistic thinkers, and sadly many of us stay that way for the rest of our lives. Dualistic thinking is the well-practiced pattern of knowing most things by comparison. And for some reason, once we compare or label things (that is, judge things), we almost always conclude that one is good and the other not so good or even bad.

Don’t take my word for it; just notice your own thoughts and reactions. You will see that you will move almost automatically into a pattern of up or down, in or out, for me or against me, right or wrong, black or white, gay or straight, good or bad. It is the basic reason why the “stinkin’ thinkin’” of racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, religious imperialism, and prejudice of all kinds is so hard to overcome and has lasted so long—even among nice people!

At the risk of being too cleverly alliterative (though it may help you to remember), here is the normal sequencing of the dualistic mind: it compares, it competes, it conflicts, it conspires, it condemns, it cancels out any contrary evidence, and then it crucifies with impunity.You can call it the sevenC’s of delusion. This is the source of most violence, which is invariably sacralized as good and necessary to “make the world safe for democracy” or to “save souls for heaven.”

There is a reason why Jesus and all the great spiritual teachers say, “Do not judge!” and why angels in the Bible are always saying, “Do not be afraid!” Our violence—and almost all of our unhappiness—emerges from our judging, dualistic mind—which itself comes from deeply rooted fear. Only unitive, non-dual consciousness can heal this violence and lead us to a rather constant happiness.

Adapted from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life,
pp. 146-147,
Exploring and Experiencing the Naked Now

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