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    Thread: Can one escape duality and talking/thinking in circles?

    1. #26
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      Samael, Sageous, I always enjoy reading your thoughts and appreciate those who strive to keep the topic moving forward.

      So, I do think there's two things going on here. On the one hand, we have dualism in the metaphysical sense, which is about (in my own words) the uncertain connection between subjective perception and objective reality (which, depending on one's philosophy, may entail the total denial of one or the other). On the other, there is the binary nature of so many things that create conflict (good/evil, left/right, light/dark, etc).

      Coming from a Buddhist point of view, I think there's an interesting bridge between the two. I'll try to give an abridged version as I suspect the audience is small and those who would be interested in it are probably already hip to these ideas, even if not expressed in Buddhist terms.

      In Buddhism, the non-dualistic mode of consciousness is that we are conscious only in the present. There is no past or future. There is no self or other. There is no subject and object. Just pure experience. But there is also dualism. And in everyday life, dualism is the main mode of consciousness, if for no other reason that habituation. In the dualistic mode, our mind creates concepts, labels, associations, memories. These serve a practical and evolutionary purpose. It helps use to learn, organize, and speculate on our experience to improve our survival. But, over time, the mind churns on its own creations to make new creations, drifting further and further from subjective, in-the-present experience. The by-product of this is illusion. That is, the mind creates things and we come to believe they are "real" and even become attached to them. But straying too far from reality can create problems. Which is what bridges to the other topic of conflict.

      So, the dualistic mode creates illusions. And what's more, this process operates according to each individual's experience. So each person accumulates their own illusions, different from everyone else. This leads to conflicting ideas between persons. And also conflicting ideas within each person. Conflict leads to negative emotions (like cognitive dissonance among others). Negative emotions are suffering. And so, we've circled back to the first noble truth of Buddhism: life is suffering.

      Now, how to escape it? Well, there's a Buddhist view on that too, but that's a topic others can pursue on their own, and that's enough from me for now.
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      I am sure about illusion. I am not so sure about reality.

    2. #27
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      we may never know for sure, though, because Figurefly seems to have stepped away from this thread,
      Well... I don't know if that's fair to say. She often seems to make decent efforts trying to express herself/convey her ideas, so maybe she is still processing things? Or she is just busy. Or we completely missed her point and went off in a totally different direction and she doesn't know how to respond xD

    3. #28
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      This post is a little bit disjointed; I usually strive for clarity, but it's late and I wanted to respond to this topic before I forgot. Let me know if anything doesn't come across well.

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      That's actually not such a funny thing to say, because you are correct. And how do you adopt this balance? By seeing the world in a truly non-dual way:
      I think that the way it subverts some mainstream expectations was funny to me. That sense of push-and-pull is essential to my worldview, but I don't think I'd managed to frame the contradiction in exactly that way before.

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Traditionally, a non-dual perspective really has nothing to do with binaries at all. Duality, philosophically speaking, is not about black and white, etc.; it is about separating your self from reality and your place in it, where you believe that your mind is a thing existing inside your head that is completely removed from the general workings of the universe. In other words, a dual perspective assumes that the universe is something different and removed from their consciousness, that there is an "I" observing the world from a separate place -- a different, unique existence. A non-dual perspective understands that that "I" is actually an integral element to the world/reality, and is in a state of constant interaction with it.

      So, an actual non-dual perspective would be ideal for including both the binary and non-binary philosophies in its worldview, because it can understand more clearly that everything in the universe is interconnected, so things like binary or non-binary are elements of an overall picture, and, being just elements that are supplementary to the non-dual whole, a slip toward either would be most unlikely.
      I've always found the idea of trying to touch the real, underlying universe (however briefly) by abandoning our preconceived notions and ideas a compelling one. I've actually been playing with this in terms of empiricism versus constructionism. We've constructed all these schema that are essential to the way we view reality, but we want to measure what we can to get closer to the actual reality, but what's to say that the underlying reality is more real than the one we experience? I think that embracing contradiction might be vital to puzzling that one out.

      Quote Originally Posted by sisyphus View Post
      But straying too far from reality can create problems. Which is what bridges to the other topic of conflict.

      So, the dualistic mode creates illusions. And what's more, this process operates according to each individual's experience. So each person accumulates their own illusions, different from everyone else. This leads to conflicting ideas between persons. And also conflicting ideas within each person. Conflict leads to negative emotions (like cognitive dissonance among others). Negative emotions are suffering. And so, we've circled back to the first noble truth of Buddhism: life is suffering.
      Ah, there's the issue with simply accepting the constructionist idea of our personal illusion as reality. I knew it would pop up.

      I wonder how much of the problem comes from the fact that we're tempted to portray our personal illusion as Truth? I mean, if the three of us are in our own little bubbles, we're each trying to communicate what the inside of the bubbles look like through the insufficient medium of words. But as long as I acknowledge that the inside of my bubble is probably genuinely different than the inside of your bubble, and the inside of all of these bubbles is different again from the world outside of the bubbles, we're not likely to take any of it personally, and don't see much of a need for conflict.

      Quote Originally Posted by sisyphus View Post
      Now, how to escape it? Well, there's a Buddhist view on that too, but that's a topic others can pursue on their own, and that's enough from me for now.
      Ending of suffering? Definitely a big topic!

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      All that said: The Wiccan tenets may have changed the meaning of duality from the traditional one I am using, so in their context everything you say may be correct -- just so you know I am not arguing against your beliefs.
      If the Wiccan traditions are anything, it's "eclectic," so I expect that if you grabbed a bunch of different Wiccans from different groups, they'd all give you a different definition of what those tenets are. Either way, it's always fun to define our terms and figure out where each of us is coming from, so it's all good. You've given me a bunch to ponder about the way that us earth-worshippers use the idea of duality compared to other philosophies.
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      I pick up a half-eaten copy of a book by Neil Gaiman, and decide this is all his fault.

    4. #29
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      I have enjoyed reading threw the posts and love the way this topic has been embraced. I am someone who very often sees an interesting valid view point in a post or opinion put forward and in that way find and stumble upon my own beliefs and standpoints ( Schema's I think this is called here ) as they widen and verge/change as I take it in and give time to ideas...

      In one way for me right now it is obviouse there are two - me and my life, things, friends, likes, desires,needs, annoyances, fancys etc and yet when I relax and take a view from my direct experience right now it feels as if I could be at peace with every single thing on/in/ around/ outside/ within this me this planet ... As if we are REALY are one - but yet I speak "of " so it's asif its all separate from me

      The OP said - Can one escape duality and talking/thinking in circles?...
      I wonder - Is it talking and thinking that often makes us feel we are going in circles thus giving us a feeling sometimes we want to " escape "?
      Do we need to talk/think with some wisdom or view of non- duality to help this?


      How paradoxical - that's all I got right now
      Last edited by Patience108; 10-08-2015 at 09:01 AM. Reason: OP

    5. #30
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      Quote Originally Posted by Patience108 View Post
      Do we need to talk/think with some wisdom or view of non- duality to help this?
      Nope. People just confused terms and then started talking about duality/non-duality because they felt like they had something interesting to say. People including myself. Even though it was off-topic. Not that I mind..

    6. #31
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      Thanks Ginsan in that case It seems terms have been confused wonderfully - helping, in adding a possible wider look around the subject of interest

    7. #32
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      Given that I am understanding the spirit of the topic, the idea is that you cannot escape the inevitability of looking at anything in terms of black and white. Something is, or is not. The obvious answer here is that you can escape it by seeing what you are looking at in various shades of grey. However, when you more closely inspect each shade of grey you divide something into, you are ultimately replacing black and white with a values of grey that are higher and lower with respect to one another. It is still the same thing. Duality is a result of order. Any method of categorization, no matter how complicated its system of categorizing things will ultimately lead you to what we are calling here, a duality. Whether something is or isn't, even if our classification of that "object" or phenomenon has multiple things it is or is not. If it isn't obvious already, this is completely parallel with binary. This doesn't mean that we are in a simulation or any other off-the-wall conclusions you might be able to draw from that statement, it is merely a reflection of how we naturally function. Computers function the same way we do because we made them, it's what makes sense to us. It may actually be a result of how reality functions, but we don't have any way of experiencing reality outside our own realm of perception, so to make any statements on that would really just be an exercise in pure speculation and confirmation bias.

      I've got more ideas, but these are the only coherent ones I can provide at the moment. I need to think about what I want to say a bit more.

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