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

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      Can one escape duality and talking/thinking in circles?


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      Give me a little bit more to work with here, figurefly!

      I know that there's a struggle for me in associating with the Wiccan community, in a similar sense. I dislike binaries in the sense of requiring all things to fit in two categories like male or female, good or bad. We've had problems at events where a facilitator tries to separate men and women using vague-sounding terms, and that can backfire pretty badly. At the same time, a viewpoint of duality can help us keep in mind that "the masculine" and "the feminine" (and everything in between!) are important -- both in contributing to the world around us and within our own personalities. Similarly, the nature of the universe (and the divine) contains both good and bad and neither and every shade in between. Without dual focus, it can be easy to only emphasize some traits as important and ignore all others, especially in a spiritual practice.

      Or are you speaking more in terms of "us versus them," where one person will look for any excuse (ex: a spelling error) to invalidate the other person's position in their own mind?
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      Samael, I'd say no to both those suggestions, simply because I can't draw anything from her initial post.

      But yeah.. Give us something... Anything!
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      Okay, I'll give it a try now.

      What I'm talking about (to give very simple examples) is like, the never-ending war of determinism/indeterminism, the never-ending debate on whether god exists or not, the never-ending two sided anything.

      Can we free ourselves from dualistic thought patterns? Is it in our nature to think this way? And is it in the nature?

      I can't find words. It's almost like I'm thinking without words. I can't tell and it's frustrating.
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      In that case, I'd say that this tendency is built in to the human brain, but it can be overcome. The "war" you speak of comes from each of us picking a side, and then stereotyping members of the other side as having a specific set of traits. That are 100% wrong. It takes a different part of the brain to recognize that we're using those stereotypes and switch to our reasoning abilities: We're Only Human...: The Neurology of Stereotypes

      I wouldn't say that this is a dualism issue, though, as the problem doesn't surface from there BEING two sides so much as that each person picks a side and then is unable to recognize the points that make sense from the other viewpoint.
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      The war and the debate I'm talking about is the war and the debate that is going on inside. How can this be overcome? By not caring/not searching?

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      So the thought pattern is that one or the other must be true? To my knowledge, there are two ways to deal with this: pick a side, or embrace ambiguity and ambivalence.

      You can guess which path I prefer, because it allows me to continue to question.
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      A very short version: What you say makes no sense to me. I think nobody ever thinks dualisticially, if I correctly understood what you meant by "dualistic". *This sounds a bit harsh, I have friendly intentions! And my aim is to explore ideas. I am simply too lazy to make it sound more friendly/less confrontational* = )

      Long version:

      There are things that people think about where the answer is not "it's either this side or that side". It can be an open question, like "What happens when a star explodes?" There is nothing dualistic about it. "Does god exist or not?" I'm not sure if that's a proper question, because there can be many gods, or the thing that people think about when they say god may not exist but a different kind of god might exist, you know? Sometimes it's not useful to see a question as a matter of 1 side being true or false.

      "And is it in the nature?" What the hell does that mean? xD

      "Is it in our nature to think this way?" It seems that on the surface we do think this way, but when you actually look at why you ask a question, it's more complicated.

      "Can we free ourselves from dualistic thought patterns?" I am already free of dualistic thought patterns and I don't think I ever suffered from it.

      I'll try to give an example of how I think, I hope it makes sense and maybe it helps you answer your question. So when I thought "Should I respond to this thread?", it was clearly a yes or no question. But it's not like I was continuously going back and forth from yes to no to yes to no. I ask myself several questions: is this interesting, do I already have a view on this, if not, do I want to/care enough to/want to spend energy to form an opinion? This goes back to whether it's interesting. What does she actually mean, what did Samael say? If what Samael said made no sense, should I try to correct him or just ignore him and focus on figurefly's question? So even though I started with a yes or no question, there is nothing dualistic about my thought pattern. I don't know what to call it or how to describe it, but it's not at all dualistic.

      I'll continue: Hmm, I think I have an idea of what she means. *writewritewrite* Nah, that's not quite right. I don't get it, screw this, I want to watch Flying Circus and continue eating this carrot. *later on* What about this.. *write* So here I am. Nowhere did I actually answer "Should I respond to this thread?" Looking back, I'm not even sure what exactly the function of that question was, maybe all it needed to do was give me a little push in a certain direction that seemed interesting. If right now after some thought I realized that all this was nonsense, I might say "well screw this I don't want to think anymore", I would delete this respons and the answer will be "no". But then minutes later I might develop some curiosity and I will want to elaborate on my idea and maybe share it, and then it will be yes again. I just went in a direction and had different questions and decisions where the initial question is not relevant anymore.

      Did this make sense or did I totally miss the point?
      Last edited by Ginsan; 10-02-2015 at 01:52 PM.
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      Just for the record, duality, as it is understood in philosophy and religion, anyway, has nothing to do with what you guys are talking about.

      Simply put, duality is nothing more than the perception that the world is composed of two basic entities: mind and matter. In other words, a dualistic perspective sees the world (matter) as something separate from themselves (mind). A non-dual perspective is one that understands that mind and matter are ultimately the same thing, and interact not as separate entities but units of a greater whole. Dream yogis, BTW, seek a non-dual perspective in their quest to better experience their LD's: a non-dual perspective is extremely helpful in LD'ing, given that dreams are perfectly non-dual events (everything in them is of the dreamer).

      The other classic use of the term "duality" is the theological one, which uses it to say that there are two mutually antagonistic principles in the universe: good and evil. This is closer to what the OP describes, but it is still not really the same, I think.

      So: I don't think duality has much to do with the binary stuff you guys are talking about. Sure, there can seem to be two (or more) sides to pretty much any consideration, and getting confused or misguided about which side to choose (or, rather, deciding that a side must be chosen, since Ginsan makes a good point when he says we do not live in a necessarily binary world) is certainly worth discussion. But binary/black&white relationships are really not what duality is about.

      ... just thought I'd point that out...
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      Sageous, I take your point and btw, I knew that... I thought it was irrelevant to this discussion as long as we all knew what was being meant by duality in this context. I still think it's irrelevant, but maybe figurefly, Samael and/or other readers will appreciate the side note...

      "Ginsan makes a good point when he says we do not live in a necessarily binary world" I don't agree with that description of what I said, I also don't think that that's what this discussion was about. I'm not entirely sure what figurefly was trying to describe, but I think it was not about the binary or nonbinary nature of the universe, but more about a tendency to think in a certain way. A way she calls dualistic.

      About your descriptions of duality/non-duality, I feel many questions coming up, but I won't mention them. Because I am curious about what exactly figurefly is trying to convey (I really don't know ), because she often has interesting things to say. Also because both kinds of duality that you were alluding to seem profoundly boring to talk about.
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      ^^ Again for the record, I did assume you knew what duality/non-duality actually meant, Ginsan. Also, the descriptions I gave were pretty standard: you could probably find something similar in any dictionary or philosophy reference book.

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      Interesting, thank you for posting
      Last edited by Sixstrings; 10-02-2015 at 10:07 PM.
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      I'm sure that your descriptions are very close, and I would not even be surprised to find out that they are dead-on, centre of the bullseye. But I still think that I would be doing an injustice to those ideas if I were to make a judgement based on that description, without doing more research. But the problem is that they seem boring enough to prevent me from doing that further research

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      ^^ Yes, I suppose they are boring... on their surface. But the doors that achieving a sense of non-duality opens is well worth a bit of dry research, I think.

      Sometimes (hell, most of the time) the best things in life start out with really dull information gathering. But dues must be paid to get what we want, don't they?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      don't they?
      I'm not sure... I actually don't think so xD But... Perhaps this little exchange will someday bubble up and I will think "hmm, let's look up this non-duality thing", and I will thank you for it. I do have some sympathy for it. I also feel like I am starting to get a better and better grasp of the selfless nature of consciousness, that there really is no experiencer, there is only the experience which is taking place in this consciousness. Now that I think about it, I remember Sam Harris describing that as non-duality. Now you have my attention So is that the same as non-duality? When I look at an apple there is not really an "I" sitting in my head looking at the apple, but there is a consciousness, and in that consciousness is appearing (or happening/taking place) the experience of seeing an apple. It's devoid of "I", and since Sam described that I've been casually thinking about it every now and then, and while meditating I've been considering this concept of selflesness or non-duality. And this idea that there is no self having an experience, there is only experience, is making more and more sense.

      Did I lump two things, selfless and non-dual, together while they are not the same? It may be the case that they are similar, but on closer inspection they may turn out to be slightly different. I haven't thought about it enough to really have an opinion about it, but sort of vaguely in my head, I have always considered them as synomys. So perhaps you can forget my earlier accusations and educate me a bit


      edit: You can see a change of heart in this post. At the beginning I was basically saying why I didn't want to dive further into it but that I may remember this and look it up later. And then a few sentences after that I have jumped off a cliff or plank and am swimming in the subject xD
      Last edited by Ginsan; 10-03-2015 at 05:46 PM.
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      @figurefly,

      It could just be another aspect or dimension of the same thing. When people say a cube is a 3 dimensional object, they are right in a way, but in another way a cube has an infinite amount of dimensions (or perspectives to measure it from) another dimension of the cube can be it's taste or roughness.

      Thoughts are the same, some thoughts have both a dimension of good and a dimension of evil among many other things.

      In this way everything is everything. There is a degree of love within hatred, it may sound abstract but there is even a degree of 'hotdog-ness' in hatred . Literally anything and everything can be used as a dimension of a thing.

      Hmm to escape from it? That's interesting. Can you escape from the very nature of things? Assuming anything is possible, The short answer is yes. How? Perhaps it requires thinking from a perspective that is outside of classic logic.

      If on a simpler note you are trying to stop an endless barrage of debating thougts, meditation may help clear the mind. Regular sessions will condition your mentality.

      A simple meditation can be sitting cross-legged listening to quiet zen music while you focus on your breathing to quiet your thoughts
      Last edited by Wisher; 10-03-2015 at 06:34 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ginsan View Post
      Did I lump two things, selfless and non-dual, together while they are not the same? It may be the case that they are similar, but on closer inspection they may turn out to be slightly different. I haven't thought about it enough to really have an opinion about it, but sort of vaguely in my head, I have always considered them as synomys. So perhaps you can forget my earlier accusations and educate me a bit
      From what you described, I think it would be safe to lump the two together.

      I'm a little leery of using the term "selfless," though, because to me it seems to imply an abandonment of identity, of the fact that there is still a "You" present, even though it isn't a separate consciousness sitting inside inside your head during the experience. It also might be confused with the ethical use of the term selflessness, depending on who you are talking to. Otherwise, the two words do seem synonymous.

      ... Not sure if any of this has something to do with the OP, though...
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      ... Not sure if any of this has something to do with the OP, though...
      Been watching this thread and appreciated the thoughts on duality. But thinking of the OP's concern, I think it's more about competing ideas/values in one's thoughts. I think the most precise term for this would be cognitive dissonance. I suffer this very often as well. I'm trying to form something constructive to comment on it, but the words don't arrive at the moment.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wisher View Post
      @figurefly,

      It could just be another aspect or dimension of the same thing. When people say a cube is a 3 dimensional object, they are right in a way, but in another way a cube has an infinite amount of dimensions (or perspectives to measure it from) another dimension of the cube can be it's taste or roughness.
      No... this has more to do with you using more than one definition for the word "dimension". Your idea relies on the fact that the meaning of the word can be switched on-the-fly to the meaning that is most convenient for your argument.

      The first definition you use is the one that refers to a measurement one can get from an object's physical form or the physical form itself. "When people say a cube is a 3 dimensional object."

      The second definition you use is the one that refers to the number of aspects or features something has. "another dimension of the cube can be its taste or roughness".

      Despite the fact that "dimension" is spelled the exact same way when it means two different things in different contexts, you cannot treat it as the same word in an argument when referring to both meanings periodically. It's illogical, it doesn't make sense. You are not technically wrong in saying that a cube also has other "dimensions", but you fail to make a distinction between the two definitions you are using. Yeah, you do say that a cube has other dimensions "in another way", but you cannot then use this idea as basis for a set of logic that you make use of in the thoughts that follow (yet you do).

      Quote Originally Posted by Wisher View Post
      In this way everything is everything. There is a degree of love within hatred, it may sound abstract but there is even a degree of 'hotdog-ness' in hatred . Literally anything and everything can be used as a dimension of a thing.
      I have to admit, I have no idea what you are trying to say here.

      Quote Originally Posted by figurefly
      Okay, I'll give it a try now.

      What I'm talking about (to give very simple examples) is like, the never-ending war of determinism/indeterminism, the never-ending debate on whether god exists or not, the never-ending two sided anything.

      Can we free ourselves from dualistic thought patterns? Is it in our nature to think this way? And is it in the nature?
      Once I gather my thoughts together, I'll post back. I like this thread.
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      Hey Sageous, I definitely understand where you're coming from with your definitions of duality. I think that we've mostly been talking about binarism in this thread (and the cognitive dissonance that can bring on, as sisyphus said), and agree that even with the "mutually antagonistic principles" definition, duality isn't a word that fits very well.

      I do find this definition of duality interesting, though, because it seriously depends on the religion:

      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Simply put, duality is nothing more than the perception that the world is composed of two basic entities: mind and matter. In other words, a dualistic perspective sees the world (matter) as something separate from themselves (mind). A non-dual perspective is one that understands that mind and matter are ultimately the same thing, and interact not as separate entities but units of a greater whole.
      This fits pretty close with—and is simultaneously the complete opposite of—the view of duality that comes up in the religion that I practice (Wicca, and the relationship between it and I can best be described as "it's complicated.") In this philosophy, humanity's view of the universe can be summarized as a series of dualities: black and white (and every shade in between), night and day (and all the hours thereof), god and goddess (both of which we embody aspects of.) By emphasizing both elements of the duality, we can have a better view of the whole, because if we emphasize only the whole, we have a tendency to slip into emphasizing only one half of any given duality (such as our culture's tendency to consider masculine the default.)

      So, non-dual philosophy downside: potential to slip towards one side by accident. Dual philosophy downside: potential to strengthen the binary by emphasizing both sides. Solution: adopt a simultaneously dual and non-dual philosophy?
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      Wisher, more specifically, you seem to be confusing the words "spacial dimension" and "aspect/property". When you say a cube has 3 dimensions it means that it has 3 spacial dimensions. The first one being up/down, the second spacial dimension is left/right and the third spacial dimension is backward/forward. You need those 3 dimensions to make a cube. So when you use dimension to mean spacial dimension, you have to commit to that meaning of the word, and you can't say that the 4th dimension is its taste

      Also, you may have sensed some irritation in snoop's comment, and I am sympathetic to his irritation. Why? Well.. It's because of the way you said things that are not exactly true, but kind of vaguely true, there is some truth in them, but it's not specific or clear what it means and it doesn't actually contain any information. Let me give you some examples:

      Fruits and soccer balls are very similar, because they are both round. But just like some fruits are not round, some soccer balls are also not round. The beat-up, unusable soccer balls are not very round and they are thrown away. But there are many fruits that are not round but are perfectly healthy and edible and nutritious. So if a soccer ball is round, it's a good soccer ball but for fruits it doesn't matter. Except if you have an orange, that has to be pretty round to be good, right? The same goes for humans. Some humans are generous and it's wonderful, but if you are generous with your punches, it's a horrible thing. So is generosity or roundness good or bad? It depends on the context. So everything depends on context, you know? Sometimes your thoughts are dual and sometimes they are singular, because sometimes you get kicked in the nuts and there is a single thought coursing through your head (the pain). But then other people feel the pain at the same time as anger toward the owner of the foot that made contact with your genitals, so your thoughts are dual. It changes from situation to situation, so you can't really say anything for sure, there are no rules, you just need to figure it out for yourself.

      I'm in a slightly sadistic mood, if I weren't, I wouldn't let anyone read that. A part of me is apologizing xD So Wisher, you get the point? This probably sounds condescending and arrogant, but if you want to say something sensible, it has to be clear what it is you are trying to convey. You cannot confuse meanings of words.

      When you say something like this:
      Quote Originally Posted by Wisher View Post
      Thoughts are the same, some thoughts have both a dimension of good and a dimension of evil among many other things.
      What exactly does this mean? What do you mean by "dimension"? I think you mean "aspect", or that "a part" of the thought is good and another aspect/part is evil. If that's the case, just say "some thoughts have both a good and a bad part". Which would be true, but it's perfectly obvious to any thinking person. So 1) it's not crispy clear what it means and 2) it doesn't contain any sensible information.

      Again, I apologize for sounding arrogant and condescending, and now I'll even sound patronizing. I wouldn't say this if I didn't think that you are an intelligent, honest person who cares about a good discussion. And I am relying on your good character to take my words as constructive criticism = )
      Last edited by Ginsan; 10-05-2015 at 03:45 PM.

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      o_O I don't care if u get mad, review ur concept of a dimension.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Samael View Post
      Hey Sageous, I definitely understand where you're coming from with your definitions of duality. I think that we've mostly been talking about binarism in this thread (and the cognitive dissonance that can bring on, as sisyphus said), and agree that even with the "mutually antagonistic principles" definition, duality isn't a word that fits very well.
      Yeah; I've been leaning toward cognitive dissonance as the actual theme of this thread... we may never know for sure, though, because Figurefly seems to have stepped away from this thread,


      Here's an interesting thing:
      This fits pretty close with—and is simultaneously the complete opposite of—the view of duality that comes up in the religion that I practice (Wicca, and the relationship between it and I can best be described as "it's complicated.") In this philosophy, humanity's view of the universe can be summarized as a series of dualities: black and white (and every shade in between), night and day (and all the hours thereof), god and goddess (both of which we embody aspects of.) By emphasizing both elements of the duality, we can have a better view of the whole, because if we emphasize only the whole, we have a tendency to slip into emphasizing only one half of any given duality (such as our culture's tendency to consider masculine the default.)

      So, non-dual philosophy downside: potential to slip towards one side by accident. Dual philosophy downside: potential to strengthen the binary by emphasizing both sides. Solution: adopt a simultaneously dual and non-dual philosophy?
      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:

      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.

      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.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Wisher View Post
      o_O I don't care if u get mad, review ur concept of a dimension.
      Please follow your own advice. Both Ginsan and I have pretty much spelled out what you are doing wrong. Did you just completely ignore what we wrote because it doesn't align with your beliefs, did you even read the posts at all, or are you legitimately unable to comprehend your error on the matter?
      Ginsan likes this.

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