Image: Is the glass half empty or half full?, © David S. McKee, 2014    

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation

Dualistic Thinking


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Transformation is a different path than mere education. Someone can be highly educated and still be totally dualistic and arrogant about it, while an uneducated janitor or motel maid can be non-dualistic because the suffering of life leads her or him into problems they cannot solve. Such people often tend to learn surrender to soul much more quickly and easily. Jesus says this in many ways.

Look at the unbelievably sad and even hateful divide between liberals and conservatives in our church and in our country, and at both extremes I find totally dualistic thinking. You can be dualistic as a liberal, and you can be dualistic as a conservative. They are simply two different methods to be in control, two different ways to be right and two different ways to look down on other people. 1

Dualistic or divided people live in a split and fragmented world. Usually, they cannot accept or forgive certain parts of their own destiny and experience. They cannot accept that God could objectively dwell within them, as John’s Gospel and Paul’s letters say over and over again. This lack of “forgiveness-of-reality-for-being-what-it-is” takes the form of a tortured mind, a closed heart, or an inability to live calmly and proudly inside one’s own body.

The fragmented mind and the egoic mind see in parts, and usually antagonistic parts, but never in wholes, and then predictably create antagonism, reaction, fear, and resistance—“push-back”—from other people. 2 It is a double whammy of despair, and the saddest effect of all is that people living from this divided mind continue to do what makes them so unhappy. Sin and addiction have many of the same characteristics.

1. Adapted from A New Way of Seeing, A New Way of Being: Jesus and Paul
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2. Adapted from The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See, p. 160

Gateway to Silence:
Be not afraid


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