Other Names:
Dualistic state of consciousness
Dualism sets up hierarchical thought structures and a dichotomous world of subject and object that gives rise to either/or thinking. It provides the operating understanding that mind and body are two distinct attributes of humanity, that the cosmos consists of heaven and hell and that moral choice is between right and wrong or good and bad. This division has had a profound effect on Western thought. It is the source of the beliefs that: humans are isolated egos inside a body; mental activity is more important than manual labour; spirit is valued over matter, reason over passion, and intellect over emotion; and there is always a right choice in every situation. Ultimately it results in what has been called "projection of the shadow", whereby the weaknesses and self-loathing of the perceiver (whether individual or group) are projected onto an external other (whether individual or group) that is designated as "the enemy", culminating in a disposition to war in which "the enemy" is regarded as inhuman, evil, and completely other than oneself and one's own group or nation. Since dualism causes people to remain within a rigid framework, only two diametrically opposed possibilities emerge. This process by definition cannot contain paradox or ambiguity, and in its need to suppress these, the complex texture, the richness and diversity of experience are flattened out.
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET