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.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.