The blog title sounds extremely pessimistic, never-the-less, it’s realistic. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t individually enjoy peace now, and in the future. But peace on an individual basis has little to do with world peace. Yes, our peace can certainly have an effect in our personal sphere of influence, but to believe our practice of peace will bring peace to the world is to misunderstand the far ranging effects of duality. We realize that statement is out of sync with the claims of many popular teachers, but please finish the blog with an open mind before deciding what you think.
When we build a house, its foundation determines whether or not the building will stand. No matter how well constructed the rest of the house is, a flawed foundation will eventually cause trouble. We can spend a fortune on house repairs, but they’ll all be futile until the foundation is replaced. Duality is the flawed foundation of our world, and no matter how carefully we build on its flaws, it cannot help but make us miserable. This flaw can’t be fixed, but we can escape it.
Quantum physics tells us we live in a universe of indivisible, interconnected energy and potential that’s permeated by consciousness. Although the quantum level of the universe seems unreal to us, physics tells us quantum oneness is the seat of reality. At this level, consciousness interacts with energy potential to bring the material world into existence. The oneness of ‘All That Is’ includes both the visible and the invisible portions of the universe, but science tells us the visible, material portion of the universe is actually a virtual reality.
Reality and virtual reality are each based on extremely different thought systems. The foundation of quantum reality is oneness; the foundation of virtual reality is duality. What’s the difference? Universal oneness is a continuum that transcends duality by incorporating and embracing everything in existence. In contrast, duality eliminates the concept of a continuum, separates everything into opposites, and polarizes those opposites. For example, in oneness night and day are equally valued parts of an interconnected cycle that creates a harmonious whole. In duality they’re opposites; night and darkness are equated with bad, daytime and light with good.
What is the purpose of duality? In oneness everything in existence is one thing. Spiritual masters, and now many quantum physicists, believe that one thing is the Divine. No part of All That Is could be considered separate or special; no part of the Divine could be considered higher or lower than another part. This doesn’t mean that oneness equates to sameness; oneness allows us to be unique, but not unequal.
The thought system of duality was constructed expressly to experience separation and specialness, which invariably creates inequality. Nothing can actually separate itself from oneness, but consciousness can imagine it has. Projecting a dualistic virtual reality is not in our best interests, but the gift of free will has allowed us to do it. Yes we realize that many believe this world was created by the Divine so the Divine could experience and express itself through us. But do you really think that the Divine, being love, wants to experience the greed, hatred, murder, abuse, rape, war, hunger, poverty, disease, suffering etc., etc. that we perpetrate? The dualistic foundation of our world, and the experience of spiritual masters, suggests that the Divine allows us to project virtual reality, but is not involved in the projection.
Our world is understood and defined by opposites like high/low, hot/cold, fast/slow. But polarized duality goes a step further and makes those opposites mutually exclusive. In other words, everyone wants the extreme that’s considered ‘good,’ and rejects the extreme that considered ‘bad.’ Unfortunately, this polarity doesn’t just create opposites. You can understand how this thought system works if you visualize an artist’s gray scale, a series of 8 shades of gray going from white on one end to black on the other. If you equate white with good and black with bad, then only 10% of the scale is good. Since the other 90% contains at least some portion of black, it must all be a variation of bad.
Like the lottery, a dualistic thought system creates a small percentage of ‘winners’ at the expense of a huge percentage of ‘losers.’ Duality is doomed to failure because specialness is its goal, and everyone is after the same 10%. Oneness fosters cooperation, duality forces competition. Oneness supports the highest good for all involved, duality pursues self-interest. This set-up should make it obvious why happiness is so difficult to experience. If we do happen to obtain the ‘special’ 10%, we find that it’s ephemeral. It either vanishes or is taken from us by others who are also in determined pursuit of its elusive qualities.
Although we would like to think that truth exists in our world, science is discovering that our world is a product of perception. Everything we think we’re experiencing is energy patterns that are filtered through our senses, brain and emotions. Since everything we experience and think is the product of perception, truth and objective reality cannot exist in our world. Unfortunately perception tricks us into thinking it can, and convinces us our way of seeing things is correct. We cling to our perceptions as if our lives depended on them, and construct value systems based on them. Unfortunately we each feel certain that the world would benefit from our particular value system, and become convinced that anyone who doesn’t share our beliefs is an enemy competing with us for the tiny percentage of ‘good’ that’s available.
Everyone wants peace, but in duality we all perceive peace from our own perspective. What we usually mean is peace on our terms, peace that serves our own interests. As long as we think in dualistic terms, we see the world from a perspective of scarcity. We’re convinced that we’ll be deprived if the world’s resources are shared equally. We can’t stop hoarding, because we need assurance that we will always have what we want. We’re afraid to take the first move toward peace because our dualistic view creates a certainty that as soon as our guard is down, someone else will take advantage of us.
A Course in Miracles says there is only one problem in the world, and one solution. The problem is the dualistic thought system that creates separation and allows for specialness, the solution is oneness. This thought is very difficult for us to accept. We’ve become so ensnared by our own projections; we’ve forgotten who we are. The part of our mind that projects virtual reality knows that it will dissolve without duality, so it continually tries to convince us we can create a peaceful world, despite thousands of years of failure. But spiritual masters have always recognized that the flawed foundation of duality must be replaced, not repaired. Duality is a thought system, and thought systems can be rejected and replaced. Their recommended replacement is a return to oneness.
When we start thinking in terms of oneness rather than separation and specialness, we can begin to enjoy a life of peace right now. That peace can be imperturbable no matter how much dualistic chaos continues to swirl around us. But spiritual masters tell us we can’t stop there because our peace doesn’t change the dualistic foundation of this world. As Rumi so beautifully put it, “The second you stepped into this world of existence a ladder was placed before you to help you escape. When you pass beyond this human form…plunge into the vast ocean of consciousness.” In oneness, peace is nothing to be hoped for or a goal to be attained, it is your birthright; peace is who you are.
God is so infinitely tender-hearted and so overflowing with grace, that if He could die for you so that duality could vanish, He would—Rumi
Don’t talk of “duality,” don’t speak of “two” —We are one mouth…one prayer, one glance—Rumi
Keep the Real always passionately and stubbornly in view and duality will dissolve, burn away like a paper-chain in the fire of love—Rumi
When you see the splendor of union, the attractions of duality seem poignant and lovely, but much less interesting—Rumi
What can be raised as a present to the Lord of Being except the polished mirror of one’s heart cleansed of all duality—Hasan Askari
When your mind has overcome the confusion of duality, you will attain the state of holy indifference—Bhagavad Gita
To learn more about science and spirituality, download sample chapters of our book The Beginning of Fearlessness: Quantum Prodigal Son, or sign up for a free video eCourse “Obstacles to Spiritual Growth” we invite you to visit http://www.thebeginningoffearlessness.com