In The Book of Virtue, the nature of the world is discussed (and referred to) as “the world of duality.” I realize that perhaps some may not be familiar with that concept.
The world of duality is a concept of the ups and downs we go through. In the physical world, if you expend energy, you create the depletion of energy. Right? If you ran around in circles, you would soon get tired and collapse.
Beyond the physical aspect is the emotional. As people express more excitement, they ultimately hit that emotional inverse. This creates a frequency of ups and downs.
This is a dual nature: Each Up has a Corresponding Down.
Much of the Tao Teh Ching is about this very subject.
When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.
Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.
Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn’t possess,
acts but doesn’t expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.
– Translation by Stephen Mitchell.
Chapter 2 of the Tao Teh Ching is a great chapter to memorize. It speaks directly about the idea of duality, as well as the solution to duality. The solution is balance. In the state of balance the “Master” has but doesn’t possess. Things come and go, and they do not get attached.
Can we know Goodness?
One might wonder then, “Can we ever experience beauty?” If we wish to be balanced and avoid evil, should we never experience “good?”
The answer is Yes. We can experience perfect good, but not the imperfect good. The imperfect good are things of the world we admire as good. Physical objects and “things,” have a life span and diminishing returns. Therefore, the limited scope (imperfect good) will produce it’s antithesis of “bad.”
However, if we look beyond the physical and experience the Spiritual dynamics of the world – when we see the Good of God in the trees, people, animals… we experience the perfection of good. This aspect of good, has no lack or limitation. It has no duality. When we experience God in nature, we never experience the devil in nature.
Yet if we experience a “lovely rose,” we than experience the “ugly rose.” There’s a difference of focus. One is looking at the superficial layer when they focus on duality. When one is focused on the spiritual core, they experience a field of wholeness (God) that has no lack.
Why Duality is Negative
The very fact you consider something negative, is why duality is negative. You will not experience negativity in a world of non-duality. It is only in a duality framed conscious mind, that we experience the ups and downs.
In other words, by overcoming the duality of the world we no longer experience the negative aspect of the world. That also means, you no longer experience the “highs” of the world. Instead you shift your focus from the world to the Divine.
The “highs” of the Divine, have no corresponding low and therefore you find bliss in this state of non-duality.
Practical Ways to Exit Duality
To shift the focus from the world of duality can be done in several different ways. I follow a path of finding oneness. As you discover Oneness with God and creation, you will shift your awareness from duality to non-duality.
How this is achieved is discussed in more detail in The Book of Virtue, but to sum it up here, you adhere to the three pillars of knowledge, virtue and practice.
My creating a daily routine of learning spiritual knowledge, putting virtuous activity to your life’s work and keeping to a daily spiritual practice (meditation, yoga, affirmations, etc.) – these pillars being focused on the goal of Oneness with the Divine will create a release of duality.
Swami Kriyananda’s Practice
I have heard Swami Kriyananda and his devotee’s discuss how he used to relate to duality by mitigating the highs, to mitigate the corresponding lows. In other words, if he were visiting a place of high excitement, rather than allow himself to get too excited, he would control his reactions. He would appear calm, and not excited, so that he would not hit a corresponding low energy state.