Interview
Meditation
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The dualistic mindset: we can develop a new way of seeing

From Brian McLaren

That way of seeing the world always in binaries, it starts to break down. We develop a new way of seeing. We could call it a non dual way of seeing or just call it a mature way of seeing.

Video Interview Transcript

Many of us, our minds and our hearts are formed in a kind of dualism. We always see things in a binary: I like it, I don't like it. Right, wrong. Of us, of the enemy. That dualistic mindset is deeply embedded into us and there's great value in that. Some foods are healthy, some foods are poisonous, right. They're real "either or" issues in life.
But I think there's something that happens to some people. You live in that "either or" binary dualistic world for long, and then either you start, maybe you start to love somebody who, you've become friends with somebody or you fall in love with somebody whose of the other group and you've discovered that they aren't as bad as you were taught to believe. Or it might be great suffering, when the people in your own group mistreat you so badly that you think: "we aren't as right as I thought we were". So it might be suffering. It might be love.
But whatever it is that way of seeing the world always in binaries, it starts to break down. We develop a new way of seeing. We could call it a non dual way of seeing or a post imperial way of seeing. Or we could just call it a mature way of seeing. I think this is what the contemplative tradition has helped people experience. It helped them go through the world of "black and white", "us and them", "in or out" and then learning great wisdom through that emerge into something even bigger and greater and more inclusive.

Discussion starter questions
  • Where do you stand on this concept of dualism?
  • ...

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Director's note

Dualism is exacerbated through the use of social media. This interview give us some starting point to how we can deal with it in our own life.

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