12/13/2014

Dualistic Thinking


In Silent Compassion: Finding God in Contemplation, Franciscan monk and national bestselling author Richard Rohr writes:

Dualistic thinking is operative almost all of the time. It is when you choose one side, or temperamentally prefer one side, and then call the side of the equation false, wrong, heresy, or untrue. It is often something to which you have not yet been exposed, or it threatens you or your ego in a way, or is beyond your education. The dualistic mind splits the moment and forbids the dark side, the mysterious, the paradoxical. This is the common level of conversation that we have in the world. Basically, it lacks humility and patience, and it is the opposite of contemplation.


Dualistic thinking (which arises from non-silence or a lack of contemplation) is where everything is separated into opposites, like life and death, right and wrong, spiritual and unspiritual, godly and ungodly, holy and unholy, etc. The dualistic mind is almost the only mind left today, even in the church. Even our education teaches us to be very good at dualistic thinking. But it is what Jesus and Buddha would call judgmental thinking (Mt 7:1-5), and they both strongly warn us against it.