(© RKP, 1960)
We talk a great deal about dualism, lecture one another about it, and fill the pages of our books - usually about its misdeeds. Yet I do not remember any one of us mentioning the detail of what it is. One might almost suspect that we do not know.
May one venture in where even bodhisattvas seem to fear to tread? Tentatively, of course, not like bulls in Chinese philosophy-shops.
Conceptual thought - that is, human thought, thought as differentiated from pure perception - is essentially linguistic and inseparable from expression in words. (Animal language is non-verbal and non-dualistic.) Conceptual, linguistic thought is incapable of seizing and expressing the Absolute, Unicity, the Thusness of anything. Its dimensional limitations oblige it to differentiate. In so doing it forms a dualism, it sees something as 'good' relatively to another thing as 'bad' in order to form a concept at all of the Thusness it is seeking to conceive. One half has to be compared to the other half in order that anything can be expressed.
Dualism, therefore, seems only to be a trick of thought, not a real thing in any sense, itself a notion, a concept, a description of the process to which thought has to be subjected. Therefore, in order to transcend it, thought itself has to be transcended.
That is why the Awakened insist - and how they insist - that the suspension or transcendence of conceptual thinking is the sine qua non of realisation.
Having achieved the power of conceptual thought, man is called upon to go beyond it.
* * *
This dimensional limitation may be attributed to the concept of Time, to which we are subject, for no two thoughts can occur simultaneously. We have to conceive anything as something in our memorial vocabulary, and then in comparison with something else, and relativity is born - yet another notion or concept. If we could short-circuit Time and think both thoughts at once the relativity and the dualism would thereby disappear. So dualism is seen as a result of the limiting dimension of Time.
* * *
It may be that dualism applies also to perception and so the dualistic process is responsible for manifestation, manifestation being the product of polarity, for all manifestation seems to result from the interplay of the factors Yang and Yin.
Duality seems to be inherent in our perception of nature. The duplication of organs in all forms of life is a remarkable feature of the world as we know it, and we ourselves are composed of two relative concepts that are betrayed in our physical as in our psychic appearance. If you take the trouble to duplicate each half of a full-face photograph af any fully-grown human being (by printing one half of the film back-to-front, thus making a full-face of each half) you will always find yourself looking at two photographs, one of which, for differentiation's sake, may be called that of a bodhisattva, and the other that of a gangster. Perhaps you would rather I termed them the Yin-personality and the Yang-personality?
It seems unlikely that even the Awakened transcend this duality of perception, for the perceptions even of the Awakened are presumably still subject to Time. It is probably enough that we transcend conceptual dualism in order to open our eyes in Reality, that we wake up from our own mental dream as such, remaining in the dream of the One Mind as long as we wear our flesh and use its organs.
Note: The concept-making mind is an inhibitory instrument.
* * * * *