“Could our minds and our hearts be big enough just to hang out in that space where we’re not entirely certain about who’s right and who’s wrong? Could we have no agenda when we walk into a room with another person, not know what to say, not make that person wrong or right? Could we see, hear, feel other people as they really are? It is powerful to practice this way, because we’ll find ourselves continually rushing around to try to feel secure again—to make ourselves or them either right or wrong. But true communication can happen only in that open space.” Pema Chödrön
“The dualistic mind is essentially binary. It is either/or thinking. It knows by comparison, by opposition, by differentiation. It uses descriptive words like good/evil, pretty/ugly, intelligent/stupid, not realizing there may be 55 or 155 degrees between the two ends of each spectrum. It works well for the sake of simplification and conversation, but not for the sake of truth or even honest experience. Actually, you need your dualistic mind to function in everyday life: to do your job as a teacher, a doctor, or an engineer. It is great stuff as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough. The dualistic mind cannot process things like infinity, mystery, God, grace, suffering, death, or love. When it comes to unconditional love, the dualistic mind can’t even begin to understand it.” Richard Rohr
“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.”
1 Peter 5:5
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Can you identify examples of dualistic thinking in your world? in yourself?
- Is your desire to love well strong enough to exist “in that space where you’re not entirely certain about who’s right and who’s wrong?”
- A person who loves well will be a humble person. Is there a practice you can adopt to grow in humility, particularly when it comes to dualistic thinking?
Abba, grant me a heart that cares more about loving people than showing them they’re wrong.
For More: Dualistic Thinking... by Richard Rohr
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