Duality and the Skeptic

The Pathwork Guide gave us hundreds of profound teachings that explain the ways of this wonderful—but often challenging—world. For if we don’t understand the truth about ourselves and this dimension, we will remain caught in our illusions, spinning in uncertainty and negativity. Time and again, the Guide gave us practical words of wisdom to help us use our reasoning minds to suss out the truth. It’s important, the Guide said, not to believe anything unless it makes sense to us. Trouble is, we are all made up of many conflicting parts, and it’s not always clear which part has taken the lead.

Let’s look at how this relates to duality, which is one of the most important aspects of life to understand. For like it or not, Earth is a sphere of duality. Every person, group, system, corporation—literally, anything and everything—on this plane of existence is a mix of positive and negative qualities. And although duality is not the ultimate reality, it is nonetheless our temporary reality.

Duality is caused by a distortion in something positive, which has allowed negativity to come into existence. This is why destructiveness can carry such a strong charge: It always holds a divine essence deep inside, even though it has become twisted into a destructive form. But don’t be fooled. Being all charged up about something negative doesn’t mean we are in truth. It just means we’ve gotten our wires crossed.

While anything positive can exist in perpetuity, forever chunking out happiness, negativity—by its fundamentally opposing nature—must work in the opposite way. In other words, anything negative must have a limited life. For if something has gone haywire and converted into a negative form, it’s no longer aligned with truth. As such, negativity and its associated unhappiness will continue to pull us down until we pull back the curtains and figure out what’s gone awry.

To be caught in duality then is to be caught in the illusion of opposites. Our work is to uncover the kink in the system and return our negative outlooks and behaviors to their original positive form.

But wait, we worry, won’t that mean I must become gullible? No, what it really means is we must grow up. For to be immature is to be caught in the black-and-white thinking of duality wherein some part of us has gotten stuck in child consciousness.

How do we become mature? We must develop the aspects of ourselves that are capable of sitting with opposites. For that’s the only way to transcend duality and accordingly be released from returning to this difficult dimension.

But what do so many of us do instead? We hang on to our defensive postures and work to fortify our positions. In short, we refuse to let go. What exactly must we let go of? For starters:

  • The cases we have built against others.
  • Our need to always be right.
  • Our demand to have our way, right now!
  • Our need to always be in control.
  • Our striving to get ahead of others.

And why do we hang on to these things? We believe they are necessary for us to win. For to the immature parts of ourselves—the parts caught in the life-or-death struggle of duality—winning equates to life. So we’re doing these things as though our very lives depend on it. In truth, it won’t kill us to not get our way, or to admit we were wrong and didn’t see the whole picture.

  • It is duality that makes us believe our defenses are necessary.
  • It is our defenses that keep us caught in the struggle with others and with life.

And what is pinning all this in place? Hidden beneath each of our negative thoughts and behaviors is a wrong belief. This is a conclusion we drew about life at a very young age. We no longer remember doing this, or that we still harbor such misunderstandings about life.

Fortunately, there is a way out: We must become skeptical about our own selves. We must question everything we believe: Is it really true, whatever I believe to be true? For our misconceptions will attract people and situations to us that will make our wrong beliefs seem true. But they are not.

If we want to release the grip of duality, we must unearth our hidden wrong conclusions about life and unwind all the ways we are trying to keep ourselves safe. We must discover what we believe, below the level of our conscious understanding, for these are the fundamental untruths that are holding us captive.

Truth and Peace

Truth, it turns out, is a spectrum that reaches from one end of anything to the other. As such, to understand the whole truth about anything is to be able to hold opposites. Truth is also a living, ever-changing thing. What is true in one moment, then, may not be true in the next. As such, truth has a flexible quality to it. It is the unhealed ego that seeks rigid, fixed, righteous positions and rules. The ego must learn to let go and align with something greater than itself.

We will know we have unearthed the whole truth about a person or situation when we know peace. For knowing the whole truth has a way of resolving any disharmony.

The way forward must be twofold. First, we must turn the beam of our skepticism onto our own selves. We will know where to start looking by noticing what’s bothering us outside ourselves. For the outer is a mirror of the inner. So if something bugs us out there, that’s only because we have faulty wiring within. Then we must attune our inner listening ears to detect the difference between the inner voice of our Higher Self—this is the voice of truth—and those of imposters that are leading us astray.

Second, we must learn to hang out in not knowing. Because all disharmony is related to untruth. This means if we have not yet found peace about a person or situation, there is more we don’t yet know. It can’t be otherwise.

Our goal is to find the truth. But truth is immense, and therefore it is more than a single perspective or opinion. As we work to find and hold more balanced perspectives, it will be our healthy skepticism that can light the way. For when used correctly, this kind of persistent curiosity is the way to discover the whole truth—to see the good and the bad, unwind what’s gotten distorted, and then see both sides of any truth.

This is the only way to create true peace, inside and out.

–Jill Loree

To learn how to wake up from duality, read After the Ego: Insights from the Pathwork Guide on How to Wake Up.

Phoenesse: Find Your True You