The idea of dualistic thinking, that there is a good and evil way to be, that people and things should be categorized according to certain standards meets the idea of toxicity and purety of thoughts. Dualistic thinking is the way most people think and act, it is the “us vs. them” syndrome. It brings to some the internal comfort to know that they are part of the inner circle. They then feel reassured that their thoughts are the correct ones and feel vindicated that they are right and others are wrong.
Dualistic thinking is a toxic way of thinking because it does not take into account the fact that there are two sides to each of us whether we like it or not and that we cannot deny one over the other completely. It does not take into account the fact that between these two sides there is an enormous range of grays and that some thoughts or beliefs can be changed instantly according to the perspective of the moment. How can we become more aware of the way we use our mind and be conscious of when dualistic thinking takes over and we are in a mode of not seeing anything realistic, all the while thinking we see the truth?
Dualistic thinking spells judgment; judgment that we are better than the other, that we know better. Yet, once you decide to suspend judgment and really look at what is around us, we see that everything is the way it should be, and that life is unfolding one moment , one minute at the time. We see that the flow of it is perfect and that we don’t need to interfere. There is no reason to judge or assume anything. It is when we doubt, when we want to control everything that things fall apart.
Prejudging people and events is a very toxic way of thinking because it does not allow you to see the truth. I really like Wayne Dyer’s analogy when he says: ”Prejudging thinking is treating your mind like a rental space for the thoughts and beliefs of others”. What a way to put it! It really brings it home that we don’t want to let other people control our thinking. We should be the masters of our domain like they say. So why is it so easy to let others take over our mind this way? Society sometimes put us in situations where we feel we need to be “part of the gang”. Usually, when we grow up, this dualistic way of thinking is stronger, especially in the teen years where you must feel like you are part of the group, whether the popular ones, the intellectuals, or the smart ones, etc. It is again the “Us vs. them” attitude, pushed to the extreme when bullying enters the picture. But as adults, why is there still some lingering feeling that you must act this way? Why does the bullying take on a different form but is still present?
I have observed a group of people demonstrating that dualistic way of thinking very clearly for the past few months. Their outlook is dualistic and judgmental… toxic. In their minds, there is a clear right and a clear wrong, a good and evil. I am looking at all of this with surprise and sadness. Not only is this way of thinking using a lot of energy that could be used to create and work, but this way of thinking does not lead to deep living either. All that energy used to protect, consolidate and condemn is no longer available to observe, to live, to enjoy, to love and to give.
This way of thinking only separates people, making them feel like they belong to different camps when each individual should only try to do their best without being judged. Dualistic thinking results in groups that try to eliminate and banish everyone and everything they deem is not acceptable or part of their vision. This expands into societies that are intolerant towards the weak, the sick, the unproductive, and the simply different. And this also creates self hatred when one recognizes a trait associated with the other group within themselves, as they will, inevitably.
How much time and energy are being utilized towards this end, attacking others, trying to protect a virtual territory. When we put energy into fighting, trying to feel like we are better than others, it is ourselves that we destroy. What pushes some people to act this way? Is it insecurity, is it unhappiness, is it greed?
When dualistic thinking has become your habitual way of thinking and you become aware of it, it is not too late to change. It is never too late to re-assess our way of thinking and listen to our inner voice. What we need to do is shut down the external noise and listen to this inner voice. Let it guide you and be aware of the fact that you are not your thoughts. You can change them according to your own inner truth.