Exclusive & Inclusive

Any impulse can be filtered through a transdual or a dualistic view.

If filtered through a more transdual view, it is expressed in a more inclusive way, and if filtered through a more exclusively dualistic view, it comes out in a more exclusive way.


Take for instance…

The impulse of anger. If filtered through a dualistic view, it tends to bring a good deal of harm and pain to anyone involved (the one it arises in and is expressed through, and those around). It often comes from a sense me vs. you, from righteousness, something to protect, etc. If filtered through a more transdual view, it comes from a deeper wisdom and compassion and may take the form of tough love. It is used to cut through the delusions which brings suffering.

Delusion. When filtered through a dualistic view, it gives rise to arrogance or a sense of inferiority. You are deluded and I am not, or the other way around. Filtered through a more transdual view, we see that we are all deluded in various ways, even those most apparently realized and awakened. It brings a sincere and clear humility, and a sense of us all being in the same boat.

Fear. From a dualistic view, it is seen as a disturbance and can be paralyzing or be twisted and expressed as anger etc. From a more transdual view, it comes from wisdom and compassion and is used to stir action. We see the very real dangers to any of us as individuals and to all of us collectively, and use the fear it brings up as energy for action and change. For instance, we see the unraveling of global ecosystems and the suffering it is already bringing, and use the fear to deeper our compassion and empathy, and act in the world to protect and to fuel alternatives.

Desire. Filtered through a dualistic view, it may take the form of narrow selfishness. Filtered through a more transdual view, informed by the natural wisdom and compassion that comes with this view, it becomes a desire to alleviate suffering and to bring all sentient beings to awakening, and it also becomes a desire for deepening one’s own clarity and integration so this can be done more effectively.

Laziness. Filtered through a dualistic view, it becomes just ordinary laziness – a desire to do as little as possible in the world. Filtered through a more transdual view, we allow whatever arises to arise within us and come and go as guests. This is the ultimate laziness, and gives rise to a great deal of effortless and engaged activity in the world. For others, it looks like ceaseless activity, for oneself, it is just relaxing into and as what is.

Arrogance. Filtered through a dualistic view, it becomes the ordinary arrogance of “I am better than you”. Filtered through a more transdual view, it becomes the “arrogance” of seeing all and everyone as complete Buddhas, as Buddha Mind (God, Spirit) manifesting completely and perfectly in a myriad of forms.

And so on, with no end…

Further Differentiation

This can of course be differentiated further, for instance through the lense of different developmental frameworks (as Ken Wilber shows).

For instance, care and compassion (love) will be expressed differently at preconventional, conventional and post-conventional levels.

At preconventional – egocentric – levels, we take care of ourselves and maybe a few close to us. We will often apply strategies that benefits ourselves at the cost of others. This is the level where we don’t think twice about biting the hand that feeds us.

At conventional – ethnocentric – levels, our circle of care and compassion expands to include our group, for instance our religion or nation. Again, we often apply strategies that sets up an us vs. them dynamic. Love here can be easily be expressed through for instance wars, protecting the good – us – against the evil, which happens to be them.

At postconventional – worldcentric – levels, our circle of care and compassion expands further to include all human beings independent of group affiliations. Beyond this, it may eventually include all sentient beings independent of species.

Here, at a deeper transdual level, the differentiation between inner and outer, and egotism and altruism, begins to dissolve. We see that we are all part of a seamless whole and that the health of the whole and the parts, including myself, is intimately connected in very real and tangible ways. We also see that on a purely psychological level, the way I relate to the outer world closely mirrors the way I relate to the inner world. Acting with care and compassion is reflected in how I relate to the outer and the inner world, with no real difference between the two.

And these levels can again be differentiated further, through for instance spiral dynamics.

Background: Dual vs. Transdual

When we are exclusively identified with our human self, our view is naturally dualistic. There is a sense of me vs. you, I vs. the rest of the world. Since we have not yet awakened to the groundless ground, to formless awareness, we also tend to be identified with abstractions – we believe in thoughts and act as if they were the gospel truth. So in addition to the sense of me vs. you and us vs. them, there is also a split between right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, and all of these are taken deadly seriously. They are, after all, everything we have as our ground.

When we awaken to/as formless awareness, we find a new ground. From here, we see that there is no real separation between our human self and the rest of the world of phenomena. They are all one seamless fluid whole. And we also see that the layer of abstractions we previously took as our only reality, is really just that – a layer of abstractions. It is only a tool to helps us function in and navigate the world of phenomena. Nothing to be taken too seriously.

From exclusively identifying with our human self, we now find ourselves as formless awareness in which the whole world of phenomena arises as a seamless fluid field. From identifying with an added layer of abstractions, we now rest in/as the unknowing formless awareness, and see the abstractions as just a tool of temporary and functional value only.

Resting in/as this new “ground”, our view naturally becomes more deeply transdual, and this in turn opens up for sincere and deepening gratitude, humility and compassion.

Eventually, we see that seeing this formless awareness as “I” is also just an abstraction, and this too erodes. Here, there is just what is, as it is, and with no “I” anywhere. This is another phase of liberation, fullness and freedom, and one that leads into an even more deeply transdual view and a new maturing and rehumanization. One that brings a great deal of fluidity and helps us become more fully human.

In this particular context, of impulses filtered through dualistic and more transdual views, we move from being temporarily stuck in one or the other to moving more fluidly among them. We are free to apply the impulses in dualistic or more transdual ways, depending on the situation. Or we may apply them from a deeper transdual view, in a way that appears variously transdual or dualistic. Or we may express them in a more transdual way, while fully acknowledging the element of dualistic expression that inevitably is there.

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