When we build a house, its foundation determines whether or not the building will stand. No matter how well constructed the rest of the house is, a flawed foundation will eventually cause trouble. We can make costly repairs, but unless the foundation is replaced, problems will continue to crop up. Duality is the flawed foundation of our world, and no matter how carefully we build on it, it will continually cause problems. We can’t fix it, but we can escape it.
Quantum physics tells us we live in a universe of indivisible, interconnected energy and potential that’s permeated by consciousness. Although the quantum level of the universe seems unreal to us, physics tells us quantum oneness is the seat of reality. At this level, consciousness interacts with energy potential to bring the material world into existence. Oneness includes both the visible and the invisible portions of the universe, but science tells us the material world that appears to be real is actually a virtual reality.
Reality and virtual reality are each based on a different thought system. The foundation of quantum reality is oneness; the foundation of virtual reality is duality. What’s the difference? Universal oneness connects and embraces everything in existence on an equal basis; there are no levels or opposites. In contrast, duality separates everything into opposites, and polarizes those opposites by labeling one pole ‘bad’ and the other ‘good.’ For example, in oneness night and day are equally valued parts of a harmonious. Each part relies on the other to be whole. In duality they’re opposites; night and darkness are equated with bad, daytime and light with good.
What is the purpose of duality? Spiritual masters, and now several quantum physicists, believe the universe is one interconnected whole because it is the Divine. Like a body, no part could be considered separate, special or unequal to any other part. This oneness does not equate to sameness. Like cells in the body, each is unique and carries out its function, but one cell is not more important than another, and has no meaning apart from the whole. From that standpoint, we could think of everything in existence as a cell in the Being of Ultimate Reality.
The thought system of duality was constructed so we could experience separation and specialness. Nothing can actually separate itself from oneness, but consciousness can imagine it has. Projecting a dualistic virtual reality is not in our best interests because it invariably creates inequality and suffering, but the gift of free will has allowed us to do it.
In the pursuit of specialness, everyone competes for the dualistic extreme that’s considered ‘good,’ and they reject the extreme that considered ‘bad.’ Unfortunately, duality doesn’t just create opposites, as demonstrated by an artist’s gray scale. Visualize a blob of white paint at one end of a board, and a blob of black on the other with 8 shades of gray in between that are made by gradually mixing the black and white together. It doesn’t matter whether you decide the black or the white is good, the other 90% of the scale would have to be considered bad because it contains some of the paint you labeled bad.
Like the lottery, a dualistic thought system must create a small percentage of ‘winners’ at the expense of a huge percentage of ‘losers.’ Duality is doomed to failure because specialness is its goal, and everyone is after the same 10%. Oneness fosters cooperation, duality forces competition. Oneness supports the highest good for all involved, duality pursues self-interest. This set-up should make it obvious why world peace is impossible to sustain.
As long as we continue to think from a dualistic perspective, it’s impossible for us to give what we believe is scarce to others, since we’re convince by sharing we will somehow be deprived. We can’t stop hoarding, because we need assurance that we will always have the good we want. We’re afraid to take the first move toward peace because our dualistic views create a certainty that as soon as our guard is down completely, someone else will take advantage of us.
Our dualistic thought system is supported by perception. Science has discovered everything we think we’re experiencing is actually energy patterns that are filtered through our senses, brain and emotions. Since we’re limited to perception, objective reality and truth can’t exist in our virtual reality. Everyone wants peace, but in duality we all perceive peace from our own perspective. What we usually mean is peace on our terms, peace that serves our own interests.
Duality inevitably creates a dismal scenario, but there is something better. Spiritual masters have always recognized that the flawed foundation of duality cannot be repaired. Instead of futility trying to fix our virtual reality, spiritual masters have always proclaimed a return to oneness to be the only cure for duality. Duality is a thought system, and thought systems can be rejected and replaced.
When we start thinking in terms of oneness rather than separation and specialness, we can begin to enjoy a life of peace right now. But spiritual masters tell us not to stop there. As Rumi so beautifully put it, “Keep the Real always passionately and stubbornly in view and duality will dissolve, burn away like a paper-chain in the fire of love.” In oneness, peace is nothing to be hoped for or a goal to be attained, it is your birthright; peace is who you are.