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Duality and the Human Condition

Updated on February 18, 2012

Duality and the Human Condition

By Tony DeLorger © 2011

The duality that exists within all humanity has always been a source of fascination for me. It is the foundation of all religious ideology and in one sense, the scientific laws we have come to know as governing all of existence. What I am referring to is of course ‘good and evil’, ‘light and darkness’ and ‘positive and negative’. Given that our existence is dependant on the balance of these opposing states, it is interesting to observe how that duality exists within us in a philosophical sense.

The world, our universe and we as individuals are in a constant state of flux, balance being the fulcrum, the centre at rest, the eventual outcome of imbalance. Nothing dies in our existence, just transforms into another state, energy, the core of life, evolving. In an esoteric viewpoint, the existence of two opposing forces within humanity creates an internal battle that as I said is the source of all theology. This battle brings up many questions about whom we are and indeed who we can become.

If good cannot exist without evil, because of the laws of balance, how then do we present ourselves to the world? Are we in halves, one side white, and one side black? And how does this internal duality manifest, are we good one moment and then evil the next? The reality is that we are both states but one always dominates over the other, the second being suppressed.

Suppression is a problem in itself. It could be said that as good as a person can be they also have the potential for the same evil. Without recognising this potential and instead suppressing it, it can have dire consequence. A perfect example of suppression is a priest that has spent a life of pious commitment, devout in all thoughts and actions, depriving himself of the natural urge to procreate and to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh. To this end the priest has devoted himself, but he is like a volcano about to erupt. In the end the suppression is eclipsed by some heinous sexual crime that contradicts a life of good. The balance of evil has momentarily sort balance.

For most of us this internal battle is less conspicuous. Dependent on upbringing and circumstance we have developed a moral compass that guides our lives and keeps this duality in relative balance. We acknowledge our faults and negative tendencies and attempt to live a positive life. When in stress and under the weight of worldly problems or contention, we often allow that evil to express itself though rage, verbal abuse and even violence. But overall, we can balance ourselves to be mostly positive and functional.

For some people, particularly those with poor backgrounds, no role models and abusive parents, no moral compass is formed and the evil side of our duality is left to flourish without any control or balance. This is the foundation of criminality, a person who does not acknowledge the good but rather falls to the negative, expressing anger, hate and violence. For them, there is no good, only self-gratification and acquiring their needs in any way possible.

Should we suppress the knowledge that we are capable of evil, we will only give further strength to that evil, and at sometime of weakness can unleash it without control. Accepting that we have this negative potential, simply gives us an awareness to be able to maintain it without expression. Like anger management, if we recognise it rising we can take control and prevent rage and inappropriate behaviour, or negative circumstance.

This duality is an interesting concept, and I guess a controversial one considering its application to so many religions and belief structures. For me this internal opposition is just that, internal. The outward expression as God and Devil, to me is more a manifestation of our internal state.

So in conclusion, I would say to you that dealing with this duality within us will have a positive expression in the physical world. In other words, awareness is singularly the most precious commodity a human being can acquire. In giving balance to our understanding, we can find a more positive expression outwardly. Then, the duality is less of an affect, and more an understanding of potentials.


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    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 5 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Agreed Dr Mike, everything is about perception, not judgement. Judgement just limits the mind. Everything, no matter how heinous, is about maintaining balance. Thanks for dropping by.

    • DrMikeFitz profile image

      DrMikeFitz 5 years ago from Sandpoint, Idaho

      in the end, everything serves. even the negative items mentioned. most will not seek what form all things serve in. it is always in the form of one-or the many. most get mad when this is stated and go instantly to Hitler-yet Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says there is a time to kill.......? since the duality IS a universal law of creation, it is the will of a/the Creator, and finding the purpose in that aspect of creation is "life-changing". to see "both sides" of any and all especially troubling events can balance the mind, open the heart, and let gratitude pout in for all the challenging past events we see as "one-sided", when all them are two-sided.

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks Trahn, glad it was worth the consideration.

    • TrahnTheMan profile image

      TrahnTheMan 6 years ago from Asia, Oceania & between

      Hey Tony, interesting hub. It reminds me of some material I've recently started to look at. Apparently the issue of where our moral conscience comes from is a growing area in evolutionary psychology. Whether it'll go as far as dealing directly with what we call evil or even sin, areas both historically covered by religion, remains to be seen. Thanks for provoking the grey matter.

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Appreciate it W.B.Isley. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment

    • W. B. Isley profile image

      W. B. Isley 6 years ago from Monett, MO

      I'm with sunsetofthenight.

      I see life as our opportunity to rise above duality. In the grand spiritual scheme there is no duality, only free will choices made by lifestreams who are here to learn and become more. Sometimes those choices turn out to be very selfish and the 'person' needs to experience the consequenses of those choices.

      Over all I believe that duality is an illusion we have chosen to believe in. There is more to this thing called life. Any way, nice hub. This is a great place for folks to start working up from. Most folks haven't even heard of duality. I commend you for bringing it to people's attention.

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks for reading and your comment sunsetofthenight.

    • sunsetofthenight profile image

      sunsetofthenight 6 years ago

      Interesting hub... it is important to become aware of our that good and evil can become more a choice. We can choose our heart. Maybe life is also our opportunity to get beyond this state of duality, which is our condition, and enjoy that true peace that the balance we can obtain, often a useful compromise, can't give us...

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks for reading Christine. Criminal acts are often without any moral consideration, rather fulfilling needs such as, vengeance, hate etc. reoffending is common.

    • Christine P Ann profile image

      Christine P Ann 6 years ago from Australia

      Enjoyed your hub. Hadn't actually heard of duality before, very interesting. I still wonder why some criminals, such as child abusers, even when they know what they do is wrong and have been sent to jail, often re offend.