Dualism is a sneaky worldview. Worldviews themselves are sneaky.
We don’t often realize we have one, that we experience life through cultural and self-imposed filters—it’s just reality as we’ve come to believe it is. Dualism divides our view of reality into opposed and contrasted aspects. The most obvious is mind and body or material and immaterial. But once you have drunk the dualist Kool-Aid, you see duality everywhere: right/wrong, male/female, now/not yet, secular/spiritual, heaven/earth. As if everything we experience is reducible to two opposing aspects.
Since we are focused on contemplation as a primary tool for spiritual growth and Jesus as a Hebrew contemplative—working interiorly to step away from cognitive and emotional distractions in order to experience pure presence—another dualism presents. Contemplation and action. If we’re focused inwardly, using silence, solitude, stillness, and simplicity to quiet our minds, hearts, and the world around us, how are we of any use in our relationships and communities?
Our world is falling apart, and we’re meditating in the corner? Inactive? Uncaring?
One of the main benefits of contemplative practice is to strip away our preconceptions, both conscious and unconscious, to see reality as it really is. See past our worldview’s filter, past imagined dualities to the unity beyond. Life is not about either/or. It’s both/and. Contemplation is the preparation we must go through in order to see what is really needed, what love requires in our relationships and communities so that our action is appropriate and part of a true solution. Not just an expression of what our egos and unresolved traumas need.
Paul appears to uphold inaction toward slavery and subjugation of women in his biblical letters, but I see him trying to help people prioritize. To fight the interior revolution first, prepare hearts and minds before we strike off to fight the exterior revolution. Contemplation and action together. In that order.
We train before we compete, wipe windshields before we drive.
Must see reality as it is before we engage action that is clearly our duty to perform.