The history of human civilization reveals a recurrent preoccupation with the notion of duality. Black and white, positive and negative, male and female, winner and loser and of course, the ever controversial, good and evil. Interestingly, even the nature of “duality” itself led to a fundamental splitting or duality of human civilization—East and West. In Eastern philosophy, all aspects of duality are recognized as representing an underlying unity. All is One, but from that One springs all of our perceived dualities.
In contrast, Western civilization is entirely based upon a philosophy that emphasizes the distinct polarity inherent in dualism. Our preoccupation with duality becomes quite volatile when we assign values to the polar extremes, especially the values of right and wrong. Polar views create “sides’ and the sides usually compete to provide justification in support of their stance.
Even the consequences of the resulting competition over dualistic points of view can be dualistic. Competition may become destructive, especially when its resolution leads to physical combat such as wars and revolutions. At other times, the competition over polar points of view are quite constructive, when resolutions lead to intellectual and technical advances.