The world as we perceive it is a duality. It’s obvious appearance consists of a complex myriad of objects; tables, chairs, houses, bicycles, toys, flowers, animals, people, mountains, rivers, clouds, planets, stars and endless galaxies out there in space surrounded by eternity and limitlessness in all directions.
In the center of all this is me, the person that I think I am. Except for being the most important person in the universe, this body-mind organism has a name, age, sex, passport, sun sign, personality, history, education, job, nationality and a place to live. This is the person we bring to an astrologer, to be interpreted and told that we are special and unique. Like no snowflakes are alike, so does our chart resemble similar diversity. The down side is that I am also doomed to isolation. I must face the harsh reality that I am also this limited, small, incomplete, inadequate, little person separated from the rest of the world and everyone in it.
And even worse, – one day I am going to die. The body does not last forever, it wears out or can stop functioning any time without warning: Game over, the lights go out and no more me. There are rumors of life after death, but opinions varies with everything from burning in hell, to playing golden harp in realms of unimaginable bliss and beauty or modest variations in between.
This is bad news, and with it goes a deep existential feeling of lack, limitation, emptiness and nothing is ever really good enough. We always want things to be different, better or more. This causes desires, we want things and experiences that can complete us, fill us up, and compensate for this chronic dissatisfaction. So we seek security, pleasure, recognition, power, fame, virtue and innumerable wants and cravings.
According to Bernard Shaw there are two disappointments in life. One is not getting what you want. The other is it to get it…. Take sex for instance. Usually it is so good that we want more. It forms a habit and sticks in our minds as a lifelong obsession, never ceasing to fascinate. Life becomes a wheel of endless desires that reinforce themselves the more they are fulfilled. Eventually they leave us empty because the satisfaction never lasts. A cup of coffee is nice, but soon the taste and effect wears off. The high is replaced by an emotional low. This can be fixed with another cup, soon to become slaves to various addictions and cravings never giving lasting peace and contentment.
Low self esteem is another side effect to dualism. Religions have milked this for all it is worth a long time ago, telling us we are no good, sinners, doomed creatures, and all we can hope for is to get saved and redeemed by divine grace in one form or another. It also keeps the gurus in business. Because of this feeling of lack, we compare and rank each other according to status: Money, looks, intelligence, popularity, accomplishments and so on. Having something others do not have, make us special. Gurus have had extraordinary experiences, which puts them somewhere up the spiritual mountain together with Buddha, Jesus and other enlightened masters sitting on the top blissfully meditating. Further down the hillside are lesser gurus, yogis, teachers and others wannabes of variable standards.
If this is bad news, try non-duality.