Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:

Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nonduality Highlights each day

How to submit material to the Highlights

#4132 - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights

It's good to see nondualism introduced into the American political arena.

Sheriff in Gabrielle Giffords Shooting: Arizona Capitol of Racism and Bigotry

January 09, 2011 01:30 AM EST

Clarence Dupnik Sheriff of Pima County, where Gabrielle Giffords was shot today, told reporters Arizona had become the capitol of hatred and bigotry. Voicing his disgust at today’s shooting in Tucson, the sheriff seemed to blame vitriol from radio and television as a possible contributing factor.

While speaking to the press about the shooting, which killed a federal judge and five others, Dupnik suggested vitriolic political statements in the media played a role in the shooting. "This has not become the nice United States of America that most of us grew up in and I think its time we do the soul-searching," said the sheriff. He went on to say, "The anger, the hatred the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous and unfortunately, Arizona has become the capitol. We have become the mecca of prejudice and bigotry." At one point he said, "It's time to do a little soul searching about the rhetoric we hear on the radio, how are children are being raised."

The sheriff never mentioned any particular source of the vitriol. However, it seems clear he was talking about anti-immigration types and maybe conservative talk show hosts in general. Prior to the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, the sheriff was known for his opposition to many ultra-conservative issues such as Arizona’s laws aimed at Mexican immigrants. In August of last year, he announced he would not enforce the new anti-immigration law.

Sheriff Dupnik is holding the shooting suspect in his jail and claims the man has “mental issues.” Whether it is the Sheriff’s political views, or just a crude observation, the fact does remain that the social climate in America is becoming dangerous. Many have speculated in the past that it was just a matter of time before a Democrat politician would be shot. However, considering the lack of mental health care in this country, it is no surprise things similar to the Gabrielle Giffords shooting keep taking place. What can we do to change the public discourse in this country?


Chuck Solomon:

It is a tragedy for all and for government of the people, by the people and for the people. Come on, we‘re all just people. Some on the Left, some on the Right, and most of us just caught in the middle and getting shot up, too.

But maybe we are all guilty for letting the vitriolic hyperbole of fringes dominate the national debate. Maybe something like this had to happen to shock all of us to our senses.

The American experiment is just too grand to allow the majority, composed of reasonable Americans, to be constantly manipulated and goaded by the fringe elements. We, the people, have to stand up for reasonableness and sensibility that has characterized America in more stable decades.

Those on the fringe are fundamentally judgmental, adamant, convinced, confrontational, conflicted, non-contemplative and closed-minded.. They just know that they are right. However, these are the characteristics of Dualistic thinking - orthodoxy at its worst.

From Philosophy we have the concepts of Dualism and Non-Dualism.

Non-Dualism's view of reality is not in terms of either / or, but rather in terms of both / and.. Non-Dualism is a higher level of consciousness that is contemplative and can entertain concepts of uncertainty, mystery, and paradox - isn't that just like life?

After the Reformation, the thinking was that the “rational mind“ (Dualism) - based on the earlier logic of the Greeks - would get us to the scientific truth in all matters. Such critical and comparative thinking yielded Newtonian physics, etc.

The Dualistic mind works to compare, compete and condemn - and is fraught with fables, foibles and foolishness. This low level of consciousness sets up competition between short and tall, black and white, superior and inferior, etc. It is oppositional thinking and ego led, as in "I'm right, you're wrong", and, therefore, is the foundation of conflict, struggle, racism and war.

Modern science, however, has come full circle in realizing how little we actually know. Non-Dualism is the thinking that takes us beyond Newtonian and into the Uncertainty Principle and Relativity.

It is worthwhile and necessary to consider these concepts so that we can know and be comfortable with the real truths of life and to correctly comprehend our life and our relationship to each other and the forces of nature that control and govern our life in the world.

We can access Non-Dual thinking and we can still be rational, but in a more calm and positive way. Non-Dual thinking is tolerant, patient, happy, non-violent, accepting of others, of differences, of love, of self. The ego does not need to get in the way. We can be forgiving of others and ourselves. We need not blame others and we can know that "we" are our own problem. The great peace-makers were all Non-Dual thinkers.

We should replace win, lose thinking with the idea of win, win. The New America could greatly use a good dose of tolerance that comes from Non-Dualistic, contemplative thinking.

Wisdom would be to think before we shoot off our mouth - this applies to all levels: media, government and in our public and private lives.

top of page