The term “dualism” means many things in different contexts, most partially overlapping. For example, mind-body dualism refers to the different states of mind and matter. Moral dualism refers to good and evil. Metaphysical dualism states that there is a perfect other world versus this imperfect one and the two worlds play by different rules.
In Heaven, for example, entropy does not exist, nor does scarcity. One does not have to make choices or endure the loss caused by time and repetition. However, logically those things exist, not just in our world, but in any world based on logic, which makes the metaphysical world dubious and dangerous.
Magical symbols which suspend all reality as we know it or can derive it represent a great risk to the human consciousness because they represent an end to our fears. The “mind” part of mind-body dualism finds itself feeling most powerful in these beliefs, and this makes them addictive.
Note that none of this is a rant against religious belief or religion; the idea of a benevolent God, purposeful universe evolving toward intelligence and thus goodness, and an afterlife remain intact, but these things must be consistent with what we observe in nature, and this presents a complicated picture.
For example, Darwinism represents an increase in competence and therefore, in goodness, since that which is competent does not engage in purposeless activity, least of all cruelty, destruction, or decay. If viruses had brains, they would not be viruses (some would say the same thing about Leftists, but their dysfunction is more psychological).
Monists such as the heroes of this site and many of its writers tend to see the “realms beyond” as contiguous to this world, and if Platonists, see this world as an effect of a far-wider causal world in the intangible universe of information, logic, and perhaps, the “magickal” in the oldest sense, the patterns which drive a hidden world.
This view is consistent with sentiments such as the following:
That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.
— Howard Phillips Lovecraft, “The Nameless City”
We live in a tiny part of reality that is physical and not informational. This means that it connects to other parts which follow logic in the same way — Darwinism and all — as this one, but may add to it expanded dimensions based on unique qualities of those parts. Essentially you end up at the same place just without the absolute symbols.
With monism, people can think logically. Instead of God as a morally judging parent, we have God as a force like light, gravity, magnetism, or natural selection which constantly sorts the universe from the disorganized to the organized, keeping an internal struggle between order and disorder so that it avoids collapse into repetition or randomness.
Unfortunately for humanity, fear rules our consciousness and symbols seem to dispel fear, so people create a symbolic reality including both Heaven and Utopia that denies the reality of our world. This anti-realism takes its most extreme form in the Abrahamic religions which sacrifice reality for a promised Heaven or Utopia:
The preachers of the Muslim Brotherhood changed this. They articulated a direction: the straight path. A purpose: to work towards admission into Allah’s paradise after death. A method: the Prophet’s instruction manual of do’s and don’ts — the halal and the haram. As a detailed supplement to the Qur’an, the hadeeth spelled out how to put into practice the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, God and the devil.
The Brotherhood preachers left nothing to the imagination. They gave us a choice. Strive to live by the Prophet’s manual and reap the glorious rewards in the hereafter. On this earth, meanwhile, the greatest achievement possible was to die as a martyr for the sake of Allah.
The alternative, indulging in the pleasures of the world, was to earn Allah’s wrath and be condemned to an eternal life in hellfire. Some of the “worldly pleasures” they were decrying included reading novels, listening to music, dancing, and going to the cinema — all of which I was ashamed to admit that I adored.
We should mention here that the biggest religion is secular. It is Leftism, or the idea of egalitarianism, which banishes fears behind moral symbols that say equality is good because that way each of us can continue to act individualistically without concern for the consequences of our actions, so long as we say the magic words to get into Utopia.
A canny historian might even suggest that metaphysical dualism was not natively present in Judaism, Christianity, or Islam, but was imported later in order to make the religions nearly as popular as Leftism. Both of these individualistic forms, religious and secular, arise from the same human tendency toward fear.
Most likely all human groups go this way over time. At first we talk about what we fear, then what we fear is banished, and we only talk about the world through the methods of action that we do not fear. This means no reality can be discussed; instead, humans bat symbols about and pretend it is the world.
Our Anglo-Saxon forebears had a solution, which was to balance their form of Christianity with literature, both Greco-Roman and Nordic, which kept it in check by reminding us that gods are not personal nor interested in the ways of man, nor is there perfection anywhere, only the ongoing struggle to keep order through the battle of order and disorder.
For this reason, they embraced nature first and saw their gods as extensions of nature, and this removed the idea of metaphysical dualism through perfection and safety. They embraced risk and danger. They in fact saw these as essential to life having meaning in the first place.
The founding of this country was based on the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” in a manner of expressing the divine, natural, and human in parallel:
The Declaration in fact makes four references to God, using the parlance of the 18th century.
The first reference is in its opening paragraph, which appeals to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” thus grounding the legitimacy of the new “thirteen united States of America” in natural law and its divine author. This nation endeavors to conform to God’s moral order from its inception.
The second reference comes in the first sentence of the next paragraph and is the most famous: “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” The securing of these rights concisely expresses the American understanding of government’s purpose.
These men were Deists, meaning that they found religious dogma to be metaphorical more than literal, saw atheism as the comedic posturing it is, but believed in a divine force originating from nature. They saw the laws of nature as immutable even if relative — we are “created equal” with unequal perception — and embraced a form of natural selection.
To both conservatives and liberals today, this notion is blasphemy, which is because it is blasphemy in any age and every age. People want to believe that we are gods and there are gods that take care of us how we want to be taken care of, removing our fears, allowing us to do whatever we want, and passing the cost on to someone else.
This might be described as the “eternal human dream”: we can do whatever we want with minimal consequences, any mess that results is passed on to someone else as cost, and there is some supreme Babysitter out there, both government and god, that takes care of us and points us in the right direction.
The eternal human dream shows up in fundamentalist religion, but also in communism, and finds expression in every human social group and philosophies like humanism, The Enlightenment,™ and postmodernism. It is us projecting the opposite of our fears, in effect giving our fears greater power over us.
Our founding fathers were wiser than that. They rejected fear and embraced willpower, looking toward what could become real with a little gumption and elbow grease instead of what might happen if things went badly. They were optimists and realists who shared a transcendental goal of not a Utopia but a pleasant, meaningful existence.
For this reason, they endorsed a society of constant struggle, knowing that without struggle people fall back into dreaming the same tired and sad dream. We hear echoes of them today in those who look toward the future as a mix of Utopia and dystopia:
“We will be in an age of abundance,” Musk said this month.
He was speaking publicly with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who like many world leaders is trying to navigate the fast-developing technology’s effect on work and life. Sunak said he believes the act of work gives meaning, and had some concerns about Musk’s prediction.
“I think work is a good thing, it gives people purpose in their lives,” Sunak told Musk. “And if you then remove a large chunk of that, what does that mean?”
With our technology, we can be more prosperous than ever before; indeed, most of the labor from the time of our founding fathers has become trivial, but instead of capitalizing on that, we have filled the void with fear-denial and pointless obsequity to the illusion of equality.
We could be living in our best lives now, which would be a mix of the good and the bad, but instead we have wasted all of that capital chasing after symbolism, running from scapegoats and racing toward talismans. There is no perfect life in Heaven or on Earth, but we can achieve the best possible existence by living in line with the laws of nature.
Liberalism, as a form of metaphysical dualism, posits a perfect Utopia for those who embrace idol-worship of “equality,” but it exists not in another world but in a conjectural future time. Since it has never been observed, the ideology of Leftism is fragile because it is unproven and therefore vulnerable to competition from what actually works.
Our future as a species involves another kind of dualism, that between order and disorder. We will always fight this battle, but we need to fight it in the small, instead of sending our whole civilization rocketing between one extreme and the other. That is a religion of blood that will end in a worse doom than Islam could imagine.