I was just on another site where someone remarked that a quotation cited was partially Dharma and partially dualism. I found that I had to agree with that.
Then I started thinking: if I see that parts of the remarks are acceptable (to my way of thinking) and others are not, am I not being dualistic myself? This brings out the difficulty of discussing Dharma or, more specifically, the impossibility of expressing the inexpressible.
We meditate and try not to strive for awakening, a concept that in itself cannot be precisely understood in the usual sense of understanding. Nonetheless, our lives in the everyday world require that we be able to express the concepts of that world which are, by their nature, dualistic in discussion — if not in fact. It is rather like attempting to describe directly observable reality by means of quantum theory, and vice-versa.
For practical purposes, and for most of the peoples of the world in reality, black is black. Good is good, and evil is the opposite. Most folks are able to comprehend the possibility of a continuum betwixt the two, but I have to admit that after considerable study and meditation I am still unable to discern their sameness in everyday life — and that is the thrust of a practice that I take (perhaps too) seriously.
I need flexibility to live in the world, and part of my practice is the realization that there is an inherent dualism in human consciousness that allows us to function in the world. Were we unable to discern the things that are good and bad for us as physical beings, we would not long survive on the road to enlightenment.
Spending my life in a world of blacks, whites and grays while constantly reminding myself of the dualism of my everyday thoughts and life is simply mental masturbation. The whole idea of becoming aware is to realize that these distinctions do not matter in the overall. In the mundane world, however, they matter a great deal.
My reality is mine alone, distinct from the reality of the universe. It can never be otherwise, in a practical sense, because the reality of the universe is ever-changing to a degree that defies the concept of “a” reality completely. I need to move in the direction of comprehending that non-reality, while remaining functional in the world, and moving among the myriad individual realities that inhabit it.
Even the Buddha removed thorns from his feet.