Patterns of Dualism

We all live in a dualistic world. The Philosophy of Dualism has been proposed long time back in Indian Vedanta Philosophy. It’s called Dvaita. The concept is very simple, but hard to remember and use to our advantage. In simple terms it just states that – we perceive (actually our sensory perceptions) our reality in the form of ‘subject’ and ‘object’. This is the basic logic behind it. Now everything is built on top of it and it can get very complex that we become un-aware of it.

Below are some patterns I have consistently come across in my perception. These things are nothing new. We all know these. Just like we have ‘Design Patterns’ in Computer Science, we also can find patterns in dualism. Here are some:

1. Rise and Fall

This pattern just states that whatever goes up, will come down and vice versa. You can try to observe this around you. The stock market, population growth patterns, traffic etc. Any data you take, you would see this pattern embedded within it.

Rise and Fall

Rise and Fall

What is important to note is in this rise and fall, everything is advancing towards the future or moving forward.

2. Big and Small

This is very easy to see. In any scenario or situation – there is someone who is big or with power and there is someone who is small or powerless. And and in most of the cases, there is always a tussle going on between these two entities.

Big and Small

Big and Small

We see this every where in our society. The middle east conflict, the Sri Lankan Sinhalese & Tamil conflict, the minorities in India, US. This is prevalent everywhere. The division may be based on power, money, population etc – but the pattern is same. One group is Big and another Small. We are so obsessed with this pattern that we make folklore & mythological stories based on that. Example: David and Goliath, Kauravas and Pandavas.  We love to root for the underdog.

3. The Choice Paradox

This one is a little complicated. These are the mental locks or physical situations we get into where there is no way out. This is ambivalence that results after two equally opposite values try to pull us in either directions. This is most powerfully experienced at the person level as compared to the previous two which play out much more at the society or group level.

Examples: The things that make us happy can also make us sick. Chocolate. Some morally questionable activities may give us more joy. We have a common name for this pattern called Catch-22

choiceparadoxThese are few which I see around me. As I said, there are many more patterns and I am pretty sure you may see them or come across them. Let me know if you have any and I will add them here.

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