Though the essence of experience is dynamic (and two-directional), dualistic understanding is by its very nature one-directional.As human being we interact continuously with our environment. This inevitably involves dynamic polarities (which I have classified in terms of horizontal, vertical and diagonal respectively).
Confining ourselves to the horizontal level we have the dynamic interaction of exterior (objective) and interior (subjective) polarities. Now to understand reality in dualistic (one-directional) terms we must break the (inherently) dynamic nature of this interaction and fix our frame of reference.
We can do this in two ways. We can define the self in relation to the exterior (objective) pole.Alternatively we can define the objective world in relation to the interior (subjective) pole.Let me briefly illustrate.I am in a sitting position and find my attention directed to the computer screen (in front of me).This is an example of one-directional dualistic understanding where the computer screen (as object) is momentarily separated and differentiated from myself (as subject).
Also in this case the object (i.e. computer screen) is the reference point i.e. I define myself in terms of this experience - with reference to the computer screen. Attention is thereby directed outwards from the self to the object.
Slightly later I feel irritation over yet another typing error. In this instance the self (as subject) becomes the reference point. The external environment (in terms of this experience) is now defined with reference to myself. Attention is now directed inwards from the world to the self.
Clearly in dynamic terms, attention switches continuously as between both poles (though the balance varies considerably as between individuals). An extrovert typically uses the outer world (of phenomenal objects) as reference point (for the self). An introvert by contrast uses the inner self as reference point (for object phenomena).
Thus, the very essence of dynamic experience is the ability to switch between opposite poles (from object phenomena to self and from self to object phenomena).
However though so vitally important the key dynamics of this switching process are not properly explained by psychology, philosophy or indeed - in a qualified sense - mystical spirituality. (My own explanation has led to the development of Holistic Mathematics!)
Dualistic understanding by definition recognises solely the positive direction of experience.
When one becomes consciously aware of an object it is literally posted in experience. Attention thereby moves forward (in a positive direction) to the object.Likewise when one becomes consciously aware of the self, it is also posited in experience. Attention again moves forward (in a positive direction) to the self.(This is exactly analogous to the movement of a car along a highway. If the car goes up the highway the movement in absolute terms - will be in a forward positive direction; likewise if the car goes down the highway the movement will likewise be in a forward positive direction).
However from a dynamic perspective we cannot split up experience in this one-way fashion.Experience is now two-way (bi-directional) rather than one-way.
Thus in dynamic terms the positing of an exterior object phenomenon always implies the negation of self. (In other words to become aware of the object we must momentarily forget about self).
Likewise the positing of the self (as interior subject) always implies the negation of object phenomena. (To become aware of the self as subject we must momentarily forget about objects).
Thus dynamic experience is bi-directional (i.e. positing implies negating).However dualistic understanding by definition entails a merely one-directional positive interpretation.
Dualistic understanding therefore distorts the fundamental dynamic nature of experience, defining it in absolute static terms.
However though limited this dualistic differentiation of experience is still vitally necessary.
The question then arises as to how to move from this rigid approach to a more truly dynamic appreciation of reality.
Mirror understanding provides the vital bridge as between the rational (dualistic) and intuitive (nondual) worldviews. Dynamic experience can then be seen correctly as the interaction of both dual and nondual understanding.
Mirror understanding could be defined as the realisation that all relationships are inherently bi-directional (rather than one-directional).
Ego attachment which is the great barrier to authentic spiritual realisation results from the confusion associated with one-directional dualistic understanding.
Let me illustrate this important point. Whenever I understand an (exterior) object phenomenon dualistically, I thereby become (possessively) attached to that object. As the very essence of dualistic understanding is the separation of the poles of understanding, it requires that I limit freedom and define myself (with reference to the object). In other words I necessarily in terms of this understanding make myself the slave of that object.
Likewise whenever I understand the (interior) self dualistically, I thereby become attached to the self. I now define exterior phenomena (with relation to the self) and become trapped in ego identity.
Thus dualistic understanding always involves a distortion or contraction in experience and a limiting of true freedom.
Clearly the more rigid the understanding the greater is the contraction and the greater the loss of freedom. As the (conventional) scientific paradigm is based on this rigid dualistic understanding, it thereby creates an enormous barrier in terms of authentic experience.
Given that spiritual development starts with dualistic understanding, we must introduce complementary mirror understanding before moving to true intuitive realisation.
In Christian ascetical literature the first steps involve - what is referred to as - mortification and self denial.Typically the spiritual disciple becomes aware of specific attachments constituting a barrier to progress.
To give an innocent example one might eat chocolate as a means of selfish gratification.
The problem here is the unduly positive nature of the attachment; one - in a sense - has become a slave of chocolates; thus when tempted by them one loses self-control and surrenders freedom.
The first step therefore is the deliberate attempt to move in the opposite direction. Thus by denying oneself gratification when tempted one strengthens the unduly weak opposite pole. When sufficiently strengthened, the attachment ceases.
Of course there is the strong possibility here of unhealthy behaviour whereby one switches dramatically to the opposite extreme making a virtue of bodily denial (e.g. eating disorders).
Though this kind of discipline is necessary as part of any spiritual discipline it also forms an important part of civilised living (with its requirement to moderate excessive dualistic tendencies).
True spiritual development usually involves a more profound realisation of bi-directional understanding.
What happens here is that one undergoes - usually on the threshold of adulthood (with L0 completed) - an existential crisis. One becomes profoundly disillusioned with life no longer deriving satisfaction from customary pursuits. Deep down a blind search for a deeper level of meaning takes place. This is a time of darkness and uncertainly filled with much anguish and suffering.
It is important to explain clearly the nature of this transition.
As one becomes aware of the inherent bi-directional nature of relationships a far closer fusion of opposites takes place. The genuine spiritual candidate usually has a very sensitive conscience and cannot live easily with inauthentic behaviour.
As one become increasingly aware of the dynamic nature of one's relationship with the world one begins to see simultaneously from both directions. A dynamic cancelling out process of poles ensues involving - in effect - psychic matter and psychic anti-matter.
Thus when one becomes aware of an object phenomenon (psychic matter) in relation to self, the switch to the opposite direction i.e. self (in relation to object) quickly takes place.
Now in conventional terms this interaction is very rigid. So switching between poles is slow and causes little confusion.
However in dynamic terms it leads to deep paradox. In dualistic terms reality is defined absolutely in terms of exterior objects (in relation to self) and interior self (in relation to objects). So when switching between poles is rapid it creates paradox. This initially causes great confusion leading to the breakdown of the dualistic approach.
Gradually experience is reconciled in terms of a more spiritually intuitive worldview where these opposite poles are inherently united.
Thus the transition from L0 (the rational linear level) and L1, requires the gradual breakdown of linear one-directional understanding. This is due to the growth in mirror understanding which greatly increases the interaction of horizontal poles (exterior and interior) in experience.
This initially causes disillusionment and confusion (as the old worldview fails).Gradually it is reconciled in terms of a spiritually intuitive worldview (where opposite poles are reconciled).
So the key link as between dual and nondual understanding at all levels is mirror understanding (which literally reverses the positive direction of experience).
Of course mirror understanding is required in conventional understanding.However here it serves the mere function of enabling switching as between the two poles (object and subject; subject and object) to take place. The switching remains somewhat rigid with opposite poles largely retaining their absolute nature.
However with mystical spiritual development, mirror understanding becomes explicit and greatly accelerates the switching as between poles. This undermines former linear interpretations leading to a considerable development of intuitive energy.
The great exponent of mirror understanding in Western mysticism is St. John of the Cross. He refers to the breakdown of the linear understanding as "active nights". Active in this context refers to the fact that one can at this transition stage make dualistic efforts to co-operate with the spiritual process. "Night" refers to the (hidden) unconscious generation of spiritual intuition.
Indeed he even distinguishes as between concrete structures and formal structures.
The "active night of sense" refers to concrete structures; the "active night of spirit" refers to formal structures.
Thus the crucial transition to "high-level" spiritual life involves the gradual breakdown of the perceptual linear structures of conop (through concrete mirror structures). Later it involves the breakdown of deeper conceptual linear structures of formop (through formal mirror structures). These are replaced by a more subtle type of understanding that is inherently intuitive (nondual).
Mirror understanding can also be referred to as reverse understanding , negative understanding (in terms of direction) or psychic anti-matter.
Just as in physics matter is matched by anti-matter, likewise in psychology. All psychic matter is matched by corresponding anti-matter.
The implications of this are profound. Every fact, every concept is balanced by a corresponding anti-fact and anti-concept.
Thus in physics every hypothesis has a corresponding anti-hypothesis.
If the (matter) hypothesis is true in terms of the positive direction of experience, then the (anti-matter) hypothesis is true of the negative direction.
Thus when viewed from a static perspective all scientific explanations of reality have dual explanations. In static absolute terms these are viewed as identical. However when viewed from a dynamic relative perspective, the opposite explanations are complementary (and relative).
This of course equally applies to mathematics.All mathematical data, theorems, relationships etc. have corresponding anti-data, anti-theorems, anti- relationships etc.
Thus the well-known Pythagorean Theorem for example has - in static terms - a corresponding anti-theorem (which is equally valid). The theorem refers directly to its objective truth; the anti-theorem refers to its subjective truth (i.e. mental understanding).
The dynamic interpretation of the Pythagorean Theorem which is relative - involves theorem and anti-theorem as complementary poles. In other words the truth of the proposition is understood as representing the dynamic interaction of opposite (objective and subjective) poles.Thus at this level mathematics has a relative - rather than an absolute - truth value.
One-directional dualistic understanding - by its very nature - separates object and subject. Not surprisingly physics and psychology in this approach are likewise seen as separate disciplines (with little in common).
However two-directional understanding is based on the inherent unity of subject and object. Therefore it paves the way for the remarkable integration of physics (and by extension all "objective" science) with psychology.We no longer - in this dynamic approach - have physical and psychological reality (as separate) but rather psycho-physical reality (or alternatively physico-psychological) reality.
Even at this beginning transition stage, we can demonstrate remarkable connections as between physics and psychology.
At the linear dualistic level of macro reality, matter has one direction only. Physical realty is made up of simply matter.
However once we go immediately below this level reality displays two complementary aspects (i.e. matter and anti-matter). In other words immediately below the threshold of linear macro level, physical reality has two directions (exterior and interior).
Again at the linear dualistic level of macro reality, psychological experience of matter again has only one direction (i.e. we experience reality physically in terms of matter).
However once we go immediately above this level, psychological experience of reality becomes two-directional displaying complementary exterior and interior aspects (i.e. psychic matter and psychic anti-matter).
Now these two levels below and above the linear level are themselves complementary (in vertical terms).In other words the psychological understanding of the "higher" level provides the appropriate interpretation of the corresponding "lower" level. Equally the physical nature of the "lower" suggests the structure of the corresponding "higher" level.
Thus - in an integrated framework - the discovery of anti-matter in physical reality, entails the existence of corresponding anti-matter (in psychological experience). Equally the discovery of psychic anti-matter (i.e. two-directional understanding) entails the corresponding existence of anti-matter (in physical nature).
With integrated physics (holophysics) we adopt a bottom-up approach, whereby we obtain a greater appreciation of the structure of the "higher" level of psychological understanding from knowledge of the "lower" physical levels.
With integrated psychology (holopsychology) we adopt a top down approach, whereby we obtain a greater appreciation of the structure of "lower" level physical reality from knowledge of the "higher" levels.
My own disposition is mainly top down. I find it easier to work out the "higher" level psychological structures and infer from them the nature of corresponding "lower" level physical structures. (One example of this has been the use of Jungian personality types to give an explanation for the dimensional problem in Superstring Theory).
The transition stage from L0 to HL1 leads to a radically different interpretation of physical dimensions.
Whereas perceptions provide the psychological counterpart of physical phenomena, concepts provide the psychological counterpart of physical dimensions.
In other words - in a direct sense - we obtain knowledge of physical phenomena through (corresponding) psychological perceptions; likewise we obtain knowledge of physical dimensions through (corresponding) psychological concepts.
Now during this transition phase - from L0 to HL1 (rational to subtle realm) - the development of mirror structures in relation to concepts (as well as perceptions) takes place.Thus the formation of these anti-concepts (at a psychological level) implies the existence of (corresponding) anti-dimensions in physical nature.
Indeed this reveals one of the great weaknesses of the conventional scientific paradigm of nature. Despite relativity and quantum physics, scientists still adopt a Newtonian mental framework whereby objects are understood in terms of a fixed background of dimensions.
However - from a dynamic perspective - dimensions are created in interaction with matter. In simple terms the positing of matter in dynamic terms - involves the negation of dimensions; likewise the positing of dimensions involves the negation of matter.
So just as we have positive and negative directions to matter (matter and psychic anti-matter) equally we have positive and negative directions to dimensions (i.e. dimensions and anti-dimensions).
Now this latter interpretation is essential to the understanding of black holes.
As we know when matter and anti-matter fuse we get the creation of physical energy; in complementary fashion when psychic matter and anti-matter fuse in experience we get the creation of spiritual energy (i.e. pure intuition).
Now when dimensions and anti-dimensions fuse we get the creation of physical gravity; the extreme example of this is in terms of black holes. It is the intense fusion of the opposite directions of dimensions that causes - quite literally the very fabric of space and time to slowly disappear creating an intense implosion of matter. This leads to the massive generation of gravity.
The fascinating parallel here - though we are jumping somewhat ahead - is the famous "dark night of the soul"(which is more a Western than Eastern phenomenon).
This involves intense purgation of one's deepest conceptual structures. This involves the deep fusion of opposite directions of concepts (which provide the dimensional framework for psychological experience of space and time).
As the spiritual writers affirm, this is an extremely narrow time for the soul as one is quite literally forced (psychologically) out of experience in space and time altogether. So there is now a psychological implosion whereby everything becomes extremely congested and one suffers an enormous amount of grief.
I remember being impressed by a line referring to the "dark night" experience of St. John of the Cross
"He would have died of grief if God had not supported him with his grace".
This sowed the seed in my mind in terms of an important connection with "black holes". I was delighted to subsequently find that St. John's treatment of the "dark night" bears direct comparison with modern astronomical findings on "black holes".
The very word "grief" has its roots in the latin word "gravis". Thus grief quite simply is the psychological counterpart of gravity.
When a loved-one dies it can call into question our most fundamental beliefs and assumptions i.e. the deep-rooted concepts providing the (dimensional) fabric of our existence. The erosion of these concepts (through fusion with anti-concepts) causes that heavy burden and congestion that we know as grief.
Quite simply, grief is the experience of psychological gravity complementing the same notion in physics.
Again in integrated physics (holophysics) we would explore our notions of grief from complementary notions of (physical) gravity; in integrated psychology we would explore the nature of (physical) gravity from corresponding notions of (psychological) grief. Though the very words (gravity and grief) suggest intimate connections, because of use of inappropriate paradigms (where physics and psychology are separated) these important connections have not been explored.
I find contemporary physics extremely exciting (in marked contrast to contemporary philosophy). However its great weakness is the lack of an appropriate scientific paradigm. Though the findings of modern physics contradict the Cartesian mindset at every turn, it still is the basis of scientific method.So all these new remarkable findings seem non-intuitive.
However when the dynamic bi-directional approach is used it leads to an approach where all findings are fully intuitive (and fully integrated with psychological understanding). I will return to this important topic again.