Many in Europe who still remember the experience of living under totalitarian regimes, but also the rest of us who have had the good fortune to experience nothing but post-WWII and post-Cold War peace, security and prosperity, may well wonder at the collapse of the events industry, the closure of arts venues and the Balkanisation of our hallowed university culture over the past year-and-a-half. Yet there is an opportunity here, too: as individuals we find ourselves questioning aspects of experience that pre-pandemic would not have warranted a moment’s consideration, and although much current debate may prove futile or misguided in the long-run, there is the possibility that a greater sensitivity for what is crudely termed ‘otherness’ may take hold, namely a sensitivity towards not only other cultures and histories, but also other dimensions of sentience. This essay is not about validating what are widely considered to be conspiracy theories, or speculating about who has what agenda and why. It is a statement about the experience of being an individual human being and the need to steward that every bit as much as the need to steward this beautiful blue planet, which, more than our home, is our amniotic sac.
In this article I take a broad view of the question of duality and non-duality to show that we are creatures of both and are unable to do without either. The piece featured as the lead article in the September 2021 issue of Pari Perspectives. A copy of the issue may be purchased from the Pari Center website for EUR 7. The article is 5476 words.