I agree that there are many people who tend to use the dual approach to thinking- black or white..... things are one extreme or the other; you are on
one side or the other. The subtilities in between are not recognized, or rejected.
Depending upon my current circumstances, I will find this frustrating or valuable.
When it is I who percieves a stand point not of either extreme, and those around me are not able to tolerate that (each extreme is accusing me of
being on the other side- what I run into often!) I find it frustrating and may call it stupid.
But I do see a value for this kind of thinking, in certain contexts. Furthermore, I consider it part of my "Yang" or "masculine" part of my mind (and
though we may all be capable of it, I do find that males tend to use it more regularly than do females.)
I also consider this Yang part as the self conscious / ego part, and it's whole "raison d'être" is to make the distinction between "self/ not self" !
If you consider your being (of mind, personality) as being a sort of cell, with a collection of views, perceptions, experiences, preferences and
choices, it is this part which constructs that cell wall, and decides what to let pass through it and what to reject out of it.
This requires an ability to really slice in between and make clear distinctions in things.
There is problems inherent in always being in the gray area, as many females can tell you- having trouble making decisions, holding a stable
viewpoint, being unreliable in character, being easily influenced, being extremely empathic..... these can be the challenges.... whereas the benefits
can be ability to influence others and environment in subtle ways, the ability to use psychological manipulation, to do healing and diplomacy, to find
solutions and compromises, avoiding conflict .
I think both the ability to divide and to integrate, is necessary for mental and spiritual health, and either can be misused or used in a context in
which it is ineffective for the intended goals.
The problems arise when the intended goals of those concerned are different- I think that is what helps to recognize! The other person using the black
and white thinking may not have the same intent as yourself! Therefore their black and white approach in the moment is correct... for them
-All that said, I think people can develop the ability to percieve more subtilities through development of critical thinking
and analysis. I
find that the american culture in particular has been discouraging that. I believe it might be the reason for the tendancy towards extremism in all
things in our country.
edit on 6-9-2012 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)