“Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time.” – Pablo Picasso
Dichotomycomes from the Greek word dichotomia which means “dividing in two.”
1: a division into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities; the dichotomy between theory and practice
also: the process or practice of making such a division; dichotomy of the population into two opposed classes
2: something with seemingly contradictory qualities; it’s a dichotomy, this opulent Ritz-style luxury in a place that fronts on a boat harbor — Jean T. Barrett
You can find use and examples of dichotomy in mathematics, psychology, religion, spirituality, economics, biology, botany, computer science, theology, sociology, astronomy, and politics, which is evidence of its extensive possibilities.
Since it presents a striking contrast between two opposites, it can give a better understanding of each by emphasizing the differences as well as the similarities.
LOVE & FEAR
HAPPY & SAD
PLEASURE & PAIN
JOY & SORROW
GOOD & BAD
RIGHT & WRONG
WHITE & BLACK
YIN & YANG
HEAVEN & HELL
POSITIVE & NEGATIVE
Life is full of dichotomies, which Neale Donald Walsch, author of the series Conversations with God, refers to as “divine dichotomies.” A divine dichotomy is when two apparently contradictory truths exist simultaneously in the same space.
“It’s important to learn about Divine Dichotomy and understand it thoroughly if you are to live in our universe with grace. Divine Dichotomy holds that it is possible for two apparently contradictory truths to exist simultaneously in the same space.
Now on your planet people find this difficult to accept. They like to have order, and anything that does not fit into their picture is automatically rejected. For this reason, when two realities begin to assert themselves and they seem to contradict one another, the immediate assumption is that one of them must be wrong, false, untrue. It takes a great deal of maturity to see, and accept, that, in fact, they might both be true.
Yet in the realm of the absolute—as opposed to the realm of the relative, in which you live—it is very clear that the one truth which is All There Is sometimes produces an effect which, viewed in relative terms, looks like a contradiction.”
– Conversations with God, Book 3
“In ultimate reality there is no such thing as good and evil. In the realm of the absolute, all there is is love. Yet in the realm of the relative you have created the experience of what you “call” evil, and you have done it for a very sound reason. You wanted to experience love, not just “know” that love is All There Is, and you cannot experience something when there is nothing else but that. And so, you created in your reality (and continue to do so every day) a polarity of good and evil, thus using one so that you might experience the other.
And here we have a Divine Dichotomy—two seemingly contradictory truths existing simultaneously in the same place. Specifically:
There is such a thing as good and evil.
All there is is love.”
– Conversations with God, Book 3
Life is full of dichotomies and this is both its beauty and its wonder. To understand something we must also experience the opposite. To know joy we must also feel sorrow. A life of only joy or sorrow would just be. When we live in duality thinking we are blinded by our current state. When we elevate our thinking to realize that everything can be both good and bad, positive and negative, right and wrong, we can rise above duality and accept relativity. Living in the realm of relativity two opposites are both truths, occupying the same space and time. This shift can take us from polarity to unity.
Living in a state of unity, we live in a state of non-judgment, in a state of unconditional love.