I've just had a vigorous discussion with some friends, and what was most interesting to observe is the extent to which people (including myself) engage either-or thinking.
My friend (let's call him 'George') quoted Anthony De Mello, along the lines of "what you have to realise is that you're asleep, and that you need to wake up". Which in effect meant that I? wasn't in the least "awake" -- aware, considerate, conscious, enlightened or good. No sir, not at all, not even a skerrick of enlightened awareness. None. Ziltch.
That's either-or thinking. None or all, right or wrong. One or the other, but certainly not ever BOTH at once.
I shared my view that people are variously "awake" and "asleep", aware and ignorant, considerate and selfish at the same time. I explained the inherent reality of the paradoxical nature of life and that all qualities and potentials are co-existent. It's just that some get accentuated more than others at various times and at various junctions in our evolution.
My friend countered, "but most people can't understand the complexity of paradoxes ..."
Well yes, they can, and they can't. It's not that they're completely stupid, just that "they" are at various levels of development, and that at each stage unlimited potentials remain latent.
My friend then countered again, "tell that to my friend's niece who is is disabled .."
Disabled or enabled, stuck or unstuck, asleep or awake? ... neither ... it's both: if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed say unto that mountain move, and it will move yonder into the sea. Vast potentials are denied when we engage in either-or thinking. We deny pathways to possibilities and potentials that can literally move mountains.
It's all a matter of development ... no perfect awareness, enlightenment or oneness, just ongoing growth.
In searching the net on Anthony De Mello I found the following quote which exemplifies either-or thinking:
Don't change: Desire to change is the enemy of love. Don't change yourselves: Love yourselves as you are. Don't change others: Love all others as they are. Don't change the world: It is in God's hands and he knows. And if you do that change will occur. Marvelously in its own way and in its own time.Yield to the current of life unencumbered by baggage.
"It is in God's hands and He knows"? What, so we don't at all, in the least? It's not in our hands, at all?
The assertion that our lives and our world are in "God's hands" does immense harm, for it disconnects our conscious responsibilities for personal and global circumstances. As God-as-us we are creating and responsible for our lives and our world. Yes, we need to let go and allow greater portions of our unconscious (unconscious-collective) to fuel and power change and growth, but at all times we're a part of that change.
It's not either-or ... it's not God or us, it's God-as-us.
As within the part, so within the whole.
Whatever potentials and abilities are possessed by God also lie latent and available within each of us, since we are God as us.
And there can be no exceptions to this simple rule: Exceptions are reliant on disconnects that form useful but limited abstractions within the unlimited oneness of all.