Category Archives: Diunital consciousness

Links to Diunitality

The links alone:

http://abagond.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/diunital-cognition/

http://bookalist.net/?p=262739#

http://www.wdwrightbooks.com/

http://eshusplayground.tumblr.com/post/10916316458

http://www.sonoranresearchgroup.com/documents/Culturally_Engaged_Evaluation.ppt

http://prezi.com/dsjuwujg46ba/tupac-shakur/

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=38&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDwQFjAHOB4&url=http%3A%2F%2Fjournals.lub.lu.se%2Findex.php%2Felears%2Farticle%2Fdownload%2F7627%2F6301&ei=9H7CU7WrDtWsyASJq4HIBw&usg=AFQjCNGNERxepnmqgsbOu8DlgcRYfJ8gEA&sig2=Q_sIo9nLCjmSMlPGQInHJQ

http://bhaktitirthaswami.wikia.com/wiki/Reflections_on_Sacred_Teachings_IV:_Sri_Isopanisad

http://www.africanafrican.com/african%20american%20art/osu1228514505.pdf

 http://epublications.marquette.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1037&context=dissertations_mu

http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/11831_Chapter5.pdf


 

 

http://abagond.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/diunital-cognition/

Abagond

500 words a day on whatever I want

The following is based on chapter three of William D. Wright’s “Black Intellectuals, Black Cognition and a Black Aesthetic” (1997) with observations of my own added:

Diunital cognition is both-and thinking. Its opposite is dichotomous or either-or thinking. While most Americans are capable of both kinds, blacks favour diunital thinking while whites (and some of the black middle-class) favour dichotomous thinking.

A good example of the difference is Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen of New Orleans in the early 1800s. To white Catholics you cannot be a good Catholic and a voodoo queen at the same time. Either-or. Dichotomous. Yet Laveau was a believing Catholic who faithfully went to mass every day. That is diunital thinking. Both-and.

Or take the word “racist”. Whites can get extremely upset when you point out that they said something racist, no matter how gently or indirectly you try to make your point. It is like you called them a bad person. As if doing something racist means you cannot still be a good person. It is either-or. Dichotomous.

Dichotomous thinking sees the world as opposites:

  • good and evil,
  • right and wrong,
  • straight and gay,
  • white and black,
  • male and female,
  • civilized and savage,
  • rational and irrational,
  • sane and mad,
  • mind and body,
  • winners and losers,
  • capitalist and communist,
  • free and slave,
  • modern and backwards

And on and on. Not only that, but one of the two opposites is always seen as something bad and different, as something to avoid, overcome, control or even destroy.

Also common among whites is vertical thinking: they measure and rank things: IQ, income, crime rates, etc. Again, the aim is not to understand but to condemn and control. “The Bell Curve” is almost a self-parody of this style.

In diunital thinking you see things in their fullnessas being independent and equalDifferent does not mean unequal. Different is just different. In fact, to rank things would require looking at them in a flattened, one-dimensional way that does not tell the whole story. The world is a coat of many colours, not a coat of one colour that got screwed up. The aim is not to control or condemn but to understand as fully as possible.

Diunital thinking among Black Americans goes back at least to the 1800s – when they stopped calling themselves Africans and started to see themselves as both black and American. Both-and. Two-in-one. Diunital.  Compare that to the white, dichotomous view of blacks:

  • Black and therefore not truly American (either-or), or
  • Americans with a brown skin which they try not to “see” (“I do not see colour”) – because their dichotomous thinking does not allow them to see different as equal.

Diunital thinking does not go back to West Africa like you might expect. The main pattern of thought there is what Wright calls monointeractive. White scientists, dichotomously, understood it as “prelogical” thinking, as part of the “savage” mind. But it is hardly that: the “civilized” Ancient Egyptians also used it as their main pattern of thought.

See also:

14 Responses

  1. Oy vay, what a load the point ito a world view is how it helps a person navigate the world we live in both points are valid if the given view represents reality otherwise your asking idiots to juggle chainsaws

  2. Abagond:

    There is such a thing as “Right Thinking” and “Wrong Thinking.” Human thought should always have truth as the starting point. Emotion waters down the truth. As you stated, if black people speak honestly about race and racism in relation to white people, the natural tendency on their part is to get offended and start name-calling. Instead of dealing with the fundamental point of what was said, they resort to calling any particular sista or brotha a racist, bigot, close-minded, etc. My brain is my brain, my thoughts are my thoughts, my truth is my truth…I don’t care about conventional-wisdom, status-quo, groupthink, etc. Being logical and honest is hard, because, it means that you’re not gonna be liked by everybody…Too Bad! As human beings, we need to get rid of that mindset. A lot of foul ish takes place around the world because we’re afraid to connect the dots and speak honestly and forthright about this or that issue.

    Tyrone
    Human Nature…Fear…Fearlessness

  3. Either-or thinking is foolish and limiting, as the world is filled with varying shades of grey. Narrow-minded rigidity isn’t the answer.

  4. -Hmmm idk about this. This doesn’t seem to reflect what I have experienced living in the US. To me, it seems as if most Americans, black and white, are dichotomous thinkers. That type of thinking is widespread in our society.

    -Idk about vertical thinking. A lot of racist white ppl on the internet certainly think this way, but I don’t have any way of knowing if that reflects white America as a whole. I spend most of my time with other black ppl, so I’m kind of lost on “whiteness”. I’ve only been able to thoroughly peer into the white racist mindset through the internet and I have no idea of how much of the population they(racist white ppl) represent.

  5. Good piece, as always. I think the person named “The Cynic” is kind of right about most Americans being dichotomous thinkers, but I’d qualify that some– I think– and I’m totally just guessing– that a smaller percentage of black Americans than white are dichotomous as individuals. And I’d also say that if we were to try to think our way through to something that might satisfy as being a statement of the two cohorts– as those voices might speak NOW, we’d find the white voice fairly dichotomous and the black voice more diunital.

    I’m listening to highlights of the republican debate last night, and am hearing the Romney/Perry exchange about illegal immigration. (Now mind you, I’m glad to see the two of them making assholes of themselves and each other; where I remember a different mindset among many of the GOP, back when it had a moderate wing, now, I just find myself disliking practically everything I hear from these people and even when one of them does say a particular thing I’d like to feel good about, I find now that I am little more than suspicious. If the thing doesn’t seem to have an obvious ulterior motive, and it usually does, then I just wonder what I’m not seeing. I hope that will change some day, but I don’t expect it to happen soon.) And the thing is, there are things in Romney’s defense of his having had illegal immigrants working on his property that I don’t mind saying are, in themselves, reasonable– I live in L.A. and I can tell you for sure that most of the men– at least most of the men I see– who work for landscapers are Latinos who were clearly not born in the U.S., and the odds are that a good percentage of them are here without documents. That being the case, I’d like to give Romney the benefit of the doubt on that point, because that’s my style when considering anyone, but then I immediately ask myself where the hell the nuance or the understanding of others is when these right wing jack offs are out there debating in front of right wing audiences.

    It’s kind of related to the way I see the larger immigration issue: I agree that a sovereign nation must be able to control its borders and determine whom may be offered entry and residence and whom it these benefits will be denied to, but I see absolutely no willingness to take anything beyond their own selfishly defined point of view. There’s no effort to consider the conditions in Latin America, and especially in Mexico, today; there’s no effort to consider the history that exists between the two nations, most particularly, how Texas became part of the U.S. and then how enormous parts of northern Mexico were stolen by our forbears after the U.S. war and the treaty that followed. See now, to me, taking both these issues into account– the need of the U.S. to set a border policy and the need of the U.S. to consider its obligations to a neighboring country and in particular, a neighbor in which there is a long, sordid, and one sided history. In fact, I find doing this not just the only way to see anything; i.e., that the diunital view is the only one that allows me a clear view of any social phenomenon, but I also find it’s not really that hard to do. I mean, how we would reform our policy towards Mexico and Mexicans would surely be complex and difficult, it’s a hell of a lot easier to me to imagine doing that than it is to adopt such a one sided policy, the simplicity of which has led to all the suffering that exists on our border and more importantly, to those who live on the other side of it.

    There’s a hell of a lot I’d like to say about the same subject as it relates to the history and the relationship between white and black Americans. I respect “The Cynic,” Tyrone, and Abagond for the three dimensional views each takes; I mean, I especially like Abagond’s observation that one can be racist in some ways and still be a good person– if more whites understood that, we could make some progress on the issue but for many, many complex factors, all of which essentially come down to what white America sees as its own interests, it’s hard to picture the white America of today being able to do that. I do think that a generation or two from now, though, that we’ll make some real progress there. As far as “The Cynic’s” question about white America, I have to say that while the stuff you see on the internet probably reflects the slice of white America that is more angry and weak and frustrated, I’d add that the basic assumptions you can infer from the kind of stuff you see posted there is probably pretty much in sync with the majority of those in white America today, though I’m speaking primarily of my generation, Gen X, the ones ahead of us, and the one just behind us. I think many of today’s kids are a little bit past where we are, but when they go out into the world, the racism they’ve absorbed will probably emerge as they try to create an identity in adult society.

    Abagond’s various posts about white America strike me as largely correct; in fact, I rarely read the things he posts and disagree with them. His tone is one that many whites will find too intimidating to listen to and as a result of that, most of today’s whites, reading Abagond, would automatically shift into a defensive posture in which they would reply to every general statement with a claim of how many examples they know that contradict the rule, and they’d reply to each anecdote with the claim that whatever it revealed didn’t reflect the opinion of EVERY white person. They’d miss the whole lesson, is what I mean, which is unfortunate but not surprising. I like the fact that every few posts, Abagond reminds the reader that his blog is not for whites; it’s for himself and for other black Americans. I think he’s totally right, and I’d add that it’s a great place for white Americans to learn; I’ve learned more here in about eighteen months than I think I’ve learned from probably every other thing I’ve read or studied on these subjects put together. That sounds like an exaggeration, but I don’t think it is; there’s something about the combination of what he writes, the force with which he writes it, and my personally being ready to have received the message that simply makes things clear that I haven’t encountered elsewhere.

    So thanks, Abagond, though I didn’t mean for this to have wended its way to this point. I hope you keep this up because though I understand, I think, your reasons for writing this, I can tell you for sure that you’re offering more to white America than either you or it can probably begin to understand in 2011. While I realize that’s not your point in doing this blog, I still say it’s a hell of a valuable blog and that down the line– way down the line, like I mean, in ten or twenty years, this is going to be something that is going to make a huge difference in race relations in the U.S.

  6. Very interesting that the book you referred to covered this. The dichotomization within rhe culture was touched on in Marimba Ani’s Yurugu as well.

    Quote:
    “And here [with Plato] begins a pattern that runs with frighteningly predictable consistency through European thought, continually gathering momentum for ages to come. The mind is trained from birth to think in terms of dichotomies or “splits”. The splits become irreconcilable, antagonistic opposites. Holistic conceptions become almost impossible given this mindset. First the dichotomy is presented, then the process of valuation occurs in which one term is valued and the other is devalued. One is considered “good”, positive, superior; the other is considered “bad”, negative, inferior. And, unlike the Eastern (Zen) conception of Yin and Yang or the African principle of “twinness” these contrasting terms are not conceived as complementary and necessary parts of a whole. They are, instead, conflicting and “threatening” to one another”
    END

    Within this society, I get the sense that past and present are dichotomized as well. It’s as if the past if viewed as obsolete: the “march of time” consuming it and discarding it. It is bad to “hold on to the past” and when something is “in the past” it is somehow less relevant (though EVERYTHING that HAPPENS is in the past, by definition). Another view is that the past is always present. This post which was certainly written in the past, influences the present as it is read. Thus, the present owes the very nature of its existence to the past. That is a complementary view rather than an antagonistic “split”. It seems reasonable that the former would lead to a more traditional stability while the latter would fuel a desire for “progress” away from devalued term.

  7. Of course Bulanik, Abagond suffers also a bit from dichotomous thinking. As such calling people “black” or “white”, is not helping racial tensions, negro and muzungu or paleface would make it much easier to indicate groups, without stressing antagonistic images.

    Giving a white teddybear to your fiancee at the engagement party seems still
    a very curious mzungu novelty in Kenya, if I am not mistaken.

  8. Interesting.

  9. Interesting post. It might be fair to say that (white) American culture is a dichotomous culture. We tend to love our villain/hero narratives. The cold war was built on it, and every war since then. Our movies, television, etc., reflect this. Stephen Spielberg built an empire on this narrative: save the kids from the evil monsters.

    It’s an immature worldview, the view of a boy rather than a man. A man knows that men are generally neither all good nor all bad; rather, most contain elements of both good and bad.

  10. Fascinating stuff! Thanks for the cool post, Abagond.

  11. I think this comes up again wrt to Abagond’s ‘reading while white’ post and the instinctive insertion of “ALL” before “white people”. There are the dichomotous thought patterns again: “all” or “none” not gradations of patterns of behavior among various individuals. I like to use the word ‘culture’ a lot because it is a template that tends to produce individuals that think and act in a certain way. Obviously, the degree of immersion and uptake may vary from person to person. There may even be people who defy the pattern entirely but they must necessarily be extremely rare or else the culture could not survive. The cultural personality of Euro-America is racist because its imperialism (which is its highest aim) is rationalized by racism and the doctrine of white supremacy. As a result, it is very unlikely for one who identifies with this culture to not be racist in any way. That does not mean every white person is a secret member of the Klan. But it is hard for white people to read these things and not feel that that is what is being suggested. It’s “all” or “nothing”, “good” or “bad”, “Klan member” or “not seeing color at all”.

  12. Origin, you hit the nail on the head with this:
    The cultural personality of Euro-America is racist because its imperialism (which is its highest aim) is rationalized by racism and the doctrine of white supremacy. As a result, it is very unlikely for one who identifies with this culture to not be racist in any way.

    Exactly. This ties in with the self-hating non-whites who have embraced said culture, ‘sold out’ so as to be accepted into said culture, thus being/becoming acceptable to the ‘majority’. The acceptance only lasts as long as the self-haters continue to destroy their very sense of self, but they maintain the delusion that they’ve finally ‘broken through the glass ceiling’. Sadly though, when the harsh reality sets in, suicide is the only answer – after all, isn’t that the ultimate act of self-destruction?
    I’m going to explore this thought further on my blog at a later date…

  13. […] be, not “in spite of” what makes them different. They see colour, but they also see that different is just different, not “less […]


    http://racism-101.livejournal.com/89255.html

    01 October 2011 @ 11:34 pm
    diunital cognition, dichotomous society

    Earlier this year, I came across a term that sums up the deepest source of conflict when it comes to simply communicating with people who are not Black. That term is diunital cognition (also known as diunital reasoning, diunital logic, and diunital worldview).

    In short, it’s a “both/and” rather than “either/or” (dichotomous) worldview, but of course it’s more complicated than that. It’s a fascinating topic on its own, especially how it names, defines, and validates the surviving Africanisms in diaspora African people and communities. This is not just a cultural form, but an entire worldview. The fact that it still exists is frankly miraculous.

    As amazing as these implications are, I want to talk about how this worldview tends to come into conflict with the dominant dichotomous worldview.

    Case in point: The reaction to Melissa Harris-Perry’s article about the racial dynamics of how White liberals talk about President Obama.

    In the dominant dichotomous discourse, people are either racist (bad) or not racist (good). So when a person tells someone with this dichotomous worldview that something they said or did could have racist implications, they see a challenge to their moral worth and thus their humanity. So, here come the “Prove racism exists” and the “I have Black friends” and the “I studied This or That Black Author” and the quotes from Martin Luther King. Not to mention the accusations of “reverse racism” and the chips on shoulders and the hating White people and so on.

    And this leaves Black folks hurt, frustrated, tired, and confused when we see White people arguing vehemently against points we never made – and making the same damn arguments each and every time. And from there, we either lash out or shut down. To be frank, it’s more often the latter than the former.

    This is not an excuse, just an observation.

    What a dichotomous discourse fails* to recognize or acknowledge are the nuances and complexities of a diunital worldview, which can reveal themselves in subtle ways.

    (*This is not to say that dichotomous discourse is useless. It is quite valuable in many, many circumstances – especially when finding information, interpreting events, or making decisions based on empirical evidence. The problem with dichotomous thinking is that it has dominated the way Western imperialist societies have interpreted the world even when it doesn’t fit the reality.)

    In these conversations, the dichotomous worldview presents a constant drive for an absolute answer, that final verdict. There is a push to resolve the question once and for all. Which is fine, if that’s what everyone agrees to. But what often happens is that dichotomous logic is assumed to be operating, so you have the inevitable conflict between racist (bad) and not racist (good) people and actions, with the drive to prove this or that racist (bad)/not racist (good) once and for all.

    Speaking only for myself, until proven otherwise (and this may be a personal failing of mine), I assume a certain level of basic human decency. But, like all humans, people make mistakes that don’t always reflect their good intentions or their values. Being a Good Person(TM) does not prevent anyone from doing or saying something harmful, hurtful, or flat-out wrong. If I were convinced that the person I’m about to speak to is an unrepentant bigot, I would not bother wasting my time. So if you’re not an unrepentant bigot, but a person who’s genuinely trying to do the right thing, it doesn’t strike me as necessary to constantly make that explicit if I don’t want people to lose their shit.

    (Come to think of it, I’d be insulted if someone did to me what I’m expected to do for White people – that is, reassure them of their essential goodness even as (or perhaps more than) I criticize their behavior. Maybe I’m weird, but that’s not how I treat grown-ass people. You do that shit with small children who are still learning the difference between unacceptable behavior and unacceptable person.)

    But, I digress.

    More often than not, when I approach these things, I do so with the intent of exploring the different facets of whatever we’re talking about.
    You can see it on Tumblr. Take any discussion amongst Black women about our experiences as Black women. There is a richness and a vitality to the way our discussions unfold, whether online or in person. Not just in how we speak, but also in the way we listen. When you have a chance to observe and reflect, it’s a thing of beauty. However, this beauty requires a specific environment to thrive, and part of that environment is a diunital worldview.

    You know what’s fascinating about these discussions? You don’t see a lot of debate. There can be differences of opinion, but not to the extent of trying to render the other participants’ experiences and perspectives invalid. In fact, the reaction to those who try to introduce that to the discussion is often quite harsh. That’s not because we’re Angry Black Women looking for an internet fight, but because this behavior is experienced as an invasive attack on how we understand and process our experiences. It’s policing, but it’s healthy policing, much in the same way that our immune systems resist harmful viruses and bacteria.

    Of course, what a dichotomous worldview sees is not a different way of relating and communicating that has its own rules of engagement, but us being hostile (bad) when they were just trying to have a discussion (good). So, rather than expanding and enriching the conversation, what we get is a reductive, simplistic dynamic that renders it impossible to address anything except the most banal and vapid aspects of our experiences.

    Hence, “shut up and listen.”

    ( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

    Firebirdfirebird5 on October 2nd, 2011 04:43 am (UTC)
    Yes, yes and yes. Beautiful analysis of an issue that is so prevalent both online and in RL. And good conclusion 🙂

    (Reply) (Thread) (Link)

    tea berry-bluezia_narratora on October 2nd, 2011 05:39 am (UTC)
    I never knew there was a word for this, and while it’s something I’ve definitely observed, I don’t think I ever thought about it in terms of the fact that it is something we do with children: “you are not bad, but this thing you did was bad.”Thank you for the definition and the really interesting reflection on it!

    (Reply) (Thread) (Link)

    Being the ramblings of D.gmdreia on October 2nd, 2011 06:48 am (UTC)
    Unconditional Positive Regard. Carl Rogers. Humanistic psychology.:)Versus: zero-sum thinking.

    Narahtemily_shore on October 2nd, 2011 10:20 am (UTC)
    This is a very interesting concept, thanks for sharing it. If I can be intersectional here, do you think the diunital approach helps Black people avoid falling into traps when it comes to discussing other forms of oppression? In other words, are Black men less likely to do the sexist/not-sexist thing? Or straight Black people less likely to try to break things down into homophobic/not homophobic?

    (Reply) (Thread) (Link)

    afro_dyteafro_dyte on October 2nd, 2011 10:47 am (UTC)
    I’m not positive, to tell the truth. I tend to keep to politically progressive circles. However, in that crowd, I see fewer Black people fall into that pattern when speaking with other Black people than I see White people who get trapped in it all too predictably.

    hédonisme libertairemmoneurere on October 3rd, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
    This has made me think about both my own position of privilege and my strategies for working contrary to that privilege WRT both myself and my similarly-privileged (in this case: white) peers. The “basic human decency” you refer to is important — not as a state, but as an important aspiration. It’s a matter of turning it from a noun to a verb — there are plenty of privileged people (and I’m often one of that crowd, on more than one axis) who rely on our own sense of “goodness” (which mostly translates as “meaning well”, if that) as a “good enough” position. But for anyone who’s in a position of privilege (and white privilege is rather enormous in my country of residence), “meaning well” isn’t good enough — at best, it’s a matter of recognition that work still needs to be done, and that the work in question should (ethically, at least) be an obligation towards those of us who enjoy the position of privilege.IOW, when simplifying for the benefit of white friends who want to be non-racist: “We can be non-racist when our whiteness doesn’t open doors, break down walls, and otherwise give us special benefits. Until then, we are responsible for our privilege, even if we’d like to think we don’t want or need that privilege.” Maybe it involves an appeal to ego (“If you and I are really so fabulous, wouldn’t we do well even in a radically anti-racist culture?”); but won’t that at least be progress towards a worthwhile goal?

    (Reply) (Thread) (Link)

    Postmodern Girl Cartographermadmoisellestar on October 4th, 2011 01:26 pm (UTC)
    Thanks. 
    Really cool post. Thanks.The assumption that conversation means debate is insidious and pervasive. That’s something I’m going to try to be more aware of.

    http://bookalist.net/?p=262739#

    BLACK INTELLECTUALS, BLACK COGNITION, AND A BLACK AESTHETIC – WILLIAM D. WRIGHT – PDF, EPUB, FREE DOWNLOAD EBOOK AND AUDIOBOOK


    http://www.wdwrightbooks.com/

    Dr. W. D. Wright, a professor emeritus of history at Southern Connecticut State University and author of “Crisis of the Black Intellectual,” “Critical Reflections on Black History,” “Black History and Black Identity,” “Racism Matters,” “Black Intellectuals, Black Cognition and a Black Aesthetic,” “Historians and Slavery; A Critical Analysis of Perspectives and Irony in American Slavery and Other Recent Works.” He earned a Ph.D. from State University of New York at Buffalo. http://www.wdwrightbooks.com/Blog.html

    Diunital worldview and how people (mis)interpret Black communication

    Earlier this year, I came across a term that sums up the deepest source of conflict when it comes to simply communicating with people who are not Black. That term is diunital cognition (also known as diunital reasoning, diunital logic, and diunital worldview).

    In short, it’s a “both/and” rather than “either/or” (dichotomous) worldview, but of course it’s more complicated than that. It’s a fascinating topic on its own, especially how it names, defines, and validates the surviving Africanisms in diaspora African people and communities. This is not just a cultural form, but an entire worldview. The fact that it still exists is frankly miraculous.

    As amazing as these implications are, I want to talk about how this worldview tends to come into conflict with the dominant dichotomous worldview.

    Case in point: The reaction to Melissa Harris-Perry’s article about the racial dynamics of how White liberals talk about President Obama.

    In the dominant dichotomous discourse, people are either racist (bad) or not racist (good). So when a person tells someone with this dichotomous worldview that something they said or did could have racist implications, they see a challenge to their moral worth and thus their humanity. So, here come the “Prove racism exists” and the “I have Black friends” and the “I studied This or That Black Author” and the quotes from Martin Luther King. Not to mention the accusations of “reverse racism” and the chips on shoulders and the hating White people and so on.

    And this leaves Black folks hurt, frustrated, tired, and confused when we see White people arguing vehemently against points we never made – and making the same damn arguments each and every time. And from there, we either lash out or shut down. To be frank, it’s more often the latter than the former.

    This is not an excuse, just an observation.

    What a dichotomous discourse fails* to recognize or acknowledge are the nuances and complexities of a diunital worldview, which can reveal themselves in subtle ways.

    (*This is not to say that dichotomous discourse is useless. It is quite valuable in many, many circumstances – especially when finding information, interpreting events, or making decisions based on empirical evidence. The problem with dichotomous thinking is that it has dominated the way Western imperialist societies have interpreted the world even when it doesn’t fit the reality.)

    Speaking only for myself, and only for conversations about racism, it starts before I even open my mouth or hit “reply” in a discussion. Until proven otherwise (and this may be a personal failing of mine), I assume a certain level of basic human decency. If I were convinced that the person I’m about to speak to is an unrepentant bigot, I would not bother wasting my time. So if you’re not an unrepentant bigot, but a person who’s genuinely trying to do the right thing, it doesn’t strike me as necessary to constantly make that explicit if I don’t want people to lose their shit.

    Come to think of it, I’d be insulted if someone did to me what I’m expected to do for White people – that is, reassure them of their essential goodness even as (or perhaps more than) I criticize their behavior. Maybe I’m weird, but that’s not how I treat grown-ass people. You do that shit with small children who are still learning the difference between unacceptable behavior and unacceptable person.

    But, I digress.

    In these conversations, the dichotomous worldview presents a constant drive for an absolute answer, that final verdict. There is a push to resolve the question once and for all. Which is fine, if that’s what everyone agrees to. But that’s not always the case. More often than not, when I approach these things, I do so with the intent of exploring the different facets of whatever we’re talking about.

    You can see it right here on Tumblr. Take any discussion amongst Black women about our experiences as Black women. There is a richness and a vitality to the way our discussions unfold, whether online or in person. Not just in how we speak, but also in the way we listen. When you have a chance to observe and reflect, it’s a thing of beauty. However, this beauty requires a specific environment to thrive, and part of that environment is a diunital worldview.

    You know what’s fascinating about these discussions? You don’t see a lot of debate. There can be differences of opinion, but not to the extent of trying to render the other participants’ experiences and perspectives invalid. In fact, the reaction to those who try to introduce that to the discussion is often quite harsh. That’s not because we’re Angry Black Women looking for an internet fight, but because this behavior is experienced as an invasive attack on how we understand and process our experiences. It’s policing, but it’s healthy policing, much in the same way that our immune systems resist harmful viruses and bacteria.

    Of course, what a dichotomous worldview sees is not a different way of relating and communicating that has its own rules of engagement, but us being hostile (bad) when they were just trying to have a discussion (good).

    I would like to get into how a diunital worldview influences religious outlooks, particularly as it relates to my Jewish journey. But that’s for another time.


    . In some of the cross-cultural psychological literature diunital reasoning is sometimes known as cognitive dissonance (Valle, 1998). Described by Myers (1988), diunital reasoning is the skill of recognizing the validity of two competing, even exclusionary, world views

    Culturally Engaged Evaluation http://www.sonoranresearchgroup.com/documents/Culturally_Engaged_Evaluation.ppt


    Timothy Brown: Tupac’s music employs three values, oral tradition, a diunital orientation, and spirituality. http://prezi.com/dsjuwujg46ba/tupac-shakur/

     


    https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=38&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDwQFjAHOB4&url=http%3A%2F%2Fjournals.lub.lu.se%2Findex.php%2Felears%2Farticle%2Fdownload%2F7627%2F6301&ei=9H7CU7WrDtWsyASJq4HIBw&usg=AFQjCNGNERxepnmqgsbOu8DlgcRYfJ8gEA&sig2=Q_sIo9nLCjmSMlPGQInHJQ

    Diunital Thinking
    On the other hand, diunital logic, or the union of opposites,” encompasses “both/and” (Ani 13) rather than “either/or” conclusions. Consequently, it emphasizes an expressive mode that is “dialogic,” such as call-and-response (Elbow 103). This Afrocentric worldview is called diunital because it assumes the “interrelatedness and interdependence of all things,” yielding a worldview that is “holistic” (Myers 4) rather than fragmented. African philosophy (forming the basis of African American culture)
    consequently holds that the mind and the spirit, or emotions, are not antagonistic, neither is is one valued more highly than the other. Rather, the so-called opposites – intellect and emotion – are viewed as “complementary and necessary parts of a whole” (Ani 33). The aim in Afrocentric thought is to achieve “balance of complementary,” seemingly “antagonistic,” forces in humans (35), which John S. Mbiti refers to as “paradoxical complementarity” (32).

    After traveling the journey to self-awareness, the hero, LT Benjamin Williams (Ben), adopts an epistemological framework rooted in what Linda James Myers refers to as “diunital thinking” based on a cosmological view that “contains and transcends all opposites” (34) and that enables him to discover that he cannot know himself without an awareness of his being a part of a larger communal experience encompassing his ancestral past.

     


     

    Sri Isopanisad – Mantra Two Edit

    • Since time immemorial, questions regarding the relationship between free will and destiny have plagued the minds of great philosophers. How do we reconcile these two apparently contradictory concepts: free will and destiny? In the higher realms of understanding, any deep philosophical or spiritual subject matter will present seemingly paradoxical perspectives at first. However, the more we genuinely explore and analyze these questions, we see that their resolutions lie less in the realm of ‘either/or,’ and more in an interplay between both concepts. Some contemporary philosophers call such an idea ‘diunital,’ as it encapsulates seemingly opposing terms. Often, when we study different polarities, we notice that taken together, they give us a greater understanding of the whole. This is particularly applicable to the nature of the soul and of God. For example, sometimes it may seem that God’s laws for governing the universe are at odds with those prescribed by humankind, but if we explore the situation in a prayerful mood, we will often be able to appreciate the congruency that emerges between them. http://bhaktitirthaswami.wikia.com/wiki/Reflections_on_Sacred_Teachings_IV:_Sri_Isopanisad

     


    Therefore this study explores the impact of the Black Power concept upon the
    historical and cultural context of the art and visual culture of the Black Arts Movement. It
    therefore aims to provide insights about how these visual artifacts anticipated
    fundamental assumptions of Africentric epistemologies, such as: 1) self-knowledge is the
    basis of all knowledge, 2) diunital logic under girds reality which is at once spiritual and
    material; and 3) racism is a sub-optimal response to reality.

    —————–

    http://www.africanafrican.com/african%20american%20art/osu1228514505.pdf

    Diunital Logic/Diunital Thinking
    Diunital or “both/and” logic reflects understanding of the interconnectivity
    between all phenomena, real and spiritual. W. D. Wright (2002) argues that
    diunital organizational logic is at the heart of what he describes is Black
    cognition. In Optimal Theory, Myers (1993) defines a diunital mode of thinking
    as more optimal than either/or or dualistic thinking which promotes hierarchies
    and fragmentation. Diunital conveys the notion that diverse realities interact and
    they are not always contradictory.

     


     

     http://epublications.marquette.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1037&context=dissertations_mu
    Theologians have begun to outline a traditionally African religious perspective that would have influenced African American Christianity.61
    61 Drawing from the blended identity of African and American, M. Shawn Copeland describes what she considers the most essential characteristics of an African American Christian worldview: creative and tensive holding of the sacred and secular, without separation or dilution; profound respect for all human life and
    interpersonal relationships; individual identity formation from and in relation to community, along with regard
    for the wisdom of elders; empathetic, symbolic, diunital, and associative understanding; unity of being and doing; commitment to freedom and liberation due to centuries of oppression and communal and personal anxiety; ambiguous toleration and transcendence of a notion of limited reward in the context of slavery and stigmatized social history; indirection and discretion in speech and behavior; affirmation of styling: intentional or unintentional improvisation in language, gestural, or symbolic mannerisms to favorably affect the receipt of a message. See M. Shawn Copeland, “Body, Representation, and Black Religious Discourse,” in Postcolonialism, Feminism, and Religious Discourse, eds. Laura E. Donaldson and Kwok Pui-lan (New York: Routledge, 2002), 189. Joseph Brown claims that central to African culture and therefore religion are the drumand-dance-based religious expression, mystical forms of prayer, and the sense that all of creation contains the power of the divine and that this power is to be used for healing that which has been wounded and for the restoration of balance to that which has been perverted and distorted. Brown, To Stand on the Rock, 87. See also Phelps, “African American Culture,” 49-52, for how African American philosophical psychologists, sociologists, and political scientists studying the African American world have identified a distinct African American cultural world of behavior, ideas, values and meaning which, while not unique, evidence themselves with some consistency in the African American community and connect it with African and other African diaspora cultures.