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Time, fear and suffering in post-dualist states of being

McInnes, P.A. and Beech, P.N.H. (2005) Time, fear and suffering in post-dualist states of being. Ephemera: Critical Dialogues on Organization, 5 (1). pp. 53-67. ISSN 1473-2866

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Abstract

This article seeks to contribute to debates on the nature and implications of post-dualist modes of being by drawing upon the 'process philosopher'/'guru' Krishnamurti, whose refusal to be categorised we read as an overtly political move. Advocates of post-dualism have argued for the possibility of a new form of subjectivity that can transcend the problematics of current forms of life, particularly the relationship between individual and social structure. Critics on the other hand have called for an account of the approach one might take to achieve and sustain such a state. This paper seeks to respond to both of these positions. Firstly, in response to critics, it argues that the cumulative and directional assumptions of the journey metaphor embedded in their call are a central obstacle to post-dualist experience. That is, the dualistic separation of self through time as a current, relatively stable, self moving to a future desired self prevents our experience of transcendence in the here and now. However, we argue that a sustained postdualist experience is a rarity and that practices required to experience post-dualism will involve dealing with the fear and suffering usually diverted by the separation of self through time. We employ illustrations drawn from research into workplace identity to highlight the potential dysfunction in removing the journey from people's narratives of self.