The Dualistic Model of considering Life Energy is one of our oldest such concepts, and indeed, has probably been around since the movement first began. Although it has now mostly been replaced by the more inclusive Tripartite Model, it is nonetheless useful to detail the model in order to ensure that you have opportunity to understand the different viewpoints, and also to give you some idea of why we adopted the alternative model as opposed to continuing to use this one.
It should, however, be noted that some practitioners do still utilise this model, so it remains an active part of our ideology, but it is nonetheless one that many of us have used in the past and rejected, due to the concerns that will be noted further on. However, speaking as a Jedi Realist myself, I will observe that this is not to say that the Tripartite Model is superior to the Dualistic Model, merely that it is preferred over the Dualistic Model. This is, nonetheless, valid in most regards, since Life Energy is far too complex for us to fully understand – hence, the use of models as attempts to explain it to practitioners.
Unlike the more favoured model, this particular one does not discuss an approach to comprehending the Force (since the Tripartite Model maintains that the Force is a single, indivisible energy that we tier into three sections only for aid in understanding – the actual nature of Life Energy remains singular), but instead takes a very specific stance on the disposition of that energy, hence making a statement with regards to the composition of the Force that has some very specific implications.
The model maintains that the Force exists not as an indivisible energy, but instead one that is divided between two particular ‘states’, if you will: positive and negative, these also connoting to good and evil. I should note that this is not a position on the physical constituents of energy, but instead more a comment on the effects that the energy itself has on living organisms. Even within the Tripartite Model, we accept that the energy (in the physical sense) can have positive and negative fluxes, as well as charged states that are split between positive and negative (as you would find with other energy – electricity being your primary example).
That observed, there are some primary similarities to the Tripartite Model in that it uses tiers, and indeed, uses two of those that exist within the more current model: these being Personal Force and the Living Force. How, I suppose you are wondering, does this change the dynamic sufficiently enough to warrant the use of an entirely separate model? I shall explain.
If you recall (having read the section on the Tripartite Model), we have talked of the ability of energy to have certain impressions left upon it, either from the environment in which it exists, or in a smaller sense, from the emotions of thoughts of the people it becomes part of. Remember, all energy is capable of converting into all other types of energy and, as I have noted before, it is constantly being exchanged with the world around us. To that extent, it might be helpful for you to consider energy within two particular modes: the energy contained within our bodies at any one time, and the energy existing outside of ourselves. In all truth, it is all part of the same system, however.
Anyway, moving on, as I have said, we each leave impressions upon the energy within our own bodies as a result of our own thoughts and emotions. So, at the level of one’s personal energies, we can observe a duality between positive and negative impressions with regards to that energy. However, as you might imagine, this is hardly sufficient reason for us to consider all energy as existing with such impressions upon it – and, therefore, hardly reason enough to suggest that there is an observable duality upon the total energies of the Force itself.
However, when we exchange our personal energies with that in the environment around us, those positive and negative impressions remain. So, at the level of our own personal energy, the duality becomes clear enough to us, but not sufficiently so to be picked up by anyone else on anything other than an individual level – thus, not something one can infer onto the Force as a whole. That noted, at the point whereby that energy interacts with that outside of ourselves, the duality then becomes apparent.
If you remember what was said with regards to the Living Force in the piece on the Tripartite Model, you will recall that it is considered as being the sum total of all the personal energy within existence, all of it interacting between people – and, as such, is a fundamental (but often unseen) aspect of interpersonal relations. If, at the first tier, the duality between positive and negative impressions can be observed, then logically, the tier in which this combines to include all such energy, that duality is therefore magnified many billions of times, to become something that can be attributed to the Force itself – thus, suggestive of the idea that all life energy contains the positive/negative duality.
That all sounds reasonable enough, does it not? Most practitioners tend to think so, and quite a few continue to use that particular notion as the focus of their own practices. I don’t doubt that you’ve spotted the difference between the two – the difference is not as a result of the duality, but rather upon the focus of the model. Where the Tripartite Model focuses upon (or, perhaps, simply takes into consideration) all energy, the Dualistic Model focuses upon but the first two tiers of that model: essentially, those energies directly responsible for life, both at the point of animation and for the continued maintenance of life.
The reason most of our number tend to favour the Tripartite Model over the Dualistic Model is simply as a result of the third tier: that of the Unified Force. This essentially suggests that everything is interconnected through the energies we can sense, since all energy itself can convert to any other form. At that stage, the duality is almost utterly drowned out, if you will, because our thoughts and emotions only affect that energy which exists as part of us, and which flows between one person and another. I suppose, if you wish, you could consider the duality as being but two small charged elements between one far larger neutral element. Hence, neither the positive nor the negative elements are sufficiently large to make the overall energy of the Force similarly charged.
It is not, however, appropriate to suggest that practitioners using the Dualistic Model are necessarily unaware of the alternative – it is simply that they choose to focus upon the duality between positive and negative, or perhaps simply to focus on the energies of the Force as they affect life, rather than in the more macroscopic approach provided by the Tripartite Model. In all truth, all of us can agree with the Dualistic Model, at least to some degree. The duality is easily observed when one focuses on our own energies, or upon those of all living things as a whole (i.e. the Living Force). To all intents and purposes, one narrows down their focus, while the other chooses a larger, more encompassing view.
That observed, however, there are quite a few problems stemming from only using the Dualistic Model, and being unaware of the Unified Force as the third tier we use for our understanding of the energies around us. The first is quite obvious: the duality of positive and negative (oft translating to good and evil, in some minds) becomes the totality and thus those practitioners maintaining such an understanding will see the world around them purely with regards to such states. Everything will exist in either one or the other – there is no middle ground, therefore. One could go as far as to suggest this being a compromise of the Anderson Code’s second stanza: there is no ignorance; there is knowledge. Approaching the world with such a narrow view without consideration for the possibility of being wrong or that there might be something more thus limits your options.
Another concern, and perhaps more of a grievous one in my own eyes, is the compromise of objectivity. This is the ability to step back from one’s own concerns, thoughts and emotions and to try and see the world as it really is, rather than through the subjective filters through which we process information about the world. To some extent, perhaps objectivity is impossible to fully obtain (although this is discussed elsewhere), but when utilising an approach that bases itself wholly within the idea that there is only positive and negative, objectivity becomes that much harder to obtain, simply because action requires that you choose one or the other, rather than seeking middle ground.
When you perceive the world through what we understand to be a twofold filter, your ability to attain a state of objectivity is greatly compromised – moreso when you consider that the Dualistic approach essentially revolves not around a state of being, but rather upon an ethical construct imposed on the world we see around us. Hence, the individual perceives the world in positives and negatives, as good and bad, rather than seeing things as being inherently independent of such notions.
Generally speaking, the difference often observed between the Dualistic and the Tripartite models with regards to good and evil/positive and negative revolves around the notion that, for the Dualistic Model, such a duality is an inherent part of everything around them, while for users of the Tripartite Model, that duality is the purview of consequence, rather than something found intrinsically within any given situation. Hence, one advocates that good and evil exists firmly within nature, while the other believes such categorisations can only be found in terms of the consequences of human action.