Embracing Duality

The gifts of life come in pairs. If life were a canvas, then the painting on it has dots scattered all around with different colors. The dots represent the different events, experiences, and emotions in life. The dots come in pairs and different sizes. You see streaks of Happiness and Unhappiness. Positives and Negatives. Successes and Failures. Duality is the nature of the everyday life. There is no other way. It is a Karmic Life.

Life is a paradox.

If you were to visualize a canvas with lots of red dots (positives, happiness, successes), you would also see lots of orange dots (negatives, unhappiness and failures).

The breakthrough in quantum physics has shown the superposition of the particles that make up the universe. The same particle appears in two places as opposites. The famous Schrodinger Cat experiment where the cat is either dead or alive (duality) has scientists baffled. From a universal whole, even in science, there is a paradox. If you believe the big bang theory of universe creation, even there matter is accompanied by anti-matter.

I may be going against the grain, against the common preaching that you hear nowadays – all centered around non duality. “A truly spiritual being has no duality” is a common phrase. You listen to it, try to pursue it and then realize that you are far away from reaching that state. You end up in despair, sometimes give up the pursuit or get depressed. Or another option, end up believing in someone and look upon them as an individual who has attained non-duality.

Does it have to be that way? Isn’t there a more viable option?

There is.

Can you live with these paradoxical dots and yet be happy?

Yes, you can.

The three step process given below will show you the path.

Step #1 – The Observer phase

In this phase, you continue with life as-is, except that you spin a up “new” you, who plays the role of an observer.

This observer, is a witness to every thought, action, and emotion of yours.

True to the name, the observer, is in a constant state of observation. Nothing more than that.

There is a germination time for this phase. To have a 360 degree observer view of thoughts, actions and emotions, it will take at least a few weeks. When you see your life as an opera, with the observer standing in the balcony, watching the play, then you know that you have become an impartial observer.

Using the canvas and painting simile, in a matured observer phase, you should be able to see your life’s canvas with all the dots as they exist.

Step #2 – The Breakout phase

The breakout phase is the beginning of your transition. This phase is marked by the complete defiance of the way you have lived life in the past. It is an ingrained human nature to defy, resist and break new ground. The breakout phase is a fertile ground for you to commence your transition.

The objectives of the breakout phase are all geared towards a more spiritualistic, divine life. You take a series of steps (thoughts and actions) to move towards a hopeful, positive, joyous, non-judgmental life.

Persistence is needed in the breakout phase. As it is only when you pass through the breakout phase into the next phase that you welcome bliss in your life.

During the breakout phase, the concepts of duality and non-duality will spin all around you, pull you in different directions and leave you exhausted. As you undergo he transition through your thoughts and actions, It is common to experience unhappiness, get depressed, feel a lack or want. 

Muster all energy, keep up the persistence. Realize, you are in transition.

Be thorough and move quickly through this phase. Sooner the better. Not too fast, however. You want to experience the phase thoroughly.

In the breakout phase, you learn to differentiate between good and bad, positive and negative, judgmental and non-judgmental. You take the observer (in you) to the next level. Use the observer to induce change.

Here are the desirable characteristics of the breakout phase:

  • Negative gets replaced by Positive – You distance from individuals who are negative in their thinking or actions. You replace negative thoughts with positive ones. 
  • Judgmental goes out of the window – You stop judging people. Often times, individuals go to an extreme extent of being non-judgmental, and it may lead to naivety (watch out when this happens).
  • You prevent unhappiness –  Even if unhappiness emotions develop, you try to replace it with something happy.

All of the above, should be within reach. As an example, from the the observer role, you know when you are experiencing a negative thought or a negative comment. Replace that with a positive one.

Here are the undesirable characteristics and effects of the breakout phase:

  • You feel lonely. The feeling, that others don’t understand you increases even further. A sense of ridicule creeps internally.
  • It is not uncommon to experience a sense of failure.
  • In a perfect non-dual world, the breakout phase should lead to “us”. Instead, you end up with “me” and “them” in this dualistic world.
  • You feel exhausted.

What is the reason for all these undesirable characteristics?

In the breakout phase, you are moving full force striving for the characteristics of a divine  life – one that is positive, hopeful, and a unified whole. In reality, you see negatives accompany, everything does not go as you hope for. The good comes with the bad. It is the nature of duality. You are dealing with your own karma and karma of others.

The breakout phase is an unsettling phase. It is probably the most disruptive phase.

Do not give up. The set “back” along with the positives of the breakout phase is needed to have a set “up”. Move on to Step #3

Step #3 – The Merge phase

Happiness, fulfillment, leading a non-dual life in a dualistic word are the characteristics of the merge phase.

By non-dualisitic, I mean a life that is spiritually intelligent. An individual who finds joyous satisfaction in himself because he has found that all joy exists within and is independent of external factors. An individual who has a completely tranquil mind, and unperturbed. An individual having the ability to act with wisdom and compassion, while maintaining inner and outer peace, regardless of the circumstances (Cindy Wigglesworth, Spiritual Intelligence).

The merge phase leads you to a tranquil mind.

Happiness in the merge phase is defined as contentment, satisfied, and moving away from the feeling of lack. There may still be some desires to be met, however, that does not prevent you from being content and satisfied (I will write about “Manifesting Desires” in an upcoming post. It is also a subject of my talk on August 3rd, in New Jersey).

The nature of merge phase is one of fulfillment. The canvas of life will appear complete. You will feel the richness of red dots in spite of having orange dots. The journey of the merge phase is an amazing experience. It is true bliss.

In the merge phase, you learn to embrace the paradoxical characteristics. You leverage the foundation you built through the observer phase and breakout phase.

Let me explain.

Take a simple example. Let us say a negative thought creeps into your mind.

You know it is negative:

  •  because you have an observer (through step #1)
  •  you are aware (through step#1)
  •  you recognize the characteristics of the thought and realize that the thought draws you away from happiness (through step #1 and a part of step#2)

The first step in the merge phase, is not to replace the negative thought with a positive one. Said another way, break the rules that you learnt in Step #2! (atleast temporarily)

Instead, you accept and embrace the negative thought. Welcome the negative thought, do not resist it. Extend love and compassion to the thought. After all, it is the mind, body and consciousness that are giving rise to those thoughts. Welcome it. Be generous and kind to it. 

I learn’t a trick from a Buddhist teacher to embrace negativism.

It really works.

Set up a time slot on a daily basis. This could be for 30 minutes or an hour or however you choose. This time slot is the period when you give complete freedom to your mind – no controls or resistance, let all kinds of random, negative, or any other thought come into awareness.

In my case, I have set 3.30 pm as the time of the day when my mind is free to race up, down, side and across and dwell on everything and anything it wants.

When a negative thought comes to your awareness at any other time of the day, just tell the thought, “You are welcome to stay here. Thank you for coming. How about we meet at 3.30 pm? I have set up some time for you”. Once you do this, you will soon realize that those negative thoughts stop bothering you at that moment (since they have been accepted).You are free to pursue anything else. In our case, we move on and pursue characteristics of Step #2, painting more red dots on the canvas of life.

When I first followed the technique, something amazing happened.

The negative thoughts which I had welcomed with kindness and compassion did not appear at 3.30 pm, the time I had set aside to dwell upon random, and negative thoughts.They just disappeared! Amazing.

That is the power of welcoming with kindness and compassion. By not resisting and embracing those negative thoughts, I actually let go.

This is powerful stuff.

Letting go by embracing.

By embracing and not resisting, the negative thought does not grow in size. It just remains a small orange dot on the canvas of life. On a parallel, by pursuing the characteristics of the breakout phase, big bright red dots are being painted on the canvas.

Net – Net, the canvas is splattered with red positive, non-judgmental, happy dots and of course, a few orange dots.

This is realistic non-dualism in a dualistic world. You will become an individual who has a completely tranquil mind, and unperturbed. An individual having the ability to act with wisdom and compassion, while maintaining inner and outer peace, regardless of the circumstances.

Life is a paradox. Learn to take in the good and the bad.

2 replies on “Embracing Duality”

Unfortunately you slip back into basic non-dualistic thinking somewhere around step 2

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