Photo Credit: Integral Life

The Union of Opposites

Everything in life is considered in binary format — for instance, when beauty is considered, ugliness comes into being, when good arises bad is present as well. In the spiritual context it is about dvait and advait — meaning duality and non-duality. Everything is defined in the binary — tall-short, light-darkness, love-hate, peace-conflict and so on.

When we are looking for inner peace most of us really don’t know what we are looking for! We want inner peace instead of conflict, but the problem is that we don’t know what peace is, we don’t really know what conflict is, and we can’t actually distinguish ‘inner’ from ‘outer’. So, we equate inner peace with good feelings: things going the way we want them to, getting this or that beneficial outcome, our brains quiet and our bodies at rest.

Happy outcomes, cheerful dispositions, and amenable material conditions are fine in and of themselves, but they come and go. When we attach to them — when we make our inner state contingent upon them as stable unshifting objects, even subtly — then we condemn ourselves to conflict.

Light or darkness, knowledge or ignorance. Both are options but we can only have one or the other. Light dispels darkness — by degrees as the one is brought closer to the other — and that knowledge dispels ignorance in approximately the same way. It is like saying that we can look at the apple hanging on the tree, or we can pluck the apple, but we cannot do both simultaneously. Both are options but the one mitigates the other.

But we all know that both dawn and twilight are gradual, and that even the pure dark of night or pure light of day are not stable and permanent conditions but are subject to shifting, to gradations. Life does not really present as ‘either/or’, however much we wish it would, or pretend it does. It is a dynamic welter that includes — but cannot be stilled by — the appearance of binary options. So, is it possible to move beyond the apparent binary — the division into opposites that mandates choosing one over the other? Yes, it is — but it requires spiritual practice through yoga and meditation under the guidance of a realised Master.

Opposites must be brought together, not kept apart. For their separation is only in our mind, and they are reconciled by union, as we are. Perception is the medium by which ignorance is brought to knowledge. Yet the perception must be without deceit, for otherwise it becomes the messenger of ignorance rather than a helper in the search for truth.

In union, everything that is not real must disappear, for truth IS union. As darkness disappears in light, so ignorance fades away when knowledge dawns. When this happens and you see the ‘light’ — the ‘truth’ — nothing else matters as union has taken place — you are one with the universal source — you are now THAT!

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Girish Borkar

Girish Borkar

Spirituality ... meditation ... insights ... inner peace ... the journey continues... love and gratitude