Existence is a paradox. Until we can understand this essential truth we will remain divided and confused.
We need certainty and we tend to cling to one version of events to avoid vertigo that comes with not knowing. But the truth is that we do not know, and the more we question things the less we seem to know.
If we strive to only identify with certain aspects, if we only accept certain perspectives, we create a false and inaccurate version of reality, which is reassuring but which isn’t true.
If we pay attention to what we are we will recognize many contradictions. For instance, our animal instincts coexist with our highest spiritual aspirations. We have, as it were, two natures within ourselves, one animal and another spiritual. We live between heaven and earth incapable of reconciling our contradictory nature.
We are conditioned to seek food and adapt to our environment, to reproduce and guarantee the survival of our species. Gravity keeps us anchored to the earth, while an inexplicable longing for transcendence makes us constantly look up to the heavens.
Within us, we can identify petty and selfish aspects that make us distrust, feel envy, jealousy, and greed but we also find generosity, courage, and integrity. Sometimes our childlike side is innocent and pure and gives us creativity and playfulness and that same inner child sometimes tyrannizes us with tireless demands. We can show ourselves as wise and strong one day and feel completely vulnerable and lost the next.
Such contradictions frighten and disconcert us so we prefer to identify with certain aspects and discard or deny others. What does seem an irrefutable truth is that life presents us with constant paradoxes.
The Tao shows us how reality is an infinite combination of Yin and Yang and how the one without the other is inconceivable. When we manage to cultivate an open and attentive presence, allowing ourselves to flow with life, not resisting that which it brings, we begin to have a richer and more complete relationship with ourselves and with existence.
Learning to cultivate an alert and awakened consciousness, by being present in the now, connects us with what is happening at the moment, with what is alive.
Letting go of the habit of associating, labeling, anticipating and interpreting, we surrender to the evidence that each breath we take is new, each encounter brings something different and each step on the way is fresh and unknown.
To be alive is to allow life to happen, to remain open and curious to what it brings. Stay tuned, every minute is a fascinating experience and you do not want to miss it.
If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.Masaru Emoto