By Isabel Galiardo
Existence is a paradox. Until we can understand this essential truth we will remain divided and confused.
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.
Human beings need certainty and we tend to cling to our version of events, because the vertigo that comes with the uncertainty of not knowing is difficult to bear. But the truth is that we do not know, and the more we question the less we seem to know.
What does seem an irrefutable truth is that life presents us with constant paradoxes.
If we pay attention to what we are, we can recognize how our animal instincts coexist with our highest spiritual aspirations. We have, as it were, two natures within ourselves, one animal and another spiritual. We are conditioned to seek food and adapt to our environment, to reproduce and guarantee the survival of our species, and yet, all people and races, all individuals, in one way or another also seek meaning to their existence.
We live between heaven and earth and we need to reconcile our contradictory nature, that which makes us human, our humanness. 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.
Both masculine and feminine aspects coexist inside of ourselves. Sometimes we can be passive and receptive and at others active.
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.
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 in the moment, with what is alive, with what emerges here and now.
Let go of the habit of associating, labeling, anticipating and interpreting and instead 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.
As the Zen proverb says: “When you walk, walk. When you eat, eat.“