The Tao of Opposites
As It Turns Out, You Are the One You’ve Been Waiting For
BY SID ARTHUR
A wise man once said it’s best not to desire or hate anything too much, the principle being—that which you’re deeply at odds with, and that which you seem unable to live without, become the things that govern your existence, even as you unconsciously draw those things to yourself (including what you hate). It’s about making gods of things, versus letting go, and learning the lessons that arise through the illusion of separateness.
Granted, the guy who told me this wears a turban and robe, sits on the floor, and eats exclusively with three fingers of his right hand, so as never to confuse it with the one he reserves for biological necessities. Yet, in certain enlightened circles of subatomic physics, visionaries now perceive the same magical inner workings of reality. To them, this principle is understood through the dynamics of quarks, neutrinos, dark matter, and the subatomic quanta, while it is understood in other schools through the Jungian shadow and metaphysical laws of attraction, all those self-generated magnetic forces in the personal unconscious, otherwise known as the subcon-scious, that steer us to and from seemingly random events and circumstances, while we, deep in the realm of our own denied and unresolved fears and frustrations, are actually orchestrating all that seeming randomness into the stream of events and interactions we call life. Or, as another wise man once instructed, life is your own subcon-scious staring you in the face, so it’s best to make friends with it (another guy in a turban, by the way, an avant-garde psychologist of the highest order).
This understanding is a good reason not to be overly political, certainly not like the rabid dogs we here from so often on the airwaves, on TV, in print, on the internet, or those around town who for some reason fail to understand that most people are not interested in their agendas, what they need to get off their chests, and feel put off for having to endure their diatribes and fixations. After a while, you realize these folks don’t know what they’re doing, because they don’t know themselves (that includes all of us to a degree).
Yet they would have you, and everyone, see things exactly the way they do, so that they might relieve their insecurities by feeling validated, which is ultimately impossible, because their beliefs are joined to their dysfunctions—and rabid political views are the means by which they try to express those dysfunctions but without emotional or intellectual honesty—which would be psychotherapy, what they actually need.
Some, though, must be saying, but don’t I get to celebrate? My candidate just won and he’s the coolest thing since the iPod. Of course you get to celebrate (comp me a mohito while you’re at it), and amp up all the positivity, promise, and projected dreams that may come with that celebratory mood, those we ought to imprint as deeply as possible upon the collective uncon-scious we call reality so that they will take form and bear fruit, making this a better world.
The only caution is that to know oneself, to self-diagnose, and self-refine, is far more valuable and rewarding than trying to force upon others the dreams, idealism, and holier than thous not cultivated within, and certainly better and less harmful than having someone try to do so by force of government. Taking such a path, by the way, you’re not caught up in laying your trip on would-be friends and strangers to the detriment of harmonious discourse and the search for common understanding we ought to be about as neighbors and human beings.
It just isn’t possible, in other words, to make progress, to create a better world (from your perspective), without first honing the instrument of self, chiseling from the rough hewn clay of your person and soul something resembling a work of art.
And as works in progress, subconsciously interrelated with everything, everywhere (physicists say), it just isn’t possible to move the ball forward any other way. As an arbiter of reality, a holographic model of the singular omnipresence that turns the gears within everything in the universe, you will never realize the ideals you desire, nor exorcise the demons you excoriate and react to in others, before doing so within.
It sounds corny, in a Bob Geldoff kind of way, but you are the world. And if you think that role is beyond your existential pay grade, know that you are projecting your own life force unconsciously upon what you perceive as the flow of events through your perception of exper-ience all the time.
To be more specific, you are the One, not some object of your desire or political messiah. And if your messiah represents that One, you’ll know because he’ll be the first to tell you.
I know what you’re thinking, this is getting all woo woo, and you can refer to previous issues of this publication if you need to connect the dots, but let’s just say, in short, that the physics have been demonstrated well enough to satisfy the more gifted among us—your mind, heart, and subconscious shape, attract and repel subatomic structure and energy, so that all that’s going on around you is you’re own doing, especially that which really irritates you and that which inspires, from the candi-date you despise to the kids you adore. It’s the ultimate conservative ideology of personal accountability, and the ultimate liberal ideal put into practical action, in that it points the way toward utopia, starting from square one—you, not the thing outside yourself that you despise or adore.
They call it the Universal Self. Finding it within, and in others, we find the purpose of life. Finding it in the lessons that come to us through everyday events, we find meaning in what otherwise seems random and arbitrary.
A column appeared in these pages that dealt with this issue (in a way) four year ago after the 2004 election. Using different words, and the metaphor of a man walking, it said that while the left leg seems to recede, the right pulls it forward, and vice versa, on and on, until the destination is reached. You can’t get there any other way— it’s the Tao of opposites working together, which are only seemingly at odds, because that’s the underlying nature of the duality and that which unites it—called The One. No matter who wins or loses, the potential for fulfillment prevails, life is magical, and you, beyond arbitrary concepts of self, are at the center of it all.