A Balanced Dichotomy

by Edmund Celis, September 24, 2016.
Newport Beach horizon
Photo by Edmund Celis.

As Alan Watts often says in his lectures, you can’t have the good without the bad. It is one. Life plays a balancing act.

The dichotomy extends to many aspects of life, such as how we are a combination of both a female and male gamete, or how we have two halves of the body. What we experience as day and night is simply the movement of the light and absence of light as the shadows, as the earth rotates with respect to the Sun. It is all one process. What we understand as life and death is likewise one in the same process as well. As human beings, we are a balance of human, or physical, and being, the non-physical. What we may judge as good and bad in life are ultimately describing a phenomenon of equal and opposite forces just as Newton's third law of motion explains moving objects. You...we...life...are all a part of this dynamic balance of constant chaos and stability that we experience as life. This reality implies that

we should not hold grudges against ourselves or with each other, for what the mind deems as destructive and evil is inherently stemming from the same source of what is beautiful and good from the eyes of the ego.

You cannot change the past or know what happens after death, but you can simply be here right now, as you are, living and dying, laughing and crying, peace within a simple note of music in the rain to then shine as a rainbow in the sun. Of the pain we feel, down to the depths of a spinning wheel, it’s playful don't you see, karma in the wind, passing the time fly by. A window to the soul as the music is in disguise of this lullaby catching flame. It's a silly game. For us to be and see without, you and me, it's not a bout. We all have clout, for it is your very being of this moment that you find yourself in, wishing to live again, not a care in sight. Go, sail away in the sunset of your heart. Flashing lights of thrilling nights that come again and again. Accept. Belong, we do. To you, as one, true as can be. To know that it was a battle of pride in the shame of sorrow. Aghast, powerless, a trough waiting to rise once again in a cynical cycle of denial. Lying away against the innermost gain of a quest to nowhere, yet bound in horror of not knowing what will be of tomorrow. Settle down to the beginning of the spirit. Free of assiduous means to get somewhere. Flowing as the night in its mighty will. Your words are songs to be played, as the bird sings it's tune in a delightful dance for it to be heard and movement to sway. And when the night passes, you will return from which you came to be born again in an indefinite play.

Helium atom
Animation by Edmund Celis.

That small ballad is an expression of the musical sound of words, yet with no real meaning in an everyday sense. However, it points to the rhythmic cycle of life in eternal ambivalence. Sometimes, we may feel lost and unstable, but that is totally normal because that is the natural state of the universe of infinite possibilities. Chaos may be upon you but don't worry, it is part of the stability that the mind falsely represents to you.

Everything that you are experiencing right now, the sounds around you, the anger or depression that you might feel, the thoughts that you think, or the peace you may glimpse, are all one in the same, but the mind compartmentalizes them. The separation that the mind creates can be the source for our unhappiness, as we find ourselves in a never-ending struggle to attempt to fix what is not right in our mind or in the world.

When you realize how futile that endeavor is, you may see the humor in it all. That is why we laugh and enjoy it. The mind ceases to pretend that life is so serious and important and our awareness of the change inherent in everything suddenly changes the dread we were feeling into the spontaneous joy and carelessness we feel when we laugh. Relative to the totality of this whole universe, the happenings on this Earth through the lens of our mind is a funny joke indeed. This is extraordinarily elaborated upon in a YouTube video of an Alan Watts lecture.

Only you can realize the truth that is. Nobody can do it for you or force you to experience it no matter how hard they try. You can help guide others to an extent but there is a point where no matter what you do, the ego may be too strong to be helped otherwise. At that point, simply accept.

Thus, it may be wise to stop trying to change others' views just to make others adopt your view, which you believe to be just and right. A positive view will naturally make its equal and opposite counterpart, for you cannot have light without dark. So, it is futile to try to change the negative into something positive because it will just create its opposite at the moment it changes. Allow others to believe what they want and allow yourself to be open as well and observe it all as insignificant with respect to the truth. A belief, ultimately, is just that. It is not truth, for truth is not a belief, it is what it is, untainted by the mind.

The words of all the languages together still cannot print the truth of the universe, and although it may, it relies on a false notion that the mind can grasp this truth. Edward Hopper once said, "If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint."

So, play my friend, in all its seriousness is the child of innocent musings to return to the joy of simply being.

Life is an art, you have a paintbrush, paint away. Life is a dance, dance away. Life is a song, play that music.

This does not mean we should lose consciousness of what we do, for we should always strive to allow awareness to help enlighten the world. However, perhaps this is part of the play as well, an incessant process of waves being created and destroyed at the shore of a beach, until the light of day ceases to exist temporarily.

Here is another fantastic YouTube video of a lecture by Alan Watts, which serves as a nice parallel. I sincerely recommend this video. He brilliantly examines the villain, the Joker, from the Batman comic series and explains how there is a completeness in which good and bad coincide with and create one another.

Finally, I'll leave you here with another Alan Watts quote:

"Go over that waterfall when it comes, just as you go over any other waterfall, just as you go on from day to day, just as you go to sleep at night. Be absolutely willing to die. Now, I'm not preaching, I'm not saying you ought to be willing to die and that you should 'muscle up your courage,' and somehow, 'put on a good front' when the terrible thing comes. That's not the idea at all. The point is that you can only die 'well' if you understand this system of waves. If you understand that your disappearance as the form, in which you think 'You' are you, your disappearance as this particular organism, is simply seasonal. That you are just as much the dark space beyond death as you are the light interval called life. These are just two sides of you because 'You' is the total wave. See, you can't have half a wave. Nobody ever saw waves which just had crests and no troughs. So you can't have half a human being, who is born but doesn't die--half a thing. That would be only half a thing. But the propagation of vibrations, and life is vibration, it simply goes on and on, but its cycles are long cycles and short cycles."


Here is an audio of the article as well.


Please read my article "There Are No Wrong Feelings", which further investigates our emotions in relation to the balance of life.

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