Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

The End of Duality

One of the biggest illusions that we struggle with on a daily basis is duality. This not only includes the notion that everything has its polar opposite but also that we are separate from the whole. This is probably the biggest problem that causes suffering today.

Apparently the current metaphysical new age philosophy is that everything has a polar opposite. Joy has sadness. Ecstasy has acute depression. Love has apathy (the opposite of love is not hate, by the way). Lust has hate. Heaven has Hell. Pleasure has pain. Believing that there are polar opposites we create a world that swings from one to the other. This is what Buddha was talking about when he said we create our own suffering. It is the belief that everything has an opposite that dooms us to experiencing one or the other.

It occurs to me that we have an incredible defense mechanism in our minds that chooses between what we like and what we don’t like. We like the stuff that makes our life fun and easy. We don’t like the stuff that makes us suffer. So because we believe that we are stuck on the wheel of samsara (suffering) it will always be one or the other. We either like what we are experiencing or we don’t.

So who or what is in control of our “like”? We were trained at an early age to like or not like something. Depending on the thoughts and beliefs involved in the “like/dislike”, it is entirely possible for one person to like something and another person to dislike something. One of the obvious examples of this is food. Another example of this is your choice of friends. Some dishes and people we love, others we can’t stand. And the reason for this is the illusion that everything has a polar opposite.

So what would happen if we decide to wake up and understand that there are no polar opposites or duality? There are only experiences. We can always be grateful for whatever is happening, whether we “like” it or not. An even deeper prospect is why not accept what is we don’t like as a experience to grow spiritually and emotionally? We actually have the ability to like something that may not be comfortable or pleasant if we have the ability to see the lesson in the experience.

I am going through some challenging times right now. I can either choose to like them or not like them, judge them or just accept that they are happening. I can notice whether they are pleasant or painful, with out desiring the pleasant and being adverse to the painful. When I focus on these principles, the illusion of duality disappears and what is left is an exciting, vibrant life.

So love your life, and everything in your life. When you do this, and let go of desire and conflict, you will discover that everything is an opportunity for growth and understanding. Be satisfied with doing the best you can. Be satisfied with who you are. When duality disappears, so does separation. Enjoy your journey with yourself. There is a Buddhist joke that when someone greets someone else, they say, “How am I doing?” For those who understand unity consciousness, they will get the joke.