Seeking Balance

Seeking Balance

Throughout the spiritual process, we find layers and layers of conflict between opposing impulses.

The desire to fall within and stay vs the call to come out into the world and act
Silent presence vs lively flow
Pleasure and escape vs self-care
Fear and the desire for security vs release and letting go
Personal control vs laws of nature
Habit vs conscious action
Appearance vs reality
Our ideals vs what is here
The divine vs the astral vs the physical

These polarities are known as duality. The key to duality is not choosing sides but finding a balance. And that comes out of seeking how to be OK with what is here – both sides.

Acceptance doesn’t mean we don’t work to change what needs changing. It means we stop fighting what is here and seek solutions instead.

Duality is required for world appearance. Expression is naturally a Yin and Yang, a Shiva and Shakti. Polarity is what leads to movement, flow, love, and form.

As we awaken to life in its essence, as it is, we step into the flow and begin to feel nature and then the divine moving through our life. Then we feel supported and guided on our hero’s journey, or life’s adventure.

But it can take time to distinguish the signals clearly. What is Divine? Nature? Habit? We’re all a mixture of various laws of nature, including some we might rather do without. But this is the blend that allows us to know the world and source from our own unique perspective. And that is why we’re here, essentially. We are a snowflake of experience.

Often, life circumstances arise to give us a chance to heal our wounds or lead us into our dharma, our role in this life. In a recent interview on BATGAP, Vera Helleman talked about the distinction between our function and the form or profession we choose to express it with. The form is our choice, in service to our energy or combination of laws of nature or gifts. In other words, there is both our path and how we chose to express it. Dharma is not role. A visionary or a call to service can take many forms, for example.

Being with who we are and doing what needs to be done, we discover a richness to life unimagined. Perhaps not as complex or flashy as we may have dreamed, but deeply satisfying.

What other polarities have you danced with?

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  1. Amaryllis

    Perfectly, succinctly, clearly expressed David.

    I am dancing with deeply ingrained responses to the world, where I might shrink back from experience, resisting it, and then realise that there are other ways of acting, and that I can just be with what is happening, waiting until ‘the next obvious thing’ is clear, and then choose to act (and to just allow any discomfort to be there, without trying to change it).

    I know this is a very basic step, but it means the world of difference for individual functioning, where oneness has not yet flowered, and for all I know, may never… In other words, this also helps to detach from the game of ‘when will I wake up?’ (Yes, I know intellectually the individual does not wake up).

    I know I have mentioned this before, but I am still surprised by how much ‘seeing’ through duality can happen, without the structure falling away. The sense of being an individual is still so much stronger than the vast, shimmering field I also aware of, but it’s in the background. I still feel so tied to my body, specifically a place in the centre of my chest, as the embodiment of ‘me’.

    Hope this makes sense, and as always, gratitude and thanks to you ∞

    1. Hi Amaryllis
      Basic perhaps, but coming back to fundamentals takes considerable clarity. Otherwise, we just continue on in old habits.

      And the process continues into advanced stages because as we go deeper, more is there to be clarified. But it also gets easier as there is less entanglement – just a process of seeing and resolving.

      And yes, it makes perfect sense. Being identified there is somewhat better than being identified with the head and thoughts. Perhaps more emotional threads to it but its more embodied.

      Thanks for the feedback.

      1. Amaryllis

        Thanks for your comment 🙂

        And I appreciate your thoughts on the physical location of the identification: “Being identified there is somewhat better than being identified with the head and thoughts. Perhaps more emotional threads to it but its more embodied.”

        1. Just having a conversation with Rick and some others on how this plays out later on the path.

          Most westerners are very head oriented. It’s more common in parts of the east to be more with the heart. This quite helps with the feminine side of the unfolding process and leads to a richer unfolding.

          A vast, shimmering field? No no-self emptiness for you. 🙂

  2. K

    Being with who we are. I find that I am a slave to my emotions – I think many people are and I was more of a slave when I was younger and did not have any separation between my emotions and myself. At least now I see that we can choose our emotions (by watching a comedy show for example). One of the issues that I am realizing as I indulge in escapist literature (chick lit) is that they trigger reactive patters and then I live in those patterns. It is hard to always live in a prayerful state of equanimity and at least I seem to need those dips into drama and end up borrowing drama if none is going on.It would be nice to once and for all transcend the need for drama like we transcend childhood make believe plays.

    1. Hi K
      As we go more deeply into who we are, that separation or detachment can get much more distinct. Then we simply observe the emotions. This allows us to get untangled from them and allow them to resolve, rather than being in them and churning them further.

      Energy healing can help deal with some of the backlog.

      Choosing what we favour or give our attention to is good. Just be careful it’s not about control. Trying to control your emotions is just ego entanglement. Another repression or resistance.

      A little escapism is fine. Where it gets unhealthy is when it becomes an avoidance or binge.

      But then we can get into a conflict over the conflict over the conflict avoidance. Identification can be complex and messy. This is why I recommend an effortless meditation. Going within gets us under all that and helps blow holes in it.

      It is a good sign when we can see these dynamics at play and begin to choose. But that also can make it more of a battle.

      You can’t try to be in equanimity – you are or you’re not. Noticing is useful as then we can favour what will help it return, like a comedy perhaps. But as soon as we try to force, it’s just wanting something thats not here = suffering.

      If drama arises, allow it to. But see it as an opportunity to resolve and heal. Favour staying out of internal conflict when you can. Or if not, notice the internal conflict and allow that to resolve.

      You can transcend the drama but it does take time, learning and healing. Keep in mind you’re working through lifetimes of habits. Be patient and be good to yourself. Eventually enough light comes…

  3. K

    I do not know whether this is a polarity but it is a choice now whether to allow the process to work through and all the dreck and repressed drama to keep coming out and mostly passing through or whether to become a steely repressor/avoider again because I have a lot of work-work, i.e. job related stuff I could focus on. I think the processing of emotions is being facilitated by prayer – so if I prayed less, may be I would feel less worked over. At any rate, I decided to take some time off from my job for self-care. The only thing that feels strange is that there are big, work related goals (like more new research ideas which could be of real use.) so I wonder if I am being self-absorbed and indulgent. I did in my youth repress quite a bit to stay focused on work goals – so this may be a way to balance things out. I feel a little silly though to be processing things from 25 years ago when I was a youngster. At some level, I feel a grown adult should have larger goals and not be focused on healing all old, seemingly small baggage. Anyway, I have given myself the next 10 days off from work pressure.

    1. Well, K, choice is always a duality between options. The choices might not be polar opposites.

      Taking a break can be a good thing. Just be sure it’s about bringing balance and not going to an extreme. There is the choice to work through our baggage but there is also the choice to do so in a balanced way. A goal to work towards rather than try and tackle it all at once.

      Part of balance is technique time vs activity in the world. You need the activity to help process and integrate the changes. Too much activity and we get stressed and worn down. But too much technique time and the processing can overtake life and not be integrated well.

      Taking care of yourself is not self-indulgent but you do want to be careful not to get lost in the processing. Thats not living life either.

      Sometimes we do hit a big one that becomes dominant and needs extra time to process. But we don’t want to make that a long term lifestyle.

      And yes, our childhood stuff can seem silly from our current eyes. But don’t get into analysis – the object here is to let it go not just churn it up.

      Healing is a means to goals but also, keep in mind that some of your current goals may have less meaning as you move along. Just consider – how important is it for you to get a Tickle-Me Elmo (or whatever) this year? 🙂

      Do things you enjoy, see some friends, and have a little holiday. Thats always good for the heart.

  4. ajira

    Thank you, David.

    I’ve recently been feeling like I’m the recipient of my energy/laws of nature but also of the momentum of my past. Navigating duality by balancing those two different forces can seem challenging.

    When uncomfortable opportunities for acting in the world arise, are there ways to tell when to pursue them without aversion to the discomfort (pursing dharma and healing) or whether to allow the discomfort to signal us to change our course (learning about the person and reevaluating its relationship to the whole)?

    1. Hi Ajira
      Yes, it’s an interesting dance. Allowing the laws of nature to flow while there is also that past momentum. Key with the second is being conscious of it. Noticing it arising. Then the attention may move to some area to help facilitate a clearing of some type. This way, we resolve the old drivers that activate and sustain the momentum.

      But there can be similarities in the feel – the resistance of the past and the resistance to the discomfort – even resistance to the form the flow is arising in. And they’re sometimes mixed together.

      Being conscious of the resistance or aversion (without getting into a story about it) allows the charge to be resolved. It doesn’t really matter what the source is. Wanting to know can be the mind trying to control – yet another form of resistance.

      So we just allow it to be as it is and life will be processed and digested. The past will resolve and life can flower more fully.

      Another layer can be aversion to the aversion. But if we accept there can be aversion and allow it to be there, we don’t add on layers and we give a chance for the aversion to resolve.

      What you distinguish – the discomfort of moving forward vs discomfort indicating wrong direction is something we can inquire about. Why is resistance arising? Is it to change or a signal from nature? That takes clear seeing and intuition. It may also take some experimentation to test what is creating the resistance. Fear? The heart?

      Of course, it all takes practice. We want to be patient with ourselves as we learn a new way of being that will be gradually reinforced with success.

      But recognizing the distinctions you mention indicates good clarity. So all we need then is more experiences of it and fine tuning. As we unload more history, clarity increases, the backlog goes down, and things gradually simplify.

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