Embracing Duality

The world is made of duality.  Whatever you are presently experiencing, the potential for its opposite to arise is equally there.  Neither is you.  –  Michael Jeffreys

There can be no good without evil,
So that, we say, is that.
Does it follow that there
Can be no evil without good?
No sadness without happiness;
No hate without love;
No dark without light;
No despair without hope;
No wrong without right;
No yin without yang?
Must we forgo positives
To extinguish all negatives?
To do without effort;
To want without attachment.
To live without dying?


I love this Tao poem.  It reminds me how often we resist suffering or negativity,  striving only for happiness.  But how do we know happiness without suffering?  How do we know how to live if we have not known death?  How do we grow towards the light if we have not known  darkness? We need both. We need to accept the duality of life, so we can understand our soul’s purpose and deepen our journey.

37 thoughts on “Embracing Duality

  1. I agree, that we have the duality, but think when we have known the less good, we have the choice to strive to the positive in life, maybe after having lived enough in the darkness.
    Great post 😀

  2. There are no one who knows duality better than those suffering from Bipolar and like conditions.

    There has been only a handful of moments in my life that I experienced what ‘normal’ is supposed to feel like and what it is to have true clarity.
    You know it the instant you encounter it even though you had never before felt it. When having known only the oppressive shadow of depression and the destructive nature of mania, it is hard to mistake.
    It is the difference between night and day and once you have tasted it, you don’t want to know anything else. You claw and grip at it as the shutter of life closes in on you and you are hurled back into the abyss.
    The only consolation is that when it reappears, like a morning sun rise, it is so much sweeter than most have already forgotten it to be ….

    1. A difficult journey you are on and indeed those of us who think we know what ‘normal’ is, definitely take it for granted. Thankyou for sharing your story. We all need to learn from each other and remember we are all connected.

  3. Thank You Karen for this entry to get us to think!

    It seems the human side of us feels we need duality, yet I’m not so sure that is true for us as souls. Perhaps it is the idea, the human idea of what duality means – light vs. dark, positive vs negative. Yet, on the higher realms of consciousness duality is more a blending in my experience. There is only light, and degrees of light. There is only positive and degrees of positive. We know all Light yet we humanly perceive lesser degrees of Light as negative! Any recognition of Light (or darkness) and understanding encourages us to strive for more understanding and we perceive this understanding to some degree as our happiness.
    Or at least this is a way I can better understand how the Law of Polarity or duality is a harmonious, universal law that helps us evolve.
    In the hope You and all of us find Love close at hand, PortiaSLB

    1. Yes I think our perception can be black and white at times rather than degrees of only light.Facing a death is no easy task but understanding our perception of it is how we can grow. Learning to be open to these thoughts helps us heal. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Portia.

  4. Yes, accepting the duality of life can be the challenge for many of us, but when we learn to do just that, well then we experience all the richness of life in technicolor! Blessings to you for a wonderful day.

  5. I think duality is a natural part within our innate design. It seems to fluctuate out of control in many lives causing a loss of awareness of where the starting point began. It is at this point that your recommended breathing and relaxation (meditation and/or yoga) can help us find a reference point so we may once again pursue our dreams and passions in life.

    1. You are right Jonathan, I think it fluctuates out of control because people resist the negativity and focus only on what they haven’t got. As soon as we are present with what is using these ancient techniques to help, we shift our position and thoughts. Thankyou. 😉

  6. Exactly, Karen. If we do not acknowledge and selectively embrace pain, suffering, negativity – any of those emotions and experiences – how can we come to know and revel in its opposite – clearly and in an inviting manner. Lovely thoughts you prompt.

  7. We tend to believe that it is “either or” when in fact they are intertwined and can never be apart. Like either side of a piece on paper. Both sides make it what it is.
    Thank you for sharing this vital life perspective 💕

  8. Duality is such an integral part of being in physical body, it seems, but really there is no separation as you and Val said before. By the way, Karen, I GOT YOUR BOOK!!!!!! So far, it is GREAT!!!!! I love how very early on, you started talking about things that helped. I look forward to continuing reading tonight! The story is so so sad, and I just feel so deeply for you having gone through and for continuing to go through for the rest of your life. But your process is so amazing and will be hugely helpful for people going through any grief, but especially the loss of a child.
    Blessings and Love

    1. Thankyou Mary. I think your right once we become the observers of every situation knowing it is all connected, we can heal and move through life differently. Yay glad you are reading it and I do appreciate your thoughts and compassion. I hope it can give peace and strength to those who feel alone in their grief. Blessings to you for your encouragement and support.

  9. Duality, yes, and sometimes that in between, not a negative but also,not recognizably positive. It is the way I lived too much of my adult life. Now that I am again focused on seeing and being in the positive, my life is far happier.

  10. Jesus reminds us that weeds grow among the wheat. He tells us to let the two grow together. For if we attempt to pull the weeds, we may uproot the wheat as well. He says, we must wait until the harvest, when the wheat has reached maturity. Then both can be removed at the same time and the wheat stored in the barn, and the weeds thrown into the fire.

    There is nothing wrong in living among good and evil. Since we are not in heaven, what else should we expect. What we strive to achieve by maturity is to be worthy of the barn and not the fire.

    I’ve used the following quote before. It is from a sage old American Indian. “In every soul there are two dogs fighting. One is good, the other evil. The one you feed the most is the one that wins.”
    My hope is that we one day will meet in the barn.

  11. Love the Jeffreys quote. Having majored in Jungian psychology, I well know the need to integrate seeming opposites. Without integration, perpetually striving for one side or the other, it is easy to fragment and feel un-whole. Great post. Aloha.

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