Jumping Off The Bridge

Bridge Of Now

Of all the things I have heard from my mentor GD last year, no single word has changed my life more than the word ‘polarity’.

More and more, the only ‘growth’ I can claim is less and less resistance to life. Not even Life with an uppercase ‘L’ – just simple life. And life, it seems, exists in polarities. Polarities of good-bad, happiness-unhappiness, security-insecurity, certainty-uncertainty, faith-doubt, clarity-confusion, courage-cowardice, calm-chaos, behind-ahead, activity-rest…

What is changing my life is seeing that this duality is not because of a fault I have. It is not because of a mistake I am making. It is not because I am not spiritual enough or determined enough. It is the nature of things that in darkness we see light shining brightest. It is embedded in the way we think that we cannot define anything without instantly creating its opposite.

What I am also now willing to accept more than before is that my judgment of one side of the polarity as better is not an absolute truth!

The picture of polarity in my head is that of a bridge. I want to permanently cross over to one bank of the bridge – to happiness, peace, love, success – but this never seems to happen, does it? It always seems within reach with this next step, this next good news, this next effort… but it is never reached for good. I sometimes temporarily seem to bring the good side closer by pushing, resisting or even spiritualizing the bad, but it never disappears permanently. And it can’t. The only way out of this bridge of polarity is to jump off it.

So I cringe now when I see the dramatic promises made by some life coaches. To me, any book, teacher, workshop or system that promises to take you to the perfection of one polarity is bull-shitting. Sorry, I’m not buying it anymore. A pendulum moving in one direction is also simultaneously gathering momentum to move back. Trying to sustain a pendulum, or life, at one end-point permanently is insane.

A deeper peace comes from letting go of trying to fix a specific polarity. A deeper love comes from emptying judgment around the ‘bad’ polarity. A deeper meditation happens when I deal with the fear of being stuck at the wrong polarity ‘forever’. And joy is the result of accepting where I am on the continuum right now.

As I stop struggling, a deeper truth emerges: No matter how much the mind says I am moving, in this moment, without words, I am still in the centre. And when I don’t conjure up any story about my life, it is a perfectly good place to be. Because right now, without thought, neither polarity exists.

*

The awesome words that started it all for me: The Fixer of Polarities.

Picture used under creative commons license via Ana

15 thoughts on “Jumping Off The Bridge

  1. Great post Aalif. I also feel that to be our true selves (in the non-duality state) we just need to recognize that this life is just a network of beliefs and we keep moving along different pathways, trying to fix this and that (like your pendulum) and it just never ends. To release ourselves of it, we jump off the merry-go-round altogether, in the knowledge it is all a sham. To be human is to think…we can’t possibly stop thinking, so to jump off is to die to the concept of humanity. For me, that is the challenge.

    • Well put Yaz… I also finding peace with the polarity of fixing myself. When that comes, I honor it as well as I can. When advaita season comes, I live it. Not definitive or impressive, but that’s what’s happening at this point. Even this polarity of bridge-no bridge seems to be alive… 🙂

  2. Yes! This image resonates! Thank you, Aalif. I sometimes see a ship where everyone is running to the side of “good” and tipping the boat over. Jumping off the bring with Rumi 🙂
    “Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

    ― Rumi, Essential Rumi

  3. My father likes to say that “nothing is ever as good or bad as it seems” and when I read your post, I was reminded of that. My husband has a much steadier nature than I do. He doesn’t enjoy things as much, but neither does he get as upset when things go wrong. I think his stability has been a good influence in my life.

  4. most people who are evolved, conscientious, fair, feel guilty of being dichotomous… this article is most soothing balm to that guilt… its the center that matters… the sway (oscillation) is incidental essential nature… the oscillation is to provide movement to the clock… as long the oscillation is within the desired limits left and right.. the movement is just fine!

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