all the contradictions
and are lost….”
Our mystic poet reminds us that when we touch love, all of our problems with dilemmas disappear. Real peace of mind becomes reality – if only for a moment.
It sounds like a wonderful solution to the body/mind’s predicament of living in duality! The myriad of everyday dilemmas demanding we make a decision between two options make our lives messy, stressful, and too often, create a pickle hard to get out of:
How can I hate my partner and love him too?
How can I take care of my family and also have the time to take care of me?
How can I both spend and save my money?
How can slowing down actually help me work faster?
How can I have inner peace when I’m so irritated and annoyed by everyone in my life?
How can I say ‘yes’ to accepting ‘what is’ when on the inside I’m screaming ‘no’??
How can I be non-judgmental about all my judgments?
Good questions! But our mystic is indeed telling us the truth – love is the answer! But is this love he speaks of what we think it is?
Our unconscious minds immediately think, ‘Ah ha!! That’s the way out of my pain! Just love!’ And once again, we find ourselves trying to get rid of pain by moving toward love so we can make those contradictions merge.
Simultaneously, we start trying to avoid the things we believe are creating the messiness in our lives. And we’re right back into a dilemma, once again.
We get caught in the cycle of hope and fear – hope that love will arise, fear that love won’t arise. When we can’t sustain those moments that bring peace of mind, we feel we’ve failed, are unworthy, or simply inept, concluding the task is beyond our capabilities.
The Power Of Remembering The ‘Facticity’ of Change
In this situation, it is extremely helpful to remember the reality or ‘facticity’ of change. Nothing on this level of existence is going to last. Nothing is sustainable as an unchanging state. With pleasure comes pain. With the beauty of the spring comes the devastation of the winter. With closeness comes distance. With love comes hate. With joy comes sorrow. Everything shifts into its opposite form. We live in this rhythm, yet seem unaware of its presence.
Understanding the rhythm of duality – the coming and going of things, – makes living with impermanence and its inherent system of contradictions and polar opposites a much simpler task.
And this clarity reveals that the love our mystic is referencing is not the love that is the opposite of hate.
Rather it is the Love that is beyond concept – beyond the mind’s idea of love. It is that Love beyond thought; a Love that is simply bigger than the mind. It is the Love able to embrace and accept the reality of both aspects of our humanity –the light side and the dark side.
The Practice of Quieting The Mind
So what are we to do? The most popular route to a taste of the Love beyond concept remains quieting the mind.
Be present for the stillness behind the movement and the silence behind the sound.
Why? Because in those moments, you can gain some distance from your experience and see it for just that – your experience – and not you!
Catch the moment between each breath; the moment the eye meets an image, when the ear meets a sound, when the body meets a touch, the nose sniffs a fragrance, or the tongue savors a flavor.
In other words, bringing your awareness to your senses, literally, extends an invitation for Love beyond concept to enter your conscious awareness right then and there!
BUT … you have to be present enough to look through your mind’s story about what is happening right then and there! On the other side of your perceived comedy or tragedy is a taste of that Love you’ve been wanting to savor.
Explore breathing into all of the contradictions and dilemmas in your day. Practice accepting their presence and allowing them to be exactly what they are – the natural predicaments of being human. And perhaps you can catch a glimpse of what lies just on the other side of your story about the predicaments.
Breathing into the confusions of paradox allows the potential for a quieting of the mind. This creates the opening to your awareness of the stillness also present. And this creates the opportunity to see through the mind’s story to the Love beyond concept, hiding behind it all. Give it a try and explore for yourself.
The Divine’s Game of Hide and Seek
It’s been said the Divine likes to play hide and seek. And once you find Him for a moment, the game starts all over again!!! You may not like the game, but for any mystic wanting to find the Divine in today’s world – a bustling hubbub of dualities, dilemmas and ambiguities – it may be the best game in town.
May you enjoy playing the game; and relish those glimpses of Love beyond concept when they pop in to greet you with a smile that surpasses all ideas of happiness and peace of mind.