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As we see in the news everyday, this is a world divided. What I mean by this is that it is polarized, and not just politically, but this world is dual by its very nature. It is a world of positive and negative. In fact, subatomically, the positive and negative forces within atoms give rise to all form in this world. And form includes not only the physical and the physical body, but the mental and the emotional bodies, as well.

So we have positive thoughts and negative ones; we have positive emotions and negative emotions. And very naturally we reach for the positive states while pushing away the negative. Why would we not?! Aah, but there is a profound spiritual truth that says:

Everything in time shall turn into its opposite.

In our limited ego-mind we teeter-totter between the positive and negative, spending some amount of time in one state before inevitably flipping to the other. With this constant flip-flopping, no wonder we often feel off balance and confused! We have no stable place to ground our awareness.

There is a way through, though. We each have access to a higher viewing platform, so to speak. This point of view rests outside of the dual nature of the mind and emotions. Called the neutral witness or the neutral observer, it is able to view the transitory nature of duality with detachment. Jesus said “If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be filled with Light.” In other words, beyond the two eyes of negative and positive is this third channel of awareness – the single eye – our neutral observer. The positives and negatives of life will still happen, but the neutral observer rests outside of the action and just watches. This observer avoids assigning a value to one experience over the other, remains detached, and instead chooses neutrality. Then something amazing happens. Our inner world of swirling mind and emotions comes into balance and a doorway is opened into an expanded consciousness, one of peace, light and Presence. Instead of flip-flopping between the positive and negative, we begin to ground on that which rests between the opposites of the world – our true, divine nature.

“But how do I get there,” you ask? “How do I find my neutral observer?” The initial step is to make it conscious – to acknowledge its existence and to open to it. We already very naturally observe the personality in action with its judgments, likes and dislikes, but now we add the intention to be neutral in the face of the ups and downs of life, rather than react to them.

When I mentor others and they come me in pain or feel stuck in their lives some way, it is this witnessing presence that I hold for them. We could say that they have lost the neutral observer by identifying with the transitory thoughts or emotions that are passing through them. In our sessions together we process and find our way back to the neutrality of this witnessing presence, anxiety is relieved and new ways of coping and perceiving are instituted.

Over time we build the strength of the neutral observer, reactivity is lessened, and we begin to discover the treasure that is beyond even the positive – an equanimity with all of life and the pure joy of Being.

In this world a message we get all the time is be positive, stay positive, or focus on the positive etc. Well of course! Makes sense. Foolish would it be to focus on the negative, although the ego will fall into this trap from time to time and, unfortunately, even get lost in it. We have two choices then, or so it seems. We can go negative or we can go positive. But what happens, eventually? Experience shows us that life is transitory and we won’t remain on the positive side of life forever; at some point negativity will creep in and even take over! And then the tide will once again turn and fate will hand us a positive experience, which, if the negative experience was particularly painful, we will cling to for dear life! So we will inevitably flip from one side to the other in an endless cycle of positive and negative, happiness and unhappiness, pleasure and pain. Is this what life is about – always grasping for the positive and pushing away the negative, the wheel of karma endlessly turning? What can we  do? Is there another way?

vedapath

The Middle Way, or the path between the opposites of the world is what the Buddha teaches. It reconciles the tension inherent in polarity and becomes the path of no resistance. It’s the one that gets my vote! This choice transcends positive and negative and the dual nature of the limited mind, and new more stable states of being become our default in the world – acceptance, compassion, equality, faith, forgiveness, generosity, gratitude, humility, joy, selflessness, tolerance, and trust, among others, for example. Feel into them for a moment. Do you notice how your attention comes to rest at the level of the chest at the heart chakra? These states of being are heart states and have the unique qualities of transcendence and eternality: our capacity for compassion, generosity, or joy, for instance, is unlimited! It is these heart states that unify the opposites of the world, bringing about inner peace and, yes, on-going happiness. It is through making the choice to choose the heart, rather than simply the positive, that puts the brakes on the wheel of karma and our identity with the endless ups and downs of life.

When we choose the heart we identify with our true, essential nature as timeless beings. Negative and positive experiences will always occur in a world of form that is dualistic by nature, but we will no longer find our identity in them. Instead, life’s experiences will pass through us, through the still center of awareness that we know ourselves to be. Without the extreme teeter-tottering of emotions creating instability and fear in our lives, life smooths out greatly. We embody more and more transcendental light and shine that light out into the world. Our lives change. We begin to draw to us all that we need for our well-being and happiness.

Too good to be true? What I’m describing here is our birthright to live happy and content lives beyond the limitations of egoic consciousness. When we choose the path between the opposites of the world we surrender the denser aspects of ego that are driven by individual will. We come to know and to trust in Divine Will to guide our lives, which, in truth, is all there ever is… if we could only get out of the way! Through processing and practice we learn to surrender our limited egoic consciousness for what may yet be unknown, but for what is always absolute truth.

Do you feel ready to take on this inner work? If so, allow me to be your guide. I promise you a gentle ride through the roller coaster of egoic life. And I promise, at its end, the ride will even out and you will feel not only relief, but more and more moments of absolute joy! Please click the Spiritual Guidance page at the top of this blog, schedule a session, and let’s go!

Photo credit: Penelope Dullaghan