My Life < 2 > My Story

by Christopher Lovejoy on June 14, 2020

this life I live offers me presence; this story I tell about my life gives me a feeling:
the presence that I am gives me a life to live; this life I live gives me a story to tell

Is duality a dirty word for you? If so, why? Do you prefer (or insist upon) non-duality? If so, why? What did duality ever do to you? There’s no need for you to answer this question because I already know the answer: duality causes you pain, and when you resist this pain, you suffer.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot to be said for the blessings of Not-Two.

Not-Two is whole by nature, and who doesn’t like to be whole, to feel whole? Not-Two is wholly natural. Not-Two is holy. Has it not been said that a pure being is the gold of spiritual alchemy? I doubt that you would be reading this now if you were wholly attuned to your being.

Likewise, be rest assured that I would not be writing this now if I were so holy attuned.

But I digress.

By all means, get a taste of Not-Two if, as, when you feel the urge or impulse. It’s not hard to do: enter a deep meditative state; offer up a prayer to the God of your dreams; take a stroll through wind-swept trees; slow down and be mindful of your surroundings, no matter how stark.

Pause, breathe, smile, and rejoice in the unity and harmony that you are, here and now. Pause, breathe, smile, and rejoice, or at least rest, in the silver lining that many if not most situations or interactions offer up for your care and contemplation or consideration. The rest of the time?

Live and love the story of your life and the life of your dreams into being and becoming.

Not-Two makes no distinctions between being and becoming, and so here’s a taste of who we are if, as, when we live and love the stories of our lives into being and craft the lives of our dreams into becoming:

I see you and I hear you and I can’t help but know you and be known by you
I know you and I feel you and I can’t help but love you and be loved by you
I love you and I bless you and I can’t help but see you and be seen by you

Please do not miss take “you” merely for some one or some thing. Please do take “you” in the most comprehensive, comprehensible way possible, as any one or as any one thing. Here, we’re talking about having (and enjoying) a positive, supportive relationship with reality.

If this means having an intimate, ecstatic relationship with the One Infinite Creator, so be it; if this means doing the Will of God, so be it; if this means forging a productive, prosperous relationship with the Universe, so be it; if this means cultivating a creative solipsistic endeavor, at least for a time, so be it. The point: we draw on duality to bring the stories of our lives into harmony with unity.

How do we do this?

Short answer: by going below the surface of being. Long answer: by giving some thought to modes of duality and by bringing them into the fold and field of experience with peaceful, playful intent:


duality arises
in at least three ways

neutral < > neutral
positive < > positive
negative < > positive

1
neutral < > neutral

passive < > active
receptive < > assertive

feminine < > masculine
submissive < > aggressive

permissive < > authoritative
subjective < > objective

2
positive < > positive

the body is but a vessel for soul,
serving to contain all that the soul requires;
the body is but a vehicle for spirit,
serving to convey all that the spirit desires

soul < > spirit

unity < > harmony
being < > becoming
peace < > bliss
love < > joy
truth < > wisdom
quality < > vitality
encounter < > experience
intimacy < > ecstasy
sacred < > divine
promise < > possibility
dignity < > integrity
religious < > spiritual

rest < > flow
contain < > convey
attune < > align
explore < > express
awaken < > enlighten
deepen < > heighten
descend < > ascend
cultivate < > celebrate
contemplate < > evaluate
accept < > expect
involve < > engage
satisfy < > fulfill

let it be < > make it so

account-able < > response-able

be alive < > be alive

3
negative < > positive

resist < > allow
demand < > prefer
react < > respond

unknown < > known
uncertain < > certain
unfamiliar < > familiar

incoherent < > coherent
incongruent < > congruent
inconsistent < > consistent

inadequate < > adequate
insufficient < > sufficient
inappropriate < > appropriate

impatient < > patient
immature < > mature
improper < > proper

sedation < > contentment
distraction < > enchantment
addiction < > satisfaction

These lists are by no means comprehensive. By the same token, in view of these lists, my sense is that the phenomenon of duality is far more complex and varied than the human mind can comprehend. I nevertheless feel a very strong resonance with one pairing in particular.

Of all the dynamics of duality, I feel called to highlight this one: immature < > mature.

Where fate is concerned, I have a story, the story of my life, and where destiny is concerned, I have a dream, the life of my dreams. If my prime concern in life is living and loving this life with unity through harmony, then my dream in life is in bringing it to fruition with grace and ease.

Although this dynamic ~ immature < > mature ~ moves in both directions, you might be fooled into thinking that it moves in one direction only. This is not just a personal bias; it’s a cultural bias, one that is widespread. The form immature > mature not only favors maturity over immaturity, it also contains a hidden demand, but what would happen if this bias were removed?

Awareness and acceptance figure prominently here.

Be aware, and accept, for example, that one cannot have an encounter with, or an experience of, maturity without some reference to immaturity. Likewise, be aware, and accept, that one cannot have an encounter with, or an experience of, immaturity without some reference to maturity.

In keeping with these premises, I invite you to contemplate the signs of immaturity and maturity:


10 signs of emotional and spiritual immaturity

1. exhibits a lack of empathy, a failure to feel it or use it appropriately and/or compassionately
2. overreacts to the circumstances of life with a tendency towards chaos; impulsive and contentious
3. fails to take responsibility; tends to blame or shame others; unable to take ownership of feelings

4. indulges immediate gratification, with a failure to plan ahead, e.g., financial irresponsibility
5. self-centred: not able to see past desire; not able to acknowledge the effects of this failure on others
6. hostile: quick to anger, pronounced hatred of others, a failure to dissociate people from their opinions
7. deceiving: criminal intent, manipulates for money and fame, pathological lying (extreme form)

8. shallow: unwilling and unable to understand and experience any real depth of need and feeling
9. difficulty in setting and maintaining boundaries: a failure to break away from toxic relations or habits
10. cannot admit there’s room for personal growth; a lack of interest in learning deeply about life

Note: all of these signs deserve their own in-depth, nuanced treatment

Aside: as an exercise, consider how each item on this list can be matched with each of the 10 personality disorders: cluster A (weird, # 1 to 3); cluster B (wild, #4 to 7); and cluster C (worried, #8 to 10)

/

10 signs of emotional and spiritual maturity

1. demonstrates appropriate empathy; can feel it and use it compassionately
2. is responsive to the circumstances of life and can extract lessons from them
3. accountable and responsible by owning up to feelings, choices, and actions

4. delays immediate gratification; is financially responsible more often than not
5. can be other-centered and see past dreams and desires to take another PoV
6. can question, disagree, or challenge others without acute or chronic hostility
7. can forgo manipulation and exploitation to be truthful, sincere, and honest

8. can demonstrate a depth of character with a real depth of need and feeling
9. can move away from toxic habits or relations to maintain healthy boundaries
10. can readily admit there’s always room to grow emotionally and spiritually

Note: all of these signs deserve their own in-depth, nuanced treatment

Aside: as an exercise, consider how each item on this list can be matched with each of the 10 personality disorders: cluster A (weird, # 1 to 3); cluster B (wild, #4 to 7); and cluster C (worried, #8 to 10)

Circa 2020, this world appears to be living through a crisis of immaturity, and the signs are everywhere. One response to this apparent crisis might be to take it as an opportunity to learn and grow, emotionally and spiritually, into more mature, robust versions of ourselves.

But how? And why?

First, how. As a start, use the signs of maturity listed above as anchors to call yourself out on corresponding signs of immaturity, and when you feel ready, extend this process to others with labels and mirrors (see my series on negotiation for a treatment of labels and mirrors).

Second, why? In essence, because the form immature < > mature holds the key to evolution and ascension in all three dimensions of emotional and spiritual experience: personal, interpersonal, transpersonal. Also, the form malign < > benign is key to accelerating this process.

In any given situation or interaction between two human beings, a benign account or response is, for a lack of better words, natural and normal. A malignant account, response, or reaction is, by contrast, simply a misalignment from what is truly and deeply felt as natural and normal.

Here, I would offer that immaturity is rampant because humanity is ignoring, dismissing, avoiding, and evading human malignancy, and that humanity is doing so simply because many if not most human beings are refusing to live, love, and learn below the surface of being.

/

How many of us are living on the surface of being?

How many of us are living on the surface of being with addiction by way of sedation or distraction? How many of us are living in the thrall of duality? And how many of us, with all due respect for the catalytic tensions of duality, dare plunge the depths of unity with harmony?

Plunge the depths, not in search of pearls, but to take leave of the search.

I am reminded, again, of how beautiful it is to do nothing and then rest afterward; of how beautiful it is to be, and then have your rest in being; of how beautiful it is to forget the heroic quest, the ceaseless pursuit, the almighty aim, so as to find your freedom and fulfillment in flow.

Focus, flow, freedom, fulfillment ~ all without any thought for yourself.

Just imagine, if you care to dare. I dare you now; no, I double dare you.

See you, hear you, know you, feel you, love you, bless you.

I now see you caring, daring you to be seen.

/

In living and loving the story of my life, I like and love who I am in my story: I craft a positive, supportive relationship with my reality, exploring the nature and meaning of my reality to my heart’s content, guided by my intuition, curiosity, dreams, and desires, to find my freedom in flow, growing past fear and doubt, and releasing limits and limitations along the way; as I hone my habits, skills, and talents with godlike efficiency, I offer up the fruits of my creativity with a casual brilliance; I keep my heart open to my experience, embracing perceptions, interpretations, and connections that feel nutritious and delicious to me; I prosper in peace and love, with joy and bliss, as I learn and grow into the next best version of myself, all in all, I feel a deep appreciation and gratitude for the experience, even as I author and enjoy the life of my dreams in perpetuity …

~ I am, yours truly, a work in progress

Previous post:

Next post: