About Duality

– Desire itself could thought of as simply energy. A desire moves you to do certain things until that energy is used. A simple case would be, you reach your threshold for thirst, and this creates an intense desire to go drink water. So you go and get water. Now the question is, did ‘You’ really get up, or did the desire move you?. Each desire is like a mini ‘I’. We have many little ‘I”s or desires but there may be a small group of highly powerful ‘I’s which we may refer to as our core personality. So from this perspective, it could be said we are swimming in an ocean of desire being desire ourselves. Like a drop of water swimming in the ocean. So the duality here is that, there is only arising and passing away of multiple layers of desires at different rates in time. So identifying yourself with any desire is to get locked and limited into some viewpoint.

– Another interesting area is ‘prana’ (life force energy). The waxing and waning of life force energy. Activities that give us energy like sleep, meditation, relaxation vs. Activities that drain our energy like stress, worry etc. This cycle happens everyday. Like batteries we get charged in the mornings and it runs out by night. I would intuit deep sleep has maximum potentiality and it might be the 0 (infinite potential) point for all manifestation. Duality is the reason why everything in the universe is cyclical. I feel duality and the cyclic nature of everything imply each other.

– Another super fascinating insight I recently came across is that, awareness itself is by contrast. Without contrast awareness itself is not possible. All knowledge is by contrasts too. Like how do you know, you are feeling normal now? How do you know there is light around you now? The very perception of normality or light implies knowledge of abnormality or darkness. The definition of every concept, implies some kind of polarization, just like even if you shatter a magnet, even the smallest pieces will have the 2 poles. This can be applied to every single thing we know, both conventional knowledge and spiritual knowledge. It seems to be the very nature of knowledge.

– If awareness is because of effort from your part, then in the relaxation that follows (duality principle) you will lose this awareness. True and timeless awareness has to transcend duality and that can happen only if its effortless (At the center of the wheel of experience not at the periphery).

Here are some other great duality statements I picked up from an Alan Watts lecture:
– Happening and doing are duals again. You can’t tell the difference without the two-together. You need happening to know what is doing. Also, voluntary and involuntary are duals again.
– Sensation by itself is awareness of contrast.
– Non-existence is the very condition for existence.
– Where is the notion of improving, isn’t it absurd? White must win? Which side would you take: Black or white? Does the side really make a difference?
– Nothing is the source of something. It is the seed.
– Both white and black can play the negative role. We conventionally associate white with the positive and this is another illusion. For Example: Paper with black ink writing, the writing is the positive and the white is blank, and therefore nothing, negative. In this case the black is positive.
– Drugs take you more fiercely into duality.

– If I take a euphorigen (any of the super gratifying ones), because of duality, on coming down, instantly my ordinary state would seem miserable. The perception of happiness and misery itself is relative.That is way perception itself works and perception is the only reality we know, so its reality itself. Excessive pleasure for humans with ordinary psychology is very likely to create extreme compulsivity. This is not only true for drugs but just about anything, like even sex (That’s why the taoists advice Karezza instead of regular sex). So when you come down from the drug, you go lower than your baseline causing an intense desire to elevate the level up again. Now the setpoint of pleasure has been set to that first high experience, the memory of that make you binge on the pleasure stimulus until you reach it again. Now you go down even further the 2nd time and so on. So the sine wave of ups and downs has been intensified compared to a normal person’s happy/sad moods.

– All existence is painful validated by its dual i.e. the universal seeking of pleasure.
If I am seeking to improve my situation, seeking to get better, seeking to be at another mental state B, even the smallest seeking implies dissatisfaction with the way things are. This is what is referred to as suffering. If we say, all humans are universally seeking pleasure, it would be equally right to say, all humans are dissatisfied with the way things are.

– If you are absolutely satisfied, you will dissolve, you wont exist as a person anymore…..Think about it in terms of the consciousness of being a person….how do you know ‘you are you’?…..that sensation of a core drive is fueled by a desire…and desires are fueled by beliefs….and beliefs keep changing in patterns….its like music……a song may have many different melodies with different instruments but yet maintaining its signature pattern by which you can recognize it……personality is also like that…..a music of overlapping constantly moving desires, yet maintaining an abstract pattern that you can recognize every time

– There is duality between predictability and unpredictability.
How can I know what predictable without being simultaneously about whats unpredictable, and vice versa?

– Duality of wanting – want also implies awareness of what is not wanted
When you want something, in that very moment of wanting something, not wanting of its opposite is implied. If I want a want a white object, then it instantly also implies I do not want a black object. Here black and white is simplistic. It can be an abstract quality too. An opposite can be found for every single mental object no matter how abstract.

– Hearing music in any form would not be possible without awareness of silence. So the duality is that if you are enjoying music, you are simultaneously aware of the background silence too. They happen concomitantly. Imagine a continuous note with no gaps, there would be no pattern, therefore no music.

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