I’ve had a lot of fun writing poetry lately. I love combining the simplicity of childlike rhymes with a deep message about life. One of the poems I wrote is called Opposites Attract, and its all about non-duality.
If you don’t know much about non-duality, it’s essentially the idea that everything exists within a single unified reality rather than opposing poles. For the most part, our society looks at things in terms of two ends of a spectrum. Take for example good and bad. We look at things and naturally classify them as good or bad. A non-dualistic view, however, would say that bad is not bad and that good is not good, but that good and bad both exist fully in the same reality.
Non-duality is usually associated with eastern thought (think nirvana). The interesting thing, however, is that Christianity is non-dualistic at its core. Just think about Jesus. In order to accept Christianity, you have to accept that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. Our brains tell us this is impossible. But this is because we think in a dualistic way that tells us that humanity and divinity are opposite and cannot exist in the same reality. Going back to the example of good and bad, Jesus didn’t embrace good and ignore bad. He preached that we should accept good and bad the same. We are not to judge, but to instead embrace humanity and bring Christ to all aspects of it.
Given the presidential debate tonight, I thought I’d share a non-dualistic thought on politics as well. Dualistic thinking tells us that democrats are on one side and that republicans are at the other. Politically speaking, we are tasked to pick a side and to stand behind it as the truth. Non-duality, however, would philosophize that the truth is on both sides and neither side at the same time. The truth, in fact, is in the tension.
Right now, Spokane is in a somewhat non-dualistic state. This is actually why I chose to share this picture I took the other night. The trees can’t decide what color their leaves should be. The weather can’t decide if it should be cold and rainy or warm and sunny. Right now it doesn’t seem to be any season at all. Yet it also seems to be every season at once. This is non-duality.
So on that note, here is my poem:
I used to be wrong.
But now I’m right.
Though my viewpoint never changed
I now believe that paradoxes
Are actually the same
We live in a world
Where opposites attract
But not because they are apart
The finish line of life’s great race
Is the same place as the start
Two ends of a spectrum
But a single point in space