We are prisoners, well guests maybe, of the way our bodies and minds are built. We live in a tension of opposites. Logos and Eros, body and mind, good and evil. This is why the cross is one of the main symbols of humankind regardless of religion, the conjunction of opposites.
The only way to stay out o this conflict of opposites, if indeed there is a way, is to be ‘here’. I can’t properly explain this, but I have the intuition that if I am fully here I am no longer prisoner of this conflict of opposites. As if the tension, the opposites themselves, depended on the existence of time and space, on the possibility of not being ‘here’, present. When one is fully present, nothing else exists. There are no opposites, no tension. We just are. Like the surrounding reality just is. And we somehow become fused with this surrounding reality by just being. I believe this is the only way to liberate ourselves from the tension of opposites, even if only for a few minutes or seconds.
Being here and now may seem as stasis, the lack of movement, as it implies no space or time. However, I see it more as the essence of flow, of inbetweenness. As if we were going from one place or time to another and were paused in the middle. Being flow, not here or there, being in between places and times. Being flow itself, and yet, static. Like when you jump and there is a nanosecond in which you are going neither up nor down. You are suspended in perfect inbetweenness. You are static for a tiny fraction of time, and yet it is the essence of movement.
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
T. S. Eliot, Burnt Norton (Four Quartets No. 1)
I have always found it hard to be ‘here’. I always lived in a world of possibilities, analysing, and living them all at once. Anywhere but ‘here’. However, I have come to the firm conviction that, ironically, the only escape from the avatars of life is to be ‘here’. The only escape from the suffocating reality is the embrace of reality itself by being fully here.
If I could go back in time and tell my young self what I now believe, I’m sure he would feel like punching my nose. I know… reality, the surrounding world was precisely what I was trying to get away from. Wrong. Being here is the only ‘escape’ from reality. But the thing is, that the ‘reality’ I wanted to escape from was not reality at all, but my own projection. I was trying to escape from me. To no avail, of course.
Mysticism is the art of union with Reality. The mystic is a person who has attained that union in greater or less degree; or who aims at and believes in such attainment.Evelyn Underhill. Practical Mysticism: A Little Book for Normal People
Be here. Be present. That is the liberation from the tension of opposites. Become one with reality. Become It. And once you are It, all opposites fuse into one being.
Of course, this is so much easier said than done…