Gifts from the Sages: First One, Then Two
By Teeya Blatt
Well, here’s a recipe from our collective cupboard of gathered bits, not necessarily new ingredients, but put together with a unique flavour, and like any concerned mama, even though you may at first refuse, I urge you to eat, eat, because it’s good for you.
Psychology, as an art and as a science, has done a lot to help us in Western countries understand the workings of our minds and psyches, although it is only a youngster compared to other fields of study, such as anatomy or herbology. When measured against the antiquity of the teachings of the sages, it appears younger still, a toddler only just learned to walk. This is right, and necessary, because as one of the most recent of healing modalities, it is best equipped to deal with modern ills, such as they are.
The limits of its reaches, of its vision, however, lies in those places of the human psyche that are out of reach of psychological measurements and diagnoses. When we get lost in those dark places, those fundamental, pre-formed areas, it is the ancient teachings that can lead us back, that talk in a universal and symbolic language. These gifts that the sages have left for us are eternal, because they remain gifts as long as we receive them.
If we go right down to the roots of the teachings, I don’t think many would argue with them no matter what their specialization, religion or belief, because somewhere deep down, all those systems come from the same place. That’s what the sages say anyway, that we are all one.
One. You could take this to represent any level of reality you want, we came from the One Big Bang, we are One Planet, we are One Humanity or Biology, we are One Family, we are all of us together One.
That we are One is a premise that nearly all spiritual traditions start with, and one that the environmental crises of the day are underlining. There are no separations of winners and losers on this planet. We are One. But this is not the first gift. The first gift, an assumption we need to acknowledge, is that the One is Love.
I know I need to let this sit for a while because even though it’s so simple, and slowly becomes self-evident, and is actually very lovely, it will still cause all those nasties inside to stir and raise their belligerent heads and yell out “oy! No it’s not! It’s not Love!” and then the echo of that abrasive refusal reaches the ears and the natural shame of denying Love settles like a coarse blanket over any remaining arguments. There may still be disagreements, but they are muffled, less likely to be yelled out in the open among the innocent and kindhearted.
So for the moment, let’s agree that we are One and the One is Love.
Another gift takes the form of a second assumption, which is that the One becomes Two, and through the Two, everything else. That is the way of the world, no need to revert to quoting sages or invoking decency. This process has its analogy in the process of meiosis, during which a fertilized egg becomes a two-celled embryo first, and then the embryo continues to develop until it becomes a Being. Similarly, the One becomes Two, and through the Two, everything else.
In this way, all manifest reality has within it an inherent duality. This is the crux of yin/yang, the source of all the pairs of opposites that make up everything everywhere: good/evil, male/female, inside/outside, and on and on. This is also why part of the spiritual path is becoming tolerant to paradox, because the world is naturally paradoxical. Union or Transcendence of these Opposites is considered an essential step in many spiritual paths, (at least the ones that aim to take the initiate past the original duality to the Oneness of all).
So the second assumption is that everything in the world has an inherent duality. This is the gift: knowing that the One that is Love, through the Two, then manifests into everything else.
We can see from this gift that injunctions to ‘go with the flow’, ‘it’s all good’, ‘there are no obstacles, only opportunities,” or my mum’s favourite, “when the doors are all closed, you’re sure to find an open window!” come from the idea that although something appears to be ‘bad’, it is part of a whole that has it’s good side too. To us, of the reputed short-sightedness that gave the world shopping malls and nuclear bombs, such knowledge of duality is heartening, assuring us as it does that, although we may not see how, there is a ‘silver lining’ to every inauspicious cloud.
Not only that, the ultimate truth we may hold on to, considering the first gift, is one that many parents wish their children only knew; that even when life isn’t going our way, even when it appears that we never get what we want and are miserable, all we receive comes from Love.
These then are the first two gifts: that all manifest reality has within it an inherent duality, and that the ultimate reality is that we are One, and the one is Love.
These are abstract thoughts, they will not help you fix your car, bake a cake or travel the world. They are subtle ideas. Because of this subtlety they will sink into places out of reach of spanners, blenders and seat-belts. The changes they initiate just may make you more patient, more present, more aware, so that your life for good or ill, may be more fully lived.
I’ll leave the third assumption to another time, it will be harder than these two to swallow.
Don’t forget to look at the INSIGHTS from this article
Click here for the following article, Gifts: Third But Not Least