Sixth Chakra – Going Beyond Duality
I was always under the impression that the path gets easier the more we evolve, but that was before I got to the sixth… Going from 5th to 6th is a huge step. If you think about it, we live in a reality that is totally based on duality. There is right and wrong, good and bad, this and that. Everything we do is either good OR bad, right OR wrong. It is never both, together.
The advantage of living in duality is that it makes it easy to make decisions. It is as if duality serves as a guide. We choose anything that is more good than bad, or anything that is more right than wrong. Take relationships, for example – if you have more good times together than bad times, you stay. If you have more bad moments, you leave. We way up the good and the bad before we make decisions, and this justifies the decisions we make. Mind works through duality. It is very logical, so it feels perfectly at ease with either/or. Either it is good, or it is bad. It can’t be both. Simple! Once you know this, you can also imagine the anguish of going beyond duality…
Going beyond duality means going beyond logic, which the mind won’t be happy about! Going beyond duality means that mind can no longer make decisions. Beyond duality, decisions will happen, but your heart is your only guide because mind is useless on this level. Going beyond duality means going beyond judgement and justification. It basically means that you are stepping off the trodden path and entering unmapped territory – in other words, making the jump into the unknown. And, what happens next? Your mind will go mad! It will tremble to the core! It will convince you that you have gone off the deep end! And, you’ll be in pure anguish!!!
One of the things that happens when you walk a spiritual path is that once you step on the path, there is no return. You can change your mind as much as you want, but you can never return to the bliss of ignorance again. It is like what happened in the Matrix when Neo has to choose which pill to take…Once he chooses the pill of knowledge and rememberance, he can never go back to sleep again. The question is – is it worth the pain and hassle, or is it better to not know anything? This is a choice we all have to make. In some ways it is probably easier for women, because we keep making decisions to have babies, even though we risk our lives every time, and can’t change our minds during labor and say: “I have changed my mind, I don’t want to have a baby now.” Once the baby is coming down the birth canal, that’s it! We just have to surrender to the process.
It is the same with the journey from 5th to 6th. 5th is the pinnacle of duality and ego. Your will is at its strongest. And, in the middle of this, you start realizing that there is more to life than logic. Things aren’t that clear cut. People can be both good AND bad, situations can be both right AND wrong. You’ll even start to get glimpses of the fact that these different sides aren’t really opposites at all. In some way, you can see that what looks like opposites actually complement each other because both are needed to complete the picture! This is when it gets complicated, because nothing is clear anymore….
Let’s look at this in light of relationships. Normally, when you meet someone new, you can only see the positive sides of the person. After the honeymoon is over, you’ll see some good things that you love, and bad things that you don’t love about the other. If the relationship deteriorates, you’ll only see the bad sides of the person at the time when you split up. This is how duality works. It gives you blinders that makes it easy to only see one side of things so you can justify your decisions.
On 6th chakra, your blinders are gone. You DO see both sides, which makes it difficult to know what to do. You love some things about your mate, but you also hate other things. But, if you leave, you’ll miss out on the good things, and if you stay, the bad things will keep irritating you, because you are still not beyond judgment. On top of this indecision, you’ll also experience lessons on the 6th that will push you towards oneness and away from separation.
This is where I will introduce an old medieval symbol called the mandorla. The mandorla looks like 2 circles overlapping. It describes what happens when two seemingly opposite and incompatible issues come into your life, and you have to find a way to synthesize the two and make them one, not by the way of logic, but by the way of paradox!
If we use relationships as an example again, one person may want freedom to do whatever he wants to do, which creates imbalance in the family and pain and suffering for the wife. The dualistic mind can only see two solutions to this problem: divorce or compromise, but on the 6th level, neither of these options are acceptable. So what other solution is there? The solution is to bring the two opposites together in such a way that each person can grow spiritually. So, we are basically talking synthesis via paradox.
The wife may find that her pain and suffering is caused by old mis-perceptions that she has lived by her whole life, and by seeing this, she’ll come to a new place in herself where she finds freedom from her own mind. The husband may find that if he voluntarily surrenders his physical freedom, it destroys his ego so he can evolve to a higher level by finding his inner freedom instead. This is just an example of solution via paradox. Each one has to find their own solutions as to how to bring together the opposites they are dealing with in their lives in such a way that they can see that they are not opposites at all; they are actually one and the same! This is the process that the symbol of the mandorla describes. The yin/yang is also a symbol describing the same process.
Here is what Carl Jung wrote about this process of healing the split of clashing opposites:
Jung said that to be in a situation where there is no way out, or to be in a conflict where there is no solution, is the classical beginning of the process of individuation. It is meant to be a situation without a solution: the unconscious wants the hopeless conflict in order to put ego-consciousness up against the wall, so that the man has to realize that whatever he does is wrong, whichever way he decides is wrong. This is meant to knock out the superiority of the ego, which always acts from the illusion that it has the responsibility of decision. Naturally, if a man says, “Oh, well, then I shall just let everything go and make no decision, but just protract and wriggle out of it,” the whole thing is equally wrong, for then naturally, nothing happens. But if he is ethical enough to suffer to the core of his personality, then generally… the Self manifests. In religious language you could say that the situation without issue is meant to force the man to rely on an act of God. In psychological language the situation without issue, which the anima arranges with great skill in a man’s life, is meant to drive him into a condition in which he is capable of experiencing the Self. When thinking of the anima as the soul guide, we are apt to think of Beatrice leading Dante up to Paradise, but we should not forget that he experienced that only after he had gone through Hell. Normally, the anima does not take a man by then hand and lead him right up to Paradise; she puts him first into a hot cauldron where he is nicely roasted for a while.”
Nicely roasted sounds just about right – it certainly is a good description of what I personally went through. You have now officially been warned…
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