People struggle with the principle of duality. Yet, it surrounds us: yin and yang, day and night, good and evil, light and darkness, man and woman, big and small, life and death, happy and unhappy, etc. Duality is everywhere. Duality is in our minds.
Our minds have been pre-formatted, if not just formatted to wrestle with the idea that one thing and its opposite can coexist in one person. We welcome the good and virtuous side but the dark side, we just deny its existence. We chase it away and we are ashamed of it, as we should probably, depending on how dark that side really is. Darkness is uncomfortable, unpleasant, terrifying. We don’t want to admit our negative traits because we fear they might define us way more than the good traits would. Aren’t some people more on the evil spectrum? What is the difference between us and them? Perhaps they were once where we are right now. You got to kill before being called a killer right? The last sentence subliminally implies that we all start with a blank slate and as life goes on, we could very well be on the dark side. Some say we choose good or evil, some say we are predisposed, others say the environment plays a crucial role in the making of who we are.
We all think “I am not evil. I am honest. How could I be lazy when I work hard everyday? I don’t lie! I am a good person! How could I be this or that?”. These questions are perpetually ringing in our conscience except when you are a psychopath or a sociopath because you can’t feel remorse or empathy. I am not surprised anymore when I hear that a person who was considered remarkable committed a crime or did something completely foolish and unexpected. One can be a thief and be honest, as in steal only from rich people, a type of honor among thieves principle. It sure doesn’t make it right. One can cheat and never lie about other matters. One can be lazy when it comes to specific tasks and be a workaholic the next day.
The world is full of colors, but life is filled with gray. You will rarely find something that is absolute except death or winter in Canada! Most concepts and ideas are gray depending on where you are standing or what the circumstances are. Can we be good and bad at the same time? Yes, we can. We just struggle with accepting it. Darkness isn’t easy to tame and even less to accept.
I myself struggle with that. The choices are clear, yet occasionally painful. The perpetual and noble fight between darkness and light, between revenge and forgiveness, between retaliation and letting go. My conscience is always weighing which direction it should take. Inside me, in the back of my head, deep within my soul, there is always a little voice that tells me to let go of trespasses and another voice that instructs me, insisting in a severe voice, to answer fire with fire. My animalistic side tends to favor the fiery response to trespasses. The rational, and forgiving part of my soul, wants to forgive and let go, yet it struggles more than it should. Does that make me a bad person? Am I still a good person if I still pick a fight that probably wasn’t worth it? It all depends on how serious the outcome of the fight is.
Time and experience are the best teachers. I do believe that forgiving is the wise, less problematic and healthiest choice. Yet…The duality messes with my brain and my heart. The dark side wants revenge, it wants the perpetrator to learn a lesson and to never, ever come back. I don’t like people messing with me, disrespecting me, hurting those I love and if they do any of that, I will go after them with the vengeance of a thousand tribes. I have learned with time and experience to tame, as best as I can, the dark side. However, the moment I believe that I have conquered that dark side, it awakens, and spreads damage and chaos and it is back to the lab, to try and discipline the dark side. Nothing is easy in this world…
Duality is permanently ingrained into our brains, hearts, minds and culture. Marianne Deborah Williamson wrote that “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us”. She is right and wrong according to me. She is right because power frightens us, we are afraid we won’t control it as we should, we fear it might slip away, we can’t picture being great and not fear whatever that comes with power. We fear of what we can do, in the good sense of the word “power”.
On the other hand, I believe she is wrong because darkness is scary. Who knows what one would or could do in times of war? Would you hurt others to survive? Would you steal to not die of hunger? Would you kill to live? That is the darkness that scares the life out of me and frankly, I am sure, I am not the only one. Lies, deceit, violence, dishonesty, murder, they all frighten me, and they are all dark. What am I capable of if pushed into a corner? I am afraid to see my dark side fully unleashed. How far would I go? Will I be able to stop? I am terrified of that scenario.
So far, thank to all the Gods, I haven’t put myself into a situation that would require evil to take over my life. I do have bad moments and I do make bad decisions, dictated by my thirst of revenge and retaliation at times. Nevertheless, the idea is to tame the dark side, control the dark side and recognize that duality will always be part of my DNA. I accept it and I fight with my conscience to make the right choices. It isn’t always easy. We might try to understand our dark side the way we understand our good side. One comes with the other. One cannot exist without the other. Duality isn’t going anywhere, and neither am I.
Just one man’s opinion.
Now smile and go on with your day.