Humans only survive thanks to other humans. As true pack animals, we have a drive to create the tight social bonds that allow us to cooperate. That sense of the collective drives a lot of individual human activity.
At the same time, our genetics culminates in a desire to at least attempt to pass our genes on to future generations. This means that ‘competition’ is also an integral part of our nature and that sense of self also drives a lot of individual human behaviour.
Left to do its thing (as we do when we are very small, wise children), our dual ‘we-me’ nature acts like a spinning magnet, where each of the aspects works to propel the other forward. That natural, unimpeded flow allows us to do amazing things like learn how to use a brand new body with no experience. We learn to walk, and talk and count.
These are truly massive achievements and the capacity to accomplish things at that level is an innate part of who and what we are as the product of our nature. But without the duality that creates the spin, each aspect of the magnet is nothing. Inert. Benign. Unlived. Yet with both, the universe spins into energetic life.
Our problem is that we don’t view this arrangement like a spinning magnet creating electricity or, in this case, life itself. We see it more like a wave and trough. Our egos only take in life from a singular perspective in any given moment.
It’s the ego’s singular perspective that creates the sense of ‘up’ and ‘down,’ with the trough of the wave being viewed as being ‘down,’ and therefore undesirable. But this is at the heart of people’s misunderstanding. Our job in life is not to go from full wave to all-crest. Thinking like that only deepens the troughs we go into.
Instead we must allow ourselves to spin with minimal frictional thought. From that headspace we can witness something like a trough, or negative polarity, without creating resistance by wanting things to be different.
If we accept and allow our pain or suffering, without wanting something different, life ironically becomes easier. By allowing reality to spin, there is less resistance and a truly full life can be created.
It is unwise to thwart our own existence by perpetually desiring a painless, challenge-free universe. That resistance is exhausting, it will depress us, and it will change nothing. And the lessons are rewarding in the end anyway.
Do not view those challenges as troughs. Those are integral aspects to the entire wave. Accept it all. Allow it. Let the energy flow. The rest is all wanting. Stop wanting to be someone other than who you are. Learn to love yourself as your are, just as your friends and family have. They aren’t wrong. You are worthy of the love.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.