Duality started this whole thing. I enjoy writing about my hypocrisy. My hypocrisy is consistent so I know I’ll never run out of material. I don’t remember the first time that I felt like a hypocrite but I know that I’ve felt this way for most of my life. I’ve always done what you’re not supposed to do.
I would call my hypocrisy different things: sin nature, dark side, complexity, the mystery of iniquity, etc. I was fine with doing certain things that were considered sinful… that is until I would go to church, get convicted of my sin, and go down to the altar call. I’d get prayed over, I’d repent, and I’d mean it. I’d mean it for real. And then I’d go home and do something else sinful.
Even though my friends were all caught in the same cycle, I thought that there was something seriously wrong with ME. I was supposed to be different. I was supposed to be an example. I was supposed to be the exception to the sin nature rule! Poor me. What was I supposed to do? Live a lie?
I didn’t like the fact that no matter where I went I was being followed. What made it so bad was that I didn’t know who was following me. Was it a bully? A monster? Was it Satan himself? I didn’t know what was going on, I just knew that I couldn’t get it right.
Now my memory is terrible, so I don’t know what made me start listening to philosopher Alan Watts, but once I started listening I couldn’t stop. He had a way of explaining human nature that was so understanding and all encompassing, so… I stole his philosophies and made them my own. Listening to him started me down the path of understanding human duality and embracing my shadow.
So no matter what you call it and no matter where you believe it came from, duality is the problem. And it’s a problem because we don’t like it. We don’t like that we can’t quit smoking cold turkey; we don’t like that we fantasize about people outside of our relationship; and we don’t like that no matter how hard we try, we can’t get out of debt, start that business or lose those pesky 15 pounds. Because we have this dark side that lacks discipline, it makes us overlook all of the ways that we are disciplined and amazing in everyday life. Why can’t I just get it done? What is wrong with me that I can’t stay consistent? Why can’t I just stop doing this? This dynamic also makes us overlook redeeming qualities in people that we’ve deemed “evil” or “mean.”
Duality is the reason that good people do nasty things sometimes and mean people do nice things sometimes. Duality is the reason why you have a shadow that seems to stalk you and taunt you at every turn. And duality is the reason why you are free. You’re free to choose to be naughty or nice with every thought, word, and action. Yes my love, duality and freewill are inextricably intertwined. You pay for your freedom with your duality.
When Adam and Eve (proverbial or literal) ate from the forbidden fruit, they lost their innocence and opened the door to endless possibilities of knowledge; but in order for their new choices to be real, there had to be an expansive spectrum of the choice between this or that, good or bad. To choose one thing is to reject something else, but once you reject something, you create an aspect of yourself that is curious about what you rejected. For example, you choose to get married but there’s a part of you that wonders what it would be like to remain single. You choose to watch the History Channel but you’re wondering what’s on Adult Swim right now. That’s the duality/freewill “contract” (I didn’t know what else to call it).
You have the choice to sleep in or wake up early. If you wake up early, good for you! But you know you miss that extra sleep. If you decide to sleep in, that sleep felt great, but what about the extra exercise and meditating you could’ve done? And let’s not even get into how other people make us feel!
We are all taught from a young age that there are certain aspects of who we are that are acceptable and other aspects that are not. Just think about it. What is it about you that is unacceptable to your mother? Your spouse? Your friends? Duality forces us to hide what people don’t like, and exaggerate what they do like. This develops what Carl Jung calls the shadow. We are either ashamed of our shadow or intrigued by our shadow. Neuro-typical people tend to be ashamed while those considered anti-social (like psychopaths, sociopaths, serial killer, etc) are intrigued with the shadow. The thing is, normal people can’t deny that they have a dark side no matter how hard they try; and believe it or not, the nastiest person in the world does feel empathy.
This is why we are all tortured souls, but we agreed to this when we chose to come to this planet. We knew that if we were going to be here, we would have freewill but would be subjected to duality. The Earth herself, who is a sentient being, agreed to be a conduit for duality so that beings could learn from this dynamic. I am learning to be grateful for my duality instead of constantly fighting against it. Your shadow becomes very helpful when you stop fighting against it. Try to understand that we could be plugged into a mainframe like The Matrix with no freewill at all. So the next time you want to get mad at your shadow (or somebody else’s) for being so undisciplined and nasty, take a moment to realize that that nasty side is what enables you to be free.