I have brushed over the role of polarity, objectivity and neutrality in my life in a couple of posts but this concept is so instrumental to my worldview that it deserves its own post. I was first introduced to the concept of duality vs. non duality when I ventured into my first religion class. I was a computer science major so taking a class based on anything besides, math, engineering or coding was usually out of the question. I just didn’t know how I would do, which is a silly reason for putting this off until my junior year. But this was my junior year and I hadn’t done much else so I wanted to give it a try. This wasn’t a classic religion class, it was more about spirituality in general and all the different interpretations of the word “God” as more of an everlasting presence. In the classroom, Love, Source, Consciousness, Infinity and Presence were all acceptable synonyms for “God”. I promise this all ties together.
In the class we would healthily debate over whether God was separate from all of us (dualistic point of view, we are all separate beings) or whether we were all Consciousness aka God (there is no separation, everything is Love, Love is all there is, Love is everything and Love is nothing). It was this class that gave a name to everything that I had ever believed about the world but I just never had a label for it. I believe (as of now, because if you have read one of my previous posts “fluidity”, change is constant) that we live in a non dualistic world.
My friend, let’s call him Joseph* and I were talking about the roles of polarity in our lives e.g. “good” vs. “bad” and “positive” vs. “negative”. He knows I believe everything is Love and there is no such thing as polarity because everything is neutral. I have known Joseph very well for a long time so even though sometimes he may think I’m a bit “cuckoo for coco puffs” we always have the most honest, vulnerable, loving, enlightening, wonderful conversations. This is because no matter what we believe, which is often so different, he respects me and I have the highest respect for him. Anyway, as soon as I said that my reality doesn’t include polarity, he naturally asked me what most people do: what about the thieves, murders, rapists, etc. that are on our planet? They are Love too. I have had my own encounters with how many people would describe to be “bad” people. They deserve no less love than you, me, a bus driver or a billionaire.
I heard something interesting on a podcast the other day (cannot get enough of those lately) and the host said that something that impacts so many people, whether they believe in God or not, is this idea that God decides whether we are “good” or “bad”. I am not here to tell you or anyone how God, Love, Consciousness or anything should be interpreted in your life. I just thought this was fascinating because it is definitely applicable to me and is one of those things I just never even thought of. Essentially, he was saying (I am paraphrasing) that if we believe there is a Force up there that decides whether we are “good” or “bad”, we can also judge other people for being “good” or “bad”. We can also believe that we receive more or less love from Source, friends, family if we are perceived to be “good” or “bad” which in turn impacts your self worth. This could all stem from many things, it doesn’t just have to be this view of God.
So, as I told Joseph, there is no reason anyone deserves less love because there is no “good” or “bad” in the first place. However, if you live in a world of polarity, there will always be “good” and “bad” (only if you have chosen this as a part of your reality) and thus “good” and “bad” people. In other words, if you choose to have “good” and “bad” in your vocabulary and in your life, you naturally use it to describe others, actions, energies, frequencies, feelings, emotions, places, food and yourself. There is nothing wrong with that. However you want to interpret the world is always up to you.
Neutrality, objectivity, and non duality have changed my entire world. I heard a story once about “an enlightened man” who got a parking ticket and the “normal man” was with him (I am paraphrasing a lot here). The “enlightened man” laughed at the ticket, leaving the “normal man” in confusion. The “normal man” asked how the “enlightened man” could be so happy, he just got a ticket! The “enlightened man” said that the money he would pay for the ticket would go toward someone’s salary who may be putting food on the table for their kids, etc. and he was happy to be contributing to someone’s life in that way. Then the “normal man” realized that the ticket wasn’t really what he thought it was. He took a neutral perspective and saw that the ticket in fact is a piece of paper, that was originally a tree, with some writing, that said he owed some money, which isn’t even real, it’s just energy, on a car, which was just metal and glass, that he didn’t really own anyway… you get the point. Things have value when you put your attention on it and ascribe a value to it. Everything is inherently neutral. For instance, “Christmas” is a neutral word. “Christmas” can bring up all sorts of happy memories for someone who celebrates Christmas. For someone who does not celebrate “Christmas”, it is just another day in the year and is neutral. Everything begins as neutral until we start labeling it as “good”, “bad” or somewhere in between. That means experiences, people, thoughts, body types, emotions, ideas… they are all energy. Energy itself is neutral and is all Love. Any form of energy cannot “deserve” more or less love because it is Love itself.
Joseph asked me, “If we live in a world of neutrality, does that mean joy, sadness, anger, jealousy, or anything you could feel is all the same? Does that mean there is no real happiness?”. I told him, “No. It doesn’t mean that there is no happiness. It just means that everything is Love.”
This didn’t always come easy to me. It wasn’t as if I just had an “aha” moment and that was that. It was and is a practice. It was easiest with my friends and in most areas of my life. Practicing it with family was the hardest. I have had the most challenging, loving, evolution with my mom. We were having an argument, as a lot mothers and daughters do, because she was wondering why I didn’t tell her something sooner. As I could feel myself getting heated during the argument, I saw it as a wonderful opportunity to take an objective approach. What I mean by this, and I do this almost all the time now, is just take a neutral, third party perspective as if I were just an observer, listening in on the conversation. It sounds strange and overly simplified, but I noticed that what my mom was saying to me were just words. I was so used to battling with her that I just didn’t even notice she, as all moms are, was just trying to help me and show me how much she loved me. After deeply listening and holding space for her, allowing her to show up in my life however she was meant to with unconditional love, I told her, “I didn’t tell you because we didn’t have the same relationship we do now”. Long story short, in my mind, my relationship with my mom has changed so much from the time I was seventeen. We argue a lot less and overall it just seemed better. My mom looked at me, confused and said, “Our relationship has always been the same. I am your mother. I love you no matter what you do. I will always love you. That has never changed for me and never will.”
It may sound simple but these words changed how I viewed so many things. I realized it was my perception that labeled parts of the relationship as “good” or “bad” for about twenty one years. All of this time in my mom’s mind there was nothing but love. No matter what I did or how I viewed us, that had never changed for her. This opened up my eyes as to how powerful living from a place of Love was in completely changing your reality. You have power to live in whatever world you want to create. We may all be on Earth but that doesn’t mean all of our realities are the same. My mom revealed to me so concretely and without question or debate that I always have a choice as to whether I live in unconditional love or not. I always knew she had something so special to teach me.
Anything and everything you can see is Love. This has been so important for me as before that religion class my junior year I saw a world full of hate, violence, sometimes good things, but overall there was an overwhelming amount of “bad” that was hard to reconcile. Jamie* in a car ride asked me that if I chose to view everything as Love, then wasn’t I just ignoring all of the “bad” in the world? I answered, “Okay, let’s take your dualistic perspective for a moment. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, how do you end all of the cycles of hatred by adding more hate?”. In many people’s eyes, I have certainly experienced things where I have been “wronged” before. I have only greeted those people with love. It may not have been instantaneous. I am not perfect. I am always learning. However, nothing has felt more powerful or profound than looking at those people or thinking of them and saying, “I love you”.
with love, katie
* name has been changed