One night as a man and his family set the table for dinner, a knock was heard at the door. He opened the door to find a beautiful young women standing before him. This women radiated with a magnificent beauty, and everywhere she went the towns people enjoyed good health, high yields for their crops, flowers bloomed, children were born, like an eternal spring. He immediately recognized her as royalty and invited her in to take his seat at the table.
Right as he managed to reseat himself in another chair and began again to start dinner, another knock came at the door. He opened the door to an old beggar woman. This old beggar women was horrid to look upon, the stench alone leapt out and caused him to gag, everywhere this woman went she brought sickness, famines, death and unimaginable darkness. The man of the house immediately shouted at the old beggar woman “leave here NOW! And never return!”
As the old woman turned away the beautiful young woman seated at the table said “Wait! You cannot send her away. Everywhere I go she will surely follow, it has always been this way, and it always will.” There was a brief silence and then the man turned and said” well then both of you can get out!” . .
This is an old story that shows us the attachment of most opposites to their opposition. We cannot have health without sickness, spring without winter, life without death. We are continually provided ambitious expectations to aways enjoy the sweet fruit and never get pricked by a thorn. To always seek a sunny day and curse at the storm. Well for once, maybe, we have it all wrong, like lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump. Let’s invite the storm to give us everything its got. It is through the struggle that we build our strength. Invite both health and sickness in for supper, sit them both down and see what they have to contribute.
Opposites are complimentary, defining each other through their opposition, which creates a definite difference between the two while at the same moment sealing them together, bound, unified, as one force.
To be free of one without the other isn’t probable. To experience attachment to one conditional state of being is a false image of reality. We do indeed want all the sweet things the beautiful young woman will bring, but we can’t experience them without their opposite.
We need remember we are not a bottle in the ocean, we are the ocean in a bottle.
It is a interesting conundrum we find ourselves in. It in one word is .. a paradox.. If you like paradoxes check out my other article all about paradoxes here