Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Circle of Life

A metaphor for duality and unity is to see all of life as a great circle. As human beings we stand only at one small point on the circumference of the circle, often believing that the limited perceptions we have from a particular spot at a particular time are all that there is. We forget that there are a million different lenses on the whole. Or we try to cling to certain kinds of experiences rather than allowing whatever comes to us. If we stay sufficiently humble and allow the full range of our human experience, we can occasionally glimpse and eventually learn to embrace the whole of the circle of life.

At the center of the circle is God, or the life force, constantly flowing out from the center to the periphery. The life force expresses itself in manifestation as all the points of consciousness from the center to the outermost edge.

From the periphery of the circle, wearing blinders which restrict our vision to only what we see directly in front of us, we human beings usually look around the circle and see only the dualities. At one point on the wheel we see birth, and at a point across from it we see the opposite, death. At one point of the circumference is darkness, across from it, light; pleasure and pain we see at opposite points on the wheel. Neither reality is better or worse than the other; both are equal, balanced, inevitable. If we try to cling to one and deny the other, we become unbalanced. The wheel of our own life will create a bumpy journey unless we can embrace and flow with all the dualities. The more we embrace whatever comes to us, the more harmonious will be our ride on the wheel.

As we move toward the spititual center of our being, the center of the circle of life, we also accept and unite with the opposites, with all that exists at the periphery. In this way, our center keeps expanding to include the whole circle, no longer dualistically perceived.

Excerpt from The Undefended Self by Susan Thesenga

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