Is there anything beyond the opposites? | Meditative Diaries

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opposites

Is there anything beyond the opposites?

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There was a discussion, a few days ago, about the potential of intellect/thought to bring about authentic awareness. While it seems not related, this discussion somehow lead to an insight on the nature of the opposites and naturally answered this question: “Is there anything beyond the opposites?

The first question that comes in mind is whether its possible for awareness to happen if thought is active. If we carefully inquire into that we will realize that once the thought and the rest of the intellectual processes are active its impossible for effortless, passive observation/awareness to takes place.

This is pretty obvious.. if thought is taking place then its just thought, why should we call it .. awareness? The next question i would like to ask is whether awareness and thought are opposite. (in the sense of being related like the two sides of a coin).

So what are the opposites? What is their core? Like the opposite sides of a coin, opposites are strongly related, one can’t exist on its own, one depends on another and both are necessarily of the same quality. So there are the two poles of the earth, there are the two sides of the coin and such other physical opposites. Now lets inquire into the psychological opposites.. Which is the opposite of the thought/emotion of violence? Isn’t it the ideal of non violence (which is another thought). Violence and the ideal of non violence are of the same quality (basically thoughts) and it seems that the ideal of non violence depends on violence, it can’t exist on its own. Once i am violent i desire to be non violent (ideal). This desire to be non violent, this ideal of non violence is not actual non violence, it’s only the opposite of being violent. Actual non violence is when the opposites (violence and the ideal of non violence) cease effortlessly, naturally. So its neither violence nor its opposite that brings us closer to actual non violence.

In the same sense, it seems intellect/thought can’t promote awareness, intellect can’t gradually bring us closer to awareness. This is because awareness and thought are not opposites, awareness and thought are not related at all. The opposite of thought is the ideal of awareness which has nothing to do with actual awareness. We may try all the intellectual tricks/techniques/thoughts/meditative methods/yoga practices¬† so as to simulate awareness or to try to reach the state of awareness, but its clear that all this effort will never bring actual awareness, since these two energies (intellect and awareness) are not related at all. Awareness is only when natural cease of thought happens!

So have we ever experienced something beyond the eternally bound opposites? Is it possible to get out of this groove of opposites? We should find on our own!

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Jorge Kapa

The speaker is never important but you may examine the message, if you wish

18 Comments

  1. Well written! The observer and the observed are the two sides of the same coin. You can replace the words by for example violence and non-violence and it is the same phenomenon. Or, we can talk about ‘thought identified with itself’. Yes, the seeing of the both sides of the coin does happen in the absence of them. Seeing the fragmented is an action of wholeness.

  2. this is fun! – the questioning of what is the core of the opposites that bring about, for instance, violence/non-violence and observer/observed – the core meaning, as I understand it, the seed or the central part of something. and taking the 2 pair of opposites, it can be seen that there is the fact and the abstraction: violence is the fact, and non-violence is brought about by abstracting from the fact of violence (interestingly, the verb abstracting has this meaning:

    “not giving attention to what is happening around you because you are thinking about something else”

    so, non-violence is brought about by thought moving away from the fact of violence to a solution, the idea or ideal of non-violence, which is not real but abstract.

    In the Ending of Time, that most excellent collection of dialogues between Krishnamurti and Bohm presents the case that, by using the same problem-solving skill of thought by abstracting, paradoxically doesn’t occur in that order in the pair of opposites, the observer/the observed, but rather, as K points out, and we can see that it is so, the personal observer is only arrived at by abstracting from the universal observation of the whole, ie, not giving attention to what is happening around you because you are thinking about something else, and thereby one arrives at the observer by abstracting from the whole.

    So the core of a pair of opposites appears to be the state of a fact and the act of moving away by means of thought into a state of abstraction :)

    • Thank you Michael, fascinating! We could say that the root of violence is the separation between observer and observed, which is, as you said, an abstraction of the whole (thought pretending to be whole)… and we could say that an idea of non violence is thought further reacting to the fact of violence which is already its own creation!! Thank you so much for this..

    • So.. without making a single step away from the fact of violence, it is being undone… because it’s very existence already means that thought is moving away from itself, creating the observer and the observed, the violence!!

    • the not moving from violence is undoing violence.. right! Do you imply in the previous discussion that abstraction( not giving attention to what is happening around you because you are thinking about something else) is the root of both violence and the ideal of non violence?

      this would explain the chain of thoughts that follow an initial abstraction .. after every thought we are inattentive, we think of a reaction (thinking of something else), so a new thought is born and then again a new abstraction creates endless thoughts which may finally lead to sorrow.

    • Yes, abstraction is the root of violence.. and of course of any other idea born from it, like an idea of lack of violence. -what I have noticed many times in discussions is that we tend to talk about the fact of violence as if it was independent of the observer/observed-division, as if it was fundamentally true. It is true, really happening in the world in the sense that people are really killing each other, but it is brought about by belief in illusion.

    • You say Mina that its common that we refer to violence as a separate, independent fact but its actually the belief in illusion of division (observer/observed).. i would say yes.. sometimes i think its easier to communicate something about violence, or jealousy, or i don’t know.. fear, rather than communicating something about the root (the observer/observed illusion). Does this make sense?

    • Yes…because in order to negate the world, so to say, one has to somehow be in there first…or when the world of sorrow, of thought, is addressed, then talking about its issues like violence, fear, desire, all expressions of division, may well be needed…

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