Out of Duality, Consciousness Emerges

The problem of duality, spiritual philosophy observes, is the problem of existence itself. Duality, the pairs of opposites, (such as right and wrong, peace and war, happiness and unhappiness, inner and outer, higher and lower, light and darkness, and life and form, to name but a few) confronts the human being at every stage of development. Down the ages, sacred scriptures have alluded to this dichotomy. For example, the Bhagavad Gita, described as a symphonic vision of God in all things and of all things in God, depicts the conflict between the spiritual and the material. It portrays the ceaseless struggle of Arjuna, the weary yet valiant disciple, in his solemn dialogue with his spiritual Self, the Lord Krishna. An abiding and unalterable link connects these two distinct polarities, life and form, and that is consciousness. In a constantly changing kaleidoscope of patterns, impressions, thoughts and desires, consciousness relates inner and outer, spirit and matter. As life and form are drawn apart, consciousness is born, and as they unite and synthesise, it disappears. Eternal and immutable, the cyclical rhythm of life and death, manifestation and pralaya, and outbreathing and inbreathing, performs its universal and magical dance. Out of duality, consciousness emerges.

Students of the spiritual sciences will also be familiar with the terms unity and triplicity, which in addition to duality, describe aggregates of energy, focal points of expression in the ever-changing landscape of human unfoldment. Triplicity or the Trinity, has been defined as Life, Consciousness, and Form (personality) in the spiritual sciences; Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma in Hinduism; and Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost in Christianity. But, whatever appellation we use, all nevertheless are the same. This triune of essential elements or parts of the Whole is fundamental to a deeper understanding of evolution itself.

In the early dawn of manifested life, the evolving consciousness is ‘loosely’ connected as a triplicity. The personality is embryonic, almost nebulous, and the realms of the soul and the spirit lie far ahead, and far removed. Over countless aeons, the human being cycles in and out of incarnation. There comes a time however when the personality begins to take shape; colour and texture are added, and individuality and self-assertion come to the fore. The spark of mind becomes active, bringing the sentient and physical natures into conformity with the intelligent will of the evolving consciousness. Much time must elapse, and experience garnered in the world of form before the faint and distant voice of the soul can be heard amidst the turmoil and clamour of the outer life.

All the time, though, the voice of conscience, which has been described as the “whispers of the soul”, is heard. And, whilst often disregarded, it nevertheless serves as a moral compass, as an indicator of (relative) right and wrong. As its influence waxes, the sense of duality becomes ever more acute and distressing. The evolving personality and the inner spiritual nature stand face to face, each seeking to exert its influence over the other.

It is possible, that on a planetary scale, this is the stage of human consciousness today. Torn between two great lines of force, restless and bewildered humanity, the world disciple is coming of age. The stark contrast between the inspirations of the new incoming Aquarian cycle and the old, separative ways of entrenched materialism is clearly visible. The fault lines are deep and wide and of ancient lineage. But a time beckons when the swing of the pendulum between the two extremes, the dualities, will not oscillate so far in either direction but will tend towards stability, equilibrium and balance. At some point, and probably sooner than we realise, a period of lasting peace, buttressed by an outpouring of universal goodwill, will begin to enfold the human family. A spirit of love will descend, invoked deep from within a weary and tried humanity. Out of the darkness of age-old materialism, an age of light and of quiet will emerge, born out of great struggle, suffering and experience.



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