The Law of Opposites is unavoidable in our world. It simply states that for everything, its opposite must also exist. This applies to temperature; hot and cold, weight; heavy and light, and emotions; love and hate.
This article is about Love. Unfortunately, being a human on earth, that means there has to be an opposite force to the human emotion of love. The other side of the emotion of love can be many different negative states such as fear, hate, anger, jealousy, and several others.
The pure love of God that many people aspire to or wish to feel does not have an opposing force, however, one must be a perfected God in order to feel that, and I expect that such a one would not be reading my articles. So let’s accept we are all humans and our emotions all have another side.
The greatest joy in life is the joy of giving. This is what my grandfather always told me, and I have taught to my students. When you give a child an ice cream, your joy in their joy could often be said to be greater than theirs.
If there is such great joy in giving, there must be pain on the other side of the same coin. This is the coin that has to do with other people, the object of the emotion.
The joy of making someone happy is the greatest joy, and so the pain of seeing someone suffer could be considered the greatest pain, especially if it is someone you love. The greater your love for someone, the greater your joy in their joy, and likewise, the greater your pain in their pain.
We all want joy, but none of us want pain. This is a problem because life is not one sided, even though we all wish it were. Because we have freedom to choose our thoughts and actions to at least some degree, we have the ability to shut down our mind and heart from the events we experience.
‘I want to feel love and joy, but I do not want to feel pain and suffering.’ I will assume that we would all agree with that statement. But, that is not possible in our world because joy comes from a lack of pain, (meaning that if there is pain there is no joy) but when the pain ceases, we feel joy due to the ending of pain. We can say that the cessation of pain is the prerequisite to joy. Once that prerequisite is filled, we can then feel joy for even the smallest things that normally do not excite us. You may not remember the ending of pain, but joy is automatically felt when pain ends.
If you bought shares in a company for $20.00 and they go up 50 cents, that is good but not very exciting. However, if they have fallen steadily in value by $10.00 and then go up 50 cents, that is a lot more exciting. The cessation of the pain of loss allows for a greater pleasure than if the same event, the 50 cent price increase, happened without being preceded with some pain.
It is even more painful sometimes for you to see someone you love lose their money or endure some other suffering than it is for the one losing. That is if your heart is fully open. And this is the problem, we do not allow ourselves to be that open.
We feel joy for others, and that means we will feel pain for others as well. Being a creature who can shut down their emotions, and with this creature doing everything it can to avoid pain, most people have learnt to shut down the compassionate feeling for other people’s pain. It is the only way to survive in a world filled with so much pain and suffering.
Now we get to the problem. I cannot remove one side of a coin without tossing out the whole coin. The more we avoid feeling the pain of other peoples suffering, the less we will be able to open our heart to feel joy and love deeper and more frequently.
This is why many teachers speak about the importance of compassion. It is not for the sake of compassion for others as much as for opening your heart to feel compassion for all creatures. Feeling their suffering simultaneously opens your heart so you can feel love because you are no longer avoiding feeling pain for others by shutting down your emotions.
You cannot shut one side of a revolving door. When you allow yourself to feel for other people, you will also find your ability to love deepens and the intensity and amount of joy in your life increases. Certainly, you may feel more pain as you undertake this process of change, but that is just part of the process. I think any woman who knowingly wants to have a baby understands that to have love and joy, we must be willing to endure a lot of pain.
I have found that eventually, you can feel their pain with pure compassion, but with having allowed your heart to open fully, meaning on both sides of emotions, my compassion may feel their pain, but at the same time I feel love, because it is the love for that person that makes me feel their pain.
When you understand this, you will find that you only feel love in every situation, as you find the source of pain is love and live more in the source than in the event.
This is how to attain the pure love of God, the single emotion without an opposite to balance it. The best analogy is a balance scale. There are two plates, one balances against the other. Regardless of the plates moving up or down, the centre point, the fulcrum, is always stable. That is the point in which the two sides are joined, that is the state in which there are no two opposites. That is the state of total equanimity and inner happiness.
As long as you are filling one plate and not the other, looking for everything you can do to pile on more joy and happiness, while ignoring the nature of pain as a natural balance, the plate will eventually overfill and tip over, sending the other plate of pain flying into your face.
Accept all things as the law of Nature in Human Life and you will find that you live in the perfect balance of Love without an opposing force. This is the fulcrum of life, equanimity, balance, unity and true peace with all things, and your Self.
This is a very large subject, one which I continue to contemplate and explore with exercises every day. I shall continue to write more on this topic very soon as my understanding deepens.