“There is a price to be paid for every increase in consciousness. We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.”
- Allan Watts -
We live in an existence characterized by polarity. As soon as I begin to experience anything, I create polarity. If something is small, it must be able to be big. If something is empty, it must be able to be full. If something is sad, it must be able to be happy. Does the concept of 'bliss' have a meaning if misery is not a possibility?
It is paradoxical but true - seen from the widest perspective, bliss and misery are in fact two halves of the same whole. This is both illogical and perfectly logical - bliss and misery are polar opposites, yet if I completely remove one the other loses all meaning. They're mutually exclusive, yet they need each other to exist. We exist in the space inside the paradox.
The movement from one pole to another is what sets up the cyclical nature of our existence: we must move through painful experiences in order to have pleasurable ones. It is a fact that after the dark of night, the light of day must follow. Always. Thanks to this interplay, things move forward and we are able to have ever-more experiences.
Even in the physical sense, polarity is literally what creates life - female and male energies combine to create new energies. The cycles we observe in nature - our breath, the seasons, the chicken and the egg - these are all systems moving from one pole to the other, and back again. Life unfolds in the myriad paradoxes between all the poles.
'Gratitude is a must.' What a seemingly absurd thing to say. To think that the rapes, the wars, the slavery and the sacrifices this world has seen are all gifts to be grateful for... that is indeed a hard pill to swallow.
However, such is the result of shining a bright light on this existence. The process of seeing the truth as it is - that the good and the bad are a package deal - is called enlightenment. It is what allows us to move past judgement, and to indeed be grateful for every last thing this life has to offer.