Opposites

Transversing the walls

“The pairs of opposites (being and not being, life and death, beauty and ugliness, good and evil, and all the other polarities that bind the faculties to hope and fear, and line the organs of action to deeds of defense and acquisition) are the clashing rocks (Symplegades) that crush the traveler, but between which the heroes always pass.” 

None the less, he could not escape feeling the collision of the opposites, and therefore he sought out that way of life in which he would be what the Hindu terms nirdvandva, free of the opposites.

The “Wall of Paradise,” which conceals God from human sight, is described by Nicholas of Cusa as constituted of the “coincidence of opposites,” its gate being guarded by “the highest spirit of reason, who bars the way until he has been overcome.”  The pairs of opposites (being and not being, life and death, beauty and ugliness, good and evil, and all the other polarities that bind the faculties to hope and fear, and link the organs of action to deeds of defense and acquisition) are the clashing rocks (Symplegades) that crush the traveler, but between which the heroes always pass.  This is a motif known throughout the world.

The shift of perspective from the repose of the central Cause to the turbulation of the peripheral effects is represented in the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  They ate of the forbidden fruit, “And the eyes of them both were opened.”44  The bliss of Paradise was closed to them and they beheld the created field from the other side of a transforming veil.  Henceforth they should experience the inevitable as the hard to gain.

... the union of opposites on a higher level of consciousness is not a rational thing, nor is it a matter of will; it is a psychic process of development which expresses itself in symbols.  SoGF 99 .

   The gentile, the “spoilsport,” the positivist who cannot or will not play, must be kept aloof.  Hence the guardian figures that stand at either side of the entrances to holy places: lions, bulls, or fearsome warriors with uplifted weapons.  They are there to keep out the “spoilsports,” the advocates of Aristotelian logic, for whom A can never be B; for whom the actor is never to be lost in the part; for whom the mask , the image, the consecrated host or tree or animal, cannot become God, but only a reference.  Such heavy thinkers are to remain without. 

For the whole purpose of entering a sanctuary or participating in a festival is that one should be overtaken by the state known in India as “the other mind”, where one is “beside oneself,” spellbound: set apart from one’s logic of self-possession and overpowered by the force of a logic of indissociation wherein A is B, and C also is B.  TMD 34

The word Buddha means “the one who has waked up, whose eyes have opened.”  We carry the eye in our pocket all the time.  It is on the back of the dollar bill, at the top of the pyramid, where the sides, the pairs of opposites, come together.  There the eye of knowledge opens.  But in the field of action you are down on the side.  You are on this side and the other guy is on the other side, and so you have action.  But this eye is the middle eye, the eye of the referee in the tennis match.  It doesn’t care which side wins.  You can’t have a match unless there is some serious intention to knock the other chap out.  So time asks for violence.  But this eye asks for the recognition behind the violence, of peace, where the lion lies down with the lamb.  This doesn’t mean that the lion isn’t going to eat the lamb.  Of course he is going to eat the lamb.  But it means nothing is happening when that happens.  That’s just a temporal thing, and you must realize the peace that lies behind the act.  TMTT 138

   Othin sacrificed one eye for knowledge of the runes.  One socket ever thereafter gazed inward, the other, ever outward, held to the world of phenomenality.  The two interlacing snakes, red and blue, of the Tunc page of the Book of Kells are evidently of like meaning: one, of the knowledge inward of eternal life, the other, outward, of temporality; in tantric terms, respectively, “solar” consciousness (the nerve pingala) and the “lunar” consciousness (the nerve ida), the “still point” and the “turning world,” nirvana and samsara, which are to be known in the way of one “released while living” (jivan mukta) as one and the same, nirdvandva, nondual.  TMD 175

Jung has shown in Aion that this problem is reflected in the figures of Christ and Antichrist or in the two Sons of God, Satanaël and Christ, or in the original Gnostic speculations about the twin or double nature of Christ, which points to a sundering of the opposites in the symbol of the Self.  This religious problem, and with it the personal problem of the indwelling shadow, obtrudes itself upon the Christian man … TGL 243.