Without death, there’d be no life. How could you feel love if you hadn’t felt hate? pleasure without pain? certainty without doubt? Where would man be without woman and vice versa?
Ancient archetypes have been illuminating these playful, paradoxical phenomena since the beginning (Yin Yang, Shatki and Shiva, Adam and Eve in Heaven or Hell to name a few).
Humans have been less creative with nature’s paradoxes; society’s structure has become overly reliant on defining itself using destructive dichotomies: human or non-human beings, good or bad, man or woman, rich or poor, white or black, non-indigenous or indigenous, local or foreigner, right or left wing, heterosexual or homosexual, science or art, space or place. The list goes on.
In constructing individual identities, each of us confronts a representation of these contrasts within the self. Perhaps, the division plays out in the struggle of balancing masculine and feminine characteristics; thinking and feeling; doing and being; loving an other and ourselves; accepting light and dark aspects of our personality. Even in daily decisions, we depend on “yes” or “no” as though we have everything or nothing to lose or to gain.
NLP explains this dualistic process in terms of conscious and unconscious beliefs and behaviours. A discrepancy between how we feel or think and what we say or do is likely the result of a deep and dark duality waiting to surface, to be brought to light.
For example, if a person thinks he or she is organized or wants to be organized, this is a conscious thought. If the person is struggling to be organized, it could be because the unconscious is defining itself in opposition, as someone who is disorganized, based on a comment or circumstance that took place years prior. The unconscious projects disorganization onto others and out into the world, which the person then perceives as disorganization in the external world, resulting in internal conflict (a sense of failure, frustration, helplessness, anger…) So, now the person is thinking of being organized but perceiving, feeling and acting otherwise.
A person suffering from what I will refer to as a “duality disorder” will experience symptoms of confusion, procrastination or be critical of him/herself or others. He or she will often make comparisons and his or her vocabulary will be plagued with want, should, must, have to, but, no, not, I don’t know, always and never. If the case becomes chronic, the person will experience an inability or unwillingness to decide, commit, follow through or just be. He or she will eventually feel broken, paralyzed or schizophrenic and become sick, depressed and insane.
It’s not that serious. Using one of many NLP techniques, fusing fragments and making decisions is fun. By realizing the parts (or options) serve the same purpose, you (all of you) will be free to move, effortlessly, in the direction of your deepest desires.
Yes, dualities are derived from differences, creating the illusion of separation or opposition, but these polarities are not designed to challenge or punish us; we project outward what we need to perceive within ourselves in order to grow beyond who we once were (or weren’t) or were told to be (or not to be); regardless of how short or long-lived the issue, these opposites unite upon acknowledgement.
Without having had experienced the conflicting parts, how will you feel at peace and whole?