In our search for truth and inner peace, we place our feet on a path that is filled with paradoxes. Integrating and living what feels like opposite truths can be challenging to say the least. This one jumped out at me recently: We are individuals taking charge of our lives, and at the same time, we are timeless, non-personal awareness itself. In the first, we are a unique person making things happen in time and space; and the other, we are a non-attached selfless Presence unfolding with life.
These two quotes made me see some humor in this dilemma:
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt – 26th US President
“You are nobody, going nowhere, experiencing nothing special.” Panache Desai, author and spiritual teacher
Roosevelt speaks from the truth of material reality, linear time and the personality: We make choices to act in purposeful ways. Desai speaks about the highest awareness of Universal Oneness: We are rooted in the transpersonal perfection within the present moment. (This is my interpretation).
When we acknowledge both of these perspectives as true, we are able to live as though our choices matter and to understand that they are illusions in a timeless dimension of the universe. I agree that at some level choice is an illusion, but I also understand the necessity of having effective decision making skills in the real world. What you sow you reap is true in linear time; in timeless awareness, the universal Law of Cause and Effect is irrelevant.
A paradox creates tension because we struggle to identify with one truth or the other. When we are able to let go of this internal conflict, a new reality emerges and mediates the split. Carl Jung calls it the “transcendent function” within the psyche. I believe the integration of any paradox is a spiritual correction—grace takes us there. It allows us to transcend the opposites, accept both and experience inner peace—unity consciousness.
Once you resolve the perception of the “non-personal being/personal doing” paradox and feel the energy shift, you will be able to acknowledge and live both realities with ease. As a non-attached observer and a choice maker, you will express your highest truths and make enlightened decisions. This is a work in progress because once you “get it,” you may not be able to “live it” consistently.
Below are a few tips on how to “act as if” until the tension within this paradox disappears and a new way of “being/doing” takes over:
Attention: When you find yourself striving toward some outcome, get still and put your awareness in the Now. (In timelessness, you energetically have what you think immediately.) You might focus on your breathing and connect with a still Presence within you. Centered and focused, you can then take purposeful action.
Intention: Make plans for the future in the present moment and ask yourself whether the future feels more important than where you are. If it does, you are in a state of lack. Remind yourself that there is a part of you that is abundant right now and decide to make plans and create goals from that place of abundance.
Practice: Become fully present and immersed in what you are doing several times a day. Observe yourself doing it, like driving on a highway, walking or doing the dishes. You might be able to see yourself as both a divine presence and human personality performing the action.
Surrender: When you feel overwhelmed by some goal, relationship or situation, turn it over to a Higher Power and ask for guidance. At some level of your being, you know the next step to take. As you align yourself with your deepest truths, you and Source will be working together to create and live your best life.
A non-personal observer going nowhere and a personal doer going somewhere can challenge your rational mind. The integration of this paradox is possible the more you can dis-identify with your mental stories, past trauma and unyielding emotions. As you free your creative energy from this conflict, you have more energy with which to create what you want in life. At this deeper level of co-creating, what you want comes into alignment with your deepest personal truths, not the needs of an unsatisfied ego.
The impersonal and personal, timeless and time-bound, work intimately together. When you recognize and live this truth, you are well on your way to wholeness