The Contrast

"It's all good!"

This phrase, though used all the time, is often not understood in it's fullest and most true meaning. The wisdom behind it is timeless and has literally been around forever presenting itself in many philosophies and perspectives, but they are still just words. Because words can't give you the exact experience behind them, the true meaning is often lost.

How the hell could everything really be good?! It sounds crazy from a lot of perspectives. We've got poverty all over the world, war, natural disasters destroy places like Haiti, and lots of misery and suffering in peoples daily lives. So how can anyone in their right mind say, "It's all good?"

One answer is 'contrast.' What are your favorite stories, movies, or books? Take a second and think of one. There's no doubt the story you are thinking of has a person or people who are being affected by horrible events or circumstances. If there was no trouble, there would be no story.

As simple as the idea of contrast is, it can sometimes be difficult to see the things we don't like as the things that give value to the things we do like. Literally, if there was no 'bad', there could be no 'good'. Just as with all opposites, they are indivisible.
  • If darkness did not exist, light would not be perceivable because it would be a constant.
  • If silence did not exist, sound would not be perceivable because it would be a constant.
  • If pain did not exist, pleasure would not be perceivable because it would be a constant.
  • Etc...
When you realize you can't have one side of a coin without the other, then you can see both sides as one coin. A coin with everything you love on one side, and everything you fear on the other. If you labeled this coin, the name could have no opposite since the coin is both sides. If you appreciate the coin as a whole (even though you don't really care for one side) then "it's all good." With this perspective, you can not only feel better, but more effectively change things you don't like.

Because there will always be some kind of a contrast in life, it's our choice to accept it and choose to focus on the part we like. What is focused on expands in your experience.

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The Rambling Taoist said...

A beautiful way of expressing how yin and yang from one whole!

The Rambling Taoist said...

That should read "form", not "from".

Unknown said...

Hi C. Om,

A great post. Of course it is within the mind where the contrast of 'opposites' creates real havoc; the mind is conditioned to 'think' in terms of imagined rights and wrongs, goods and bads etc.
As within, so without, yes?

I know, that you know, what I mean!

The conditioned mind has expectations which have an opposite polarity, disappointment. It gets excited and therefore eventually it becomes depressed. The conditioned mind is playing a game with a very dangerous animal, like a lion that has a cuddly tail, but the other end bites; expectations and excitement can seem fun, but when you come down into disappointment and depression, well, the fun has ended for a while ;-)

I'll write from direct experience here, I can't speak for others, but when I reached a point of equilibrium-balance-harmony between all pairs of opposites within my mind, something extraordinary happened; they dissolved! I descended into beingness, unity, wholeness . . NO More Polarities!

Remember as within so without? That's right, the realization of that equilibrium within brought about a shift in my life externally. No more problematic thinking meant no more problematic living. No internal unhappiness meant no more external unhappiness. That's what liberation is all about.

Such liberation does not prevent other human beings behaving as they do, but one understands their actions with clarity now.

Also, liberation does not prevent natural disasters, but it allows one to deal with them as and when they occur. Everything simply is as it is . . .

P.S. I'll be using this as the basis for one of my blog posts :-)

C. Om said...

@The Rambling Taoist
Much appreciated. I knew you would 'get it'. :-)

@Doug '1Yogi2Many' McMillan
True indeed Doug! I can identify with your personal experience and further explanations.

I appreciate the insight!

David "Shinzen" Nelson said...

Wow! Love it.

C. Om said...

Much appreciated Shinzen!

Rizal Affif said...

A good analogy:

"If you appreciate the coin as a whole (even though you don't really care for one side) then "it's all good.""

From this light, unattached to either side, one transcends polarities and experience the nondual bliss of what is :D

C. Om said...

Exactly Rizal! Transcending the dualism only results in bliss! Well said!