What is life?
No, seriously. What is it? And why are we doing it?
Sometimes -- well, maybe most of the time -- it may feel like life is nothing but a succession of obstacles strung together for the purpose of testing our endurance. Or perhaps, for the amusement of some celestial beings sitting far above, enjoying the ever-burning flame of our never-ending drama (not unlike our own love of reality television, I suppose).
When we do find brief pockets of relief, we often stumble into them almost by accident. Seldom, can we revel in our momentary joy without anticipation of its inevitable end. Phrases like, "waiting for the other shoe to drop" and "seems too good to be true" are sprinkled freely and frequently across every experience that does not feel like a test.
Why is this? And, more importantly, is there a different way?
That there are no tests, no exams, no requirement for you to suffer. That you did not come here to prove anything at all. That life is supposed to be fun. That creation is supposed to be natural and effortless. And that you are supposed to have, do and be everything that you can imagine.
That we have, somewhere along the way, forgotten their true purpose, and in doing so, we have distorted their meaning. And that we can, by shifting our perception, correct this error and eliminate tests and suffering from our lives once and for all.
The dictionary describes duality as "An instance of opposition or contrast between two concepts or two aspects of something; a dualism."
If we consider the fact that we are non-physical beings having a physical experience, we can see that our very existence on this physical plane is a duality. This world was born out of duality. It is not a surprise, then, that all we encounter would have its opposite present as well.
Without light, there cannot be darkness. Without up, there is no down. Without far, there is no near. Without a concept of weight, there is no weightlessness. Without questions, there are no answers. Without problems, there are no solutions.
For us to have any meaningful experiences, there must be duality present. Otherwise, there is no experience to be had.
The other interesting thing to note about duality is that, despite our personal beliefs and preferences, there is no one thing that is better than its opposite. Light is not better than dark, because dark is necessary for light to exist. Evil is not worse than good because without evil there is no good. All things are two sides of the same coin. One is not better or worse than the other side, because without one the other does not exist -- they both simply just are.
We don't have two genders, we have dozens.
We don't have two hair colors, we have as many as there are heads to carry them.
We don't have two body shapes, we have more than we can count.
We don't have two types of food.
We don't have two have two shades of the same color.
We don't have two views on any topic imaginable.
Whatever you look at, you find a spectrum of choices, ideas, and beliefs, all colored by the perceptions and preferences of the people who hold them.
To demonstrate the power of contrast, participate for a moment in a brief exercise.
Imagine for a moment that you are a creature -- not a human -- but a creature with no gender. Imagine that where you are from, there is no concept for gender. All beings are simply the same.
Imagine also that where you are from there is no concept for age, height, color, shape, and weight. All beings simply look the same, eat the same, think the same, act the same.
There is no need for language where you come from, and all communication happens instantly in the form of understanding. There is no hunger or thirst, because the moment you feel them, there is food and drink in abundance in the lush nature that surrounds you. There is no concept of cold or hot because the temperature in this beautiful paradise you call home is always optimized for you.
You never experience loss. You never experience lack. You never experience famine. You never experience disagreement or difference of any kind. You simply don't have any concept of anything that creates separation.
You live your entire life in a perfect state of peace and contentment.
Now, tell me, is there a reason for you to create?
It is fascinating to me, that we spend so much of our lives judging, dismissing, and punishing others for the differences we perceive in them. Yet, without those differences, we would have no desire or opportunity to exercise our own ability to create and to expand.
We forget that it is when we embrace contrast instead of condemning it that we unlock our true potential.