We live in a world of opposites that we often experience as conflict. But fortunately everything eventually balances with its opposite – absolutely everything! The nature of duality implies an underlying unity. So whenever one side of duality is isolated, expressed or identified, the opposite is always a potential and immediately sought. One side of any duality cannot exist by itself, except through repression of its opposite. Or said another way, one side does not exist by itself and cannot be isolated except in a hypothetical sense. What holds a duality together to create a unity is tension.
Tension is the bond of opposites. It is because of tension that growth takes place and evolution is possible. There are always forces operating against each other, and it is this which makes life interesting, exciting, challenging, frustrating and fulfilling. All healthy and growing relationships embody this tension. Two people who are very similar might have a pleasant relationship but they are unlikely to be catalysts for each others growth.
When a person does something contrary to one’s nature or inherent goodness, there is an impulse to balance it with something natural and good. This is conscience, we say. But conscience is the voice of balance within the psyche. So, too, when a person does or expresses something in a positive or good way, there is an impulse toward the negative or dark side. Many people, because of their superficiality or ignorance, act on this impulse, manifesting it outwardly through negative behavior. The result of the negative behavior, which was considered acceptable because of rationalization when done, often leads to guilt or some self-recrimination, which then might lead to some positive choice or another negative act, depending on the consciousness of the individual.
The negative impulse, following positive expressions, has the purpose of making us aware of some inner negative within our subconscious that is wanting to surface in order to be resolved. Through this kind of awareness, there grows the ability to express increasingly the light, love and power that naturally exists within each of us. Through awareness we become empowered and we eventually realize that we have choice in every situation, that we can choose to respond or to react.
It is interesting to observe the principle that all energy follows the path of least resistance. Another principle of life is that tension always seeks resolution. Putting the two principles together we can say that tension always seeks resolution through the path of least resistance. Examples of this might be that ignorance seeks awareness through the experience of not knowing what is needed or desired in any given situation; fear seeks courage through the experience of feeling inadequate; fear seeks love through the experience of being separate or isolated.
Whenever we want to create something, make some changes or expand consciousness in some way, we need to create the appropriate tension that will bring the results (resolution) that we are looking for. The question we ask must be the right question related to our goal or direction. This means we must choose our words carefully.
The greatest tension for expanding consciousness and ‘creating soul’ is the tension of opposites between personality and soul, such as the simultaneous presence of fear (personality) and courage (soul). The fear prompts one to fight or flight, while the courage prompts one to stand up to what needs to be faced. These opposite urges naturally and strongly seek resolution so action can take place. Tension would cease if either of the opposites was repressed or avoided. Both must remain equally present in order for a transformation to occur.
A similar tension that is experienced quite often is the basic fear-love opposition. The soul’s nature is love which constantly seeks union, cooperation, and support with the other. The personality’s tendency, rooted in a sense of separateness and fear, seeks security, individuality, control and independence. While the personality dominates there is no tension. When the personality is passive or not active and soul seeks to inspire or express, there is also no tension. There needs to be active participation on both parts, soul and personality, to create tension.
When there is wounding, crisis or even inspiration, the soul often becomes active and creates a tension with the personality. This tension seeks resolution, which is not a suppression of either side of the tension, but a union of the two to create something greater. This results in a deeply authentic expression of one’s true nature.
If we want to keep a creative process moving along, we need to ask the questions and be open to the answers that do not stop the process. Every resolution must give rise to a new tension to keep a process moving. If you ask: “How should I do this?” and you answer: “I don’t know,” you have a resolution that does not create further tension. The process then stops. One answer that would create further tension might be, “I could be more open to …” You do not have to give a final or definitive answer to questions, but an answer that is honest or plausible, but which can give rise to another question.
This same process must be applied when seeking to become more authentic. Ask questions related to authenticity, and give answers that create new tensions to keep the process going further and further into the center of one’s being – to the transpersonal levels of life.
The most basic question to ask often regarding one’s authentic nature is: who am I? Obviously there is no definitive answer. But whenever we ask ourselves this question we must give ourselves an answer which can be questioned further. For every answer ask another question that takes you deeper into understanding and connection with your true self.