Weekly Food For Thought

Duality – A Marvelous Game

Have you ever thought about how one would represent a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional piece of paper? The first time we drew a cube or a rectangular prism on paper in a geometry class, it was pretty exciting to see how the slanted lines give the illusion of depth. But how would one draw a sphere, an object that has no edges? It is intriguing.  It seems impossible at first. This way or that, all we can draw is at best a circle! As it turns out, the only way to draw a sphere is by introducing the duality of light and shadow. The artist assumes a source of light on one side of the sphere. As light falls on the sphere, it casts a shadow on the other side of the sphere and on the surface, it is placed. All that can be shown & seen on paper is the duality of light and shadow. The object, the sphere, is to be deduced by the observer. The drawing on the paper is not the real thing. It is just the closest representation of the real object, the sphere.

Now imagine the incredible predicament of manifesting the formless, dimensionless, timeless, attribute-less reality of nothingness in a limited three-dimensional space-time continuum! What if the seemingly impossible is made possible only by the introduction of duality? What if the creation as we see it, including ourselves, is a play of light & shadow? Let us look at this more closely.

“This is me” and “that is the world” forms the basis of our experience of duality. This is the seer and that is the seen. And when we say ‘this’, we are usually referring to the body & mind entity. On little enquiry, it becomes clear that neither the seer (body/mind) nor the seen have any independent existence. The reality then, is not in the seer (me) or the seen (world). They become the conduits for showing that which cannot be seen. They are like the drawing on the paper. What is the reality that they try to bring forth? To reveal itself, one of the attributes that reality takes on is “awareness or knowingness” or the ability to know. This is termed as Chith. The light of awareness passes through the filter of the mind & projects the shadow or the image of the world that is seen. And awareness is not a separate object but the hidden content of both the seer and all that is seen. This game of duality, of light & shadow, of the seer & the seen is only to reveal the hidden awareness behind it.

So, when it is said, every object is the face of God/ creator/ source, every object is a reflection of the Divine, it is true! Whether it is a sphere or the Divine, the only way to show something that cannot be easily shown is by introducing some elements of creativity, some element of duality. What a marvelous game! A game of hide and seek! Seek and you shall find the sphere behind the drawing, the Divine behind the Duality.

1 thought on “Weekly Food For Thought”

1. shobhagovindan@yahoo.com says:

I thought of this from Nisargadatta Maharaj when I read this week’s beautiful Food for Thought. Thank you for posting it.
““Exactly as a shadow appears as light is intercepted by the body, so does the person arise when pure self-awareness is obstructed by the “I am the body” idea. When there is self-identification with an object, caused by desire or fear, such a state is called a person. In reality there is only one state; when distorted by self-identification it is called a person, when colored with the sense of being, it is the witness; when colorless and limitless, it is called the Supreme. It is like washing printed cloth. First the design fades, then the background and, in the end, the cloth is plain white. The personality gives place to the witness, then the witness goes and pure awareness remains. The cloth was white in the beginning and is white in the end; the patterns and colors just happened – for a time.”