Positive. Negative. Community.

     I was stuck for a topic this week, despite the many pages of notes I have gathered about the Number Eight, which will be omnipresent throughout 2015. “How about the fact that there are no absolutes?” suggested my muse: “That positive contains negative and vice versa. A bad event has a core of good.”
     It is a theme of the unity of all things: a philosophy which is expanding among people in many places. We are reaching a time of social maturity when we realize that the world is a place fully coloured in rainbows, not merely in black and white. We can see that in this three-dimensional physical world a body – and the systems which support the life of that body – exist between the head and the tail and cannot be discounted.
     Human Life is not lived at an extreme: we have colonized moderation where we can benefit from the balance between left and right; day and night; rise and fall; short and tall. In this continuum there are no absolutes, only relative positions.
     Many of us have been taught that life is good and happy, and death is bad and scary, yet the two are simply parts of the same cycle. We treasure the fragile gift which is life exactly because we are aware of the inevitability of death. How unchallenging and unimportant each day would be, if our future-in-human-form reached into forever. Where would go drive and the need to share? and the desire to love? to experience and come into the fullness of authentic expression?
     The omnipresence of death illuminates how tenuous and precious is life. There is not negative when life ceases, only an unknowable transition.
     Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is credited with saying “Only in the darkness can you see the stars” which reminds us that the darkness carries gifts that the light cannot. Neither is positive, neither is negative: there are no absolutes. Dr. King’s is a concept which has been reiterated throughout history. Aristotle is recorded to have said “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” Walt Whitman wrote “Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.” Ralph Waldo Emerson said “When it is darkest, men see the stars.”
     A David Kingham quote suggests that “Stars can’t shine without darkness,” and Richard Evans asserts that “It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars.”
     The physical universe is a place of balance, where opposites reflect and complement each other, where the extremes enhance moderation, and where darkness contains its so-called opposite, light.
     Aesop wrote “Every truth has two sides; it is as well to look at both, before we commit ourselves to either” and it is clear that examination lets us find the unity within the two sides.
     The plumber is surely pleased enough when called to unclog my drain; the glazier benefits from my broken window; mechanics and repair staff in all industries remain employed because the very nature of drains and windows and gardens and factories will ensure that service cannot be eliminated.
     It is a measure of our connexion to the wholeness of society that we learn to accept -- and celebrate – the ways in which our personal ‘negatives’ not only fall short of absolutely negativity, they actually enclose positive energies.
     When we stop resisting, and release any teachings about ‘us’ and ‘them’ we can stop feeling put upon and confronted. Human Life is a group activity: we live best as we embrace community at every level. Removing my fallen tree lets the arborist feed his children – who are perhaps taught by my neighbour, who purchases products from your shop, and then you buy firewood from the arborist. Daily interconnections in our communities are reinforced by each every activity.
     As we each see our part as a small player in a grand production, we also come to understand our vital importance as individuals.
     We are not absolutely in control of all things, and we are never absolutely small and powerless. We are both and we are neither.
     That is a truth we can carry into every decision we make, every purchase on which we spend, the level of respect we carry into every conversation we hold.
     There is not negative or positive. It is, quite simply, what it is.

     Jo Leath has been supporting clients through change and growth since the 1980s.
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