When we live by absolutes, we are blinded by them

words & photo by Brian Thompson.

We are a people of preferences. No matter what we see, hear, taste, touch, or think, we’re always making distinctions between everything within our field of awareness.

We’re always distinguishing between this, that, or the other thing. We distinguish between good or bad, right or wrong, and what we should or shouldn’t do. We’re always comparing one thing to the next, subconsciously picking favourites along the way. But it is this habit of making distinctions between things that separates us from seeing their essential truth.

When we live by absolutes, we are blinded by them.

When we choose one thing over another, we become entangled in creations of mind — objects of thought — rather than seeing the essential nature of the oneness of the truth. As soon as we make any preference whatsoever, an opinion is formed — it is this bias that obscures us from seeing the true nature of things — especially that of our true Self.

No thing is finite. No thing can be bound by mere words of distinction or feelings of preference. As soon as we declare something as being absolutely right, it becomes wrong. This is why staunch fundamentalism of any sort soon becomes the very thing it stands against. Priests become pedophiles. Cops become crooks. Heroes become villains. Firm idealism spoils any good it genuinely hopes to imbue. The truth cannot be divided in two — there is only oneness.

As soon as we say that there is only one way to do something, we limit our potential to find another way. Everything contains an equal piece of its apparent opposite, plus everything in between. In such a way, all things are relative to the things in which they're being compared against.

The only absolute is that all things are one.

There is a saying of non-duality in Zen that states, “Not one, not two”. This is a simple reminder that the essential nature of everything is found in the unity of our thought-objects, not in their distinction or separation. There is only oneness. An apple is neither sweet, nor sour — it just Is. You are neither happy, nor sad. You just Are. This is the Isness of everything. Everything just is as it is.

The truth is always found in the middle, where all of our concepts revolve around.

When we free ourself from our habit of discriminating and distinguishing, the truth reveals itself, no longer obscured by the half-truths and false perceptions of our thinking mind. When we choose the middle way and seek no preference, our inner peace will no longer be torn in two.