A significant shift occurs after we integrate the internal and external worlds: we move beyond polarity and duality and learn to see both worlds at once. We contain this paradox and are able to see the many options available to us. This more accepting and expansive way of thinking increases our tolerance for ambiguity, which is a function of wisdom. The ability to move beyond black or white, good or evil, helpful or harmful, signals wisdom’s presence. Although wisdom can be expressed at any age, it is less than becoming if we are not able to develop it in our later years and provide a consistent model for younger people. Our work in the second half of life demands that we neither be entrenched in the polarities of our daily experiences nor be rigid, harsh, or unforgiving in our approach. We are stretched to shift our perspective and our actions from the dualism of either/or to holding the paradox of both/and. This allows something greater and more creative to emerge. Wisdom always looks for the most elegant solution, the one that will create a genuine win-win and serve the greater good of the majority of people. If we can embrace the meanings and experiences in both our internal and external worlds, melding the sacred and profane, we will be rigorously challenged to transform opposition into paradox. The essential task is to allow all sides of an issue, or pairs of opposites, to exist in equal dignity and worth until their hidden unity is revealed. This is our initiation into the embodiment of wisdom, the entry point into authentic spiritual maturation and personal transformation…….Angeles Arrien
it cannot be that you and I and the light of this world work without congruence or the harmony of respect…maybe we breathe easier in the dawn of dark and the dark of beauty……transcendence comes naturally without the pretense that misguides ….
You’ve been living for this for weeks
without knowing it:
the moment the house empties like a city in August
it forgets you exist.
Light withdraws slowly
is almost gone before you notice.
In the stillness, everything becomes itself:
the circle of white plates on the kitchen table
the serious chairs that attend them
even the roses on the papered walls
seem to open a little wider.
It looks simple: the glass vase holding
whatever is offered—
cut flowers, or the thought of them—
simple, though not easy
this waiting without hunger in the near dark
for what you may be about to receive.
With open palms,
I walk into the fire of life.
The soul needs no shelter from the sun.
I remember that everything is a part of me.