Frequently I find myself battling with duality.
I know that a “perfect world” is practically impossible, but I keep seeking Utopia. It seems the answers to all of our problems should be relatively simple– the real complication is human imperfection, but most commonly: greed.
I’ve spent a large portion of my life complaining about why things aren’t as good as they could be. It always seems so simple. Why are there homeless people in North America? Why are there hungry kids in Africa? Why do people kill for diamonds? Why, why, why?
Asking “why” isn’t very productive; society at large would have us believe that it’s not at all productive: “Don’t ask why! Just accept it and move on!”
Yet that creates a problem: if we don’t ask why, we don’t uncover the source of the issue. If we don’t know the source, how can we solve it? How can we make a better world?
The Taoists believe that we should accept our reality as it is, without judgment, and let that be. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that, but that’s the jist of what I’ve learned about them (so far).
Plato, on the other hand, talked about the “forms”. The “form” of something, was it’s ideal existence. Without having a “form” (a model) to guide us, how can we know what to strive for? We could toil all the days of our lives toward an end, but if it’s not the best we could have done, what was the point?
I subscribe more to Plato’s ideals, but that’s where I come back to duality: they seem to conflict, yet both are true. We must accept the world around us as it is– not judging, or pining over how it could be— and yet, at the same time, we must strive to make it better. How do we make it better if we really accept it? How can we say we’ve accepted it, if we’re trying to make it better?
This is my struggle. Any insights?