The dualism of reaction
All forces in the universe occur in pairs. This from Sir Issac Newton's third law of motion. As one object exerts a force on another, the second object reacts by exerting an equal and opposite force on the first. True for planets, billiard balls, and people.
When someone does or says something unkind toward us, or otherwise diminishes us in some way, how does it feel? Our reaction generally follow's Newton's principle. We may not respond in the same malicious manner, but certainly in thought.
It's a dualistic universe. Everything is paired.
Subject and object. Love and hate. Joy and sorrow. Feast and famine. Good and evil. Rich and poor. Up and down. You and me. Life and Death. Cause and effect.
Duality reins supreme on our polarizing orb of opposites.
Action and reaction.
Every action is a reaction from some other action that is itself a reaction. It's all reaction.
In every moment, we are literally re-acting. Acting, again.
The script is already written, as we learn in A Course in Miracles. We are mentally re-playing what has already gone by. Which, if we step back and think about it, begs the question as to why we react so strongly to occurrences. If at all.
Two reasons. One, we don’t really believe we are merely actors. And, we think our reactions will make a difference.
But do they?
Experience alone has often taught us re-acting accomplishes nothing. Little more than a stage performance for an unwitting audience. Or, as the course decidedly describes:
[Reactions] are perceptual temper tantrums, in which you literally scream, “I want it thus!” (T-18.II.4)
I want it thus!
But there is another way of living in the world, without re-acting. Newton’s un-postulated “4th law”. Being. Which has no opposite. An experience like no other where exquisite peace permeates each encounter.
No acting. No re-acting. No sorrow. Just an immersion into infinite serenity, the true joy of is-ness.
Join me in Thursday’s class where we’ll explore our habituated manner of reacting to situations. And we’ll learn practices for transcending the pain. I look forward to seeing you then.