If I want to love, I must first be indifferent. If I want
joy, I must first feel depression. If I want peace I must first desire chaos.
If I want freedom I must first be locked in chains. If I want harmony I must
first dive into dissonance. If I want camaraderie I must first make adversaries.
If I want health I must first be joyful sick. If I want power I must first be
weak. And, if I want truth, I must first live in falsehood.
In this physical reality, these things do not exist without their opposites. It is not contrast in itself that we seek, but rather the appreciation that arises from that contrast.
If you could attain purity for a day, would you take it? My suspicion is that you would not, unless it was to appreciate the contrast between pure and mixed living.
Seek the teachers, for they are there. They have always been here; they are simply waiting for you to see them.
Are you ready? The universe always has been. For you it has always been right where it needs to be, and always it shall be so. The place you're in now will get you to the place you want to be. In fact, they are one and the same. You cannot have one without the other.
Time and Decision-Making
Your world is right in front of you. It also lies both far beyond and behind you. Learning from and appreciating the world around you at this moment is of utmost importance. At the same time you do that you must, every now and then, look ahead to the world you desire. From this you may more easily find what you must learn in your present world, for the future world provides direction for you to follow.
As for the world behind you, seeing where you have been can give rise to immense appreciation of your present world. You might also pull some things from that past world which you have not been using in this one. There is only so much which can exist in the present, yet what is needed from the world of the past comes with you.
Past, present, and future are really inextricable from one another-- this is so in a moment we call now. This is why we perceive our reality to be so consistent. It isn’t choppy at all; the transition from one moment to the next is very smooth.
However, past, present, and future are not weighted equally in the construction of your reality; what matters most is right now. Whatever you do in the world around you is within your decision space—that is, your range of possible decisions, based on what you know and what you are capable of.
You don’t have to act with past-consistency at all if you don’t want to, though some degree of this is nearly inevitable. You need not feel disdain for your work today simply because you did yesterday. Even if the physical content of the world in front of you is similar to that of the world behind you, the perceptual content may be totally different; this, of course, is what really matters. You have more control over the perceptual content anyway. What you perceive is just about all up to you.
Go into your decision space and see what different angles you can start from. Tilting a shape just so may make the difference between an average piece and a masterpiece. Play around, and see what you come up with. You never know (until you try!).