A-Z Blog Challenge O: Opposites & Change & a bit of Oscar


We’re probably on the Okavango as I write this pre-scheduled post – an out of the ordinary adventure – (there’s no wi-fi access so I’m unable to respond to any comments or to your posts at this time).

‘All opposites are of God, therefore man must bend to this burden; and in so doing he finds that God in his ‘oppositeness’ has taken possession of him, incarnated in him. He becomes a vessel filled with divine conflict.’

C.G. Jung: CW 11 par. 659

Top-bottom, above-below, light-dark, visible-invisible, pain-joy, light-heavy, black-white, growth-decay, life-death, spirit-matter, optimist-pessimist, sacred-profane, agony-ecstasy, masculine-feminine, sinner-saint, alpha-omega, as high so low, as above so below …

I know that I contain those opposites within me, and that they pull me in different directions much of the time. But I know that they are related to each other. It is the human condition, this wavering between the polarities which are both without – and within. Always in process of change if not utterly fixed. 

Life asks much of us. Very often we find ourselves at one extreme or the other of those opposites. I know that if I SIT in the sometimes darkness of them and make a conscious decision not to jump out of the fire (my more impulsive inclination) and permit the smouldering, something else will emerge. No longer will I be at that fixed and extreme distinct pole or polarity but there will be a movement of each to the other in recognition of acknowledgement; and from that the wheel will turn and there may be light however long it takes. Not that it ever seems like it at the time. But it is essential for me not to stay fixed with the familiar in my attempt to avoid conflict.

We are called upon to hold the tension of the opposites and carry that cross until a re-conciling third appears.

Oscar Wilde wrote ‘De Profundis’ (while imprisoned in His Majesty’s Prison at Reading) a long letter to Bosie. Truly, my heart opens at his words. I’m randomly selecting a few  excerpts –

‘The supreme vice is shallowness. Whatever is realised is right’.

‘Tired of being on the heights, I deliberately went to the depths in the search for new sensation. What the paradox was for me in the sphere of thought, perversity became to me in the sphere of passion. Desire, at the end, was a malady, or a madness, or both. I grew careless of the lives of others … I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character, and that therefore what one has done in the secret chamber one has some day to cry aloud on the house tops. … I was no longer the captain of my soul, and did not know it. I allowed pleasure to dominate me. I ended in horrible disgrace. There is only one thing for me now, absolute humility.’

‘Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground. Someday people will realise what that means.’

Of Jesus Christ he writes:  ‘His justice is all poetical justice, exactly what justice should be.’


25 Comments on O: Opposites and Change and a bit of Oscar

  1. I’m strung on the opposites which isn’t unusual, especially when dealing with the dying process of someone who lives 8 hours away. I was just there for five days. I’m going again in a few days. Or should I go today? Nothing like death to make it clear that we must hold the tension of the supreme opposites of life/death and learn that we are not in charge.

  2. Hi Susan – you must be having the time of your life – utter peaceful bliss … I so love the Okavango – number one place to visit …

    So much change … so often we need to take ourselves away into ourselves – out of the ‘normal life’ with others around .. not always easy – interruptions can prevail .. and we need to remember to do the important things for us and not for others …

    Have fun on the waters of the Delta … Hilary

    • Thanks Hilary, out of ourselves in order to be in ourselves … pretty graphic! And true! We’re back as of last night – people coming for tea in a moment ..

  3. Oh, Oscar Wilde. Thank you, Susan. You know, he came and visited me on my blog once a few years ago. He polished and restored my soapbox for me.

    Meanwhile, good point — I need to explore where my inner polarities meet.

    Happy travels!

      • http://thescheherazadechronicles.org/?p=2525. I think this link will get you to my Oscar Wilde post, Susan. You read it and you and T.J. gave me such kind and wise comments. There is a soundtrack with it, but my player is really messed up, so you have to scroll until you find it — Borodin’s second symphony, the andante movement. I am glad you asked, because your comments and Hilary’s here on one of your posts about getting outside oneself to get it — all have made me see how far away from myself I have gotten and that I must get back. Thank you. What a true friend you are.

  4. It’s Monday after a long weekend, so while I wanted to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed, obligation and responsibilities called, so here I am in this world of opposites, slowly accepting it and even enjoying it.
    Certainly enjoyed reading your wonderful post, Susan.

  5. I Have my students do an ‘opposites’ picture, a yin and yang. They use a full-body picture of themself and add a shadow that is their ‘opposite’ or their view of themselves. The most famous one I’ve seen is the old bent man with the shadow of a warrior.

    Love this article.

  6. Oh my goddess! The striking tree image above and your wonderful words Susan blend perfectly! This is a truly exciting post, if ever there was one … for me, it strikes such a deep chord within, beyond language.

    Great quotations! I feel I could spend the rest of my life exploring the tension of the opposites within. I feel gently nudged to recall Jung’s psychological rule today.

    I hope you’re having a lovely trip, no worries about replying, enjoy your hols! Am loving your whole ‘Change’ series, excellent and thought-provoking. Blessings, Deborah.

    • Thank you dear Deborah! I know from my phone that you put up a post which couldn’t download while away. I’ll be catching up soon I hope.

  7. Yes, the pain and growth of duality. My head hurts as I write this but still the sun on the shrinking snow still shines beautifully. To accept that there is no life without death, no compassion without suffering, no flower without the bee! Thanks as always dear Susan – I love your posts.

    • Thank you Jan for coming by – and for your very kind words. I am hoping to swing by yours soon – we’re back from Botswana as of last night, and while I’m home, I’m still there – actually that makes MY head hurt – 🙂

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