The Opposites and the Centre

Episode 346,   May 26, 10:17 AM

We make all kinds of separations inside ourselves and between ourselves and one another. “I’m like this, but not like that” we tell ourselves. But that division leaves us bereft of all kinds of possibility and freedom. Perhaps right when we’re feeling most serious, it’s time to reach for that in us which is playful and bring it right alongside. Or when we meet someone very different to us, it’s time to discover their many virtues and see what it is like to bring those virtues inside us, alongside the virtues we already claim as our own.

Hosted, as always, by Lizzie Winn and Justin Wise of Thirdspace.

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Turning Towards Life, a week-by-week conversation inviting us deeply into our lives, is a live 30 minute conversation hosted by Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn of Thirdspace.  Find us on FaceBook to watch live and join in the lively conversation on this episode. You can find videos of every episode, and more about the project on the Turning Towards Life website, and you can also watch and listen on Instagram, YouTube, and as a podcast on Apple, Google, Amazon Music and Spotify.

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The Opposites and the Center

As our personal universes expand, if we keep drawing ourselves into center again and again, everything seems to enhance everything else. It becomes unnecessary to choose which person to be as we open and close the same ball of clay. We will make pots for our English classes. Read poems to our pottery classes. Write on the clay, print from the clay. The activity seems to spring out of the same source: poem or pot, loaf of bread, letter to a friend, a morning's meditation, a walk in the woods, turning the compost pile, knitting a pair of shoes, weeping with pain, fainting with discouragement, burning with shame, trembling with indecision: what's the difference? ...

What I mean here [is that] it seems to me that one must be able to picture before oneself the opposite of what one has just declared, in order to keep alive the possibility of freedom, of mobility, of growth. As soon as we find ourselves spellbound by order and our ability to control our medium and our tools, to do exactly what we want, we must do the opposite as well. As soon as [we find ourselves working] with danger, and disrespect for the canons of taste, do the opposite. ...

Most of the separations we make need to be looked at very carefully: weakness and strength, sickness and health, not-knowing and knowing, play and seriousness... For example, we tend to think that strength is all-important, and yet we have a very shallow notion of what strength consists of. For unless our weaknesses play into our strengths we are not as supple as we should be... The natural rhythms of life seem to go by polarities which swing around this unmoving centre: the very rhythms of our breathing are the dialogue of inner and outer.

by the potter and writer M.C.Richards, from her book 'Centering'

Photo by Earl Wilcox on Unsplash