Ken Wilber Quotes (displaying: 1 - 10 of 10 quotes)
That all opposites—such as mass and energy, subject and object, life and death—are so much each other that they are perfectly inseparable, still strikes most of us as hard to believe. But this is only because we accept as real the boundary line between the opposites. It is, recall, the boundaries themselves which create the seeming existence of separate opposites. To put it plainly, to say that "ultimate reality is a unity of opposites" is actually to say that in ultimate reality there are no boundaries. Anywhere.
Anything which is just born, which has just come into existence, has no past behind it. Birth, in other words, is the condition of having no past. And likewise, anything which now dies, which has just ceased to be, has no future left in front of it. Death is the condition of having no future. But we have already seen that this present moment has both no past and no future simultaneously. That is, birth and death are one in this present moment. This moment is just now being born—you can never find a past to this present moment, you can never find something before it. Yet also, this moment is just now dying — you can never find a future to this moment, never find something after it. This present, then, is a coincidence of opposites, a unity of birth and death, being and non-being, living and dying. As Ippen put it, "Every moment is the last moment and every moment is a rebirth.
The simple fact is that we live in a world of conflict and opposites because we live in a world of boundaries. Since every boundary line is also a battle line, here is the human predicament: the firmer one’s boundaries, the more entrenched are one’s battles. The more I hold onto pleasure, the more I necessarily fear pain. The more I pursue goodness, the more I am obsessed with evil. The more I seek success, the more I must dread failure. The harder I cling to life, the more terrifying death becomes. The more I value anything, the more obsessed I become with its loss. Most of our problems, in other words, are problems of boundaries and the opposites they create.
Because the egoic mind has led us to feel separate from our immortal Ground of Being over the millennia, we have invented a number of immortality symbols to give us a precarious sense of security and identity in life. Traditionally, these have been religious in character, such as the belief in everlasting life after death, in the West, and the belief in reincarnation, in the East. However, today, it is money that provides the primary immortality symbol. It is our obsession for money that is driving humanity to extinction. For when we do not face our fears with full consciousness and intelligence, these fears will eventually come along to haunt us.
Because we demand a future, we live each moment in expectation and unfulfillment. We live each moment in passing. In just this way the real nunc stans, the timeless present, is reduced to the nunc fluens, the fleeting present, the passing present of a mere one or two seconds. We expect each moment to pass on to a future moment, for in this fashion we pretend to avoid death by always rushing toward an imagined future. We want to meet ourselves in the future. We don’t want just now—we want another now, and another, and another, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. And thus, paradoxically, our impoverished present is fleeting precisely because we demand that it end! We want it to end so that it can thereby pass on to yet another moment, a future moment, which will in turn live only to pass.