The Split: A Universal Human Experience
It is so easy for the mind to get split, hearkening back to the days of Sesame Street when an apple and a banana bounced across the screen with the ditty “one of these things is not like the other, one of these things is just not the same.” In school we used to divide people up, remember? The hoods from the preppies, the theatre crowd from the jocks. Whether it is Shakespeare’s Montagues vs. Capulets or Sondheim’s Sharks vs Jets, the split provides scenes of great angst. Hindus versus Muslims, Shiites v. Sunis, Protestants v. Catholics, Road Runner versus Wile E. Coyote. Dr. Seuss nailed it when he pitted the Star Belly Sneetches against the Sneetches without stars.
Rifts today feel deeper and more alienating than ever striking right at the heart of our humanity with pro-lifers going nose to nose with abortion advocates and Russia in the East at war with Ukraine and the West. Even gender identity is halved in two these days as people insist that boys be boys and girls be girls. Yoga of course is designed to reconcile split-mindedness, to see the falsity in division, and to realize the union of opposites.
The Gap: A Place of Reconciliation
How to heal such rifts? Go back to the place before perception and thought split off from the vast, unbiased plenum of awareness. Spend time in the indivisible, the totality. Soak into that which is whole and entire and let it teach you. And when your mind splinters, go to the gap – the gap between breaths, the gap between thoughts, the bright spaciousness between night and day. Come to know the knower who knows nothing of our one-sided shenanigans.