Beautiful works of art have been created by choosing separation.
In fact, we have created a whole culture of separation in which we treasure not the allowance of our whole being, but “the tear that hangs inside our soul forever,” as Jeff Buckley sang so beautifully in his song "Lover, You Should Have Come Over," describing that feeling of loss and longing.
Treasuring that feeling is who we are. That is who we chose to become as a collective. That is how we chose to grow and evolve. That is how we decided to expand our consciousness.
Let’s have a look at some beautiful expressions of separation.
Who doesn’t know the iconic film “Casablanca” with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman?
It is a celebration of aesthetics—of feeling, of grace, of passion, of loss. The movie truly is the epitome of celebrating the loss of love.
Love that cannot be attained. The moment you realize it, you lose it again. You have to sacrifice it and trade it for freedom to live a little longer.
We sacrifice love and we celebrate the feeling of it, the beauty of that creation. The beauty of what we create with that feeling. Isn’t that paradoxical?
“The reasonable one is one who is not led by their emotions but by sensible thought and judgement” is the main program we choose to adhere to.
Another beautiful creative expression of separation is the book “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera, where Tomas, the protagonist, finds himself in the struggle between love and desire, not knowing where his desires come from.
There is a moment in which Tereza rings his doorbell. In her hand, she is holding a book: “Anna Karenina” by Tolstoy. The film adds to the scene a second symbol of separation: the eating of the apple.
The moment Tereza bites the apple, the duality is born within Tomas and the polarities within him get activated. It is not so much a description of her but more so it is a description of how he sees her.
Anyone who has read this book by Tolstoy knows their love ends with tragedy and loss. The love to be found is the love to be lost, which ends in a life to be lost.
The other woman, Sabina, on the other hand, signifies the desire within. Both women are, in that sense, a reflection of him, of his struggle with duality.
In duality, there is a lot of back and forth. Not real movement forward. There is only movement forward when you make a choice to move in a direction. He doesn’t choose. What should he choose? Love or desire? He has been conditioned to believe that love does not lead to happiness. And he has been conditioned to believe that desire does not lead to happiness, only short-term fulfillment.
There is always the choice, lurking and lingering. But what choice?
It’s not the choice between two people, choosing one over the other. It’s the choice of balancing out the polarities within. You can only do that when you let go of the conditioning and move beyond the duality, beyond the separation, through love.
There are two ways to desire:
You can desire from the sense of separateness, a separate self, to seek union to lose that sense of separation, albeit temporarily. And you can also desire from the fullness of being as one of the most potent ways of expressing that absence of separation with another. The first creates a temporary path of experience. The latter realizes it is a shared being and moves and acts from that feeling of integrity.1
When Tomas finally understands where his desires come from and experiences that expanding feeling of love, unity, and oneness, it’s just one perfect moment: all aspects within him, as part of a whole, are in the light, united.
Having found that unity, love, and oneness within his own being, on their way back home from dancing, Tomas and Tereza both lose their life in a car accident.
A happy ending would have made it easier to understand the lesson of polarity and duality.
“Happy endings do not exist” is what we often hear and believe to be true as well. Happy endings do not sell, but the craving for it does.
A happy ending is what we crave. The brain craves it and the soul craves it.
That light of possibility is what is on the horizon of a wished experience. That light on the horizon that is projected from that light within. That light that shines on our theater screens as the experience we choose for ourselves at that given moment in time.
That light within never wanders. That light never dims. That light is never heavy. That light is never turned off. And still, we choose all these experiences, every time, again and again, and we call it culture.
I received my copy of “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” from a good friend on my 19th birthday. And now, thirty years later, I have finally understood the deeper meaning of the lightness of being, having found that feeling of desiring from the fullness of my being.
The author, Kundera, was searching for it. Was he? He did not find it. Kundera reveled in the feeling of separation and what you can create with it. He romanticized it, dwelled in it.
In the book, Kundera ended up exactly there where he started: in duality, from the sense of separateness, with a fear of union still lingering, symbolized in the beds that, at the end of the story, are almost connected but still separated.
Fear of union is seated in the mind, as all fears arise from the mind, whereas union itself is seated in your inner being, nowhere else, and it arises from the heart, from that fullness of being.
That union, that connection, within is a feeling and not a rational decision alone. Choice needs to be informed but the feeling is the secret.
That feeling of desiring from the fullness of being is a very strong energy within. It lights up your whole being because you are in connection with your inner being, your soul, at that moment. That feeling is the lightness of being.
In that space of light and strength within, feelings of loss, longing, pain, fear, vulnerability, uncertainty, and hope are non-existent. They all dissolve when in that space of light and strength.
Hope resides in the mind. When you have totally lost that connection within, you will need hope as a way to find your way back to your inner source.
Consciously choosing this feeling, feeling it, knowing how it feels, knowing how to find that feeling within is when you change your path from one of unfulfilled desires to a path of burning desire. It is not the end of life.
I did see that light, but I did not die. And I am still seeing more of that light, more and more within as without. It is the end of your duality and the beginning of a whole new chapter of experiences to be had and to paint with it.
So, what happened to humanity to unconsciously celebrate the sacrifice, the loss of love? Feeling almost addicted to it. That is something we, as a collective, should ponder.
How can we believe to lose something so significant? And how can we believe that these emotions of separateness, the sacrifice of love, is what makes us human?
Realizing the full potential of being human is recognizing and celebrating that love within. Seeing it as the strength it is. The strength to create from. Not to see it as a weakness or a weak state of being. That when you have it, when you have found it, you will lose it again.
Thoughts are transient. Love is not. The love within is always there and always has been. It’s not something to be found outside.
Love literally means ‘without death,’ from ‘a-mors.’ ‘Love is that which is eternal and infinite, that which never stops and is constant.’
It is that part of infinity, or God, that is within each being to tap into it, changeless and unaltered. So, it’s not transient and it is not something that can be lost.
Only if you believe it is to be found in something else or someone else, that experience with that something or someone is not eternal, is not changeless.
The love that you carry within, a love that is changeless, can be shared with someone, but the other person is not the love you are searching for.
The person you choose as your best choice is someone who brings you closer to that source and connection within, always closer.
That person, that best choice, is someone who knows you can find it within your own being but that you have chosen to be together, to grow as a being, to have experiences, to have understanding from it and to become wise.
1 Sexual desire and non-dualism, Rupert Spira.