I acknowledge this picture of Shiva in his duality as Ardhanareeswara, from the Net.
in this 38th dharana verse of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra, Shiva says:
Think of two things, look amidst
Meditate on the gap
Realize the essence of Shiva
Shiva plays another trick on our mind. He knows that tricking is the only way to subjugate the mind. By refusing , following or ignoring, we cannot move the mind aside. We need to replace one frame with another, the new frame that brings in an insight or awareness. Then the mind wakes up; in fact it stills.
Here Shiva uses duality as the trick. Shiva himself epitomizes duality. Action and stillness converge in him, as prakriti and purusha. Devi, the creator, forms part of him, mirroring his stillness. As a result of his duality, everything in this universe reflects duality. Shankara calls this maya.
Nothing stays true as it seems. In psychology, we call it mind maps. We perceive and interpret events, situations, and people, as we wish them to be, based on our past conditioning. With seven billion people on this earth, at any time, seven billion perceptions exist. All seem real.
Most perceptions reflect duality. We see good or bad, right or wrong, pain or pleasure, success or failure. Krishna in Gita says that the yogi, the evolved, looks at these dualities and treats them the same. Equanimity or samatva leads to non-duality or advaita.
Shiva goes a step further and tells us how to transcend duality. Look at both, he says, and then, look in between. You then see what you don’t see.
At the physical level, you can squint your eyes and look through the third eye. You will perceive suddenly a new frame. You may have seen this with 3D pictures with hidden objects that come alive when you squint and look beyond. Shiva’s technique comes in play here.
At the mental level and energy level, look between and beyond what you see as good or had, success or failure. To many of us, failure has opened new vistas that led to great success. Many times, what seems bad or wrong, upon reflection, turned out good and right. Disengagement from the duality leads to awareness.
Buddha calls this the middle path. Christ said: cast that stone, if you are without sin.
Duality inspires passion. Many call it courage of conviction. Conviction of what? If others feel differently, don’t they have convictions too? Through the millennia, duality has led to destruction. Whether the Mahabharata or the Crusades, duality caused genocide.
The wise look in the middle and beyond. The middle transcend conflict. It creates harmony, not from slavish acceptance, but from energetic insight.
With guidance from the Master, the Ardhanareeswara, man woman of creation, move on this middle path and evolve.