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Simon Peter Bartley

I am a passionate writer and photographer who currently works in the UK Health sector. I am working on writing projects in a number of areas, Children's literature, adult literature, screen and stage plays.

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04/13/2016 03:23pm
Duality - The internal struggle can we ever win?

What is duality? Duality in this context is the idea that there are two contrasting aspects working together to create something, in this instance the self. It seems that over much of time we have been programmed to fear duality and its inevitable conflicts, the fight between good and evil, the fight between light and dark, the fight between heaven and hell. But duality should not be something we fear it should be something we embrace.
There is a constant battle going on within us, for some imperceptibly, an internal monologue we are either in direct contact with or not. An internal monologue that tells us if something is right or if something is wrong, an internal monologue that tells us if we agree or disagree with something, an internal monologue that helps shape us on a daily basis. However throughout history we have been programmed to fear this internal monologue of destiny freely chosen for fear of divine retribution. From Dante where for example fortune tellers spend eternal damnation with their heads backward so they cannot see ahead because that is what they did in their lives to the concept of good and evil within us in the form of Jekyll and Hyde. Each providing more and more reinforcement that duality is nothing more than a fight between good and evil we should not engage with.
However duality is present in many cultures throughout history, from Native American mythology in the form of Spirit Guides to the Wiccan tradition where there is a God and Goddess which provide a dual partnership in ruling the universe. However monotheism became the predominant force in the moral guidance of the populous, the belief that there was one true God which negated that conflict between the two, and in creating this monotheism created a narrative of paternalism being the drive which would create a universe of harmony through believe in the “one true”. In many quarters the eternal feminism was erased from our histories, the Goddess’ were painted as the Harlot in the form of Mary Magdalen for example, or in the form of Eve and her temptation of Adam from the path of righteousness, or in the form of Delilah who took away the strength of her man by cutting away the locks of hair that provided his strength. So the idea of the duality of man and woman together providing the true path to eternal connection has been diminished over time.
So as I write this piece on Easter Day and watch the homily of the Pontiff live from Rome on television I find a conflict within me that is deep and everlasting. A conflict that has brought me into conflict with the faith in which I was raised with the hunger for science and explanation. I was brought up in a faith that is truly paternalistic and which does not accept the wonder of the feminine and how much good it carries within it, unless they are on a level below that of the man. It talks about respect for all and yet continues to spout a message in which the power and dignity of the feminine is forgotten. In a world where we understand that women are as important in the world as men and in which as a religion they have changed and developed and have changed ideas and policies over time interpreting the so called word of God in the form of the bible we are still in a world where the Church is unable to consider women for entry into the priesthood. In one of my favourite films about religion there is a scene where a Deacon explains that the churches position that a priest should be in the image of Christ should not be taken literally and that what could be more in the image of Christ than for a women to fight through a hostile crowd to wipe the face of Jesus on his walk to the cross and be spat at by a hostile male crowd, and to have him appear to a woman first on the day of his resurrection from death.
So to have an internal conflict is nothing to fear within us, for all two long the idea of a duel personality has been seen as something indicating evil, be that in the mainstream media when we hear news stories of someone with mental illness described as duel personality, or in film and television where the same message is given. Hearing voices, often giving messages of pure evil, for example the Yorkshire Ripper hearing voices telling him to kill what he believed were evil women who deserved to die.
I truly believe that within each of us there are two elements to us, you only have to look at our chromosomal make up to discover that each and every one of us is both man and woman, with DNA from both father and mother making us the whole person we are. And I believe there is no conflict in understanding that along with that basic make up we can take more from one side or the other. I know in my own life that if i compare the person I am to the person my sister is it is clear that I take more from our mother and she from our father. Do I have an issue taking more from the feminine, absolutely not, however it has taken me many years of internal conflict to become comfortable with the person I am, and who I should and need to be.
This brings me further to the idea of sexuality and duality and with the concept of transgender or gender bending or even androgyny. Much of the mainstream media and even the media purporting to support the LGBTQ community have a narrative that we need to think in binary ways which bring us down on one side the argument or another. Sadly however life is not that simple and sometimes we need to have some ambiguity in our lives which creates the true self. I have always since the death of my mother who was a very strong woman surrounded myself with very strong women, I have even asked questions of myself in relation to who I am that i still don't know all the answers to. So in a world where we are now free to try and express the person within how can we have a situation where we are still being bombarded with messages that make us question the duality of the person we are. Must we be one thing or another or can we truly be dual. Can we allow ourselves to be pigeon holed and labelled as one thing or another. Should we not fight to both find and bring out the duel within. I mean in history one could not have a duel without two, one cannot have the concept of Yin and Yang without two, one cannot have the idea of opposites attracting without two.

We are all happy to accept these anomalous concepts within our lives, Yin and Yang, opposites attracting and yet within ourselves within the eternal and beautiful human we are driven to constrict ourselves and not allow the beauty we hold to escape in whatever form is an inditement of how we have come to accept control. How we have come to accept the idea that we are not the masters of our own destiny and must follow the line like the good sheep that we are and not to fight against the oppression of our true spirit. Embrace the dual, embrace the person, embrace the spirit, embrace the you.


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