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Published June, 2024

Eros and Ambivalence

When the rational mind is in charge, we consider ourselves successful when we corral reality over to one side and make a clear determination of whether that reality is black or white, good or bad. This is not true with Eros. The signifier of life in Eros is the charge we experience, and for a charge to exist there must be ambivalence. We must have both lust and disgust, attraction and repulsion, desire and anxiety, because these poles travel together. The charge we experience is our opening to the fact that both poles are concurrently inside us. Investing time and effort, we attempt to split the poles, and in the process end up splitting ourselves. We try to have only love and passion, only to discover that with time, dullness and hate appear.

OM's Invitation

The practice of OM invites us to live in a reality where resolution can be achieved without exclusion of either pole. Resolution cannot arise from the security we experience when one of the poles is dead; it arises only when its complementary pole is present. OM invites us to grow enough to simultaneously encompass both poles. It can feel uncomfortable to want and not want at the same time, or to feel both the heat and the cold that accompany a stroke. It can feel uncomfortable to want to pull in more sensation and to push the finger away, and then to open so that a third occurrence can happen. This third occurrence, which happens when we are able to hold a state of ambivalence, is always something new, something we have never known. The challenge now is that the poles are that much more powerful, so the attraction/repulsion factor is that much greater, and we have to expand that much more.

The Charge of OM

A charge inhabits our bodies. This is what makes us swell, and if it is not there, we are indifferent. Indifference is the purview of the rational mind, unless we find a way to eroticize indifference by adding in a counterpart pole to bring it alive. We will feel a warmth, along with a soft feeling of kindness and love. An intimacy with life begins to arise between the two. Erotic ambivalence is the food of an Erotic life. In OM, we are either expanding our ability to contain opposites or, if we find single poles, searching for their complement.

Beyond Singular Good

Good, as it turns out, is not good enough. We need to add in the richness and complexity of the bad. We can do the same with the beautiful, the imperfect, and the ugly. Countering poles add the charge that stirs and evokes sensation. We don’t play the instrument of our body in order to soothe ourselves and go to sleep. We play the instrument to awaken and sharpen the senses, to stir the depths of feeling wherein lies knowing, and, ultimately, to tap into the sublime.

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