Playing with the law of opposites

Posted on Aug 26, 2010 in Spiritual living

I am currently playing Olivia in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and was commenting to another member of the cast after the last performance what stark contrasts there are within the plot: we are shown the very heights of human capability in love, generosity and service at one end of the spectrum and the very depths of it in mean-ness, selfishness and cruelty at the other. So one minute the audience is captivated by Olivia and Viola expressing love with eloquent rapture, and the next they are laughing (perhaps a little guiltily) at the ruthless and systematic humiliation of the pompous Malvolio. We even have the ultimate opposites in the male/female twins of Sebastian and Viola.

It set me thinking about the whole theme of opposites. Twelfth Night is a wonderful dramatic representation of the universal law of polarity (or opposites) which states that nothing can exist without its opposite. So in the play, just as in everyday life, we see both passion and control, hate and love, chaos and order, truth and deception, madness and sanity, stasis and massive change unfolding in equal measures.

On a personal level I could experience this perfectly well through the character of Olivia, who at the beginning of the play has shut herself away from the world of “feeling” because of her grief, but is catapulted into feeling more than she had ever thought possible with the sudden arrival of Cesario. It is absolutely clear to see how we hold the potential for the extremes of both poles within us, and it is only our intention and attitude that decides which one of those opposites will have the upper hand at any one time.

It is very important and helpful to remember this when we are feeling down or going through a particularly hard time, because we can remind ourselves then of this law of opposites. We can say, “well if I’m feeling bad then I know I also have the potential to feel good about something, so I’ll focus on feeling good instead”, or “if I’m struggling at the moment with a difficult situation then I know I must be approaching a fantastic situation where life will flow easily”.  Immediately we are lifting the energy and moving towards the opposite and more desirable polarity. In fact, we are acknowledging that to recognise when we have what we want we first need to experience that which we don’t want, otherwise how would we know the difference? In this way, we see that the negative contains within it the beginnings of the positive.

I am really enjoying applying my spirituality to my dramatic experiences, and seeing more and more how life on this planet is just like a giant cosmic play! As the character Fabian puts it in one scene,

“If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction”!

I am touring mid Wales with the Living Willow Community Company production of Twelfth Night through the Autumn, so if you’d like to come and see us check out the dates here:

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Semele Xerri

© Semele Xerri is a psychic intuitive guide, healer, animal communicator, and Reiki Master Teacher. To find out more about her and her services, go to her Work with me page.

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