Bridges and walls

Human being’s inner dynamic is characterized by numerous contradictions. One of these contradictions resembles that of a ‘bridge ‘and a ‘wall’–that is, the inclination to expand and connect, and the proclivity to withdraw for self-preservation or protection.

At first, we seek to grow and develop and mature; we go out and socialize to expand our horizon; we pursue new and better things; we quest to extend our power and our circle of influence; we seek to upgrade our skills and to accumulate knowledge; we embark to conquer new places and to reach new heights; and we set out to look for life’s better comfort and highest pleasures.

Every human endeavor is, in other words, directed in “bridging” the gap between the present and the future; every effort is intended to “connect” the space that separates “what you are” from “what you will be”.

But against the backdrop of our natural inclination to bridge and connect and grow is the lingering threat of intrusion and subjugation and pain.

And so we go on to build fences to protect ourselves from the external threat. And everything that we achieved, we safeguard and maintain and defend even at the cost of our isolation. We imprison ourselves and shun other people just to feel secure and safe and free.

The thing is, we get the benefits of both worlds. As finite beings, it is our natural tendency to reach the limit of human possibilities and to preserve ourselves from obliteration. 

This is an incontrovertible nature of human life. We fail if we embrace the other and repel its opposite. And we succeed when we’re able to combine the best of these contradictory forces.

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