Confronting the Double Bind

Everyone experiences the double bind.  Have you ever had the feeling that regardless what decision you make you will be wrong?  You are in a situation where you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  Double binds abound in relationships where one is given conflicting messages (usually parental or mate.)  For example, a parent tells a child they love them while they coldly reject the child with their body language and conduct.  Or your mate creates situations where he or she expects you to know what they want without telling you and then withholds their love when you fail to provide it.  Double binds are all about control and you always end up wrong!  A Zen Buddhist tells his pupils, “If you say this stick is real, I will beat you.  If you say this stick is not real, I will beat you.”  One pupil resolved this double bind by grabbing the stick and breaking it into pieces.  The point is that your only way out of a double bind is to raise your level of consciousness or you will live in perpetual angst.  Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

Bill Harris said our greatest double bind is created by seeing the world as composed of good things and bad things.  We then become attached to as many good things as possible while resisting the bad things.  But our conduct of attachment, resistance and control creates endless suffering so we can’t win.  In reality, the good and the bad are two sides of the same coin.  One doesn’t exist without the other.  You cannot have light without darkness.  When you release clinging to the good and resisting the bad you open yourself up to flowing with life.  You become aware you are energy in constant interaction with other energy and not actually separate from anything else in the Universe.  You have a much greater ability to attract what you want in life when you are not struggling against the current.

You face another double bind after you become awakened and are on the path of spiritual growth.  You recognize that attachment is the source of suffering so you strive to be unattached.  But striving to be unattached is another attachment!  The answer is to raise your level of consciousness beyond the illusions of your mind.  Think of yourself as the awareness behind the movie playing in your mind rather than the movie itself.  You are the entire flow of energy so there is nothing separate from you.  Rumi said, “You are not a drop in the ocean.  You are the entire ocean in a drop.”


Life Coach – Dr. Dean R. McCormick