Shahriar Shahriari

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Message of the Month

May, 2004

The Third Option

"Shall we go to a movie or just stay here and watch a video?" "Shall we go on a trip this holiday or just stay home?" "Do you want to take this job or that?" "Do you love me or not?"

These are some of the typical questions that we keep asking others, or worse, ask ourselves.

We believe that the nature of our physical and moral world is dualistic, and indeed it is. We have light and dark, day and night, hot and cold, truth and deceit and so on.

And perhaps because of this, we have limited our perspective to asking questions in a dualistic fashion. We limit our choices to yes or no, this or that, something or its opposite.

It is true that the nature of our world is fundamentally dualistic. But it is because of this duality that we get the multitude of resultant manifestations. Because there is light and dark, we also get dim, and bright. Because there is day and night, we also get dawn and dusk and mid-day and midnight. Because there is truth and deceit, we also get the white lie, and the forgotten truth, as well as genuine errors.

Not only that, because there is light and dark, we also get the multitude of colors and shades. And because there is truth and deceit, we also get the variation in clarity, and difference in perception and perspective.

But to limit our choices to either this or that, is an admission of the worst kind. It is an admission of lack of creativity, or worse yet, it is an admission of unwillingness to find a third option.

Perhaps in the multiplicity made possible by the fundamental duality of our world, if we were simply a little more willing to exert ourselves to see a third perspective, and stretch our imagination and creativity to come up with a third option, instead of choosing between a movie or video, we could also consider theater, or a stand-up comedy. Perhaps then, our choices would not be limited to a trip for a holiday or just staying home. Perhaps it would include intentionally getting together with family and friends, or visiting the many places of our home town that all the tourists have visited but we have not found the time to, yet.

Perhaps our careers would not be limited to this job or that, and it would also include starting our own business, or becoming a partner with somebody else, or even taking a sabbatical to spend some time on something we have been postponing for a while.

And perhaps we could see beyond loving me or not. Perhaps we would also see the limitlessness of love, and be able to embrace others in our circle of love, as well as be included in many others’ circle of love, all at the same time.

© Shahriar Shahriari
Los Angeles, CA
May 2004

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