Let me first make it clear that I love twins! My dad was one, although his brother died at childbirth. So I’ve a soft spot for them, these little reflections of creativity. In today’s post I wish to look at the rivalry that stalks us in our search for peace, attempting to shed a little more light on its origins.
Someone once said that we usually hate the folk who remind us of ourselves. Sounding ridiculous at first there may be a little more truth in the statement than first meets our eyes.
Let’s start with desire!
Desire is the psycho-spiritual fuel that propels us towards having something or someone. Where does it come from? Most of us reckon that it is generated in the human heart, born in the inner core of our being. I believe not. let me explain.
Desire is, I believe, a virus of sorts that we are infected by, a bug that is transmitted from another. If we had eyes to see beyond the appearances of human relationships we could perceive the desire lines that permanently flow between individuals; a complex network of pushes and pulls that never switch off but constantly operate under the radar of the conscious mind.
I desire an object because someone else is desiring it; I do not desire it in a social vacuum. All desire is hence triangular at its most basic. Out of the corner of my eye I have absorbed the desire of the other, the opposite base corner of the desire triangle. as I attempt to reach the desired apex object common to us both. The race is on with one eye on the prize and the other on our new opponent in the dash for acquisition.
As we both push toward the desired goal, the race becomes all, the object rapidly disappearing into the mists of illusory happiness. At this stage both sets of eyes are firmly set on one another, the desire for victory having become the new race prize.
It’s at this stage that we have become the terrible twos, mirror images of one another, twins determined to kill of the mutual challenge of our psychic sibling. Such an engagement with our brother or sister is a function of our skewed or warped ego, that desire transmitter-receiver that scans the psycho-spiritual airways for the latest ‘must-have’ object and the one chasing it down.
This human dynamic was widely understood in many ancient cultures where twins were taboo and symbols of a potential violent struggle within the tribe or social grouping. Some societies even exiled one of the twins to defuse any future outbreaks of violent contagion.
Throughout the Judaeo Scriptures we regularly come across this warring brother syndrome, one included for our warning and enlightenment. Cain and Abel, Esau and Jacob, Joseph and his brothers, the two house sharing prostitutes who brought their baby for Solomon’s ownership judgement, are brutally honest exposés of familial rivalry, ones that result in violence, whether potential or actual. We are being shown how those in close relationship often end up fighting each other for metaphysical dominance.; the victor somehow absorbing the being of the vanquished when the fight is over; a conflict initially triggered by a mutual desire transfer.
When such a dynamic occurs within a faith or spirituality community it is extra specially tragic. The initial object is usually a desire to know God, or to be close to someome who claims to. Such a desire can easily morph into the subliminal driving force of a hidden struggle for victory over a fellow believer or devotee. May I suggest that under the charade of brotherly or sisterly love that the terrible twos is endemic within most metaphysical groups. Ego finds it extremely easy to justify its armed struggle stance regarding an other within the sacred setting, with God or Scriptures often press-ganged onto the side of the righteous.
Warring twin relationships often start out well with a level of mutual respect but often transform themselves as the level of desire is increased by either or both parties. The spiral of relational breakdown often takes folk by surprise. How can two who were once so close, now be at each others spiritual throats, a battle for Divine authentication and approval. Is it any wonder that so many so-called expressions of faith or spirituality exist within the psycho-spiritual marketplace? Is it any wonder that many defeated twins or shattered mirror images have walked away from the hidden but intense desire battles that pervade many religious or New Age groups. Of course not. Survival is a great motivator.
As we engage with others, either face to face, or dare I say it on social media sites, let us be aware of the desire dangers lurking within our fractured psyche-souls. Being mindful of our tendency to absorb the passion of another is half the battle; the other half being our own connection to the One outside Desire. The Spirit of the Nazarene, knows nothing of desire except that all-pervasive energy known as the Will or Passion of God. Now that’s what we need to absorb, a liberating infection that will help us fly high over the battlefields of the Terrible Twos.