Living with Complexity

I have recently found the last several months have been very challenging for me in a number of ways, I have been supporting and caring for someone close to me who is severally ill. I have noticed that I have at times found it unbearable trying to sit and be with uncertainty, and the unknown, as well as being in relation to sickness, and a deepening sense of mine and others mortality. I have seen how parts of me close down due to fear, or desperately polarise into extremes, out of an anxiety to control my experience.

I feel that one of the challenges that life offers us is to be able to live with complexity. The nature of what it is to be human is complex; the world around us also is a complex place; so many factors and conditions need to be taken into account when dealing with the many situations that we encounter. I have also noticed that when I engage more deeply with my yoga and meditation practice or spending time relaxing on my own or with good friends, I then find a spaciousness in my experience that enables me to respond and re-engage with life in a much more open, creative and relaxed way. The Jungian psychologist James Hollis says that the spiritually mature person is able able to be with the 3 ‘A’s: Ambivalence, Ambiguity, and Anxiety. He says they will not look to a black and white simplicity or dogma. but will be able to live a meaningful life within the complexities that life offers us. We may be some way off from being able to be accepting of Ambivalence, Ambiguity, Anxiety in our lives, but I feel any attempt to open to these aspects of life can only lead to a more creative engagement with ourselves, others and the world we live in.

“Certainty begets stagnation, but ambiguity pulls us deeper into life. Unchallenged conviction begets rigidity, which begets regression; but ambiguity opens us to discovery, complexity, and therefore growth. The health of our culture, and the magnitude of our personal journeys, require that we learn to tolerate ambiguity, in service to a larger life.” James Hollis Jungian Psychologist