When did hot and cold come to exist on earth? Did they appear suddenly on our planet? Or did they arise gradually?
How about long and short?
Large and small.
Young and old.
Good and bad.
Right and wrong.
Does right and wrong rely on humans for its existence?
How about weeds and non-weeds? If there were no humans, would there still be weeds?
These dualities and thousands like them are all ideas. They are concepts. Notions. They are created by and confined to human minds. Before humans existed, human ideas did not exist, and therefore, before humans existed, dualities such as hot and cold did not exist. These dualities require a discriminating human mind trained by generations to discriminate in this uniquely human way. A bird does not label a mountain “old,” just as the mountain does not call the bird “small.”
If I could step outside of my humanness and observe my own thoughts and feelings and also the sum of all human thinking and feeling from the past, present, and future, I would be watching from a perspective where things like “high and low” and “in and out” do not exist. So too, from this place, all human gain and all human loss would be seen as merely another pair of human labels that fritter about inside human minds. And during those precious moments when the duality of gain and loss collapses – nothing I have or don’t have, had or didn’t have, will have or won’t have – nothing I have done or haven’t done – nothing I will do or won’t do – nothing seen or not seen, heard or not heard, felt or not felt – is able to hurt me.