In "Tibetan Mystery" by Alexandra David-Neel, the author makes a pilgrimage through Laos and Tibet. On her path, she encounters a strange man who is revered as a holy man, but seems like a wild man. She asks him if he avoids defilement. He says that he purifies his soul not by avoiding defilement, but by embracing it.
This epitomizes the theory of embracing the dark side, or as C.G. Jung calls it, the shadow side of the psyche. Though not easier, it can be simpler to shun anything that the dark side holds. Instead of looking to the murkiness inside oneself to find the way out, you can just look at a rule book and come up with an instant prescription of right behavior for the situation. Maybe that is why people like Emily Post are so popular. Sometimes the Bible is used this way, and people admonish others that all must act a certain way or they will lose salvation. Obviously, the Bible does not advocate licentiousness. But its philosophy takes into account that humans comprise dark and light, and, at least in this lifetime, will probably not dispel the dark die through their own works. In numerous letters that Paul writes, such as in Romans and Galatians, he says how we are saved by grace, not works. So, if the god of the Holy Bible knows I can't be perfect, who am I to put that kind of pressure on myself?
In "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers" by Debbie Ford, the author suggests that when the dark side is ignored, it looms larger than if it were embraced and used for good. The dark side can in many ways be a friend; laziness can be seen, not as a failure of discipline, but a signal that the body is tired and needs rest, or that a task is really unfulfilling to the point of resistance, and a reassessment of priorities is in order. Likewise, being "pushy" may be required when someone refuses to hear limits on your end. The more we avoid the dark side, Ford writes, the larger the monster our dark side becomes, until it takes on the heinous nature ascribed to it in our culture, like the infamous pressure-cooker analogy. The goal seems to lie in attaining balance rather than perfection.
In this life of nanotechnology and postmodernism, where you can be e-mailed, paged, or beeped from miles away within seconds, it is understandable that people become impatient when the questions of life remain at a glacier pace. It is easy to forget that the brain, part of nature itself, has more in common with the slow evolution of time than the fiber optics that it is progenitor to. Sometimes, I look at the clouds. In childhood, when I was less busy with becoming an Important Adult, I would notice the shapes that they would change into. Occasionally, I still indulge in this mindless, yet mindful activity. I notice the slow change of patterns, and realize that I am a part of that. I become more aligned within myself by this seemingly impractical practice than all the pagers and personal digital assistants could ever hope to achieve. When times slows down, I have a better chance at discovering who I am.