Dividing the world into good and bad is one of our favorite pastimes. It is also one of the most confusing things we do. Sometimes, when things are kind of good and kind of bad we spend a lot of time deciding where they belong. We might decide this about a person, or about a movie. Mostly we don’t decide, we just know. When we smell something bad, it is bad. When we taste something good, it is good. The good thing about dividing everything into good and bad is that we learn to appreciate what is good. The bad part is that we can’t stop.
We get confused by always playing good and bad, because we think good is actually good and bad is actually bad. We believe that we have good and bad days. We think we have good and bad feelings. We think we are good and bad people. We can’t quit.
If we could quit playing at good and bad, we would see things more clearly. We could notice when our pleasure turns into pain, and we could let our pain go when it passes. We wouldn’t feel bad for not feeling good. We wouldn’t feel bad for feeling sad, or mad, or lonely. We would just feel sad, or mad, or lonely. When we stop dividing things into good and bad, we don’t end up with neutral, we end up with basic goodness. Not bad.