The Principle of Polarity

The Principle of Polarity

Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites  are  identical  in  nature,  but  different  in  degree;  extremes  meet;  all  truths  are  but  half-truths;  all paradoxes may be reconciled (The Kybalion).

The best example I can think of to explain this principle is the flow of electrical current, which requires equal and opposite charges, positive and negative. Both charges are needed for an effective flow of current. Remember the principle of correspondence, “As above so below; as below, so above. Just as electricity requires both poles for efficacy, so does Soul.

Think of temperature. Where does heat end, leaving absolute cold? No matter how cold, there will always be some heat; no matter how hot, there will always be some cold. They are but two aspects of the same natural phenomenon, i.e. temperature. 

The research carried out by C.G. Jung shows clearly that humans are composed of both positive and negative elements. For Jung, all human beings have both male and female characteristics. For instance, all men have a female element abiding in their unconscious minds. Similarly, all women have an unconscious male element. One’s conscious attitude is usually dominated by those characteristics belonging to whatever sex one happens to be. The opposing characteristics, if not recognized by the conscious mind, can bring about many problems in the conscious attitude. For instance, a man who is not aware of his anima may experience irrational moods, peevishness, and bad temper. A woman who represses her animus may, for example, not respect the feelings of others because she is overly rational. For men, Jung called the female image anima. For women, the male image is the animus. These are Latin words which both mean “soul.” Anima is feminine; animus is masculine. If one set of characteristics is dominant, the opposite will manifest itself in dreams, possibly hinting at how the conscious attitude should be adjusted so that balance can be restored to the psyche.

In his personality theory, Jung begins with the distinction between what he terms introverts and extroverts. Basically, the introvert is characterized by a flow of energy inward; the concentration is on the subject. The extrovert’s energy flows outward, into the world; the concentration is on objects and other people. Every person has both characteristics within them, just as in the anima/animus doctrine. One of the two, however, will dominate the conscious attitude.

Each of these basic attitude types consists of four functions: thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition. As in the introvert/extrovert distinction, one of the opposites will be dominant. For instance, someone may be an extrovert who is thinking-oriented instead of feeling-oriented. This person might also be guided more by his intuition than his senses. Another may be an introvert who is feeling oriented, and who relates more to sensation. Using this procedure, Jung was able to study human beings in a more precise manner. The Myers-Briggs Personality Test, used by psychologists today, is based on Jung’s typology.

According to The Kybalion,

Light and Darkness are poles of the same thing, with many degrees between them. The musical scale is the same–starting with “C” you move upward until you reach another “C,” and so on, the differences between the two ends of the board being the same, with many degrees  between  the  two  extremes.  The  scale  of  color  is  the  same–higher  and  lower vibrations being the only difference between high violet and low red. Large and Small are relative.  So  are Noise and Quiet; Hard and Soft follow the rule. Likewise Sharp and Dull. Positive  and  Negative  are  two  poles  of  the  same  thing,  with  countless degrees  between them.

Think of notes of music, ascending and descending, and then circling round again. Each note is a level of vibration in the Soul, a level of Being. We are constantly changing because Reality is dynamic. Soul spirals around, in and out, up and down, from vibration to vibration, from one pole to its opposite.

How wise were the ancient sages to have formulated these amazing principles!

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