Polarity — Fourth of the Seven Hermetic Laws
by Bruce Rawles
(This article was excerpted and adapted from the upcoming book, "The Geometry Code: Symbolic Wisdom of Natural Laws Within Us" by Bruce Rawles, available soon from Elysian Publishing. This is the fourth of eight articles; you might want to first read the initial article in the series and the prior article on the Law of Mentalism and Law of Correspondence and and Law of Vibration to get the context for this one.
"People think consciousness is really significant because we want what we made to be important. So we glorify it and measure it and attach specialness to it when it's really just a symbol of separation from our Source. It's separation, because in order to have consciousness, you have to have more than one thing. You have to have a subject and an object. You have to have something else to be conscious of. That's where twoness came from to replace oneness. That's what makes the resulting symbolic illusory opposites, polarities and dualities." — Your Immortal Reality by Gary Renard, page 47
"There are no sides, only angles — and when we view things from the right angle, it's obvious we're all on the same side."
— Steve Bhaerman a.k.a. Swami Beyondananda
The Law of Polarity (Balance, Objectivity, Neutralization, Non-resistance, Integrity, Transcendence, Compassion) — Keyword: Purity
The fourth of the seven laws or principles is given the name Polarity in the Kybalion, along with the phrase "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
I am writing this during the autumnal equinox; a time of year associated with balance, equality between night and day and a symbolic pivot point between the polarities of light and dark, hot and cold, activity and dormancy. These are but a few of the pairs of opposites we can relate to this middle of seven laws from the Hermetic tradition. Whenever we perceive anything in the realms of space, time, form or duality, the law of polarity comes into play. That covers just about everything in our so-called 3D reality, doesn't it!
"The first thing you do with clay on a potter's wheel is center it. You bring all the ingredients of the clay into an even grain, so that when you open the ball of clay, the inside and outside are of the same quality. In life, the discipline of centering is of bringing in rather than leaving out, honoring the different elements in one's experience and bringing them into integration." — M. C. Richards, author of Imagine Inventing Yellow
The conventional approach to the law of polarity is to meet one aspect of illusion with an equal and opposite illusion; that neutralization technique works to a degree, but requires the energy and effort to calm the tornado with an opposite tornado. In the meantime, your house may have been moved from Auntie Em's to a place far from Kansas! Or at least, there may be some housekeeping to attend to… Since we're talking about talking about metaphysical approaches in this series of articles, let's dive right into the center of the cyclone where there is always a calm, neutral stillness. As long as we entertain resistance (a.k.a. grievance, upset, blame-projection, finger-pointing, critical judgment of self or others or circumstances, or any of the myriad other forms of trying to make illusions real), we're off-balance and we're using (whether consciously or not) cyclonic forces to pull ourselves out of heart center.
Another technique for using the law of Polarity effectively is the principle of non-resistance. This works wonderfully when we don't resist our inner inspired voice; the one that sees through seeming walls and defaults to sharing, communicating and compassionately removing the blocks to true communion and communication, regardless of whether this seems to be with "others" or "different aspects of ourselves." When we become superconductors, charges and biases cannot persist or accumulate because the whole notion of polarity is done away with at the root level. We integrate understandings and, becoming free of imbalances, are able to be more objective in our perceptions. With nothing demanding our attention, we are free to see things as they are, rather than as biased, polarized perspectives would insist.
Like the other Hermetic Laws, we can use the law of polarity wisely or less skillfully, depending on the thought or belief system we reference. The context of our philosophical foundation determines everything! A kindly, loving Self sees the drama of life's unfolding from a kindly, loving perspective and interprets things accordingly with a gentle and compassionate inner smile. An angry, fearful self-concept filters the same unfolding events through a distorted lens of polarization, judgment, attachments, aversions and veils. The truth and lessons to be gleaned go un-noticed from this latter perspective.
From the thought/belief system of duality, the law of polarity dishes up an endless stream of sensory struggles and battles, vying for our attention, or perhaps we might say, for our distraction. The ego/separation "we/they paradigm" orientation invokes the notion of division, fragmentation, splitting apart and has a bias towards "looking for trouble" … because that is the nature of the ego and this minced up, mixed up world it made up! Choosing how we interpret the world (what the world seems to convey) makes all the difference … in the world … and more importantly in the realm of cause beyond the world! :-) If we identify our "selves" as separate, droplets isolated from the proverbial ocean of life, the polarities of life appear as an unceasing barrage of conflicts, compromises, half-hearted choices, regrets, and we feel torn between opposing forces, regardless of the form(s) they appear to take. The feeling is that of being stuck, trapped, and is obviously rather depressing and fearful… Fortunately INDEED, those temporary misperceptions about ourselves are inevitably incorrect BECAUSE we're seeing such a tiny portion of a fleeting illusion of ourselves that isn't really us. Our bodies in particular are the biggest scam ever perpetrated by the powers that wannabe (If our ego is limited to a speck of space-time, then it truly has no permanent existence; only what we breathe into it… pull the life-support umbilicals on falsity and who we really, truly are, beyond the temporary appears. Sure, there's nothing wrong with attending to the care and feeding of our little space-time-suits, but when we can, with a healthy dose of amusement, not take them too seriously, we notice that we feel TRULY ALIVE because we're not identified with the changeable, the ephemeral and the polarized. Our bodies (and the personalities that project these little holograms that seem so real) are by definition "split off" or polarized from the rest of the universe, while our infinite, pure non-fragmented oneness remains what we TRULY ARE!
When we identify with our higher, transpersonal selves by letting go of our attachment to our little special "droplet stories", oceanic peace allows us to see the bigger picture, where conflicts have already been resolved, integrated, neutralized, and transcended… Not being tied to the tidal forces of change and impermanence, we are free to experience the eternal calm of essence that is analogous to the depths of the ocean, regardless of how stormy the surface might appear. Knowingness goes beyond comparisons; this is an excellent criterion of true gratitude, by the way. When we're truly grateful, it doesn't have any 'more than' or 'less than' connotations, and is completely inclusive; no one is left out of our generosity of good will. This may or may not involve physical expression, since we're talking about the level of cause (mind) rather than the level of form (effect) here. You may have noticed that when you're truly inspired, there aren't any internal boundaries even though what appears to be going on "outside" might not look any different. At those moments the surroundings are truly irrelevant, even though, ironically, when we're least worried about the realm of outcomes is when we're actually most able — because our attachments and aversions (both polarities) are neutralized or at least minimized at those moments — to beneficially affect outcomes … to bring our awareness back to a state of wholeness most quickly. We experience inclusion rather than isolation or exclusion (another form of polarization). That wholeness connects us with the source of all true abundance that is not tied to any particular situation or circumstance, yet optimally influences whatever situation or circumstance we happen to be in. The real gift is in freeing ourselves from the bondage of limiting self-concepts by waking up from the dreams of specialness, arrogance, and scarcity. How could awareness of the all (our true estate) be missing anything or polarized?
A key technique for practicing this serene presence is to remember that all experiences are gifts for us to appreciate from the vantage point of our immortal being. Laughter is a great medicine, and when we remember to see the humor in our seeming human predicaments, it dissolves the emotional and mental hallucinations that bind us to those situations. Slowly but surely, we are freed by the consistent practice of forgiving ourselves and the "others" that seem to be "outside us" for what appears to have occurred in a tiny blip of eternity in the most minuscule atom of infinite space. For example, how important now are most of the problems that seemed to vex you when you were a little kid? Probably not very significant, I'd guess. We can use that same cosmic perspective to imagine our future infinitely-calm infinitely-free selves reaching back through the illusion of time, kindly looking over our current "troubles," whispering to us an infinitely-patient suggestion to loosen our grip on our grievances, grin a bit and see things from "above the battlefield" long enough to disengage from patterns that keep us in the nightmarish game. Eventually we'll all get bored with trying to find fulfillment in the make-believe world of duality and polarity and turn within (which includes all life everywhere!) to find the real lasting fulfillment that doesn't deteriorate, fragment and ultimately get sucked into the black h*** of space-time.
A vivid example of how the ego manipulates the law of polarity to promote "separation thinking" was demonstrated in an episode from the original Star Trek series entitled "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" where there were two warrior survivors who had been pursuing each other for millennia; one black on the left and white on the right; the other black on the right and white on the left; they discovered that their collective hatred had annihilated all but the last two members of each species, yet they continued their futile struggle. There were lots of inspired episodes in that original TV series; that was one of the most profound, both metaphysically and socially and so applicable to the polarized world we appear to be in … even when we're not in an election year! It was a great tutorial on how relentless the ego is in distracting us from the peace that is available within at every moment.
Illusions of Separation and Projection — There's No "out there" out there!
"Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing,
There is a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
The world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
Doesn't make any sense." — Rumi
"There are two types of people in the world: those who divide people into two types, and those who don't." — Garth's Distinction (a sub-law of "Murphy's Law" :-)
"The secret of true prayer is to forget the things you think you need." — Gary Renard
"Opposites must be brought together, not kept apart. For their separation is only in your mind, and they are reconciled by union, as you are. In union, everything that is not real must disappear, for truth is union." — A Course In Miracles, text, p. 287
The egoic (split) mind believes (erroneously) that it somehow managed to achieve separation from the Creator. The pain this causes, if confronted directly, appears too great to bear, so we have spent lifetimes evading this self-fabricated illusion (a bogus threat) via the "clever" mechanism of projection. Namely, we made up an entire universe so that we would have a never-ending saga of scapegoats, parading and masquerading as the people in our lives in particular, (especially those closest to us) and our 'world' in general.
Have you ever caught yourself "demonizing a demon" or even "demonizing a demonizer?" The irony of all projection, of course, is that we're the only ones we can be responsible for, and the good news is that we can (with complete reliance on our transpersonal, infinite whole-I spirit Self) systematically forgive our misperceptions (grievances, blames, grudges, annoyances, regrets, and all forms of unhappiness) until it becomes such a habit that we eventually wake up from the dream of space-time. When we get far enough along with making this a routine practice, we're no longer anxious about the outcome, and just continually grateful for opportunities to forgive the residual flow of circumstances in '3D-land.' This "quantum forgiveness" (as Gary Renard so appropriately calls it) is the perfect "undo button" for the entrancement of the dream. Even when there still seems to be plenty to forgive in our material lives, remember that we're already home, and we also have our transpersonal guidance (call it Whole-I Spirit if you like, the name doesn't matter) to gracefully navigate through the minefield of shadowy phantom adversaries.
Adopting this transpersonal attitude automatically unveils what appear to be enemies and reveals them to us as infinitely loving friends that we ourselves arranged to be on the stage of our dramas. Instead of polarizing against our help, we embrace our allies, regardless of the form they take, and use care to make sure we exclude no one from our universe of friends, for truly we are all here to help. The help can take two forms: expressions of loving kindness or requests for the same (which can take a lot of bizarre and wacky forms!) In either case, wise use of the law of polarity suggests that we go beyond duality and respond the same way to either form… with loving kindness in response! That makes it very simple… not always easy, but always simple! :-) In either case, our inclusive, forgiving response reconciles whatever appears to be, and re-establishes in our minds what has always been in truth. When our thoughts (wanting) and actions (doing) are aligned (non-polarized), we feel at peace.
Symbols of Polarity … and Transcending It — Lines, Triangles, and Beyond Flatland and Form on all Dimensions and Form
"The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite."
— A Course In Miracles (Introduction)
"There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so." — William Shakespeare, in Hamlet
"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the rest of the world calls a butterfly."
— Richard Bach
"All wars are failures of imagination." — Caroline Casey
Geometrically, a quintessential metaphor for polarity is a line defined by two points. Diametrically opposing sides to any parameter or dimension or issue seem to conflict from the perspective of someone "on the line"… yet when one rises "above the battlefield" of conflict (by no longer being identified or attached to that perspective) they are able to not only see both "points of view" as equally valid, they are able to integrate insights and gifts of both perspectives as well as honor both vantage points. Seen from the perspective of two people standing next to each other on earth, a distant galaxy may look the same, yet ... seen from the perspective of two other galaxies, a distant galaxy may look VERY different! As an interesting aside, an astronomer friend once showed us the Andromeda galaxy through his telescope and used a fairly low magnification lens, explaining that if we saw all the dim stars that comprise it, despite that it is so many light-years away, it is still enormous (many light years across) and takes up a space in the sky equivalent to about seven times the size of our moon!
Taking this geometric metaphor to the next dimension, we have a plane defined by three points. A point above the plane can see all 3 points, whereas a perspective point within the plane might not appreciate all 3 references. We can add another point on the plane to make a square, which becomes a pair of balanced perspectives in two dimensions, with the apex of a pyramidal mandala becoming the third dimensional capstone eye, able to integrate, balance, neutralize and transcend… No wonder so many cultures have used a square as a meditative focus for going beyond limitation. Multiply the harmonious symbolism of the triangle with the elemental symbolism of the square, and you have a 12-sided (zodiacal) mandala representing 6 polarized pairs, all finding resolution in the mystical thirteenth point in the center.
The missing element (dimension) for transcendence is the additional right angle 90-degree turn that adds another dimension. Many accounts of UFO trajectories describe abrupt right-angle turns, so why not apply that right here in our own lives pragmatically by remembering we exist in all dimensions of space and time — and beyond them! Whenever we relax our fixation on the little petty concerns that try to bind us, we are making a dimensional shift into the realm of our limitless nature. Edwin Abbott's Flatland story comes to mind here, since we seem to usually think we're in three dimensions, but perhaps we're just as deluded as the flatlanders who think they're stuck in two dimensions! The analogy I like to think of (when contemplating experiences ranging from crop formations to ascended beings — our higher selves) is that of flatlanders watching a pencil passing through their 2D "reality." They are tempted to "freak out" when they think they are hallucinating about a pink circle suddenly appearing (the eraser), then a yellow hexagon (the pencil cross-section) hovering in their world for a while, then shrinking to a brown then black dot and winking out! Rather than phoning the Flatland version of National Enquirer, perhaps they could realize there are other dimensions that their limited perception doesn't begin to address… The same applies to use in our 3D "reality."
We can continue this progression indefinitely, adding more dimensions and each time adding another hyperdimensional orthogonal axis (in our imagination) to go beyond. Ultimately (as in right now!), when we recognize, as modern physics suggests in so many ways, that space and time are fleeting holograms of our imagination, we can go beyond the metaphor of form, and utilize the law of polarity to undo illusion, by forgiving ourselves for having made it all up in the first place, and joyously embracing each moment as a gift navigating us home. The law of polarity becomes a trusted tool for charting when we're feeling out of balance (dualistic thought system) and providing the feedback for remembering our pure non-dual Self.
Copywrite 2008 Bruce Rawles. All rights reserved.