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Polarity & Wholeness


Anatomy of Polarity as a Dynamic Whole

What do we mean by polarity really? Let’s examine the anatomy of polarity and see how the elements build on one another to evolve into a dynamic whole. Below is a preview of the terms we will use to explore the anatomy of Polarity as Wholeness.

Poles: Interdependent poles makeup a whole

Synonyms for poles:   opposites, constructed opposites, contrast, simultaneous perspectives, paradox, differentiation, bookends, contradiction, compliments ,the either with the or

A simple way to begin to consider polarity is as a set of opposites; up and down, night and day, black and white, masculine and feminine.  Another way to think of polarity is beyond the simplicity of opposites to the more nuanced perspective of two poles that in some way contrast and at the same time relate to one another as a whole. The important point is that the differences are connected somehow.

In this way, polarity can be thought of as a set of “constructed” opposites that influence our lives. Often a constructed opposite shows us when there is an either/or between two perspectives - either this or that – such as Democrat or Republican, Science or Religion, organization or individual, work or play.  These aren’t exact opposites… but you hear them juxtaposed with one another. In addition, individuals have their own unique ways of dividing up the world.

Often I hear my clients put an either/or between relationship and career, or living a socially responsible life and living a life of abundance, or eating healthy and enjoying the food they love.  No two people are looking through the same exact pair of glasses – so one person may put an either/or between two things someone else might not find relevant. 

Core: Poles held together as a differentiated whole

Synonyms for core:  Connect point, the turnaround point, center, creative tension, space between,  place where opposites meet, still point,  boundary/separator, communion, the “and” in both/and , the exchange point as in the pause between the in and out breath

The core we are referring to here is the place where the poles are both differentiated as separate and held together as one. If you're following the trends in exercise and fitness, you've probably heard the phrase "core strength."

Core strength refers to the muscles of your abs and back and their ability to support your spine and keep your body stable and balanced as a whole.  When the core is held rigidly, favoring one side over the other (think back spasm), an energy draining or “destructive” tension is active such that balance is off and everything is more difficult – it takes more effort to function.  When the core is strong and held in a relaxed manner the tension required to hold us upright is more of a creative or life-enhancing tension because we are naturally aligned, balanced, sure-footed and able to function with relative ease. 

As we consider this in terms of how we view our world, the more we are able to intentionally perceive and engage the whole “body” of opposites with a strong, flexible and viable core the more capable we are of engaging the differentiation of opposites without unconsciously falling over to one side or the other or collapsing in the middle. The big benefit to learning to allow the creative tension that exists when multiple perspectives are held as an un-collapsed yet complimentary whole is that we gain ready access to a vastly untapped and very powerful “third” energy. 

Ebb and Flow: There is a natural ebb and flow when poles are operating as a whole

Descriptors for Ebb and Flow:   Rhythm, cycles, pulse, oscillation, harmony, pendulum swing, forcefield of wholeness that will insist on balance over time, the act/counteract balancing interplay of opposites, moving back and forth in intervals within the whole, differentiation and symmetry

The ebb and flow of ocean waves, the in and out breath, the oscillating pump of our hearts are examples of cycles.  The very nature of a cycle is that it repeats itself. 

An important consideration when exploring the cyclical ebb and flow of polarity is the idea that opposites will work to equalize in a balancing process over time.  The implications of this basic principle of nature – this balancing  “forcefield of wholeness” which like gravity, is always working behind the scenes  - is that if we get too attached with our thoughts or actions to one side, the opposite side comes into play. For instance, if we are a neat-freak, we end up resisting disorder in such a way that it gets bigger…. what we resist persists. 

This attachment/resistance scenario begins to drain our ability to create – whether we are aware of it or not. Imagine trying to move forward against a strong wind: it takes that much more energy to take a step. When we are consciously or unconsciously resisting the opposite, we set up a counter-force that drains energy and makes things more difficult. We end up wasting energy trying to control the parts rather than working with the whole in a way that enables the choices we make to work with the natural ebb and flow.

Like having the wind at our back, when our choices takes into consideration the holistic and cyclical nature of life, our actions become super-powered by something larger than ourselves… a powerful force we refer to as the third energy ( see third energy description below).

Third Energy: A powerful Third Energy emerges when Polarity is engaged as a co-creative whole

Description of the Third Energy:  Simultaneous perspectives co-creating in relative balance unleash a Third Energy that is naturally life supportive and generative. Could be referred to as flow , universal force, universal intelligence, Higher Self,  lifeforce, Third Way, in the zone, grace, quantum, evolutionary drive, creation in action. 

Engaging the creative tension between contrasting poles gives rise to a whole new dimension of possibilities. Examples follow:

Everything in nature has some form of a positive and negative pole – the North and South Pole, the left and right hemispheres of our brain, the masculine and feminine, the in and out breath, and when they work together in harmony, life comes into being and is supported.  

For instance, as a result of the in and out breath, life is sustained. It isn’t because of the out breath or the in breath alone - it’s both together in constant interaction and relative balance. The tension to move from the in breath to the out breath as a co-creative whole flows naturally.

At the heart of the in and out breath what comes into being is a third energy that supports life itself.  The same is true for the propagation of our species – the masculine and feminine come together to make a third being, which is comprised of both, yet is unique unto itself. This “third energy” is the great untapped resource. It’s the radiance of existence –it’s the energy force of life…. and we are beginning to understand the paradigm shift and skill that is required to tap into this energy consciously.

Most of us unknowingly operate from a paradigm that includes some sort of resistance as a way to justify what is right or what we desire… and this way of seeking to create one thing by resisting it’s opposite is what keeps us from fully tapping into an unbridled capacity to create. 

Dynamic Process of Wholeness: Co-creative forces operating in the background that are engaged in ways that either enhance or drain our life force.

Descriptors for Polarity as a Dynamic Process:  Co-creative forces (poles) operating as a cyclical and connected whole. Engaging polarity in a way that leverages creative tension with a strong core, and minimizes resistance/destructive tension. The alchemic result of a cleaned up and well connected both/and…. resulting in the unleashing   of a third-energy that is a life-enhancing, generative and naturally creative. The ability to focus such that this creative capacity is not only uninhibited but, like riding a wave, skillfully navigated towards a desired outcome.

The anatomy of polarity and wholeness comes together as a process. As with the anatomy of our bodies, we can examine the separate parts but, in the end, it all has to function as a whole to support life. 

In a similar way, learning to navigate using this paradigm isn’t something you do once…it’s a way of seeing, being and interacting on a day to day basis. It takes lots of practice because just when you think you’ve “got it”, it’s easy to slip back into our old ways of thinking.

Learning the process to consistently engage with seeming opposites (anything that has become interdependent in some way) as a dynamic whole such that there is easy access and an ability to navigate the life-enhancing third energy is the premise behind everything we are exploring here. It’s as awesome and as basic as learning to tap into an infinite source of natural life-generating creative energy.

Become skilled at identifying co-creative forces operating in your life and discover how to engage them such that they are working for you rather than against you!  The idea is to clean them up, connect them up and amp up the electricity between” poles”…. And then your job is to learn to ride the wave… in other words, navigate the flow of energy that is unleashed!



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