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
While THE ALL is the totality of existence, there exists within it polarity. While this illustrates how everything is still ONE, it does seem to also validate our everyday human experiences. Here we come to the experience we have of hot and cold, hard and soft, fast and slow, and all manor of opposites that are actually identical. It is by degrees that these seeming opposites are separated.
Looking at a thermometer, at what degree does it change from hot to cold? Each among us has some arbitrary point we would say it has gone from hot to cold, but it is all temperature. The continuum in which one end is hot and the other is cold and the experience we have at any given moment is somewhere in between. This is the case with all opposites, they are not actually separate, but poles upon the same continuum.
Science would say that there is temperature, mass, velocity, et al; which is an attempt at naming the continuum. Hot and cold is temperature, light and heavy is mass, slow and fast is velocity. Even in the contemporary, it has been shown to be true, even if it may not have been expressed in these exact terms.
In this light it becomes possible to reconcile all opposites. Even those that seem to be mutually exclusive, say “good” and “evil.” While it is very cut and dry in stories, the daily human experience of these concepts is much more difficult to discern. The very reason for that “grey area” is the exact experiential evidence that shows the continuum, the polarity, of “good” and “evil.”
While we could have a whole conversation about the ontology of the words and what they might actually mean, for the sake of this argument we are going to clarify “good” and “evil” as “altruism” and “selfishness.” The continuum is in exchange, however, on one pole we have the free exchange outward and, on the other pole, we have hoarding or the impediment of exchange. These poles exist on the same line, just at opposite ends, thus reconciling the apparent contradiction of their existence.
One can also apply this to emotions, thoughts, actions, and other various concepts. While, on the surface, it may seem like a nice idea, or an obvious observation, when combined with the other Laws we find its real value.
All of reality is mental, all of reality exists in a vibratory state, all parts of existence correspond with other parts, and now we add that all apparent opposites are different points upon the same line. Let us first apply this to the easiest application of Hermetic Practice, that of mental transmutation.
In this context, the goal ceases to be the cancellation or negation of one thought, thought form, or emotion, or the other. Rather, it becomes about moving from one pole to another. In this way, it no longer becomes a Herculean task, but the very natural movement from one point to another within the same continuum. It is not about suppressing or chastising your anger and rage, rather, it is to move it to its polar opposite of joy and laughter. One end is potential violence and stress while the other is levity and stress release. One need not jump directly from one end to the other extreme, rather one finds the degree to which they can move towards the opposite end; assuming, of course, that one wishes to change some thought or emotion.
The transmutation is less magic and more conscious movement from one side to another. Taking this thought to its natural conclusion, one would be able to move an object, which would start as a thought form, from formlessness to form. Bringing something from the apparent “nothing” into our reality of the five senses. Granted, this would imply that the individual in question has no conflicting thoughts and that all aspects of their mind and will are unified. Perhaps this is what accounts for the supernatural feats of master, mystics, saints, prophets, and religious founders; like Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, etc.
The challenge, for those who wish to test this law of reality, is to try and discover the opposites. When you are feeling something, or thinking something, you wish to change, or simply find yourself aware of, try and discover its polar opposite. Even in understanding the polarity of that thought or emotion, along with the desire to change it, is usually enough to do so. Yet, find out for yourself, test it in your own life.
As always, I encourage you to try these experiments in the laboratory of your own experience. No higher truth or deeper insight can be grained from anywhere but your own direct experience. Regardless as to what you may have been told, your experience is the ultimate revealer of truth.
Written by: Iam Bloom