The Hermetic Principle of Polarity

What is the Principle of Polarity?

In today's world, it is safe to say we are living in a polarized society.  In order to avoid falling prey to the pitfalls of polarization, one must first understand what polarity really is.  Polarity is the state of having two opposite or contradictory tendencies, opinions, or aspects existing in one plane.  This embodies the idea that all manifested things are dual, everything has two poles, and everything has its opposite.  Everything "is" and "isn't" at the same time.  All truths are half truths, and every truth is half false. There are two sides to everything.  Opposites are identical in nature yet different only in degree. All paradoxes may be reconciled, and all extremes met.  

Polarity is best understood in the context of non-duality.  There is, in fact, no duality. Duality is an instance of opposition or contrast between two concepts or two aspects of something; a dualism, saying only 2 things exist. Such as: black or white, night or day, hot or cold, etc... If that were true then there would be no gray or colors, dawn or evening, warm or cool, etc... Just like on a pH scale, there is not just acid or base. There is also neutral, which is what pure water is.

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

-Bruce Lee

We have blends of polarity continuously governing our lives. Life cannot be just one thing or the other, it is all the shades and colors, and that is why such vast beauty exists.  Life is never just pleasure or pain, there are moments that are peaceful, dull, annoying etc... There is a Universal balance of opposites, female and male, yin and yang. I believe our collective goal as human beings is ultimately transcending the illusion of duality and polarity.  The next time you think that everything is one thing or another, remember that does not make it so. One must break through limiting thinking and search for the truth of existence themselves. When doing so you will realize that duality does not exist, but that polarity does. Once the illusion of duality is dispelled, we can ask ourselves "What part of the spectrum am I embodying?" This outlook reminds us that we are not separate from others, but that we are just expressing a different part of the spectrum. 

Interestingly, the principle of polarity gives us a clear concept of how transmutation and alchemy work. Transmutation is not changing one thing into a totally different thing, but changing the degree of the same thing. For example, we cannot transmute fear into love, but we can transmute fear into courage, or hate into love.  When we understand and use the hermetic principle of polarity, we better understand our own mental state. This understanding allows us to view our mental state as a matter of degree of a specific feeling, thought, or emotion. We will be able to raise or lower our vibration at will, becoming masters of our own vibration. This frees us from the control of others’ vibrations and ideals. The principle of polarity allows us help others emotionally and intellectually as they move closer towards the will of the divine. The mastery of the principle of polarity gives us the ability to perform spiritual, physical, and mental alchemy in all situations.

"I believe that art emerges from the soul/subconscious. It possesses the ability to reconcile the “irreconcilable” experiences of life. Art accepts, forgives and encourages you to get back on the proverbial horse (of life) even when it kicks  you off. It is a nexus of the mind; a place where the subconscious and conscious mind meet and work together to manifest creativity.  Due to its balanced mind creation, art tends to embody life’s extreme polarities; courage amid adversity, strength from vulnerability, and unconditional love as a result of betrayal."

-Robert Edward Grant

“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.

"Polarity, or action and reaction, we meet in every part of nature; in darkness and light, in heat and cold, in the ebb and flow of waters, in male and female, in the inspiration and expiration of plants and animals; in the equation of quantity and quality in the fluids of the animal body; in the systole and diasystole of the human heart; in the centrifugal and centripetal gravity; in electricity, galvanism and chemical affinity."

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

 "The next time you believe there is just black or white in anything in life, understand you are evolving backwards."

-Niccoli Machiavelli 

Artwork by Robert Edward Grant.