The Paradox of Polarities:
Two Halves of the Same Whole
Life can sometimes be very confusing when we are following a spiritual path. We live in
a world where political correctness and standing up for one's own rights are encouraged by
the media and our therapists. On the other hand, it seems that to follow a spiritual path
is to relegate our desires and reactions to the back row; in favor of the higher good for
the collective, the planet, our karma, etc. Many times I have heard people bemoaning the
fact that they have worked so hard to learn how to claim what is theirs, only to feel
forced to give it away when trying to evolve to the next level. As we progress through
these multi-layers of perception and reality, do we fool ourselves into thinking that the
last layer was any less real than the one we are in now? That we are superior to others
because now we have arrived at this lofty philosophical perspective?
For those of us who follow a particularly metaphysical path, it is easy to judge
skeptics and fundamentalists as "bad" or "wrong." We don't mean to. We
feel attacked by them. We feel judged by them because of their non-acceptance of our
beliefs. We don't understand why they can't accept that we have a different reality. We
begin to label them, make them separate from us, even though that is the very behavior
that bothers us about them. The reality is, the more they distress us, the more they are a
part of us. The more we react to them, the more likelihood that they have been magnetized
into our life to play out an unexpressed aspect of ourselves. They are the dark side of
our persona, the part we want to pretend doesn't exist within us.
We are all attached to aspects of our personality. Sometimes we even use a tool such as
an astrology chart to justify our unlovely quirks. We defend the parts of our identity
that seem to make us different, or protect us from being too vulnerable. "I am
sensitive." "I know what I want." "I am a Romantic." "I am
realistic." etc. When the dark side of a planet or sign has served us for many
years, or even many lifetimes, it is hard to let go of those habitual behaviors. Life
brings us examples of how that planet is expressed on a higher, lighter plane; but we
resist quite often, without even realizing it. We draw into our lives those who express
the dark side in an exaggerated way, but fail to recognize that they are acting out the
parts of our own selves that are in denial. We become polarized to their role: taking the
opposite approach, but entrenching ourselves in the energy even more as we do so. When two
people become polarized on an issue they are merely choosing to express the yin and yang
halves of the whole picture.
The houses of an astrology chart give us information about six pairs of polarized
archetypes. For those who have relationship problems (business or personal), who are
continually faced with painful no-win choices, a study of these archetypal duets is
1st and 7th houses/ Aries and Libra
Self verses Partner.
Independence verses Partnership, Freedom verses Unity.
Separate Identity verses Merged Identity.
Self-care verses compromise.
My self-image verses what you think of me. (in partnership)
2nd and 8th houses/ Taurus and Scorpio
My money verses your money
My personal possessions verses our shared possessions
My values and priorities verses your values and priorities.
Hanging on verses letting go: saving verses losing or giving away.
3rd and 9th houses/ Gemini and Sagittarius
Mundane reality verses spiritual reality, personal truth verses Universal Truth.
Physical human consciousness verses Higher-Self consciousness.
Practical mind verses the intuitive mind.
Talking verses listening.
Being "realistic" verses trusting the unknown.
4th and 10th houses/ Cancer and Capricorn
Mother verses Father, men verses women.
Home verses career.
Private life verses public life.
Inner Reality verses outer reality.
5th and 11th houses/ Leo and Aquarius
Self-expression and creativity, verses reaching long-term goals.
Childlike playfulness, verses fulfilling obligation to society.
Romantic intimate lover, verses groups of friends and associates.
Being yourself, verses fitting in.
Wanting to be noticed and appreciated, verses wanting to withdraw.
6th and 12th houses/ Virgo and Pisces (see astrology article)
Philanthropist verses victim: Idealist verses martyr.
Giving generously, verses being taken advantage of.
Being of service, verses giving yourself away being used.
Being a doormat, verses avoiding interaction altogether.
Trying to control reality, verses escaping from reality.
Do you recognize yourself and your relationship(s) in any of these patterns? In
identifying with one extreme, what part of the polarized pair are you denying? (What part
of self are you denying?) Can you catch yourself going in "self-righteous mode"?
Can you feel the emotional charge around needing to be right? Do we believe that "If
I perceive it this way, then it must be true!"?
Quite often more than one of these polarities can occur at once. It can be very
confusing, especially if we cling to what we think we know about reality and human
interaction. If we were able to experience our multi-dimensional selves for just a moment,
the irony of these juxtapositions would merge into the larger picture the Light
Webbing of Mass Consciousness and we would see how all realities exist in the same
moment, even the apparent paradoxes. They coexist in absolute perfection at all times.
It is human nature to swing from one extreme to the other:
>From generosity to self-protectiveness;
>From originality to safely "fitting in";
>From partier to homebody;
>From idealist to practical realist;
>From rugged loner to melting lover;
>From over-nurturing others, to exclusive self-care
We all contain all these extremes, all of these paradoxes within us at all times. When
we deny any part of it, we attract others to act out what we love least in ourselves. The
more we judge the other side, the more we are called upon to embody it. The more we fear
or hate something/someone, the more we draw it into our life. The more attached we are to
something, (like a piece of our identity) the more we are forced to let it go. The
pendulum swings from one extreme to the other:
>From celibate marriage, to divorce, to promiscuity, to loneliness, and finally to
the middle readiness to be in a real relationship.
>From irresponsibility and apathy, to passionate focus, back and forth until the
pendulum settles in the middle taking it a day at a time, allowing oneself to
embody both action and rest.
>From believing we are right, to fearing we are all wrong, to accepting that we make
mistakes but are doing the best we can
When we feel ourselves going into a strong defensive or self-righteous reaction
-believing that we have to make a distressing or confusing choice in a no-win situation,
-believing that someone else is the sole source of our problems, then we need to take a
look at the archetypal opposition at work.
Accept and bless the other side with a generous and open heart, otherwise one will
continue to draw this difficult lesson time and time again. We can rationalize our
position into eternity, but can we have the strength to embrace our shadow?
In the next newsletter, I will list some other polarized archetypes from signs and
planets. Notice the issues that come up in relationships between now and then, and pay
attention to when you have feelings of needing to be right, or needing to know, or needing
to be in control.