“As the shadow continually follows one who walks in the sun, so our hermaphrodidic Adam, though he appears in the form of a male, nonetheless always carries about within him Eve, or his wife, hidden within his body.” — Tractatus aureus in Bibl. chem. curiosa, I, p. 417
Our society has a very polarized view of the world. I have often asked myself, “Is this polarity a natural thing or something that has come integrated in our culture?” I guess I will never truly answer my own question, but it seems that we still have to deal with a world that seems to rely on polarity. Male to balance female, good to balance bad, etc. How do we deal with the fragments of ourselves that express themselves on one side or the other of the equation? Personally, I feel that art is the perfect tool for the recognition, expression, and eventual integration of these fragmented selves. My book, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity outlines this process.
Many of us cannot accept those fragments of ourselves that we see as negative. We can find ourselves with an intolerant attitude towards those parts of us that we don’t like, worse, sometimes we ignore their presence. Not admitting to something does not solve its existence, nor does it promote a sense of wholeness; on the contrary, denying or resisting something only attracts it into your life, and makes it stronger.
In the same way any unwanted part of yourself becomes more defined and powerful the more you resist it. The Oracle in The Matrix movie told Neo that the agent, Smith, was his polar opposite and natural enemy; the machines in control of the Matrix needed an equally strong negative factor to balance the equation of Neo’s positive presence. I think that this is why we are drawn to our opposites, because we are trying to balance the equation of the question of polarity.
We are drawn to not only a vision of polar opposites, but, in no small way, we are drawn to circumstances and people who reflect negative polarity. We don’t have to go far to find examples of polar attraction to negativity: the well-documented human fascination at car accidents, an attraction to horror flicks, to TV series and movies about crime and violence, violent games which show us massive death and destruction, the list goes on and on.
Just as you cannot surgically remove part of yourself and be whole and healthy, so there cannot be emotional wholeness while one denies one part of the self. The body needs all parts to be whole. In just such a way, a person cannot deny that evil — if he believes in evil — exists only outside of him.
Unconscious, primitive awareness cannot perceive that the totality requires acceptance (awareness of connection) first. Only when we reach a certain clarity can we finally see how we generate everything in our lives. We can see that our beliefs have a reality first within ourselves and then manifest as “reality” outside of us. When we finally reach this point, integration is not far behind.
The Ying Yang symbol shows this natural dance, and gives a sense of wholeness and rightness. The little bit of Yin exists as a black dot within the white Yang, while the Yin carries a bit of her mate as a white dot within herself.
Whenever you find yourself disconnected, disenfranchised or in tension, reflect or meditate on the Yin Yang symbol and allow it to draw you into the natural dance of polarity; remember the dance within the figure, and the figure within the dance. We can accept our polar opposite, and know that the dance of opposites creates life, and mirrors life at the same time.
Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr