Polarities and Harmony

“I will love the light for it shows me the way,
yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”

— Og Mandino

One very basic orientation to life on Earth is experiencing the primal polarity of light and dark. It’s the stuff of parables.

“The Spirits of Darkness wished to storm the Kingdom of Light. They came to its borders for the attack. They were, however, able to achieve nothing. Now they were to be punished by the Kingdom of Light. But in the Kingdom of Light there is only good. Thus the Demons of Darkness could only have been punished through good. Therefore the Spirits of the Kingdom of Light took a portion of their own kingdom and mingled it into the Kingdom of Darkness… There then arose from the Kingdom of Light the Archetypal Man, the human race who must mingle with the Kingdom of Darkness and overcome it.

R. Steiner regarding Manichean Creation Myth

The phenomenon of polarities is profound whether you are talking about light and dark, hot and cold, inner and outer, or past and future, etc. The two sides are complete only in a relationship together. The polarities are two sides of one coin. They are the same thing, just the inside-out versions of the other if you will.

The brighter the light, the darker the shadow, for instance.

We have these polarities in us. We all are made of them both. My understanding from the above myth and others is that on Earth the light and dark are all intertwined together. All creation is a mixture. The important thing is what is prioritized and at what time.


Working with polarities is central to health also. Nerve processes move from the outside in, for example, while blood processes move outward from within. Daytime has its one set of processes (nerve heavy) and nighttime another (blood predominant). Waking and sleeping form a polarity in states of consciousness.

In the body we are always moving towards one pole and away from the other or vice versa. This is so because life is in constant motion. Morning is just the beginning of the long march towards night, for example. In the movement something new comes into form: the rhythm of the changes from one side to the other. Rhythmic change between poles is life’s modus operandi. It’s free and separate from the poles and it is a third element in the dynamic (rhythm).


My research this week brought me to the polarity of inner life (memory, imagination, feelings, intuition) and outer life (sensory input, intellect) in a course I was taking by intuitive teacher Gigi Young. I’d like to share one aspect of her course with you. A balanced human being will have harmony between the inner and outer worlds. The ideal is a world with intellect and intuition very balanced and able to weave together in many people. Even a casual observer will notice that modern consciousness has a proclivity and preference for the outer world stimuli. We are stuck in a lopsided configuration, as a generalization.

We are more intellectual at the expense of our intuition than is good for us.

I want to present to you a few tips for nurturing the mood that nurtures our inner life and intuition (spiritual connection). Let me start by pointing out that the intellect which draws on outer stimuli has a fairly narrow scope and is pretty important for our immediate survival. The moods and behaviors that support the sensory and intellectual modes are: 

  • planning 
  • analyzing 
  • controlling 
  • judging 
  • expecting.

We do these a lot. So much that we are lopsided.

Beyond survival mode

In our inner life, on the other hand, we are open and creative. The set of behaviors above must be left aside. They must be replaced by:

  • Letting go
  • Allowing
  • Playing
  • Exploring
  • Present Moment Awareness
  • Appreciation

Summary: This is a gentle reminder we are doing too much planning and controlling. It’s great having practice times where we create mood states that blend us back into balance, where we let go of controlling outcomes and playfully and gratefully explore the present.