The property of having poles or being polar. "It exhibits polarity when presented to a magnetic needle”
• the relative orientation of poles; the direction of a magnetic or electric field. Plural noun: polarities. "The magnetic field peaks in strength immediately after switching polarity”
• the state of having two opposite or contradictory tendencies, opinions, or aspects. As in, "the polarity between male and female,” or "the marked polarity of their political positions."
synonyms: difference, dichotomy, separation, opposition, contradiction, antithesis, antagonism
Polarity is the defining force within everything that exists.
Here on earth we are perhaps most familiar with our North Pole and our South Pole — the two parts of our planet that are covered in ice and determine the magnetic fields of the earth. Many insects and creatures of the earth are sensitive to the earth’s magnetic poles and can sense this magnetism and navigate themselves accordingly.
But as polarity expresses itself consistently throughout everything, we find that all planets, stars, bodies, cells, molecules, atoms, electrons, etc… from the largest to the small, exhibit some form of polarity. If we go to the biggest item in our solar system, we can observe that the magnetic field of the sun, for instance, extends out into space throughout our solar system. Every 11 years it reverses its polarity.
On the molecular level, polarity governs chemical bonds and other properties as well — some substances are attracted to each other while others are repelled. At the level of atoms you also have polarity, as they are comprised of positively charged protons, neutral neutrons, and negatively charged electrons. Even at the level of string theory, we have the fundamental particles of existence blinking in and out of beingness — half the time nothing is here at all…
Polarity has also been observed in all living things in what’s called a “biomagnetic field.” The human body has a biomagnetic field that radiates outward several feet. The magnetic field generated by the existence of polarity manifests in the shape of a torus, as shown around the human being, the planet earth, and the sun. So polarity is everywhere, and polarity also creates movement and spin — this is important to keep in mind.
Polarity creates spin. The simplest motors are magnetic, and they utilize these fundamental properties of magnetism to generate movement. Polarity creates movement by creating the potential for movement, as it is always creating a place to go. Movement is simply a relative change in position, and the magnetic movement from north to south is the most basic expression of the function of polarity, a binary expression of differences. Are you going North or South? Are you going here? Or there? 0 or 1? Without polarity there is no movement, as there is no where to go because nothing is different -- there is no attraction in any direction and hence, the motor stops.
While polarity may have the illusion of being a binary system, it is infinitely more complex than the limits it sets. Polarity establishes the parameters which beautifully create the relative space for all things to exist in variation between the poles. This is where things get really interesting.
Emerson has been quoted so frequently his statement has become a cliche, a sarcastic aside to recoup wasted efforts. Nevertheless, these are true words, because the fact that any going anywhere happens at all is the real miracle. However, if Ralph and I were having a fireside chat, I would probably retort:
If the only journey you can manage today is get up and go to the post office, congratulate yourself for harnessing the fundamental powers of existence to move yourself through space-time. If all you can do is sit on the couch and watch time pass, celebrate the witnessing — because whether you move or not, the whole is moving and you are carried along with it, ever absorbing the narrative of your life. Everything in the whole universe is traveling from A to Z, and you are along for the ride. So great is the power of the whole that the story of your human life is a babe in arms of universal movement. You have no more power to physically stop the progression of space-time, than you have the power to stop the planets in our solar system from spinning and circling the sun... which itself is lost in its own orbit inside our Milky Way galaxy... which itself is lost in a giant-beyond-comprehension dust cloud of galaxies all orbiting around a mind-blowingly large super massive black hole... and so on… and so on… so you might as well enjoy the show!
The whole of the universe is moving in a spiral, just like the clock on your wall ticking away the seconds. The second, minute and hour hands go around and around, forever circling back over themselves the same way we spiral though our galaxy on our own path through space time. Isn’t it a wonder that something so “mundane” as a clock can so beautifully capture the abstract truth of existence and offer our collective human consciousness points to rally ourselves around? Like magic, our individual minds can utilize our perception of time to synchronize our movements and magically converge at a specified place and moment; for the simple fact that we have agreed to share our experience of time and place with each other. What time is it right now? Look at the clock on your computer and know that this is something no one disputes, we've even accounted for the relativity of our daylight to understand that the moment that is 3:00 PM for me might be 11:00 PM for someone else on the planet. This current moment for me? 11:08 AM, Sunday August 26, 2018, never again to be repeated.
So everything has polarity and everything is always spinning. Of course we use wheels and turbines to move and generate power. Whether you are using your wheels to drive down the road, or stirring some cake batter in a bowl, in doing so you are harnessing the fundamental nature of existence.
In addition to creating the opportunity for physical movement, polarity defines and shapes the abstract realm of consciousness as well. Without polarity, you cannot know anything, because to know something is to know it by comparison, to know what it is not. Besides, without fundamental polarity, there would be nothing to know to begin with — since polarity creates and drives the move and spin of the known universe, and conscious life (including human beings) evolved from the dust within this physical phenomena. Polarity creates everything out of nothing. Polarity reduces everything into nothing, which brings us to this:
And what is sound, but a wave? A wave that goes up and down, ever forward from beginning to end... Once again, an expression of polarity. So whether it is sound, or light, or energy, these waveforms all express the nature of polar movement.
I believe soon we will collectively come to the consensus that reality is holographic in every sense: what is true of the small is also true of the large. In doing so we will accept that the polarity presently observable in all things is consistent with the pattern of the whole, and that our known universe, as one “unit” of existence, also has a polarity, even if it is beyond our present powers of observation. The big bang represents one pole, both the beginning of our present observable “time,” and the point from which all matter burst forth from a singularity. The opposite pole is the end of time for this cycle of our universe -- the final black hole, the point upon which all matter in the universe will contract back into that same singularity... only to burst forth again, destined to repeat this cycle infinitely. This endless cycle of expansion and contraction, beginning and end, creates the motor of movement and the fabric of space time reality.
Models of the torus universe are very elegant in their illustration of this flow between two poles:
And so, everything that exists happens during this journey from A to Z. From 0 to 1.
With the fabric of our universe polar through and through, is it any wonder it would have an effect on its lifeforms? Take for instance polarity's most fundamental influence on life -- birth and death. The beginning and the end mirrors the process of the whole. Your life is a story with a beginning, middle and an end in the same way this cycle of the universe is a story. However, keep in mind that new cells come into being and old cells die. Children are born to outlive their parents, ensuring a continuance; so it’s likely that the universe is also constantly digesting and creating itself. In life forms, polarity defines not just a living being's biomagnetic field, it also conditions the shapes lifeforms take. Look no further than the incredible variation on this planet, but yet there are consistent repeated patterns. For instance, the spiral fractals appear everywhere, even on your fingertips.
However, polarity or duality can take the form of symmetry as well. Consider that many creatures, ourselves included, are literally divided in half: right and left. In order to move, we must alternate the movement of our right and left legs, like a biological motor. Brains have right and left hemispheres, and many of our body parts come in pairs. But it doesn't stop there, because we don't just have a right and left -- we are polar in three dimensions if you consider we also have a top and bottom, as well as a front and back. Polarity defines our parameters as a form. What's more, our species along with many others, relies on the polarity of male and female relationships to reproduce. Ever seen the graph of a heart beat? Even your beating heart expresses itself through the polarity of "stop and go." Movement versus stillness.
But remember: polarity transcends the physical to define the conceptual realm as well. Everything has an opposite, and consciousness itself is the examination of these polar comparisons -- if nothing were different, there would be nothing to see, and no understanding would be possible. This process of observation and examination is how we form opinions, make choices, grow and evolve. If life is to survive, it must form a point of view that enables its preservation.
The Yin Yang, or “dark-bright,” is an ancient symbol of the duality that underscores everything. The supremacy of the yin yang is the space for comparison that it creates — is this darker or lighter? Is this a yin food or a yang food? Is this receptive, feminine yin behavior, or an aggressive, masculine yang attitude? Yin Yang creates the context for comparison by recognizing differences, and acknowledging that everything is always shifting and changing because it is attractive to have differences. The Yin Yang symbol also encapsulates the concept that polarity creates movement with its continuous circular flow.
Once you start paying attention to the mechanisms by which polarity defines the basis of thought and physical reality, it appears evident that polarity is the ultimate common denominator. No wonder we are obsessed with the battle of "Good vs. Evil."
Which brings us back to the polarity between thought and things. The concrete physical versus the abstract, intangible world of pure consciousness. Yet another polar relationship, because the opposite of everything is nothing. The unmanifested realm of "thought" must exist in polar contrast to manifested realm of physical "reality." If the entirety of the known physical universe inevitably recycles itself into a super-duper-hullabalooper black hole to continually recompress into a singularity (a place where the laws of physical reality break down), then might it just as well be the entry point to the realm of pure consciousness?
I mean, it would make sense for the physical to cycle into the non-physical, right? Especially if that non-physical is, for lack of better words, the epitome of imagination? That would be a pretty good jumping off point, in terms of the grain of sand with which the whole is recreated. The small becomes the large, after all. If the pattern holds true, then the difference between an intangible idea and physical matter is the very magnetism that defines their polar relationship.
Because human beings are inherent holographic expressions of the universe we cannot help but embody the same forces that created it. We have solid physical bodies with minds free to roam through myriad fields of intangibie possibilities. All human activity and creation begins as an idea before it becomes acted upon, even your ideas about what you want to eat for lunch today. You need look no further than the chair you are sitting in to find proof that thoughts become things -- so it follows that pure consciousness itself generates reality.