Duality and Polarity

Everything breathes. Day yawns into night and back again. Moon waxes full and wanes; tides come in, go out. Summer drifts into fall; seasons turn from yang to yin and back again. We breathe in life itself, then breathe out to ground experience. Beyond this binary rhythm, there are so many twos in our world: two eyes, two ears, two arms, two legs – even the brain has two hemispheres. For the most part, two genders. At a fundamental level, there is the dichotomy between yin and yang, spirit and matter, feminine and masculine. And, so much of our world is expressed in pairs of opposites: light and dark, large and small, happy and sad, rich and poor. Why is our world designed with all the two-ness?

Surely a visitor to our reality would quickly notice the two-ness. If they were an astute observer, they might discern two distinct kinds of two-ness, which I will call “Duality” and “Polarity”. This article explores each category.

First, let’s introduce and afford definition to the concepts of “Duality” and “Polarity” as used in this article. Each is about corresponding pairs, but they are very different. Moreover, as we will see, what to do with Duality is entirely different from what to do with Polarity.

Duality is about two concepts, aspects, or elements of something. One that has become two; from the examples above, spirit and matter, or yin and yang. Or, as demonstrated by quantum physics, light is both particle and wave. The two elements of a duality are not opposites. They do not compete or oppose each other.

Polarity is about a particular thing having two poles; it is about opposites. Per the examples listed above, light and dark.

Both Duality and Polarity are fundamental to the design of “Earth Game”. Duality is the more mystical – and perhaps more fascinating – of the two. Polarity is the simpler of the two, so let’s begin there.


Polarity provides the menu for the expression of free will, so integral to the gameboard of life that I call “Earth Game” (as explored in Earth Game: The Evolution of Consciousness). Wherever there is a pair of opposites, there is choice along a scale of two poles or extremes.

If you have ever frequented a public library to borrow books to read to toddlers, you may have noticed the abundance of books for toddlers on the subject of opposites. One might thereby infer that opposites are somehow fundamental to the design of the physical plane – in the sense of being a good starting point for learning about physicality.

It is impossible to fully explore one end of a Polarity without exploring its opposite. How can one know “large” or “tall” without having a corresponding sense of “small” or “short”. How can one know what is important without learning what is unimportant? How one can one know light without knowing the darkness that defines the boundaries of the light? Success would be meaningless without the concept of failure. Abundance would not register without a concept of scarcity.

So, what to do with Polarity? Successfully navigating Polarities is definitely not a function of putting them together. They do not combine. Try putting blue and orange together, or red and green; it just doesn’t work. Combining like and dislike just gets you to “meh”. Try feeling in the same moment anger and peace, or sadness and joy; can’t be done. Polarities seem to battle if we try to put them together. No, choose. Not necessarily either end of the polarity, but somewhere on the scale – i.e., the best you can muster in the particular moment.

I recall years ago coming across the phrase “the unity of opposites”. To me, it means that the subject of every Polarity is a single, archetypal construct. Where a particular Polarity looms large in your life, there lies a playing field for your individuated consciousness to make headway. Whether on the axis of fear and love, or anger and peace, or sadness and joy (or whatever), there you will make your stand.

You make your stand through choice – conscious, deliberate, and perhaps necessarily persistent. There may be obstacles along the way. But this passage is part of your Earthly adventure.

Polarity also presents practical value in helping you to identify exactly what you do not want, so that you can very deliberately pivot towards the opposite of that which you do not want. Sometimes it is easier to achieve clarity on what you don’t want than what you do want. There is something about adversity that seems to be deliberately stirred into the design of this physical plane; perhaps its magic lies in Polarity – and in pivoting towards the opposite of what is to be overcome or released.

Free will is such a key element of what I call “Earth Game”. Free will expresses on the playing field of Polarities.

Polarity may also be a guide to healing. Where there is anger, the cure is peace – rather than a greater or more powerful anger. Where there is a sense of separateness, the cure is love – rather than withdrawal. Where there is any kind of darkness, the remedy is light.


Dualities correspond, but they are not opposites. They are separated (by design), but despite their differences they are not incompatible. When placed together, they do not battle as opposites do. Instead, they create synergy; a whole greater than the sum of the parts. In the space between Dualities, there is great power. It is easy to confuse that tension with the opposition that Polarities have. It is easy to get caught up in paradox – i.e., the assumption that one or the other is “truth” to be chosen and championed. Science or spirituality, we are told we must choose one or the other. Or between the head and the heart. Or between masculine energy and feminine energy. Not so.

The presence of paradox is a clue that we are in the terrain of Duality. Paradox is when two apparently contradictory truths can’t both be, yet are. (For example, light is a particle vs. light is a wave.) We instinctively try to solve a paradox by accepting one as true and rejecting the other. That never works. The secret to resolving paradox is finding a way to put the two together. The answer to paradox is always “both”. Newtonian physics or quantum physics? – both (even if the quest for some sort of “unified theory” has proved a daunting one).

As with paradox, the answer to Duality is always “both”. Duality is about wholeness, not balance. For example, the objective is not to achieve a balance between the true feminine and the true masculine within each of us – as if those were somehow competing energies that must be mediated. No, let each find full expression, and put them together.

If you can, conjure up in your imagination – ideally, in meditation – pure feminine energy, and then also pure masculine energy. (Or, if it works for you, imagine Goddess energy and God energy.) Imagine the first in a spiraling golden light, the other in a spiraling silver light. Then, in your imagination, move the two together into a single filigreed spiraling energy. That generates for me a spark of ecstasy every time. If you want a real rush, then in your imagination step into the merged Duality you have just created.

Another interesting exploration of Duality is to imagine your conscious mind and then your subconscious mind, and open the door between them so that they spill into each other, merging into a unified whole.

At the core of many Dualities to be perceived from our Earthly vantage point is the dichotomy between the physical and the non-physical. The following table will illustrate:

Physical / Non-physical

Matter / Spirit

Classical physics / Quantum physics

Local / Non-local

Fixed speed of light / Entanglement

Brain / Consciousness

Ego / Self

Separateness / Oneness

Spacetime (4 dimensions) / Multi-dimensionality

Plato’s cave / Outside Plato’s cave

It seems to me that exploration of this fundamental Duality is the path to what I have called the “next level” of “Earth Game”. Where, still physical, still within our Earthly adventure, perception and possibility and potential and power all open up in ways currently beyond our imagination. Call it “Heaven on Earth” or “Ascension” or becoming multi-dimensional or “Going Quantum” or whatever you like – this is where the adventure leads for those ready and willing to explore. (If this is for you, you will know that as you read this.)

To recap, when in the terrain of Polarity, make your stand wisely. And when you find Duality – especially the Duality of spirit and matter – look for ways to put them together. If you find yourself in “either/or” mode, look more closely.