New Civilization News: Polarity    
 Polarity8 comments
20 Jan 2003 @ 22:51, by Craig Lang

One fascinating thing that I note in many of the discussions on the upcoming war is the degree of polarity involved. There is a deep (and very legitimate) anger over the behavior of the world's (materially) wealthiest nation.

Most interesting is the philosophy behind opposition to the war. This is the idea that we can achieve peace by opposing war. In the causal, objective world this makes sense - there is a pressing need to prevent this awful thing looming ahead of us, so political action is vital. Yet when I see this I am reminded of the Law of Polarity which is core to so many spiritual traditions: "That which we oppose, we bring power to...".

While I feel complete revulsion at the coming US "adventures" in Iraq, I wonder if by intensely opposing war we are actually energizing the very conflict we oppose. In being "ANTI"-war, could we simply be creating another conflict - this one about conflict itself?

So, how can we work for peace besides being "anti"-war? I wonder if the true pacificst is actually the peacemaker - the healer, rather than the divider. While activisim is important, perhaps it is at least as important at this time to be sure to observe one's spiritual tradition. Now more than ever, praying for peace, meditating on peace, and above all - practicing peace in daily life, seems to be truly important.

As within, so without. In many ways, peace begins at home. Some food for thought on a cold January night.


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8 comments

20 Jan 2003 @ 23:42 by vibrani : resistence
Craig - what you wrote reminds me of a similar thought I had a few years ago. Here's an excerpt from my article on Peace Keys:
I attended a wonderful weekend event which involved a mixture of healers, scientists, musicians, writers, and people involved in current peace organizations. While the intention there was to focus on peace and healing, there came a moment when I looked around me and observed the demand for peace, now, around the world. The speaker of the moment at this convention is a musician whose mission is to uplift people through music and peace prayers, events. He had the attendees chant, repeat things a certain number of times, in a low voice and then in a high voice, soft and then strong. He created his own peace ritual that he felt if everyone does it together it will move mountains.

I certainly believe in the power of prayer and visualization. However, I have to tell you that at one point I had to contain myself from bursting out laughing as this thought came into my head: We have to watch ourselves because even with the best intentions for peace in the world, forcing it upon others (especially if they're not open or ready for it) can be received as another act of war! When things are forced there is often a resistance, a force moving in the opposite direction, which will create the opposite effect of what you were trying to accomplish. As strange as it is for me to understand, some people actually enjoy war and wouldn't know what to do with peace. So, yes, let us be instruments of peace, let us be peace ourselves, as that is where it must begin, and let us also respect those who do not wish anything forced upon them. They have their own free will and path and when they're ready they will embrace peace. I still think we can urge it on gently.  



21 Jan 2003 @ 02:09 by jazzolog : Why Demonstrate?
For one thing, it is voting with your feet. Voting in the streets. So far, the Supreme Court hasn't taken that right away from us. Remembering how Nixon barricaded himself inside the White House, in his last days, to "protect" himself from the people's voice of no-confidence, I continue encouraged that political activism is the way to shine the light on shady dealings.
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CL Note: Rich, I don't disagree with you in the least. I believe that activism is important. Still, when we strive for one side of a polarity, we have to accept that the opposite side of the polarity recieves energy. The more you push against something, the harder it pushes back.

Yes, activism is important - and all involved in it have my heartfelt support. Let's understand the goal and put it in the context - stopping this obscenity.

And while acting, we can at the same time show empathy to those who might not wish to return it. For it is they who most need it, and it is there that is needed the healing - it is this that will bring peace to our world.  



21 Jan 2003 @ 14:17 by sharie : Positive Activism
I just posted a comment on spiritseeker's log on this very topic. I agree with you Craig. Rather than *oppose* - take actions that take back your power from those who are abusing it. Stop driving your car, your truck, and your SUV.  


21 Jan 2003 @ 23:37 by strydg : therefore
the more the u.s. government opposes saddam's iraq the stronger saddam's iraq will become. demonstrating against war is a way of participating in government though the anti-war opinion is not welcomed by our government. it's better to be harmed by another than to harm another (Socrates?). it is very bad for the u.s. to attack any country for any reason, to drag the rest of the world into a war that so many question. to apply "that which you resist persists" to the anti-war movement and demonstrations here is nearsighted. action is as important as meditation and manifestation. if you choose peace tell others of your choice and let them decide. express your dissatisfaction with a government that controls with fear. how would we know that we all want peace and don't want war if we did not demonstrate these feelings? i don't demonstrate in the streets but i'm grateful for those who do. the new global community of peace will come about through our communication of our common needs. the way to a whole world is through peace. the way to peace is through communication. "anti-war" is not the correct phrase. the correct phrase is "peace". war is anti-everything for exclusive power. peace is the higher energy state that is polarized by war.
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CL Note:
Your views are noted. I agree that activism is important - and I think that we also need to be aware of the polarity involved. That's an interesting thought indeed about how the US military opposition to Iraq gives strength to the Iraqi regime, itself. Thanks for your view.

Another note: I certainly don't think that taking a spiritual view is nearsighted. If anything, I believe that it is farsighted. To obtain a goal, sometimes one needs to reach in the opposite direction - as above, so below - and as within, so without - and for peace abroad, seek peace at home.

In the end, I believe that one needs to look beyond any individual conflict. The problem is war, itself - beyond any one particular war. If this particular war can be averted, then another will take its place - unless the overall problems that give rise to war are corrected. Peace begins at home - our home, and the home of all others...

Thanks again for your comments. I appreciate your views.
Namaste,
-Craig  



22 Jan 2003 @ 21:37 by strydg : i did not say
"the spiritual view is nearsighted." it is your assumption that what you said represents "the spiritual view." how do you know that what you said represents "the spiritual view'? to my understanding there is no "goal orientation" in a "spiritual view."-- exactly what do you mean when you say "...the polarity involved..."?  


22 Jan 2003 @ 22:02 by craiglang : The quote from the previous post
Looking up a few lines, your earlier statement was: "...to apply 'that which you resist persists' to the anti-war movement and demonstrations here is nearsighted...". It was this that I was responding to.

The view I am taking is that by transcending polarity we can find a win-win solution to our differences. I refer to this as a spiritual view, since it is based largely on spiritual philosophy (primarily eastern). It is not goal directed - at least not in my book - unless peace is a goal. (Note: I will for the moment, accept your assertion that things spiritual are not goal oriented, though there are many aspects in many spiritual traditions that suggest otherwise.) Additionally, I do not believe this view to be nearsighted. In fact, I believe that in most cases it is a very farsighted view - although you are welcome to disagree.

Regarding your question on "The Polarity Involved", I believe that this is obvious, embedded even within your own comment. Per definition: "Polarity is the division between one thing which is desirable, and it's opposite, which is not." It is a core element of eastern spiritual philosophy that the more one seeks the former, the more one energizes the latter. In the current discussion, the "desirable" and the "not" are very clear.

In the veiw I advocate, the way to resolve an issue is to transcend the polarity - to think outside of the box. It is to see how the two sides inter-relate and to work out a solution on that basis. This is what I suggest, and if it is goal-oriented then so be it. I believe that it is also a spiritual approach. Here too, you are welcome to disagree if you wish.

I certainly respect your point of view - and if we disagree that's fine. Know that I very much agree with you that activism is vital, especially when understood in the above context.
Thank you again for your note, and for expanding my horizon.
-Craig  



28 Jan 2003 @ 23:12 by strydg : polarity
does not have to mean a division between opposites. a polarized current is one that "flows" from a source, usually designated as positive, to a pole that is more negative. a stream cascading down a mountainside represents a kind of polarity. but the top of the stream is not better than the bottom of the stream. a direct current flows from a positive to a negative pole. this is how batteries work. a polarized electrical current is a whole thing, a process for manifesting, creating, etc. there is no positive by itself. nor is there a negative without a relative positive. that we use "polarity" to mean that two things are opposites instead of in different relative positions on an energetic continuum is revealing about how we think.

eastern spiritual philosophy represents a few stepping stones on the path, as it were. it is useful as a reference to where we've been. there is much wisdom and lots of other good things in eastern spiritual philosophy but in terms of its usefulness in helping us move forward into a new whole world it is mostly obsolete. sometimes it is a way we have of clinging to the past instead of being in the present. ideas, concepts, insights of enlightened beings may inspire but they also may distract. maybe the east represents the positive pole and the west, the negative pole. maybe we need to complete the circuit.

laser light is a good metaphor. laser is polarized light - it is coherent. the waves are lined up by a filter. this suggests to me that we don't necessarily want to transcend polarity but to line our self up with the flow of it and become coherent.  



29 Jan 2003 @ 14:56 by craiglang : An interesting idea
I find the idea of the circuit, and other ways in which two poles interact in a constructive way to be very encouraging. It speaks to the idea that we can indeed move beyond the need to focus on one side of the polarity.

The north pole can't exist without the south pole. The positive electrode is meaningless without the negative electrode. And when combined in a constructive way they create generators, circuits, etc... So you are right, there is usually a constructive higher view. Whether or not you call that transcendent is up to you - a matter of word-choice I think. I see it as moving beyond the need for a clash of opposites. And this was the main idea behind the post.

Thanks,
-Craig  



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