Identity and the Law of Polarity
_Identity, stages of development and polarity
From our earliest beginnings we retain experiences and memories. Early sensations begin to condition our responses. Primal hopes and fears take root. Will I survive? Will I be safe?
With the development of feeling awareness and the capacity to make images and concepts, we begin, in early childhood, to wonder who we are and whether who we are is acceptable or not. The basic question of survival is superseded by the question “am I loved?”
If such fears and doubts become established we come to see ourselves and the world in a particular way. We hold, unconsciously, fundamental beliefs that are not amenable to reason.
These beliefs are always based in pairs of opposites – good/bad, beautiful /ugly, success/failure etc. As long as we are living to the standards of the “good” polarity we feel life is OK. I feel good because I’m good not bad, beautiful not ugly, successful not failing.
However the “bad” end of the polarity is never far away – bad not good, ugly not beautiful, failing not successful. These polarities are inseparable from the function of our conceptual minds.
Life seems to be a story which plays out these opposites – just like the stories of heroes and villains. In this story we tell ourselves that if we can just do this, fix that, get the other, everything will (hopefully) be fine.
However this strategy never defeats the law of opposites. As long as we see anything one way – the world or ourselves – the opposite will always be there also. So if I’m good, I must make sure I don’t become bad. Or even if I’m bad, I must make sure I don’t become good.
These polarities grew out of our need to survive and be loved. We “chose” to be one way and not another in order to maximise the possibility of survival and love.
However these beliefs come to imprison us. Pure awareness and freedom of movement get replaced by a set of beliefs and reactions. The belief that this is who I am, and I must defend it.
However this isn’t who you are. This is an apparent identity created by an apparent separate self in it’s quest for survival.
In truth you are dynamic movement arising in pure awareness. You are awareness and not a particular identity. You are the dancer not the form.
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Short pieces from Julian on all aspects of healing, psychology and spirituality