sense of opposites

Sense of Opposites as Well as Oneness

A Sense of Opposites

“Western psychologists talk about the theory of empathy or transference of feeling or participation, but I am rather inclined to propound the doctrine of identity. Transference or participation is based upon the dualistic interpretation of reality whereas the identity goes more fundamentally into the root of existence where no dichotomy in any sense has yet taken place. … The idea of two is based on that of one. Two will never be understood without one. To visualize this, read the following from Traherne’s Centuries of Meditation:

‘You never enjoy the world aright, till the Sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars; and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world, and none more than so, because men are in it who are everyone sole heirs as well as you. …’

“Such feelings as these can never be comprehended so long as the sense of opposites is dominating your consciousness. The idea of participation or empathy is an intellectual interpretation of the primary experience, while as far as the experience itself is concerned, there is no room for ant sort of dichotomy. The intellect, however, obtrudes itself in order to make it amenable to intellectual treatment, which means a discrimination or bifurcation. The original feeling of identity is then lost and intellect is allowed to have its characteristic way of breaking up reality into pieces.” ~ D. T. Suzuki

Duality or Not

Suzuki is obviously a believer in the philosophy of Oneness rather than duality. To him, and those like him, there is no hot and cold, no male and female, no dark and light. Everything is but a part of the one, and such distinctions they believe are unnecessary and probably invalid. But as Suzuki himself says in the above quote, the idea of two is based on the idea of one.

Where this philosophy fails, in my opinion, is in the idea that the pairs in a world of duality must be a dichotomy, with each being totally separate from the other. But it doesn’t have to be that way at all. The other problem with it is that it leaves no room for improvement. If there is no separation of light from dark, there is no possibility of making the world more full of light, and less full of darkness. If there is no separation of good from evil, one cannot rid themselves or the world of evil. Yet you would have to be a fool to think this is a perfect world that needs no improvement. So in order to make improvements, we must accept that on the physical level, the world is one of duality just as much as it is one of unity. Continue reading “Sense of Opposites as Well as Oneness”

two forces

Two Forces Attract, Repel, and Eventually Unite

“The idea of two forces – opposites or polarities – coming together is an idea that permeates most religions which are not wholly monotheistic. For Gnosticism in particular, the union of opposites comes up over and over again. As we have seen, emanations that are essentially balanced emerge from the union between God and His Protonnoia. Some instances of where balance is needed are : First Man is the union of two fires, the light and the dark; Adam must find his partner; and the physical world is evil while the spiritual world id good but the two must be brought together. All these idea demonstrate that out of duality must come unity. This union or marriage is now becoming evident in very subtle ways in today’s world. …

“Women have realized that they are powerful in their own right, but they also have to learn not to abuse that power. Gnostic texts in the early Christian era do give women their rightful place in the scheme of things but in the modern day they must also appreciate that they should not emasculate their men folk.” ~Bernard Simon

Two Forces

Whatever you may think of duality, you have to admit that it exists. To deny it is to be living in a fantasy. Hot and cold, light and dark, male and female, the two forces are everywhere. But they can also be deceptive.

Most of us know that an electric circuit consists of a positive side and a negative side, and when the two are connected together with a conductor, electricity flows. But the positive pole and the negative pole are not true opposites. It is simply that one pole has more than the normal amount of electrons, while the other has less. When the two sides are connected by a conductor such as copper wire, electrons flow from one side to the other until equality is achieved. Once that happens, the flow stops. So electrical devices must be designed to prevent that from happening. With a battery, for example, chemicals in the battery make sure that the two poles remain opposites. Yet you can see from this example that nature is trying to bring about that union of opposites that Mr. Simon mentions.


A similar example is lightning. Many think that a bolt of lightning simply shoots from a cloud to the ground and that is it. In reality, the bolt usually shoots back and forth between the cloud and the ground until the positive and negative sides are reasonably balanced. Another union of opposites. But at the same time, natural forces in the cloud and ground and building up those electrical forces again until the difference becomes enough for another bolt of lightning. So part of nature is creating duality while another part seeks the union of opposites. Continue reading “Two Forces Attract, Repel, and Eventually Unite”

duality in unity

Duality in Unity, Many in One

“There is a principle having intellection of the external and another having self-intellection and thus further removed from duality.

“Even the first mentions is not without an effort towards the pure unity of which it is not so capable. It does actually contain its object, though as something other than itself.

“In the self-intellect, there is not even this distinction of being: self-conversing, the subject is its own object, and thus takes the double form while remaining essentially a unity. The intellection is the more profound for the internal possession of the object.

“This principle in the primal intellect since there can be no intellection without duality in unity. If there is no unity, perceiving principle and perceived object will be different, and the intellection, therefore, not primal: a principle concerned with something external cannot be the primal intellect since it does not process the object as integrally its own as itself; it it does possess the object as itself—the condition of true intellection—the two are one. Thus (in order to primal intellection) there must be a unity in duality, while a pure unity with no counterbalancing duality can have no object for its intellection and ceases to be intellective. In other words, the primal intellective must be at once simple and something else.

“But the surest way of realizing that its nature demands this combination of unity and duality is to proceed upwards from the Soul, where the distinction can be made more dearly since the duality is exhibited more obviously.” ~Plotinus

External Intellection and Self-Intellection

What Plotinus means when he speaks of intellection of the external is awareness of something or someone outside of ourselves. Self-intellection, therefore, means self-awareness. Plotinus says that the intellect of the external does “contain its object,” but sees it as something other than itself. I’m not quite sure what he is trying to say with that statement. Does he mean to say that all things are a part of ourselves and we just think they are external, or does he mean that there is but one intellect, one consciousness, so everything is part of that single unified consciousness and the separation is but illusion? I think it is possible to be separate beings and things, yet connected to the all, like individual bricks that are part of a wall. The structure of nearly everything in the universe seems to have a hierarchy to it including our physical bodies. The galaxy is made of many solar systems, solar systems are made of one or two stars and several planets, etc. One from many, that is the idea of a hierarchical structure.

One and the Same

Maybe these two types of intellect are really just a case of looking at the same thing from different angles. Does it really matter, for example, when we look at a tree if we think of it as a separate being or just a part of ourselves? It shouldn’t, but with some people it does. Many don’t think they are responsible in any way for the welfare of others, but they do care about themselves. But it really shouldn’t make any difference either way. How we treat others is just as important to our own well being as how we treat ourselves. Plotinus goes on to say as much himself. He says the intellect is the subject as well as the object, so essentially a unity. Duality in unity and unity in duality. That’s an idea that won’t make the anti-duality crowd happy, but maybe it should. Continue reading “Duality in Unity, Many in One”

Devil's Night, Monad and duad War Internal

Monad and Duad, The Power of One and Two

“(The following outline of the Pythagorean numbers is a paraphrase of the writings of Nicomachus, Theon of Smyrns, …, Aristotle, and other early authorities.)
“Monad – 1 – is so called because it always remains in the same condition—that is, separate from multitude.Its attitudes are as follows: It is called mind, because it is stable. … It is both male and female; odd and even; … God because it is the beginning and end of of all. …
“The following symbolic names were given to the duad – 2 – because it has been divided, and is two rather than one: … genius, evil, darkness, inequality, instability, … matter, indefinite. While the monad is the symbol of wisdom, the duad is the symbol of ignorance. … The Pythagoreans revered the monad but despised the duad, because it was the symbol of polarity.” ~Manly P Hall

Monad and Duad

The number one represents unity, God, the All because it is a single unit. Two, on the other hand, represents the world of duality where male is separate from female, hot from cold, light from dark, positive from negative. If you read that carefully, you should get one important fact from it: God is not male or female. God is beyond such distinctions of duality because He is Unity.

The Monad

The attributes the ancients wise men assigned to the monad tell us a lot about the true nature of the universe, of God, and of reality.

First, it “remains in the same condition”. In other words, the world of spirit is a world that doesn’t change. God doesn’t get bigger, older, grow a beard or any of the other silly things often depicted. God doesn’t get cancer or have a heart attack. God just is. The same now as a million years ago. And the same is true of his world.

The Monad is mind in the sense that the mind of God being the one the creates all THAT IS REAL, and therefore all that is real (spirit) remains part of the Monad, part of God. Continue reading “Monad and Duad, The Power of One and Two”