Polarisation and That what is Inbetween

November 22, 2010

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I was planning to write a post about ‘the medium between law and necessity’, another phrase in the aesthetic letters.

But looking at the subject, I realised it was something I have been writing about again and again on this blog.

Not using the same words, but the essence of those posts was mainly the same. Two opposing forces (or concepts or qualities) and a third one in between.  Many posts are about polarisation, but recently mainly about creativity, beauty and aesthetics.

According to David Bohm and Friedrich Schiller those have to do with what is in between the polarisations.

The polarisations of mind vs matter. Of individual vs collective. Of inside vs outside. Of monism vs dualism. Of instinctive vs moral. Of inclination vs duty. Of form vs meaning. Of sensuous vs formal.

And that what is in between. In between what can be given many names. Which are not the same but are very strong related. And all need the free space between the two opposing forces.

  • Creativity
  • Art
  • Beauty
  • Free Will
  • Play
  • Aesthetics

Next are some of the posts that have this opposition. An opposition that can only find a solution with space inbetween. Enough space for the above qualities to develop.

Energy vs Information

In the post Is our world dualistic after all I was trying to find out what the difference is between monism and dualism. I wanted to understand it, because I did not know if David Bohm thought of our world as dualistic or monistic. But it seems that his view was slightly different. He did not think it was monistic in the way that only the physical was real, or only the mind was real. But he also did not think it was dualistic in a way that dualism is mainly seen. However he did see two basic elements that can never be reduced to one. He called them energy and information.

Inside vs Outside

With the post Inner Drive or Navigation from Outside I wanted to dig deeper into what blocks creativity. After the post about how creativity is blocked by the need for approval, where I wrote about the view of David Bohm about those blocks, I wanted to go on a bit about two very different and opposing human characters. One that is independent by nature and acts mainly from an inner drive. And the other that has a strong desire for approval and praise and as a result is fueled by the outside world.

Avoiding vs Attention

The post When the Mind is Trying to Escape the Awareness of Conflict was the first of three posts about how the mind reacts on conflict. When there seems to be a huge gap between emotions and intellect, between conscious and unconscious, between body and mind. According to David Bohm, we humans are inclined to, what he calls, self-sustaining confusion. When the mind is trying to escape the awareness of conflict. But instead of escaping from that conflict we have to give patient, sustained attention to the confusion.

Instinctive vs Moral

In the post Between Instinctive and Moral Behavior I started blogging about the letters on aesthetics by Friedrich Schiller. I had been reading, blogging and thinking a lot about aesthetics when I found those letters. His style of writing is not easy to read, but what I did understand (together with what I found that others wrote about those letters) I had the feeling it all came down to one essential concept. He sees beauty as an essential step between our instinctive nature and our moral behavior.

Inclination vs Duty

The post Free Will Between Inclination and Duty was about how art has to leave reality, how it has to raise itself above necessity and neediness. The will of man is perfectly free between inclination and duty. This freedom of will, that is between inclination and duty, is what it is all about. It is our individual essence that has to decide what to do, to know how to act. It has to be consciously kept free, because else it falls victim to the circumstances.

Form vs Meaning

With the post Form becomes Independent of Meaning I wanted to emphasize the fragmentation. How the individual is sacrificed for the society. Where the individual is forced to specialistic focus. That way development goes very far beyond the limits of nature. But it looses contact with the whole. The isolated forces have made humans extraordinary. But only some sort of equilibrium between those extreme opposite forces can give happiness. Which is at the same time the place from where creativity, and as a result the actual change, can start.

Sensuous vs formal

With the post Sensuous and Formal Instinct I wrote about how Schiller talks about two false roads that he calls our sensuous and formal instinct. Holding those two instincts together is important. But the sensuous instinct requires change, has to happen in time, while the other, the formal instinct requires universality, something that goes beyond time, wants no change. Here, Schiller makes a start with the solution. The solution that somehow has to do with aesthetics, beauty, creativity and art. And at this point he starts with the introduction of a third instinct. The instinct of play.

Inbetween

In the post The Instinct of Play I wrote about the introduction of this third instinct. This instinct of play, as Schiller calls it, lets the two opposing instincts (the sensuous and the formal instinct) act together. Even though they are each others total opposite, it is possible to play with them, let them be there at the same time.

As long as they are playing together, there has to be no conclusion on what is true and what is false. During the play, the mind can be physical and moral at the same time. The play takes the dynamics out of feeling and passion. And it takes the moral out of reason.

So the instinct of play makes a communion possible between two opposing instincts. They exist together without a final conclusion.

Somehow this communion has to do with what Schiller calls beauty. Beauty that can not exist without one of the opposing instincts. It needs both. And as a result it needs the third instinct of play to let them exist together.

Difference and Similarity

This was a first summary of the posts on oppositions. At this point I can not see yet how much the oppositions from one post are the same as the oppositions from another post. If they are very different. Or if they are just named different and have in essence the same meaning.

I just wanted to know if ´the medium between law and necessity´ is the same as ´creativity between inclination and duty´, or ´beauty between form and meaning´ and so on. So far I am not yet sure, but this post might make it easier to see the differences and similarities between the words that are used.

Polarisation and that what is inbetween

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rolf

Hi Annemieke,
I love your posts, you know it. I think both of us are circling around the same questions: Who are we? What is “mankind” about? What is the system? How is it all together functioning and what is behind all this?

You are reading a lot, so do I. Presumably you are a scholar soul, as I am. You are for a long time on to the writings of the philosophic masters of the past and trying to find out, what is valid for the present. They had lots of insights and it is worth for sure to read them today. I’m very thankful for your work, because your research and comments, on Schiller for example, are showing me some insights and impulses for my own work, although my main sources are different.

Nobody knows the truth in whole, but I am working on collecting the bits and pieces.

My picture of the answers to the questions above is more and more becoming clear, although there is still a long way to go, maybe without an end.

To your question:

Here on the linear, physical plane all is choice and all choices are valid. As human being, you can decide between the positive and the negative pole, or – as another possibility – “play” a little bit around without making a decision (that’s a choice too).

Considering the bipolar line as a circle, it is without beginning or end, no polarities anymore. Progress from any point in it brings us eventually to the same point again without turning back. The circle may be conceived as either one unbroken line, having no parts, or as an infinitude of points — which shows that zero and infinity are extremes which meet. In the symbol of the circle, spirit and matter are not yet separated; it is spirit-substance. This is the status of the planes beyond the physical, where the soul resides in discarnate state between lives.

During our short stays here on earth or other planets or dimensions, which are physical, we have to deal with duality to make the experiences, which is not possible on the other planes. This is the purpose of life as human, as part of the evolution of the soul.

So … don’t take life too serious, it’s a game. Take it as it is!
Use your energy rather for joy and not too much for fear or thinking about the old philosophers. It will lead you to more personal development and because we are all connected as souls, also for the collective development. Matter and mind do not exist on the other planes, it’s all energy there.

From a scholar to another scholar: Don’t remain in theory, avoid abstracts, arrogance, boredom, dustiness, intellectualizing, overbearing. Go to real life and knowledge, that is: Easy-Going, observing, curious, adventurous, grounded, informed, aware, logical, mediating, methodical, neutral, understanding.

Have a good one …

Rolf

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Annemieke

Thank you for your very interesting comment. As often with such thoughtful comments, I observe my thoughts going all sides, and there are many things I want to react on. I tried to write a response, but got lost every time. So I thought it was better to get some headlines to make it clear to myself first.

Scholar
To be honest, I did not even know what the word meant. I did know it had something to do with knowledge, philosophy and research but not exactly what. So I looked it up and certainly do recognise myself in it. But what I do, is in no way serious and constructive enough to be called research. It is more an obsession to understand certain things or writings or people. And once I am obsessed with something I will go on and on and on about it. Which makes a blog a good medium for me :-)

Old philosophers
I don’t know too much about the old philosophers, I sort of have a snapshot of them in my head and at times I want to know a bit more about one or the other. The reason why I am staying with Schiller so long this time, is because I have the feeling he has the words that I am looking for, somewhere hidden in all his writings. My very general idea is that he is saying one thing over and over again in constantly different ways and different words. Which I think is great, because I think there are no words complete enough to describe what he means to say. And therefore he needs to say it in so many different ways. Well, something like that. And I can use each of his words to get my own thinking more constructive and developing.

Bits and pieces
Collecting bits and pieces is exactly what I am doing on my blog. Just pick things that interest me at a certain moment and rearrange them as I see fit.

Positive and negative
I think one of the most difficult concepts to discuss is positive and negative. Especially because of the association to good and bad. I think you mean it in a more abstract way and I think in that way it has to do with real human experience. Staying in the middle in not really an option as than there is no growth. As you say, all choices are actually valid. And at times take a step back and let all possibilities play together again.

Circle and line
When you use the image of a circle instead of a line, I personally would say I prefer a cycle, because I see a cycle as a combination of those two. There is a sort of beginning and a sort of end, but not really. Every time it is the beginning and the end of something that was a follow up of something else.

Spirit and matter
This is such a difficult to get, but at the same time such an important, subject for me. You say that spirit and matter are not yet separated at a certain moment, and I think that is indeed the case. As I see it, spirit and matter are indeed two sides of the same coin. But further on you say that all is energy. If I understand you correct you say that mind and matter are in essence energy. And this is where I think different. This is what the post about duality was about. My understanding of what David Bohm says, is that, in essence there are two substances. Energy and information. But to be honest it is very well possible that I do not understand that right. I can not find something like that anywhere else.

Duality and experiences
I absolutely agree that duality and experiences are important for evolution. Of the soul or whatever it is called. And also that it is our human purpose. But something I have been thinking a lot is about duality. Somehow I think there is a difference between duality and oppositions, although that are maybe not the right words to say what I mean. I think there is something that is from one end of the spectrum to the other end.

But I think there are also two things that are very closely related, but are a totally different ‘substance’. They influence each other all the time, they need each other to grow and develop, they seem inseparable but they are made of a completely different substance. As David Bohm calls it ‘energy and information’ or maybe it can be called ‘mind and matter’, in the way that ‘mind’ is the same substance as ‘information’ and ‘matter’ is the same substance as ‘energy’.

Not remain in theory
I can only agree with your last statement, real life is so important. But for me that worked out a bit odd. For the first part of my life I was not one bit interested in any theory or theorising at all. I never was interested in learning anything abstract or theoretical. I always wanted to ‘do’ things, to ‘make’ things. Until at some point I made a switch and I wanted to ‘understand’ things. First by studying and lately more by writing and discussing.

Which is probably the reason for this really long reaction to your comment :-) Anyway thanks a lot for that, I think you noticed that it gave me a whole lot to think and write about.

Reply

Rolf

Hi Annemieke,

maybe it was a mistake to post my comment in your blog. I guess, it was more confusing than helpful for you and specially for other readers, I’m sorry about that. I better had choosen to write to you in private.

You need to know more about the different planes of existance of the soul, to understand, what I was trying to communicate. You are a human being AND a spiritual beeing. In daily life, you may not realize this fact. Most people are not aware about their spiritual “part”, although it’s always there.

What I wanted to say is:
You are strongly acting out of your human personality, thinking about just that and are not aware about the role of your soul, which might be “Scholar”.

In the second half of Life, you usually follow your Life-Task; in the first half, you are preparing for that. So I’m not surprised about the change of interest in the middle of your current life. Your urge to understand “things” has to do with it. But don’t remain in “theoretical understanding”. Development means to integrate insights into your daily life and beyond, because not only your human personality needs development. Your soul is, also during its trips to the physical, eager to learn and develop as well. The difference is: It is not ending and gone with your physical death.

In your reply, you didn’t mention or ask for any information about the purpose of incarnation of the souls, planes of existance of souls beyond the physical, etc. (I was hoping, you would do so). Because of that, I’m not sure, if you are interested to learn more about it or if these idea is maybe scaring for you or you can find no access to the spiritual world, because it is so “out of your real world”. When you are not, from what ever reason, it is fine. We live in a “Young World” and for younger souls it’s a bit overextending. But if I’m right, your soul-age is mature or higher.

If you want to read more, go to:
http://personalityspirituality.net/
Barry has a very interesting and informing homepage.

or go to:
http://www.michaelteachings.com/personality_role.html
You can check there with a questionnaire what the role of your soul might be and you can find lot more of information about soul and human on the other pages.

There could be a complete new “Weltanschauung” (a German word, which means world-view = a concept fundamental to German philosophy and epistemology and refers to a wide world perception. Additionally, it refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets the world and interacts with it) for you in this pages.

If you intend to do so and you like, I invite you to a further discussion, if you prefer maybe in private.

Best wishes to you,
Rolf

Reply

Annemieke

Hi Rolf

It was certainly not a mistake to post that comment on my blog. I don´t mind discussing that here and I think it is really interesting what you have to say, although there seems to be some confusion about concepts and words.

I will follow the links to get an idea of what you exactly mean (I get the feeling it is about something I am very interested in) and then I would love to discuss this subject further.

BTW I thought it was strange that your comment was moderated, but when I looked I saw that was because of the links. I now changed that to moderate after 3 links or more.

Anyway thanks a lot for those links, getting very curious now.

Best wishes,
Annemieke

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