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Philosophies

Psychologists such as Abraham Maslow and Erich Fromm have connected Polarity with issues such as "evil behavior," which we noted is a concept so prevalent in the mind set of most people. As already seen, the question of what to do with the existence of evil is not really addressed in today's society. Maslow and Fromm (and many others), however, have advanced theories that there is a way to eliminate conflicts, struggles, stupidity, jealousy, and many other undesirable personality traits.

 

To begin, let's focus on Maslow. The problem of pitting good against evil results in what he called unrealistic perfectionism. Maslow believed that the history of the struggle to find a utopia reveals many unrealistic, unattainable, and non-human fantasies, such as "let us love one another; let us share equally; treat all people equally in all ways; nobody should have power over anyone else; the application of force is always evil; and there are no bad people, only un loved people.” These aphorisms of goodness, all of which shun the existence of opposites, are unreasonable expectations that, when acted on, invariably lead to failure, apathy, disillusionment, discouragement, hostility, and so forth. How can they not, for they are rooted in an incorrect view of the design of nature.

 

Other scientific and psychological theories further emphasize the necessity of Polarity in development. Besides Complementarity, the stability found within nature is also based on the union of opposites. Matter itself is built on the relationship between positively and negatively charged particles (protons and electrons), which we all learned about in high school. The growth of vegetation results from both sunshine and rain, or Dry vs. Wet. The violent explosion of stars in deep space creates chemical elements that will form new stars and planets (Destruction vs. Creation). We think of summer and winter-hot and cold-as opposites, and yet the seasons are crucial in regulating the environment and making it habitable. Everywhere in nature tension creates variation and changes that result, not in chaos, but in stability and equilibrium.

 

Even within the ecosystem, man himself can adapt to almost any environment, but he is rarely satisfied. This dissatisfaction resulted in evolutionary development and momentum (the use of a "negative" to develop the species). Over tens of thousands of years, man moved into both polar and tropical climates and adapted, creating the cultural and ethnic diversity of life we see all around us. In fact, brain research indicates that this structural framework of tension is characteristic of such adaptive responses. Humans need predictability and variation, security and independence. We are geared toward finding shelter and protection, but we are also explorers by nature, as evidenced by human expansion across continents and a drive to land on the moon. Without polarities-or the tension inherent in opposition- there is no cultural, scientific, spiritual, emotional, or mental progress. We can say that human nature is patterned (or modeled) for the tension that makes change possible, and Polarity promotes that patterning.

 

Precisely because we are a part of nature, life is always placing us at the crossroads of Polarity. Whenever we employ a plan, we are usually choosing against its opposite, In a very real sense, life pushes us to make such choices, and choices are often difficult and painful, but they are also opportunities to grow and evolve as we contend with the consequences of any given situation.

 

Polarity is also part of our inner being. As Myer and Briggs definitively established, we experience each action from two perspectives: one from the person we are in side (our introverted view), and one from the person that interacts with others (our extroverted perspective). The two perspectives are not exclusive, but rather symbiotic in nature. Jung explained this concept by saying that our two personalities are similar to TWO chemicals: when they meet, both are transformed. The original components are still present, but they become synthesized into a whole. This and all transformations occurring as a result of tension between opposites is transcendent in nature.

 

Speaking in terms of the dynamics of personal relationships, Fromm believed we often have strong preferences for one attitude because we arc paradoxically drawn to its opposite. The affinity to this attitudinal opposite is natural and leads to relationships in which both parties arc able to change and grow. This occurs when partners are willing to listen to advice or observe examples of a behavior that reflects the opposite attitude (or their secondary functioning, if you will).

 

These psychological principles are in perfect harmony with the intelligence of Mirroring. When people overdevelop a dominant attitude, they become attracted to those who will actually reflect the opposing attitude. Another person can put us in contact with our unconscious side while sparing us the ordeal of reconciling our own contradictions. In the initial stages of such a relationship, people generally experience a sense of well- being. Over time, the connection inevitably generates tension. Fromm believes that both parties then depend on each other for a sense of wholeness, with individual growth threatening the arrangement and possibly destroying the original sense of well-being.

 

This does not imply that symbiotic relationships are unhealthy, but it is NATI's contention that when we have the strength of character to "look into the mirror," we can reconcile our contradictions and grow, achieve, and develop without threatening the relationship.

 

Opposition can lead to an infinite number of exciting and interesting patterns of behavior and personality. The social sciences are replete with theories that are synonymous with the psychological dynamics described in this section. Natural Thinking & Intelligence believes that its principles are the basis for the collateral identifications of these dynamics.