This replay of a popular episode of Living Myth begins with a consideration of how contemporary patterns of polarization can lead people to feel discouraged and defeated when it comes to meaningful change. Although “the twin offspring of this age of polarization may be radical uncertainty and rampant absolutism,” Michael Meade approaches the problem, not by trying to reduce it, but by making it bigger in order to better understand it.
“Back at the beginning of creation, the original polarization was between cosmos and chaos. And in some sense, each occasion of polarization is connected to that original tension of opposites. Understanding it at any level requires understanding it at that original level. Rather than seeming like the impending end of life, the tension of opposites secretly hints at a hidden third that not only relieves the tension but also renews life at a meaningful level.”
The hidden third or middle way that can shift the tension of opposites to a creative level is not the same as notions of a middle path that avoids excess and extremes by following reason and moderation in all things. Nor is it simply the path of negotiation, bi-partisanship and compromise. The old imagination of a middle way involves a living center, a moving middle and golden mean that can loosen the restrictions of time and place and opens us to moments of wholeness and renewal.
“While the two poles of a polarity may seem to be irreconcilable opposites, they are secretly parts of a hidden unity. Existence itself is an essential unity appearing as a duality, and thus genuine change and transformation are the secret aims of the tensions inside the opposites and inside life itself.”
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