The Kybalion | The Duality & Rhythm of Life

Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you in part by Book of Zen, makers of wearable inspiration for a better world. Today’s podcast has been edited and adapted from The Kybalion, published in 1912 by the Yogi Publication Society.

The Principle of Polarity, as taught by the ancient mystics, was that everything is dual. Everything has two poles. Everything has its pair of opposites—and that “opposites” are really only the two extremes of the same thing, with many varying degrees between them.

To illustrate: Heat and Cold, although opposites, are really the same thing, the differences consisting merely of degrees of the same thing. Look at your thermometer and see if you can discover where heat terminates and cold begins. There is no such thing as absolute heat or absolute cold—the two terms heat and cold simply indicate varying degrees of the same thing, and that same thing which manifests as heat and cold is merely a form, variety, and rate of Vibration.

So heat and cold are simply the two poles of that which we call heat—and the phenomena attendant thereupon are manifestations of the Principle of Polarity. The same Principle manifests in the case of Light and Darkness, which are the same thing, the difference consisting of varying degrees between the two poles of the phenomena.

Where does darkness leave off, and light begin? What is the difference between Large and Small? Between Hard and Soft? Between Black and White? Between Sharp and Dull? Between Noise and Quiet? Between High and Low? Between Positive and Negative? The Principle of Polarity explains these paradoxes, and no other Principle can supersede it.

The same Principle operates on the Mental Plane. Let us take a radical and extreme example—that of Love and Hate, two mental states apparently totally different. And yet there are degrees of Hate and degrees of Love, and a middle point in which we use the terms “Like” or “Dislike,” which shade into each other so gradually that sometimes we are at a loss to know whether we “like” or “dislike” or “neither.”

All are simply degrees of the same thing, as you will see if you will but think a moment. And, more than this, it is possible to change the vibrations of Hate to the vibrations of Love—in one’s own mind, and in the minds of others. For example, I am sure that many of you have had personal experiences of the involuntary rapid transition from Love to Hate, and the reverse.

Good and Evil are but the poles of the same thing, and the ancient mystics understood the art of transmuting Evil into Good, by means of an application of the Principle of Polarity. In short, the “Art of Polarization” becomes a phase of Mental Alchemy known and practiced by ancient and modern mystics alike. An understanding of the Principle will enable one to change their own Polarity, as well as that of others, if they will devote the time and study necessary to master the art.

Closely connected to the principle of polarity is the principle of rhythm, which says that everything manifests a measured motion; a to-and-from movement; a flow and inflow; a swing forward and backward; a pendulum-like movement; a tide-like ebb and flow; a high-tide and a low- tide—between the two-poles manifested on the physical, mental, or spiritual planes.

Rhythm manifests between the two poles established by the Principle of Polarity. This does not mean, however, that the pendulum of Rhythm swings to the extreme poles, for this rarely happens. In fact, it is difficult to establish the extreme polar opposites in the majority of cases. But the swing is ever toward one pole first and then the other.

There is always an action and reaction; an advance and a retreat; a rising and a sinking; manifested in all of the airs and phenomena of the Universe. Suns, worlds, people, animals, plants, minerals, forces, energy, mind and matter, yes, even Spirit, manifests this Principle. The Principle manifests in the creation and destruction of worlds; in the rise and fall of nations; in the life history of all things; and finally in the mental states of men and women.

Beginning with the manifestations of Spirit—of THE ALL—it will be noticed that there is ever the Outpouring and the Indrawing; the “Outbreathing and Inbreathing of Praana,” as the Brahmans word it. Universes are created; reach their extreme low point of materiality; and then begin in their upward swing. Suns spring into being, and then their height of power being reached, the process of retrogression begins, and after eons they become dead masses of matter, awaiting another impulse which starts again their inner energies into activity, and a new solar life cycle is begun.

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