A pole can be a unifying pole, like the central pole of a circus tent, or a division of opposing forces. Think polarity.
The modern world seems to exaggerate the idea of opposition, so that people become more separate.
Us and them.
Right and wrong.
Good and evil.
By contrast, mythology, philosophy or religion used to provide us the structure with which to hold the tension of the opposites so that we could move through into the next stage of our development. History suggests that growth comes from discovering and embracing not one of the poles, but the "THIRD THING".
'The third time's a charm.'
The third force is what makes all great stories. And, the creative friction created by the two opposing poles is required to bring the third thing into existence.
How do we find unity? We must suffer the oppositions of life.
We are always in the Great Drama.
The ills and the medicine.
The chaos and the structure.
The problem and the solution.
The third thing will only arise when we learn how to unwind the twisted threads of the "WISE" and the "CROSSWISE" inside of ourselves. That is, acknowledge that each of us has some great gift, as well as a great shadow that is cast upon it.
If we continue to deny one in favour of the other, progress cannot be made.
We block that creative process that is the gateway to the third thing. The third force. The solution that no one sees, because they remain committed to one of the other two things.
It's a human phenomenon.
And yet, if we seek to become conscious of our internal biases and commitments to one pole or the other and edge forward a little more gently, perhaps we will more quickly arrive at the third thing.
That's a world I'd like to be part of creating?
What do you think?
Thank you to #MichaelMeade for inspiring this reflection. Meade explores these ideas in episode 277 of the Living Myth podcast. He gathers ancient wisdom and myth from a tribe deep in the Amazon to help us understand how we can best seek unity by first checking in with our own souls.
Catch it here or wherever you find your podcasts: