The Duality of Polarity of Prejudice
According to the Hopi, there are red, yellow, purple and white people. Synonymous with the colors of corn, each color is related to an element. Red people are the guardians of earth, yellow people are the guardians of air, purple people are the guardians of water and white people are the guardians of fire.
People of any color can potentially lose their way and become two-hearted. The term two-hearted comes from the Hopi concept that people originally have one heart and are good natured. People who lose their way – who succumb to greed and ego, who lose the conscious connection that can only exist in the moment – acquire a whole other heart to feed.
The Duality of the Polarity
When it comes to the question of race, the only real differences are shades and hues. People are more similar than different. We are fundamentally the same, but appear in this reality in slightly different forms. And while our cultures and traditions may differ, they are all human traditions after all.
Yet, although we are all human and we are all one, we humans have subdivided, grouped and categorized each other into numerous more races than four. However, for the basic descriptive purposes of this article, four is enough of a distinction to draw.
Today, racial divisions are so nuanced and undefined as to be seemingly unnecessary, other than to perpetuate unconscious notions of ‘us and them’. It reinforces polarity in the human mind, which has been trained to look for opposites…. Good/Evil, Right/Wrong, Left/Right, Thesis/Antithesis.
The very inquiry into the origins of human thinking and being is posed through the duality of polarity, and yet it’s most often considered a singular polarity. Why are we the way we are? Is it the result of nature or nurture? The debate of nature versus nurture is posed in a single distinct polarization, yet the best question itself supersedes the mindset of the singular polarity. Traditionally, the question is viewed philosophically as a trinity of options – the thesis (nature), antithesis (nurture) and synthesis (both) of one and the other. And yet, in its natural state, this mode of thinking is actually a matrix of four.
Is it so?
Is it not so?
Is it both?
Or is it neither?
This is the duality of polarity.
Why are we the way we are? Is it the result of nature? Or nurture? Or neither? Or both?
Using the question of the origins of human behavior as an example, it becomes apparent how limiting the polarized thesis/antithesis, nature/nurture type of thinking truly is. It excludes the potential of synthesis, and most importantly, of nullesis – the infinite potential that exists outside of pre-defined theses and antitheses.
The Matrix of Four
The duality of polarity is apparent in the universe, human tradition, philosophy and even our biological make-up. Most importantly, it is apparent in how people think. And by understanding the matrix of four – the duality and the polarity – and acknowledging that it is apparent in everything, we are able to more clearly understand the totality of any situation or interaction. And when one understands the totality of a problem, one is better placed to actively fix it.
“Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” ~ Albert Einstein
The matrix of four assists our understanding by providing a cross-reference system through which to examine the totality of a subject or object, even extremely complex ones, even those engrained deep into our consciousness. It is explored through the four ever-present philosophical alternatives: the thesis (is it so?), antithesis (is it not so?), synthesis (is it both?) and nullesis (is it neither?). The fourth, commonly ignored ‘nullesis’ part of this thought-set represents the expanded and unlimited alternative.
The duality of polarity can be applied to understand one of our oldest and most complicated social and political problems; prejudice.
Humanity and Objectivity
Prejudice stems from the ongoing problem that has plagued humanity forever, the problem from which all woes and wars originate; an undeveloped or lost consciousness, or as the Hopi would say, living with two-hearts. An undeveloped sense of consciousness – a sense of the true spiritual self – can be easily steered, manipulated by shadows and convinced that prejudiced, separatist thinking is somehow “right”, even “righteous”. But at its core, prejudiced thinking is a system of undeveloped consciousness, or worse, un-consciousness.
It is in our human nature to question our reality, to pose theses along the way. But prejudice and pre-judgement are the antithesis of questioning and enquiring. Prejudice relies on pre-formed beliefs, experiences and assumptions to inform a situation, in place of genuine assessment, and fails to recognize that each human being is as complex as we are. This is not in our curious intellectual or conscious nature. Prejudgment places an unreasonable level of certainty on factors that are actually ‘unknowns’, and such certainty is either the epitome of ignorance or the beginning of madness… or both.
No one is born prejudiced against one race, or religious group, or gender for that matter. The either/or mentality of separation is heavily reinforced in our partisan society. As infants we know no racial, ethnic, or religious boundaries. We learn such prejudice through tribal inheritance – we adopt the shared cultural bias of our community, both consciously and unconsciously. This mentality may be primordially rooted in disdain for wrongdoers of the tribal collective, nonetheless it is socially nurtured, conjuring suspicion of ‘outsiders’ who are perceived as a constant threat of infringement and ‘wrong doing’.
But we lose our humanity in prejudice and prejudgment, for one must not only lose compassion for their brother man, but also lose (or give up) the ability to question reality in its complexity, independently and as it truly is. For racism to exist, one must adopt unquestioning acceptance of a racially-based thesis, giving no consideration that an antithesis, synthesis or nullesis may even exist.
Those who defend concepts of limited thinking may suggest that humans are born with an innate capacity to pre-judge, which help us to apply our understands of the world to new situations. And to an extent, such a response may be part of our unconscious lower thinking. But by pre-judging people and situations in our lives, we fail to truly assess the situation in its full, complicated reality – and fail to realize our evolutionary potential.
We humans tend to think in polarity, so the us and them mentality of prejudice is easily instituted. While humanity is adapting to its new emerging consciousness, the mind is easily fooled by persuasive yet limited thinking – as is clearly evident in the continuing politics of institutional war.
But prejudiced thinking is not a natural inclination… unless one considers lost consciousness a natural state. Prejudiced thinking comes from detachment from the moment, from lost consciousness, from becoming two-hearted.
Four Forms of Racism
Judgment based on the physical exterior reflects an inability or unwillingness to question, learn, and experience each situation or person individually, as they are. The specifics of prejudice vary wildly, however through the duality of polarity there are four cardinal forms of prejudice amidst the many particular directions which it may be aimed, all flawed preconceptions.
The four main categories of human prejudice are racial, religious, institutional/national and cultural heritage/history. Often prejudice is simply based on the color of one’s skin, or other inherited features, but sometimes it is much more nuanced and complicated than that, particularly where a history of conflict exists. And while human prejudice is typically based on these four distinctions, the specifics of each are near limitless.
By observing the duality of polarity, racial, religious, national and cultural prejudices can be dissected and understood.
In considering prejudice, there is one obvious, common polarity, and a second pair of opposites that is less obvious and seldom considered. Essentially, prejudice results in acting for or against others because of perceived differences or similarities. That is the duality of the polarity of prejudice.
The most common type of prejudice is to judge and act against others because they are different.
The equally common type of prejudice, the contrast of the first type, is to judge and act forothers because they are similar.
A less common and often overlooked type of prejudice is acting for others because they are different.
And the last and equally uncommon part is acting against others because they are similar.
“All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers.” ~ Francois Fenelon
One of the grandest challenges on earth today is overcoming prejudiced, limited, and institutionally-corrupted thinking. The ‘us and them’ mentality we encounter in others is often unconscious and it can be a challenge for many to even realize such thinking, much less change it.
When a problem is understood, it begins to unravel. Such is the case with confronting the root cause of prejudice – the loss of consciousness and connection to the moment. By extrapolating and dissecting any situation by applying the matrix of four, the duality of polarity, you have the tool to rationally confront prejudice where it manifests — the mind — in ourselves as well as others.
“When the Earth is ravaged and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come onto the Earth of many colors, creeds and classes, and by their actions and deeds shall make the Earth green again. They shall be known as the warriors of the rainbow.” ~ Hopi
Recognition of our differences in appearance is natural. Our uniqueness and distinct beauty is there to be seen. How we choose to perceive those physical difference is up to us.
The Hopi conceived four different colors of people, represented by the four different colors of corn – red, yellow, purple and white – yet they imagined people united as equal brothers, as one quad-colored corncob.
Racism is the deceit of the senses of lazy mind, and shows its ignorance in a scientifically verifiable way, for only the human eye sees colors as humans do. Certainly, only the human mind draws conclusions of value based upon the color of another member of its species. Such prejudice belies our natural relationship with each other, our brotherhood. As we come to terms with our true nature, as part of the same conscious whole, we must understand now more than ever that, no matter our hue, no matter our eye color, our religious beliefs, our nationality or our history, we are more alike than we are different.
“Polarity, or action and reaction, we meet in every part of nature; in darkness and light, in heat and cold, in the ebb and flow of waters, in male and female, in the inspiration and expiration of plants and animals; in the equation of quantity and quality in the fluids of the animal body; in the systole and diasystole of the human heart; in the centrifugal and centripetal gravity; in electricity, galvanism and chemical affinity.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Matrix of Four
Want to delve further?
Ethan Indigo Smith’s book The Matrix of Four: The Philosophy of the Duality of Polarity is an exploration of our consciousness, and presents a formula to develop our consciousness, inspire and engage creative thinking and being, and surpass the limitations of traditional political and social constructs. In this work, Ethan explores correlations between the four seasons, the four operations of arithmetic, and the four archetypal characters in Plato’s The Allegory of the Cave, as well as the Aum, a myriad of esoteric and exoteric ideas on consciousness, and mathematical and philosophical concepts verified by universality and human tradition.
Employing this philosophical understanding, Ethan’s book The Complete Patriot’s Guide to Oligarchical Collectivism: Its Theory and Practice is an insightful exploration of history, philosophy and contemporary politics of today’s heavily institutionalized society. An inspiration for positive, peaceful individual action, The Complete Patriot’s Guide is pro-individual in its perspective and, although political, discusses our society and its institutions from neither left-wing nor right-wing perspectives, exploring history, philosophy and contemporary politics relative to the fictional work of George Orwell. Layered with insight, it is in part a literary exploration of the themes of Orwell’s 1984, and provides solutions for individual and collective empowerment.
About Ethan Indigo Smith:
Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humor.
You can connect with Ethan on Facebook, check out his author page on Amazon, or visit his new websites, Geometry Of Energy and Meditation 108, where Ethan offers lessons on individuation, meditation, the conceptualization of energy, and the metaphysical significance of 108.
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