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Pagan 202 Is there an eternal dance?
Across planes of consciousness, we have to live with the paradox that opposite things can be simultaneously true. - Ram Dass
Duality in Nature
Man one of many creatures in the world that is bilaterally symmetrical. However, other types of symmetry does occur.
– Radial – Odd numbered
Energy & Matter
Dualism extends to the very nature of the universe in wave particle duality – The property of matter and electromagnetic radiation that is characterized by the fact that some properties can explained best by wave theory or by particle theory. Imagine a light source being blocked by a sheet of metal with two slits in it. A few meters away there is a screen. For a given point along the screen, there are two light waves hitting the screen (one through each hole). These two light waves travel different distances to reach the screen, so they interfere with each other, creating an interference pattern.
More Matter & Energy
It turns out that if you repeat the same experiment using a particle beam instead of a light source, you record a similar interference pattern. This means that all particles have wave properties. For example, here's a real interference pattern caused by an electrons scattering off gold foil: It is a very strange concept that what we think of as solid matter particles are, in reality, wave-like because matter particles have frequency, wavelength, and can interfere with each other. It is important to note that subatomic particles' wavelengths are not due to the particles "jiggling" around; rather, the particles' properties phase in and out. For example, a light particle (the photon) is a wave because its electromagnetic field phases from one sign to the other.
Acid & Base
Many chemical reactions rely on the properties of acids and bases to make life work. The same can be said for Oxidation & Reduction reactions
What’s Science doing here?
In talking about dualism, and anything else that is related to the discovery of personal meaning man as always sought to quantify (measure) the previously unknown. Finding dualistic and interdependent systems help make unknowable at least perceivable.
Light & Dark
In the cycles of nature there is the duality of light and dark. From both the day to the night to the sun and the moon. Carried from the surface to a cave, duality in observable nature is something you can’t get away from.
Where else can we observe this duality?
– Expansion & Contraction – Macrocosm & Microcosm – Centrifugal & Centripetal – On & Off – Life & Death
Female & Male
In the simplest form of life there is no male or female there is only the cell that divides. One becomes two, then many. Even in this basic need to recreate one never stays one for long. However, there is no difference here only many copies. Sex is biological our race needs one of individual of each biological half to recreate an new human. Its this mixing of biological components that leads to diversity and strength.
Gender More than Mating
Having said this we have come to see that gender is a social construct. Gender is far more complicated than male and female, even within the human race. Genders may include male, female, neuter, asexual, intersexed, eunuchs (natural or by choice), hermaphrodites, non-gendered, bigendered, poly-gendered and third-gendered, as well as an infinite number of other gender identities that I wouldn't know how to list. Rather than a "spectrum" (a straight line where all genders exist on a point somewhere between male and female) gender seems to be more of a sphere, with an infinite number of points, and male and female are just two of those points, equal to all others.
Does all of this negate the importance of Duality or the significance we place on it?
Moral dualism is the belief of the coexistence (in eastern and naturalistic religions) or conflict (in western religions) between the "benevolent" and the "malignant". Most religious systems have some form of moral dualism Moral dualism simply implies that there are two moral opposites at work, independent of any interpretation of what might be "moral“.
Duality an Intellectual Perspective
Love & Hate – Perhaps the most basic of our reactions, emotional first, then later rationalized into an intellectual state. Good & Evil – All through human history evil and good has played a role in our development. – Perhaps it started with our fear of predators. Then fear of the other people as competition heated up. Virtue & Sin – A construct of our need to find the right and wrong in the world. A reaction to the above. Dealt with in many ways in many cultures. Harm & Punishment/Beneficial & Reward – Extending from the Rede and the Law. A Western Pagan deals with personal accountability for their actions.
The sense of Balance
Positive and Negative
– Again a continuum of the moral or ethical spectrum. – Beginning in emotion, tied up in reasoning – Some paths say being Neutral or Moderate is a requirement.
Do these dualities even exist? But what role do you think they play in pagan beliefs? The sense of Balance - positive and Negative
Bringing it Together
The concept of yin and yang which describes two primal opposing but complementary forces found in all things in the universe. Yin, the darker element, is passive, dark, feminine, downward-seeking, and corresponds to the night; Yang, the brighter element, is active, light, masculine, upward-seeking and corresponds to the day. Yin is often symbolized by water, while yang is symbolized by fire.
Yin/Yang – Dualistic System Extraordinaire
Yin and yang are opposites. Yin and yang are interdependent. Yin and yang can be further subdivided into yin and yang. Yin and yang consume and support each other. Yin and yang can transform into one another. Part of yin is in yang and part of yang is in yin.
Does the Eastern concept of Yin/Yang have a place in Western Paganism?
Dualities in our Belief
For many Western Pagan’s the belief in an Goddess and a God is central. Both teach us of the cycle of life by adopting roles in that cycle. This is often done by taking on opposite forms or characteristics.
Polytheology view point
‘Dualism' may also refer to 'bitheism', 'duo-theism‘. Although bi-theism implies moral dualism, they are not equivalent: bitheism implies (at least) two gods, while moral dualism does not imply any -theism (theos = god) whatsoever, as seen previously.
Both 'bi-theism' and 'ditheism' imply a belief in two equally powerful gods with complementary properties. However, while bi-theism implies harmony, di-theism implies rivalry and opposition, such as between Good and Evil. For example, a di-theistic system would be one in which one god is creative, the other is destructive. In a bitheistic system, one god could be male and the other female (cf. duotheism). However, bi-theistic and di-theistic principles are not always so easily contrastable, for instance in a system where one god is the representative of summer and drought and the other of winter and rain/fertility. (the mythology of Persephone)
Ometeotl: Aztec, Mesoamerica Ometeotl was thought of as being simultaneously male and female, with the names Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl. Neither were much represented in Aztec art, though, perhaps in part because they could be conceived more as abstract concepts than anthropomorphic beings. They represented the creative energy or essence from which the power of all other gods flowed. They existed above and beyond all the cares of the world, with no interest in what actually happens.
Dualism a path to Singularity?
Looking at all the previous material we are left with the question of the role of dualism in our teachings from stories of the divine. Does dualism link us with the greater cycle or is meant to let us know we are distinct from it?
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