The Polarity Principle of Unity

This an Article that appeared in 'old Polarity newsletters' from 1984. It is by Vincent Gibbons and comes to us courtesy of Masterworks International.
The content is of the moment (2010) even though it comes from the early '80's.

"The principle of unity and the cyclical pattern is the only rule that is available for our use. Beyond this there is infinite variety as all forms interact in an incessant organic interplay. In this view there can be no separation of mind and matter as the macrocosm is one inseparable, perpetual reality. Motion and change are essential properties of all things so we can say that the energy which causes such action is itself an inner, intrinsic property of all things".

The Polarity Principle of Unity


The Polarity Principle is one of Unity. The form of the Universe, the Macrocosm, has a pattern which is reflected throughout itself, in all its manifestations, or Microcosms. This is the key to ourselves as microcosms and how we interact with other microcosms, and to the mac­rocosm itself.

A further principle of Polarity is that 'all things, no matter how gross, are made from energy'. Polarity treatment revolves around the pattern of finer energy currents in the body, and the use of manipulative techniques to stimulate, inhibit or balance these flows of energy. Energy in the macrocosm and all microcosms must have a source and the principle of unity is that there must be one universal life source from which all energy flows and to which it must eventually return.

The macrocosm and each microcosm has a cyclical pattern which is continuous. Therefore, there is constant change, and as all parts of the macrocosm interact with all others there appears to be no certainty beyond the central principle of unity.

Bodily patterns that are harmonious do not draw our attention other than that they are in balance. The attention of the therapist is drawn instead to imbalances in the flows of energy. It is the therapist's work to follow these flows, to trace their patterns, and to re-establish balance by finding the cause of the disharmony - an energy blockage.

However, to be able to trace energy patterns effectively and hence to treat effectively, the therapist must have a certain quality or level of attention. He or she must be attuned to the flows of energy in the body.


The principle of unity and the cyclical pattern is the only rule that is available for our use. Beyond this there is infinite variety as all forms interact in an incessant organic interplay. In this view there can be no separation of mind and matter as the macrocosm is one inseparable, perpetual reality. Motion and change are essential properties of all things so we can say that the energy which causes such action is itself an inner, intrinsic property of all things.

The principle of unity is a self-evident truth which various contempo­rary writers and 20th century physicists are re-discovering. It is possible to present intellectually satisfying evidence as proof of the principle but this objectivity encourages an attitude of detached observation. Unity must be subjectively experienced so that it may be fully appreciated. To fully understand unity it must be experienced by our whole selves rather than merely being
explained intellectually.

It has become evident in certain branches of physics that the constituent parts of matter are all interconnected since they cannot be understood in isolation, only as integral parts of a unity. Hence the problem in physics that "an observed system is required to be isolated in order to be defined, yet interacting (with the whole) in order to be observed". In practical terms this problem can never be completely resolved. Hence a "re-discovery" of unity was made as a result of the realisa­tion by physicists that it was not possible for experiments to be made on particles of matter without the observer affecting the results in some way. It proved to be impossible to create conditions where the experimenter was not involved with the actual experiment. We can only conclude therefore that detached observation is not possible and can be developed only as an attitude of mind. Things and objects are not separate realities but are manifestations of the energy crystallized into myriads of different forms. Their separate existence is illusory; in themselves they are nothing but looked at in terms of their environments and the processes of which they intrinsically form a part, they can be understood as full participants in the grand design.

Similarly, the universal pattern must include the human observer, no matter how passive the role that he or she tries to play. To achieve knowledge, growth and understanding, participation must be accepted and fully entered into.

Unity and Cycles of Change.

The universe is dynamic and ever-changing, apparently without form. However, in the chain of incessant pulsations and cycles there is a structure. To grasp this structure of change our attention must take on a certain quality. We are in the habit of understanding through description and explana­tion. The attention is attached to objects and their apparent forms. By describing objects we attempt to give them a quality of permanence, to define them. What we see, however, is merely form and not substance. We can describe the qualities of an object in certain environments in terms of our five senses. We know also that the form of an object is nevertheless constantly changing. So our description can at best be approximate, but at worst historical and inaccurate and therefore most
definitely "bunk".

The problem rests with the attachment to form. Instead we must alter our attitude and look to the essence of an object and the cycle of which it most immediately forms a part.  By thinking in terms of cycles we can understand an object in its true light - as energy. We can understand its
existence in its role within its most immediate microcosm. The macrocosm is itself a cycle and each microcosm is a cycle. All cycles interact with each other and all must eventually run their course once begun.

Balance is achieved through harmony with the grand design, and to achieve this harmony we must attune ourselves to our own cycles or pulsations. Also our effective action depends on our attunement with and understanding of the cycles outside of ourselves with which we are to interact. Since all cycles follow the same basic pattern, we can achieve this with a certain quality of attention.

Most briefly there are two stages in a cycle - the involutionary or centrifugal stage, creative and invigorating, and the evolutionary or centripetal stage, attractive and seeking unification. In these two main stages the cycle passes out and returns through five further stages, with a pause in between. This mid-cycle pause is a neutral stage between the positive thrust of centrifugal energy and the negative re-uniting pull of centripetal energy. Energy will always have one of these three qualites - neutral, positive or negative.

The five stages of involution and evolution correspond to the five stages of matter, being Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth.

So, we have a basic understanding which can be applied universally to achieve better attunement. Through our
knowledge of essential cyclical structure and the fundamental quality of all matter we can gain great effectiveness
in action.

Application in Therapy.

The key to health is balance through attunement. The pulsation of life is an interplay between poles and by experiencing these paired opposi tes as a unity we can achieve a dynamic balance. Otherwise there is imbalance and dis-ease.

Opposites are an intellectual creation; by focussing on a concept, for example, beauty, its opposite is created, in this case, ugliness. To restore balance between two opposites they must be taken as a unity. Unless all things are taken as part of the whole, be it macrocosm or microcosm, they can not be equal.

To obtain this overall view we can look to ourselves. The human life-form is a complete microcosm with its own centre from which energy flows and to which it returns. By integration with the self we can integrate with Nature as a whole. By understanding our own more subtle forces we can understand those in Nature.

How we work with our selves will determine how we integrate with Nature since our experience of our selves will shape the pattern of our rhythms and hence our integration. This understanding is vital: we work with our minds and it may be generalised that what the mind cannot conceive the mind cannot relieve.

The art of being a therapist requires a neutral and open attitude to treatment and a certain amount of self-attunement. Neutrality and receptivity may to some extent be attained through intellectual understanding of the interplay between therapist and patient. We can accept that in order to encourage a patient to feel uninhibited yet secure, a therapist must maintain a balanced attitude towards both patient and treatment.

However, self-attunement can only be attained by experience. It may be said that the therapist-patient interplay is like a dance. Beyond our principles there is no particular form or structure and the energy patterns traced are those that draw the attention. Action in treatment produces reaction from the patient and the cycle of a treatment is in full swing.

How the therapist acts and reacts with the patient is determined mainly by his quality of attention and attunement. The possibilities are endless and once all pre­conceived ideas and patterns are discarded then therapist and patient can participate in the intuitive dance.

Knowledge of energy poles and patterns and manipulative technique is necessary but this should be put to one side in treatment. More important is an intuitive understanding of the attitude required for effective treatment. This attitude is acquired through self ­attunement, but it is not an absolute quality; rather we become attuned once we are prepared to accept its necessity.

The path to attunement commences with acceptance of unity and grows through integration with Nature.


As vital, living, breathing units of life we are constantly interacting with the universe, no matter how passive we may think we are. All things are made of the same stuff - energy, and are essential parts of the macrocosm. This is inescapable but not immediately understandable.

Balance comes through integration with the environment and to achieve this we must be willing to accept our role and ready to experience ourselves as parts of the unity.

The attitude required of a Polarity Therapist depends on attunement with the immediate environment. To understand the macrocosm, the microcosm must first be understood. Once the understanding is made then self-attunement, the key to effective treatment, is within our grasp.

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