Thursday, June 11, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Try to De-Polarize Yourself

I just wrote a lengthy hub article on the Duggar scandal and what Wiccans can learn from it, which is basically a lesson in polarization.

The article was not about the Duggars themselves, really. It was more about the reaction to the Duggars, and how it illustrates polarity. You can see the same lesson in political scandals, celebrity scandals, during campaigns/elections, in hot-button issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, the many deaths of young black men in the news over the last couple of years, etc.  

Polarized people can recognize this in people of the other extreme, but not in themselves. For example, extremist right-wing conservatives will recognize how unhealthy extremist left-wing liberals are, both personally and for the country. But they don't see it in themselves. 

It works vica-versa, by the way. Extremist, left-wing liberals can only see the problems with polarization when looking at people on the right end of the political spectrum. Neither of these extremes is better than the other; they're the opposite sides of the same coin, and their extremism is what exacerbates problems and inhibits solutions.

The reason I use politics as an example is because those who have something to gain personally from politics (from the politicians to the media) takes full advantage of the polarized nature and exploit it. Polarized people are their pawns.

Being polarized is an indication of a lack of balance. Leaning too far to an extreme drags you down and keeps you from functioning on optimal levels. This is because overly-polarized people -- extremists -- have a very skewed view and limited ability to understand things. It can create some real setbacks, in your personal, spiritual or even magical growth. When you're polarized you create mental filters, some of them so thick and distorting that they are actually just blocking you from achieving things 

For example, you try starting a little home business because you're sick of working for corporations. You absolutely despise capitalism and often rant about how capitalists are greedy pigs. But, alas, your business is floundering. You wonder why your efforts and magical workings to help you get that business of the ground aren't working well-- it's because your polarization has created a mental filter, and your subconscious does not want you to become a capitalist greedy pig! You have blocked yourself from being truly effective! 

Polarized people are easily manipulated-- just look at conspiracy theorists. They're polarized, and they're being majorly taken advantage of by authors, filmmakers, websites, and tin foil hat manufacturers and the like, who deliberately try to fuel that polarity for profit and notoriety. They do it by promoting fear-- they try to foster hate, suspicion and division, not unlike a cult tries to do. 

Meanwhile, the people falling for the conspiracies are just giving more power to the thing they believe in and fear the most. So you basically create your own reality, giving power to all the things you fear the most. This all interferes with you finding that balance, finding that happy medium at which you can function and progress in optimum levels. 

My Tip for You Today: Try to work on depolarizing yourself, for your own peace of mind, for your own progress, and for the rest of humanity as well (because it's the polarized people who impede compromise, and that is what world leaders, businesses and the media take advantage of to further their own agendas). 

Now don't get me wrong-- being polarized is not unnatural. And it's not 'all or nothing'. You can be perfectly balanced in many areas of life and still be slightly polarized on certain topics and issues. It doesn't make anyone a bad person, and no one is completely balanced. 

But the goal in Wicca is to strive for an ideal balance, and an ideal is never truly achieved-- it's always something to reach toward. The first step in finding balance is recognizing the areas in which you are seriously unbalanced. A good place to look for polarization are those topics that create a knee-jerk reaction, or where you have an us (the good guys) vs. them (the bad guys) attitude.  

I'm not saying you can't have an opinion on anything. Depolarizing yourself is not becoming so neutral that you are apathetic-- apathy is a polarized perspective as well, it's not a happy medium at all. You can certainly have opinions, make choices, do political activism, support causes, care about things, etc., even when you're de-polarized. 

But when you're polarized, your thoughts rule you; you don't rule your thoughts... and most of those thoughts have been implanted by other influences, so by extension, you have outer influences controlling you when you're polarized. You can depolarized and take control of your own mind again, and still have an opinion. You will find that you can breathe again when you depolarize-- you lose that knee-jerk reaction, that flight-or-fight response, when a topic comes up. You will find yourself better able to open up, to listen, to reason, to evaluate, to be more impartial and objective, to be more fair and rational. And you'll find yourself balanced, and finally operating on optimum levels, removing some of those stumbling blocks that you didn't even know were there.

Do you have areas where you're polarized?


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  2. Thanks for this article! Great stuff! Any practical suggestions on how, specifically, to focus on depolarizing oneself?

    One suggestion I've heard is to recognize each thought as it comes in "Hmm, here's a thought..." and treat it as a present that is being offered to you. It's not good or bad, it just is... Then consciously choose to accept it or not "Yep, this works, thank you" or "I'm not sure this is for me, but thank you"...

    I keep trying but frequently I don't get that gap at the beginning.. by the time I recognize a thought has arrived, I'm already off to the races.

    Again, thanks for posting this Sage. Very important topic. Blessed be.