Polarities of life

The synthesis of the wealthy, overfed developed world and the desperately poor, starving developing world holds the answer.

We are conctantly reminded of the polarities of life. It seems to me that, to some extent it is opposites, or polarities, that create life and keep us alive.

One of the most important and general polarities in organic life vegetable, animal and human is the sexual. The positive pole is represented by the masculine element, the negative by the feminine element. Not that this means that the former is active and the latter passive. Both are active, but in a different way. The masculine element is the dynamic, initiating pole, while the feminine element is the receptive, elaborative pole.

This type of polarity extends far beyond the man-woman relationship to innumerable manifestations in life. The Chinese regard these two principles as the foundation of cosmic evolution and therefore every aspect of human life. The creative aspect symbolised by the Father and Heaven they call Yang, while Yin is the receptive and elaborative aspect, symbolized by the Mother and the Earth.

In our psyche we also find polarities, dark sides as well as the more positive parts. Often we do not wish to know the darker issues and hide them in what C.G. Jung calls ‘the shadow’. Yet it is through these often hidden and repressed sides that we can get in touch with the opposite, the positive and energetic forces that we all potentially harbour. If we do not include the negative element we are not able to realise the positive sides of ourselves. If we can understand this concept we become able to balance and even synthesise the two opposite sides of our psyche and gain more authenticity on our voyage through life.

In the external world we constantly witness many other polarities. Some 40 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are threatened by severe food shortages. According to UN Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO a major humanitarian crisis is deepening in southern Africa. "There is urgent need to expedite commercial imports and food aid distributions to avert a major humanitarian catastrophe in southern Africa." The report is based in part on the information available to the FAO and the World Food Programme on the countries concerned. Because of the high rates of HIV/AIDS throughout the sub-region, widespread hunger threatens many people with already life-threatening complications.

Again, there is a balance to be found but practical realism alone is not always the key to a long-term cure. Granted that in such a short-term distress situation there is an urgent need to redistribute food and recourses to assist those in despair. However in the long-term it is the synthesis of the wealthy, overfed developed world and the desperately poor, starving developing world, which holds the answer.

One such synthetic development is to help nations to survive by becoming self-sustained, where possible through a free trade approach. To achieve this the developed world will have to shed the culture of inherent competitive reward to create an opportunity for the developing countries. For too long the first world has thrown money and handouts at the developing world. Not only does this ‘charity’ generate a culture of dependence and resentment but more often than not, the money ends up in the foreign bank accounts of corrupt rulers and officials and not in the hands of those who need it most.

Global free trade is the one way to discover where a nation’s competitive advantage truly lies. Only when subsidies, protective tariffs and customs duties are all abolished will the foundations for a new global equilibrium be established and this is not going to happen overnight. For this mission to succeed we are all in some way accountable. For it to develop and flourish we need a clear vision of reality, not just a practical realism, nor blind optimism, nor fearful pessimism.

Om författaren

Lasse Larsson

Om artikeln

Publicerad: 03 sep 2003 09:29


Ingen faktatext angiven föreslå


Artikeln är inte placerad. föreslå

Dela artikeln

Länk till artikeln: