Knowing who we are in groups is just as important as knowing about ourselves. And understanding how we show up in groups gives us insight into how we might try something new, outside the box and into the freedom of authentic relationship. There are universal energies, or archetypes that predominate group roles and help us see what part we are playing. When we claim our own archetype we gain the freedom to truly express ourselves. Polarities, archetypes, scapegoating, and victimhood all give us tools and insights into how to facilitate paradigm shifts in our lives, our work, and our world.
Polarities are opposite forces. Oppositional, understanding or acceptance of a creative tension. Group is systematically moving through the polarities that are present in the group. An energetic perspective informs the understanding of polarities. There’s a whole body of knowledge on polarity theory and therapy about different positive and negative points in the body. For groups it’s the playground.
Body systems come in polarities: fluids and bones, structure and flow, process and output, inhale and exhale. Diagnostic tool because if a group is stuck it’s because poles of polarities have gotten frozen and there’s no movement between them. Autonomy and interconnectedness are both essential to health. So obsessed with inter that don’t develop inner strength then not healthy or happy and if only in oneself not open to power or pleasure of relationship.
Polarities are a part of chaos. Once there’s enough safety and the group is ready to move naturally into creative chaos or be perturbed is the experience of chaos and differences showing up as preferences and predispositions. People are safe enough to risk sharing themselves.
Polarities are important because we often learn by contrast. For example: I learn about expansion by experiencing both expansion and contraction. If I only experience one side of a pole, then I don’t have much freedom. Conflict arises because people are attached to one side of a pole and can’t see an upside of the opposite, or downside/ shadow of my side. Prior conditioning (i.e. the need to be right, the need to maintain one’s own perspective at the expense of the other) can predispose us to close-mindedness, results in the inability to take on another’s perspective, and ultimately inhibits growth and evolution.
Being able to identify, to track and name the polarities in each particular group is fundamental to facilitation mastery. It is a fundamental diagnostic tool. Skillful facilitation practice to keep in back pocket what polarities are operating in a skillful way and which ones are really polarized. Pointer to what contributes to wholeness and where do I get paralyzed in the parts and when poles are frozen then I’m captured in the parts and needing to have access to what’s absent. Poles are two sides of one coin. The goal is right relationship with both sides.
A paradigm is something that serves as a pattern or a model of how things work in the world. Paradigm shifts are a fundamental change in view of how things work/should work.
Polarities in right relationship create the paradox that allows for paradigm shift; stuck polarities keep the paradigm stuck. Life requires polarities: to stay living I have to stay in difference and allow for higher 3rd to emerge.