Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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JackDaydream
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Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Post by JackDaydream »

Duality may be seen as inherent in life and in the universe, as suggested in the idea of the yin and yang. It is played out in so many ways in the idea of light and dark, masculine and feminine, as well in good and evil, and other divisions.

In the case of light and darkness, this spectrum is recognised within physics, and it is also dependent on human perception. It may be classified as an aspect of qualia.

The division between masculine and feminine is based on biology but is also dependent on social and cultural ideas, as stressed in the postmodern deconstruction of gender. Most people think of themselves as male or female, although there is a spectrum of gender identities in between, as evident in LGBTIQ+ constructions of gender identities. Beyond that, both Freud and Jung suggested that all individuals have some attributes of the opposite gender, and Jung spoke of two aspects as the anima and animus, the feminine and masculine aspects in both individuals.

The concepts of good and evil, has been essential to many religious outlooks, often thought of in terms of God and Satan. However, even without any religious basis, most people have some concept of good and evil. This comes into explanations in life and ideas about morality. It may be asked to what extent are good and evil 'out there' realities or human constructs?

In writing this thread topic, I am raising the idea of duality and how it is manifest in the various forms which I have described, and others. To what extent is the concept of qualia useful for understanding aspects of life, such as light and dark or night and day? To what extent is binary opposition essential as a metaphysical reality or, are opposites bound up with human constructs and meanings? Also, the whole experience of duality and continuum is a matter for reflection as being central to human experience.
PoeticUniverse
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Re: Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Post by PoeticUniverse »

It's more about a balance of opposites, as in the thread title, than philosophical duality.

1. The positive kinetic energy of stuff balances/cancels the negative potential energy of gravity.

2. Positive vs negative polarity of electric charge.

3. Matter vs antimatter. Energy released when combined and vice-versa.

4. Everything vs Nothing, each holding the same information content.

5. Fields vs particles.

6. The largest vs the smallest.

7. The eternal future vs the eternal past.

8. The strong nuclear force vs the weak nuclear force, the strong being for stability, the weak being for changeability.

9. Light making matter vs matter making light.

10. Mass/energy.

11. Electric force transforming into magnetic force into electric force, transitioning back, etc., as a self-regenerating wave

12. ‘Now’ becoming ‘past’ and transforming into ‘future’.

13. Standing waves going both inward and outward at the same time.

14. Compression to hardly anything vs dispersion to hardly anything.

15. Positive vs negative curvatures of space.

16. Virtual particles popping in and out of the zero-point field, always in pairs.

17. Two and only two stable charged matter particles in free space, the electron and the proton, and no uncharged matter particles. Only one stable energy particle in free space, the photon, neutral (or both positive and negative together), and no charged energy particles. (Neutrons decay within 12 minutes in free space.)

18. Color wheel opposites.

19. Male/female.

20. Energy/Information.

21. Wave/particle.

22. Molecules are neither inclined to stay together for long, nor inclined to break apart right way.

24. On/off, here/there, up/down, and all that kind of stuff.
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JackDaydream
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Re: Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Post by JackDaydream »

@PoeticUniverse

Your list of essential opposites is helpful. In life, I agree that the way opposites are balanced on a psychological level is extremely important. However, it is interconnected with the metaphysical nature of opposites, as how the aspect dualities are understood will affect the way in a person will consider how they can be balanced. For example, if a person believes that there is a distinct division between good and evil this will affect the consideration of how these may be lived with. In particular, it may lead to black and white thinking. The actual yin and yang symbol shows a different picture with the black and white contained within the circle, but the opposite contained in both parts in the form of the dots.
AverageBozo
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Re: Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Post by AverageBozo »

JackDaydream wrote: October 10th, 2021, 11:22 pm In writing this thread topic, I am raising the idea of duality and how it is manifest in the various forms which I have described, and others. To what extent is the concept of qualia useful for understanding aspects of life, such as light and dark or night and day? To what extent is binary opposition essential as a metaphysical reality or, are opposites bound up with human constructs and meanings? Also, the whole experience of duality and continuum is a matter for reflection as being central to human experience.
Duality, qualia, opposition, metaphysical reality, human experience and human constructs—that’s quite a mouthful for a thread topic.

Some words/concepts can best be understood by what they are not. But this only transfers the task of explanation from what a thing is to what a thing is not.

And this does nothing to solve the problems rooted in continuums.
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JackDaydream
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Re: Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Post by JackDaydream »

@Averagebozo

Perhaps the wide spectrum of the topic for exploring is a bit intense. It may be that some aspects of it can be looked at, depending who reads it and engages in discussion. I am not expecting easy solutions to be found. I am really suggesting that human beings experience duality which is manifest on all levels. However, opposites are also the poles of continuums. The experience of negotiating duality and positions within continuums is a major part of demystifying reality in everyday experience. But, of course, the experience of the various aspects of duality differ, but thought about as a whole, binaries represent a central part of making sense of reality.
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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Post by Pattern-chaser »

JackDaydream wrote: October 10th, 2021, 11:22 pm To what extent is binary opposition essential as a metaphysical reality or, are opposites bound up with human constructs and meanings?
I think these pairs of apparent 'opposites' are actually complements. Yin and yang certainly are, and I think all the others are too. If they are mistaken for opposites, things that somehow oppose one another, this can lead to misunderstandings, I feel.

The main point, that "opposite" misses, is that complements give one another meaning. In isolation, either one would be rendered meaningless. Without dark, what is 'light'? 🤔🤔🤔
Pattern-chaser

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Re: Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Post by Pattern-chaser »

P.S. Yin and yang do not (cannot) represent a duality. They cannot, because 'duality' says they are exclusive, and in opposition, but they are not. They are actually indivisible - the ultimate in non-duality - because if you separate them, both terms become meaningless. Complements.
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JackDaydream
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Re: Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Post by JackDaydream »

@Pattern-chaser

That is a good point because the various aspects as expressed in the yin and yang do exist in relation to one another, and would not make sense in isolation. The problem may be that in Western society there has been a tendency to see them as 'opposites' rather than as complementary, especially in the emphasis on the 'good'. In particular, there has been a focus within Christianity on reaching 'heaven' as an eternal state, which is about gravitation to an opposite for eternity. Perhaps, the problem is that an essential binary logic in Western thought.and systems such as Taoism see the picture within a wider frame of reference.
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JackDaydream
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Re: Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Post by JackDaydream »

@Pattern-chaser

In relation to your second post, the point about the yin and yang being 'indivisible' makes sense because the two aspects are joined together. I am imagining cutting out the two parts contained in the circle and it would seem rather absurd. So, the issue may be that human consciousness sees division, and it is important to see the whole picture rather than focusing too much on the splits. I can see that perspective, but I am not sure that everyone would agree, especially within the context of Western culture and philosophy.
PoeticUniverse
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Re: Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Post by PoeticUniverse »

JackDaydream wrote: October 11th, 2021, 4:23 am the opposite contained in both parts in the form of the dots.
Yin/Yang

Each holds within itself the seed of the other:
Yin reaches climax then retreats in Yang’s favor—
Cyclic movement of rotational symmetry.
Rounded life is the blend of Yin-Yang together.

The valley cannot exist without the mountain.
There can be no day without the night;
There can be no beauty without sadness,
There can be no yin without the yang.

Atoms are as bundles of inertia,
Knots in the field and fabric of space;
Yet matter defines the structure of space;
The Yin is in the Yang, and vice-versa!

Matter forms inertial knots in space’s place,
While space places and separates the knots.
Open-endedness counters form’s closure;
It’s the ying-yang cycle of appearance.

Strive for a dynamic balance, of light
And dark, Yin and Yang, and wrong and right.
Reality is found not in separate actions
But in related events blended in twilight.

More exemplars of their contrast are:
Passion as opposed to reason;
The whole against the details;

The right vs. the left side of the brain
“Don’t confuse me with emotion”
Or “don’t confuse me with facts”;
The sails confronting the rudder of the soul.

This epitome may become a battlefield,
Or it may grace a smooth sailing ship.

Wholeness arrives by mixing the suspension:
Classicists drone toward dull perfection,
Romanticists drown in feeling’s affection;
Worse, others alternate between extremes—
It’s not this nor that but a joined direction.
Nick_A
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Re: Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Post by Nick_A »

JackDaydream wrote: October 10th, 2021, 11:22 pm Duality may be seen as inherent in life and in the universe, as suggested in the idea of the yin and yang. It is played out in so many ways in the idea of light and dark, masculine and feminine, as well in good and evil, and other divisions.

In the case of light and darkness, this spectrum is recognised within physics, and it is also dependent on human perception. It may be classified as an aspect of qualia.

The division between masculine and feminine is based on biology but is also dependent on social and cultural ideas, as stressed in the postmodern deconstruction of gender. Most people think of themselves as male or female, although there is a spectrum of gender identities in between, as evident in LGBTIQ+ constructions of gender identities. Beyond that, both Freud and Jung suggested that all individuals have some attributes of the opposite gender, and Jung spoke of two aspects as the anima and animus, the feminine and masculine aspects in both individuals.

The concepts of good and evil, has been essential to many religious outlooks, often thought of in terms of God and Satan. However, even without any religious basis, most people have some concept of good and evil. This comes into explanations in life and ideas about morality. It may be asked to what extent are good and evil 'out there' realities or human constructs?

In writing this thread topic, I am raising the idea of duality and how it is manifest in the various forms which I have described, and others. To what extent is the concept of qualia useful for understanding aspects of life, such as light and dark or night and day? To what extent is binary opposition essential as a metaphysical reality or, are opposites bound up with human constructs and meanings? Also, the whole experience of duality and continuum is a matter for reflection as being central to human experience.
The two forces of yin and yang govern our visible reality and the reactions to the external world of our lower animal nature. Yet if Man lives in a triadic universe conscious Man is governed by three forces: yin, yang, and the third force of reconciliation. But animal Man is third force blind so cannot experience the three forces as essential for the levels of reality which sustain our universe..

https://parabola.org/2017/07/30/the-hidden-third/
.................The call, moreover, is blocked from our ears by deep habits of thought and language. Inherited from the ancient Greek world, their source lies in binary logic: either this or that but not both. Nicolescu’s rejection of binary-ism is strong: “The fiendish dialectics of binary thought have the redoubtable yet subtle force of being able to kill in the name of ideas.” The death consists in foreclosing the middle, the “third not given”: what is there before and remains there after the division into two. Yet that death preserves in hiding the excluded element, which allows a direct perception of multiple levels of reality, up to that of Absolute Evidence. Fear of confronting a many-dimensioned cosmos lies behind the embrace of the binary. We opt for ready knowledge and survival of the status quo rather than participation in a work of co-creation. Because we fail to see the ambiguity in “yes or no,” our spirit is blinded and put in shackles..........................
Obviously I'm not a fan of the effects of dualism on the human psych. But perhaps some others are not so enchanted with fragmentation and aware of third force and what brings meaning to dualism. I also want poeticuniverse to see why the book is written in poetry. It is an ancient method to bypass the premature classifications of the binary mind in philosophy and religion
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
PoeticUniverse
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Re: Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Post by PoeticUniverse »

Quantum qu-bits are triadic, 1, 0, and both-neither.

In the relationism cosmology basis, Full and Null cannot be, nor any absolutes, this seeming to force the in-between.
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JackDaydream
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Re: Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Post by JackDaydream »

@Nick-A

Your reply is very interesting, especially the link to an article by Nicolescu, so thanks for that. I also hope that anyone who looks at this thread looks at that link as it does provide an interesting perspective on the debate which I raised.
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JackDaydream
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Re: Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Post by JackDaydream »

@PoeticUniverse

I am afraid that I don't understand your point, 'Full and Null cannot be, nor any absolutes, this seeming to force the in-between'. Perhaps you could explain what you mean a in a bit more depth.
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JackDaydream
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Re: Metaphysics and Understanding the Nature of Opposites

Post by JackDaydream »

Nick_A

I definitely see how there is such a lot of fragmentation in thinking, especially in the cultural plurality of present day philosophy. I have just been wondering how the 'I' of consciousness, which Ken Wilber speaks of as the 'witness' fits into the nature of a triadic perspective? It could be that this witness is a phenomenological aspect of the perception of continuums.
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