Balance and Polarities in Nature

Balance in the Polarities in Life Processes: Alick Bartholomewrev 5 Jun

One of the most interesting problem areas in physics is the question of balance between polarities in life processes. In fact evolution depends on the quality of this balance.

Balance is found in the very womb of life. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Cern seeks to reproduce conditions immediately after the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago. In the standard mathematical model of elementary particles, the building blocks of matter (quarks, leptons, electrons, neutrons, mesons etc) are in perfect balance with energetic force mediators (photons, gluons, W & Z bosons etc). In the same way, the model shows that matter and antimatter should be in perfect balance; (at Cern they call this ‘symmetry’). However, as the universe could not tolerate perfect balance, the two polarities would cancel themselves and evolution would not have occurred.

The idea that the universe is filled with energy that connects all of creation is indeed ancient. This has been called the etheric field, and more recently the quantum field.[1] The world of particle physics calls it the Higgs Field, which is believed to have been created moments after the Big Bang. The research at Cern follows the theory that the discovery of the Higgs boson will prove the existence of the Higgs Field. A priority of the LHC experiments is to detect this rogue boson, a massive elementary particle believed to have broken the initial symmetry, giving substance to all other particles in the universe, and enabling evolution to begin.[2]

On Tuesday, 13 December 2011, at an extraordinary meeting at Cern, two groups independently reported experiments discerning exceptional signals with the same value on the mass weight scale, which looked like evidence for the Higgs boson. It is now predicted that the existence of the Higgs will be proved during 2012.

Matter and antimatter carry different electromagnetic charges (matter positive and antimatter negative). A crucial difference has been found in the behaviour of the matter and antimatter varieties of particles called B-mesons: positive B meson particles in the LHC decay to negative b-particles at a rate of 7000 to the 6000 decay rate of the b-antiparticles. It is believed that the Higgs gave different mass to different kinds of particles. So far, scientists have been unable to find enough instances of this asymmetry to explain all the matter we know is in the universe. It is thought that the reason that we exist is because the symmetry that scientists believe to exist between matter and antimatter was broken.[3]

The symmetry that we find in Nature, particularly geometric symmetries like a snow crystal, Prof Michio Kaku (City Univ. N.Y.) believes are throwbacks to the original symmetry and perfection created at the Big Bang. Prof James Gates (Univ. of Maryland) has been engaged in a search for unity in creation, and puts his money on supersymmetry, which holds that every type of particle is balanced by a super twin, a theory that suggests a polarity between upper and lower levels of vibrational quality.

Viktor Schauberger (1885–1958), the Austrian naturalist, saw the primal creative force as unpolarised. The expression of this primal energy, the process of creative evolution, he said, requires movement, which brings instability and, eventually – through balance – order.

The ability of Nature (Gaia) to maintain climatic conditions within the narrow limits required for life, in spite of large variations in the Sun’s energy output, is the supreme balancing mechanism. In the geological timescale: the alternating of hot and cold conditions, biodiversity and species collapse, the role of the Moon in stimulating evolution; in climate the changing of the seasons; the metamorphosis of life from decay and death to renewal — are all rhythms which play their part in purposeful evolution.

The constant seeking of balance and harmony that Gaia demonstrates suggests that evolution has, at its core, a quality of meaning and purpose. This is particularly seen in the extraordinarily intricate balancing of interdependencies at all levels of living systems. It is life itself which creates the optimum conditions for its own evolution on Planet Earth.[4]

Balance is defined as reconciling polarities, which must be at the heart of Nature’s unique configuration. The Sun, as the representative of the primal Creator, is the engine of creation for life on Earth. As the outpouring of energy from the Sun reduces in velocity and vibrational rate, Schauberger claimed its atoms, through their spiralled vortical movement, became polarised. The primary elements, hydrogen and oxygen (plus silver, zinc and silica), he regarded as masculine; all the other elements and their compounds as feminine. Hydrogen is the cosmic element, and oxygen is required for organic growth and development.

Schauberger observed simple Alpine farmers practising a centuries-old ritual in the making of highly potentised fertilisers.[5] They would fill a barrel with pure water, add minerals according to an understood balance of their polarities, and stir the brew alternately in opposite directions, while at the same time singing rising and falling tones into the water.[6]

The manner in which these polarised energies interact, alternating between attraction and repulsion, sets up a pulsation which varies according to the season. This pulsation, at a macro level, is sometimes described as ‘in-breathing and out-breathing’, much as the Sun is said to pulsate every 160 minutes.


Chemistry is founded on polarity. Atoms are composed of a nucleus of a positively charged proton and an uncharged neutron ― and a varying number of negatively charged electrons which orbit around the nucleus like planets do around the Sun. Take the gregarious oxygen element, for example; it has two inner electrons and a ring of six outer electrons orbiting around the positive proton; the positive and negative charges are balanced. Particles of opposite polarities are attracted to each other, while those of the same polarity are repelled. “Aristotle said that two mysterious forces run the universe – attraction and repulsion. He saw in this the action of anima mundi, the ineluctable interiority that lies at the heart of matter-energy.”[7]

We don’t normally think of water carrying an electric charge, but its bioelectrical sensitivity is one of the most significant qualities in its importance for life. The electro-magnetic qualities of mineral-rich or saline water allow it to steer processes and evolution by constantly shifting the energy reciprocally between positive and negative charges.

Viktor Schauberger’s pivotal research on natural energies: biomagnetism, the behaviour of water, tree metabolism and biological agriculture is based on an understanding of electro-magnetic polarities and balance.[8] When there exists a sophisticated, but fragile, balance in a natural environment, a level of energy is present which is refined and creative.

Schauberger showed that a natural river flowing sinuously across the landscape recharges its energy towards the positive (or yang) on a right-hand bend and towards the negative (or yin) on a left-hand bend. This constant accumulation of positive and negative charges raises the energy level of the water (by drawing higher energies from the quantum field) so that it can perform its true role in nurturing the environment. The same happens with our biological water.[9]

The egg shape is the only form in Nature in which water can circulate naturally to maintain its energy level. Schauberger demonstrated that the egg with the pointy end downwards projects energy outwards as a yang manifestation[10], while with the pointy end up (the yin dynamic) the energy is concentrated within the egg.[11] He invented implosion machines with the pointy end down to generate fantastic amounts of energy. With the pointy end up, he used to mature fertiliser mixtures.

These two dynamics of the egg are ingeniously incorporated by an Anthroposophical engineer, Ralf Roessner, in his invention of the Double Egg Vortexer to restructure and re-energise water.[12] (see image) Two eggs are joined at their pointy ends by a plastic neck. The upper egg is filled with water and the Vortexer is placed, like an egg timer, on a cork ring. The upper, full egg, is quickly rotated clockwise to produce a yang vortex projecting energy outwards in a yang dynamic. The water empties chaotically through the neck into the lower (yin) egg which concentrates and amplifies the energy in the water.

The Vortexer is then upended and this time the top egg is rotated in the opposite direction, to produce a yin vortex. This alternating of yin and yang vortices replicates what happens in a natural stream as described above, quickly raising the energy level of the water. The vortex is a link to a higher high dimension of energy held in the quantum field, which is stored in the water’s battery-like laminar structure.[13]

Natural law, as Viktor Schauberger describes, requires that, for creative evolution to be maintained, the polarities are not 50/50, which would result in atrophy, but are unevenly balanced towards the yin or negative. [diagram ‘The Fateful Choice’]

This weighting was defined by the Chinese as 60% (2/5:3/5). Viktor Schauberger, working with temperature gradients in water,[14] came up with 66.7% (1/3:2/3). Callum Coats relates the proportion to the sacred geometric ratio which is 5:8, giving the negative share of 62.5%. Human society today is heavily weighting the positive, causing breakdown.

If the negative proportion drops significantly, evolution is arrested and degeneration takes place. This applies to all qualities like egoism and altruism, quantity and quality, electricity and magnetism, centrifugence and centripetance, entropy and ectropy.

An important distinction must be made be made here. The LHC showed that, in the creative moment, the weighting of the positively charged B-mesons against the negatively charged anti-B-mesons is 54% (7:6). What this suggests is that, for creation, for initiation of a new impulse or to bring change, the positive (yang) energy must be stronger than the negative (yin).*

* Was matter created before antimatter? The way the Book of Genesis tells it, God first created Adam, then took one of Adam’s ribs to create Eve.

All normal biological activity and processes require a weighting towards the yin. Balance is achieved when the appropriate amount of yin and yang are expressed in a given situation. When a process gets out of balance, as it is seriously in human society today, we must recognise that our presence on Earth is unsustainable.

Balance is not something you can work out rationally. You either feel it or you don’t; it requires sensitivity and awareness, which tend to be subdued by a yang temperament.

Most of us consider our society to be advanced ― at the peak of human evolution. We can send men to the Moon, build Hadron colliders, analyse DNA, do prostheses and heart transplants. In spite of all these achievements, we nevertheless have broken Nature’s primary rule. Our technologies, our populations, our medicine, our economic and social institutions are not sustainable. We are failing because our worldview is anthropocentric and out of balance with our environment, which is why our civilisation is at a critical turning point.

One of the best indicators of the health of Gaia is the degree of biological biodiversity. One of the easiest ways to measure this is in the decline of bird species, some of which, in Europe, have shown declines of 50% to 80% in the last 30 years,. More fundamental, is the decline of marine species; the oceans carry 90% of all life. Many marine species have significantly declined in the last 50 years.

Yet, with the rise of the green movement and concern about ecological issues, there is now a profound shift in values starting to take place towards the yin — from admiration of large-scale enterprises to ‘small is beautiful’, from self-centred living to community-based resilience; from material consumption to voluntary simplicity. This is being promoted by the human potential movement, by feminism, by holistic approaches to health, and by emphasis on the quest for meaning and spiritual dimensions of life. But we still have a long way to go.

The Inuit, the St Kildans, the Kogi Indians and the Aborigines all had one thing in common — they lived in tune with their environment. Nature is the great teacher of balance — it is her imperative.

Nature is founded far more on cooperation than on competition, because it is only through harmonious interplay that physical formation can occur and structures can be built up. At the heart of the creative process in Nature are positive and negative polarities, such as chaos and order, quantity and quality, gravitation and levitation, electricity and magnetism.[15] In every case, for any natural process to be harmonious, one polarity cannot be present without the other, and each needs the other to make up the whole.

Viktor Schauberger described the dance of creation as the harmonious interplay through attraction and repulsion of polarised atoms. The mutual attraction of 2x positive H and 1x negative O gives birth to the marvel of water. He showed how the catalytic role of dual polarity initiated by the positive charge of the Sun, the inseminator of life, melds with the Earth’s receptive and feminine energy. Together they are essential components for all biological processes. For example, he studied biomagnetism and bioelectricity as two complementary qualities.[16]

Probably the most in-depth study of balance in Nature (and in human behaviour) was the concept of yin and yang polarities developed under the Taoist tradition of early Buddhism (5th century BCE). It saw Nature as a whole system depending on two opposing energies in balance. I’d like to explore how far its use as a system might help in the understanding of life’s harmony.

Yin/Yang balance

In Chinese tradition, the Sun emits a positive, yang (masculine) energy. The Earth balances this with a yin, or feminine (negative) energy. Without this interplay, there would be no water, plants, nor chemical compounds. Johannes von Goethe, Rudolf Steiner and Viktor Schauberger were proponents of these concepts.

Yin and yang are dynamic in the sense that their energy fluctuates — when one grows, the other shrinks. The concentration of energy is a yin process, while the tendency to move and disperse it is yang.

Western thought tends to consider yin and yang as fixed states, but in the Chinese tradition they are constantly shifting. Thus in every man there is a woman and in every woman a man, these tendencies varying in different situations. And so it is in Nature; mornings tend to have yang energy, and evenings yin.

Fritjof Capra believes that the root of our problems lies in a profound imbalance in all aspects of our culture — in our thoughts and feelings, our values and our social/political structures. In the West we give yin and yang a moral connotation, seeing them as ‘either/or’. The classical Chinese tradition, however, views them as extreme qualities of a single whole in dynamic balance; only what is in imbalance is harmful.

In Chinese terminology, yin corresponds to all that is contractive, responsive and conservative; yang to the expansive, aggressive and demanding. They believe that all men and women go through yin and yang phases. In Western thought all men are supposed to be masculine, creative and active, while women are considered feminine, receptive and passive — a rationale for keeping women in a subordinate role, and for men taking the leading roles and most of society’s privileges.

Rather than the Western concept of passive/active polarity, the Chinese is of yin as responsive, consolidating, cooperative activity, and yang as aggressive, competitive and expanding; yin conscious of the environment, yang of the self. One can see that our society has favoured the yang over the yin — rational knowledge over intuitive wisdom; science over spirituality, competition over cooperation, exploitation over conservation. Capra writes:

“Excessive self-assertion, which is characteristic of the yang mode of behaviour, manifests itself as power, control and domination of others by force; and those are, indeed, the patterns prevalent in our society.[17]

In order to understand balance, we must recognise that yin and yang are each two-faceted: one side has appropriate, constructive attributes, and the other inappropriate or destructive. The appropriate use of yang energy produces initiative, optimism, get-up-and-go energy, forward-looking and thoroughness. Constructive yin is considerate, inclusive, aware, compassionate, prefers simplicity. In its destructive mode it produces a victim mentality, self-blame, wimpishness, introversion, passivity, disinterest, forgetfulness.


Modern human beings have more complicated behaviour patterns than other animals. Although in-depth psychological profiling is complex, some insights may be gained from considering individual yin/yang imbalances.

The mature person learns through experience what are appropriate attitudes and behaviour. However, most of us, usually in childhood, have probably had a traumatic or distressing experience, since forgotten, the emotional effect of which may prevent us being dispassionate and balanced in situations which trigger that trauma. This impediment to objectivity and balance can unconsciously haunt us throughout our lives, preventing us from realising our full potential, unless we are able to relive that trauma consciously in a safe situation and put it in perspective. This often requires the assistance of an experienced therapist.

My book, The Story of Water, recounts the extraordinary role of water in creating and sustaining life; how it stimulates evolution and balances the environment through an interplay of yin/yang energies, constantly encouraging greater complexity, inter-dependence and integrity in all of creation. Some quantum biologists believe it to be the medium of communication within and between organisms.

Schauberger said that polarities are the mechanism of creation. I believe that the reason why impure water is so electromagnetically active is because it is the vehicle for communication between life forms on our Earth. The world is governed by the yin and the yang.[18]

Because the quantum or etheric field is universal and water is common in the Universe, associated with life or potential life, it seems natural to view them as complementary, working together. The etheric (sometimes called “the God field”) may be seen as the masculine (yang), initiating polarity; while the water medium has the receptive, feminine (yin) role. It may be that water is brought into being through the quantum field, a case of the stronger yang begetting the yin.

It is apparent from the LHC research that creation of anything completely new is dependent on a dominant yang. Yet it is clear that, for any new initiative to succeed, there needs to be also a strong balancing yin. En474getic qualities of water at the quantum level: their role in creating and sustaining life and balan the environment; how water stimulates evolution by constantly and especially its role in instant communication — all of these qualities I have chosen to synthesise collectively as “the water medium”.

What I propose is that the water medium and the quantum field are two complementary aspects in the balanced mediation, sustenance and evolution of life. Water acts as ‘the medium’ (the melody or music) — cosmic information (script or templates) as ‘the message’. You might call this a candidate for the ‘Unified Field Theory’. However, this implies that they are separate.  In holistic reality they are inseparable aspects of the one process of unfolding life.[19]

Some researchers believe the templates for the physical structures of living organisms are held in the etheric or quantum field, and may sometimes be interpreted through sacred geometry.[20] For example the ubiquitous container for the emergence of new life is the egg shape: the egg and similar shapes like the pine cone, or spiral structures such as seashells or leaf designs have a symmetry defined by phi (Φ) or ‘The Golden Section’. These symmetries have a yin/yang ratio which can be defined mathematically by the number 1:1.618033988, which seems always to be associated in Nature with the transmutation of energy into form.[21]

The issue of balance has fascinated scientists over the centuries. I think we have much to learn from ancient Chinese Taoist philosophy, which saw balance as the resolution of appropriate yin and yang polarities in every situation.

Alick Bartholomew is author of The Story of Water (UK ed) / The Spiritual Life of Water (US ed), and of Hidden Nature: The Startling Insights of Viktor Schauberger. He studied geology and geography at the University of Cambridge, with graduate studies at the University of Chicago. For 12 years he practised as a Transpersonal Psychology therapist. Website:




[1]  I wonder how many of the 2000 scientists at Cern know the history of holistic field speculation – of the Tao tradition, of Wolfgang von Goethe, Viktor Schauberger and Neils Bohr?

[2] “The Hunt for the Higgs” Horizon, BBC TV2, 9 Jan 2012.

[3] “The Hunt for the Higgs”, ibid.

[4] Harding, Stephan, Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia, Green, Totnes, 2006

[5]  Bartholomew, Alick, Hidden Nature: the Startling Insights of Viktor Schauberger, Floris, Edinburgh, 2003.

[6] A simple experiment: I take my vitamin C daily as a powder (which is more effective). I put a heaped teaspoon of the soluble powder in a small glass; add a little boiling water. Stir it in one direction for five seconds and see how long it takes to dissolve. Start again – and after adding the water, stir alternately right and left and you’ll see the powder is absorbed much more quickly.

[7]  Harding, Stephan, ibid

[8]  Bartholomew, Alick, Hidden Nature, ibid.

[9] Bartholomew, Alick, Hidden Nature, ibid.

[10]  Bartholomew, Alick, The Story of Water, Floris, Edinburgh, 2011.

[11]  Bartholomew, Alick, The Story of Water, ibid.


[13] Schwenk, Theodor, Sensitive Chaos, Steiner, London, 1965.

[14] Coats, Callum, Living Energies: Viktor Schauberger’s brilliant work with natural energy explained (p.66): Gateway, Bath, 1966

[15] Some esoteric traditions (e.g. Gurdjieff) have expanded the concept of dual polarity by proposing the Law of Three, which includes the reconciling or active principle, or the byproduct of the two. Thus Nature is the byproduct of the Sun and the Earth ― or the interface between the yang and the yin.

[16]  Coats, Callum, ibid. (p.70)  

[17] Fritjof Capra, “Yin Yang Balance”, Resurgence, May 1981; also The Tao of Physics, Wildwood, London, 1974.

[18] Bartholomew, Alick, Hidden Nature, ibid.

[19] Theosophy’s schema is that ordinary human consciousness (and Newtonian science) is mostly contained in the materialist-based Third Dimension, which sees everything as detached. Quantum physics inhabits the Fourth (transitional) Dimension of Time, where boundaries between matter and energy become blurred. The Fifth Dimen-sion, which may be reached by visionaries, is the state of Presence, beyond space/time, where all is truly One.

[20] Schwenk, Theodor, ibid.

[20] Coats, Callum, ibid

Psychological balance

One major aspect of psychological balance is the ability to listen to and appreciate another’s point of view or situation and not being self-centred or self-opinionated.

People who are said to be good listeners are usually better at a balanced conversation. It seems that they are the exception, for the norm is for people to talk about themselves and to voice their own opinions, whether they are factually correct or of interest to the other. It seems to be easier for many people to make a prejudgement than to admit they don’t know enough about the subject to voice an opinion. This often happens with politics and religion (which is why many hosts ban these topics at dinner table conversations).

Nothing in life is in perfect balance; otherwise it would be lifeless. Life is vibrant and always swinging between positive and negative influences. No person is perfect; each of us is a mixture of positive and negative attributes. The constructive position is to have a predominance of positive attributes, but if the balance is negative, the person still has the opportunity to adjust the balance.

A good area to test this out in is the question of the relevance of the British monarchy today. Many seem to be either unquestioning royalists or republicans and, usually, they can’t see any positive value in the other opinion.

Republicans tend to recognise no value in a constitutional kingdom as an institution. There should, however, be no argument that Queen Elizabeth’s 60-year reign brought stability to the British nation, and perhaps even overseas, in times of intense social and economic change. Millions agree that she has been a great example of selfless devotion, generosity and loyalty. One might question whether the wealth and lifestyle of royalty is justified in today’s society. This has been much modified during her reign, and probably more cutting back will be done under the next monarch’s rule.

Probably the main complaint of republicans is that the monarchy is undemocratic because it is hereditary. Have there been any examples in modern times to justify ending the monarchy for this reason? Perhaps we could learn from the Scandinavian examples to make ours more democratic.

On the other side, it seems that republicans are not in agreement. Many denounce anything to do with royalty and the system of sovereign government, and are sometimes misinformed about what the sovereign can and can’t do. A more balanced discussion about these issues might happen if republicans could offer an alternative kind of leadership with as many safeguards for continuity and stability as the British Crown has offered.



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