Positive and Negative – are they the same as Good and Bad?

I was asked this question about opposites recently…

“With the law of attraction, like attracts like. So why is it that with a magnet, the negative and positive poles attract? That is not like attracting like. Am I missing something here?”

Yes, you are confusing the two completely different definitions of Positive and Negative. Many spiritual explorers mix these up.

Definition One – Positive / Negative Are Like Electrical Polarities:

Positive and Negative, electrically speaking, aren’t “good and bad.” Rather, electrical negative and positive work in a team, just like yin and yang. And, of course, we can’t say that yin and yang are good or bad. Rather, they are electrical complements, or polarities, that work together to create a unified Whole.

This wholeness is also called Unity, Oneness, Love, and many more names. We think of this Oneness when we think of the Creator, intuitively sensing that the Creator embodies these united complementary opposites.

Other examples of complementary opposites that unite to create Wholeness or Completion:
– combining a variety of cooling and spicy flavors in a recipe to create a tasty unified dish;
– combining a variety of cool and warm colors in a painting to create a unified composition;
– combining fast and slow rhythms together in a song to create an engaging composition.

Definition Two – Positive/Negative As Good versus Bad:

Positive, meaning good, and negative, meaning bad, are entirely different definitions. This is because when positive and negative are used in this way, it is really a description of a judgment.

You do not like something, so you call it bad. You like something, so you call it good. This is your judgment only, because nothing exists in the universe with a good or a bad label on it. Look at the original question. If you think that positive and negative refers to combining good with bad, then of course confusion results.

Definition Mix-Up – When Good And Bad Are Called Polarities

This is a misunderstanding. Good and bad are not polarities. Good and bad are not opposites. We may not like one end of the scale, and so we call it Bad. But this does not make bad an opposite polarity to good.

Some examples to clarify this:

– When it is too hot, we say that this is bad.
– When it is too cold, we say that this is bad.
– When the temperature is comfortable, we say that this is good.

This does not make hot and cold opposite polarities — they are just different temperatures on the thermometer.

– When a person is friendly to us, we like their behavior.
– When a person is unfriendly to us, we dislike their behavior.

This does not mean that friendly and unfriendly are opposite polarities. Rather, friendly and unfriendly are different degrees of friendliness on the friendly continuum. 

The confusion:

If you define yin and yang as good and bad, you are using incorrect descriptions. Yin and yang are complementary energies, just as warm and cool, up and down, and left and right are complementary energies.

There is nothing good or bad about yin and yang. It would make more sense to speak of vibrational differences. Of course, when a practitioner of acupuncture states that you have too much yin, or too much yang, that is not because something is bad. Their concern you have too much of that energy, at that particular time.

Hint: Ask yourself– Is the person speaking to you about positive and negative actually referring to Polarities, such as Yin and Yang? Or, does the speaker mean Good and Bad? Sometimes context will reveal this. Sometimes you have to ask the person speaking to you. Notice that throughout this article, I have used positive and negative in these two different ways.

So lets look again at Like Attracting Like. We will imagine a couple. One of the partners has more Yang energy. One of the partners has more Yin energy. These opposites attract because polarities attract.

But, what happened to the Like Attracting Like? It is still functioning — because this Yang and Yin couple have shared interests, and that is the Like Attracting Like aspect:

How this couple illustrates Like Attracting Like:
– They both like ice skating.
– They both like old movies.
– They are both members of the same church.
– They share a similar sense of humor.
– In other words, they feel comfortable together, because of shared likes.

Notice how the Like Attracting Like qualities are similarities that attract.

Now we look at the Polarities– the opposite qualities that draw this same couple together:
– The Yang partner is somewhat more assertive.
– The Yin partner is somewhat more gentle.
– The Yang partner is somewhat more physical.
– The Yin partner is somewhat more emotional.

Notice how the Yin and Yang are complements– slightly opposite qualities that attract. 

And yet, yin and yang are not complete opposites, because if the differences are too extreme, the two would not feel compatible together. The reason this works? Yin and Yang work together to create Wholeness… but only when they are complementary. You can’t just combine any yin with any yang and expect balanced results.

By the way, this does not mean that Good and Bad combined will create wholeness. But as you now realize, yin and yang are completely different than good and bad.

So, when we are told to be Positive, the word is being used to mean Good. It’s OK to use the word this way, if we remember that this is how we are choosing to interpret the meaning of Positive in that instance.

But what about the popular advice to Always Be Positive?

And the equally popular advice to Always Be Authentic?

These sound contradictory. And they are, because they each express an aspect of the deeper truth. So we will examine this situation and see how these two principles fit together. . .

When you look at the bright side of a situation, you are seeing a possible solution. And this is wise. However, when you look at problems and limitations in a situation, you are being authentic, or realistic. And this is also wise. Here is how you can bring these principles of wisdom together…

For a given situation, you look at both the good and bad possibilities. For every good possibility that you consider, you examine what you would do to manifest that good possibility and make it a reality.

And for every bad possibility, you look at what you could do to prevent it, or at least limit the damage. To do so is actually Positive Thinking, because it turns any problem into a potential solution that leads you to your goal.

Have you noticed that many people who consider themselves as realistic believe that Being Real, or Being Authentic means that you should only see the problems and limitations? That is their limited definition of Real, but it need not be yours.

You can choose to define Real as seeing both the good and bad possibilities. And you can further define real as your being willing to explore how you can approach all the good and bad possibilities that you encounter… and help turn them in a healthy direction.

The famous Law Of Attraction, also known as Like Attracts Like, focuses on a principles in physics– the Law Of Resonance. It is simple enough to understand– if a tuning fork is resonating with a note, such as Middle C, and if another tuning fork is also tuned to Middle C, and you strike the first tuning fork, the second one will spontaneously sound. This shows you how the Law Of Attraction works– one vibration resonates with its matching vibration.

However, it brings up a fear that Law Of Attraction students often have. They are afraid that any so-called Negative Awareness will stop their manifestation from working. This is not true, if you are examining the good and bad possibilities realistically. When you examine a possible problem, and discover possible solutions, you are not violating the Law Of Attraction. 

Ideally, when you align with a positive (meaning good) reality, the law of resonance helps you unite you with the world of goodness. This principle can help protect you from problems, since you’re not resonating with the world of problems. Although, as mentioned earlier, it is perfectly fine to examine any potential problems. One exception to this positive resonance rule…

If you have unconscious bad patterns, such as irrational fears, and if you do not transform these, you may inadvertently manifest bad results. However, this is not the result of bad energy trying to stop you. Rather, it is the result of resonance. You hadn’t acknowledged the bad patterns within, and so, via the law of resonance, the bad patterns resonated with the world, and manifested them.

Remember, it is fine to look for your inner subconscious negative attitudes, because then you can help change or release them. If you avoid your hidden attitudes because you fear them, they can become even stronger.

Does this mean that when you look at possible problems, you are expressing fear or negativity?

Not at all. It is courageous to look at possible problems, because then you can find creative solutions.

In short, your good intentions won’t bring bad, unless you have unacknowledged bad patterns. Even so, you should never avoid aligning with the good, because repeated alignment with the good always strengthens your positive alignment.

After all this talk of polarities, I acknowledge that many people will continue to use the word Positive to mean Good. And so, in that spirit, I wish you a positive day — in the true sense of the word — because your positive intentions resonate with the greater positive reality, and this places you in the world of delightful, positive experiences.

And you will still be a Positive Person when you acknowledge the challenges, because the Truly Positive people are those who are realistic even while they are aiming for the stars.

Many Positive Blessings,

Joel Bruce Wallach

Founder, Cosmic Living – transformational tele-classes and home-study mp3’s

3 Responses to Positive and Negative – are they the same as Good and Bad?

  1. Georgie says:

    Thanks, Yang energy and yin energy attract. (not a yang energy person attracts another yang energy person) so they are both assertive and physical or ( a yin energy person attracts another yin energy person) and they are both emotional and gentle and then they find that they have similar likes and dislikes, for instance the yang couple like politics, and the yin couple like romantic movies.
    I don’t know………………………………………………………………………
    How can someone assertively yang like someone emotionally yin? as the assertives get cruel mouthed when the emotionals cry a lot.
    I don’t know……………………………………………… wouldn’t it take two gentle people to get together first.? Two yins? then they can find their yang strengths like …skating??

    • Georgie,

      Good question. The extremely yang person is imbalanced, and lacking yin. Such a person will unconsciously be drawn to an extremely yin person. Their combined energies will bring some temporary balance, but there will be a problem over time.

      These two extreme people will eventually find each other to be too strange and extreme, and the relationship won’t work.

      The extremely yang person needs to become more balanced. And, the extremely yin person needs to become more balanced.

      When the moderately yang person meets the moderately yin person, their energies will combine in a complimentary way that creates a healthy yin-yang combination that is mutually strengthening and centering for both people.

      When two very yin people meet, they feel compatible at first, but they eventually tire of each other, because they weaken each other.

      The same is true for two very yang people who discover each other. They excite each other at first, but then they tire of each other because their combined energies are too overly stimulating, and they exhaust each other.

  2. Jorge says:

    With the law of attraction, like attracts like. So why is it that with a magnet, the negative and positive poles attract? Because with the law of attraction you choose which pole to be.

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