I Disagree With Steve Pavlina About Polarity

Steve Pavlina just posted a follow-up entry to yesterday’s post about on #1 Mistake People Make When Using The Law of Attraction. I’ll summarize it here, but to get Steve’s complete take on the subject you should read his article on the concept of Polarity.

Here is the meat of Steve’s concept:

The polarity of the energy flow is simply its direction. The in-flowing energy has one polarity, and the out-flowing energy has the opposite polarity.

So here are the two basic ways energy can flow through your consciousness:
1. You -> Universe (you direct energy from your consciousness out to the universe)
2. Universe -> You (you draw energy from the universe into your consciousness)
#1 is like breathing out, and #2 is like breathing in, except we’re talking energy instead of air.

He goes on to say:

Here are some examples of intentions that align well with outflow (from your consciousness out to the universe):
· write a book
· build a business
· compose a song
· draw a picture
· throw a party
· give a speech
· start a blog

And here are some examples of intentions that align well with inflow (from the universe into your consciousness):
· get a new car
· attract a new relationship
· receive a certain sum of money
· get a new job
· achieve a certain reputation
· win a contest

I believe that viewing this directionality of energy as a polarity is misleading and potentially detrimental to our work with Law of Attraction. I see it as a continuum and would propose that, instead of getting into an either/or equation we look at the optimal energetic direction for each intention, and, in fact, for each step in the manifestation process.

As humans, our essential nature is as much energetic as physical. Just as our physical bodies require a constant and cyclical flow of air in and out, our energetic essence requires a constant and cyclical flow of energy in and out.

Our physical bodies could not survive if we decided to spend a day – or even a few minutes – just exhaling. Nor could our energetic bodies survive for very long if we decided to just flow our energy out to the universe without receiving any energy back.

Unlike breathing, however, the inflow and outflow of our energy bodies happens simultaneously. We are constantly and simultaneously receiving and sending energy.

With breath, the seed of the next exhale waits in every inhalation while the seed of the next inhale lives in each exhale.

With energy, there is no separation. Even as you are flowing energy out into the world, you are receiving fresh energy to replenish it.

It is possible to regulate the flow of this energy, and with specific tools, training and practice, you can become quite adept at consciously directing this flow of energy. But, no matter how skilled you become at directing the flow of your energy, there will always be a simultaneous in- and out-flow.

On an energetic level this concept of inflow and outflow is more of a continuum than a polarity. It is not either/or it is a dynamic flow sometimes directed more outwards and other times directed more inwards.

Intentions work the same way. The successful manifestation of any intention requires a balance of in-flowing energy and out-flowing energy. To say that the intention of writing a book is aligned with outflowing energy is misleading.

To write a book requires a clear vision – outflow – and focused action – outflow – but it also requires attracting an agent and/or a publisher – inflow – a willingness to receive and act on constructive feedback – inflow – and a desire to attract income – inflow – etc.

Intentions are in a constant state of dynamic motion between the polarities of inflow and outflow. And this is where the concept of Optimal Energetic Directionality can be very useful.

Lets take the example of writing a book. Here are the steps a hypothetical author might go through on a daily basis along with an exploration of how bringing consciousness to the polarity of each step could help to empower the action.

When our intrepid author awakes each morning the first thing she does, even before getting out of bed, is create a clear vision of the completed book. She envisions herself embarking on a highly successful book tour, receiving large royalty checks each quarter, and speaking on radio and TV shows throughout the country/world.

This is a time for outflow. During this step, our author should actively engage a strong flow of energy out into the universe. She wants the universe to “hear” her vision. The more positive energy she flows out into the Universe, the faster the Universe will receive it.

Later, our author sits down for her morning writing session. She clears her mind and her desk of all distractions, and begins to write. She focuses on receiving the information that she knows will benefit others and translating that information into words that are clear and easy to understand.

This is a time for inflow. During this step our author should actively engage and open to a strong flow of energy into her space. This inflow will allow her to receive the exact information she needs to write in each moment.

Now, you might wonder how this can be a time for inflow when she is sending energy out through her writing. In this case, I consider the author and her computer, notepad, recorder or typewriter to be one “system.” There is energy flowing from one part of the system to a another part of the system, but the overall energy state of the system is one of inflow.

A few minutes into her writing session she gets stuck. There is a concept that she just can’t translate in a way that makes sense. She knows there is a way to express this concept clearly. And she senses that the answer is just outside of her conscious grasp. So she stops and leans back in her chair, closes her eyes and opens herself to receive the information that will help her translate this concept.

This is a time for deepening her alignment with inflow. Opening to guidance from Source, Higher Self, Intuition, God, or whatever you choose to call it, is a time to actively engage the inflowing polarity.

Later in the day, our author writes a query letter to an agent with whom she would like to work. Before she writes the letter, she closes her eyes and envisions herself having lunch with this agent. She sees and feels their strong connection and mutual desire to make this book incredibly successful.

Outflowing energy.

After writing and sending the letter, our author spends time actively entering a receptive state in which she welcomes the assistance of all those who can help her write and publish this book. She especially opens up to receive the assistance of this agent.

Inflowing energy.

So you see, no intention is exclusively inflow or outflow. In reality, each individual step in the process of manifesting your intention has elements of both inflowing and outflowing energy. This is why I see it as a continuum.

But while it is a continuum, each step has an optimal energetic direction. And when you become aware of that direction you can empower each step by consciously aligning your energy with that polarity.

You can begin to explore this topic of Optimal Energetic Directionality, by observing your actions throughout your day and becoming aware of the directional flow of your energy.

Another way to use this concept is to make note on your daily task list of the optimal energetic direction, in or out, for each task.

Steve has once again opened up a very interesting and useful area for exploration and I hope to see more. I assure you that you will see more on this from me. This concept has definitely started my wheels spinning. And hey, I guess that’s another reason why I blog!

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      14 Responses to “I Disagree With Steve Pavlina About Polarity”

      1. Evolving Times » From Polarity To Centerpoint on February 22nd, 2007 7:10 am

        […] post yesterday explaining why I disagree with Steve Pavlina on the topic of Polarity has certainly gotten my creative juices flowing! In this post I want to explore the optimal state […]

      2. Lyn on February 22nd, 2007 6:57 pm

        In other words, you see our “energetic bodies” as conduits? Like streams of water – if nothing is flowing in, nothing can flow out. Or if we don’t allow the water to flow through us, we end up like the Dead Sea where water comes in (along with salt and minerals) but there is no life. A vital lake requires inflow and outflow.

        So I see what Pavlina is getting at, the polarities must run both ways. And I see your point, that it’s not an either/or. We may just be talking about the same process with different metaphors.

        Thanks for the discussion. Lyn

      3. Edward Mills on February 22nd, 2007 8:38 pm

        Great observation Lyn! Yes, we can think of our bodies as reservoirs of energy with water/energy flowing in and flowing out all the time. There may be times that more is flowing in, but there is still an outflow. And the opposite is true as well.

        Thanks for joining the conversation.

      4. Carnival of Healing #74 - Mind Mart on February 23rd, 2007 7:42 pm

        […] The Law of Attraction is generating lots of discussion. See what Edward Mills has to say about it in his post I Disagree With Steve Pavlina About Polarity. […]

      5. Evolving Times » Your Heart Is a Better Metaphor For Energy Flow In Manifestation on February 24th, 2007 8:19 am

        […] our discussions of Energetic Directionality, beginning with this post, the metaphor that was initially used by Steve Pavlina to describe the flow of manifestational […]

      6. Edward Mills on February 24th, 2007 12:33 pm

        Hi Peggy. I really like your observation that even our perception of “In” and “out” is constantly shifting. In the energetic realm of our awareness that is absolutely true. And it’s another reason why trying to explain these concepts from within the context of our physical, dualistic awareness is often fraught with miscommunication and confusion.

        Thanks for your comment.

      7. Wendy Piersall on February 28th, 2007 9:03 am

        Late to the party, but I disagree with Steve Pavlina on at LOT of things – great post!

      8. Henry on May 14th, 2007 9:57 am

        Great article. The Pavlina one is great but this is better, and for me promotes more concrete action.

      9. MJ on November 5th, 2007 8:01 pm

        Doesn’t it flow both ways in everything? When we take and ask, we get the source from the Universe. When we give, we send the energies back to the Universe (and others)

      10. Ivan on March 8th, 2008 1:52 am

        That’s true. I personally don’t recommend Steve Pavlina for self development matters to anyone. He’s too biased, and mostly talks about his own life, his own feelings, and preferences. I mean who cares about his personal life and his style, and likeness to bananas (this is mentioned a lot of times in his site – and I find it quite irritating).

        Steve just wants to be “different”, but most of his articles are more to subjective than actual laws of this universe.

        He’s also inconsistent with his past missions. I once heard and knew by myself that he was trying to write a book on shareware industry and how to write games, but he cancelled the project – due to lack of expertise I guess.

      11. Alexandria on March 9th, 2008 1:28 pm

        Stevepavlina, Saint or Scam ?
        Further discussion on this link.


        Please check it out, and give your real honest opinions about Steve’s website.

        It’s sad that Steve does not give his readers a chance to voice out their real opinions. All the comment postings are closed before any real discussions can be made.

      12. Edward Mills on March 12th, 2008 8:25 pm

        Ivan: In general, I find Steve’s writing to be very beneficial. Several of his posts have directly contributed to major improvements in my life. How to become an early riser, his series on Self Discipline and how to make money from your blog have all led to specific positive changes.

        When I first read his post on polarity it was the first post of his that had felt “off” to me. Something was not right. And so I wrote this post. It’s possible that the problem was semantic. He wrote a follow-up post addressing these issues which I can’t find now.

        But in any case, I would certainly not through out the baby with the bath water. Even if I disagree with Steve on something, he has provided far too much useful information to write him off.

      13. Edward Mills on March 12th, 2008 8:31 pm

        Alexandria: You can see some of my “real” opinions about Steve in my previous comment. I don’t begrudge him making money from his blog. There are many blogs out there with far more advertising. Steve just makes a lot more than most because of the following he has built. And, in my opinion, that following is well deserved along with the income. He is providing huge value to millions of people and that value should be compensated. I say bravo to Steve for being a role model for those of us wanting to make money by helping others!

      14. Wealthymindset on August 12th, 2008 10:01 am

        Your article does not conflict with Steve’s observation of inflow, outflow. It was never specifically stated that in and out come from only one location of spirit/being. Polarity is his point… in… out… TWO opposing directions.

        if energy takes up space, then no two energy units (if there’s such thing) can occupy the same space. IF this supposition (of energy takes up space) is true, then inflow and outflow CANNOT occur simultaneously in the same location.

        HOWEVER, further supposing the above supposition is true, this does not mean inflow and outflow cannot occur simultaneously.

        therefore, both you and pavlina have nothing to argue about… at the very most, you guys have different observations of the same phenonmenon of polarity. if either of you made the point that inflow can/cannot occur simultaneously at the same space of outflow of energy, THEN you have a “real disagreement” to write about.


        just my 25cents (outflow)… a response (inflow to you) to your article (inflow to me).

        take care,

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