The pen and ink drawing by Otto Bjornik, titled “The Dichotomy of Man“, is a wonderful representation, not only of the dichotomy of man, but also, of integration. In the artwork we find one woman who is also two lovers kissing (look closely to find the two lovers embracing each other). This could be seen as the anima and animus in union, the two aspects of Self that represent the whole.
Søren Kierkegaard said that “man is a synthesis of the infinite and the finite, of the temporal and the eternal, of freedom and necessity, in short it is a synthesis. A synthesis is a relation between two factors. So regarded, man is not yet a self.” (The Sickness Unto Death, 1849). We are both split within ourselves, and we are the consciousness which is capable of creating a synthesis out of the split.
In Otto’s painting we see the spiral dynamics between time and that which blossoms forth from time: one side we have the eternal spiraling of time and space and on the other the blossoming forth of flowers and the emergence of life.
It is the machinery of the imaginal which connects these two realms of being. The clockwork machinery of time and space becomes organic, giving rise to life. It is playful, easy, as if divine imagination. I love the atom at the heart: the basic unit of matter or life, which sets the whole movement in motion. And the heart, as the integrating center, is the place and space from which the whole imaginal play arises.
This is immanence: the two that are one, the multiple that is the whole. The divine discovering itself within duality, and then again in the multiplicity. It is a continual spiraling, the unfolding dynamics of relationality.