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Our Dualistic Universe Shown Through Natural Reflections - A Case Study

As a lover of nature and the reflective universe that we live in, 'as above, so below', the concept of duality being present in all things.

Raise your hand if you have ever heard of the idea of our universe being 'dualistic'?

A concept not all too familiar with many, but a universal pattern that we can see in just about everything throughout space and time.

The 'Masculine' and the 'Feminine', 'as above, so below', the 'macrocosm' and the 'microcosm', 'yin' and 'yang', 'the physical' and 'the non-physical', 'night' and 'day', are the basis of this concept, and all aspects of this dualistic universe can be filtered down into these pairings in one way or another.

Everything has its equal and opposite.

This concept has always fascinated me, as I am someone who tends to seek balance in all things. Whether that's in my work, my relationships or my life in general, I'm always looking to see both sides to a story before making my mind up about something or coming to a decision.

This translates into my love of nature and art as well, as I love to look to see the dualism in a particular aspect of what I am experiencing in my external reality, but particularly in art and photography.

One of my favourite examples of natural dualism in art and photography is the mirrored reflections that spans of water tend to provide.

Photo by Tony Butler on Unsplash

Photo by Tony Butler on Unsplash

One thing I find interesting about this reflection, is the refractions that cause colour distortions of the mountains. Perhaps that reddish hue in the reflection is being caused by an acidic element within the water itself, creating that red-rock kind of hue refraction.

This goes to show that there is a spectrum of how the idea of 'dualism' can appear, it can either be a clean-cut reflection of what we are seeing like in your typical household mirror, or the reflective surface that is causing the reflection can, through various ways of refraction, actually distort the reflection.

Photo by Faye Cornish on Unsplash

Photo by Faye Cornish on Unsplash

Nature is forever captivating me with its beauty, and the above image does none other than that. Again, it shows that not all reflections are 'perfect' representations of that they are reflecting. Often distortion gets included along the way, in this case through the gentle shimmers of the lake's liquid surface.

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Here is an excellent example of the stillness in reflection, allowing great clarity of the tree line and that beautiful sunset seeming-wash, permeating through the background. I find it interesting that even though the reflective surface of the water is still and flat, there is a certain darkness in the reflection opposed to the source of the reflection, ie. the branches and the stone pillar to the left are somewhat darker. Almost reflecting back again the idea of yin and yang, light and dark, which this photo so nicely embodies. I think I will save this one as my wallpaper.

Although moving away from the concept of natural reflections in water, another beautiful example of natural reflections I have found is this forest scene:

Photo by The Mirror Man on The Mirror Man

Photo by The Mirror Man on The Mirror Man

In The Mirror Man's post, they state that they created this image by taking a mirror into a nearby forest and by-chance the sun was setting at just the right moment, to capture this beautiful sunray reflection we can see. When looking at the concept of duality, I feel that mirrors can 'reflect' this idea very well. Through a mirror we can look upon ourselves and see ourselves in a different light, they can invite us to look deeper into ourselves, at perhaps the more subsconscious aspects of ourselves that we bury inside at times. Mirrors give us the opportunity to ask ourselves the question, 'what is the dualistic aspect of myself that I am not conscious of?'.

Photo by Callie Joseph on Unsplash

Photo by Callie Joseph on Unsplash

In this example I find it easy to see how the refraction is being caused by the natural algae that underlies the water's surface, with a graininess to the water's surface that I can only imagine is being created from a subtle current flow. I love the perspective of this photo too, the dualism inherent within showing up, in one way, as the two sides of the river bank. This idea can be expanded to the idea of how an ocean will have its shoreline on one continent, and then 5,000 miles away the water will meet another shoreline. 'What goes up, must come down', or in this case, 'Where water leaves land, again, it must meet it'.

I hope you have enjoyed these beautiful illustrations of how nature reflects back to us the concept of dualism, of which nature itself is inherently comprised of, in this universe anyway.

© 2020 Zach Hayter

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