While no specific texts stand out on this subject, an article by Gill Caradoc Davies " Top-Dog/Under-Dog and Winnicott" might be of use – in the British Gestalt Journal, 1995, 4(2).
I have come to see polararised aspects of our nature as acceptable until the organism has a need to choose between these polarities. For example, I like doughnuts and at times I don’t like doughnuts is quite tolerable but dealing with I love my mother and I hate my mother may be much more of a challenge.
I sense that when a person/organism feels a strong polarisation such as Love and Hate, then the easy way out or least form of resistance is to choose between these polarities. I believe at this point the organism experiences a particular form of polarisation which I now refer to as a dichotomy… what Perls called a split. I think at this stage of the process the organism learns to choose BETWEEN these dichotomised polarities and hides or avoids or ignores one aspect of self and focuses on the other.
(I hope the people with a strong sense of grammar are not straining at the potential tautologies I have invoked…. I’m being like Humpty Dumpty and using words to mean exactly what I want them to mean… no more, no less :-)
From my work with people experiencing drug and alcohol problems, I have noticed that initially people deal with the issue by trying to hide the need to drink or drug…. "I hate the stuff… ruined my life". However as the therapy process progressed the person becomes more able to tolerate this need to use or drink and says "I’d love to drink/drug AND I’m not going to…"
I sense that the organism’s ability to stop dichotomising and splitting the polarised and paradoxical aspects of self and instead be able to hold and tolerate these polarities as their nature is a sure sign of maturity and growth.... and an underpining to the Paradoxical Theory of Change.
Finally I think what we are discussing is not only an aspect of the organism/emvironment field but of the wider cultural and historical field of the West. As Carl Jung writes, in the introduction to the Tibetan Book of the Dead or Bardo Thodol...
"The ever present, unspoken assumption of the Bardo Thodol is the antinominal charachter of all metaphysical assertions, and also the idea of the qualitative differences of the various levels of consciousness and of the metaphysical realities conditioned by them. The background of this book is not a niggardly European "either-or" but a magnificent and affirmative "both-and".
Hence Jung sees a maturity in the Eastern metaphysical perspective which accommodates the paradoxical nature of man and God and does not seek to rest only on one aspect of the nature ie dichotmised. He asserts that it is only from this more mature perspective can we make sense of the following...
"Recognsing the voidness of thine own intellect to be Buddha-hood, and knowing it at the same time to be thine own consciousness, thou shalt abide in the Divine Mind of the Buddha".
I’ll leave you with the end of a little poem from Fritz…
"Friend, don't be a perfectionist. Perfectionism is a curse and a strain. For you tremble lest you miss the bulls-eye. You are perfect if you let be.
Friend don't be afraid of mistakes. Mistakes are not sins. Mistakes are ways of doing something different, perhaps creatively new.
Friend don't be sorry for your mistakes. Be glad for them. You had the courage to give something of yourself.
It takes years to be centred; it takes more years to understand and be NOW."
Perls –"In and Out the Garbage Pail" or page iv of Stevens,J. "gestalt is" Real People Press, Moab, Utah, 1975.