Dark Side

4/19/99    The pessimist sees the glass as half empty, the optimist sees the glass as half full. Our minds are like computers, analyzing every sensation and thought with an endless speed-of-light stream of "1's and 0's". No wonder everything seems so polarized. Two dimensional thinking gives us the reference points like yes/no, right/wrong, black/white and so on, and physical reality exists because of this positive/negative interaction. Non-physical reality, though, is more multi-dimensional (or perhaps non-dimensional ?), and as the universe evolves, it's self-perception becomes increasingly multi-faceted. Difficult as it is, we need to think less polarized or less absolute , since "black & white" is actually just infinite shades of gray. And even this is a narrow perspective when you consider white as a combination of all colors. It's not just black & white or infinite shades of gray, but rather every possible wavelength visible in light, which is still just another narrow bandwidth that's part of a larger bandwidth. So is the glass half empty or half full ? Maybe the glass is simply too big .
Unfortunately, objectivity is a rare commodity these days. Points of view are no longer perspectives but rather pragmatisms carved in stone, where just about anything can be rationalized to an absolute idiom (in fact, I'm doing it right now). The power of language can make us change our ideas even to the opposite extreme, and it's the "internal dialogue" of the mind that streamlines our arguments and make them convincing through verbalization. How different the human race would be if we never evolved vocal chords, and how different it would be if everyone everywhere spoke the same language. Most of us would agree that without words, no matter how limited they may be by cultural boundaries or by descriptive inadequacies, logical reasoning would not be possible. However, animals do in fact have rational thought without vocabulary, mental or vocalized. Call it learned response through sensation memory, call it genetic encoding through evolution, or call it good old instinct, it is an aspect of the multi-dimensional thinking we humans seem to lack. In non-verbalized thinking there are no absolute polar reference points, no black & white, just shades of gray. In verbalized thinking, all the shades of gray are thought of as compromises between two diametrically opposed extremes. When both processes are used, words and imagery come together to perceive the "big picture". It goes back to the jigsaw puzzle analogy where you see the picture the puzzle makes and not just pieces linked in abstract asymmetry, and not just in physical reality where molecules are loosely grouped together perceivable because of mass relative to distance, but non-physical reality where the process of reality can be thought of all-encompassing or omnipresent and not merely sequential in linear time. So if these 'shades of gray' are imagined beyond their isolated linear frequencies, all the color frequencies can be said to exist like transparent layers between the two absolutes (black & white), the bandwidth as a whole just another transparent layer between even broader absolutes.

Now of course the whole black & white thing is just an analogy or metaphor as is the glass of water. It just helps to illustrate how important it is to expand our perspectives beyond the inner mechanical workings of our minds (DON'T make me use the word "paradigms") and think of all our disagreements and conflicting ideas not as straight-line mirror images but as opposing points on a sphere, where there are no absolutes, no right or wrong, no optimist or pessimist, no black & white. Just different points of view that by themselves are meaningless and are only visible by contrast.
Now as far as the proverbial glass is concerned, is it half full , is it half empty , or is the glass just too big for the liquid inside? The answer is that the glass and the liquid are trying to occupy the same space at the same time and since they cannot because of their different densities create the illusion of a half-full / half-empty glass.
(and you thought the answer was going to be ALL OF THE ABOVE. That's what you get for thinking multi-dimensionally)