I am always blathering on and on about how the only way to solve a problem is to understand it or get to its core and how this can only be done peacefully because we cannot destroy the outer layers to solve the inner problem. If we destroy the outer layers we end up with nothing but the core itself. Ironically, this presents a new challenge because now we must dig deeper to solve our “new” problem, but you’re not supposed to dig, you’re supposed to easily peel back the relatively diverse layers (races, nationalities, religions, philosophies, isms and schisms) until the problem begins to make sense. Once you “cool” the core the outer layers will benefit.
Relative diversity confuses us and as a result we end up getting bogged down with debating it and not the root of the issue itself. I don’t care if you say you hate one of the layers, it is not the diversity that bothers you. You only think it is because you cannot perceive the truth through the diversity. Just like the picture above. The lines are actually parallel. The staggered squares trick your brain into seeing a relationship that doesn’t actually exist.
Dude, that’s just an optical illusion, how does that relate to the world’s problems?
Just come inside, I’ll (try my best to) explain.
OUR PERCEPTION IS BASED ON A BEAUTIFUL LIE
The Earth orbits the sun at 10,000 mph while spinning like a dervish at 1,000 mph and the whole mess (solar system, galaxy) is drifting through space, yet we do not “feel” this movement at all. You can sit outside and watch the sun the entire day and while you will notice the stages of its movement, you will never see its motion. For one, it’s because it is not actually moving over us, we are spinning while moving around it and even though we know this we still use expressions like sunrise and sunset. The illusion is too powerful. It takes a lot of spinning around to make it appear that everything is standing still. This is in essence an optical illusion. Probably the most influential illusion we know.
As with the cosmic dance relative diversity creates a distraction. This does not mean diversity is bad thing. Without diversity we do not have language, art or for that matter intelligence. Your knowledge is nothing but a network of relationships. Black is black because white is white and vice versa. We consider a being intelligent because of their ability to make relationships through vast space. The more relationships made the more intelligent the being. Someone who is well-educated has this ability. Within their brain is a sprawling network of relationships. They are able to find relationships between the shades of gray that reside between black and white, but get this—there is no such thing as extreme black or extreme white.
I’m sure many of you have been in a room so dark that you couldn’t even see your hand in front of your face. Is that “extreme” darkness? What about a place so dark that even when you turned on a light you still couldn’t see your hand in front of your face? I know it sounds absurd, but relativity makes this possible. Just think of being in a dark room the size of the Louisiana Superdome, lights out, holding a flashlight the width of a hair strand. Now imagine being in the same scenario with one the width of the Empire State Building. Extreme darkness as well as extreme light do not exist. Human intelligence seems limited because we are incapable of tying these two points together, but actually it thrives because it attempts to do just that. This lack of absolute polarity forces us to wonder which expands our knowledge of the world around us. It seems we are doomed to myopia but the boundaries of myopia expand as we evolve. This is what causes us to lose focus of the core issue because the relative diverse layers relentlessly expand away from it.
So polarity doesn’t exist? What about cats and dogs? There is a definite distinction there?
Not actually. What were the cats and dogs before they were cats and dogs and what will they become? Also, what genes do these two “distinct” species share. I’m tellin’ you, relativity is a tricky mother—
SHUT YO’ MOUTH!!!
But I’m only talkin’ ‘bout relativity.
Okay, I can dig it.
All right. Where was I? Oh yeah, tricky relativity. Relativity seems to thwart our attempts to find commonality. There’s always something new to discover and these new discoveries make us rethink what we know about our past discoveries. By making these protracted relationships we notice ONE common thread that links things as seemingly diverse as spiders and meteors. Yes, there is a relationship there. It is not as obvious as green and red apples; there are more degrees of separation. Say the spider was in a movie with a mouse and that mouse once dated a turtle that performed on Broadway with the meteor.
Okay, that was a bit ridiculous, but just replace the absurdity with genetics. Essentially we notice and create relationships because everything is literally connected in some form or fashion. But these relationships are illusory due to their temporal nature. Everything is evolving all of the time. Think of magnets. Likes repel, opposites attract. Why? Well, let’s look at lions and tigers.
They are both felines. Does that mean they share a common ancestor? If we look back we may find the “like” seed that sprouted the diverse feline branches. But why such diversity. What split up this seed? Relative diversity did that. These cats moved around, evolved under different climates and adapted in relation with it as well as other life forms. The “like” repelled. But when will these two become “complete” opposites?
Never. Even if the lion evolves into a sea creature and the tiger into a flying one—they still have an infinite amount (how oxymoronic) of evolving to do. And remember, evolution’s road isn’t a straight line; it branches off and branches off like a tree with infinite branches. These creatures could “split” and become a plethora of different creatures.
The opposite attraction is the relationship created by their distinctions. The lion and tiger possess genetic dissimilarities which we see manifested as their differing features and behavior. A lion is a lion because a tiger is a tiger and vice versa. When you throw in some more relative diversity namely other creatures the lion and tiger start to become more defined in relation to everything else. The relationship is the tie that binds. Your eyes have a powerful magnetic ability—they are attracted to these distinctions and the brain processes the relationship. But look another living thing in the eye and something amazing happens. There is a moment of limbo where there is a possibility for fear or love. You or the other being may concede and look away, but if you stay locked eye-to-eye relative diversity starts to fade away and you may become unaware your surroundings. Even if something is attempting to distract you—fight it, stay locked in.
Room to roam…
We are able to perceive relative diversity because of space. Matter has to split or bang bigly (sorry, I just wanted to see that word) to create this space. Once the split happens the relationships can be made. One bang (sacrifice) begets infinite expansion. The space in-between is what links the diversity. Okay, now let’s talk politics.
When will this mess get better?
In order for things to get relatively better compromises must be made. These forces smash together and bicker back and forth about who’s wrong and who’s right. Of course each camp thinks they have the right answer, but how do they know this? Via relative contrasts. You’re wrong because I’m right. Now these forces are separated by quite a bit of space and they come together with tremendous force. They are that attracted to one another. This collision causes a lot of damage and seems almost impossible to separate. To do so would require a ridiculously strong outside force to create space between them. Once that space is created the discourse will change. That space is the compromise. But what is the force that creates this space?
It’s me and you and everyone we know. We are that great force. Now that doesn’t mean run out and grab your musket. I would like to think our young country has grown past our awkward adolescent phase and can now sit down and rationally work out our issues. We must release our grip from around our respective parties’ leg and start calling them out when they behave like school children. Staunch partisanship is deadly because it is an attempt to preclude the inevitable expanse. Each party may think power comes from maintaining their rigid positions and not letting anyone or anything disband them. But something’s gotta give. There is too much tension. Something needs to bang. But it can be done peacefully. These cats pay attention to polls and voter sentiment. Our baby democracy is beautiful because of this. We do have a say.
Our country voted overwhelmingly for “Hope” and “Change” and now a year later it doesn’t seem like much has changed. Is that the fault of the administration for not sticking to their campaign message? Is it the fault of Republicans who are refusing to budge? I say who cares. Playing the blame game is a huge distraction. The question we should be asking is: Is it power they are trying to protect or the people they govern?
We must look for the impetus that inspires the actions that we later look to to determine political culpability. It is imperative that we try to understand this impetus. If it is power that they wish to preserve then what is the impetus for this drive? It has to be fear. Power is nothing but security via density. Now what is it We The People want back?
Our power. Many of us are unemployed (present company included), many of us have lost our homes, many of us are without health insurance—these are all things that mitigate our power. The Republicans should feel our pain. We want what they want. The Democrats have the power, but they risk losing it if the Republicans refuse to join them. Moreover, they were out of power for eight long years so this is relatively new to them.
The driving force behind all of this is fear. That is the commonality that rises to the surface after you strip away the relatively diverse layers. But what drives the fear? Well, the drive is relatively diverse as well.
Yeah, exactly! People fear different things for different reasons. What happened to our core? Do we have to go on another wild goose chase?
Maybe not. While it may seem necessary to navigate through our relatively diverse reasons for fear we may only need to find one way to subvert fear itself. To this requires abnormal strength and sacrifice. We must not fear fear. We have to embrace it and not let it control us. This is where the individual comes in. Only you know what you fear. Instead of denying it or blaming the cause of your fear you must make an effort to understand it. Peel away your own layers and get to the bottom of it. Notice the relationships between your diverse fears. I guarantee you there are some substantial links there. This is not an overnight thing, it is a process that will take you some time. Just keep your eye locked on fear and watch as the relative divers layers that obfuscate your understanding of it fade away. The crazy thing about fear is, it is nothing but relatively diverse layers. Once you peel them away you are left with nothing. That thing you were staring at wasn’t fear after all. It was something else. When you defeat fear you are only open to one other thing…
When you begin the process something sublime happens. When you are faced with a fear you first acknowledge why you fear it and after awhile that why becomes more and more absurd. The absurdity may even become amusing…
Democrats and Republicans are not polar opposites; they actually represent distinct points in space. In order to maintain this distinction they must expand away from each other (even rigidity cannot defeat the expansion). Their desire to be different than one another ironically makes them the same. It is their contradictions that bring them smashing together. We create space via our moderate majority. A majority that the two parties pander to during election time. Because of fear they change their tune—they know they need us to gain or preserve power. And they play to our fears in order to secure our vote. The tricky bit is that the parties are made up of more moderate elements than stubbornly rigid ones.
The rigidity is a mechanism of fear while moderation is an acknowledgment of the fear instinct. Moderate people are not fearless, they merely acknowledge fear’s irrationality, hence the political correctness phenomenon. Moderate people harbor thoughts that others may find offensive, but instead of publishing these thoughts as soon as they congeal they incubate them for a moment and this makes them keen observers. Sometimes these observations expose the irrationality of the offensive thought. For instance, you may think that all Swedish people like meatballs because every time you go to a restaurant you spot them eating meatballs, but then you start a new job and a coworker who is Swedish “happens to be” a vegetarian. You then begin to wonder if there are other Swedes like him.
But isn’t the moderate observer “afraid” of offending people? Isn’t that why he doesn’t say the first thing that comes to mind?
Good point. Let’s say you approach a Swedish person on the street and say, “Get outta my way you meatball eatin’ mutha@#$%&!” Even if the person loves meatballs a fight is likely to break out. But what if you said, “Excuse me, I’ve noticed quite a few Swedes eating meatballs, is that a cultural thing?” This tact, although absurd, tempers your ignorance with curiosity. By asking the question you subvert the fear that wants you to remain ignorant. Now there are people out there who are easily offended and will jump on any remark made regardless of the intent behind it. This usually leads to moments like this:
I’m not excusing Mr. Richards’s remarks nor am I rebuking them. If I throw him under a bus then I must be prepared for the same treatment if I commit the same act. Also, who knows how he really feels. To judge a man based on a single action does him as well as humanity a disservice. I think it’s time for us to be a little less sensitive. If a comment offends us then that means we know better. If we know “better” shouldn’t we work together to educate the person who doesn’t? Firing them or blacklisting them does nothing to change their worldview. It just hides them from us, but the sentiment that inspired the incendiary remarks doesn’t disappear. All we did was bury it in a shallow grave. Eventually it will be unearthed and then we all act shocked. “What, I thought that was dead!” Nothing ever really dies. But we can shatter the ignorance so that it becomes harder to piece back together. It’s just going to take a sacrifice. If someone approaches you and calls you a meatball eatin’ mutha@#$%&, ponder the following…
Pride is standing face-to-face with people who fear you so much they wish you harm without flinching or responding in kind when they assault you physically. Pride has nothing to do with your race, your sexuality, your religion—nothing of the sort. It is merely responding to intense fear with intense love. In essence you are saying this to your opposition: “I know you fear me because I am unfamiliar to you, but I assure you, if you make me familiar you will not fear me anymore and I will stand here until you realize that. I do not care how many times you bludgeon me I will stand, fall and rise until you realize that deep down you love me.
Who are you? John Lennon or somebody? What is this? More new age mumbo-jumbo? All we need to do is love one another and everything will be okay! Gimme a break.
Cool off. An incendiary remark is only made incendiary by the response. Even if the response seems justified by conceding to the intent of the message you actually justify the message. The message exposes an area where you are weak. In boxing terms it opened you up to take a huge blow. In the squared circle you have two options here. Do you go for a shot or do you defend? Let’s look at what happens when you go on the defensive first, trust me, it will make sense in the end.
Preparing for another blow gives you the opportunity to reflect or rest from the bang of the previous exposing shot. If you position yourself just right the returning shot will miss you and your opponent will tumble to the ground. If or when he rises he will from that point on know he cannot take you for granted. His offensive gesture comes with so much force and it expects to be met with a countering weaker force. A force that would be no match for it. The friction actually provides a release. The man falls to the mat and doesn’t know what hit him. That’s why ten seconds later he’s still face down. When you move away from the blow you meet it with an equal force, but you don’t feel the shot, you actually return it, that’s why the guy loses his balance. His force was expecting to meet a counter. Even if it was a weak one, it still needs it which calls into question the “weakness” of the counter. Without the counter the boxer severely loses his balance. Just like the blow that opens you up—a defensive tactic can also expose your opponent.
By reacting to the surface vitriol of a comment we give it power by giving it precisely what it wants. If you decide to walk away from it it will chase you until it runs out of steam, though the chase could be long and arduous. If you step back and then step forward you actually allow the fire to cool down and you become ready to approach it. And your return blow need not be as “powerful” as the one that drew your attention. It was the peculiar nature of the remark that grabbed you. It triggered an involuntary “What the (your discretion) he/she just say!?” After which you immediately look for a familiar strain and then you tag the remark so it doesn’t seem so peculiar. You call it racist, sexist, homophobic. These tags are our way of containing oblique yet incredibly dense ideas. The tag exists because the feeling we get when we perceive this oblique density is equally obliquely dense. It seems not to exist, but it exists and is right in front of you. For someone to make an offensive comment they must view themselves differently than they view the person they are attacking. This initial difference is the peculiarity that creates the space in between. The space illuminates more differences. However, the initial distinction has to be made for this to happen. A comment that offends, no matter the details simply shouts: “I’m different than you!!!” The words are just volume. We become transfixed when we hear this message. Based on the “volume” we may ask this question in response: “Do you think this difference makes you better than me? Does your ability to spot peculiarity make you more intelligent than me?”
For someone to be able to detect peculiarity they must wonder about it first. Differences between people are no more than points of relative distinction. I’m this way, you’re that way, but I’m only this way because you’re that way. Following the initial distinction we soon discover another one and another one. When they begin to dissipate the core sameness emerges and as a result we begin “creating” new distinctions. But that drive is what drives everything. Likes repel because they create continual distinctions between themselves. The irony is that by making these continual distinctions you are forever connected. The forces repel and to do that they must disallow passage to each other. Is this force a pushing or a pulling one? The forces repel at a point in the middle, that point is the first distinction. But to make that first distinction space must be created. What creates that initial space? It’s the first distinction of course. Now more must be created to get a better “look.”
Once they become aware of this game they can counter the distinction by moving against it. To do this they have to break through the distinctions to reach the nucleus or point of first distinction. Force two like magnets together. If the magnets are relatively weak you can hold them together easily, the strength of their repulsion is not as strong as the force you’re using to hold them together. It seems you have defeated the charged diversity, but all you really did was squeeze it real tight. The field is a tangled mess as it is trying desperately to separate the magnets. Notice how fast the tangled web snaps into a sphere. It has to; both magnets are emitting the same energy. The point in the middle is the first repulsion. That point in the middle is the difference between the two likes.
Your sight seems to merge at a central point in front of you. It’s the vanishing point. However, there is more to be seen beyond that point, you just cannot perceive it. As you move closer the unknown comes into view. There seems to be an expanding opening in the apex of the triangular vanishing point. When you cross your eyes you are squeezing this opening. As a result two contrasting images appear in front of your face—the left eye’s image appears on the right side and the right eye’s image appears on the left. In essence you have created an ocular version of the Halbach array phenomenon you find in refrigerator magnets, it’s crossing the positive with negative, but then opening the negative with a positive. Just try it with a couple refrigerator magnets and you’ll see and feel the repulsion, then attraction dance. This happens because the magnets are a composite of both positive and negative forces.
Cross your eyes and look at the picture below.
Now with your eyes crossed train your vision on the point in the middle. You’ll probably see something like this…
Now by moving your head around and back and forth try to create a rectangle in the middle. This is a difficult task. Even when you think you have it you can’t quite hold it together, it either implodes or expands. You are forcing your eyes to concentrate on one point in space. The likes repel when they discover the first distinction. It’s that peculiar point in the middle. No matter what happens to the two shapes that point in the middle always remains. Constant repulsion. The more you angle your eyes to that seemingly central point the further the images expand away. But how are they expanding away. What is this point in the middle I see? It doesn’t exist; it’s purely in your mind. That infinitely merging middle is the nuclear reaction that facilitates the infinite expansion outward. If you try and force your eyes to find an ultimate central point you will get a headache and notice where you feel the tension—right down the middle—it splits your symmetry or false duality. The tension is felt right down the middle and that’s a bit peculiar. Each side feels tension and together they create a middle. Something that splits the duality. 3D movies exploit this split to create the illusion of space. The glasses subtly force your eyes to concentrate on the middle, this brings the overlapping images together and you see three-dimensions emanating from a flat plane. Cross your eyes and view the video below (make sure you are not too close to your screen) to recreate a relatively more centralized version of this effect.
Once you lock in, which is the point right before the extreme tension—your “perceived” limit the central frame is given depth. Before crossing your eyes the two merging images may appear the same, only when you cross your eyes do you see this. The frame in the middle shows you the first distinction between the two likes.
More sensual oddness…
If you cross your index finger with your middle finger and place a marble in between the opening it feels as if there are two balls pushing against your fingers. Now here’s where it gets really tricky, avert your eyes from your fingers and roll the marble against a hard flat surface. It really feels like you are pushing the marble and the marble is pushing you at the same time. It feels like a magnetic attraction. This is what creates the sensation that you are rolling two balls. If you attempt to push away the marbles you seem to find the truth. They don’t budge, the harder you push the more force they exert. It feels like they will smash through your fingers to get to each other, but when you look back down you notice that the two fingers are squeezing the marble desperately trying to get back to their respective positions.
To hear this phenomenon you’re going to need two sets of speakers. Set up two speakers, sit in front of them and enjoy the rich spatial goodness of stereo sound for a bit. Make sure you are sitting a bit away from the two speakers so that you form a triangle with you as the apex. Now take just the monaural speaker of the other set and plug it to the same music source. Next place it right in the middle of the two speakers.
Play your music.
It sounds flat. What’s up? You now have a left and a right with one mono source in between and all you get is one flat sound. Why can’t the other two create space anymore? The sound is flat and dense because the central speaker merges the two. To make the sound radiate again you would need to put the middle speaker right in front of you while leaving the others behind. It gives you a chance to really hear the distinction by creating an arrow that points directly at you. When you record vocals for an album you make sure they’re flat to punch right through the space created. You give them gravity which allows the production to wash over the listener. The flat voice grounds them. When you split your voice into two parts it disorients the listener because they hear the split. It’s expanding. But it’s still linked to the center. The disorienting sound is a lack of that center. There has to be a central ballast so that the sounds can seem to dance around your head. Each sound has a relationship with that center of gravity. Aspects of a guitar lick could be split into two parts which gives it a subtle approximation of live sound. When you hear it you are reminded of space because the sound is composed of two overlapping ones. The only way to perceive that overlap is through space. That’s all stereo sound is—an illusion played on your brain by your ears.
The overlap is dense whereas the vast differences between the two channels is spacey. When wearing stereo headphones you feel as if “you” are that central density. This is also how we perceive our existence. We are the dense centers and it is hard for us to transcend that. Everything seems to be happening around us, we can experience this outside world, but we cannot get outside of ourselves. And there’s this odd middle zone that we call reality. If you perceive a thing one way and I perceive it another then who’s right? Who or what do you consult for the truth? If we ask another person all we get is their perspective. We can ask a hundred people and all we will end up with is a hundred perspectives. So what we do is look for is points within these different perspectives to create links. In other words we are looking for similarities to develop a consensual truth, but this “truth” is based on a collection of perspectives. So the question remains—what is the truth of reality? The more perspectives we gather the further away we get as we become bogged down with discovering similarities. But it is those similarities that speak the truth.
It seems like we will uncontrollably expand away from the truth via our innate need to create and procreate and evolution’s need to do the same. But curious things like religions, philosophies, ideas, theories, and art evolve and get us to wonder about our existence. The most important questions being: who am I, where did I come from and where am I going? Some of us stop everything through prayer, meditation or other forms of self reflection. This grounds you as the maddeningly incessant nature of evolution rages all around you. If you do this regularly you may begin to see through evolution’s wild blur and spot similarities without even trying without judgment or fear blinding you. That perspective can see through time because it sees what always was and what will always be. Curiosity drives evolution and curiosity drives us to wonder about it. It’s a cyclical, circular sublimely genius thing. Something that doesn’t have to be “created” because it creates itself infinitely in infinitely diverse ways.
The only “thing” that can perceive the entirety of reality is space. It is the buffer between your perception and reality, yet it is within everything. It is also densely packed with diverse particles linking everything together infinitely. The more connections we make the closer we get to this truth. But there will always be peculiar distinctions for they are the question that leads to the answer that keeps on expanding away from us. The more we know the more we have to learn.
Pain is a curious signal as it sends a remarkably efficient reminder to the brain that something is harming its sensory receptor. The body can heed this reminder or try to endure it, but the longer you keep your hand pressed to that hot iron the more it’s going to hurt. But if you keep it there regardless of the pain eventually it will not hurt anymore for you have reached the limit of pain. Although you may not feel the pain your hand will continue to suffer more and more damage. We become curious about these elements that harm us and we begin to wonder why they occupy the universe. When a relatively large harmful event occurs we get really curious.
They hurt us and we wonder why. Why would something cause us so much pain? What kind of love is this? We ask these questions and then we do this. We become united as a result of the peculiar destruction. We experience the hit collectively, but the suffering is relative.