Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mirror Images -2

Say, a group of people are protesting an issue X. Another group is supporting X. Both groups are at a town square, holding signs and the air is tense with slogans. Emotions are high, some are angry and the cops are at the scene to prevent any breakage of civic laws.

For an observer who doesn't know much about the issue X, all it will appear is that both groups strongly care about some X. It will dawn on the observer that the groups care for or against X, depending on how it affects their lives, their values and vision. And that some in the groups are angry.

For another observer who knows much about and cares about X but is steadily neutral, it will be the same- two groups strongly care about X. They care either for or against X. X affects them in opposing ways and that some in the groups are angry.

    For X, Against X
            Angry, Not Angry
                      Doesn't know much about X, Knows much about X.

Doesn't know, Knows much. For, Against.

X. Say, if we separate X from what we know and don’t know, from whether we are for or against it and from how X affects us.  Say we look at X, the issue, for itself. Does it still hold ground? Does it become a non-issue? Maybe. Maybe not.  But certainly our feelings will settle down a notch.

Mirror images

What is the mirror image of something that is bothering you? Or making you happy? Have you looked?

If you look, you might see that what is Is, is held in place by all that what it Is Not (but not all the time)
There is a kind of beautiful and terrible wholesomeness to this; it is hard to keep together. 


(I was reading my blogpost- Of All That Matters in the weekend and reconnected with the phrase, “Contraria Sunt Complementa” – Opposites are Complementary.   I wanted to connect this with a previous post, Mirror Images, which was about Opposites)

Much to my wonder, I found out after I started noticing these, these opposites, that the nature of these opposites, or the mirror images as I think of them, are a core part of the philosophies of some eastern religions. The philosophy gets mostly lost in the religious practices (for example, there is the Nirdvandva in Samkhya Yoga of Gita, and in Taoism, sayings like When the world knows beauty as beauty, ugliness arises.)

Trying to overcome these opposites through pure faith, forgiveness and love is shown as a way in many religious practices (not just eastern ones). People have done it before and continue to do so. For pure love obviates everything else. But it is hard to arrive at.

Another way is through painstaking analysis and understanding. When in especially trying situations or in an especially delightful one, sometimes I bring up its mirror image and hold it up in my mind. I separate out the effects from the situation. Considering the opposite, in all its splendor or distress, somehow makes the situation clearer and helps settle my feelings a bit. I still have to face the situation in the best way I can, from where I’m at, with all my abilities and fears and bear the outcomes of my actions. But my actions try to come from a clearer, central perspective and not be purely motivated by one or the other of the two opposing cause-effect fields.

Try being the key word!


The journey to here has been an oblique one, one thread perhaps was from when I was learning to teach-
Same- Different, using colored paper clips, when I started homeschooling about 4 years ago.

Which one is Different?
Which ones are Same?

I asked, with the clips placed on contrasting white sheet(s) of paper as background, because I was just realizing how much my son sees objects in space differently than me.  
Within a couple of days I began to realize that the issue wasn't about knowing/not knowing what was Same and Different, it was something else. It was about having value for a system that marks something as Same and Different. 

So what? So what if something is Same or Different? Why does it matter? Why does it matter how we communicate about it?
For M, my son, who is neurologically different, the values of the system (which in turn drive the system) were different. Also his need to communicate that something was same or different was not the same as mine. And what the language meant to each of us was slightly different. I began to glimpse at the levels of assumptions we neuro-normals sturdily walk on, with every step we take. I began to step more cautiously.

It was our value systems, mine and M’s, which needed more alignment, it seemed. This meant if we’re speaking, say of X, figuring out if X holds a similar value system for both of us, within our communication and, in the language (words, tone and expression together within the environment) we use. If not, to know what’s different. And to let it be. Also to let the inconsistencies I don’t have answers to, be.

I have a feeling somehow some of these inconsistencies are the latches of gates leading to more completeness even if I don’t get to open them.