The contrasts between objects and the contrasts between ideas are very much the same. Contrasts are sharp delineations between anything and they can be complementary or completely opposite. Complementary contrasts can be more alike than we know and only appear contrasting to the brain, though they may really be different versions of the same thing and may occur within the same frame of reference. In the photograph there are contrasts between colors, between the stillness of the trees and the movement of the water and the teal, and between what our eyes want to see and what they do see. What we perceive our eyes to see are upside down trees, what our retinas really see are right side up trees. These differences in perception accompany all our senses and especially our thinking. What we may observe about behavior or another person’s thinking may not be what that other person is doing or thinking at all. Most of the time we make the assumption that what we perceive and think is correct, and we make those assumptions based on a single, quick impression and forego a moment to stop and really look at or think about what is happening. There are occasions when split second thinking is necessary, but not the majority of the time. We may find upon a little thought that what we assumed was a major contrast in perception is really very close to what we think and feel, and only presents itself in a different manner. We miss out on a lot of pleasures and friendships by assuming contrasts rather than complements and hurt others, both human and non-human. We also assume that contrasts in behavior point to a positive versus negative dichotomy and this is another assumption that costs us more than we may think it does. Just because something is different than we’re used to, or appears that way, doesn’t mean that thing is wrong or bad. To avoid assumptions and embrace contrast with openness is a way to invite more people and more ideas into our lives. How would life look or be interesting, exciting, or stimulating without any contrasts?
To you and all of yours: I wish you an Interesting, Exciting, and Stimulating New Year.