Contrasts: from fun to fear… and back! (a total rejection of non-duality)


perception of contrast            


 coma / senility / unconsciousness / insensitivity / “spiritual death”

Contrasts are part of life, like perceiving the contrasts of relative brightness and relative darkness. Contrasts can be measured with the precision of a toddler, such as “either light or dark.”

There are only two labels available to someone with a vocabulary limited to only these two words: either light or dark. At that very early level of linguistic development and neurological advancement, there may be no intermediary labels or distinctions- nothing in between. If I am learning a foreign language (one that is new to me), then the very minimal precision of such either/or “baby talk” may be as much as I know.

However (in contrast to either/or extremes), the same contrasting experiences / perceptions can be measured and then linguistically categorized with great precision. Examples would be “60 watts” or “2,143.637 lumens,” using multi-digit numeric units for measuring the brightness of a visible light in lumens or wattage. Another way to measure brightness which is convenient and popular is to put brightness in “terms” of a familiar point of reference, like relative to the full moon or the noonday sun or a single candle- in multiples or fractions of the familiar unit.

Imagine some people arguing over which is the best way to measure length: centimeters or inches or miles 0r light-years. Or maybe other people argue passionately over which unit is the best for measuring weight: kilograms or pounds or ounces or tons.

To review, the basic two types of contrasts are duality (two isolated extremes of an either/or pair) and non-duality (any form of categorization more precise than the most simple distinctions of dualism). In regard to certain subjects, the minimal precision of duality fits: “Doctor, am I pregnant or aren’t I?” In regard to other subjects, varying degrees of precision may be relevant: “look, I do not need to know your height in millimeters, so just round it up to the nearest centimeter and feel free to give me a rough estimate.”

Note that the “so-called” non-duality of the field of study called Advaita could be defined as a total rejection of all linguistic systems of duality. However, of course, that either/or rejection would be just another example of duality. That would be the extreme of irony (and, if practiced sincerely… as in without mindfulness or awareness, that would be the extreme of hypocrisy and nihilism and arrogance and… nonsense).

So, if labeling a total rejection of all contrasts or variations, we could use the term non-duality or perhaps a term like senile or non-linguistic. Further, non-duality could also refer to any labeling system that is more precise than a simple either/or categorization.

So, non-duality could be a label for the extreme of inclusiveness, such as including all either/or linguistic contrasts as well as recognizing the potential value (functionality, utility) of any other system of categorization besides either/or extremes, such as quantified one-dimensional measurements (like length… as in height) or multi-dimensional measurements (such as the 3 distinct dimensions of height, weight, age/time). For instance, after a baby is born, another person could chart the changes in their height and weight over time (months, years, etc).

Wow, this has been boring so far, huh? So now let’s have some fun!

Consider this either/or polarity:

fun OR fear

A common practice is to identify a certain range of reality as “bad” and then reject all of that as “negativity,” such as the “negative” idea that fear “should not be.” We could call that perspective “guilt” or “idiocy,” but I do not really care how you label it or whether you do. Rejecting fear because it is too frightening… is fear!

What if you “expanded your consciousness” to relax from socially programmed reactions that are passionately, mindlessly sincere? What if you renounced your conditioned emotional reactions for or against certain phenomenon in a blind religion of either/or exclusion? In other words, what if you stopped being an arrogant hypocrite? What if you stopped rejecting fear? What if you opened yourself to experiencing both fear and… courage?

Are you mature enough to conceive of the extremes of fun and fear not just as isolated islands, but as ends of a spectrum? Have you ever enjoyed a thrilling movie (even a horror movie)? Can’t moderate amounts of fear be fun? Have you ever enjoyed a roller coaster? Have you ever laughed after a little kid scared you on purpose?

Would you enjoy a merry-go-round today, though? Really little kids might be terrified of a merry-go-round as far too scary, while older kids may be bored with something so safe and predictable and so they want to ride a ferris wheel (or take a real horse-back ride), but yet they are still scared of the big roller coaster that they will later enjoy greatly.

So imagine just for fun that there is not just an either/or extreme of fun OR fear. Imagine that SOMETIMES they MIGHT go together. (Sometimes they might not though.)

fun TO fear (a scale / full spectrum / gradient)

Now, let’s talk briefly about a few different forms of fear:

(flight vs fight)

We could think of these healthy stress responses as two isolated extremes. That is very imprecise, though. First, there are LOTS of sub-categories of fleeing. Second, a few behaviors involve elements of both withdrawal and aggression (such as “passive aggression”).

Here are some subcategories related to fleeing:
(freeze, hide, back up slowly, race away, distract, mislead, fake, pretend, deceive, confuse, delay, divert, provoke, mock, vilify some alleged threat, then divide your opponents & incite them to quarrel, waiting for possible opportunities to either flee or attack, etc)

Here are some subcategories related to fighting:
(brawl, bomb, condemn, ridicule, sue, slander, harass, scare, poison, drug, cripple physically, cripple emotionally, cripple financially, demoralize, shame, indoctrinate, devastate, promote despair, promote risky behavior, promote imprudence and financial ruin, promote anxiety and paranoia about false threats, false enemies, hysteria, possession by invented medical demons such as “scurvy” – while dismissing the label “vitamin C deficiency” as quackery, promoting false security or falsehood-based insecurity or delusional expectations, etc)

Exploring fear could be fun. Exploring how patterns of fear can be programmed could also be fun. So, you better be good, or else Santa is going to tell Jesus and then you will be punished with eternal damnation for not being enough of a terrified, obedient perfectionist.


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One Response to “Contrasts: from fun to fear… and back! (a total rejection of non-duality)”

  1. Valerie Says:

    Wow this was a roller coaster ride…at the same time as it was incredibly deep, spot on and eye opening! Love it!

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