Recently it’s hit home just how pervasive black and white thinking is.?It’s fairly intrinsic to the American culture, so attitudes like the following list can be accepted without a second thought, or reacted to instantly:
- “You’re either for me or against me”
- “If you saying someone is wonderful, that’s fine, but bringing up mistakes made is blaming and should be stopped.”
- “I’m through be controlled by my fear!?I won’t listen to it any more!
The latter two are less obvious than the first one, so let’s look at them.?In the bringing up of mistakes, there are an infinite number of ways this can be done.?It can certainly done out of blaming and desire to punish.?It can also be done out of a sincere desire to help others via gentle teaching, much like we naturally do with children.?It can be done simply as a desire to bring people together, for walking on tiptoes around issues in order to be “positive” usually drives a group apart in time.?It is sincerity and goodwill that brings people together, and there are myriad ways this can be expressed – sometimes in ways that may result initially in conflict.
For the last example, there’s an assumption that fear is simply an enemy to overcome, all in one step.?Of course, our fears are usually not as simple as being afraid of heights.?They pervade our entire perception.?The humor in this is that rarely does someone proclaim overcoming fear except when they are motivated by fear.?”I’m afraid of fear, so I’ll make war on it!” might be that reasoning brought to light!
Bringing up the concept of fear is of course intentional, because it is central to black and white thinking.?There’s always a core of it in that thought process.?Within the desire to go to extremes, there is a universe avoided in the remaining spectrum of life, which clearly has infinitely more colors than just two.?Even in the spectrum of gray there can be a swirling of colors, so to speak, and a great beauty.?There’s little beauty in a black and white world; it’s a harsh world of enemies and allies in a constant battle.
Everyone is affected by fear.?I too am affected by it on a daily basis.?And yet, by allowing myself to experience fears, without refusing them or trying to get them to end, I’m finding more and more there’s a perfect completeness in that.?Fear helps me.?It’s meant to bring awareness to threats, to pains, to issues needed to be resolved, and that’s what it does if it’s allowed to.?It’s not necessarily pleasant, but there is a great feeling of aliveness when I fully invite and surrender to it.
There is no one on Earth that has no lessons to learn, that never makes mistakes.?There is also no one who makes nothing but mistakes.?(Yes, that includes George Bush!)?We each have a limited perception, and acknowledging that is loving, because it allows the full totality of someone, warts and all.?It’s wise to be aware of potentials, for there’s always room for growths, but focusing entirely on them and not being present (and thus allowing) with the here and now is a form of cutoff and division.?
Though I rarely make reference to the Bible, one section I like (and usually find in a different interpretation than my own) is the part on Adam and Eve eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.?Most people overlook that description of the tree – the awareness of good and evil.?To me, that simply speaks that it is the splitting of our perception into “Good” and “Bad”, “Black” and “White” that takes us away from “