I promised an explanation for what I said in my last post, As I learned in physics, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So my wishes are mere fantasies of what I perceive to be better for us—for me—when looking at the little picture.
When I wrote it, I meant that there are two sides to every story, every person, every situation. Newton's third law says, paraphrased, "To every action force there is an equal, but opposite, reaction force," I meant to apply this principle to every aspect of life.
According to Wikipedia, "A more direct translation is: To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction: or the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts. — Whatever draws or presses another is as much drawn or pressed by that other. If you press a stone with your finger, the finger is also pressed by the stone. If a horse draws a stone tied to a rope, the horse (if I may so say) will be equally drawn back towards the stone: for the distended rope, by the same endeavour to relax or unbend itself, will draw the horse as much towards the stone, as it does the stone towards the horse, and will obstruct the progress of the one as much as it advances that of the other. If a body impinge upon another, and by its force change the motion (momentum) of the other, that body also (because of the equality of the mutual pressure) will undergo an equal change, in its own motion (momentum), toward the contrary part. The changes made by these actions are equal, not in the velocities but in the motions of the bodies."
Similar to the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang, my view is that, for good reason, there are opposite sides to everything: Love vs. Hate, Good vs. Evil, Hot vs. Cold, Dark vs. Light, Old age vs. Youth, Optimism vs. Pessimism, Kindness vs. cruelty, and on and on. Our inclination is to want the good without the evil, the light without the dark. Love without hate. Sunshine without stormy weather. Would we appreciate it if we had it that way? It seems to take one to recognize and appreciate the other. Wikipedia says, Yin (dark) and yang (light) are descriptions of complementary opposites as well as absolutes. Any yin/yang dichotomy can be viewed from another perspective. All forces in nature can be seen as existing in yin or yang states, and two produce constant movement/force of the universe.
I'd like to make the world all peace, love, light, and safety, and I do everything I can to create such an environment for loved ones. Yet, if I had unlimited supernatural powers to make everyone agree with me, would the world be a better place? I don't think so. I also understand that whatever I write on my blog puts me at risk for experiencing an opposing force. And for me, a person who has always shrunk from controversy, that's important to know. Not everyone is going to agree with my words, my premises, my convictions, or my way of expressing myself (all of which are dynamic, subject to revision as I encounter new experiences, listen to opposing views, study new ideas, and interact with people who stimulate thought). By putting my ideas in public view, I become vulnerable to criticism and censor. This is true, not only in posting blogs, but in writing books and articles and in public speaking. However, in order to have a meaningful life and to be able to explore and mold my identity, it's a risk I must take. But isn't that a good thing? I find that it is opposition, questioning, criticism, and censor that makes me look harder at myself, my beliefs, and my writing to help me grow as a person as well as a writer.
Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash. Louis Aragon (1897-1982) French poet, novelist, and essayist.
Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence. William Blake (1757-1827) British poet and painter.
Next time: The big versus the little picture or withholding judgement.