Chapter two – the second letter
Tap tap tappity tap tap …..um… tappity tap…
We have already discussed how old or young or timeless both the universe and human beings might be.
Remember the first cartoon of “the beginning?”. I’ll let you into a wee secret: my original drawing was very different. It was black lines drawn on white paper and, just for fun, I added shades of grey to it using a drawing program in my computer.
I had even more fun with the second drawing in chapter one. First I added shades of grey. Then I hit the image-invert button on my computer. See it transforms dark shades into light shades and white becomes black?
You can even more fun:
Draw a form (shape) on white paper using a black pen or crayon. Then draw the same form on black paper using a white pen or crayon. See. Its like magic – the same form arises from completely different shades. Our mind says this cannot be and yet there it is.
When I was young our school teachers taught us that only a few people can be good at drawing and painting. So it has taken me till I am 70 years old to get the courage to try to use colour in my cartoons. Well, now I find colour is amazing fun. I sure hope you do to.
And like all else, I find seeing colour involves wonderful paradox.
For instance: our eyes can only detect one of two complementary colours at one time yet our brain “sees” both colours simultaneously.
Here’s another paradox: is the green of a tree in its leaves or in our brain or in both?
You know, I never learned the language of music- all the written notes and rests and stuff.
I am in awe of people who can play a musical instrument.
I have always loved singing, especially when no one can hear me.
Also I was shy about trying to dance with another person.
However, though I don’t know much about music, people have said I dance in very rhythmic and expressive ways. How this occurs remains a wonderful mystery to me. It’s a paradox: I don’t know music and yet I move freely with it. Somehow my being joins the dots of sound in the silence and transforms them into continuous movement.
Yes, I am concluding everything is paradox. My new fun sport is hunting paradox . I reckon it could be fun to explore how our muscles operate so that we can dance.
It seems we have at least three different types of muscle.
Our smooth and cardiac muscles are “involuntary”. It’s a fascinating paradox: our mind cannot control their action much yet they are vital to our mind.
Our mind does however have considerable control over the action of our skeletal muscles. I can’t get over the number of fantastic ways that this mind-movement paradox occurs. The illustration below is my puny attempt to magnify what happens at a microscopic level in our muscles when we move.
And where would we be if we stopped breathing for five minutes? We certainly would not be dancing in this human form eh. We’d be dead.
I reckon our act of breathing is the most marvelous teacher of physics we have and, of course, our breath is always with us.
Breathing is perhaps the most amazing paradox you and I experience. Every breath connects and unites us with each other, the planet and the universe in wonderful paradoxical ways.
For instance, in the contraction of our diaphragm muscle is the expansion of our rib cage. The universe recharges us with life-enabling oxygen.
In the relaxation and expansion of the diaphragm is the contraction of our rib cage. The universe takes away the excess carbon dioxide produced by our body.
Exhalation (breathing out) enables inhalation(breathing in). We give our breath away; we receive all in exchange.
I am wondering if you are getting a feel for what paradox are about? Did you notice a paradox involves two opposite or contradictory elements e.g. dark and light; sound and silence; in and out; …?
We think each of these pairs is completely different and yet we can experience them both as the same thing.
I hope you are getting the picture OK. Everything involves paradox and our thinking process just cannot make sense of paradox.
One reason is that we cannot think of two opposite ideas at once. Our “mind’s eye” can only flit between them as we try to visualize them both. Our mind can become filled with endless arguments and conflict like we have just seen: “I am inside…ugh .. What?!.. I am outside… no I’m not… yes I am… no I’m not… yes I mean no,…”
Indeed, what can happen is our mind becomes so filled with flitting thoughts that we miss out on most of life. We have difficulty seeing where we are going and end up doing really stupid things.
These drawings of paradox are just one of many ways there are of reminding us that our thought process actually has major limitations.
Sure, thinking is an important part of being a human being. However it is only a tiny, tiny part of our ability to experience the wonders of the universe.
In our culture, us adults tend to forget this and believe we know everything. We kid ourselves we can solve all problems by thinking and so we kind of get trapped in paradox. This explains a lot of our weird “ego-driven” behaviour. Some of us even get completely out of touch with reality.
Last revised 18 Feb 2018