I love the Joke about the man who walks into an Irish Pub and asks the man behind the bar for directions as to how he can get to Dublin.
“Well,…” says the bartender, “I wouldn’t start from here!” 🙂
Where we get to in our life often depends upon where we start out.
Some have a pleasant starting point and see no reason to change and so maintain a similar environment on their ‘travels’.
Some have reason to resent where they started from and move as far and as fast in the ‘opposite’ direction managing to ‘reverse’ their life direction. This does not always result in a ‘happy’ outcome or end-point.
Some people believe that only the world ‘out there’ exists in reality and spend their entire lives trying unsuccesfully to come to terms with it. Some even feel like they have ‘succeeded’ in such a journey.
Some people have a desire to know more.
They take not only an ‘outward’ journey, but an Inward one as well.
Taking either to the extreme is probably not wise for us in the journey we must make on this planet.
In Truth one relates to the other. By exploring one we can discover more in the other.
WE ‘walk’ in Both. It is probably a good ‘starting point’ to right here, right now. make this your ‘zero point’ – the ‘Origin’ and see how far we can ‘come’ in both ‘directions’, internally as well as externally.
We all have a past. We can never return to it – it is beyond our ‘reach’. It is likely unwise to try to recreate any part of it but instead to learn from it and move on – move ‘Forward’.
Understand that no matter which direction we turn in this world, we move and learn, and it is almost impossible to ever ‘retrace’ your steps – you still have to walk ‘forward’ in time.
The same is true of our ‘inner’ world. – Live NOW and move forward. Rest and stay still to contemplate a thing for a time if you need to but don’t stay still long enough that you stagnate and become ‘rooted’ to one spot.
OK things might get a little ‘counter-intuitive’ and seemingly contradictory from here – if they have not already!
If we use a 2 dimensional map to plot our journey it is fairly obvious that opposites do exist!
North-South, East-West, up-down, back-forth, we clearly see them and distinguish between them. Map reference points (including where we currently ‘are’) can be defined in ‘positive and negative’ terms relative to a ‘universal’ latitude and longitude system.
If we use any cartesian co-ordinate system (perpendicular ‘X’ and ‘Y’ axes with positive and negative distances from a 0,0 starting point) we can move either positively or negatively, forwards or backwards, up or down.
By moving towards one we move away from the other (opposite) direction.
This is something many of us understand and are most familiar with.
This doesn’t mean that this is how things actually ‘are’ – that they are fixed in such a fashion and can only be perceived in this fashion – or that this is our ONLY reality! It is so ONLY if you CHOOSE it to be!
It is possible to perceive things in another way – one that does not contain ‘opposites’, just ‘directions’. More specifically Purely ‘positive’ ones.
In Mathematics this is described as having ‘polar’ rather than cartesian co-ordinates (that’s it for the geek talk, OK?)
Every point we move to establishes a new (relative) origin – the point where we are NOW. Any other point is a positive distance away but with a 360 degree directional component – there are no ‘opposites’ only headings relative to ‘us’ instead of some other pre-defined point. There is literally no going ‘back’! Just forward in a different (positive) direction!
Where this can lead to difficulties is when we have a need to ‘locate’ a position in order for us to meet someone with whom our ‘origin points’ are not co-located. We then need some kind of mutual ‘overlay’ that allows each of us to describe exactly the same place as being a particular point in order that we can each make our own way towards it even if this requires us to both head off on a different ‘heading’.
Ship/Boat/Plane owners (navigators) will probably get what i am talking about here a lot easier than most.
My main point is:
Individually not all of us use similar co-ordinate systems, some don’t even use systems that are mutually compatible!
It helps to understand this when describing things to others who are not exactly like us (and we are all Unique).
Now I’d really like to incorporate into this topic the problems that infinity poses to our understanding of distance and direction (especially opposites) but frankly, I’m a little afraid it would boggle MY mind, let alone yours, so I will hold off for another day.