My friend sent me an email about a reported university lecture where a student and a professor discussed faith. The reference was to Albert Einstein’s work – God vs science.
The email quoted the discussion of then student Albert Einstein talking about how you don’t turn on the darkness you turn on the light; stating that there wasn’t a source of darkness like a light switch. He discussed duality – good and evil, light and dark – and proposed that by viewing these things in a dualistic fashion we misinterpret their relationship.
He claimed they were not opposites, rather he identified evil as the absence of good, and darkness as the absence of light.
What a paradigm shift. Moving each onto a continuum. No light, darkness, to various amounts of light. No goodness, evil, to various amounts of good.
Esther Hicks talked about the same thing. She related this to power, that others don’t have power over our destiny unless we give them the power. And she used the same analogy that we don’t have a dark switch where we turn on the darkness – we have a light switch where we turn on the light. Darkness was the absence of light not something unto itself.
Duality keeps things in a defensive position. It creates borders and definitions that are arbitrary. Observing these as if on a continuum allows for a change in perspective and an opportunity to create positive change.
Understanding the flow of energy increases your ability to respond to your environment. You can think of the concept of responsibility as the ability to respond. In this way it can be a concept of mindfulness, present moment thinking, and paradigm shifting.
If you view these things as if on a continuum, and you utilize responsibility as the ability to respond using mindfulness and paradigm shifting as part of your skill set, then you are able to remain powerful in the moment to effect change.
I like to think of mindfulness and paradigm shifting as turning on the light– accessing the internal strength, willpower, intuition, and connection to source within you, to view, respond to, and interact with your environment. It fits with Einstein’s view of faith – using your knowing to respond to the world even when you do not have tangible proof of what is.
This view can be useful in parenting to deflect one’s tendency to blame, label, and react to behavior that is frustrating. Looking at the situation, actions, and intentions of your child can allow for a paradigm shift and a teaching opportunity rather than a punitive opportunity.
Focus on increasing knowledge and understanding of the relationship between actions and outcomes – logical and natural consequences, when one has power in their environment; this teaches resilience and results in strength, positive self-esteem, and character building.
See if you can apply this concept to the next set of situations when your child (or partner) is acting in a frustrating way and see if shifting your perspective and viewing this as a continuum helps to offer a teaching opportunity.
This increases your access to patience and mindfulness. It allows for an increase in connection in your relationships which diminishes defensiveness. Defensiveness is problematic in relationships. It stops communication and connection. If it is appropriate than the relationship is not healthy. So in most instances defensiveness is inappropriate and unhealthy.
See you tomorrow.
March 21, 2010 at 2:25 am
If I’ve got the quote right, Erasmus said, “Give light and the darkness will disappear of itself.”
March 21, 2010 at 4:13 pm
And Plato talked about perspective and paradigm shifting, although he didn’t use those words. Sometimes I wonder if there are any new ideas…..
March 22, 2010 at 6:58 am
Beth I love this post. Being a physics and cosmology geek I’ve read countless words of Einstein, but somehow I never read those in your opening lines. One thing that history seems to forget about Einstein is that he was not only a great scientist, he was a great thinker and philosopher.
Again, well done.