Identifying dichotomies removes confusion

All forms of existence in this universe are characterized by dichotomies. There is nothing observed that does not have its opposite. The value in discerning dichotomies is found in promoting the ability to choose between life and death. The necessity of choosing between life and death can be driven by the stipulations of undesirable pain that is associated with death.

There cannot be any normal person living on this planet choosing death, ahead of life. Pain, whose opposite is pleasure, is undesirable. People engage in activities that ultimately bring pain when aiming at pleasure. This is why knowledge and ignorance take precedence over the multitudes of dichotomies.

The most misrepresented condition of our physical communication is the meaning and significance of colour. What is observable in textural colours is as different as people from different backgrounds are different. This misrepresentation is what creates disingenuous communication. A typical example can be cited on racial orientation.

What is the meaning of black people, or white people? Has anyone ever seen black or white people? Scientifically, both black and white are not necessarily colours. They represent conditional dichotomies, where darkness is the absence of light. This creates confusion as ordinary people assign these dichotomies to racial identities.

Nevertheless, colour is a manufactured shade from the brightness of the light. As portrayed in a rainbow, light is portrayed by many colours. Colours can be innumerable, showing that they can be more than the commonly recognized colours in a rainbow. In their minutest details, colours could be innumerable.

The knowledge of light, when compared to darkness, is fundamental to understanding the principles of existence. As mentioned earlier, darkness is simply the absence of light. This is like stating that nothingness is the absence of substance. While impossible to prove the condition of nothingness, the statement is relevant and understood in communication.

When saying there would be nothing in the bottle, one would be understood in the context of what would be expected to be there. Otherwise, the bottle would be full of air, so that the nothingness term would have been misapplied. Scientific subjects are most revealing in such details. It is only ignorant people who would argue ad infinitum, concerning factual analyses.

It would surprise many that most negative occurrences would have people supporting them. The most evil characters that can be imagined, have ardent supporters. A rabid autocratic ruler, ensuring that only his kinsmen are well-provided for, in a country, should, therefore, not be assumed to be hated by everyone.

This is common sense, as ordinary people cannot oppose a system that benefits them, unless well-informed of evil mechanisms. Similarly, even the most benevolent ruler cannot attract a hundred per cent support. Corrupt individuals can never support a just ruler, who opposes corruption, for instance.

Therefore, rightness is applicable only when considering the greatest good to the majority. Wrongness is applicable when considering the greatest good to the minority or the greatest harm to the majority. Generally, most victims of oppression are unaware of this datum.

The minority of those who support an evil system, due to benefits accruing to them, become victims, in the long run. This is just as those evil rulers would be on a trajectory towards destruction. Evil is the opposite of goodness, experienced in pleasure. Goodness is the opposite of evil, experienced in pain.

From this truism can be deduced that self-interest ultimately brings pain. Focusing on the self is another way towards destruction. How long can one take to eventually succumb to the envisaged pain, when focusing on self-interest? This can be likened to broiler chickens being fed the best chicken feeds, for a season, but poised to be eventually roasted.

Those broiler chickens would assume the farmer to be benevolent, but oblivious of the farmer’s intentions.  If observing the developments from outside the cage, one chicken could be certain of how cruel the farmer would be. But none of those chickens in the cage would agree with that viewpoint.

Those chickens would label the reviewer their enemy, for daring to criticize the farmer. Those chickens experience pleasure only for a season. It does not matter whether the feeding would be provided for months or years. The bottom line is that those chickens would be on the dinner table, someday.

The length of time being kept in a cage before slaughter is immaterial. If sentenced to death, but having to wait for years, before the noose is hitched, what difference does that make? The faster one is led to the guillotine, the better, rather than living with consideration of inevitable droop. But chickens, being chickens, would not be aware of braai parties being arranged. Everything would appear normal until the day of reckoning.

This provides an illustration of the brutish behaviour of humanity, created in God’s image, without the attributes of death. The experienced pleasures can be likened to pleasures being experienced by broiler chickens before slaughter. In Jesus there is a way of escape, requiring meticulous evaluation.

The most important datum is that humans are spiritual, needing freedom from the physical cage. Living in a physical cage may be comforting, but fate is the opposite. This is why knowledge is vital, for purposes of factual analyses. Ignorance can be classified as the worst enemy of humanity.

In the context of dichotomies, knowledge is opposed to ignorance. Just as flesh is opposed to the spirit, similarly to how death is opposed to life. Death subscribed to the condition of physical nature, just as life subscribes to spiritual nature. The most amazing thing is that modern education focuses on physical, rather than spiritual realities. The more one talks about spiritual matters, the more one becomes alienated.

One is at home, as long as providing physical education. Jesus was killed for daring to advance spiritual knowledge. Very few people are willing to focus on spiritual knowledge, considering it as mythical. Nevertheless, nothing else is provable in this world, except the spiritual reality.

Looking at my old photos, I see a different personality. At times I even question whether that was me. I have to jog my memory, to convince myself that I would not be mistaking those pictures for someone else. This shows how unreal the physical nature is. This goes for any other personality.

The unattractive granny, without teeth in her mouth, using a walking stick, could have been the most beautiful girl during her time. Some old people’s homes could be keeping the formerly most brilliant executives. Talking about how fascinating their posts were, to the younger generation, puts one out of communication. This describes how unreal the physical nature is.

However, the lasting oracle about individuals is represented in the spirit. Both good and bad are spiritual attributes in dichotomous conditions. A person is remembered for the good or worst things that he did towards his fellows.

Today we have the spiritual reality of Cain and Abel, through an anecdote recorded in the Book of Genesis. These two characters cannot be observed physically, but their respective actions are well-documented, as recorded for our edification. This is notwithstanding the millennia after that incident. Their physical conditions perished, but their spiritual realities continued.

It is not difficult to speculate who of the two brothers was pro-survival, as the episode reveals that God subscribes to goodness. In goodness, there is life, while in wickedness there is death. Choosing death is unacceptable, as characterized by pain while choosing life is considered good, as granting pleasure. Common sense dictates that a person is better with life than death.

“But, Abel died, leaving the wicked Cain, alive!” Some may argue. This can be confusing, as long as not aware, that death is attained by focusing on self-centeredness, while life is attained through altruism. This can be simplified by the consideration of extroversion for life and introversion for death. Life does not need a physical body, necessarily.

Rarely does a sickly person talk to people, regardless of how extroverted he would have been. Towards death, the person introverts, to the point of not talking to anyone. Therefore, death results in attaining incommunicado. Talking to a dead person is impossible. The gospel is reachable only to those still alive.

To those who have gone deeply towards death, one may find it impossible to reach them out with the gospel message. An introverted person does not receive communication from those living. Such a person wants to be left alone, as he hopelessly accelerates towards death. The apostle Paul mentioned this to the Corinthians.

‘Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2-4 NIV).

As much as it is unnecessary to pass valuable information to a dying person, the gospel cannot reach those on the trajectory towards death. Martha and Mary complained of Jesus having delayed coming, considering that Jesus’ early arrival could have abated the death of their brother, Lazarus.

However, Jesus managed to talk to the dead Lazarus, raising him from the grave. This provided truthful information about Jesus representing life. Lazarus would not live forever. But this miracle was to prove that Jesus represented life.

Life cannot be observed by physical eyes, but perceived by spiritual eyes. What is observed physically is animated by life, including one’s body. Recognizing life as being the opposite of death is as good as recognizing the spirit being the opposite of flesh. Dichotomies ought to be analyzed carefully to attain the desired life.

Tragedy is in mistaking the opposite for what is intended. Death was instituted in the Garden of Eden. The couple may have observed animals or other creatures dying. But they could not relate to how that could apply to humans, except being told by their creator. Animal death shadows the spiritual death of humanity.

In the physical universe can be observed the cycle of birth-growth-decay, before another cycle starts all over again. This phenomenon can be observed even in objects controlled by humans. One can purchase the most expensive and admirable vehicle, today. But the same vehicle’s lifespan is subjected to the cycle of start-change-stop reality.

While God is in charge of the cycle of birth-growth-decay, anything in the physical universe is capable of starting, changing and stopping anything. Humans can also be changed. This is characteristic of the physical universe, revealing an ultimate controller of everything physical.

Driving a vehicle is another example of controlling objects in the physical universe. When using life attributes, any person can take advantage and enjoy. This brings us to realise that happiness comes from the field of causing the effects, rather than being the effect.

From cause and effect, we see another pattern of dichotomies, observed in slavery as opposed to slave masters. Slavery is deplorable, but hardworking farmers, working in the fields, enjoy it, regardless of how strenuous farm work might be. This is different from forced labour in farms.

Slavery is spiritual, rather than physical. Slaves at sugar cane plantations were spiritually tormented, rather than physically tormented. Those slaves who worked out of enjoyment were free, as to be rewarded for their servitude. One would be a slave, as long as he convinced himself that he would be under slavery.

The Biblical story of Joseph might suffice for illustration. Was Joseph a slave in Egypt? Joseph is portrayed as having been handsome, hardworking, faithful and cheerful, to the point of being seductive to Potiphar’s wife. Therefore, the victimization can only be spiritual, rather than it can be physical.

Prisoners can be freer than those outside, as long as aware that slavery is of the spirit. A spiritually driven person does things differently, compared with those physically driven to do things. One has to observe how hardworking professional footballers are before they reach the level of professionalism. No greatness comes without putting in hard work.

This applies to any other profession in the world, including the works of believers, where God’s Spirit would be inspiring them. This is why a person is a slave, as long as he works for what He can get. But He would be a master as long as he worked for what others could get—hence giving is more blessing than receiving.

Hardworking people are not under slavery, as long as driven by the spirit that focuses on giving. But anyone is under slavery, as long as driven by physical desires. The starting point is to understand dichotomies in this universe.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those who have witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.

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