Friday, June 30, 2006

What’s the opposite of "dog"?

I’m really getting into this opposites thing this week.

Spelling wags will say the opposite of d-o-g is G-o-d, haha. But really, don’t a lot of us have the knee-jerk reaction that the opposite of dog is cat? Yet this is way off, since that’s more a pairing than an opposite. Dogs and cats share many more qualities than not.

In the same way, man and woman are not opposites. The words are a verbal pairing, an expression of the totality of qualities. Male and female are not opposites. Masculine and feminine are not opposites. They have a lot more in common that not.

I’m chewing this over because it’s new to me. It’s like I’m having to retrain my thinking to grok this idea.

What I like about pairings as opposed to opposites is that in a pairing, you don’t have to choose one. Contrary to popular belief, you can actually like both dogs and cats.

But when it comes to opposites, you do have to choose one. True opposites require that one be real, and the other unreal. You should be able to make two columns, labeled “real” and “unreal” and put the opposites in their respective lists. And, once you put “good” in the “real” column, there are a lot of things that become clearly unreal.

If sin, sickness, and death were understood as nothingness, they would disappear. As vapor melts before the sun, so evil would vanish before the reality of good. One must hide the other. How important, then, to choose good as the reality! --Science and Health

Too many times in human history, though, we’ve made the mistake of putting pairings into those two columns. Black/white. Male/female. Gay/straight. Young/old. Fat/thin. By doing so, we do a disservice to both. Health/sickness works in the columns, but fat/thin doesn’t.

What this is clarifying for me is that good has a much wider range than I perhaps thought. My yard is manicured, my neighbor’s is wild. Neither is bad, but each expresses different aspects of “yard.” I need all the expressions to get the full picture.

So what I’m trying to do going forward is to embrace the different aspects of whatever pairing comes my way, rather than knee-jerk think of them as opposites. And to be clear that when I am confronted with a true opposite, I have the spiritual authority to declare the evil one unreal. With pairings, you don’t have to pick one—you can love them both. With opposites, only one is real, so the other has to go.

Those of you who have both cats and dogs understand this already.


Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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6 Comments:

At 6/30/2006 11:12:00 AM, Blogger kindli said...

GROK!

I see you've been reading Stranger in a Strange Land, I finished it earlier this week (or maybe it was late last week).

I'm commenting here, although I scroleld down & read your post on opposites... it was just what I needed today! Thank you for your insights!!

 
At 6/30/2006 11:21:00 AM, Blogger Laura said...

haha, yeah, great book!

 
At 6/30/2006 09:22:00 PM, Anonymous rev. veronika said...

I love Christian Science because all I need to say is:
"God is All-in-all" and spooks like opposites disappear.

 
At 7/02/2006 01:09:00 PM, Blogger Kiran Paranjape said...

Dear Mrs. Laura Matthews,
Todays blog entry is as thoughtful as previous ones. I came to see your blog after awhile & was delighted to see your unending effort to provide to readers with the best in philosophical science. It reminds me of vedantic philosophy. The adavait vedantic sream of vedantic philosophy tells the same. The indwelling
spirit in every body is same irrespective of cast, creed & race. The aim of human life is to reach that ultimate stage of eternal bliss while realising the unfruitfulness of physical mundane world. Many thanks. Keep up the good work.

 
At 4/08/2007 08:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dog, its impossible to find it´s opposite it's something unique so it's impossible to find directly its true opposite... but u can think better, a dog has many things that keeps him unique like colour, race, smell, so witch kind of dog? and what is an opposite? probably something where what u are qualifying can be in one of those two positions the negative and the positive one... and it might change between them during history.... so the main opposites between all fisical things its life and death...simple question ha ha
change life dont change the living

 
At 12/25/2009 12:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The opposite of a dog is an anti-dog

 

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