Black and White, Grayscale, and Color Thinking

He uses colorful language. That’s colorful thinking. The world is so gray today. He sees the world in black and white. Such a colorful perspective! In bubble awareness, I visually sense a range of frequencies, amplitudes, and conditions. These match closely to modes of thinking.

Black and White

I’ve experienced the world in black or white binary in which I insist on only this way or that way. Once I was job hunting and went to an interview with the owner of a shop I wanted to work in. The owner told me, “There’s only two ways in this shop: my way or the highway.” I looked elsewhere for a job. Both he and I were viewing our world in the duality of binary thinking. On OR off, zero OR one, this OR that.

Right OR wrong thinking is one dimensional: the world of “only.” To the degree I MUST be right, proper, or justified, I’ll see the world in only black or white. This way of thinking limits my world to the contrast of borders that define my reality.


Monochrome grayscale adds more flexibility to binary thinking. In grayscale, I can experience how much. I can experience some anger, some happiness, some agreement, some of this or some of that. Grayscale thinking adds the shading of intensity to my world.


Color adds emotion to monochrome that may represent the conflicts I experience as I work to defend binary thinking in terms of inclusion – this and that. You see (pardon the pun), color perception includes elements of binary and monochrome – definition and intensity and relationship.

In digital terms:

  • I can express black or white in terms of zero OR one on a scale of 1. ex: 0=black, 1=white on a scale of 0-1
  • Grayscale in terms of zero or one on a scale greater than one. ex: 00=black, 11=dark gray, 22= light gray, 33=white on a scale of 0-3 in each position
  • Color in terms of zeroes and ones on a scale greater than 1. ex: 001=dark blue, 010=dark green, 500=bright red, 550=bright yellow, and etc. on a scale of 0-5 in each position rrr-ggg-bbb

In psychological terms, I ask questions in order after encountering something:

  1. Black and white – Is that which I’ve encountered a threat or benefit to me/us (Yes/No)?
  2. Monochrome – How much of a threat or benefit is it (on an imaginary scale based on values)?
  3. Color – when items 1 and 2 are satisfied, what are nuances of interest, such as emotion and wonder?

Black may be considered the construct upon which all else builds. It’s the zero condition, nothingness, primal. Anything added to black, other than black, builds something.

White is what one gets when they add all colors together – it represents all. To get monochrome or color, one must subtract from white or add to black.

Because I see color, I realize that I see less than all and more than nothingness. I see separation from poles – the middle way.

Perfection and the Never Good Enough Perspective

Essential to First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness is the concept of competition and defense. In that awareness, I’m ever seeking that which is “better” – never arriving at perfection, “best,” or even “good enough.” There is always something or someone better.

One might say that bubble awareness embodies the essence of the 7 Deadly Sins. These “sins” point out the comparative nature of the bubble. First, I define “sin” as “short of the mark” or “less than perfect.” (Wikipedia) I have some favorites:

Greed seems to me to illustrate the essence of the “never good enough perspective” – I define greed as:

a selfish and excessive desire for more of something than is needed. (Webster)

From this perspective, more is always better than less. I, you, they can always do better. “Enough” sits out there in a time that can never arrive an achievable goal that can never be achieved. Think Escher’s Penrose Stairs drawing.

I’ve been guilty of stuffing my stomach with far more than “is needed” then felt hungry afterwards. Sounds a lot like gluttony, another of the 7 deadly sins:

the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. (Wikipedia)

And yet, even when over-indulged there is a sense that it’s not quite enough. My lust for more and better does not like to hear the words “diet” and “budget.” I think of gluttony as lack on steroids. I wastefully indulge and consume as a defense against a sense of an ever-growing void.

And then there is envy, defined as:

a sad or resentful covetousness towards the traits or possessions of someone else. (Wikipedia)

“I hate her because she’s so beautiful.” My envy makes my life appear to come up short – lacking – compared to an impossible standard that is someone else.  Then I defend my perception of lack by externalizing it with feeling. Envy is a hole that gets deeper the more I work at filling the one next to it.

Sometimes the sense of lack motivates me to take action to correct a perceived shortcoming. In the end, however, because I fundamentally believe in lack, I’ll never attain the level of happiness, joy, wealth, and etc. that I think someone else has. Why? Because that “someone else” is MY imagining of “them” – not them.

What if I Do “Lack Consciousness” on Purpose?

These “sins” illustrate a fundamental and essential element of bubble awareness: competition. The bubble perspective is one of lack – compared to wholeness. I even imagine my mythical “wholeness” as short of whatever is “above,” “beyond,” or “better” than it. “What is beyond the edge of the universe?” From this imagined perspective, every goal has another goal beyond it – forever short of.

I defend this perspective by acknowledging lack as a fact in an unlimited universe. Sound crazy? Yeah, I though so, too. Until I remembered that this “short of perfection” thing is what gives me an experience of separation from ONENESS. In other words – dammit – it’s my desire and intention!

Thus, the usefulness of getting to know and accept myself. As I gain a handle on who I am, I begin to appreciate my intention to experience something less than all. That I like, need, and intend the separation that forms the foundation of comparison. From that lack-within-wholeness perspective, everything falls into place – one cohesive universe of infinite separate parts.

A world of sin. Just as I intend it to be. Egad!

Accountability and My Emotional Payoff

Let’s put separation, fear, conflict, etc., in terms of cause and effect – natural consequences of thinking a certain way. Awareness that my thinking has consequences in the real world may help me pay attention to my thoughts and maybe mindfully discipline them.

About Separation

I imagine my identity, I/ME, in terms of that which is “I/ME” verses that which is “NOT I/ME.” I look out my eyes and see that which is NOT ME. By simple logic, then, I deduce that I am that which is not NOT ME. I am what is left when everything I sense is removed. You may enjoy the free audio MP3, The Bag, imagery that illustrates this principle of separation.

I attach an intensity value to an “I’m Not” identity I experience as my fear, which represents my sense of unwholeness. Because I am 100% wholly me, that value is an imaginary number – not real. So, how do I go about making it feel real without actually being real?

Might my need to define ME by looking to who and what “I’m NOT” strengthen my belief in never being complete as “I AM?” It seems to me I will stay in this condition of lack until I look within, connect with who I really am, and discipline my heart and mind. Then, perhaps, I’ll comprehend the value of separation in the whole scheme of things.

About Emotional Payoff

Emotion helps me feel alive, providing present experience in the form of imagined relationships. My emotions create a bridge of sensations, a “payoff” of life-affirming feelings to my body/mind and spirit.

Perhaps accountability means no more NOT ME emotional payoffs at the expense of that which is ME. I can use mindful discipline to awaken into acceptance of full accountability. As I bring together the poles of Me vs Not Me, concepts of separation and payoff may simply become irrelevant.

How Awareness Resolves the Conflict Between Separation and Wholeness

In bubble awareness, I experience only separation – something compared to something else, me vs not me, and etc. I may not even be capable of an awareness of wholeness, instead ever seeking that which will make me whole. And yet, I have this nagging feeling that I am something greater than I appear.

How do I resolve this apparent conflict between separation and wholeness from such a limited awareness?

Systems of Intention and Purpose

Parts of systems all serve one collective intention. Independent perspective gives each part a sense of separation and individual purpose that affects the collective intention. Cooperation, rapport, and common purpose provide awareness of wholeness from within separation. One for ALL and ALL for One.

For example, trillions and trillions of independent cells make up my body, each with their own perspective. Each seeks connection and fulfillment through service to the whole system. In return, the whole provides for each.

No one of those individuals parts contain my consciousness, although each is conscious. From the perspective of the whole, consciousness may be thought of as that which manifests awareness of collective intention. I experience through awareness – that is subject to choice and conscious direction.

In this way, although seemingly tiny and insignificant in the vastness of the universe, I serve and am served by the whole of it. Awareness of my contribution and its effects are entirely up to me.

Oneness and Natural Order

What is Natural Order? How does it work? Why is there natural order? Who cares?!

What if the universe as I experience it is an illusion, an artifact of my way of thinking within my belief system? Natural order might then be an expression of those beliefs perceived by me as the way things are.

This would appear to all aspects of my expression as –

“The built-in arrangement that belongs to things inherently, and that develops them according to the very natures they possess. Contrasted with an artificial or superimposed order. On a universal level, the sum total of all natures, their powers and activities, related to the final end or purpose they have as natural beings. Contrasted with supernatural order.” (Catholic Dictionary)

What if it is I who assign those “…very natures they possess…” and “…final end or purpose they have as natural beings?” From that perspective, everything within nature expresses my belief.

The belief expression I experience as the “natural order” of the universe pertains to core beliefs. My truths that I hold so sacred I don’t question.

Supernatural or artificial order would pertain to notions I hold as beliefs or truths. These might include such concepts as religious beliefs and societal norms that fall into and out of favor.

Natural order does not change like superficial notions do. This level of belief IS changeable – only when understood and accounted for.

In terms of levels of understanding and accounting, from the safety of my perceptual bubble, everything appears to compete. Order competes with entropy, life with death, benefit with threat. I may completely oblivious to my condition, although it surrounds me every moment.

My perception is MY PROJECTION – a metaphor that illustrates my need to be separate. My concept of “Me” competes with my concept of “not me” to sustain this illusion of separation.

Order, Entropy, and Purpose

Order defines systems. Entropy changes systems.

A set of principles and processes determine how everything becomes aware of its place and function within the system. Organic intention creates purpose that influences each aspect’s behavior and appears as a projection.

A system’s innate intention is to follow a natural order, a relationship of purpose that binds all aspects together to insure success.

Systems tend to enroll other systems to increase the probability of success through mutual purpose. Systems tend toward oneness. Many in one purpose!

In this way, I am the projector of a world that revolves around me. My thoughts will not exceed the limit of what I am willing to believe. Perhaps this is the purpose and function of the universe for which I account.

Systems and natural order invites the question, “Who am I?”