The Binary Clutch: Co-Dependence

 

If the Universe was entirely pink, I will never know it to be so. For me to see the pink, there has to be a touch of purple somewhere. A spot of not-pink so that I can see the pink.

Anything I spot is only spotted in relationship to what it is not. There has to be a minimum of two colors showing in order for me to see one color. I see a red apple only in relation to a ‘not-red apple’, only in relationship to the ‘not-red appleness’ surrounding it.

A simple version of the much-mauled Buddhist ‘Doctrine of Dependent Designation’ also called ‘The Principle of Co-Dependence’.

And one more thing. I need to be able stand apart from this red-apple, this pink and purple Universe in order to see that indeed this is a red-apple, to see that indeed the Universe is pink and purple.

I need, in other words, to be an ‘Independent and Separated Observer’.

When Professor Heidegger affirms a ‘Something’, he simultaneously affirms himself. Affirms his presence as an ‘Independent and Separated Observer’.

I get back home, look out the window and there she is. My ancient jalopy posing as a car. I See. Therefore I Am.


‘Sight’ and ‘Thought’ and ‘Voice’ [Vox; ‘In the beginning was the Word‘] are for most of us our most personal possessions. But you will need to work through the whole list. And there is a lot to play with: Cogito Ergo Sum.

‘I See, therefore I Am’. ‘I Have, therefore I Am’ for the confirmed consumerist. ‘I Love, therefore I Am’ for the debutante romantic.

From the ‘I am Aware [Conscious], therefore I am’, very popular in Vedanthic circles to the Biblical: ‘I Am that I Am’ [ehyeh ’ăšer ’ehyeh; Exodus].

In philosophical circles variations proliferate [George Berkeley et al]. ‘If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?’ Modern Academic Philosophy considers this a question of exceptional nuance.