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Most houses have two types of light switches within them. The most common is the binary or on/off switch. This type has only two positions, you guessed it, on and off. The other type is a dimmer switch. This type uses a rheostat to modulate the amount of current to the fixture, this gives us multiple levels of on, or variable amounts of light.
There is no greater, deeper, or more meaningful subject than that of capitol T-Truth. I’m talking about Absolute truth, Total Truth, Higher Truth, Universal Truth. Every atom of the universe is coming from and pointing to this BIG Truth. Every subject, discussion, or topic, if pressed to its origin or completion is a discover of or pursuit of Truth. This is as true for laying drywall as much as it is for theology or physics.
This means that every subject has the possibility of going deeper, of learning more, of discovering progress, or creating advancement. The process of going deeper into any subject is the process of doing spiritual work because it is the discovery, apprehension and application of Truth.
If this idea is creating confusion or seems off somehow, then try looking at it from the opposite perspective. This is another way of saying that no single person can possess ALL the Truth. The smartest person on their very best day only grasps a part of Truth. The same is true for the most simple person on their worst day.
Back to the dimmer switch.
Most of us approach Truth with an on/off switch or a binary way of thinking. Once we gain a measure of Truth in a particular area, we usually say that we “know” it. If we have mastery in a subject we like to see ourselves as knowing all there is to know. Since we think in binary ways, if someone doesn’t possess a similar amount of knowledge we conclude that they “don’t know” the Truth.
This binary “switch” causes Republicans to think Democrats are stupid and vice-versa. It causes Atheists to conclude that people of faith are unaware of the Truth, and vice-versa. It is the disposition that companies use to create differentiators for them selves in the market. It makes religions exclusive and competitive. It is the basis of all competition and war.
Furthermore, in personal applications, the binary switch is the mindset that stalls our progress by telling us we don’t have, or can’t do, or it won’t work because we lack ______. We look at a big life as all or nothing instead of an incremental advancement to it.
If any of us pause long enough we will realize that ultimate reality operates on a dimmer switch principle. All people have varying degrees of light within multiple subjects. This is another way of saying that all people are partial believers in Truth.
The dimmer switch principal works in two directions. The more light we have, the more light we can use to get more light. The less light we have, the less capable we are of obtaining more. Jesus said that whoever has will be given more and whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.(Mark 4:25). Like a flywheel, greater intervention is required at lower levels. At higher levels, truth integrates and tensions resolve between seeming opposites. As we lose categories, we lose any possibility of integration. This is our clue that ultimate reality is not binary, but singular, and that it is drawing us toward itself, as evidenced by our deepest yearning for Truth.
This is something that both the Theology department and the Physics department have been saying for a long time, namely that all things come from a single source and are returning to a single source. Quantum physics is now claiming that consciousness (nonphysical reality) cannot die (because it is energy) and thus goes to an alternate plane of energy. Religion has called this Heaven, Nirvana, Transcendence, or Paradise.
I hope the dimmer switch principle inspires you to go deeper. Go deeper into anything that inspires you. As you do, you will learn the very basics of spiritual practice. It’s a great place to start if you are typically a surface only type person. After a while, you’ll discover that the subject to which you dive deeper will only satisfy for so long, until you recognize that it is the pursuit of truth that really satisfies you. This way, your interests get you started, (they get your dimmer switch turned on) and then the deeper questions of reality, Truth and life will emerge. You’ll discover as you answer them that your love and pursuit of the Truth has the power to take you the rest of the way.
I know I have left this vague and have deliberately left this open ended. I also know that this will bug some of you. I have not named the Truth because if what I’m saying is true, then I don’t really have to, do I?
If you like this subject, I think you will like my new book coming this year called “Oblivious.”