Maybe it all started when we invented the printing press. Maybe it happened much, much earlier, when ink was first put to page. Either way, we made language into something black and white.
It dramatically shifted the way we communicate – from the spoken word to the written.
Spreading the printed word created enormous opportunities for learning, growth and exploration. It also created great separations: those who could read, those who could not, those who had wealth to print and distribute.
Monarchs, politicians and priests dominated the written word and spelt out what they saw as black and white, in terms of morals, mostly to keep themselves in power. Divide and rule, kill bad people, praise good ones.
As the passing of the first quarter of the 21st century rapidly approaches, technology is giving us access to an unbelievably overwhelming amount of information and data.
So what is black and white? What is right and wrong, good and bad? And most importantly, what is true and what is false? Today more than ever it is very often very unclear.
‘Fake news’, memes, mockumentaries, post-modernism, echo chambers, the difference between what we believe is fact and what we believe is fiction blurs.
Well, get used to it!
There is no going back now.
So is this a great opportunity, or a descent into chaos about the truth?
How on earth in today’s world do you hold someone to account about what is true?
The answer lies in there being no right answer!
If that sounds like a riddle, then maybe it is, and maybe our lives have always been a riddle to unravel as we go.
I wrote The Weave in order to open conversation on new ways of communication, based on a very ancient method for communicating.
The use of metaphor and story to deepen our connection, engagement, knowledge and growth has been around for many millennia before we invented the printed word, or even the written word.
Our world has always been about shades of grey. Black and white, even in the science of colours, have never been absolute.
Aotearoa New Zealand is a place that is often shrouded in cloud of ever changing hues of grey, white, black, rainbows – every colour that one can imagine.
What we hold in common as humanity is often intangible. It is in the realms of what we call love, heart, soul and spirit.
What we perceive as our differences are often found in our cognition, our emotion, our intellect.
If we start to dig a little deeper in reflection, in contemplation, in nature, in peace, and even in solitude, there is an undying and unspoken love available.
Sometimes it is found simply by observing nature. Sometimes it is found from what some call tuning into a more universal energy, that potentially goes beyond time and space as we categorise it in black and white.
So maybe the big black ‘space’ of our universe is like our brain – endless, virtually unquantifiable, grey matter.
People often don’t like the colour grey. It occurs as drab, not distinct, not vibrant, or specific. And that is the point really. Grey is an opportunity for reflection, perhaps finding the mystical in the shifting mist.