The Hyper-Dimensional Kaleidoscopic Rorschach Blot
On reality's numberless shades of ambiguous texture
“But my dear man, reality is only a Rorschach ink-blot, you know.”
— Alan Watts
I still like my recent essay, ‘The War for the Soul of Mankind.’
It resonates on many levels.
Yet it has its limitations.
Any time you’re looking at things more or less as a “war between dark and light,” you naturally lock yourself into a pretty polarized frame.
Sometimes that sort of frame can be useful and illuminating. I believe any sophisticated thinker must be able to swap out different frames/lenses/maps/models depending on context. This is a key feature of meta-cognition; it’s like playing around with looking at the world through different sets of ‘eye glasses’ depending on what will be useful or enlightening in a given situation.
In Spiral Dynamics, this meta-cognitive ability is signified by the leap from ‘Tier 1’ to ‘Tier 2’ thinking; and similarly in Ego Development Theory, this capacity is unlocked in the watershed move from ‘conventional’ to ‘post-conventional.’ In these models, most modern humans are said not to possess the meta-cognitive ability to shift between different frames. Most are locked within their one perspective, taking it to be truth.
Yet the world looks radically different, depending on which frame you peer through, and all frames are in some sense valid. Everyone’s perspective is valid insofar as it is real for them, it is their living experience, it is the universe they live within.
So anyway, the limitation of a “war between light and dark” frame is that it dramatically oversimplifies reality.
Vast quantities of reality do not fit neatly into categories such as “light” and “dark.” Perhaps none of reality does. I tried to address this somewhat in my original piece, though I’m not sure I really got the point across, because I was immersed in and somewhat attached to the “war” frame at that time.
Some frames get closer to truth than others.
(Or more accurately, we could ask, “Do some frames get closer to truth than others, or not?,” and answer, “Both, neither, far beyond either.”)
Truth is sorta like a never-quite-attainable frame-less frame that you can glimpse and approach at ever deeper levels, without ever totally ‘getting there.’ (While paradoxically increasingly realizing you’ve ‘been there’ the entire time.)
A frame that for me gets closer to truth than the “war” frame—especially when this frame is seen as transcending and including the “war” frame—is this:
There are numberless shades of ambiguous energy and texture dynamically dancing with one another, within what we call “reality.”
It’s like a mega-rainbow of infinite subtle colorations and hues out here.
And this mega-rainbow can look like *anything*.
It can look like a war between ‘dark’ and ‘light.’ It can look like a cosmic playground. It can look like a slice of delicious pizza.
Yet you can’t *actually* say what any aspect of the mega-rainbow truly *is*, or whether any aspect of the mega-rainbow is ultimately “dark” or “light” or “good” or “evil” or “cheese” or “pepperoni” or what-have-you.
(That doesn’t mean pragmatic/functional “evil” doesn’t exist at the level of the human experience. It does, and we are wise to be well-aware of this.)
Because no ‘thing’ can actually be isolated or disentangled from everything else.
To truly say what anything is, you’d have to be able to say what everything is—i.e. what the totality of the mega-rainbow *is*—and no one can do that.
“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”
— Carl Sagan
Ambiguity is inescapable. The world is profoundly nebulous, un-pin-down-able, empty of fixed meanings.
(That doesn’t mean that it’s meaningless, mind you. It’s EXPLODING with ambiguous meanings; you just can’t say what they actually mean, hahah.)
Notice the Ambiguity
So, if I were to offer a recommendation…
Notice the ambiguity. Never stop noticing it. Be highly suspicious of your own mind if it starts to believe any one fixed or polarized or reductive map is “the truth.”
All maps are preposterously reductive. Including the one you’re reading right now. No map ever gets close to reality. Direct experience gets vastly closer than any map. Yet maps still have their usefulness as signposts, frames, pointers, orienting mechanisms.
And again, I believe the “war between dark and light” frame is profoundly relevant and useful, as humans living on the earth-plane at this time, so long as we don’t over-attach to it. That last part is key. It can easily cease to be useful and become a (massively anxiety-and-paranoia-producing) limitation if you over-attach to it.
Yet, for practical purposes, yes, there are highly sophisticated ‘dark forces’ basically trying to hypnotize you into a life that doesn’t really nourish your heart and soul. Be aware of this, take it seriously, without holding it too tightly.
Reality as Hyper-Dimensional Kaleidoscopic Rorschach Ink Blot
Now, let’s go a little further to look at the profound implications of reality’s inescapable ambiguity…
Reality—at least ‘manifest’ reality—is basically like a hyper-dimensional, kaleidoscopic, Rorschach blot.
Notice how it conforms to whichever lens or frame you apply to it.
If you apply the “war of dark and light” frame, you find ample evidence to support that frame, and reality can really start to conform to that frame.
If you apply a “dance of order and chaos” frame, again you find ample evidence, and reality conforms.
You can do this with any pair of potential polarities: Masculine & Feminine, Love & Power, Consciousness & Energy, ad infinitum. If you truly immerse in that frame, you will find evidence, and reality will conform. There are infinite possibilities.
And this doesn’t stop at frames focused on interactions between apparent ‘pairs of opposites.’ It goes way further than that. There are infinities upon infinities of possible frames through which reality could be viewed. Imagine the infinities of potential frames that mankind has never even considered, or which lie beyond mankind’s cognitive-perceptual-imaginal capacity.
Yet with any lens you apply, reality conforms. It is truly astonishing that this is the case.
How is it possible that reality is this slippery and fluid and shape-shifty and imaginative and ethereal and dynamic?
Imagine being such a Masterful Chameleon. Imagine if any person could look at you through the lens of any story or model or philosophy or ideology or trans-rational meta-frame, and you would be able to convincingly appear as if you ‘fit’ perfectly within their frame.
Well… You *can* do that! : )
Because you are also reality, of course. You’re constantly doing this too, without even trying to do it. It’s your nature.
“I am whatever you say I am.”
— Eminem, The Way I Am
People are constantly experiencing you, seeing you in terms of their go-to lens(es), and finding evidence to support their frame. You are then conforming to ‘fit’ their reality-tunnel without even trying. Automatic assimilation.
This is super wild and trippy if you contemplate it. It’s a cool portal for discovering the paradoxical, un-pin-down-able, both-neither-far-beyond-either-ish, many-dimensional nature of reality.
You can start to see that reality is truly a miraculous, enchanted, fluid-like ‘substance.’
A sparkling, unfathomable light-nectar being seen from infinite angles simultaneously, yet somehow managing to coherently and seamlessly conform to the demands of each unique angle of perception.
Beyond All Frames
Beyond all frames, there is the frame-less frame.
The frame-less frame is not a perspective.
It’s what all perspectives are made of.
It’s the underlying being-ness of every perspective.
It’s the trans-spatiotemporal Now-Here in which every perspective occurs.
It’s stainless Innocence.
Uncaused, inexplicable Love.
An absolutely mysterious Love that can never be fully grokked, even by itself.
Yet it can be experienced, felt, and integrated at ever deeper levels…
And this will feel like coming Home.
I call this Love, “God.”
What it actually is, goes infinitely beyond “Love” or “God,” yet those words are two of the most resonant descriptors, for me.
It’s what the world is made of.
It’s what the hyper-dimensional kaleidoscopic Rorschach blot is made of.
It’s where everything comes from and what everything leads back to.
It’s a living intelligence beyond all reckoning.
It’s our destiny.
This Love is engaged in an eternal exploration of its own numberless shades of ambiguous texture.
We are sensory appendages of this Love, exploring one earthly segment of bandwidth among its countless frequencies and expressions.
What a gift this Life is.
If you appreciated this read and benefit from my work, please consider becoming a paying supporter:
Brotherhood: If you are a man and have not yet read the 101 reasons why you need a men’s circle, I deeply recommend it. I am now leading two ongoing weekly men’s circles within Brothers of the Ever Innocent Heart, the men’s group I founded last year. This work becomes dearer to my heart with every passing week.
It’s truly a powerful support system for men to heal, grow, open their hearts, find & speak their truth, take aligned action, hold each other accountable, and collectively discover what mature masculinity looks like in 2023. Presently we have a few remaining spaces available in both the Sunday circle and the Tuesday circle. Monthly financial contribution is on a sliding scale to meet men where they are. If you are a man who feels any kind of spark around this, I strongly encourage you to book a free exploration call with me:
One-on-one work: I still have a bit of space available for new folks in my 1:1 coaching & healing practice. You can read about my approach and pricing here. If you sense that speaking with me regularly would be greatly supportive in helping you to heal, reclaim your power, and align your life on all levels with your Truth, I encourage you to book a free exploration call with me here:
New rap & poetry album: I recently released a new poetry & rap album called Jordan’s Heart Jazz Medicine For Our Grandchildren’s Grandchildren’s Grandchildren. So far it’s only on my Bandcamp; I intend to release a final version of it on streaming platforms soonish.