The Colour Wheel

Analogous colors are any three colors which are side by side on a 12 part color wheel, such as yellow-green, yellow, and yellow-orange. Usually one of the three colors predominates.

Complementary colors are pairs of colors which, when combined, cancel each other out. This means that when combined, they produce black, or if colored light (rather than pigment) is used, they produce white. When placed next to each other, they create the strongest contrast for those particular two colors.

Due to this striking color clash, the term opposite colors is often considered more appropriate than "complementary colors".

The colour wheel reminds us that opposing viewpoints can be held within the same structure. 

We can apply this analogy to ourselves as individuals, or to the larger collection of individuals that we call a society. Indeed, the wheel even suggests that not only can these pairs be seen as opposites but they can also be seen as complementary. Both descriptions offer us something useful.

How can two opposing views of something both be true?

Imagine you have two pairs of sunglasses, one with red lenses, the other with green lenses. You give these sunglasses to two people; one wears the red, the other wears the green. Both stand in the same room. You ask each to describe the colour of the room. One says 'red.' The other says 'green.'

If the room is red, then it cannot be green. If it is green, then it cannot be red. One truth appears to negate the other. Which colour is it then - red or green?

This is a trap we often find ourselves walking into on a daily basis. The Truth of the situation is that both views are 'correct.' But correct is a misleading word. It may be better to say that both offer us a truthful view. It is through the combination of these views that we get nearer to Truth with a capital 'T.'

The Truth of the colour spectrum is in the combination of all colours: white light. The same can be said about the spectrum of people. We each offer a view, one that is characterised by the various lenses that we wear. Our lenses arise from our individual biases; which, depending on what you believe, arise from our various experiences and/or our basic personality type. Whatever you attribute the cause of our lenses to be, it is undeniable that we all wear them: that each of us offers a unique view of things.

In the same way that the colour wheel contains an infinite variety of colours, each one merging into the next, the people-wheel comprises an infinite variety of views. Whilst one colour may be indistinguishable from its neighbour, each is also unique.

And whilst a certain situation may call for red rather than green, this does not mean that red is any more truthful than green. It simply shows us that each colour has its strengths and weaknesses, and that in one context a certain colour may be more appropriate, and in another it may not.

So whilst each colour holds an equal - and often opposing - truth, it is context that defines a colour's value in any given moment.

In referring to our opposite as complementary we acknowledge that together - as a pair of opposites - we form a balance. In a larger sense, we need them, and they need us. Remove any of the colours from the spectrum and we lose the ability to create white light - in other words, we lose our path towards Truth.

It is all too easy to fall into the trap of believing our own view - our own colour - to be 'the right one.' In times like these we would do well to remember the wheel. In remembering that all colours are needed to form the balanced spectrum, we are able to put our own little contribution into perspective.

That little feeling we often get, that we alone hold the Truth, is a trustworthy one. What we are sensing is the white light from which our individual colour was refracted. Our only mistake is to confuse our surface truth - our small piece of the spectrum - with the universal Truth of white light. It is when we are able to see beyond our individual viewpoint to the larger balance - the full spectrum - that we are able to to see things in a more balanced and Truthful light.

An Indian from Arizona states, "Among my people, gay is a special status ... The more unique someone is, the more valuable they are, the more unique their vision, the more unique their gift, their perspective, everything they can offer us something other people can't offer ...

The thing that's different about where I come from, is that all human beings are respected because all human beings have potential, all human beings have value."

[Walter L. Williams]
The Spirit and the Flesh, p. 229

At the least, our awareness of alternative attitudes and roles can allow us to appreciate the diversity of the human population, and the similarities that we share across the boundaries of culture.

[Walter L. Williams]
The Spirit and the Flesh, p. 275

Since it is the one indivisible will, which for this reason is wholly in agreement with itself, and reveals itself in the whole Idea as in an act, its phenomenon, though broken up into a variety of different parts and conditions, must yet again show that unity in a thorough harmony of these.

This takes place through a necessary relation and dependence of all the parts on one another, whereby the unity of the Idea is also re-established in the phenomenon.

Accordingly, we now recognize those different parts and functions of the organism reciprocally as means and end of one another, and the organism itself as the ultimate end of all.

[Arthur Schopenhauer]
The World as Will and Representation, p.157

The manner in which Arcesilaus taught would have had much to commend it, if the young men who learnt from him had been able to avoid being paralysed by it. He maintained no thesis, but would refute any thesis set up by a pupil.  

Sometimes he would himself advance two contradictory propositions on successive occasions, showing how to argue convincingly in favour of either. 

[Bertrand Russell]
History of Western Philosophy ('Cynics and Sceptics')

The life which men praise and regard as successful is but one kind. Why should we exaggerate any one kind at the expense of the others?

[Henry David Thoreau]
Walden, p.19

You can’t collapse your political landscape into a single set of values […]

there are different values; one value might be accomplishment; another value might be achievement; another value might be hard work; another value might be equality. And fine, those are all useful values; but there has to be a continual dialogue between all of those values so that the whole value structure - which has to be diverse - doesn’t collapse into a single dimension.

Because then what you have is one tool for every problem, and that’s not good because the same tool can’t solve every problem […]

this is partly why I’m no fan of ideologues […] an ideological stance gives you a solution to every problem without ever being able to solve the problem; or maybe not even to articulate it properly.

[Jordan B. Peterson]
Where do SJWs come from?

The sensualist brags about the undeniable certainty of his reality, and the idealist insists on his.

Psychology has to resign itself to the existence of these two (or more) types, and must at all costs avoid thinking of one as a misconception of the other; and it should never seriously try to reduce one type to the other, as though everything "other" were merely a function of the one.

This does not mean that the scientific axiom known as Occam's razor - "explanatory principles should not be multiplied beyond the necessary" - should be abrogated. But the need for a plurality of psychological explanatory principles still remains.

[C. G. Jung]
Psychological Types, p. 41

Psychotherapy and analysis are as varied as are human individuals. I treat every patient as individually as possible, because the solution of the problem is always an individual one. Universal rules can be postulated only with a grain of salt.

[...] Naturally, a doctor must be familiar with the so-called "methods." But he must guard against falling into any specific, routine approach. In general one must guard against theoretical assumptions. To-day they may be valid, to-morrow it may be the turn of other assumptions. In my analyses they play no part.

I am unsystematic very much by intention [...] We need a different language for every patient. In one analysis I can be heard talking the Adlerian dialect, in another the Freudian.

[C. G. Jung]
Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1995), p. 153

It seems to me that the majority of people are unable or unwilling to 'think for themselves' and so need systems, or methods, in order to orient themselves to certain situations. Indeed, it seems rare to find a person who is willing or able to be as liquid; to remould themselves in light of what the situation demands. The majority of people, in most areas of their lives, need guidance.

If we define an adult as someone who is able to think for themselves; as someone who has the confidence, versatility - the maturity - to shape-shift when required (abandoning the comfort of familiar territory for the uncertainty of the unknown); and if we define a child as someone who lacks these attributes; then surely the great majority of people, in most areas of their lives, remain as children?

To respond effectively and appropriately to environmental demands.

At birth, each of us is given a particular Beginning Place within these Four Great Directions on the Medicine Wheel.  This starting Place gives us our first way of perceiving things, which will then be our easiest and most natural way throughout our lives.

But any person who perceives from only one of these Four Great Directions will remain just a partial man. 

For example, a man who possesses only the Gift of the North will be wise.  But he will be a cold man, a man without feeling.  And the man who lives only in the East will have the clear, far sighted vision of the Eagle, but he will never be close to things.  This man will feel separated, high above life, and will never understand or believe that he can be touched by anything.

A man or woman who perceives only from the West will go over the same thought again and again in their mind, and will always be undecided.  And if a person has only the Gift of the South , he will see everything with the eyes of a Mouse.  He will be too close to the ground and too near sighted to see anything except whatever is right in front of him, touching his whiskers.

Each of us has as his personal Medicine a particular animal reflection.  The characteristics of this reflection are determined by the nature of the animal itself, and also by the location of our individual Beginning Place on the Medicine Wheel.  These two things, our Medicine Animal and our Beginning Place on the Medicine Wheel, together are the Beginning Gift to each of us from Miaheyyum.

For example, there are Eagle People, elk People, Bear People, Wolf People, Pheasant People, Otter People, Buffalo People, Mice People, Rock People, Cloud People, and as many other kinds of People as there are kinds of living beings on this earth.  And within each of these different kinds of People, there are other differences of the Four Great Directions.  Thus an Elk Person might be born a White Elk of the North, a Green Elk of the South, a Black Elk of the West, or a Yellow Elk of the East, depending upon the Direction of their Beginning Gift.

After each of us has learned of our Beginning Gift, our First place on the Medicine Wheel, we then must Grow by Seeking Understanding in each of the four Great Ways.  Only in this way can we become Full, capable of Balance and decision in what we do.

A person with the Beginning Gift of the Mind must always try to include his Heart in his decisions.  When he does this, he begins to turn upon the Medicine Wheel.  A man can live out his entire life without ever finding more than what was already within him as his Beginning Gift, but if he wishes to Grow he must become a Seeker and Seek for himself the other Ways.

When you have done this yourself, and when you have reached a full Understanding of the different Medicines of men, you will never feel surprised or threatened by the actions or decisions of your Brothers and Sisters. 

[Hyemeyohsts Storm]
Seven Arrows, p. 6-8

All students of man and society who have the first thing they need for such a difficult study, namely a proper sense of its difficulties, are aware that the constant danger is not so much of accepting falsehood for truth as of mistaking part of the truth for the whole of it. 

It might be plausibly maintained that in almost every one of the leading controversies, past or present, in social philosophy, both sides were in the right in what they affirmed and wrong in what they denied; and that if either side had been made to accept the other’s views in addition to its own, little more would have been needed to make its doctrine correct.

That’s how it is with every important partial truth; there are always two conflicting modes of thought, one tending to give to that truth too large, the other to give it too small, a place: and the history of opinion is generally an oscillation between the extremes.

Because of the imperfection of the human  faculties, it seldom happens, even in the minds of eminent thinkers, that each partial view of their subject is credited with its worth and no more than its worth. But even if this just balance does exist in the mind of the wiser teacher, it will not exist in his disciples, let alone in the general mind.

Thus every excess in either direction produces a corresponding reaction; and the only improvement comes from the fact that each time the oscillation is a little less wide than before, so that there is an ever-increasing tendency to settle finally in the centre

[John Stuart Mill]
'Essays on Bentham and Coleridge'

And now what is the result of all these considerations and quotations? It is negative in one sense, but positive in another.

It absolutely forbids us to be forward in pronouncing on the meaninglessness of forms of existence other than our own; and it commands us to tolerate, respect, and indulge those whom we see harmlessly interested and happy in their own ways, however unintelligible these may be to us.

Hands off: neither the whole of truth nor the whole of good is revealed to any single observer, although each observer gains a partial superiority of insight from the peculiar position in which he stands. Even prisons and sick-rooms have their special revelations.

It is enough to ask of each of us that he should be faithful to his own opportunities and make the most of his own blessings, without presuming to regulate the rest of the vast field.

[William James]
'On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings', Pragmatism and Other Writings, p. 285

Morality aims at a code of conduct to which everyone must conform. This must therefore also be a code that everyone can follow, and morality this necessarily addresses itself to the lowest common denominator among the people whose conduct it guides. 

This is the “levelling” effect, which Nietzsche so despises. The only actions it allows aim at the interest of each group as a whole and therefore at the interest of its weakest members. 

But the rules that prescribe such actions may not at all be in the interest of the (not very helpfully described) strong members of that group. They actually prevent them from exploiting qualities that may be dangerous to the group as a whole and by means of which they can distinguish themselves from their community and accomplish the deeds Nietzsche sometimes equally unhelpfully , describes as unique, high, or great.

The deeds need not themselves be dangerous to a society as a whole, not need the qualities and abilities that bring them about when exercised by the proper individuals create such dangers. The problems, he thinks, are generated when these qualities are encouraged in general within a society. 

But morality, according to Nietzsche, recognises only two alternatives: a feature is acceptable either in every case or in none. Morality, he repeatedly insists, refuses to recognise an “order of rank” and does not want to run the risk of encouraging some qualities in some people while denying them to others.

[Alexander Nehamas]
Nietzsche: Life as Literature, p. 214-5

Prototypes act like creosote bush in the Mojave Desert - they space themselves away from each other. They not only exemplify the class, but distinguish it.

[…] the better the prototype, the less it had in common with contrasting classes.

[Daniel McNeill & Paul Freiberger]
Fuzzy Logic, p. 87