In general, we can break up a person’s perception of the world (1) into 3 categories:
- Black & White: There are those that look at the world in a very definitive manner. Everything is binary – black or white, good or bad. They see themselves as complex individuals, and can find ways to justify themselves when it breaks out of the general boundaries. However, they take extreme comfort in explaining the world, and others, in ‘clear’ terms. It helps them handle the innate craziness of life, and the uncertainty of everything.
- 50 Shades: The next type of person is one who appreciates and venerates nuance. They use their own personal experience as a backdrop to better understand the world, but it is still limiting. True, things now exist in a large spectrum of grey over being simply black and white. However, though good might not have one specific definition, it has a constraint. There still exists for the person a semi-defined box for what is good and what is bad, what is beautiful and what is not.
3. The third level I like to call a Rainbow, as it represents the whole visible spectrum and beyond; it can also simply be called ‘Light’ (2): Black and white exists, but not as independent beings. They are built of the endless myriads of colors, shades, and hues. Take for example the three primary colors: RGB. From these three colors alone, when merged together in varying degrees, produces a broad array of colors. Now imagine the number of possible colors that exist within the world. It might have some red or blue in it, but it is its own color in its entirety, and if you never saw it you could never picture it. As Chassidus teaches: that the level of Tiferet, Beauty, can be described as a painting, where the beauty comes from unifying the colors. Every person is their own color. They are an outcome of many primal factors: nature, nurture, etc. But they are wholly unique. One’s personal beauty and appreciation of life in this way is not from the negation of another’s beauty. On the contrary, true beauty comes when you come together with others, and work off each other. The world is the canvas, G-d is the painter, and we – we are the pallet.