Monday, April 14, 2014

The Theory of Contrast

The theory of contrast states that in order for one to fully appreciate an experience one has had to have had the experience of having a contrasting experience.
For example, in order for someone to fully appreciate what it is like to be loved by a person it is necessary to have had the experience of being hated by another. In order to fully appreciate having expendable money one has to have had the experience of not being able to purchase what one wanted.
We can all think of situations where without the contrast someone cannot possibly appreciate their present experience. Think of someone you knew who grew up in a family of means and with parents who bought them anything they ever wanted whenever they wanted it. Could they really comprehend the true value of working hard for something and then obtaining it? I think it is more difficult for them. What about someone who grew up with abusive parents. Could they not appreciate more fully the experience of being unconditionally loved by another human being? If one experiences chronic pain could they not fully appreciate moments of pain cessation more fully and completely?
As an advocate of the theory of contrast, I see every single human experience as beneficial. Every moment has something to teach us, even the painful ones. In fact, we only grow during the painful and uncomfortable experiences. We simply “coast” through the comfortable times preparing ourselves for the next uncomfortable experience.
Whenever things are going well do not be attached to this moment for it will indeed change and life will once again become painful and uncomfortable. Whenever things are very uncomfortable be careful not to become attached to it remaining so.
Every moment we experience has a lesson just waiting for us to learn. Our task is to be open to the lesson and to be mindfully aware of every second.

Dr. Crewson Andrew Martin/PhD
EXCERPT from: "A Prescription For Contentment"
Available @

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