“Since the beginning of physics, symmetry considerations have provided us with an extremely powerful and useful tool in our effort to understand nature. Gradually they have become the backbone of our theoretical formulation of physical laws.” – Tsung-Dao Lee, physicist
“Why are people trying to give me a label?”
Adrianna worked as an administrative assistance in a large company. She had been there for several years. She was married to Benjamin and they had one son, Terry, who was in high school. Benjamin was a farm labourer who worked hard travelling the continent, following seasonal harvests which could be anything from potatoes to mangos.
Adrianna was a modern, assertive young woman, determined to protect herself, family and future. She had worked her way up through her organization, and now had a stable position, with a stable future. But, Adrianna seemed to have paid for her success with an edgy, cautious, and somewhat suspicious, approach to life. She responded to my question of what had brought her to call me, with the following response,
“Ken, why is everyone trying to give me a label?”
“Who is trying to label you, Adriana?” I asked.
“Well, first, it was my husband, who said I was burnt out. Then, it was my doctor. She said I was showing signs of depression. Then, she wrote me a prescription for an antidepressant, and then said I should get some psychological help for my stress. Then, I went to a counsellor who said he agreed with the my doctor, and I was definitely depressed.” she replied, clearly exasperated and confused.
“There is more than hope…there is certainty…”
“Adrianna, there are three things to remember about labels. First, they are well intentioned efforts to draw assistance to you in your time of challenge. Second, since depression can’t be found on any CAT, or PET scan, (or any other current technology), labels are just concerned, and concerted, opinions…not tattoos on your body. And, third, as opinions, they do not reflect the true nature of your being, nor do they follow the laws of nature, which actually govern your body and mind.”
Adrianna sat back in her chair, surprise washing over her face. “Ken, do you mean there is some hope for me?”
“There is more than hope…there is certainty, Adrianna!”
“Please, tell me more.” she said, leaning forward eagerly in her chair.
“We need to chunk up a bit in our thinking first. All the sciences study nature’s laws or principles. Each individual science studies some specific aspect of nature. So, physics is the study of matter and energy, while biology is the study of living organisms, and chemistry is the study of the subcomponents of matter. And, psychology is the study of the human mind. Do you get the idea?”
“Yes, so you’re saying every science analyses some piece, or part, of nature.”
“I love skeptics, it accelerates their learning…”
“Exactly, and nature’s basic laws apply to all these sciences, in some form. Or, to say it another way, nature’s basic laws are the foundation, in some unique way, of every science. So, psychology, the study of the mind, follows nature’s basic laws.”
“How about an example, Ken?” she said, with a hint of healthy skepticism.
“Great idea! So, for example, the law of energy conservation, the law of gravity and the law of symmetry are all found in every science in some form.” I offered.
“Which means……?” she said.
I love skeptics, it accelerates their learning…I continued, “Because energy conservation is found in physics, we know we cannot create or destroy matter, or energy, only transform them from one form to another.”
Then I added, “Because energy conservation is found in biology we know how nutrition works since the matter taken into our cells becomes usable energy in the form of movement.”
Then, I added a further connection, “Because energy conservation is found in psychology, we know how social bullying works. The bully is exaggerating themselves while the bullied is minimizing themselves. As the bully learns to respect others (reduce their energy output,) the bullied learns to respect themselves (increase their energy output.) It is an equal exchange of energy between two people systems where each learns.”
“So, the law of energy conservation is found in a special forms in physics, biology and psychology…right?”
“The most general law in nature is equity – the principle of balance and symmetry which guides the growth of forms along the lines of the greatest structural efficiency.” – Herbert Read, poet
“…what people have been calling my depressing, has had equal amounts of benefits to me…”
“Exactly! I replied. Then I added, “Because symmetry is found in physics we know how much force it takes to move a rocket across a certain distance. And because symmetry is found in biology, (for at least 500 million years), in the body plans of most animals, including humans, we know it enables the brain to recognize different orientations, making visual perception possible.”
I knew she was catching on from what she said next, “So, where does the law of symmetry apply in psychology?”
“The perfect question, Adrianna!” I said, smiling.
“How so?” she asked.
“Adrianna, your very presence here today is a demonstration of how the law of symmetry works in psychology, which is remember, …the study of the mind.”
“How so?” she asked, again.
“Well, you are sitting here with many measures of a successful life including a determined spirit, a quick mind, a good job, your financial resources, a social network you value, a family you love, and a measure of physical health…to most people,many sources of pleasure, or success. But, apparently, you didn’t realize this pleasure you have attained, in your mind, requires a counterbalancing measure of pain, or challenge, in keeping with the law of symmetry.”
“Are you saying, what people have been calling my depressing, has had equal amounts of benefits to me?”
“…what you say has an intuitive ring of truth to me, but I need the details, the proof…”
“Let’s find out…my experience has taught me, the label of depressing, is a valuable motivator for many people, to learn to take control of, and value, their life.”
“OK, but how can you be so certain, Ken?”
“Well Adrianna, you look and sound quite well…but, it doesn’t matter what I think…it matters what you think! So let’s get down to the nitty gritty of your specific situation because I can help you uncover the truth of your depressing behaviours…how they certainly have cost you pain, but, you have equally gained pleasure with new knowledge and skills you needed, to get you here, today.”
“Ken, what you say has an intuitive ring of truth to me, but I need the details, the proof I don’t have a depression…but, have been depressing, so I could learn, and be prepared for my future…kind of like wiser and stronger, eh?” she added.
“Then, let’s get to it!” I said.
“The universe is built on a plan the profound symmetry of which it is somehow present in the inner structure of our intellect” – Paul Valery, poet
“…so depressing actually served me and saved me…so getting labelled was also symmetrical…”
And, that’s what we did. Adrianna and I went through every significant memory she had of depressing, and discovered what she gained at that moment, and how it was still serving her in her life, even today.
Adrianna was detailed, diligent and determined not to have any uncertainty about how depressing had served her. One day when she was finishing up, she said, “Taking this symmetry law to its logical conclusion…I was using depressing thoughts and actions to unconsciously motivate myself to learn important stuff for my future…so depressing actually served me, and saved me! So, getting labelled was also symmetrical…paining me with feelings of being out of control, and motivating me to seek learning, I needed for my future.”
“Now, you know the benefits of depressing, and the advantages of being labelled. And, you also know the costs are giving up on your future, and putting yourself down, by not being aware of the natural laws, which govern your body and mind…especially, the law of symmetry.”
“But now, I know, don’t I?” she said, triumphantly.
“Andrianna, now you know, you know…which creates more accountability to yourself for your future…so depressing was the perfect thing to occur for you, eh?”
“Wow! I really have come a long way, haven’t I?” she replied with a broad smile.
“Indeed you have, Adrianna! Congratulation!” I said returning her smile.
“We struggle to accept our natural origins…the fact we follow all nature’s laws from symmetry to gravity, both physically and mentally…they are all our same energy systems.” – King Ayles, author
Until Next time…
Now, you know many psychological labels, while well intentioned, and providing some temporary measure of safety, usually don’t get you past your current situation. The natural law of symmetry governs your mental health, so learn how to apply it, so you can get back in balance, and on with your life.
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Our next seminar, “A Transformation Day!” will focus on relationships. It will be on Saturday, November 24, 2015 at our offices. Details are available at ww.kenpiercepsychologist.com
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Namaste, (I salute the grandly organized design of the universe, manifested in you!)
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