28. Negations, Opposites, and Complements
 
 

What is "not white"?

 

For a lot of people it is "black"!
For the rest of us it is just simply any color that is 'not white': 

 
 
 

The latter is called a complement, because it completes the set of all colors together with the item in question (in this case 'white').

Of course, we could see it as an unspecified negation of a statement, here called 'reflexive' because it refers to the statement itself:

Current human languages do not adequately distinguish between an 'opposite' and a 'complement' and plain (reflexive) negations. Yet, the difference between them can make all the difference.

A lot of flame wars and endless but fruitless discussions are generated every day, right now as you read this, because people cannot or don't want to make this distinction.

Using complements is very useful in cases in which one wants to avoid an 'identification'. And since avoiding 'identifications' seems like a good idea in all cases, using complements is a smart move.

For example, most, if not all, basic premises used in Gotamo's philosophy are formulated as 'complements', most notably, of course, the anatta ('non-'self) concept  and the dukkha ('in-' sanity/case) concept.

The reason for him to use complements is not only to prevent an identification with 
a mere word instead of grasping the concept, but also to find in an indirect way a verbal description for things for which there cannot be words.

The majority of translators from Pali either don't understand this or don't care for it for whatever reasons. In the 'Little Purple Notebook On How To Escape From This Universe', the difference is being made as often and as clear as possible.

Now, on the other hand, one may want to specify an opposite to a given thing and it will be necessary to avoid an overbroad specification. This becomes important in every process that uses opposing terminals such as 'standard' GPM (Goals/Problems/Mass), Time-Breaking Level IV (TROM), or fidgeting with intention beams like in chapter 42113.Why 'Letting Go' Can Be Bungee Cord And The Secret  Behind Blow-Out Jobs.

Well, this was not difficult!

(So, what was it, then???)
 
 
 

 


Copyleft 1998 by Maximilian J. Sandor, Ph.D.