Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Venn diagrams

Thursday 10.23am

When I was at school we learn't a visual way of organising and categorising lists of things - Venn diagrams they were called. Categories were represented by circles drawn on paper and we wrote the different items inside the relevant circle. Some things belonged to more than one category and here the circles would overlap so that the item was contained by more than one circle. It was fun and a pretty easy exercise at the time but although Nicola tells me that they are useful in computing, in my life since they have had no relevance at all.

Until this morning that is. On my way back from dropping the youngest at school it occurred to me that these diagrams are a pretty good representation of the way we are. People that is. We are all individuals and live in our own worlds, our own three dimensional circle - our own bubble. As we move through everyday life we interact with other people and our bubbles briefly touch and merge for a while before separating again. When I look at people around me I can see them inside their transparent bubbles caught up in their own thoughts and lives that are completely different to mine. Some people seem to have tougher bubbles than others. They are more resilient and self contained, often caught up completely in themselves. Others have thinner, weaker bubbles that allow the outside world to filter through and affect the person inside and these people are more empathetic to others but also more vulnerable.

What I think is important is that we can also change our bubbles ourselves. If we are concentrating on a task it is as if our bubble becomes opaque, blocking out the outside world - people have to shout to get through. Emotions affect them, grief and loss or hurt seem to harden them as we try to protect ourselves and block out the outside world that has done us harm. Love on the other hand softens them as you merge your bubble completely with the one you love. And to go further I think that when you fall in love a piece of your bubble breaks away and is left with the other person floating within their bubble so that you are never truly apart. And within our own bubbles are parts of those we love, including all the animals we have shared our lives with, they become part of who we are.

In the past I have toyed with meditation but never kept it up, but I wonder if enlightenment happens when you compeletely dissolve your bubble and become one with everything around you.

Its a thought isn't . . . . . I wonder if Mr Venn thought about this too?

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