The "infinite" law of things ( ILT)
Tinakon Wongpakaran, MD, FRCPsychT & Nahathai Wongpakaran, MD, FRCPsychT
Perhaps to call something in dichotomy fashion makes us understand it easier despite the fact that it may not be absolutely true. In other words, it is for the sake of communication. We can find this phenomenon in everyday life, such as to determine size, shape, color, even abstract terms like bad – good, moral – immoral. Although, this approach is easy to communicate, it can make thing more complicated, especially when problems are related to dichotomous view. When in reality, the law of continuity, degree, variety of amount, should be better applied especially when it comes to feeling, belief, behavior, wish, desire, and attachment. For example, when A says that he does not love B, both laws can be applied love = 1, no love = 0; however, when A change his mind to ‘some love’, this time only ‘continuum law can be applied. Hence, continuum law can cover both scenarios because of its flexibility. What Interesting is that, despite we recognize this simple thing, we often (at least unconsciously) use dichotomous approach instead of continuum one, especially when fears come into play. We attempt to work against the continuum law for fear that we do not get them all (due to greediness or fear?). We want he/she to love us only (which is not true). We want him/her to be with us forever (which is not rue). When meditate on the logical approach, we can accept the continuum better, when we do not meditate enough or are not fully aware, we use dichotomy. None may not be the absolute truth, but ILT should fit better with the life model.
As a therapist, we usually find some kind of patient with this type of approach experiences problem in their life, and we know that part of solution for the problems is to change their approach – dichotomy. This type of approach is not necessary lead to be a patient, but can do a certain degree of frustration or distress. Persons with some kind of personality disorders such as schizotypal, borderline, obsessive-compulsive disorders have more on this dichotomous idea, while lesser degree can be found in non-patient. Schizotypal patient may have stereotyped thinking believing that some particular group of people will think or behave in a certain way. Borderline patient usually divide people into good or bad, and obsessive –compulsive people obliged to the right or wrong thing. The more we move to dichotomy law, the mores we depart from infinity law. Our vision could be obscured, biased, or perhaps hopeless. For example,
What is really the gap or problem here?
1. Scale - Do we use the same scale to move from one point to another?
2. Time - How we expect such distance to happen in certain period? and do we have the same time scale?
Here we have three things to consider from ILT
1. Continuum, degree, amount
(note : language edited version of the article is on the way)