(Psychological Paradoxes & Puzzles — 11)
A Paradox: The gods are real and they are not real
If Freud and others are right, it is as if we have two minds, that is two ways of thinking. Typically, one is active at night when we are asleep, while the other is dominant during the day when we are awake and alert. The two ways of thinking are as different as night and day. The purest example of the night-time mind would be a dream, and the purest example of day-time thinking would be a rational, logical, scientific chain of thought. In sleep we relax away from the strict rules of rational thought and reality testing only to shoulder them again when we begin to awaken. Being rational and logical requires work, whereas, in the night-time mind, whatever is is real, and no evaluating is required. It is possible for the night-time mind to emerge and even take over in the day, and it is also possible for a person to think logically within a dream. For most people this may happen sometimes, and for some it may happen quite often. For some people, the rational, reality testing mind may be all but absent, even in the day, and waking consciousness then takes on a dream-like feeling where impressions and intuitions and feelings and inclinations rule without challenge and without control.
Short idea (192): There are two political parties in the United States. Younger members of each party are sure they are right and members of the other party are wrong and maybe even evil. Older politicians may feel this but become more practical and are willing to compromise in order to get anything done. But there is a third position: Neither party is completely right but that each expresses a part of the truth. Compromise is not a process where good makes a deal with evil to get at least some good. Rather it is a struggle that leads, if it works, to incorporating the goodness and truths of both parties into a higher, more complete good and truth. This struggle can take centuries.