Emotional Red Shift

30 07 2010

Each star in the night sky radiates with a color unique to its chemical composition.  Passing this light through a prism the entire spectrum fans out in a pattern nearly as unique as DNA.

The light of each star is a default radiance – a baseline free of external factors.  Some stars pulse radically in brightness as they respond to ever changing internal conditions, but their specific spectra remains much the same.

I’m afraid that I’m a little too fond of analogy. On occasion a spore of an idea will germinate in my mind and I will be completely unable to remove it until it has sprouted, leafed out, flowered, and gone to seed.

One such analogy that has been teasing me lately is this idea that humans bear a strong resemblance to stars.

There is a spectrum of human emotion from the basest hatred to the most platonic love. For most of our lives we experience these emotions only in combination. Like the light from a distant star, differing amounts of each ‘color’ or emotion combine to give us a personality.  Each individual like each star has a natural color.  From the darkest psychopathic black holes to the happiest most gidget-like white-dwarves, we all have a natural emotional hue – a default emotional state. 

At times of stress our colors are pushed into new ranges.

Only through the worst crises in life do our emotional colors separate.  After the death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, personal catastrophe our typically complex interwoven emotions pass through a prism allowing us to experience each emotional color in a pure form.  The seven stages of grief are like passing through the prism and experiencing each new emotional color as it washes over us, beats us down with the purity of its individual intensity and buoys us upward again with the strength that intensity brings.

In the same way that physicists can gauge how fast a star is receding, we too can witness an emotional red shift as a bright star, once the center of our solar system, speeds away into interstellar space. The shift is towards the red – the anger.  If the speed of retreat is slow the red shift is slight.  Sudden violent acceleration out of our lives pushes the anger ever brighter, stronger and crimson.

Of course the opposite is true when we’re entering a relationship – approaching a new star – witnessing the light of a calming blue shift.

Both color shifts are caused by perspective.  The natural hues of the individual bodies don’t actually change.  This person who recently came into your life isn’t nearly as angelic as you imagine, or the one leaving isn’t nearly as demonic as you claim.

Many stars exist in complex arrangements.  Some spin rapidly about companions in billion year dances that end only when one partner exhausts its fuel, goes to nova or red giant and destroys them both.  There are binary systems where one star literally devours its companion – siphoning off matter and energy through sheer gravitational superiority – strength that grows as the companion star wastes away and is ultimately absorbed completely.  Black hole binary systems eventually cause the couple to disappear from society all together (did I just say ‘Society’?  I mean to say Space-Time).

It seems to me the human versions of these arrangements are incredibly obvious and hardly worth mentioning now.

Ok.  Now that I’ve committed this analogy to print perhaps I can purge it from my mind and continue on with my own little  journey through the prism.

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One response

3 08 2010
Mary

Awesome post!

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