Dark Matter and the Psychologist’s Dilemma

Is the outer physical world a reflection of our inner worlds?

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Photo by Nick Chung on Unsplash

This week one of the books I’ve been reading addressed the matter of “dark matter,” a concept which is somewhat fuzzy in my mind and not wholly familiar. Due to its gravitational influence this dark matter impacts the manner in which celestial bodies move through the universe. According to the author, dark matter is a substance (subatomic material) that doesn’t reflect any light and is thereby exceedingly difficult to detect.

This is a strange idea, but one that science has now accepted as true. Dark matter purportedly accounts for 85% of the matter in the universe, which is even more bizarre of a thought than the existence of this invisible material itself.

As I was reading this, another thought entered my mind regarding the methods psychologists use to bring help to people with psychological problems. Years ago one of Swiss psychologist Paul Tournier’s books described his work as a therapist. He wrote that the mind is like a box that you can’t see into. Inside the box people have hangups and the therapist must reach in through a slit in the curtain and try to figure out what is going on so he can cut the strings that bind us. It’s as if he is blindfolded, feeling around in the dark with one hand and a pair of scissors in the other.

This “dark matter” idea struck me as just one more complication. Suppose that much of what influences our behavior is completely unseen, beyond perceiving even if we could see inside one another’s heads? In what ways is this dark matter pulling me that I will never understand?

Therapists have many challenges. Thinking about these invisible forces seems to make it all just that much more complicated.

Both worlds are rather amazing, the external world and our inner worlds. As astronomers study the stars and neuroscience studies the brain, the discoveries springing forth from all this activity becomes quite mind-boggling.

Does the outer world correspond to our inner world in some remarkable way? There is an incomprehensible vastness in both these worlds. Or at least that is what I’ve discovered. What about you?

What else can we discover about ourselves when we study the universe?

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An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y3l9sfpj

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