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Critical Thinking's A-Frame Ladder

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A most brilliant thing Primitive (the first humans) Africans did was to conceptualize multiple planes of existence from the Earth world up to the “Heavens.” I illustrate this using a metaphorical “A” Frame step-ladder. What Critical Thinking (CT) sees in assessing the "Big Picture" of any subject depends upon CT's position on this ladder. To elaborate, when I was 13 years old my Mother, a high school English teacher, confused me each time she said: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and then followed this with: “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.” Since two of my outdoor jobs were tending to the flower and vegetable gardens and painting the house, the latter expression caused me to think of my flower garden (though the flowers did not last forever). However, her first saying led me to think of the A-frame step-ladder I stood on to paint the house. It consisted of two-ladders-in-one--hinged at the top and with its opposite four legged ends resting on the ground, each likened to the mindsets of four different “beholder” human beings--living a unique life, having a unique philosophy, and being uniquely individualistic. In other words, Mother's two related phrases of Beauty seemed to be at opposite ends of my imagined Earth-to-Heaven Cosmic Ladder. So great was my confusion over how to reconcile these differences in similarities that one day I rode my bicycle to a downtown book store in Greensboro, North Carolina to look up the word “Beauty” in a “big fat” dictionary. Item 13 under “beauty” sort of correlated “a thing of beauty is a joy forever” with the top step of the Cosmic Ladder. However, its other definitions, resembling the ladder's "grounded" legs, were each like a given “beholder” human's unique concept of "Beauty."

From the notion of "Beauty" differences at the Cosmic Ladder's bottom and “beholder” unity at the top suggested that different planes of existence of thoughts were in-between. This speculation spurred an imagery of people's mindset barriers at the bottom. Their clinging to perspectives of individualism give rise to all sorts of separating differences with people (e.g. "me vs. you"; "us vs. them") and within oneself ("my idea of Beauty is right"). But upon climbing each rung of the ladder their barriers would start evaporating, and to the point of eventually all “beholders” joining to fashion a “Group Mind.” Further climbing would then make their similarities so obvious as to synthesize a “Group Spirit.” At that point each would have transitioned from the Earth world into the Sublime so as to bathe in its "joy forever" Beauty. These ideas, coupled with my minister saying all humans--by being made in the image of God--are related in spirit, thereafter dissolved my confusion by clarifying that the "family members" of Beauty were positioned on each rung of the “A” Frame ladder.

The "Big Picture" of “All is in One and One is in All” has a display of Ultimate Beauty in the Subjective Realm fashioning things out of itself and, by itself, becoming the thing it makes. An example is the Sublime where Ultimate Beauty possesses God-like attributes, as in “Beauty that lasts forever,” since God (the Infinite) lasts forever. Since on every plane of existence God things have Ultimate Beauty, perceiving one is the experience of perceiving all Ultimate Beauty wholistically. That leads to an atmosphere of inner Peace--an awe-inspiring atmosphere checkered with reverence–an atmosphere causing an under-current of deep level inner Calmness (called Hetep). Below the Sublime is where “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” applies. In the Unbounded Tangible Plane, people's opinions mix God-like attributes of Beauty with their own concepts and thereby cloud out God's Ultimate Beauty. In the Partially Bounded Tangible Plane near the bottom of the ladder, people's Emotional Junk so dilutes and pollutes Ultimate Beauty as to be ignorant of its powers. At the Concrete (touchable Earth World) level, Brutes go against Ultimate Beauty and all Spiritual Elements so as to wallow in what satisfies their unique and "sick" taste.


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