a strip of wood, metal, or stone forming the bottom of a doorway and crossed in entering a house or room. the magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, phenomenon, result, or condition to occur or be manifested. Nothing is more interesting to me than Thresholds and Placebos (and fractals). We'll save placebos (and fractals) for another day. These two (three) ideas I believe are fundamental to understanding the subtleties of the universe.
Why are thresholds important?
My definition of a threshold is when a bee is buzzing and making a noise that exists but you cannot hear it until it comes close enough to you to detect it, and the threshold is the point at which you can. I think it's interesting that the dictionary suggests a threshold is something that must be passed before entering a house. I'm sure you've heard of the "foot in the door phenomenon". In the professional world, people tell you to get your foot in the door, but they leave out the part about the threshold crossing that must happen first.
Thresholds are fascinating to me because it shows the vitality of life. How many things are happening to you right now, in secret? Just out of range of your perception. You have a million forces acting on your right now. I just whispered, "Hello everyone reading this". Did you hear it? What if I shout? Would you hear that? Did a fraction of that sound wave hit a butterfly who will land on you tomorrow? I don't know how sound waves travel, but this is merely an example of a threshold.
Thresholds are fascinating. Imagine you have a castle wall. It can withstand 100 damage. Let us also say it has a threshold of 100 damage. Any singular attack of less than 100 damage will not be felt. if you smash it with 99 damage it will still have 100 health because you did not hit the threshold. It didn't even notice you were there. But it's still technically happening. Now, if a butterfly flies by and deals 1 damage at exactly the same time that you deal 99 damage, the castle falls. Without the butterfly, all of the strength of the battering ram wouldn't have even made a difference. If the butterfly hit the castle wall one second after the battering ram, it wouldn't have fallen.
Let's compare this to a castle without a threshold, which would fall on the second battering ram, with or without the butterfly. Which scenario is more like life?
It gets even deeper. Your conscious mind is a threshold. There are beliefs in your head that exist that you are unaware of. They hit a threshold and then become part of your conscious awareness, seemingly suddenly, like the butterfly knocking down the castle.
A better example is a shield. A forcefield. A forcefield that could take 500 damage at a time no problem. No cumulative damage over time, just a threshold for when it breaks. a 300 damage attack and a 200 damage attack yield exactly the same result. This is life! This is trying to break into the video game industry, or getting a job as a computer programmer. As a warrior, you could do 200 damage to the forcefield and not break it. Then you train for a year. You deal 300 damage to the forcefield and it still won't break even though 200+300=500. You come back later and do 440 damage. Still nothing. No measurable results yet. (unless you find a better way to measure your progress, ding ding ding) . Maybe after doing 499 damage in one move and the forcefield still not falling, at this point this warrior attacker job seeker gets discouraged and considers the forcefield game industry impenetrable. Little did he know, he was only a butterfly away from destroying it. So my advice is keep improving and keep fighting. Measure yourself vs. yourself yesterday. You never know when the forcefield will break.
Clip from screenshot: https://youtu.be/81s9Ek9jAgg
P.S. Imagine you have an instrument that can detect absolutely everything. Every sound and light and whatever else. If you can't do that imagine a directional microphone able to pick up conversations from far away you can't hear with the naked ear. That means that that conversation was there for you to hear the whole time, you just didn't have the tools. My question is, if everything is happening to us all the time, then do our bodies have hidden knowledge of the whole universe? If the directional mic can pick up the sound, then it is hitting our bodies, though we cannot hear it. So, we are all having the exact same experience, with different thresholds. Thresholds of conscious reality. What if the reason every action has an equal and opposite reaction (which I never understand why no one has attempted to explain, not simply prove) What if the reason for that is that everything contains everything else. So me hitting you is me+everything else vs. you+everything else. Since you are contained in my everything else, and I am contained in your everything else, that equation equals out.
I hit u = (I + (universe - I)) hit (u + (universe-u)) == universe hit universe.
(Add on): There's a line in Superman where lex luther says, "some people can read war and peace and come away thinking it's a simple adventure story, others can look at the ingredients of a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe." That's what I meant by our bodies contain knowledge of the universe, and it's not just our bodies, it's anything. Just by looking a one rock in space and that's all you have is one rock. You can determine from that one rock that there does not exist an ever-reaching-rock-destroying substance within this universe. I know for a fact something about the whole universe just by looking at one object because the object is proof that there does not exist it's object-killer. So in a sense, you can learn about the whole universe in any given thing. That's why life is more fair than you think. Although we all live under different circumstances, if we're paying attention, the secrets of the universe are right in front of your face. You don't have to be a monk to be enlightened. You just have to pay attention and respect the knowledge contained in everything you experienced. Going back to your body and even your mind, your body has all sorts of wisdom contained in it and sculpted by evolution. You see a snake and get scared because your body and mind are smarter than you know. You don't have to be taught to think a girl is pretty or a snake is scary. Your body and mind do that for you, and are built upon past knowledge.
I guess this is what happens when you major in philosophy.
2023 comment: My line about evolution could also apply to creationism and the programming code of DNA.