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There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt… - Lod's Lab [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Apr. 22nd, 2005|09:17 pm]
[mood |productivephilosophical]
[music |"Cradle of Love" - Billy Idol]

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), "Hamlet", Act 1 scene 5

I've made a point of trying to not make blanket statements about anyone or anything - because blanket statements are not the truth - they only pander to our prejudices and weakly approximate the truth.

Truth is difficult. How do we reconcile contradictory information in our world, and maintain some semblence of continuity? At some level there is a killer and a saint in all of us. Yet we cling to the hypocricy of our own professed consistency - turning a blind eye to the truth.

Paradoxically if we embrace the recognition of the whole truth - rather than limiting us as we might expect, it provides the ammunition needed by our ego to move beyond the over simplistic prejudices and blanket statements that do not inform us about reality. In a way it is like a door opening to a new world. Once past the door we can become a more authentic personality guided by truth.

Everyone has thought, "what I wouldn't give to strangle my boss right now". But most of us never act upon that impulse. What holds us back? Before recognizing the truth I spoke of, we would attribute it to external controls (we don't want to pay the legal price for the murder, or we want to go to heaven so we follow God's rules etc...). After we step through the door and recognize the complexity inside of us that does not fit any one paradigm - we also begin to realize that everyone around us has that same complexity - has some redeeming quality that stays our hands. We realize the truth that we all have a responsibility to preserve what is good in all of us.

Once through the door you see the truth that you are ultimately responsible for your own life, thoughts and actions. This also leads to a realization that no one has all the answers. Not the clergy, the teachers, the business men, the scientists, the politicians, or you (or me).

[User Picture]From: clark_hilldale
2005-04-26 03:29 am (UTC)
Wow. Billy Idol never did that for me. Bein' all philosophical and stuff.

Here's my take.

What you mention is man's struggle with duality. We live in a cause and effect universe and every conflict of man, both inner and outer, are borne of our desperate attempt to reconcile duality.

I say desparate because our seeking of the truth is the moment of motion in our present laws of duality-physics. When the jig is up and we are told the ending to the story, perhaps we will wish again for these days of ignorance, where the real beauty of God's creation comes full fold: the gift of forgetting (or free will for those New-agers). I don't want to be told the ending of the movie before I see it, do you? Let it play out and I think you will enjoy it more...
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[User Picture]From: lodragan
2005-04-28 03:49 am (UTC)
Billy has that effect on me...

To paraphrase you, "Ignorance is bliss" and is just the flip side of "the more you learn, the less you know" :) . I am touching on that duality - simply to provide a framework for the reality that surrounds us. But I am also trying to show that the duality we see is not a completely true representation either. We could also say, "the less you know, the more opportunity for learning new things presents itself".

Once that frame work is in place firmly in your head, then you can't in good conscience make blanket statements about any phenomenon. In Buddhist teachings a person in this state would be considered fully 'enlightened' - the person at that point is seeing the reality around them, rather than what they 'want' or 'believe' the world to be. This is a good first step to gaining fulfillment imho.

One key issue I wanted to touch upon is how this puts you at odds with those who have not passed through to the other side yet. For example, someone might say 'classic rock sucks'. You answer: 'maybe' - the truth is there can be no definitive statement made for everyone concerning an object of esthetics (art) - there is no universal 'right' or 'wrong' where art is concerned. Nevertheless each individual contains a subset of the music that their ear considers 'right' or 'wrong' - a paradox. Furthermore even if a very large group determines that a particular genre is 'right' and everything else is 'wrong' - that does not make it true in general - and certainly draws into question their understanding of reality given such actions as banning the 'wrong' music from the radio.

I could go on and on. The upshot is, and I believe I may have even mentioned this to you twenty years ago: the reality of any phenomenon is a many faceted crystal - which in most cases is beyond our ability to fully comprehend it. Duality is not quite right; in reality there is a multitude of possibilities - but being the simple creatures we are, we can more easily identify the paradoxical elements - failing to see or ignoring other information that does not fit the pattern/anti-pattern. We have no choice *but* to 'let it play out' - because (again with a few rare exceptions) we will never be able to grasp it in toto. At some point you do not see the bus coming.

That being said, I certainly want to understand the reality of a large bus travelling at high speed - so that I may avoid getting run over by it as I cross the street (this is probably one of those things we can understand). That is one movie I definitely want to see the ending of before it happens - which, of course, is another paradox...probably why people get hit by buses.
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