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Monthly Archives: December 2010

“There is something cruel in the inclinations of my spirit”…in my desire to demand more of my self, as a seeker after knowledge, of a taste that “…insists on profundity, multiplicity and thoroughness…” And I definitely do will my self in that direction, quite easily in fact, and this inclination also extends to my friends as I tend to care less about their words and ideas, especially the ones who have been ‘educated’ and enjoy the title. But more because the standard I place upon myself that also loosely extends to others, in that I close myself off from certain thoughts or ideas that taste too much, to me, of the majority and therefore “…to mere appearance, to simplification, to masks, to cloaks, in short, to the surface –for every surface is a cloak…”.

And in this sense I am saying that, while I am still not that good myself and obviously also like the safety of playing on the surface and cloaking my deeper self, but our understanding or consciousness is still much too superficial, too instinctual and in actuality too unconscious to be considered real, applied knowledge. There is still an overabundance of darkness in our words and beliefs.  That even if we present our words well, even if it is what we were told in school to believe or the rest of society agrees, that we would still have to question ourselves and what absolute authority agreeing with everyone else has. For look at the French Revolution and tell me that agreeing with everyone else was a good idea when things went insane. And what absolute right is given to those who have been educated and the pride they have in ‘their’ education? For are not all of Science, Philosophy, Math, and Psychology merely theories…And wouldn’t the addition of more theories or perspectives increase our understanding of life and living? Don’t we have to be able to freely play with the prejudices of our education and up-bringing to step into the shoes of another perspective to try on its experience of the music of life; that is to say, to try on its prejudices? For it takes more than just a little nibble of this or that to actually feel the full presence of a different way of experiencing what it means to be alive. But that is, of course, if we were to be thoroughly profound free spirited seekers after knowledge for then we would have no choice but to live life differently, to purposefully seek out differing, seemingly contrary perspectives.

But right here, again, the cruelty of my intellectual conscience rears its beautiful sinister head and pushes me to go further than this mere surface and cloak I presented you and myself.

For I have to ask myself what the value of being a ‘seeker after knowledge’ is in the first place…and then I’d have to examine myself for the characteristics that I had been labeled with to see how much truth is in them, not however, if there is truth but ‘how much’. For we are obviously not going to be able to stay stuck in black and white if we are going to get to any real answers. So we must admit of the multiple colours of perspective; the manifold ways in which we can relate to and experience life.

If, in the honest thorough examination of myself and also by extension the examination of the society in which I live, as we dare not think we are so different to not have similar characteristics, we were to find that there is enough truth to warrant a change. To warrant the level of cruelty that this thinker has honestly presented to us…Then this initial and surface estimation of the cruelty expressed now becomes false and changes. Or rather we change in relation to it and this is due to the new relationship between ourselves and the environment in which we find ourselves because a reforming of our sight, our perspective on how things are seen and compared takes place. In other words our systems of valuation change because we became aware of the effect on life the ordering of our values created after too long a time. And this cruelty then becomes a necessity; it becomes the perspective that brings about a clear foundation of understanding that causes the fear of change or lack of love for life to disappear. But this will be a slow growth and evolution and therefore perseverance and patience will be the virtues of choice. For nothing lasting will be achieved by force and in the end our undying love for life, for humanity will win out. Through our consistency in doing right; that is in being of service…in being there for you.

Now, however, comes the time to give some life examples of this cruelty in action and perhaps also a spark of how to harmonize with it.

An example of the cruelty of my intellectual conscience is when I stated, among friends, that I do not consider anyone to have any authoritative knowledge on anything if they do not have, at least, 6 perspectives on the topic or issue under discussion. For me that is well-rounded thought or thinking. However I, myself, do not have the ability at the moment to display well 6 differing perspectives on one topic, but I would still like to be listened to or have my words or ideas considered. Just as anyone else would like to feel like they have a place or purpose.

And these “six” perspectives are something of an ideal of mine, but it is realistically attainable in the right environment. Among a group of diverse thinkers that have come together under an agreement to disagree but to never hold onto any disagreement too long, this is possible. And while these diverse thinkers are touting ‘their’ truths to each other they are also not merely observers, but active players in each individuals discourse, and in this mutual yet confrontationally humorous collaboration they begin to see the distinction between the Universal and the Personal. That is they see what is similar in all of their views, the universal, and then proceed to see the personal, the unique colours or flavours that indirectly or directly guide the play and flow of their truths to their final conclusions. And through this they come to see how each side cloaks the other…how each side plays with its self and the other until there is nothing but the playing of the game; the continual cloaking and revealing of what is, of what we are being…The eternal dance of consciousness with its own unconsciousness.

But let us once again become practical and down to earth for I have another example for you…

I found myself in a conversation that brought me to a question: “How long do cats live?” Is what I had come to ask, but the important thing was what happened next. I had momentarily become more aware of what I had just done right before I asked that question. And what I did was to change my choice of word. My original choice of words were: “How long do cats last?” But why did I do that? Why did I change my position? In what relationship did I find myself that altered my choice of words, my diction? Well, a woman was what made me double-take and alter my position; for it was her cat and she cared ever so much for her son, as she always tells me…So not only is this an example of a relationship between a man and a woman and therefore an action that shows ‘consideration’ but it is also connected to the value of the words Live and Last. For obviously I valued Live over Last because of the relation I was in with this woman and her cat. So what then is the value of the one word over the other? Well quite simply it is the connotation or rather the dryness or wetness. Live or living is a much more of a wet word than Last is. ‘He was a living…breathing, warm and fluffy cat’ or ‘Well that cat sure didn’t last long’ as if the cat is a mere thing to have and then discard when we can’t get anything we want from it. And in this sense the word ‘last’ would have offended her ears.

Even if Philosophy should be done dryly and without illusion, when it comes to small instances like this one, it is much better to simply be polite. And a man should know when to adapt to who he happens to be in relation with from moment to moment and should therefore not be dry or honest to the point of cruelty. For, you see, my Intellectual Conscience pointed out so obviously to me that the only way to get to solutions and come to terms with life, for me, was to increase my dryness almost to the point of cruelty for to do Philosophy properly one has to learn “…to see clearly into what is.”

So where are your truths? Where is your way out into the light of day? Why keep floundering in the doorway of your solution when the answer beckons you onward…when life is asking for you to join in and not merely float on? I can only wait so long outside your doorway. I can not hold out my hand forever. Close your eyes and step through, I am here. I will catch you if you stumble; I will bandage your scrapped knee and kiss it better. But I can not face your fears for you; I can not walk through the doorway that leads to your life with you. You must make your own leap. I will be there waiting to greet you in the free openness of the mid-day sun, but only as long as the light lasts…only until sunset. So come out and play, come out and play…it is so beautiful in the warmth of the day.


Post script.

I shall give the sources of my quotes and the over-all comprehension of the ideas expressed here upon request.