27 Jun

When I skim various topics online, I can’t help but notice how people end up self-sorting themselves.  One of my favorite characters is the guy who thinks that everything would be fine if only we would follow some good old-time rules or whatever.  Most typical people spent some time as that guy at some point in their lives.  “The world has gone astray!”  I’m thinking…I’m pretty sure it’s always been ‘astray’ and that this guy would have felt blighted in any period of history.  He doesn’t seem to understand that at base his grievance is that the Universe doesn’t care about him.  He doesn’t understand this, because he doesn’t understand that no transcendental moral obligation is owed to him.  If he understood that, he might be on his way to a very special art of seduction rather than yelping at something which doesn’t have ears for his cries.

It’s partly a matter of intelligence, part knowledge, part character, part rolodex, and part wisdom.  There are certain phase changes, too.  Beyond a given mass and density, a rolling snowball may securely compound its growth.  Until then, however, most snowballs may only roll up a bit of snow here and there until they once again break apart.

It’s not just a matter of self-sorting, either.  There are multiple vectors of sorting.  The absences sometimes speak much more loudly than the presences do.  The spaces between the notes, the intervals, carry an identity of their own.  What’s more, sometimes one wonders: why not a french horn here?  Why not some flute there?

These noisy silences are pervasive in human social & intellectual conduct and are one of the places a philosopher might be found observing the background which everyone is so sure doesn’t exist. “Everything is foreground!” insists the devout man.  Assumptions can take the form of noisy silences which may be very difficult to notice until one takes a more observant and whimsical perspective on a situation.  Yet when one must apply assumptions, they can be damn near impossible to notice.

Celia Green’s cautions about confusing reality with human political and societal affairs are worth recalling here.  Many people will interpret the above comments in terms of in and out groups.  But we are all an out group when it comes to what there is to know and become.  Big time.  That is what I try to focus on, because I don’t believe in defining oneself primarily with respect to other people.  CG deftly noted that substituting the merely human for the real is one way to eliminate awareness of the ‘outside’.  “There is no outside; there are just winners and losers!”

Many people believe this and live accordingly.  It saddens me.  Blind dedication to semi-arbitrary standards is one of the primary ways in which people lose themselves.  It’s a common mechanism for stunting would-be originality.  So many horrible sacrifices are heaped on the altar of this or that game.

But there is an outside, and I’m looking to dart directly into it.  The outside helps to better define the inside.  This adventure also requires trials by fire in order to maintain a hearty realism, but these trials are necessarily fights of honor in which one attempts to give the outside an avatar in the fight so as to transcend the wanting finite integration one sits within at any given time.




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