Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Bond Of True Friendship

Our account of truth is an account of truths in the plural of processes of leading, realized in rebus( actuality) and having only this quality in common that they pay. They pay by guiding us into or toward some part of a system that dips at numerous points into sense-precepts, which we may copy mentally or not, but with which at any rate we are now in the kind of commerce vaguely designated as verification.

Truth for us is simply a collective name for verification-processes, just as health, wealth, strength etc., are names for other processes connected with life and also pursued because it pays to pursue them. Truth is made, just as health, wealth and strength are made, in the course of experience.

Our belief that yon thing on the wall is a clock is true already, although no one in the history of the world should verify it. The bare quality of standing in that transcendent relation is what makes any thought true that possesses it, whether or not there be verification.

You pragmatists put the cart before the horse in making truth’s being reside in verification-process. These are merely signs of being, merely our lame way of ascertaining after the fact, which of our ideas already has possessed the wondrous quality. The quality itself is timeless, like all essences and natures. Thoughts partake of it directly, as they partake of falsity or of irrelevancy. It can’t be analyzed away into pragmatic consequences.

William James, in his 1907 essay Pragmatism’s Concept of Truth explains how truth is a vacillating concept that forms an energetic response from us. We protect our truths. But what we protect most is the verification of truth. That fact is obvious in the struggle to accept same-sex marriages. Church leaders say there’s no truth in gay and lesbian unions, and they verify their position by quoting the Bible or man-made laws of the church.

The church faithful believe the truth that exists in the Bible. They believe in church laws that claim marriage is for a man and a woman and beliefs become truths. But those truths are verifications of constructed truths, not truths that are innately rooted in consciousness.

We base our lives on truths that are designed by the perceptions of others. We don’t search inside of us and feel the truth of being one with all that exists in this particular time sequence. We are truth advocates, but we allow half-truths to rule our decision making, and we allow them control our choices.

Real truths are innate truths. They are subjective verifications of what we already know to be true. We already know that marriage is not part of a government license. Marriage is a contract between two people that want to share life’s challenges together. Friends of the same sex form similar contracts every day. The contract of marriage takes that bond of true friendship to another level. Marriage is an innate truth, not a religious or political one

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Footprints Of Fools

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness.

It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

The objection to conforming to usages that have become dead to you is, that it scatters your force. It loses your time and blurs the impression of your character. If you maintain a dead church, contribute to a dead bible-society, vote with a great party either for the government or against it, spread your table like base housekeepers─ under all these screens I have difficulty to detect the precise man you are.

And, of course, so much force is withdrawn from your proper life. But do your work and I shall know you. Do your work and you shall reinforce yourself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson in his 1841 essay Self-Reliance explains self-responsibility and how easy it is to put it in the hands of others. When we allow the crowd mentality to rule our decision making, our creative expression is lost in the footprints of fools. We become fragments of sensibility in the wind of confusion. Life becomes a tug of war that nobody wins. Our energy waits for approval and as it does it stagnates in the fluids of mass confusion. We float from promise to promise like a leaf that has left the tree of life for a place in the dirt of censored traditions.

Our institutions have become cults that worship greed and irresponsibility. Religions fight each other to gain the favor of a God that has no favorites. Our political system rots in the bowels of lawyers that corrupt the will of the people with the stench of half-truths and fictitious fears. We sit in the pews of terror and see ourselves looking into the mirror of justification and revenge.

The solitude of self-responsibility waits for us to cross the threshold of creativity, and be the housekeeper that is no longer sweeping up the distorted rituals of life. Our solitude brings us in line with our subjectivity where the footprints of fools vanish in the vastness of the art.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Infinite Mind

There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same and to all of the same. He that is once admitted to the right of reason is made a freeman of the whole estate. What Plato has thought, he may think; what a saint has felt, he may feel; what at any time has befallen any man, he can understand. Who hath access to this universal mind is a party to all that is or can be done, for this is the only and sovereign agent.

Ralph Waldo Emerson opened his 1841 essay, History with that statement. The mind is a hidden treasure. We know we have one, but we don’t know where it is. Emerson thought the individual mind is connected to an infinite mind. He said the infinite mind is filled with wisdom, and we tap into that wisdom to produce the knowledge that serves us in our particular time sequence. The infinite mind straddles time sequences and disperses its wisdom as needed. The need for wisdom is created by the sum of its parts. As the knowledge flows through times so does the awareness it brings with it. We capture that awareness in our individual mind and the infinite mind expands in the process.

We could call the infinite mind God, but we don’t, because it has no face, or characteristics that are familiar to us. We could say that mind is inside of God, and that would sound right since that association gives us the comfort of familiarity. So, if that is the case, then Emerson’s thoughts make sense. Everyone has a connection to the mind of God. We all have the ability to tap into the mind of a saint, the genius of an Einstein or the madness that exists from the distorted associations produced by others.

We use our mind to experience the knowledge that has been used in other time sequences by other minds. We just tweak it to conform to our beliefs. We are a whole part of a gestalt that continues to offer us what we want to know, but the issue is, we don’t know what we want to know. Immersed in that paradox, we create experiences, and from them we add more knowledge to the gestalt. But in that process we also add the gestalt to our mind.