I go on and on about the folly of trusting word meaning. Yet, I think, speak, and write. How do I pull off this apparent hypocrisy and still maintain intellectual integrity? That isn’t difficult really. Indeed, it is no different from watching a movie, and yet knowing that it is make-believe.
The more I feel the movie is real and not make-believe, the more it engages me. In thinking, speaking, and writing, the more I feel words are real, the more I can engage with them. However, this suspension of non-belief ends when the movie or my cognitive activities end, i.e., my trust in word meaning is provisional. I return to reality.
Much depends on what my deeper needs and fears induce me to think I see at any given moment. Thus, I experience both sides — that of a believer and a nonbeliever. Belief in anything, even raw word meaning, gives me a comfortable sense of cognitive security. The drawback is that belief establishes a range of opposites, a yin to every yang. The result creates endless, albeit low-level, conflict that makes it difficult to reach chapter 81’s The holy person’s way acts, and yet doesn’t contend. In short, belief offers a fortress to hide within, whereas non-belief offers an escape bridge over which to cross to the The gateway of the manifold secrets, as chapter 1 hints.
Interestingly, when I become emotional, my visceral belief in word meaning increases. This happens even when I become deeply, if rarely, absorbed in a movie. This brings me to think that life is like a movie, and emotion is the real power behind the throne of word meaning and perception. Life fascinates!
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