Chapter 56’s view that ‘one who speaks does not know’ should logically include writing and thinking as well. After all, speaking, thinking and writing are all interconnected, which suggests that I don’t know what I’m talking about! So what the heck am I doing here? Why do I think and write?
I was born with a human brain and that makes thinking a de facto reality. So far so good, as long as I heed chapter 71’s Realizing I don’t’ know is better; not knowing this knowing is disease.
The writing and speaking arise from simply feeling a socially instinctive urge to help, to connect, and to gossip. Gossip? Sure, gossip is a primal way to socially connect. On top of this, I do enjoy the challenge of shining light ‘outside the box’, or at least broaden focus ‘inside the box’. Of course, even ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ are iffy. To paraphrase Taoist chapter 2: Thus, the inside and the outside produce each other. Now, as long as I keep mindful of this iffiness and of chapter 71’s caution, I’ll probably do no harm, right?
For this quixotic quest, I rely on science generally, and biology in particular, to provide a point of reference, a baseline so to speak. Science has its problems, but science offers as impartial a view as I’ve found anywhere out there.
Primal forces of life
Key words I constantly use are need, fear, emotion, and instinct, often in a broader connotation than the meaning for which they are typically associated.
Need and fear: I use the terms need and fear to convey, in the broadest possible sense, the primal biological driving forces of life. Feeling need attracts us to what ostensibly facilitates survival; feeling fear repels us from what ostensibly impedes survival. As such, need and fear are often below the threshold of thought — they are ‘sub-thought’. They only evoke conscious thoughts once they pass a certain threshold.
Emotion: I use the term emotion as broadly as possible to differentiate feeling from thinking. This includes all of the indistinct and shadowy stirrings we feel that lie outside our ability to adequately describe via words or names, or portray artistically via colors, tones, and flavors.
Instinct: I see instinct along the lines of need, fear, and emotion. Instinct is the biological bedrock upon which all perception originates. Instinct drives the choices animals make in life… except for us. We believe our free will allows us to operate outside the bounds of instinct. However, this ideal doesn’t stand up to my personal experience or to scientific scrutiny. (See Free Will: Fact or Wishful Thinking? , p.587.)
Writing this blog helps me flesh out views that fall outside the mainstream paradigm. Doing this feels a little unsettling at times. On balance though, seeing life from other angles is healthful, not heretical. I imagine most people would agree, at least until a particular view begins to threaten their own sacred cow. At that point need and fear, emotion, and instinct carry the day.
And what am I doing hair-wise?
The long hair warms me in winter, and no hair cools me in summer. Normally, when the weather gets uncomfortably hot, I cut it all off. It never got hot last summer, so my hair just kept growing. This became my ‘outside the box’ hair experiment. Now I know the hassle people go through sporting long hairstyles.