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 cognitive functions. So what am I doing here? It is partly social; I see curious connections and feel the instinctive urge to be helpful or gossip… or both? I also 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.
For this quixotic quest, I rely heavily 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 sense 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 that indistinct and shadowy stirrings we feel that lie outside our ability to adequately describe via words or names, or portray artistically via color, notes, taste, etc.
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, naturally… he said sarcastically. Yes, we believe our free will allows us to operate outside the bounds of instinct. However, this ideal doesn’t standup to my personal experience or to scientific scrutiny. (See Free Will: Fact or Wishful Thinking?)
Writing this blog helps me flesh out views that fall outside the mainstream paradigm. Sure, it 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, fear, emotion, and instinct carry the day.
Back to, “What Am I Doing?”
I finally cut the hair. It became downright irritating. Normally, when it gets uncomfortably hot, I cut it all off. For some reason that never seemed to happen over summer, so it just kept growing. It became my hair experiment.
The advantages of moderately long hair and beard in winter; the extra fur is warming. It also may help filter out virus coughed out by others nearby, though my family disputes that somewhat.
There is also the tribal dynamic — style. Our species goes to great lengths to maintain self-image through clothes and hairstyle in order to win approval and fit in or conversely, to go against the cultural grain. It is fascinating!