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 anyway?
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 connect socially. 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 warning, I’ll probably do less harm, right?
Even so, 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 instinct—need, fear, emotion—carry the day.
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 the most impartial point of view humanly possible due to its requirement for proof.
Primal forces of life
Key words I constantly use are need, fear, emotion, and instinct. I use them 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 (#14) 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 as a catchall word for need, fear, and emotion overall. Instinct is the biological bedrock upon which all perception originates. Instinct drives the choices animals make in life… except for us many believe. We think free will allows us to operate outside the bounds of instinct. However, this notion doesn’t stand up to my personal experience or to scientific scrutiny. (See Free Will: Fact or Wishful Thinking? p.587.)
And what am I doing hair-wise?
Long hair warms me in winter; no hair cools me in summer. Normally, when the weather gets uncomfortably hot, I cut it all off. It never got hot this year, so my hair just kept growing. This became my hair experiment. Now I know the hassle people with long hairstyles endure.