Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mores and Magic

In literature, a young man reaches the "coming of age" moment when he understands the mores of society and no longer believes in magic.  Deep inside, though, there resides a spark of imagination (call it the muse, creativity, or dissatisfaction with the mundane).  For some, this causes inner tension.  For some, the magic is dispelled and the mores of society supersede any personal, emotional, or artistic endeavors.  For some, there is no alignment with the mores of society at all, which often leads to "the starving artist".

Pondering the tension of opposites is my personal theme and has been for decades.  Which is more essential- the mores or the magic?  I have come to believe (in my own philosophical journey) that both are exactly the same.  There cannot be one without the other.

Balance? No! That is not the theme of this post and not the goal of this life.  There is no equality in the mores or the magic.  The opposites, in my personal philosophical theory, do not hold true to a mathematical equation.  Each require 100 percent, which makes no sense because having both would equal 200 percent (a mathematical impossibility). Of course, there is a natural balance of opposites: day and night, hot and cold, and so on.  But the abstract ideas that define our existence are watered down when we examine them in numerical terms. 

I have collected examples of this phenomenon- the opposites of this life- and the idea holds true time and time again.  It is never simply one or the other; nor is it a balance of two poles.  Each end of the spectrum is 100 percent essential and we whirl around the center of the opposites in a never-ending spiral.  Life is the magic Fibonacci golden number inside, outside, and forever.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Enjoy or Endure

The word endure combines the prefix "en" (which means to enter a given state) and "dure" (which means to harden). In other words to endure means to enter a hardship or a hard place.
To enjoy means (obviously) to enter a joyful or happy state.
Consider this... on every occasion we are in a position to enjoy or to endure. To do neither, is to simply exist. Life is a constant swirl- sometimes fast, sometimes slow- in which we enjoy or endure. People of faith often state that "God never puts more on us than we ca bear." The strength to endure and still smile is a wonder.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ignorant Knowledge

Ignorance is bliss/Knowledge is power

"Ignorance is bliss" is credited to the English poet Thomas Gray (1716-1771) and everyone can relate to the simplicity of ignorance and innocence. The more we learn, the more realize we do not know. The philosopher, Francis Bacon, Sr. said "knowledge is power" and we all know that G.I Joe believes "knowing is half the battle." Are both ignorance and knowledge equal and valid in their impact on our lives? How big is the space between the two?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Passive Activism

Let it all go...just relax. There is nothing to worry about. /
Stand up and fight...Practice what you preach...Be passionate about living.

There is more to this idea than balance. The idea is to give 100 percent to a cause and let it go completely at the same time. The "theory of opposites" is not as simple as balancing or using moderation, it is understanding that both sides of the coin are true. The coin is spinning in a spiral. (Oh, I must investigate spirals and the mathematical concept of the golden ratio as I know it is relevant to my theory.)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Existence of Nothing

The number zero has not always been used in counting. When counting objects, one generally begins with "one." Most of us rarely contemplate the meaning of zero or the idea of nothing. After sharing my interest in opposites, a professor recently suggested I read some of Alan Watt's work and I stumbled upon this video of Alan Watt's describing nothingness which does fit with my theory that we live in a world of opposites. I really like the short portion of a Radiohead song at the end.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Perfect Flaw

Everything is exactly as it is supposed to be / Nothing is as it should be

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Abstract Concrete Paradox

What is reality? The scientist may argue that reality is based upon concrete facts. We can prove they are true and account for them. The philospher may argue that concrete objects are temporary and that reality is what they represent- thought. Are thoughts and ideas more real than tangible objects?
Lev Vygostky (Russian Cognitive Development Psychologist) said that, "A word devoid of thought is a dead thing." Until a book is opened and read, it is meaningless. Once a book is taken into a human mind, it becomes a living thing.
Is reality, then, abstract or concrete? Ah! --the perfect example of my theory of opposites. They are both 100% true. Words, thoughts, and ideas live longer than individuals. Vygotsky was influenced by Russian poet Osip Mandelstam. The idea that we are more than physical beings (concrete reality) is expressed through his poetry. Finding the right containers (words) for our thoughts is our abstract struggle, while finding food and shelter is our concrete one. Mandelstam beautifully illustrates this here:

The word I forgot
Which once I wished to say
And voiceless thought
Returns to the shadow's chamber.