Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Driven By Opinion




Opinions, Intuition, Rationality. These three may be the gear-stick, brake, and gas pedal for the vehicle of man. Yet already I may seem to have made an assertion. And the rational mind will perhaps halt up and search for alternatives to my theme. After all, there are thousands of words out there, why pick those three?

Should Democritus have really stated that ‘Nothing exists accept empty space and atoms; everything else is opinion’ (and fact finders may well find that he said otherwise) then my intuitive mind instantly adopts the image and can see how our constructs of language and labels create for us opinions. Yet the rationality of ‘everything’ intrigues, for a bridge and a house and a doll do not appear as opinions. As well, that ‘nothing exists’ appears to discount ‘everything’. If we state, ‘Everything exists within space and atoms; everything is subject to opinion’, we have what I hope is taken for infallible inclusion. Ha!

The point is, acceptance of another’s statements is very much part of the rapport of life; re-evaluating, re-directing, and adding to initial impetus is a skill-set that may prevent argument, prevent a sense of counter-productivity, prevent negativity. And discourse, as we know, is quite different from argument. Discourse is the melding of minds within further exploration; argument is the disassociation of minds within asserted boundaries.

Einstein’s quote leads also toward further exploration. Powerful images: ‘Sacred. Gift. Faithful. Servant. Honors. Forgotten.’ Implications abound. Taken as read Einstein’s quote is a call to honor our Intuition and to put the servant, the rational mind, back in its place of servitude. Nice. Yet it is the last sentence that might give us reflection. “We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” While generalities generally suffice (ha!), there is a paradoxical limitation to the pronouncement, given that ‘society’ is so markedly differentiated depending on where one is; and the generality of our having ‘forgotten’ is self-evidently a generality. Who, me?

Point is, generalities are a way of our being able to express intuitive thoughts, and there be hardly a thing one can say that someone else cannot rephrase more-better, or less-better, as the case may be.

Blind acceptance of other’s opinions is an anathema to the spirit. It is better for one to examine, to evaluate, and to drive within the music of words, senses, ideas, opinions, feelings, contentions, and pronouncements of all. Argument is divisive. The skill of merging with the varied traffic of life is to be able to adjust comfortably with patterns beyond one’s control, but to wait where necessary, to overtake when safe, and to enjoy the journey.  We either drive our own vehicles independently within the laws of traffic, or we get driven. Taking responsibility makes all the difference.  And courtesy for all is the real mark of the good driver, not he who roars off from the traffic light! Now then, shall we go for a drive?

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