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Only the educated are free. - Epictetus
The Path to
MORE PHILOSOPHY CONCERNING
Why search for the truth if it
isn't going to do you any good
when you find it? would you do that? I doubt it!
Physical reality is dynamic,
not static, and it is this dynamic essence
that we experience and apprehend with our five senses. There is no
experience of physical reality apart from some dynamic aspect, i.e.,
some movement or change, contrast, difference or discontinuity, or
irreversibility. If there were only one color to physical reality, even
the best conceivable eyes would see nothing. Or if there were only one
changeless sound, even the best of ears would not hear anything.
So is it also with the essence
of spiritual or non-material realities.
In order to understand the meaningful aspects of human experience and
human nature it is necessary to differentiate, to see that which is the same and that
which is different.
As a functioning
mechanical/biological system we can be compared to a
computerówe have Hardware (our biological body), Software (our psyche
or soul, the composite of mind, instincts, propensities, aptitudes,
etc.), and Input/Output (our ability to sense, respond, act, and communicate). This
triune pattern seems to hold for Man's intellect, which under sound
operation is rational, logical and reasonable. While being rational
means being able to distinguish and apprehend the pertinent facts and
information of a situation, being logical includes being rational and
also means being able to see meaningful relationships between facts and
information and to extrapolate those to valid or correct conclusions.
These two lower level
intellectual capabilities are meaningless in and
of themselves unless they form the foundation of what is ultimately
meaningful, that which is being reasonable, or reasonableness. This also includes but
transcends being rational and logical by relating to and incorporating a
defensible purpose and set of values which can be called human or
humane. Being reasonable (ultimately meaning "correct" or
right) is so closely
bound up with purpose that much of the time we use the word "reason" as
a substitute for the word "purpose".
Now, what is ultimately
meaningful can ONLY be the search for truth.
There is no other meaningful reason to study human and planetary history. But it
is one thing to postulate the existence of truth; it is quite another to
postulate a trustworthy way of accessing or apprehending that truth.
How can we be assured that something is the truth? If the truth walked
up to us and shook our hand, how would we recognize it? Truth without a
way of accessing it will have no value. Truth without a TRUSTED way of
accessing it will always remain tentative. Truth without an AGREED UPON
means of accessing it will always leave one isolated: it will provide no
basis for a common understanding of the world or our place in it.
Also, truth without a TRUSTED
and AGREED UPON means of recognizing it will always leave one isolated:
again, it will provide no basis for a common understanding of the world
or our place in it.
Many people have their sense
of truth tethered to aspects of their society and culture; some to
the majority, some to prior schooling, some to a set of "sacred
writings", some to tradition, and some to "accredited" authorities,
Yet there is ONLY one way to get past the resulting divisions in our
collective perception of the world. And that is through OPENING UP TO
THE TRUTH BEING BEING BETTER THAN WE CAN INITIALLY BELIEVE IT, and then
having a commitment to
rational, logical, and reasonable inquiry, with nothing else standing
between ourselves and the quest for truth.
Even the J-person said, "Because
narrow the gate and constricted the way leading into Life, and those
finding it are few." Sounds like bad news, doesn't it? But maybe it
is GOOD news. Maybe the first part is really good news, and the second
part is just a sad commentary! And again, "Strive to enter by the narrow
door." Obviously, we can ignore all the normal or wide entrances in our
search or approach. And why not? A narrow path is well defined and
precludes drifting or wandering around.
Without palavering around any more, this author sees
that the path is bounded on one side to include only those concepts that
promise to satisfy what we need and what we want, and on the other side
bounded by rationality, logic and reason.