Mon 17 Jul 2006 : Pit and pendulum
Intelligence and sadness may sometimes be correlated, but it seems far more in the application than in the possession for while the mind is a rope to pull one out of the pit and those in it sometimes show it to desperate degree once free and on the surface the same rope can also scale heights of love and accomplishment invisible from the narrow confines below.
Mon 17 Jul 2006 : Arrows for false gods
Disagreement is a good spur for conversation, but I don’t know where to begin with your claim. People gain pleasure and power in spreading certain beliefs and certain beliefs are easy to spread. They don’t look for the truth because they want to preserve this pleasure. Truth is rarely important in human affairs and if you want to shift your definition the only truth is power over reality. But it was the will to truth pouring its acid over the false beauty of gods and kings that guided us out of the miasma of the dark ages. You are not stupid. You are perfectly capable of piercing your claim, but you choose not to, since, like most people, you’d prefer to please and deceive.
By ‘you’ I mean the entire ensemble, not merely that part which processes words. To be human is to deceive. All human beings are great self deceivers, but this is not the innocent charm of the naively hopeful. They deceive themselves so that they may deceive others and having tasted this pleasure return to lap at its fountain. See Gregory Bateman. Your belief in various kinds of unsubstantiated newage hokey that you could easily shoot down is a reflection of this underlaying tendency. How many times have you read “But if we believe X then we’ll have to…”, or “If we believe X it will lead to…”. This has no reflection on the veracity of X and so we see that outcomes are more important to most people than truth, which should not be as a surprise, because natural selection selects on physically realised existence, not on platonic ideals.
But then as we fall back into the miasma, the shadow world of ghosts and distortions a miracle rises; everywhere before self interest is known, people yearn to know where its compass points and then people hunger for the truth with passion and beauty and insight. He loves me. He loves me not. Here then the truth can set them free. Free from the manipulations and constraints of the mendacious. Free to choose their path, to remove the ring from their noses, to look up into the infinite voids and choose wonder over guilt. And before this feeling to cast blessings on the profits and prophets of truth, the liberators and martyrs of truth, those Voltairs, Galileo’s, and Principia’s of truth, those brutal driven obsessed miners of reality, those serial killers of delusion smashing the whole rotten edifice till all ruins and the seeds of the new.