My Indoctrinated Dogmatism

I’ve realized in the past few days that I’m far from decompressed from the religious dogmatism that, up until a couple of years ago, dominated my paradigm.

I find within my psyche a falsely inherent desire to construct firm and definite stances on various topics and ideas of which I can eloquently and cleverly explain (and convince one of) my personal views.

Rather than seeing a place in which I am discovering new ideas or aspects of “true reality” and meditating on such things in the deep recesses of my spirit, I subcouciously feel that this position is somehow less valuable than one in which I have come to a solid understanding of a new idea.

Ironically, the less valuable of the two is probably the instance in which I come to the aforementioned understanding, as such will inevitably result in, yet again, closed-minded dogmatism.

A dangerous cycle to be sure.

Where would you rather be? Would you rather have a set of firm ideas, understandings, and beliefs, or would you rather be in the place of discovery and exploration of new ideas? Perhaps a combination of the two better suits your fancy?

More on what I’ve been thinking on later…

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Merging, Not Intersecting

I love the times I stoke up my pipe and sit down to write in my journal. I do this far too infrequently.

For some reason, putting pen to paper to work out my thoughts stimulates a strangely streamlined train of thought. Anybody else have that going on?

Anyway, tonight I moseyed on over to my favorite Starbucks in the world (which happens to be near my home) to just spend some alone time diving into a book I’ve been reading (that’s really starting to get good) and to muse about whatever came to mind in my journal.

*Forgive me, the following are rather rough thoughts on a new concept I came upon tonight.*

As I wrote, I stumbled upon a strange thought. I realized that up until now, I’ve more or less held the view that everyone is on their own spiritual journey and we choose to intersect journeys with those whom we surround ourselves with. In so doing, we can encourage, guide, and aid in each other’s own pilgrimages.

“However”, I thought to myself (or actually, my pen wrote without my conscious thought), “this doesn’t seem quite true; aren’t we really more merging our journeys with the journeys of those we love? Might they be more than mere intersections?”

Why might that be important?

Let me illustrate. I continue on in my own adventure daily, as my wife moves daily on her own journey as well. Sometimes we seem to currently be exploring the same path, sometimes we don’t (which I believe is healthy, by the way). If our journeys merely intersect at common cross roads, then such times of difference cannot be beneficial to our relationship.

However, if our journeys are interlocked (or merged, if you will) they form a conjoined adventure of greater grandeur…but not in the way that interstates merge with each other (which I’m sure makes no sense at all)?

Practically, what does that look like? How do you explain it? How does it change the paradigm?

Hell if I know, to be frank; but I feel like there is something there…lurking down deep below.

(Does anyone else but me feel as if they have no choice to explore when they get that feeling that a great treasure awaits if you would only spend the time to search it out?)

As I said above, these are just preliminary musings on the subject as they occurred to me this evening, so I apologize if they are hard to follow at this point.

Any thoughts? I’d love to hear (err, see) and glean wisdom from them…

Existential Angst

From Sophie’s World: A Novel on the History of Philosophy

Sophie [after studying Bishop George Burkeley]: “I am scared that nothing is real.”
Alberto Knox: “That’s called existential angst, or dread, and is as a rule only a stage on the way to new consciousness.”

Morpheus, The Matrix

“What is ‘real’? How do you define ‘real’? If you mean what we can taste, smell, hear and feel then what’s ‘real’ is nothing more than electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”

Merriam-Websters Dictionary entry on “real”

“1: of or relating to fixed, permanent, or immovable things;
2a: not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory

Anyone else ever been through existential angst as you combat the possible reality that life, as you know it, doesn’t really exist?

What could be more real than life, as most people understand it?

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My Moral Dilemma

In my last post I relayed a question that a friend of mind likes to ask and recently asked me.

What would you do if you were ambushed by an axe-murderer but you realized just in time to do something about it…if you wanted to?

Would you fight him off…even killing him if necessary?

Would you try to reason with him?

Would you let him go about his business, bringing an end to your life in this physical world?

My instinctive answer was number one. I found myself deciding that I would fight him off and kill him if necessary.

But that answer has been the cause of a moral dilemma ever since.

The key points of the multi-person conversation stemming from that question went something like:

  • Every person chooses their own reality, does one person’s reality have to affect another person’s?
  • Love is the most transformational force in the world, would the voluntary laying down of your life, in love, to the proverbial axe-murder impact his/her life and false reality?
    • What if it wasn’t just one person giving in to their apparent hurt, but a line of people waiting to have their heads lopped off just because they love this axe-murderer and understand that life only exists for a short time in these bodies
  • Just because the axe-murderer’s reality is to kill at will, that doesn’t mean that I have to subject myself to his reality. How about subjecting him to mine? How about peacefully stopping him (if possible) but still acting in love some how?

As you can see, there were many perspectives in the conversation (which most often makes for the best conversation) and we chatted about this topic for quite a while (and have been doing so since).

The dilemma I came upon in my own answer is this: when I play out the “do anything necessary to stop him” reaction to the greatest extent, I eventually find a conflict with another perspective I hold.

You see, I’m not pro war (nor am I anti war…chew on that one ;-) ). However, I find that how I would handle the axe-murderer is what our country claims to be doing in the world now. It’s not that we’re picking a fight with the insurgents in Iraq, but that they’re living in a reality that is contrary to our own and we’re simply choosing not to be subjected to it.

Ouch.

I tend to take the stance that we should act in Love to those waging war against us, not to wage war back. Violence can never stop violence. War can never halt war…

But why then would I stop violence with violence if it came to my own life, as in the case of the axe-murderer?

So what about you? Do you wish your instinctive answer to the above mentioned question from the last post was now different, as I do? Why or why not? I’m truly curious, as I cannot find insight within myself.

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