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An Intellectual Prison

 

 images-177We all seek certainty.  Each day this age-old quest carries on.  Our minds seek order and understanding.  We yearn to organize, to structure the unstructured, to categorize and compartmentalize. We find beauty in order and symmetry. According to the limitations of human intellect we need this order and categorical thinking to compartmentalize our cerebral efforts.  

images-132Otherwise we would be awestruck every moment of every day.  We would be overwhelmed with the massive amount of sensory data we experience. Our intellectual strides would become more of a crawl. What is it we strive towards? Some say we strive for perfection.  What is perfection exactly??  Is it found in the Swiss watchmakers legacy? Or  a Zen Buddhists clarity?  images-267Does anyone truly know with certainty that they’ve got it all figured out? Well, maybe some believe so, but they would be a rare and possibly deluded few.  To live with certainty for too long causes the death of the imagination, and that is a scary proposition indeed!!  We, if we are certain, have locked into modes of thinking that are now static.  Intellectually we stagnate and eventually become obsolete.   Certitude and arrogance can be closely related.  IMG_59070841865216The imagination allows us to flex our thinking muscles and accomplish new feats. The way I figure it, there are only two paths to any conclusion; one with- and one without deception. To declare to understand with absolute certainty even the seemingly inconsequentIal ‘fact’ that water is wet is wrought with arguable details.  images-273Confucious famously stated; “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”.  If we are honest with ourselves and each other about our un-knowing we become free from deception. We become humbled in an understanding of our own limitations; in our own ignorance.  Acknowledging the limits of our intellect, ironically, allows us to soar past the confining parameters that, moments before, kept us from building beyond the specifications previously set.  Many adhere strictly to academia, afraid to break free like the scholarly idols they immortalize for doing this very thing. 20140915_065734Rebellious and unbound imaginings have more of a history in academia than the repetitious memorization of mere facts.  Einstein succinctly immortalized this point when he said, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”.  If we choose to disregard our limitations we run the risk of becoming enthroned upon manufactured justifications that fortify intellectual pride.  We start to spout the arguments of others citing facts we did not gather.  We declare ourselves experts on the subject at hand and certainty becomes our very own prison. images-139 A prison self-built with the comfort and contentment of feeling intellectually superior.  We reshape and recreate the world around us in a cheapened rendition of the perfection we observe all around us.  After all it was our inquisitive nature that got us looking a little closer and unraveling some of the mysteries of the world.  We attempt to recreate that which we have already seen and experienced. We strive to emulate the natural world in all things whether we are conscious of this or not. We do this in calculated and mindful ways. Thought precedes action,  but each thought is funneled by our worldview and reconditioned.  1392034432213~2Our worldviews are myriad but emotionally we all remain deeply connected.  The first thought is pure and unadulterated.  It occurs before deception.  It is driven by pure emotion first. In this way we can continue toward the perfection we observe if we are emotionally honest.  All paths, spiritual, emotional, mental or physical, that we undertake with an intention and honesty that does not betray the core of our beings must lead home.

 

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