Because I am who I am, I nearly always took these seriously while I held them. I tried to make them work for me.
I pushed them until they failed - and sometimes even-then, I kept-on pushing.
Indeed, the same applies since I became a Christian - since I could not easily find a church to which I could whole-heartedly commit.
For me, with my kind of mind, this meant that I needed to develop some level of primary and insider understanding of the various possibilities.
In doing so, I became aware of the gulf between secondarily knowing-about some-thing - and primarily knowing it from the inside.
Knowing about something is normal, mainstream, official 'knowing' - but I have little respect for it; no matter how much stuff a person 'knows' in this fashion, or how adept they have become at arranging this knowing-about in impressive patterns.
For me, all this is ultimately just a form of 'parroting'.
An example is the mediocre college student who assembles an essay by copying, pasting and arranging paragraphs taken from other-people - other-people who have themselves probably done exactly the same.
Mediocre, lazy students leave the cut-and-pasted paragraphs as they find them and add their own names - and get flagged up for plagiarism. Smarter and more diligent students re-phrase the paragraphs, add references - and get top marks...
(These are the Head Girl types - the middle-managers of life, who pretty much run things nowadays - helped by a smattering of psychopaths and hysterics.)
But both the plagiarist and the Head Girl amount to the same in the end.
And this parroting-process generates a whole vast world of discourse - from gossip and journalism to medicine, academia and science - yet with nobody at any point having any insider-comprehension of what is at issue.
I say this to explain why I am indifferent to the fact that vast quantities of high-status critique can be brought-against my fundamental convictions in relation to Christianity! (Or, indeed, science and medicine.)
It doesn't matter how much, or what names are attached to this deluge of critical commentary - all I see and hear is parroting!
Maybe; way, way-back before the generations of parrots began quoting parrots - there was a real thinker, who experienced what he advocated primarily and from-within - but after so many cycles of parroting, this has become lost among the noise and distortions of uncomprehending repetition.
This is why there is a bottom-line to thinking:
We cannot know more than we our-selves can think; and if we have-not thought, then we do not know.
Note added: Understanding the great mass of public discourse as merely parrots quoting parrots, shows a valid path towards dealing-with the 'information'-overload combined with knowledge-deficit that characterizes contemporary life.
I was thinking of something similar watching the press conference of Lavrov and British Foreign Secretary.
The woman (of course) ONLY spoke in cliches and set phrases, there was no thought at all behind any of her words.
I knew things were bad in the diplomatic world, the cliche to thoughtful words ration has been rising steadily for years. Now it's approached infinity.
Forget the squawking parrots. We need more eagles, soaring high up in the sky and surveying the terrain from above!
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