Lately, I've been thinking, not that this should come as anything even remarkably close to suprise. The topic, however, might suprise some small portion of you*.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the usefulness of it all. Oh, not living or learning or anything like that, but talking about this stuff
. Seriously! Who wants to read boring philosophy or ideas about life from a guy like me when you can go read the infinitely better writing of a professional (or semi-professional) author like cmpriest
and really set-to having a good belly laugh over the antics of Spain or growl with her at Mad Bruce. On top of that, I've recently come to realize that whatever truths you feel free to express, only those who already know them or who are on the verge of understanding them can possibly understand what you're saying.
Not that I'm a great Master, or anything else - even the great Masters weren't great Masters, per se
. The thing is, though, fundamental Truth isn't something that you can ever actually explain to another person. You have to live it and understand it, roll it around on your existance and savor the bouquet - and then, only then, can you grasp the very corner of it.
I just read a quarto by Shou tzu where he talked about just this sort of thing - he called it 'dogmatism', and declaired it a great danger. He said that in presenting truth, one must be careful not to encourage the practicing of it half-understood, as that leads to the practitioner losing sight of the Tao, the Way, in the very practice designed to lead one closer to it. Basically, you get caught up in the practice, and lose the point. In that way, it becomes dangerous to teach - even to talk about such things, because you run the risk of engaging another, or yourself, in the forms instead of the function. Yet, if we don't speak of our philosophy, if we don't test it and refine it, if we don't offer what we're learning to others and allow time to improve upon our understanding, we're no better than the Masters of ancient days, that sat upon their hills and taught only the few, jealously hoarding knowledge and keeping others from experiencing what the Universe had in store for them. It's a fine line - pretension vs. humility, teaching vs. preaching, dogmatism vs. practice. It's difficult enough to speak of spirituality and philosophy in today's world; when we add these other concerns, the mere thought seems nigh insurmountable. Dangerous.
I found myself this morning on the verge of laying aside philosophy here. These discussions on life and the nature of things are hardly of interest to the vast majority, and even then - I'm not entirely sure that even talking about such things in an open forum is arguably the best idea. Then I remembered one thing - without the seekers, the journey has no meaning. Without people like Owl and hall_god
, my father and Mrs. S., I never would have even begun on my journey. Without friends like the Big C, archanglrobriel
I'd never have continued learning. I find myself remembering that without their words, their wisdom, their moments of good and bad, i'd not know now what I know.
Besides - I'm not entirely sure I could even begin to lay aside discussion of such things. Talking about them, thinking about life - is so fundamental to my nature that to lay it aside would be to deny a great part of what I am. A catch-22 at its finest - to be who we are, we must court the dangerous ideas that being brings.
More to think on, as work continues.
* - It's pretty small. I mean, mathematically, prolly only half the people that claim to actually read my journal, and of /those/ probably only half really read it as opposed to print it out and use it for making paper mache' hats. Now, out of that half that are hatmakers, say one in one hundred actually would be suprised by the idea that I would have a glorious topic like this - that would mean (130/2/2/100) /one third of a person/ might actually have some basis for being suprised. So, iroshi's budding oven bun, I'm sorry for suprising you... it's your mom's fault. Don't come to me to pay for the therapy. Not that Iroshi makes paper mache' hats. Though she might - I never asked her. *duck*