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What is

Posted by kc on April 28, 2014 in Philosophically speaking, Treatise |

I hesitate to say anyone is wrong. I prefer to be as precise as possible with language. Thus, no human being, no being, can possibly be wrong. Wrong is too inconsequential a word to use in such a monumental way. Who am to say such a thing? We may wear our clothes wrong-side out, as I sometimes do if there are annoying tags, but to do so does not make us wrong. Eccentric maybe. Or perhaps too lazy to remove the tags, or maybe even too attached to an old piece of clothing since most don’t have tags anymore.

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But wrong? No. Wrong is a judgmental concept attached to a dualistic framework. Wrong-right. Good-bad. Me-other. There’s a separateness inherent in these words, a disconnection that keeps us forever apart from our world and everything and everyone in it.

IMG_1463This, then, is the fundamental problem with our Genesis story. There was a god, and that god created the world and everything in it, an immediate dualism at the very moment of creation. This is a problem, not because it’s wrong, but because we cannot know with anything approaching certainty if that really happened.

We can, of course, take it on faith — as religion would have us do — that this is how it happened. But having faith in something that is unknowable itself creates uncertainty. What if I believe, and it’s wrong? What if I don’t believe and it’s right? What if I believe, but I don’t believe in the right way?

I could choose to believe without question, but does that really ever eliminate doubt?

This kind of faith — believing in something as fact that is unprovable — perpetuates fear. To alleviate that fear, we humans have created a culture that does nothing of the kind. We depend on other people to tell us what to believe, trusting that they have correctly interpreted the signs. And, we can stop right there and blindly hold on to that faith, which might even work — and did for centuries, as long as nothing came along to challenge it.

We no longer live in isolated pockets. Technological progress has brought us physically closer together, at the same time bringing other views, other perspectives into view. And those ancient fears — me, the other — rear their ugly and frightening heads in our waking and sleeping dreams.

For some of us, this is a time to double down on our already entrenched beliefs, to loudly proclaim our faith in the ways we have been taught. For others, it is time to re-evaluate the very idea of faith. We may even reject the idea of clinging something that is unknowable and instead place our faith in the only thing we can know for sure — what is.

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