Monday, February 4, 2013

My Judas Beast

Recently, I have come to see my mind as an indwelling Judas.

On any particular branch of thought, I might find Judas swinging by the neck. That is, I might have found Judas if I had been aware. The mind is complex, of course, some minds being more or less so than others, so I hesitate to define my own with such singular device, but I'll be damned if it isn't hard not to fixate on the discovery about where my thinking happens. Because, if my mind is that place where the seat of reason was supposedly installed, that might be a clue as to the nature of the problem. That my own mind could obscure something this significant about its nature to another part of itself, is blowing yet another part itself. 

So, I'll settle on my having, as far as I can tell, today, a triune mind. It's not quite the personalities of Eve, because it's probably much worse.

Before I got sight of this Judas-like thing hanging in the periphery, I trusted that there were certain things about my understanding of myself that were incontrovertibly under my control.

Trusting that anything is under my control was my first mistake.

So, here I (whatever that is) am realizing that there is some unknown quantity of my own self intent on betraying everything I believed represented this "me" I now am looking at sideways (which is anatomically awkward to attempt).

The rest of this post is the rambling take away of the thought process gone haywire. Proceed with caution and a bucket. No sneers allowed. Bring ibuprofen.

Almost one year ago prior, an unexpected twist of faith knocked me on my hind end. Naturally, what I experienced didn't make sense. When this change in elevation changed the view of the surroundings, I wasn't where I had thought (I am bad with directions, even metaphorically it so happens). I was lost, believing myself to be squarely set in some very other place, at times providing navigating tips to the few that crossed my path.
Subsequently, Judas easily waxed sympathetic in role as my thoughts accompanied me on my trip down the rabbit hole until conveniently meeting up with the bottom of which there was a sudden thought that this was a sign and the sign suggested I had arrived at the state of disillusionment.
Crafty Judas, practically blue in the face by now, offered to comfort and protect me -- a stranger in this lowly unfamiliar place at the bottom of a bunny rabbit abyss --if I would just believe in my 'self' and stop questioning what I obviously can see is my reality and stop trying to understand it as anything but what it is: the truth that I got played by letting myself  love and now I was suffering Bitter Reality whose role that year would be planting that One Seed of Doubt until by some ironic lack of reason one day, I would stubbornly refuse to speak to someone I love. 

Without intending that I should let myself get so emotional as to be unable to hear myself think, I had instead made possible a rare moment of silence during which I clearly heard what not only changed my perspective but forever changed the way I think about my thinking. 
I came to realize something mind has been hiding from me. I've subsequently also come to find that my  mind is both ruthless when in determined pursuit of getting more of itself and that it is not below keeping secrets that one would not consider if mutually friendly.

In fact, I've become most unenamored of the same mindful intent that once was considered my best and most flattering asset. I can leave that bit of me to see, now, but since the chance of it being obscured by Judas up there swinging from that tree, I'll say in full sight: Who I am is not who I thought. The truth tends to be simple enough to not be that easy.  
An infinitely different reality that who I am now knows has always really been "I am, therefore I think". Who I really am is quite engaged with actually being that individual right now and really not altogether convinced that brother Descartes wasn't being railroaded himself by that thought of himself that was slick enough to fool a statue into ontological enmeshment.

 Picture Rodin's "Thinker" as the veil lifts to see in clarity's light that the answer to the Cartesian conundrum was to not trust a mind that eats its own young.
Imagine if Rodin's "Thinker" could bend at the knees and realize that the question was irrelevant because unfounded faith is, ultimately, all that is left to prove the existence of rational thought if that's what you feel you gotta do. Otherwise, enjoy the moment as it proves itself without worrying about how to explain it to your cannibal mind.

Rene Descartes: 'I think therefore I am' in Outline of Great Books Volume I

The memorable part of the Cartesian philosophy is the credo  is "I think, therefore I am."
But how can one demonstrate the fact that one thinks?
They cannot. It is impossible to "prove" that one exists, because it is impossible to "prove" that one thinks. We directly experience our own existence -- but it is impossible to demonstrate that existence scientifically. We all take our own existence on faith.
Therefore, even rationalism is based on unprovable faith. 

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