Friday, 13 March 2009
"Be like a Child in your faith" we are told. I was told this once when a fundamentalist friend of mine inquired into my belief structure. At the time I was an avid atheist and had all the arrows and missiles of that system of belief to attack her Childish belief system. I asked her, "how can one believe in such drivel (I was cruel then-a sign of my childishness) when it ends in the nihilist end? Faith of almighty power leads to meaninglessness in life (I explained how) and to believe it literally is even more silly as it contradicts itself throughout e.g. all loving and yet able to caste His creations to an ever lasting pit of fire, of whom, were only doing his bidding." I told her my belief system was diametrically opposed to this (later I realized that any belief structure that is antipodal to another is reifying the other even if only in disbelief-disbelief is the necessary oppositional force toward reifying a mist) and said why. She then, in the pause afterwards, quoted this piece of the holy text-by like a child. I scoffed and we turned our conversation to better things-the new local/underground band/quasi-anti-stereotypical-but conforming to the stereotype of anti stereotypical artists. Who I cannot remember their names now. They put on a good show, however, which, now with my older eyes see the definition as being a glorified Chimpanzee fest all dressed up in their bard costumes prancing around and slinging verbal feces.
Now, as I look back sipping a terrible cup of coffee, that child like and childish are two things. In that quote of 'scripture' we mistake this symbolism; in my friends case because of her fundamentalism/literalist stance, and in my previous case because of my rigid materialist stance. We live in such a childish era. When I use the term childish I mean of it in a conscious sort. Childish is the conscious forcing of the mind into a state of irresponsibility, or aware unlearnedness, a glorification of what we do not know (consciously) or conscious ignorance (a child cannot be Childish because they do not have the ability to be consciously ignorant-they are ignorant by dint of their juvenile state). As an example; it is not beyond our power for us to take upon our shoulders the duty of citizenry; engaged in local politics (I went to a local meeting that was deciding on the fate of the recent bond to upgrade all the parks in my smallish city-it was attended by 8 members of the public-the council members had to make a decision on the parks with feedback from 8 people that represented the city), engaged in preparing ourselves and out children for citizenry (know our history-roots of the governing system), understanding that responsibility is not to be ran from, in fact, it is to be embraced as the pathway to freedom, as well as digesting the phrase, "it isn't about can I, but should I". These are just a few tenets of which an entire list would be exhausting and beyond me but in short it is the accepting the responsibility of adulthood: self honesty of what you can really take upon yourself, and testing the limits of that responsibility all done in a light of virtue. This is the opposite of the Childish view point.
To be childlike is to take the wonder of seeing the world as a child into our being. To understand that what you see is not the two dimensional fallacy that you have grown to be accustomed too-but, yes, the cloud is a dragon just as it is a composite of water droplets and dust particles. The sky is blue because it is Odin's eye just as it is the spectrum of light we see as it bends through molecules in the atmosphere, that the celestial bodies travel plotted paths as agonist to the protagonist of gravity, but secretly, to those that see with the eye of a child: they travel because of their whim ( I told my scientist friend this who knows of my views on living mythology. He said, "gravity" and I said they travel those paths because of their will. He frowned and said experiments 'prove his point' I said science doesn't prove anything by the very nature of science i.e. Falsification. Also, I said as an example, if I walked at the same speed, in the same direction, everyday an Alien using science could, not accurately but logically, induce that some outer force was causing me to move in that direction. He got mad and said I was a 'dreamer'. As a side note, I would like to posit that the mythology coming out of the cutting edge of science is no less bizarre than any faith system-and, in fact, is fast approaching Emptiness http://www.sciencenewsreview.com/reality-might-be-a-hologram/; however, Emptiness with no Ethic is a dangerous thing indeed)
What becomes of the infantile nation? Family? I envy those that can live so, for the time being, and if there was no consequence to the action I would strive desperately to be so as well. However, I cannot live with the products of such a lifestyle. I do not know if it is my maturity or my curse that makes it so. But a lacking of responsibility and self honesty has brought us to the edge of meaninglessness in both the material and immaterial sense: we are not living to the standards of Biological meaning e.g. to ensure our genes our passed on as we can see in our adherence to a lifestyle that will murder our progeny both environmentally and fiscally and in on Ontological sense e.g meaningful: a material definition for meaning leaves no meaning e.g. a fundamental position leaves one positionless, ultimately, in the sense of meaning, powerless in the face of 'scientific destiny': which is always symbolically defined as a bell curve.
To 'See' as a child is praiseworthy and right. To be Childish is dangerous and detrimental to meaning.