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Supernatural

Devil's Trap

Posted on 2011.10.10 at 12:00
Current Location: 67114
Current Music: Peregrination: Life as a Journey
Tags: , , , , ,

Once I've formed an opinion about something, in an attempt to not live in a vacuum of self-importance, I always ask myself, "What if I'm wrong?" Then I argue with myself about both sides. Of course its better to have this actual conversation with someone who has a different opinion - I can't think of everything - but the problem, the real problem arises when the person I'm engaging *actually* believes that they are right, and I am wrong. At that point they will no longer accept my input to see how it fits into their world view, and I'm suddenly offered nothing usable because of it in return. Which is why I ceaselessly play this game only with myself. Ideally, the practice would make me more well-rounded.


You can't confine open-mindedness to particular subjects or scenarios. You either are, or you are not. Example: Someone willing to discuss the pros and cons of both political parties, but who refuses to entertain the possibility that Christ's divinity was fabricated. Or perhaps worse - someone willing to discuss Christ's divinity but unable to budge on party-politics. Across the board I find bright, smart, curious, people who can seemingly articulate two opposing points of view...until it comes down to something they simply refuse to change on. How exactly does that work?


So trapped I remain. Trapped by being open-minded about being open-minded. You cannot extol virtues of mine that you find conducive to your personal code of ethics without accepting the same ones which may run contrary to it. Its all or nothing. It has to be. Any other way and its impure. Fallible. Yet....where does one draw the line?


Without boundaries, anarchy. But if we're the ones who have defined society, why can't we control it? Its not that I don't care, I simply feel that sometimes I'm too passive, too malleable. Yet I suffer at my own hands. Its not enough to think it, you have to do it. Push the envelope with your person, feel its texture on your fingertips. Otherwise how would you truly know? Its absolutely essential to test and retest with each nuanced variable, for without is real chaos. Chaos and anarchy borne from both extremes. One lifetime with too many boundaries, and one with not enough. Wherein lies true balance?


Surely somewhere in the middle.



Comments:


Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2011-10-10 17:42 (UTC) (Link)
I find being universally close-minded very odd, but equally as odd is the person who is open-minded on many topics, but close-minded on one or two. Like you, I find the latter particularly baffling. What makes some topics open game for lively debate, and others sacrosanct?

Perhaps it is that the debatable topics live primarily in the logic part of the person's mind, but the sacrosanct topics are set in emotional stone, tied to the person's self-identity?

Your self-identity and my self-identity are characterized by our curiosity, our open mindedness; not adherence to a particular idea. However, many tie their self-identity to such things as religious ideas, political party, or even traumas suffered like cancer survivor, or crime victim. When questions are posed on topics tied to self-identity, while you are just debating an interesting subject, the other person feels the ground shaking beneath his feet because you are poking holes in his self-identity.

As for societal boundaries versus anarchy ~ societal rules are set with the the basic premise that following said will prevent us from harming one another, and allow for a productive and progressive future. However, many norms are put in place concerning the "self-identity" of the country ~ not so much the basic harm - no harm premise. These rules are different. They speak to the very kind of emotional close-mindedness that fuels the individual. Yet these norms are made under the guise of shared values, and a cohesive society, as if questioning and curiosity were a danger to such things.
ehowton
ehowton at 2011-10-10 18:13 (UTC) (Link)
What makes some topics open game for lively debate, and others sacrosanct?

Beautiful, well-articulated word, and a gorgeous supposition! Of course that's probably it exactly (and a very dentin answer to boot). Which is why of course IT NEVER CROSSED MY MIND. So many failings in my experiences, mostly surrounding emotions. It would appear that you actually can't go through life completely logical after all, so much you miss!

Do you think people who have this emotional tie-in are aware of it? That they understand how it works? How very interesting. I know people like this. And they very occasionally scare me!

Yet these norms are made under the guise of shared values, and a cohesive society, as if questioning and curiosity were a danger to such things.

But we're a part of that society! We should be the ones to incrementally modify them as they've been incrementally modified before us. This is what I don't get - why that process is so....slow. Or why its fought against so vehemently. Yes, emotional tie-in, sure. But that can't be everyone can it?
Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2011-10-10 18:44 (UTC) (Link)
You can be logical, but you cannot expect that a logic is the driving force behind most behavior.

I read your post to my mom. She said she knows that she has emotional reactions to some topics (in her case religion) due to her upbringing. However, she is aware of them. She asked, "Does this make her close-minded for having them or open minded for having them, yet acknowledging them?" I laughed and said she should comment. She'd prefer to have the discussion with you face to face. :-)

That said, I think being aware of emotional trigger points and being able to identify them as she has is a rare thing. Most people just accept them, and refuse to question their existence and source as my mom does.

I believe it was Dentin who commented on one of your blogs that studies have shown that there are actual genetic predispositions for being conservative (maintaining the status quo, only slow change) versus being a more progressive thinker / risk taker. He said, the conservatives significantly outnumber the risk takers, and that this is probably safer for the progression of society in general, evolutionarily speaking.

I wish I could remember which blog it was. His comment was much more eloquent. I am afraid I am not doing it justice.
ehowton
ehowton at 2011-10-10 19:57 (UTC) (Link)
You can be logical, but you cannot expect that a logic is the driving force behind most behavior.

Actually, I can and I did. Its only recently I've become aware that there are other avenues to the same end. Live and learn. I'm not saying one is right and the other wrong, only that the one I am not familiar with is entirely foreign to me.

"Does this make her close-minded for having them or open minded for having them, yet acknowledging them?"

WOW! An actual test subject! Well, knowing your mother, and her ability to have a rational discussion on hot-button topics on which we sit on opposite sides of the fence, I would have to say open-minded for being aware of them and acknowledging that they modify her behavior where those issues are concerned. Hell, I probably have some to. I just don't know what they are. But I'm always willing to find out!

I wish I could remember which blog it was.

I remember. Brilliant man that. And thanks for the reminder. Of course that's why. A whole planet of you and I? WE WOULD EAT OUR YOUNG. Let's hear it for the status quo.
Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2011-10-10 20:14 (UTC) (Link)
I remember. Brilliant man that. And thanks for the reminder. Of course that's why. A whole planet of you and I? WE WOULD EAT OUR YOUNG. Let's hear it for the status quo.

Hmmm..., tasty? LOL! Seriously, I don't think we would eat our young per se, but we might try to get them to grow wings, implant direct computer access into their brains, or see if we could teleport them into the future. Yeah, it might be a rather strange world.
Codekitten
codekitten at 2011-10-10 18:00 (UTC) (Link)
The older I get the more I shake off most self identification labels.



"...or perhaps worse..."

This made my day. :D
ehowton
ehowton at 2011-10-10 18:14 (UTC) (Link)
The older I get the more I shake off most self identification labels.

I'm right there with you. And...you know, aging too :/
Codekitten
codekitten at 2011-12-06 22:39 (UTC) (Link)
ah! here is the post i was trying to come back and comment on for over a month!

ehowton
ehowton at 2011-12-06 22:50 (UTC) (Link)
A lot happens in a month.
Codekitten
codekitten at 2011-12-06 22:50 (UTC) (Link)
apparently!
ehowton
ehowton at 2011-12-06 23:01 (UTC) (Link)
Codekitten
codekitten at 2011-12-06 23:02 (UTC) (Link)
no you didn't say "alot"!

:P
ehowton
ehowton at 2011-10-10 19:58 (UTC) (Link)
Not that you age.
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