Go on – write something!

23 02 2021

A “stream of consciousness” can so easily become a “river of shit”, don’t you think? Let me demonstrate, please do:

One’s deepest, most considered ideas, once brought to the light, may prove to be nothing more than the fetid miasma of an open sewer. But that’s OK. No, really, it is. An idea is just a point in space. Or time. Or something. It’s a point anyway. Transient. It’s not inherently good or bad, though I think it’s true that acting on some of them has historically been shown to be spectacularly bad. (Looking at you, Adolf!)

My point though (about an idea being a point) is that it can be used as a marker, an intellectual cairn if you will, en route to another idea. Or even a cluster of them. These may be better or worse, or just different to the one that preceded them. An idea is not a destination in itself. An idea rarely exists in a vacuum. When it does, it’s a dangerous thing, for that way lies madness. Or religion. Or other politically dubious views. Or all of the above.

An idea that can morph into other ideas though? Ah… that is powerful indeed. The ideas may be complementary or contrary, but the person who is capable of leaving one idea behind in preference of another is capable of change, of learning, of growth! Being unwilling to leave an idea under any circumstances is the sign of someone intellectually shipwrecked. Left clinging desperately to a familiar, apparently safe rock, and in so doing, denying themselves not only the risk of drowning, but also the chance of reaching dry land.

Ideas can be sampled, compared, adapted or rejected, but to tie oneself unquestioningly to an idea is to close down novel thought and the chance of growing into something new and remarkable.

To be willing to at least sample ideas you think you’ll reject is to be open to persuasion. It’s a risk for sure. It may mean your current beliefs can no longer pass muster. But not to listen… to assume the new idea is wrong… that is cowardice. It means you dare not give other ideas – potentially contradicting your own – the simple chance to persuade you that you are wrong. It means you inherently believe your current “truth” is fragile and you’d rather believe that than risk believing something more persuasive to you. Consider the implications… it’s equivalent to a parent saying “because I said so!” as irrefutable proof of being correct.

But I’m willing to be persuaded otherwise, of course. 🙂

Points in space. Or Time. Or something

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