Ways of knowing

Poussin, Blind Orion searching for the rising sunTrying to provoke, I wrote, One advantage of believing obvious falsehoods is that one is not tempted to imagine one could know the Truth. Violet ran with it, making a whole post. Now, I suppose, I might try to say what I might have meant, or perhaps I should just stop digging.

I don’t think rationally, and I do some things designed to think otherwise. I sit in silence, seeking to still my thoughts. This is a religious practice. From this, I hope to understand better: I hope to know consciously what it might be that I know unconsciously. Things pop into my mind which are useful, often enough that I want to continue the practice, apart from the joy of doing it communally with chat and hugs before and after.

A friend gave me worry dolls, tiny wire figures in a two inch drawstring bag. Tell your worries to the dolls before going to bed, sleep with them under your pillow, and in the morning your worries will be gone. Lots of people sleep on problems, and the structure of benzene was found in a dream. Science works on rational thought, but that rationality has to include thinking creatively, imagining what is not seen.

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, says the writer to the Hebrews, and goes on to list faithful acts where the actor did not receive the thing promised, yet contributed to its realisation for others.  And in Ecclesiastes we read all is useless, all is vanity, all is a chasing after wind. In much wisdom is much vexation. Different people at different times with different thoughts. Somewhere between the two, or perhaps veering madly from one extreme to the other, people find the strength to carry on despite the fears which might rationally provoke them to give up. Is it rational, ever, to get drunk?

Language develops by metaphor. No love was like a melody that’s sweetly played in tune, really, but there is beauty in that idea. The gods make people mad in love, and thereby we continue the race, which may be rational or it may not. I think of old rage and misery, and weep, and wonder why I am not over that yet, but perhaps it is newer upset coming into my mind with a picture I might consciously understand. This might not be rational, but still work somehow. Wit works by subverting rationality, humour works by irrationality for a deeper sense.

Look at me. How could I ever imagine that it was a good idea to try and change sex, gender role, presentation, whatever- yet in some sense it fits my character better. All I knew was that I wanted it more than anything else. So I did it.

God bless you and keep you
God make God’s face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you
God lift up God’s countenance upon you, and give you peace.

It might not make rational sense, but it is beautiful.

Poussin, Blind Orion searching for the rising sun

12 thoughts on “Ways of knowing

    • When my mother left her hospital, the other nurses got her a good quality print of The Haywain. I always thought it particularly dirty, until I saw the original and how black the cloud is. How much I like my illusions frightens me. The dystopic novel I am reading has older people desperately hoping things will get better, and a fifteen year old heroine clear that they won’t and considering how she might survive. Depressing. Salutary.

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  1. I like your rambling posts best … or at least equal. I do MOST things irrationally. I just run to the edge of the cliff and leap, and … voila, there I am in Lubbock, Texas, home of Buddy Holly.

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