May 4, 2007

bubbled me…

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:18 am by changisme

I wonder if combining different ideas around me is a good, or be more specific… is allowing me to see the world in its truth and beauty.  I sit in my office, and I have this really high up view of where river meets the ocean. I am incapsulated in a bubble of windows being aware of the equations and matrices on the computer preceding my flashing cursor. Moreover, I am in capsulated in a state of utmost … Karenness… I am myself and I perceive the world so much from my own point of view. I have not travelled so extensively other than from Beijing to Vancouver, and I have not experienced lives of different socioeconomical status. I certainly have strong preferrence in how I think the world should be like. I want it to be beautiful and loving and I see so much optimitics around me because I live in such a small sector of human existence, even though I know the many many "exceptions".
At the same time, i still like to stack things together and try to shine light through them. I wonder if I’m casting away the differences in things. Am I neglecting truth to some extend by pursuing beauty and patterns? If I really want to know the beauty of truth itself, meaning me being estecised (sp?) by a discovery of truth and complexity rather than I assigning some known (to me) grids and boxes to what I see?
Probably I would wish for the latter if I didn’t have my own pride and limit of understanding. I can only attain so much difference in definition maybe. In other words, I wish I could rejoice in all kinds of things, but my preference leads me to only appreciate a few. The rest, I might only be able to brook them in my circumference. It makes me sad…


  1. Julien said,

    A death row inmate, a few years ago, had the choice to be executed either by firing squad or by lethal injection (this was before the recent inquiry reversing the initial stance of the medical lobby regarding the absence of pain with lethal injection). I believe this was in Alabama, for there are not many US states which still offer firing squads. The prisoner picked the firing squat, and when asked why, he said that he preferred to welcome a brutal death rather than die like a dog. He was chosing o embrace death instead of yielding to it by applying a filter (the anaesthesia in this case).
    How can we make sure that whatever we feel is induced more by the exterior world rather than by what we would like it to be ? (and this desire to want the world a certain way largely flows from our society, i.e by the word itself, but we often lose the awareness of this). Very often we apply a filter in front of us so that things become conformal with our inclinations or the societal protocols, which are most often than not motivated by fears (as in my black/white 31/12/06 comment). Sometimes we think we could part with this, but we never really can. One day, as one of my students was asserting that she was completely biased-free, that is free from any conditioning, I asked her to tell me the color of my shirt. She said "white" (yeah, I love to work with black and white, I guess you noticed this already). I pointed to the shoes of her friend, and inquired about their color. She said white. I then went on to ask her what is the usual color of angels. They\’re white. Eventually, I asked: "what do cows drink ?". Guess what she said … milk. Astonishingly enough, the power of suggestion coupled with this almost indissociable pairing of "cow" with the word "milk" had convinced her that cows drink milk. Nobody laughed, and it actually took them quite a few seconds before they realized the blunder. I don\’t think the fact of applying a filter to reality hinders happiness. It all depends on whether we tolerate to sacrifice objective contemplation, whose value sometimes is objectionable and lies in the predominant nature of our minds (logic, romantic, artistic, (x)).
    (x) fill in the blank with whatever word you deem appropriate, especially if you don\’t fall into one of the aforementioned categories. 

  2. Julien said,

    "and [depends] on the predominant nature of our minds (logic, romantic, artistic, (x))"

  3. Karen said,

    I think it\’s neither good nor possible to be unbiased. The acknowledgement of possibility of being wrong is what one needs. People think that being unbiased is being humble and accepting. Rather it\’s a fear of being wrong or being denied. It\’s like someone (unfortunately I do sometimes) constantly say, oh I\’m not good at this, I\’m not good at that. It can hardly be blamed by cultural influence like that of Chinese and japanese, it\’s more a fear to be strapped with responsibilities. Being subjective involves making decisions and taking up responsibilities in such position. Though there are people who are so subjective and not willing to accept that they are wrong even though they deep down realize they are, more often people around me or… just me, are sitting on the fence. it\’s a state of fear and not willing to accept death as you said. It is theoretical though, in practice I find it very hard. It\’s almost… impossible for me, because on the one hand, I want to be firm on my believe and make commitments, on the other hand… I want to have this awareness that I could be wrong. I don\’t want to fall into the trap of.. I have my way of practicing, and you have yours, I don\’t wnat to change mine, and you could be right too. i think that\’s just too individualistic and post-modern. It\’s unwilling to be in communion with people around.

  4. Julien said,

    Well, I didn\’t say much about whether I support subjectivism or not. I did say that I do not embrace dogmatic religions (this is why I call myself an atheist), even though I do believe in the moral messages conveyed by them.
    "to fall into the trap of..": this is, believe it or not, more of a mathematical approach you\’re reminding me of (actually, the one defended by the philosopher Pascal). Look up the expression "Pascal\’s Wager" (le pari de Pascal); this basically says that you may chose to believe in God and be wrong (in which case you lose nothing), or be right (in which case you win everything). He asserts that you maximize your profits by deciding to believe from the beginning. Here, I use God as a personification of subjectivism, which I described earlier as "applying a filter to reality" in order to sterilize or mould it. I actually have little interest in debating the validity of the fundations of religions, since so many parts of subjective reality enclose an equivalent problem.
    As for subjectivism itself, I, of course, base my life on a part of subjectivity. Without subjectivity there\’s a whole bunch of feelings that would vanish away, like romantic love, just to mention one of the most influential. Romanticism was born at the onset of the twentieth century and has redefined the notion of love (between a man and a woman); this definition, with the help of the industrialization era, has been able to perpetuate; this has much to do with the fact that our attention has shifted away from practical matters such as bread winning and has be allowed to wander elsewhere. I\’m so delighted and amused in the sight of the Chinese people slightly adhering to this notion of love, as they climb up the social scale and are thereby allowed this luxury. It\’s lovely to witness this metamorphosis with my own eyes.

  5. Karen said,

    Did Romanticism actually bloom in the area of romantic love? I thought it was just a general term for ummm exagerate-as-much-as-you-want, lol although I admit I\’ve actually never read of its revolution.
    Chinese people have rather interesting notions of romantic love. As other cultures, there are different treatments of the subject. Have you heard of the novel Hong Lou Meng (maybe translated… the Dream of the Red Chamber) It was written more than a hundred years ago. There are also some other romantic novels that were widely spread in the lower class population. It\’s interesting how we\’d think the luxury of life allows us to shift our attention onto romance, it was the "vagabonds" or… less respected "scholars" that constantly dust the surface of premitive (yet beautiful) emotions such as romantic love.

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