Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Searching for the Philosopher's Stone

Where we are going we do need roads, but we are going to build them. To build straight roads a person need knowledge, to build winding roads a person needs knowledge (a compass), experience (a compass and sextant), and wisdom (a slide rule (this is for you Grandaddy), which is a combination of experience, knowledge, and yes, luck). With these tools one can be fairly sure of the bearing one is following. However, these tools in the hands of a man can be wrong, but are usually not. That is not good enough, one must always search for better tools to guide oneself to where they want to go. This is the concept I like to call moral future forecasting. Yes, mistakes will be made, but one can only hope that with these tools one can discern the proper bearing, not based on the guidance of one instrument, but on all 3, to ensure movement in the proper direction. This is not as easy as it sounds. All three can be wrong, or any combination thereof. It ultimately come to wisdom to be the deciding factor, or, another analogy, watching the way the drop fall and disappear in a flurry of ripples.

People are fallible, and wise at the same time. This chicken/egg issue can often steer a person wrong, or right, or most of the time, somewhere in between. Know which is which, is always problematic, especially when one is unsure of what is the right direction, and can be skewed by personal perspective, but there are ways one can make the right decision. Life is fluid, and fluid is a state of perpetual change (thank you chemistry, lol). Watching this akin to wisdom, as studying the concept of uniformitarianism. What has happened before will happen again. This is logic in its purest form.

Now, we all know that fluke things happen, and they are just that, flukes. However, we can still garner wisdom form these things, in the form of how to react to certain things , which is experience in its purest form.

When two pure things are combined in chemistry, several things can happen: nothing, a reaction that moves in one direction, or the other. We can predict what will happen based on things that happened in the past, but this is never one hundred percent . All we can do is watch and learn. This is analogous to wisdom. In order to grow, we must take that step. We may be doomed, but I would argue that it is better to be hurt by curiosity than to never experience.

I would like to speak more of experience. Experience is also fluid. Experience would say without reference to knowledge that is what is good for the goose is good for the gander. In reality, this is not aways true in something as chaotic as life. Knowledge in this would be analogous, in this example, to a large enough sample size. However, experience is an exceedingly powerful tool, and anyone would be foolish to not account for it. However, experience without knowledge is intangible; it cannot do anything alone. This is why collaboration is critical. A large enough group of collaborators from a multitude of life paths.

I would like to speak of something I learned in the Marine Corps long ago. We had a phrase that is a truism; we referred to it a the 6 p's. Proper planning prevents piss-poor performance. As a corollary to this I would add pragmatism propagates powerful possibilities. This is the philosopher's stone; a concept that seems entirely preposterous, but in the time spent reading this, the universe has made more gold from lead than exists in the entire earth! This is not a flight of fancy, it is real. While far from practical, it speaks to what is possible, what constrains our collective reality! Despite conventional wisdom, the universe does not care what we believe, it just does what is defined by its ruleset.

A man said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!"
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
“A sense of obligation.”
Steven Crane
As it is my 34th birthday, I feel an obliged to digress into my personal philosophy. I have endured a great deal of pain to come this far in life. People often ask me how I preserver. The answer is that I feel that pain evokes something greater in me than others. It provokes the desire to overcome it and grow from it, because it is my morals to leave this earth much better than I found it. This is the core of my being, and will remain that way for a very, very long time, if I have it my way. Pain is what tells you that you are still alive, as the old adage goes. I am an island, but with continued support, I will build a bridge; not to nowhere, like my hopeful destination, but one that will be open to anyone that chooses to walk it with me. So please, help me accomplish my goals; I am not infallible, quite the contrary... but with help I will give my very soul to make tomorrow, better. 
Thank you so very, very much for taking the time to read this. I hope it proves enlightening to you all.

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