Posts Tagged ‘questioning’

Dear uWise One, You are anything but unwise. I love what you have to say about yourself and what you write. I take it you’re from Canada? Would like to know more about what has most influenced you as a person, poet and philosophical searcher. I wish there were more unWise ones in the world. It humbles me and gives me hope for the future.
– Gordon Stewart –

 First of all thank you for your questions and kind words. I assure you they humble me. 🙂

At first I was skeptical of answering this question because I really have no education in the area of philosophy or writing. All I know is that I was always an inquisitive child, curious for answers asking endless bounds of questions. My parents were very helpful in this development they always encouraged me to ask questions and listen and talk about anything and everything. I also had a passion for writing poetry and prose as a child. I remember being encouraged by my grade 2 teacher to never stop writing and I have listened to her. When I look back at my writings from childhood I see the wonder and curiosity I had that started from very young age and seemingly sprouted out of no where. My only explanation for it is that I must have been born with it. Even so I have never considered myself a writer or a poet or even an artist. (however with all this blog love I might started considering it)

That being said my real philosophical journey began after I dropped out of university. Once I left I began to read endless amounts of books about everything. I was so angry at being forced to read books during my 14 years in the education system. I always hated reading in school and being expected to have certain opinions or understand the book in a certain way. So I rebelled by reading as many books as I wanted on every topic that interested me (oh what a rebel, ha!). The more I read, the more I wrote, and the more I wrote the more I read. It was a continuous circle of thoughts, ideas and questions. Then one day in 2010 I went to Chapters Bookstore to pick up some books on the 2012 End of The World Prophecies as I had become weirdly curious with this concept. I pulled a book from a shelf and another book tipped over, my eyes were drawn to the tilted book and I was immediately intrigued by the title, it read The Book of Not Knowing By Peter Ralston. I picked it up and put it on the pile of others I had collected. When I got home I and in the following weeks I read through the 2012 books and was almost convinced that the world could realistically end in two years (ah how naive). A few days later I began The Book of Not Knowing and my mind was immediately expanded.

I have to admit with minimal education the book was difficult for me to read/understand but the book reassured me that what I was reading now, would make more sense later if only I would keep reading. So I did as it asked. Everyday I read more, I did the exercises it asked me to do. Some were writing exercises others were focussed solely on your thoughts and awareness. Every time I would read the book I could almost feel my mind being opened. The weird thing was that book was not providing me with any answers in fact it started making me question things that I thought I had the answers for.    Eventually I came to the near end of the book in which it asks you to re-read from the beginning because this was the point of no return. I was shocked. It had taken me months to get through the bulk of the book and now I was expected to re-read it before I finished it?! Needless to say I was irritated so I simply closed the book and pledged to myself that I would re-read it eventually but not anytime soon.

Well, it has been two years since I put the book down I have yet to re-read and finish it but yet I am still feeling the effects of what I read everyday. When I stopped reading the book was when my real, honest and true philosophical journey began. In the simplest sense The Book of Not Knowing made me question everything I thought I knew and contemplate anything that could ever be or not be. It recharged my love for curiosity, philosophy, ontology and life in general. I still plan on finishing it one day but not until I feel I’m losing sight on the things I have learned…or better yet unlearned.

Check it out:

http://www.amazon.com/Book-Not-Knowing-Exploring-Consciousness/dp/1556438575

http://www.gordoncstewart.com

Backstory

I stopped believing in God over ten years ago. Shortly before I lost my faith (not that I really had much to begin with) I stopped believing in the devil. I came to the conclusion that the devil was simply made up to scare people into being Godly or following God’s word. So I chose not to believe in such a thing. Soon after I chose not to believe in God either. I had the realization that there could be no God. God for me became Santa Claus or Unicorns or Leprechauns. It appeared to me that faith was simply a coping mechanism for all the things we cannot understand in our world, and I personally did not feel I needed answers. For me I have less guilt and more freedom  without god/religious duty looming over my head. That being said I have no judgement towards faith/religious lovers, I am the first one to say believe in whatever you want to believe in, and I will believe in mine.

This brings me to the topic of my blog today. I was recently at and event where someone suggested that to be a good person and to carry out justice for all, you somehow must  have god’s light in your heart. I don’t overly agree with this. I would have to say bluntly I have none of God’s light in my heart. My heart is made of blood and muscle and tissue. It’s made of the same thing that your heart is made of. This however may suggest that I am a bad person, selfish, vain, greedy. I hate this stereotype of non believers. I consider myself a good person and in a way I feel like I feel more pain than most because I try everyday to have compassion for every person, and living thing on this planet. More and more these days I see how everything is connected and that the stars in the sky are on the same level as mosquitos, as carbon, as music, as humans. Everything we have today is because of how this Universe has developed at random. To me life is a gift but not a gift given by  someone or something. A gift of happening, a side effect of our Universe. And I try to live in this gift as a peaceful person not because I was taught to but because I want too, because hate, violence, judgement and intolerance have never amounted to anything positive.

The older I get the more I have noticed that Language is in many ways a hinderance to humanity. I remember being a kid and saying a word over and over until it didn’t even sound like a real word. This exercise made me question Who decides words? Who said that one is one not two? Who said up was up an not down? I then started to wonder what if everything I knew as language was backwards. What if what we know as red was actually called green? This intrigued me.

As I reached what some would call Adulthood I noticed another thing about Language, Tone. I had long heard the phase It’s not what you say but how you say it. As an adolescent I hated the phrase. To me I delivered words of rebellion in the same way I delivered words in usual conversation. Being an adult and listening to people young and old I started to understand this idea of tone. Somehow two people could say the same exact thing but it could be received in completely conflicting ways. Ah the tone I would think to myself. How was I unable to hear it before? Did I simply choose not to hear it or was I incapables at the time? All I know is I hear it now and it puzzles me constantly. Not only do we have hundreds of languages but we also have hundreds of tones those languages can be delivered in.

This is where language can become a hinderance. It is very hard for people to properly communicate their feelings with such a wide variety of options to convey them. Human perception also makes this difficult because even when we find the right words to say, the person/people receiving this message may percieve a tone in the way the person delivered the words. This may in turn lead to a long discussion explaining why what you said was not what you meant. I often find that words can never describe what we are truly feeling or trying to communicate.

I think it’s funny that there is so many words for one thing. We call them synonyms but what they really are is useless. Why do we need twenty words for beautiful? Do we really need three ways to say to/too/two or there/they’re/their? Are these necessities of language or excesses? Would language crumble if these ceased to exist?

Sometimes silence is the easiest way to communicate, odd as that sounds. At least that’s what I’ve found. In the words of the great Joss Whedon “When people stop talking, they start communicating.” (if you haven’t seen the silent episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Hush” I recommend you watch it!)

Recently I’ve been thinking more and more about what Humanity’s impact on this planet will do for future life on this planet. The other day when I was gazing out my balcony, I saw a bird land on an apartment building across the street, the bird flew down to the paved street and began to peck at a variety of plastic garbage that had been strewn in the street. Something hit me during that moment. I suddenly had this feeling of how unnatural our world has grown to be. This bird who is so much a part of nature, in seconds had interacted with nothing naturally occurring in nature. I then began to think about what Humanity will leave behind once we cease to exist on this planet. Instead of leaving behind just our bodies we will be leave behind synthetic plastics, all kinds of manufactured metals, treated woods, chemicals of all sorts that will surely seep into the soil and affect all future growth. Our fossils will not be bones or teeth, instead they will be cars, weapons, buildings, light poles, batteries and billions of other non-bidegradable things. It saddens me to see what we have done to this great planet that has given us the opportunity to grow and evolve.

As I was scrolling through “topics” I came across a blogger who had this thought the power of a positive idea is greater than the power of a negative idea.  In reaction I had this thought who is to say whether an idea is positive or negative. Can an idea not just be an idea? Why do so may things in our lives have to have a charge, a meaning, a description? Again I ask, can things not just be things? Why does the grass have to be green, is it impossible for us to see it as just grass?

I often here people say there is no love without hate, or you have to take the good with the bad. I don’t know if I want to believe that, I think I would rather not have either than have pain, suffering, oppression, anger and bouts of happiness, bliss and love. Would the world really be boring if every feeling, idea, thought felt the same way? Not to say the every thought, feeling or idea would be the same but would affect us in the same way.

I then have to ask you this, is peace boring? In a sense if global peace was achieved we would all accept every aspect of existence/life as we know it on this planet. We would have respect for everyone and everything. All things would be different but be accepted in the same way or is that an unfair assumption of peace? I guess that’s what my idea of peace is.

 

One of the worst parts about not having much experience with loss is seeing people hurt and suffer from invisible wounds and then realizing that this pain is going to happen to you, it will happen to you, and learning that you have to accept that this is a truth. People you love will die. It hurts to say, write, even type those words, but yet these words are fact. They say that the truth hurts, how painfully true. We’re born, we live, we die. What happens after death remains to be seen. After death, after life those are not absolutes; death is an absolute. Every human has one thing in common, we will all die; I try find peace in this knowing. 

Everything is connected, everything came from this strange random place that we call the Universe. Who knows why we are here; Maybe there’s no reason, maybe there’s a grand reason. All I know, is that I don’t know; And I would much rather live in a peaceful place of not knowing than in a world where there is a billion different explanations for one random seemingly unexplainable thing.