We all have opinions. We all make judgments. None of us is satisfied….
What if these are connected?
I’ve long felt a hankering for getting beyond opinions. It’s easy to see this as a form of striving after certainty. We see opinion, as it relates to truth, as a negotiation with authority. Whoever has authority can be certain. Their opinions are not simply opinions. Their preferences become law.
We are lost without sincerity. To be immersed in lies; to constantly dissemble; to be treated as an object for someone else’s purposes; is to find our selves in the utmost precarity.
An apocryphal tale whose source I can no longer remember sticks with me. It’s of a moment of first encounter between a North American and some “Discoverer,” some hell-bent treasure-hunter arriving on these shores with visions of gold and spices and slaves to be had. The chief is summoned. He takes one look at this alien visitor and strikes him dead with his ceremonial club.
His only comment, “He was insane. Now he is at peace.”
The title to this post could be the name of a high power law firm. They could also be seen as a series of rallying cries. What I’m beginning to discover is how they are related and how they interact. And how they lead us astray.
There are many points at which an effort to focus on a different way of being and acting can founder. I’ve called this “short-circuiting” in the past. It’s similar to the way a break in an electrical circuit can spark off to ground and eliminate the current’s potential usefulness, replacing that with a bright flash, a harsh Zap!, and the potential of a lot of damage to everyone around it. Our cozy firm of I. F. R. A. & R. all behave in this manner.
It seems we consider innocence to be a state of ignorance, held at no fault of our own, in which we are not acting out a power-play, or negotiating within the bounds of a power struggle; but acting out of a clean regard. We consider innocence to be an immature quality, but one we look back on with fond nostalgia. A significant aspect of our fetish-izing childhood.
It’s a compelling story, often told. I’m wondering if it might completely miss the mark? These nostalgic projections we turn on childhood innocence might mis-characterize it completely. It might be one of those cases where a projection is a reversed reflection of its source. The same thing happens with lenses….
What if what we term innocence was in fact a child, this immature creature, acting-out a power-play? Their ignorance, not of how to act badly, but of not knowing any better way to deal with a hostile and dangerous situation than to lash out? As adults, caught-up with no alternative but to see life as a series of power-plays, we are nostalgic for their ignorance, not their purported virtue. This seems to connect better with the facts.