Saturday, March 30, 2013

Illustrating a pedagogic technique which is rarely used, for good reasons

As I  walked by an evergreen bush a cardinal bolted up away from his hidden spot. Perhaps by the end of this post the relevance of this event to the topic will be clearer to me.

Everybody has mystical experiences. Mostly they do not recognize what happened. But this kind of event is a major component of the known and unknown energies defining the planet and beyond. This came to mind after I remembered the fact some Christian sects are based on the fact they do NOT observe certain holidays. And you can see their point -- how could getting presents for Christmas, spending money, be commemorating the life of an unwitting founder of a faith which is so widespread? You see their point and you imagine, probably accurately, that some founder of some similar sect had a bolt of awareness on this subject, and taking that experience, felt authenticated to found a whole faith on this 'revelation.' What I am calling a mystical experience. 

Yet, that recent founder did not have a big enough picture. This splinter realization is not the engorging reality it seems at the time. He is defining a faith on a moment which was not as encompassing as it could have been. The confusion in the wake of this authenticating type of experience is typical of human knowledge. That it works, and that it is right, does not mean it is the ONLY thing that defines reality and yet so wonderful is the experience that people charge ahead without keeping in mind the proportion of known and unknown. For most the experience means they know the important things. The unknown is irrelevant. This is an ordinary assumption.

The topic in this post  is not religion. Religion was just an example of the way the mind works. Those studying and writing about the natural sciences do the same thing. Take the pork chop for a pig. Those 'flashes of insight' scientists report are just low level mystical experiences. Typically the popularizers of science think they can measure what science has remaining to discover. This belief  hints at the ordinariness of the rational mind. For a brief consideration suggests that only from a perspective of the whole can you accurately define the parts. And this whole is beyond the grasp of modern science. I will be kind and say, it is beyond them at the moment. 

 That you have to focus, and by doing so, leave out relevant details is part of the binary mind. This narrow focus is a necessary part of human progress and intelligent community. Yet to take a detail,and assume it gets the whole picture, can be very misleading, misleading to those seeking to figure it all out. Fortunately for all, such folks, bound to figure it all out, are few. 

About that cardinal, a flush of red on a flash of green: no I don't know its relevance to this topic I could come up with a cheap metaphor, but I won't.