AN ECOLOGICAL SENSE OF SELF
There are several things I want to bring into my mind and, on bended knee, into yours: They are about making better sense of my self, thereby coming hopefully to having better sense, period. These things are my own current perspective, , which changes continually, as I open my mind to my own ignorance, which I experience not as being dimly witted, but as a hunger to know. Learning how to have my own point of view is a work in progress.
I don’t believe I have come up with any new ideas by myself. Often I have what I think is a unique revelation. I do an Internet search and discover that much, if not all, of it has already been thought and written about in depth; however, I enjoy a mind, the contents of which, when taken in their context, and in their entirety, are in some important aspects as unique as my fingerprints.
In other words, how I am connecting other peoples’ ideas is a result of my own mental activity: how, when, where, and why other people and I have drilled their ideas into my mind. Lately I have had the idea that is helpful to have an ecological perspective, which requires considering myself an infinitely tiny being.
I concluded recently that an infinitely small triangle is still a triangle, not an infinitely small dot. I didn’t think of it that way when I was studying calculus. I learned that, for practical purposes it is indeed a dot. With an ecological perspective, then, there are as many contexts in which it is important to be subjective as to be objective. I like to fantasize about mosaic vision.
Mosaic vision means, for one thing, that I want others to have ecological perspectives about the same common kinds of situations that we all struggle to comprehend and deal with. This, in turn, contributes to my hunger for respectful dialogue. I learn much more myself, no matter how many geniuses have bequeathed their ideas to me. Many insects have mosaic vision literally. I wonder what it would be like to see like a bug with big mosaic eyes. Think of what depth of vision we could all share! The good news is that figuratively we have such an opportunity, and when I look around and see what is going on with Google+ and other available venues, it’s happening!
The thought comes to me now that the Old Testament God put in the Garden of Eden a tree that bore fruit that would, if eaten, give Adam and Eve the knowledge of good and evil. Didn’t He know that humans are born curious? Didn’t he want them to be curious and fascinated and ethical right off the bat? Or did somebody make up this tale millennia later in order to concoct a religion with which to stultify and stupefy and impoverish as many as possible, then and for years to come? Come to think of it, they might not have meant any harm. I think it was St Augustine, the prolific writing saint, who invented the idea of original sin. God knows I wish, in his story, that Adam and Eve had sat down and eaten the whole apple. I am imagining it was an apple. That is what many others have imagined. I wish they had eaten three or four. I would be as sure as anything that they would have been able to stand up to the Him and talk him out of his fit. In respectful dialogue. Democracy right off the bat! Pointed out to him that he was operating from unethical premises. Henceforth he wouldn’t have done all the terrible things the Bible said he did. Thinking for myself, I don’t believe that He did such a thing anyhow!
When I started writing the above paragraph I intended it to be parenthetical, but it is, at the same time, a good example of a subjective ecological perspective. I don’t think there is any such thing as an objective perspective. Although it is an oxymoron, an objective perspective is the base from which mainstream academic science continues to operate.
So far in this section I have been writing about an ecological sense of myself. My sense of myself is that I am, as Harry Stack Sullivan taught, “More simply human than otherwise.” I might also confess, at this time, to being, even more simply, an animal. That stretches my common ground out even more deeply and broadly. If I am struggling with what people call an inflated ego, then there is no way for me to resist the impulse to inflate it even more by considering that I and my species are specially created, and that there are ways that I can rise in what is obviously a concocted dominance hierarchy, and proclaim myself to be high on the pyramid. From my point of view the only way I might have an optimal set of connections in this universe is to notice how small I am on a Cosmic Scale. Only when I look outward and inward into far reaches both ways, might I fathom the possibilities for joining with it all, and attaining the value of being more simply human than otherwise.