Favourite paths

Question of The Day January 5, 2013 ~ Your Favorite Paths

Tell us a story about one of your favorite paths.
Here a a few ideas…
Was it on an adventure walk, or perhaps a path of study, or career path?

So many paths, it is hard to choose a favourite, in fact in a very real sense, I do not have a favourite, I just take whatever path seems intuitively and logically most appropriate (with a fairly evenly balanced set of probability functions arbitrating between the two if there is disagreement).

And while there are many physical paths that have moved me emotionally in many different ways, it is the path of understanding that has fascinated me most.

I can still clearly recall how literal and naive I was as a child, believing almost everything I was told. I was about 7 before I started to challenge things, and started to use logic to dismiss sets of ideas that were clearly contradictory. That got me into quite a bit of trouble in Sunday school.

I was about 10 when I discovered the twin concepts of zero and infinity, and rapidly after that the notion of probability. It was these mathematical notions that made fertile ground for the concepts of evolution to take root, though it would be over a decade, and 4 years of university study, before the combination of paradigms from biochemistry, mathematics, computer programming, cybernetics, geology, cosmology, and many other disciplines, would give me access to a level of understanding of the processes of evolution that would allow me to see how it applied to the twin realms of matter and information (ideas and actions).

I was in my late 30s when I finally made the paradigm transition that allowed me to see that the notions of true and false, or right and wrong, or good and evil, or any other simply binary distinction, are (for the most part) just essentially arbitrary attempts to make some sense of some one or more infinite grades between two (or more) poles, by setting some arbitrary point between those poles. Reality, it seems, is (for the most part) very much more complex, with infinite sets of possibilities, not simple binaries. And to also acknowledge the necessity for all to start in such simplifications (but not to stay there any longer than is absolutely necessary).

About the same time, I made another level of distinction of the creative power of standing in nothing, of breaking the chain of causality (at some level) and creating for no fixed reason (after, and not based upon, reason and consideration).

This has profoundly altered my understanding of the nature of understanding, and of most of the notions of classical philosophy (like epistemology, ontology, truth, knowledge) have become essentially meaningless to me, as the very concepts upon which they are based have been clearly falsified in my understanding.

Thus I am left on a path towards understanding, that seems to be potentially infinitely long – in fact an infinite set of infinities.

So the journey that started in a childish notion of knowledge, with clear and sharp boundaries between true and false, has become an infinite journey into the infinite depths of infinite sets of uncertainties.

At the same time that this intellectual journey was happening, there was also a real journey of a real human being, with emotions and intuitions and habits and subconscious cultural habits and beliefs. So much has happened, that if written as a story no one would believe, because it is just too improbable – and yet it is my life. From the lofty heights of love, to the depths of despair and loss and pain inflicted on innocents, and all shades between.

Now I am happy to study ancient ways for the practices they used, and there is little in the stories that accompany those practices that has much value for me, as the paradigms I now use are, for the most part, far beyond anything I have encountered in any of the old traditions.

[followed by]

Hi Andrew

Yep – had a few similar experiences, though not with gorillas, a pod of orca in one instance, dolphins many times, a few times with whales – once found myself alone in a small 14 ft boat in water a mile deep with a mature sperm whale either side of the boat – that was interesting, and not the sort of thing one forgets in a hurry.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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