Monday, October 23, 2017

All Roads Lead To. . .

"By Diverse means we arrive at the same end." Thus begin the essays of Michel de Montaigne.
It's both hopeful and ominous and also a warning against the intolerance that seeps through the capillaries of Facebook like rising damp. When it comes to any of the jihads or crusades or popular causes, there's the the way, and only the way, the vocabulary, the rules and strictures of whatever group seeks or has seized power and those singing from a different hymnal are the enemy.Such groups themselves have become the cause they purport to represent.
Certainly it would be more productive to have alliances with which common goals can be approached. None the less denominations increase and draw apart, to the advantage of Chaos. Do we, of presumably good will and worthy ends, ever arrive elsewhere when we treasure our words and our power to promote them more than our goals?
Indeed Montaigne's motto was "what do I know?" and he warned us not to accept our reasoning so readily. We don't normally control our thoughts, we just feel and buttress our feelings, and the contradictions and challenges we encounter only enrage us. We fabricate our certainties and defend them and hide behind them and create entities to shore them up and invest those entities with more certainty. And as allies are portrayed as enemies, our perceived enemies proliferate and the world goes to war. Shall I hand it over to Hobbes at this point? Is there another way to see it: perhaps in the literal sense that doctrine itself impedes progress? 
What do I know?

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