Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This I believe: part me (final report installment one) (H01)

           When I was younger I was obsessed with the idea of insanity. I very often found my thoughts wandering to my fascination with questions like, “Is Blue blue?” or most often, “Am I crazy?” It should be noted, that I was quite young, and so most of these questions weren’t even being touched on in school yet, so I didn’t really have any influences in coming to my conclusions. I do remember a quote from the play Proof during a conversation in Catherine’s head while she’s speaking with her dead father, who was insane:

Robert: You're gonna be okay.
Catherine: I am?
Robert: Yes. I promise you. The simple fact that we can talk about this together is a good
sign.
Catherine: A good sign?
Robert: Yeah.
Catherine: How could it be a good sign?
Robert: Because crazy people don't sit around wondering if they're nuts.
Catherine: They don't?
Robert: No. They've got better things to do. Take it from me. A very good sign that
you're crazy is an inability to ask the question, "Am I crazy?"
Catherine: Even if the answer is yes?
Robert: Crazy people don't ask, you see?

           I saw this play at 7 and although I’m not convinced I agree with him, it’s a quote that’s been rattling around in my head for more than half my life. I would lie awake at night considering it: “Am I insane? Is all this just part of my imagination? Does the fact that I can consider it make me sane? Does the fact that I can convince myself that I’m sane negate my proof?” I was 11 when I first learned the word paradox, and could finally give a name to the problem I understood but couldn’t explain. I had already started to from my view on things. Namely, that it doesn’t matter. To better explain, we must believe in something, and so it is logical to believe in ourselves before all else. We live in the world of our own perception, so we need to trust that
perception.

       As I got older, became more empathetic, I began to truly understand that not everyone sees the world the same way.



Your mind and memories determine how you see the world.




They change how you react to the world. 




Because you only live in your world. 




You only have your perception to give you your world. 


Your perception is your world. 


      I’m going to finish this summary with a second quote, this one from the movie Second Hand Lions:

Hub: Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to
believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean
everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always
triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in.

5 comments:

  1. I found your post very inspiring and relatable, Laurel. I also loved the pictures you provided. I think they emphasize perspective and the importance for humanity to remember that everyone has a different perspective. You said you weren't sure if you completely agree with Robert from Proof. So, what is your opinion on insanity? Is insanity itself diagnosed by perspective?

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  2. Your post has me really intrigued. It is very difficult to imagine someone else's point of view without deviating from your own. I also really like all the pictures you included, but I feel like it would be easier to relate to them if you had a little more elaborate descriptions or annotations with them.

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  3. "we must believe in something, and so it is logical to believe in ourselves before all else." - Careful, this way there be solipsistic dragons. I don't think logic prefers believing in oneself to believing in pluralistic humanity.

    "We live in the world of our own perception, so we need to trust that perception." - Trust, but verify. The best way we have of doing that is by comparing our perceptions to others' and seeking intersubjective confirmation.

    "Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in." - It matters that the things worth believing in MIGHT be true, or become true; and it may be that believing in honor, courage, virtue et al makes it more likely that the world WILL be more honorable, courageous, and virtuous.

    Best thing I've read on the importance of knowing that "not everyone sees the world the same way" and making an effort to see from others' perspectives is (surprise) by William James: "On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings" - https://www.uky.edu/~eushe2/Pajares/jcertain.html

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  4. This is an amazing post. I like the step away form traditional philosophical topics and one that is more personal and allows other to take today's world a in a different light. Rather than researching what someone had thought, you inspire us to think.

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  5. I like the way that not only did you tell us about your point of view but that you showed it to us. Very cool I like the photo essay. Interesting concept about not being able to ask if you're crazy if you are crazy, I don't believe that is necessarily true all the time, although a valid point

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