Category Archives: Self-deception

…conscience as a desire for confirmation…

“Did you forget that men prefer peace and even death to having to choose between good and evil?”  –  from the play, The Grand Inquisitor

The “2% truth” holds that every opinion we have possesses 2% of the truth.  No one is completely wrong – OR – completely right.  A full 98% is un-determinable except by consensus.  And not that “consensus” gets it right.  Consensus merely reflects the popularity of the opinion.  “A lie told long enough becomes the truth.”  This cynical adage illustrates both our need for consensus and the difficulty we have in obtaining one.  Coordinated response is impossible with too much disparity.  Yet, we are often at a loss when trying to confirm either our opinion or the opinion of others.

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…conscience as the folly of self-determination…

“Being smart about life leads us down a  superior but narrow road of self-deception.” — Thomas Moore

I bet you missed  it.

This year’s Oscar-award winning animated short, “The Lost Thing” by Shaun Tan, is a marvelously envisioned parable of redemption.  I recommend it.

During his acceptance speech, Tan said “Our film is about a creature that nobody pays any attention to, so this is wonderfully ironic.”  How true … the irony of misplaced redemption.

Misplaced you ask?   How can redemption be misplaced?  Well, in exactly the same way that self-determination can misplace one’s conscience.  We sometimes forget where we put it.   We need to be reminded that it’s right HERE … inside us … all the time.

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…creative imagination as turning importance on and off…

The lessons of living and dying are intertwined.  The pursuit of wisdom … entails the practice of dying: … let go of issues,… possessions, …illusions, …regrets.
— Tom Owen-Towle

I don’t know about you — but for me — my interests (and pre-occupations) go on and off — for no apparent reason.  Important now, unimportant later.  In play now, off the grid later.  Total concentration followed by total disinterest.

It’s really quite bizarre.  I don’t mean to imply that none of my pre-occupations are consistently important (or unimportant) …. only that, if I chose to notice …  many things capture my imagination for a time and then flame out … all at once.  Poofft!  That singular spark of importance which I give to a topic, image, relationship, or thought … just disappears.

“Hey?…  What was that about?” I wonder.

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…creative imagination as sympathy and resentment…

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” — Helen Keller

My topic is creative imagination, but I haven’t nailed down what it is about “imagination” that makes it “creative.” Is it … that we create something from nothing? …  Well, that’s certainly part of it … but there’s more.

Since we create things by analogy (…creative imagination, part-to-whole…), we are always working with something we learned or experienced before.  So being “creative” is not entirely about “something from nothing.”

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…submission and surrender…

“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?  Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?”
— Lao-tse

Every path we take requires submission and surrender.  This “easy-to-miss” reality is one we often resist — mostly because so much is at stake — and because submission and surrender often feels so very much like freedom and release once we let go of our fears.

Someone, I’m sure, is rolling their eyes in disbelief.  “How can it possibly be said that submission and surrender feel the same as freedom and release?”  There is no way that you can make those words plausible as synonyms.  It can’t be done.

And I understand the disbelief.

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…of miracles and thankfulness…

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein

I want to go back to an earlier blog (…sufficiency? or more than that?…). 

That particular blog looked at sufficiency, scarcity and excess and I’m increasingly coming to realize just how much our feelings of prosperity and poverty have to do with these differing approaches to living in the moment.

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…”begin with the end in mind” by accepting the unknown…

“If we fear the unknown then surely we fear ourselves.” — Bryant H. McGill

One of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is to “Begin with the end in mind.”  Covey illustrates the importance of this habit by pointing out how “everything is created twice” — first as a mental conception and second as a completed implementation.  There are always two distinct moments of creation – otherwise what results is a default — not creation.

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