I’m on my own for 6 days, while V and Finn are up in Scotland. I’m left looking after the dog and horses. I’m loving being on my own, doesn’t happen often. I’ve been sort of writing a story, hence no blogs, but then last night it all came out on Facebook after I put up a quote by the writer Harlan Ellison, which I then proceeded to comment on. Here is what I said.
“If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them REALLY think, they’ll hate you.”
- Harlan Ellison
- Harlan Ellison
REALLY thinking - I think that's when you ask people to look at their basic assumptions and values, things they take for granted as reality, things that are important to them, albeit maybe inconsistent and contradictory. They won't like you for that, even if they want to go there, it's still painful.
Values are the Second House in Astrology. They are so central to who we are (and often unconscious) that I think they should be an Angular House.
Oh dear, I've just questioned the canon, does that constitute REALLY thinking?
And then there's people thinking they're thinking. I think an example is the liberal consensus of political views, they often come as a package - anti-nuclear, anti-fracking, anti-GMO, pro-abortion, anti-capitalist. Now I'm not saying I disagree with these things, I have qualified agreement with some of them depending on the day of the week. But they are often held in a black and white way, holding one view implies you hold the others, and that is not thinking. One is just thinking what 'thinking people' think! And you can get people who don't share all or even any of these views who are just as concerned about other people and the state of the planet, who maybe REALLY think!
In a way, I don't think that WHAT we think matters too much. It's how we hold our views that matter, it's to do with rigidity and lack of openness, and you get that across the political and religious/philosophical spectrum. You really do, for example, get people anti-religion in a fundamentalist way, and I think I'd have more in common with a tolerant Muslim or Christian or Jedi Knight.
I think one phenomenon that creates rigidity, and it's a very natural one, is when someone holds another person in high regard as a teacher or influence. Or a tradition like Tibetan Buddhism. There is often an unconscious rigidity there about the teacher or tradition that forestalls questioning and grown-up discussion. But it's a phase a lot of us have to go through. REALLY thinking is a big ask, I think it takes a long time for most of us.
When I say openness I don't mean it in just an intellectual sense. That is easy. I mean it particularly in relation to things we FEEL strongly about, as they don't tend to get questioned. As William Blake said: "A man convinced against his will, retains the same opinion still." It's that 'will' that counts, that isn't always amenable to logic.