Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing*

Back in college, I took a great class called Fantasy and Philosophy. The first half of the course, we sped through the Elliatics --early Greek thinkers, discussing all is numbers, all is atoms, all is air or fire, and then Aristotle and Plato, all is understood dimly, we grasp at the shadows thinking them the real. Then, the professor took us through Berkley --all is perception, Kant, all can be divided into that which we can know only through experience (aposterori), and that which can be understood absent experience (apriori), and finally, more modern methods of understanding the universe --via science, and one ancient one, animism --where all things are infused with spirit.

Then, the teacher asked a question. What world would you WANT to live in, if one of these, but none of the others, must be true. 97% of the class voted for scientific materialism. Some even argued that it was true. The remaining 3% voted for animism. Like the other two who voted with me, I figured, a world without feeling or meaning was harder to bargain with than rocks and trees that might be moved by music or a good story.

So today, when the car didn't seem to want to go, I gave it a little pat and lo, it started. My little son has a plant that his father gave him from Florida. He watches it grow on the hour. We get regular reports that it has gotten bigger. My older son received a palm tree plant too. I went into his room to vacuum. He does not give us hourly reports. You know what; his brother's plant is decidedly larger, leafier and greener.

Then, our youngest daughter lost one of her shoes. Hunting all around the house, I finally demanded of the other shoe, “Where is it?" as I fumed and tossed it in irritation. The shoe bounced under the couch. As I went to retrieve it, feeling foolish, of course, there were the two shoes underneath.

Now, as I ponder what all these inexplicable situations mean, I'm eyeing my house and furniture with a tad more wariness and respect. Maybe it's a case of perception being being, but just to cover my aposterori, I've asked my purse to please stop wandering when I need to get out the door!

*Originally run on 3/15/09

1 comment:

Heidi Saxton said...

Just stopped by again to see how you're doing. Been praying for you this past week. You seem to be doing well ... MY "gotta find that d*** shoe pronto" dance is considerably more colorful.

Blessings, H.

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