Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Gabby Hayes Award*, Volume 26.

Regular readers know that I sometimes "showcase" priceless quotes and readings from the SHAMsphere: words surely destined to stand the test of time. They simply cannot be improved upon—and feel free to interpret that however you wish.

In this vein, I present, for your thinking pleasure, Hale Dwoskin—long-time exponent of the so-called Sedona Method** and current CEO of Sedona Training Associates—expounding on what makes Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth, and that whole "living in the Now" thing so important:

"In this moment if you look into your direct experience you will discover there may be thoughts about the past or the future. However, if you look at what is actually here you will discover that even these thoughts only happen now. In fact, all life—all action—only happens now. If you are not sure, try to do something yesterday or tomorrow right now. Try to actually live in the past or the future. You'll discover it's not possible and only cuts you off from experiencing what is here now. So, relax. What you are is already here now resting and flowing as life itself."
That's not all that's flowing, my friend. Rest assured.

=====================================

In the coming days, we'll talk more about Messrs. Dwoskin and Tolle, and exactly why quotes like the foregoing are worse than vapid; they're actually dangerous. It's Sunday, though, and the Pope just did Yankee Stadium, so I'm feeling of generous mind.

* Given semi-regularly in recognition of "the very best in pointless gibberish." Named for the famous marble-mouthed character in Western flicks, later parodied in Mel Brooks' comedy classic, Blazing Saddles.
** whom we met briefly in
SHAM. See page 116.

38 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

"That's not all that's flowing, my friend. Rest assured."

Thanks for the laugh, Steve. That hit me right where I live:

In the now,....

Steve Salerno said...

Lame joke after too many hours awake on a Sunday:

Why did the past leave the now?

Because there was no future in it.

yuk, yuk

Steven Sashen said...

Of course, given the discovery from cognitive psych that by the time something makes it to our conscious awareness it has already passed, and that our conscious thinking seems to be a reporting of events that already occurred... then everything, as far as we can tell, is happening in the past.

Be There Then

Anonymous said...

"However, if you look at what is actually here you will discover that even these thoughts only happen now. In fact, all life—all action—only happens now."

What happens now was made possible by a chain of cause and effect that goes back into the past.

If ET were to become ill, he would be obliged to see a physician who would prescribe a treatment based on scientific research...which is based on observation and an accumulation of past experience.

If you deny that 'Now' depends on what once happened in the past, you cut yourself off from the benefits of science, the products of which might some day save and prolong your life.

Tolle's accountants have to keep records that stretch back into the past and when they use Excel to make projections of future earnings they use financial data from the past when computing those projections.

And...you cannot run a business based on Tolle's books unless you have people keeping records from the past.

What good is a CPA or financial analyst who lives solely in the 'Now'?

Many of these gurus find themselves needing to employ professsionals (eg accountants) who use patterns of mental activity that run counter to what the guru teaches...critical thinking, analytic thinking, logic, keeping accurate records of past transactions.

An IRS auditor (or whoever does the same job in Vancouver Canada) would not appreciate it if you explained your lack of records as irrelevant, because only now exists.

All gurus tend to have to hire someone who does critical and discursive thinking for them.

That's why they need entourages.

The rest of us average Joes and Josephines dont have entourages. We cant live in the Now all the time. We need to recall stuff that happened in the past and keep records, medical, financial, plus how much time we have left on the parking meter when shopping downtown.

Someone who has a hired driver to take care of the care doesnt have to bother his or her well coiffed head about that--and can live in the Now, while the hired driver remembers how much time the car has at the meter.

Steve Salerno said...

Anon (10:09), your comment very succinctly and persuasively covers many of the points I'd planned to raise in a subsequent post--but of course, Tolle and Dwoskin et al no doubt would argue that we're "misunderstanding" their argument, probably because we haven't yet reached the requisite plane of enlightenment (and abandonment of the "heavy mind structure") that allows us to "grow" into our "essential selves," thereby enabling us to "receive" such wisdom from the cosmos.

RevRon's Rants said...

As usual, I think the only "danger" occurs when one chooses to abandon common sense and pursue an extreme agenda. Whether that entails "living in the now" while wholly ignoring past and not considering future, or living in the shadow of past hurts and the expectation/fear of future circumstances makes little difference. Both extremes manage to rob us of potential growth, not to mention joy. obviously, there are adherents to both extremes.

Choosing between an unexamined life and one that is obsessively studied is foolish. The wise old admonition is to "live and learn," not "live OR learn."

Steven Sashen said...

Maybe Dwoskin et. al. just aren't willing to be more to the point:

Live in the now?

Where the hell do you think you are living?

Anonymous said...

This is a standard dodge--the 'you would not object if you were enlightned-too' gambit. Its apparently as old as the hills.

Over thirty years ago, an Austrian born Sanskrit scholar named Agehananda Bharati described how this trickery worked. He studied in Indian monasteries in the 1940s and 50s and saw this argument being used long before various faux Western teachers learned this method of dirty pool and brought it home and spread it in the West:

This method was often used when an authority figure did not want to admit that he had lost an argument in relation to a lower ranking person. Bharti describes how this worked in the monastery when he noticed a preceptor was making an error with a text and didnt want to admit it:

‘I learned the stereotypical method of rebuttal common to all* traditions of religious doctrine in India: The moment discursive thought (that is, thought that is based on reaching a conclusion through use of reason and verifiable/falsifiable evidence) would jeopardize the axiomatic perfection of the text, the critic is given a simple line:

‘Your argument may be intellectually valid but what of it? Only those who have seen the light can see the consistency of the text. Only those who have experienced the truth from within can see that intellectual argument is of no avail in the end.’

Bharati commented, ‘this would hardly be objectionable were the atmosphere among Indian scholastics purely non-discursive (that is if they were in a state of enlightenment 100% of the time and used intuitive, non-rational methods of thought 100% of the time). But this is not true: the theologians avail themselves of refined scholastic argument all the time, but they jettison all of it the moment their axioms are impugned.’ (Bharati, The Ochre Robe pp. 132-133)

(My note) In other words, the evasiveness Bharati described is the equivalent of a losing baseball team suddenly declaring that they are really winning, not losing, because they’re playing football, not baseball—and the other team is too stupid and unenlightened to have known this.

**What Bharati describes can be easily abused and twisted into the various ‘thought stopping’ techniques endemic to cults. What made Bharati’s observation so very radical was his discovery that this ‘shuffle’ was NOT perpetrated by just a few charlatans or rogue scholars; he found this evasion tactic was *commonly practiced throughout the Indian spiritual scene*.

It was a trick that could be easily exploited by charlatans, but was so much a part of 'normal' scholarship that most persons would allow themselves to be intimidated.

At least in the US, we know the rules for baseball and football and cant be fooled when someone tries to con us that baseball is actually football.

But in spiritual matters we can be so easily gulled and conned if we are indoctrinated to distrust common sense, good manners, and gut instinct.

Steve Salerno said...

It's funny, these last two comments--one quite brief, one rather expansive--each in their own way nail the problem with so much of self-help (New Wage-division in particular). It's as if by restating the obvious in some overblown, "proprietary" fashion, they can persuade us that the old is indeed new, that the sun being in the sky is indeed proof of the sun being in the sky, and that baseball is indeed football.

Anonymous said...

I know this stuff is as old as humans,but my bigger concern is why it is being so easily digested by the masses? This has been hit on before, but it is worth repeating. Are we lacking in education? Critical thinking skills? Why is this junk not being questioned properly? Why are we as a society willing to live in La La Land? It scares me that supposedly educated people are buying this crap hook line and sinker. These are not unsophisticated "rubes" being sold snake oil, but people we interact with daily! It scares me when a CEO of a company tells me, "are charts are just not compatible" or "you are just so negative." We wonder why so many companies have bad earnings reports? Maybe it has something to do with the resident astrologer or yogi guru. Is civilization breaking down?

Elizabeth said...

Anon: Is civilization breaking down?

In a nutshell, yes. But don't fear ;) -- not entirely. I think there always has been a battle going on between forces of reason, and ignorance and obscurantism. The pendulum swings back and forth with some regularity throughout our history, and somehow we, as a species, have managed to survive -- at least so far. Though, admittedly, our experiences in the matters of survival are still quite new and spotty at times. Time will tell how successful we really are.

In the meantime, see this good and timely book by Susan Jacoby, "The Age of American Unreason:"
http://www.susanjacoby.com/

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, that book sucked. Susan Jacoby actually sounds like the gurus we bash. Her book has poor arguementation and lacks accurate data to support her thesis. I agree that the U.S. needs more education, but we also need better questions and better ability to ask those questions. Anyone can memorize a map or information, but what one does with that data is key. Ms. Jacoby fails to address this issue and succumbs to that which she ridicules. She proves my point about how supposed "educated" people miss the mark.

Jim Thompson said...

Actually, the world is coming to an end. I strongly recommend that anyone living on the extreme west coast move to another location as that part of the country is home to the harlot of the apocalypse - San Francisco. When it happens, I know everyone, everyone, will feel like an oppressive force has just been wiped off the face of the earth. If only Bin Laden was more patient and had better methods for trying to wake us up. Seriously though, is it just me or is he the only one with the cohonies to actually take the risk of telling the truth. The guy is a criminal, but not even the pope tells it how it is so well. By the way, the light this blog has shed on society has helped me come to these conclusions as well as my overwhelmingly negative interactions with the military, police, and military industrial complex(three words you can't usually say without getting censored - should be interesting to see if this gets posted).

At least move the kids to a safer place - they're mostly innocent.

Steve Salerno said...

Hmmm. Between the opinions expressed on 'Frisco (I say it that way just to irritate the homegrowns, wink) and the sharply diverging views of Ms. Jacoby, this could get interesting.

roger o'keefe said...

Again, I have to take a stand on behalf of the free market and buyer-beware. In today's nanny society we act as if we're determined to protect everybody against everything. Anyone who's dumb enough, or let me be more charitable, gullible enough to read something like that and invest thousands of dollars in related "therapy" deserves what she gets. (Or more likely *she* gets?) Am I defending the people who contrive this garbage? Of course not. But the free market should weed out the crap, and if Americans in droves are falling for it then there's something wrong with the way we educate our citizenry. What ever happened to critical thinking skills?

Steve Salerno said...

Roger: You answered your own question, of course. "What happened" to critical-thinking skills is self-evident in the growth of the SHAMscape.

roger o'keefe said...

As a postscript, and while I'm asking "what happened" to things, I ask again: What happened to Alyssa? Steve, I know you're not your visitors' keeper, but if she's still reading or posting anonymously now, I'd ask her to reemerge briefly and provide a contact. This isn't a "come on," I promise you. I'm way too old (and married) for that! I am curious about something, however, regarding her own blog, which appears to have gone fallow.

Steve Salerno said...

Roger, normally I wouldn't encourage the blog to be used in this manner, but since you're a regular yourself these days, I'll publish it and we'll see what evolves (or doesn't). Alyssa, if you're out there reading along, feel free to provide a contact for Roger and I'll publish that, too.

jeanne said...

Steve, will we be calling your blog shamspace or shamster? Steve, I think you have a hint of why people might post anonymously. Maybe some people don’t want to be found.

Actually, native San Franciscans are a bit on the conservative side and usually flee upon turning 18. The people who say they are "San Franciscans" are usually transplants from other places and not born there. San Francisco changed during the 70's with the deaths of Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone.

I was born and raised in San Francisco, but now live in Maine. I tell few people my origins due to the bigotry and misinformation about my birthplace. I am a fifth generation Californian, but never speak of it unless I must. I know of other native San Franciscans who do not discuss their birthplace either. My best friend lives in upstate New York and my husband is another native San Franciscan. All my friends from grade school and high school have relocated around the country and that is sad. I know of no other place where one is scared of admitting their place of birth besides San Francisco. They say you can never go home again and that seems to be true.

Steve Salerno said...

Jeanne, I think SHAMblog will do quite nicely. Or at least it will do....

Re San Fran: OTOH, I hear that a certain aging-but-still relevant Italian crooner left his heart there.

Jim Thompson said...

Alas, there are a lot of good people in every city throughout history, but that doesn't stop some of them from getting the big slap down from the Creator of Everything for their behavior. I hear you on the native vs outsider issue with SF. My views really don't have anything to do with it's exact geographical location. Mainly based upon Revelation 17-19. Interesting aside, one of the biggest apocalypse cults ever was formed and remains in SF. So many of the artists there have been influenced by it.... first to come to mind are the doors. Another big reason is the military industrial-media complex's incredibly dense representation in that area. Turns out the wealth from making some very nasty top secret technology that is like the internet of the future beamed right into your heads allows them to move into such a nice city and turn it into a recipe for disaster. I really know what I"m talking about but I don't expect you to believe me. Anyho, I'm predicting a high confidence that it will happen within the next month (>33%), next five months (>66%), within the next two years (=100%). It all depends on whether the clock started on one of three events that the military industrial-media complex is working really hard to keep secret.

Harlot of babylon is opposed to the bride of christ. The bride is symbolized in the city of Rome. SF is the most identical to Rome in beauty and climate. In terms of morality the things that the elite and some of the social groups do in SF is the exact opposite of what is needed for spiritual development which is what Rome is all about. Although to SF... they see themselves as the moral ones. I wonder who's got it right.

I'm thinking back to what I saw one time investigating the burning man cult.... please read Rev 18.

Mr. T.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Eckart Tolle seems to have found a somewhat unexpected following in the pickup community:

http://realsocialdynamics.blogspot.com/2007/02/eckhart-tolle-power-of-now.html

Basically, Tolle's "now" gets people into a useful mental state, where they can very openly chat with previously unknown girls. There are other ways to accomplish that (alcohol!), yet Tolle's way is certainly cheaper.

So as a tool it is pretty good (it can replace beer!!!), of course, one has to strip all the rest of bullshit such as "pain body" and other stuff.

So don't throw out the baby with the bath water ! :-)

Yekaterina said...

Why do seemingly intelligent people fall for this crap? Why are people so gullible?

Imagine growing up in a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses, spending your childhood preparing for Armageddon and the end of the world. (Or as a Mormon, or Scientologist…etc.) These children are being kept separate from normal society during their formative years while being spoon fed lunacy. Sure, most of them grow up and walk away from their parent’s crazed beliefs, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been greatly warped in the process. How many children are being raised as Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists? Who isn’t being spoon fed some sort of lunacy or another? Do you believe in the virgin birth, an afterlife, heaven, hell, God, the devil, or in any other deities of the spirit world?

I don’t know anyone who isn’t gullible.

the crack emcee said...

Elizabeth,

Anon's right: Susan Jacoby's a whack job. I quoted her once on TMR before I had a chance to get to know too much about her - big mistake. But, hey, I make 'em like everybody else. At least I don't hurt nobody.

Jeanne,

Unless you were named "Alphastar", or "Dreamcatcher", don't be ashamed to say you born in San Francisco - be proud you left. I moved across the Bay, to Oakland, and I like it much better. Since Oakland's reputation is of the Wild Wild West, everybody I'm friends with now warns me not to tell anyone in The City how much better it is, because, if they find out it's more-than-livable, unpretentious, and sporting it's own "working class" cool, they'll all come over and ruin it.

OTOH, a friend told me a great story the other day, about a parent/teacher conference where Little Johnny's problem with acting out was being explained, by the teacher, as "his Virgo coming out". So, even with a body of water between us, Oakland's not exactly as far away from The City - or Berkeley - as I would like.

Steve,

Emphasis on the word "left".

Steve Salerno said...

Ykaterina, I can certainly see your point, and I expected someone to expand the context as you have here. Having said that, I do think there's a difference between (a) feeling psychically or morally bound, at some level, to spiritual concepts that were drummed into you when you were a defenseless child, and (b) concepts that you embrace for yourself after you become a competent adult. Now, I suppose it's possible that "spoon-feeding" kids talk about angels and purgatory, etc., permanently damages their ability to think critically about life in the future, especially when they come upon ideas in some way aligned to the religious dogma they were taught as kids. But I don't think that's why most adults continue to worship. I think most people just become comfortable with religion as kids, so they find solace in it as adults. I'm not even sure they think it through anymore as an actual "belief system." It just feels right to them. In that sense, I think a lot of adults today go to church (or pray at home) for the same reason lots of people turn to sweets or even shopping ("retail therapy") when they're feeling down; it comforts them. Take me, for example: It's been a long, long time since I would've defined myself as "Catholic" or mounted a serious defense of any of the Church's core beliefs. Yet I felt a distinct sense of calm knowing that the Pope was here. Go figure.

To me, though, that does not explain why a reasonably intelligent person, presented with the likes of the paragraph I quote from Dwoskin, would say to himself, "Oh, wow! That sounds great! Sign me up!"

Yekaterina said...

You said: Take me, for example: It's been a long, long time since I would've defined myself as "Catholic" or mounted a serious defense of any of the Church's core beliefs. Yet I felt a distinct sense of calm knowing that the Pope was here. Go figure.

What’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander? (Imagine big friendly smile here) If you are allowed to feel comforted by irrational mumbo jumbo, then why not allow the NeWage followers the same courtesy?

Then you say: To me, though, that does not explain why a reasonably intelligent person, presented with the likes of the paragraph I quote from Dwoskin, would say to himself, "Oh, wow! That sounds great! Sign me up!"

Again, I don't see the difference between embracing one lunatic belief and finding solace and comfort in it (organized religion) or another (NewAgey stuff) I'll go even further, I don't see any difference whatsoever between what the Pope does and what Tolle/Sedona/Ronda Byrne do. (And that is definately not a compliment to any of the above) Some 20 years ago I stumbled upon the "live in the now" concept (it was better written than the one you proposed…uh, …then again, maybe not…maybe I’m simply 20 years wiser.) and I embraced the concept wholly, experiencing an incredible peace for the first time in my life…an experience that might be similar to what people feel when embracing the concepts expounded by Jesus, Mohammed, or Buddha for the first time? Unfortunately, something as simple and psychologically relaxing as living in the now is being packaged with mumbo jumbo and sold for profit and power…much like organized religion did/does. (Wonder where the NeWagers learned that?!) People recognize useful grains of truth that up until now have been unexplored by them (If I stop obsessing over the past and inhabiting some fantasy future presto I’m happier, more relaxed and able to get more out of life. If I love my neighbor instead of hating him presto I feel more at peace.) and that’s why we sign up. Unfortunately we more often than not swallow everything around the grain of truth, hoping it’s all nutritious…and guess what? It ain’t. Being force-fed our parent’s irrational beliefs (expected/taught to swallow their beliefs whole) makes us less capable of discerning where the grains of truth are every time we’re faced with a new bowl of rice. And remember, there are different degrees of force feeding in families, some families even lay out a smorgasbord and allow their children to choose for themselves, giving these children a good head-start in defending themselves against the Dwoskins of the world in the process. There is a big difference between being taught to discern from the breast and finding yourself at 18 years of age with the dire need of having to unlearn “the art of swallowing whole” in order to start baby-stepping your way to discernment. Even when nature gives us intelligence nurture can stunt the process quite badly. Of course some people like swallowing whole—it’s easy—and even feel so much better after vomiting up what made them sick that they’ll point to the stinking mess and affirm that eating it up whole had been good for them! We should try it!

Elizabeth said...

"If you are allowed to feel comforted by irrational mumbo jumbo, then why not allow the NeWage followers the same courtesy?"

A good point, Yekaterina. There is indeed no difference here.

Steve Salerno said...

Eliz, not so fast, now. The gut-level sense of purely emotional solace that I derive from having the Pope in our midst is something that was deeply embedded in me when I was small and, if you will, defenseless. Though I am no longer small and defenseless, it's already in there--part of the genetic and experiential stew that makes me Me. However, I am explaining my "belief" (which isn't even really belief, per se, but just more of a "feeling"), not defending it. I think I "like the Pope" in the same way that I like Christmas; both hark back to warm childhood memories and make me feel good. But I do not believe in Santa Claus. And if you were to ask me, "Does God exist?", I would reply, "Probably not." That, to me, is a very different situation from being a functioning adult and first coming upon a "belief system" that's fraught with illogic and flat-out b.s., and nonetheless immersing yourself in it at (usually) tremendous cost in several senses.

And yet (to reverse my field one more time), you'll recall that just a few posts ago--when we were discussing Randy Pausch--I raised the same question, in essence, that Ykat raises here: If it feels good to you, then who am I to tell you you're wrong? Even if we both know that you're embracing an illusion?

That's a very difficult and troubling question. And I'm not at all sure that I have the answer, or that I should even presume to think I can answer that question for someone else.

RevRon's Rants said...

Steve - Is it necessarily true that one of you is living an illusion, and the other following truth? Isn't it possible that the comfort you feel might be borne of *both* your early indoctrination and an intuitive sense of something beyond your comprehension, yet equally true?

The most horrendous acts in human history have arisen from the effort to enforce one's interpretation upon another. Perhaps the only path to anything resembling peace is in allowing others to interpret the inexplicable in their own way without labeling them somehow deficient.

All it takes is acknowledging that "this is what I perceive as truth," while acknowledging that individual perception and belief are highly subjective, limited by the individual's inclination and experiences.

Steve Salerno said...

Ron, I think you know that I don't disagree with you in principle. But my problem is--and has always been--once you open the door to "subjective interpretation," where do you stop? And who gets to make those calls? Also, elevating the value of subjective interpretation seems to put all such interpretations on an equal footing, in the process devaluing the role of science, empirical data, etc. I mean, the idea of giving formal standing to "an intuitive sense of something beyond [my] comprehension" would seem to open the door to almost anything. Wouldn't it?

Elizabeth said...

Steve, I was underscoring the "comfort" point made by Yekaterina in response to your post.

Far from defending New Age BS (which is repulsive to me), I do not see a difference in the feeling of comfort which, say, Catholics derive from believing in a loving God who cares for them now and will embrace them even fuller after death etc., and the comfort NewAgers obtain from their beliefs in whatever. That is the purpose of the belief, no? That comfort and sense that "all is good" after all, especially when nothing is good in you and around you. Delusional, yes, but comforting and helping people survive the moments of terror, misery and hopelessness all the same.

The difference you focus on here has to do, imo, with the time and level of indoctrination -- defenseless childhood vs. empty adulthood -- is that correct? But does that really matter? We are equally defenseless against the terrors of life at 5, 15, 35 or 65. That is, btw, why some people return to the rejected religion of their childhood as they age, or embrace religion for the first time to begin with when squarely faced with their mortality in old(er) age.

And, as RevRon says, "Isn't it possible that the comfort you feel might be borne of *both* your early indoctrination and an intuitive sense of something beyond your comprehension, yet equally true?"

Indeed. And the emotional motivation is the same, doctrinal differences between the systems of thought aside: the sense of comfort and hope that comes from the connection to something larger, more important and less fleeting than ourselves. Purely rational logic has little, if anything, to do with it.

Elizabeth said...

Steve: "once you open the door to "subjective interpretation," where do you stop? And who gets to make those calls?"

Each of us, individually, for our own private use. Though we define -- or at least try to -- our shared reality based on less subjective criteria, at least in matters of law, proper social conduct, etc. That's why we have the separation of church and state -- and let's continue it (please).

Steve: "Also, elevating the value of subjective interpretation seems to put all such interpretations on an equal footing, in the process devaluing the role of science, empirical data, etc. I mean, the idea of giving formal standing to "an intuitive sense of something beyond [my] comprehension" would seem to open the door to almost anything. Wouldn't it?"

Yes, it would -- and it does. That why we have so many religious systems and beliefs -- and that's why New Age thrives so. But again, we have science and empiricism to rely on when it comes to defining our shared experience (as already stated above).

That empiricism, btw, also informs us that a great majority of human beings do have a need to believe in something larger and more important than themselves. What they do with this need is another matter -- and one that is the bone of contention here (and wherever the discussions on science vs. religion take place).

RevRon's Rants said...

"And who gets to make those calls?"

The individual, whom is ultimately responsible for - and the *only* one qualified to make - their interpretation. Another person may well disagree with that interpretation, based upon *their* interpretation. Beyond the realm of fixed data, it is impossible to state with any authority which interpretation is actually "truth," as opposed to "belief."

"Also, elevating the value of subjective interpretation seems to put all such interpretations on an equal footing, in the process devaluing the role of science, empirical data, etc."

Only if one insists upon a rigid either/or interpretation, or posits something that is effectively disproved by one or the other. We need to keep in mind that a lack of proof does not confer disproof.

"I mean, the idea of giving formal standing to "an intuitive sense of something beyond [my] comprehension" would seem to open the door to almost anything. Wouldn't it?"

Perhaps the sticking point lies within the mindset behind the "formal standing" phrase. By extension, such a phrase is stating that "if you don't prove it according to *my* criteria, it doesn't exist."

For example, neither Love nor hate can be proven by anything resembling empirical data, yet few would doubt that both states exist, pointing to either anecdotal observations or behaviors that are believed to originate within those emotions.

One may believe another's mindset to be idiotic, naive, or unenlightened, yet in the final analysis, the interpretation is useful only as it serves to clarify one's own perceptions, and has little relevance to the person being observed.

Steve Salerno said...

Hmmm. Once again here we have that strange-bedfellows communion of spirit that unites Eliz and the Rev.

You sure you're not the same person? ;)

Elizabeth said...

You're got me all figured out. Darn it and goddamn it. We/I are busted. Sigh.

Elizabeth said...

P.S. And the photos are pulled randomly from the Web, Steve. (Now that we/I are busted, there is no point pretending. ;)

RevRon's Rants said...

"You sure you're not the same person? ;)"

With the disagreements we've had?!!

They say its okay to talk to yourself, even to argue with yourself, so long as you don't *lose* the arguments. So I guess I'm/we're all right! :-)

Hell, Steve... If I can agree with *crack* on something, anything's possible!

Anonymous said...

We had disagreements...?

(scratching head and consulting her six others personalities)

P.S. YOU started it, Steve. ;) OK, ok, I'm serious now. At least trying to be.

Rev/Eliz