Meaningless means there's a strong limit to how much I can mess up!
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Non-shallow wisdom, or anything similar, can't be summed up in a sentence or paragraph. If nothing else, why a statement is wise is just as important as the statement itself. This includes these sentences.
I'm not sure I've had any great insights that haven't been had by anyone else. But I have had insights that shape my own world view. Take, for instance, the monologue by Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now!:
Marlon Brando wrote:
I’ve seen horrors, horrors that you’ve seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that, but you have no right to judge me. It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. ....Horror. Horror has a face...And you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies. I remember when I was with Special Forces...Seems a thousand centuries ago...We went into a camp to innoculate the children. We left the camp after we had innoculated the children for Polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there and they had come and hacked off every innoculated arm. There they were in a pile...A pile of little arms. And I remember...I...I...I cried...I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized...like I was shot...Like I was shot with a diamond...a diamond bullet right through my forehead...And I thought: My God...the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not monsters...These were men...trained cadres...these men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love...but they had the strength...the strength...to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral...and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordal instincts to kill without feeling...without passion...without judgement...without judgement. Because it's judgement that defeats us."
My realization here is not that being able to act without judgement is good and necessary for strength, but that that ability is inherent in the human condition. That ability to disregard judgement/conscience and act depending on circumstance is one of the great sources of evil in the world and the reason that the grand utopian visions by various visionaries wishing for a better life are nothing but pipe dreams. Yeah, it's bleak, but it is something that colors my worldview and I use it to evaluate everyone as I interact with them. What circumstances makes them act without judgement/conscience and how will it affect me and my loved ones? It is the bane of civilization.
Last edited Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:42 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)