Monday, May 25, 2009

...and we're back.

Think magically, act rationally.

I did a google and based on a cursory glance, I'm going to go with: "I came up with this saying." I was watching a debate between Sam Harris and Chris Hedges and while thinking about the subjects that were discussed I was trying to find an easy way to fuse my knowledge and ideas about the world–-both the objective, rational context and the subjective, experiential context––in a simple and straightforward way.

And it seemed to me that the best approach one could take would be to allow oneself no boundaries or limits on what one could think, but when it is time to act one should act in a rational, intentional, and compassionate manner.

So I came up with this quote: "Think magically, act rationally."

What does it mean to "allow oneself no boundaries on what one can think"? It means that, internally, one should be as agnostic about the Universe and all contained therein as possible. There should be no limits on what one allows themselves to think. Of course, one should maintain appropriate models and modes of thought (if I'm thinking mathematically, I probably don't want to think 5 + 2 = raisin unless I'm trying to fuse math and breakfast.) There are schools of thought and theories of everything that humans have apparently been hammering away at for a long time. We ignore traditional modes of thought at our peril. On the other hand, one should also allow oneself moments of "free thought" and follow chains of ideas no matter how disgusting, disturbing, or useless.

It also means that one should avoid such shortcuts as "God created the universe in 6 days" and confidently ascribing unanswered questions to mystical sources. Intellectual laziness has no place in the confines of one's own mind. One should strive to be honest, artful, articulate, aesthetic, precise, and intense when allowed the full freedom of thought.

It means that meditation, prayer, incantations, transcendence, illumination, and enlightenment are all mental toys to be played with, tested, retested, and cherished.

Next up: what it means to act rationally...