Sotto Voce.

"Qui plume a, guerre a." — Voltaire

Essays

I’m writing a series of essays that flesh out a number of themes and ideas that seem to keep popping up in various guises throughout the course of my life so far.

Cause and Effect

“Any institutionalized activity — that is, any undertaking whose structure and activities have been designed to continue operating the same way over time regardless of who is in charge at any given moment — must be based on predictable causes and effects to survive and to interact with other institutionalized activities in a constructive manner. We take logic and rationality for granted because they make things work so well.”

Ritual and Relationship

“By abandoning the preconceived notions and expectations that come from the practice of ritual, you create new, fresh relationships with an examined object each time you approach it. You can still use logic and rationality as tools to interpret what you are experiencing, but you can likewise use storytelling, myth-making, poetry, song, and any of the other beautiful and profound ways we also have to express what we experience. It is as if you are “listening” to what something has to say rather than “telling” it what you want or expect it to do.”

Cognicentrism

“Cognicentrism, as used here, is a bias that assumes — takes for granted, actually — that our senses, and the tools we have invented to extend them into the realms of the microcosmic and macrocosmic, are sufficient to apprehend all the forces and events at play in and around us. Maybe this is so, but for all practical purposes (and for pretty much all theoretical purposes as well) this premise, this vanity, is a matter of faith; that is to say there is no sound, logical premise upon which to base an assumption that humans can perceive and understand everything.”

Organizations, Authority, and Compassion

“The imposition of the institution on the individual is a form of rape. It is the use of force and power to subjugate one individual to another’s will. It is exploitation. But we individuals are also guilty of delusion when we give those organizations the right to exert their influences over our lives. We are willingly seduced.”




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