This is in response to Tommie Kelly’s blog post Entertain Ideas. And a quick preamble: I quite enjoy Mr Kelly’s insightful wisdom as well as his candid and entertaining (no pun intended) dialog within the community. This is by no means meant as an attack, but merely as thoughts provoked by a thought provoking post.
Part of the concept of belief shifting, specifically in reference to Robert Anton Wilson in Prometheus Rising, I take to include the possibility that we can incorporate concepts which can further inform your belief system. More than just a simplistic have-a-go with something antithetical to my own narrow tunnel reality, but rather a give-something-a-chance that I might have otherwise written off out of hand.
For instance he talks about trying to get into a head-space where he was enjoying country music (whilst also, seemingly naively, shitting on it – out of hand). The mistake – or more accurately, shortcoming – in this limited approach is the lack of an attempt to truly appreciate it. He’s merely trying to get into a head-space where he felt he enjoyed it. This sort of fake it ’til you make it method inevitably won’t have the same effect as a genuine attempt in appreciating which ultimately seems to me to both miss the point as well as miss the opportunity to grasp certain aspects of the art form, why people truly enjoy it and also the possibility of understanding a part of the human experience. One shared by millions. One that could inform many other aspects of ones own life.
Forcing oneself to attend dozens of baseball games, listening to hours of sports talk radio and collecting baseball cards isn’t necessarily going to do anything but waste your time if you’re not trying to understand the subtleties and strategies involved in the game play itself – something which helps explain the culture built up around the sport and its history – one which has historically been a part of the American experience.
Increasing ones understanding of something one is biased against having interest in also helps strengthen ones ability to find enough interest in such things that one can then use this ability to gain understanding and knowledge of a whole host of subjects and topics. This has a number of possible benefits. It can help you master your math classes. It also allows you to connect genuinely with other people on their terms about things that they’re interested in that you may not previously have been. Then you also concurrently gain information with which to communicate to other people who have these same interests.
It’s also important here to note how we can interpret this in terms of the Law of Polarity and how this can be an effective method in approaching polarities. Having a number of out-of-hand biases against (or for) things is polarizing.
I’ll have more to add to this shortly, but I wanted to go ahead and post this as I originally wrote it up at a coffee shop in a notebook over a week ago. Damn procrastination.
In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
- Albert Camus