Monday, October 18, 2010
In thinking about human affairs, always call common sense into question. It is the most creative part of philosophy. Take ideas which are commonly accepted and which seem to be incontrovertible and question them. Turn them inside out and see what would happen if they were thought about in another way.
This from our friend Alan Watts. If Dedalus Enterprises has a motto, it very well could be that. And it applies to everything from metaphysics to politics to Star Wars.
Rely not on the teacher, but on the teaching. Rely not on the words of the teaching, but on the spirit of the words. Rely not on theory, but experience. Do not believe in anything because you have heard of it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
This from the Buddha himself, right out of the Kalama Sutra. Honestly, is this not remarkably sane? If someone had inserted just such a paragraph anywhere into the texts of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, one stands in awe how much trouble could have perhaps been avoided.
And incidentally, if you're looking for another blog full of philososphical mischief and cosmic wonder, might I suggest Hardcore Zen? I am almost finished with Brad Warner's new book, Sex, Sin, and Zen, and it is fantastic. Be sure to pick up yours at Borders today!