December 05, 2008

A December thought

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." - Buddha

When was the last time you had an original thought?

It's a serious and difficult question, isn't it? I don't mean to be pretentious, at all. It's just an interesting thing to think about. Personally, I've come out of highschool and then university with an education of other people's knowledge. Especially at university, the intention should be to create original thinkers, to create scientists who don't just accept and repeat, but think. But if you attended any kind of school yourself, you'll know it often wasn't like that. Teachers usually don't reward an original thought; they want to read in your answers what they defined to be true. They want your knowledge to be The Truth. With sources mentioned. It's as absurd as it is understandable.

We are told by Karl Popper: "Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve," and I think, oh yes, he's right. But I don't understand, not really. Because if we're honest, we act to the opposite. If I'm wrong, I admire you.

So I ask myself, and if you're willing to think with me, you, again: when was the last time you had a thought really and purely of your own? One not based on what you've once read. One not based on what your books and your newspapers tell you? One not based on what people you like or admire tell you? One not based just on habits and comformity?

It's so hard to think for yourself because not a lot is harder than forgetting, or shaking a habit.

I often find myself thoughtlessly defending things. I often find myself thoughtlessly opposing or even judging things. Or people. I'm not talking about intuition. It's easily my biggest weakness. This weakness is not in being wrong or right. It's in basing my sentiment on what I've been told. I've been told it so often that I've started to think it's my own opinion.

What makes you believe you're right about things? Why do you really love the music you love? What are you doing for others? Are you happy? Are you annoyed with this post?

I don't want your answers. But I would love if you would think about it.

Download (Mediafire)
1. Daryll-Ann - Surely justice
2. Moby Grape - Naked, if I want to
3. Yo La Tengo - You can have it all


Kippers said...

This may not be an entirely original thought but it's definitely the truth: Surely Justice by Daryll-Ann is one of the best pop songs of the past twenty years!

Marion said...

Thanks for writing that post Dennis. I spend untold amounts of time thinking about these very things. Really dissecting why it is I like what I like, and (far more difficultly) attempting to qualify why something does not appeal to me. To be honest, I'm not sure if I've ever had a thought that was one hundred percent original. It's terrifying sometimes, but at least an awareness of a present lack of originality is a step in the right direction?

I look forward to downloading the mix that you offered with this post very soon as well!