Monthly Archives: July 2015

Opinions, Beliefs and Ignorance

If an opinion is wrong we can show that it is wrong. From the article: NO, IT’S NOT YOUR OPINION. YOU’RE JUST WRONG BY Jef Rouner: “Opinion, or worse “belief”, has become the shield of every poorly-conceived notion that worms its way onto social media. There’s a common conception that an opinion cannot be wrong.”

One may hold an opinion on a subject that has not been sufficiently clarified by facts. Conservatives believe the country will be better is we leave things alone; Liberals often believe we need to change. Informed economists differ on whether active public sector investment is required for economic health. These are valid opinions and they are not wrong.  At least no one so far has shown either side of either discussion to be in error, despite vociferous efforts.

Opinions like the above are akin to beliefs but only with regard to severity.  Belief  requires no reason or information beyond the belief itself; that Christ is coming to rule our government, Sharia Law will make the world a better place… These are not open for discussion because they are not verifiable. Are they *wrong*? Who can say? What is clear is that action in advancement of such a belief should NOT be required by those who do not believe those things.  I can support my opinion about non-involvement with the belief system of others with facts and reason.  I should not be required to help build an Arc or institute Sharia Law.

Ignorance is about shielding oneself behind opinion or belief so as not to investigate further.  It seems that MOST people do not investigate their opinions because we may then  be obliged to modify our positions because of evident facts and reasonable argument.  Another word for this is *ignorance* One who does not care if our opinion is right or wrong is ignorant.

The larger point  IS the discussion.  My opinion, and I can substantiate and support my opinion with countless facts and irrefutable reason, is that the DEBATE about opinions is all important.  We all need to debate our opinions in order to better our own lives, our families, our neighborhoods, communities, cities, states and nations.

Ignorance is not caring if your opinion may be wrong.  And those who pronounce *wrong* the opinions of others may be more ignorant than the *wrong*.

Shine Your Spirit

The guy behind the counter at a coffee store just glowed.  I mentioned it to him.  He acknowledged it, then went to the next customer.  He was competent, smiling slightly, open and “on”.  I said “you positively glow today” and he nodded.

Last night I had a dream.  Parts of it were extremely lucid, especially the parts about people turning away when they don’t hear what I say.  My mother who died a year ago  was the impetus for the dramatic change at the end.

I was asked to help with taking money or tickets or something at some event.  The attractive young woman in charge didn’t want me there, but she needed help.  Then she disappeared at the end and I had to take a lot of money so fast I couldn’t keep up, put it all in a jar or bag or something with cards and papers to sort out later.  People were just leaving the money and walking into the event.

Then I was driving with her and we were asked to speak somewhere, answer questions about this event or the money or something, wasn’t clear, but I did not feel intimidated.  I thought it was this woman’s event and that people wanted to know something and I can help.  We were driving, me and her, and asking people on the street where we were supposed to go.

Ended up at a large Baha’i gathering, sat in the front, and suddenly I was introduced as speaker.  The woman was hurt and quietly left.  I believed we were in the wrong place, that we just showed up for a Baha’i event instead of the one we were looking for, but this Baha’i event was familiar, like the hundreds I have attended in the past.  I found my mother and in front asked what I was supposed to speak about, and how long it was.

She yelled to someone in the crowd my questions, but asked how long i “had to talk” and I yelled to clarify,  how long was my allotted time.  The talk was entitled,  I think the exact words were “Shine It!” I know it was two words and one of them was “shine” and I began to speak to the group.  I said in the writings of the Baha’i Faith God said to shine our spirits (“make me a brilliant star”) and heard everyone humming and nodding assent.  I told them about the coffee clerk and said the we can make ourselves shine, and we need to practice.  I somehow asked how the subject was worded so badly “Shine It” and a group of little kids, mostly black kids poorly dressed, started singing a song “Shine It” and it was not a very good or catchy song.  They meant that I was talking about the song, that the title of my talk was the title of the song.

So how do we shine?  What makes it happen?  Who is responsible?  Well we are.  I noticed that people started to talk among themselves and I picked out a group of three in the middle of the room and asked them to converse elsewhere, so that I could “begin my fucking talk”.  The room got silent, people started to leave, and I started to explain that it was not God, it was us that was in charge of how we shine.  That even in the Baha’i Writings God tells us to do it, but not how.  We have to figure that out for ourselves and there are many ways to do it.  It is different for different people, but we have to start with intent.

That some people shine when they take certain drugs, you can see in their eyes and ask them about their experience and they are definitely shining as well or better than any of us in the room.  That we can all shine right now more than we are, wake up, listen, become in touch with ourselves and our abilities and show others.  Show others is the point, the shining part.  I looked around and hardly anyone was left in the room, four or five people, and all the little kids were in an adjoining room on the floor laying down to sleep with mattresses and bed clothes, but eyes still open.

I intended to continue, to talk about how internal switches and rational models make our worlds the intersect, inter-react, affect each other in ways we intend, and that the pattern and underlying structure is the work of the One True God, but not our shining.  That is up to us.  But no one was listening.