Thursday, May 9, 2013

In The Right Way

   - You argue with too much force. You make a mistake to be so sure you are right.
- What about you? In your quiet way you are just as sure you are right.
- You are sure that the world is as you say it is, I am sure that there are different ways of talking, and at the moment I'm not talking in the worse.
- What are better and worse for you?
- A mistake to insist the world is any one way, right to look for an answer, whatever it is.
- You could be wrong about how you are speaking.
- Like when people shout out, "I'm not angry"?
- Yes. You can be deceiving yourself.
- But I can't be deceiving myself about feeling the beauty of someone I see. I won't even consider the suggestion I am blinded by passion. Experiencing beauty means being satisfied by beauty. Being satisfied means not wanting to do anything, excludes passion. You feel dissatisfied only when you feel you must do something. The two are incompatible.
- In arguing with me what is the beautiful thing you see?
- Being on the way to discovering something new.
- How can be sure that you are? Are you always sure?
- No. Sometimes I am unsure whether I see beauty or not. I look at my smiling friend, and feel nothing, or positively uneasy. Like declaring angrily, "I am not angry", I'm restless with the beauty I see. But when unsure, I try to reflect. I try to develop a habit of reflection that invariably leads me to the conclusion, "if I am unsure, then I can be sure I am wrong".
- Say that again.
- "If I am unsure, then I can be sure I am wrong". It is easy to forget to make this reflection, but over time, if you make a habit of practice, soon it seems you are either in one of the two states, experiencing beauty, or unsure whether you are or not, and when in the second, you immediately go from, "I'm unsure whether I'm right", to "I'm sure I am wrong". Once you have this habit established, you can say with confidence you know when you are speaking in the right way.


2.

- I understand. You are a living god, infallible in your judgement. It is tradition among you visitors to our mortal realm to speak in parables. Give me some examples.
- See that guy getting out of his truck? I talked with him at the Starbucks over there. Or really, he talked with me, told stories, I just listened. He showed up right after I got through listening to another story.
- I'm listening.
- I'd just arrived at the cafe. It was already a strange day: a helicopter had nearly landed on the water of Silverlake reservoir, hovering for minute, then taking off. A woman sat outside the cafe, a bag at her feet, talking on her phone. "They are going to drag my car out of the lake, I'm waiting, I'm waiting here at the cafe. My stuff is in the car...."
- She drove her car into the lake?
- Then that fellow arrived, sat down at my table. He said he was having a hard day. A lot of problems. That girl who said to hello to him, she wants him to meet her girl-friend. Now his lawyer is calling him. I asked him why he needed a lawyer. He's got a lot of problems. Last week he forgot his pressure cooker, the police found it, shut down the whole shopping center. His lawyer said he should explain to the police he didn't mean anything.
- This was right after the bombing in Boston. Is he out of his mind?
- The shopping center was closed. "A bomb scare".
- He looks like he could be from Chechnya.
- He does. No, he's joking.
- That's what you think. And the woman with the car in the lake?
- I guess, not joking.
- So you are going to tell me about how you are sure you are right, and not sure. Are you right about these people? Stop. I'm not going there.
- Stand here for a moment. Here is the parable of the parking lot: Two friends in Silverlake, an artist colony of  L.A., are headed to Starbucks, but hesitate when they realize people are there who talk openly about driving cars in lakes and don't mind looking like bombers. Are the driver and cooker-forgetter telling the truth? One friend says, "Who the hell knows, what do you care? let's talk". The other is afraid.
- I'm not afraid. And what's the moral of the story? You think these lowlifes are beautiful?
- No, I don't know what they are. You wanted an example of applying the rule, either you know, because what you see is beautiful, or you are unsure, in which case you know that you don't know, and don't act on what you don't know, you're not afraid.
- I'm not acting on what I don't know.
- Why are you standing in the parking lot?